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Surfing to Get in Shape

February 02, 1999|ROSIE MESTEL

Can chromium picolinate really help you burn fat and build muscle? How long would you have to chop wood to burn off the calories in an average-sized chocolate brownie with nuts?

The answers--probably not, and 57.56 minutes--are just a tiny taste of the info you can get from surfing http://www.phys.com, a free health-nutrition-fitness Web site hosted by publisher Conde Nast. The site features articles on fitness, weight loss and nutrition, as well as Q&As, chat rooms and an encyclopedia of health and fitness terms.

I tried one of these interactive tools to help me clean up my eating act. I typed in my stats--age, weight, current diet and level of sloth--and received my ideal diet, complete with sample menu. I also got a gentle rap over the knuckles for my current eating habits: too much candy, not enough fruit.

The site is fun but levelheaded, stresses senior editor Marissa Rothkopf. All the material is checked by experts. "We take a scientific approach to our articles. We would never endorse one of these flash-in-the-pan diets," she says. Phys.com has nothing very good to say about the "5-Day Miracle" or the "How to Lose Weight by Changing the Way You Breathe" diets.

Darn.

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