Dietary Divas and Food Fascists!

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Losing weight is not an easy task for most people, it is said that 97 percent of “Dieters” regain everything they lost and then some within three years. Even half that number would be a staggering statistic, but just because you can read these statistics every day, it does not mean that losing weight for good is impossible.

You have to truly want to lose weight.

If we are being intellectually honest about this topic, losing weight for good, in a healthy manner, means that you have to be all in for a lifetime change to the better. You can not expect to go at this endeavor half heartedly and expect permanent results. You have to want it, but wanting it is not enough in itself.

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You have to believe in yourself, believe that you are indeed capable.

Belief in yourself is a critical component in successful weight loss strategies. adopting a new nutritional lifestyle to lose weight and being able to keep it off for the remainder of your life is not an easy task. You must have faith and confidence in your abilities to overcome. When you are struggling with getting that number on the scale to drop, you just have to have the confidence to dig in your heels and then make whatever adjustments you need to make in your life. Family and friends will be the first to sabotage you in this area by making you feel guilty about not enjoying unhealthy food and drink with them. Like consistent exercise makes the sport easier to participate in, the same is true in maintaining your resolve. The more you exercise your resolve with family and friends, you will become more confident in your ability to remain strong when temptations are at their worst.

And you must approach weight loss from a position of nutritional knowledge.

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we give you all the nutritional knowledge that you will need in order to lose weight in a healthy manner. And we do this as an act of love, therefore there will never be a charge for you to access our vast library of articles we have written specifically for you.

Be aware of the Dietary Diva’s, and the Food Fascist!

There is an abundance of advice you can find in regards to losing weight, and a good plenty of it you can, and should, discard right away.

The Dietary Diva

This individual can be a man or a woman that can often be found in places such as Instagram. You will know the type when you see them as they will always be super ripped and cut and most often will offer up vague methods of losing weight that just do not work for those with a significant weight issue. These types are the easiest to avoid, but they can plant seeds in your mind that may lead to unhealthy attempts at trying what they proclaim to do. Most often, you are going to be tempted by fad diet schemes that promise quick and rapid weight loss. If you are a competing bodybuilder or model, some of these tips can be handy if you are already super lean. But if you are more than a few pounds over your ideal weight or body fat percentage, then their advice is going to be worthless for you. What you need is something realistic that you can do for the rest of your life without the concerns of risking your health. The reality is, these quick weight loss schemes offered up by the Dietary Diva’s are not healthy for the long term, please, just avoid them altogether.

The Food Fascists

Good lord avoid these types at all costs. They usually have an agenda where your best interest is not in their heart. These types might come across as caring individuals, but they can become militant about anything and everything that is not in lockstep with their beliefs which are often wrong, or based on cherry picked scientific studies. Brenda Sue and I recently experienced this type on a social media page where we were attacked and then blocked simply because our well researched ideas were different than those of a couple of other people who were not the page creators or even moderators for that matter. If anyone ever gets mad because you counter their nutrition advice with a question or you give them a contrary point on the subject, get them out of your life. They do not have your best interest at heart!

Some of the topics the Food Fascist are militant about include:

Artificial sweeteners: I am not a fan of too many artificial sweeteners simply because I do not like what they do to the flavor of most foods. I have been entirely sugar free long enough now, that sweetness is a turn off for my taste. But, that being said, I would rather see people use these non-calorie sweeteners over using sugar any day. Although there is plenty of controversy to be found in regards to artificial sweeteners, most health authorities consider them safe, and many people use them to reduce their sugar intake and lose weight.

Those with diabetes may benefit from choosing artificial sweeteners, as they offer a sweet taste without the accompanying rise in blood sugar levels. However, some studies report that drinking diet soda is associated with a 6–121% greater risk of developing diabetes. This may seem contradictory, but it’s important to note that all of the studies were observational. They didn’t prove that artificial sweeteners cause diabetes, only that people likely to develop type 2 diabetes also like to drink diet soda.

Since the 1970s, debate about whether there is a link between artificial sweeteners and cancer risk has raged. It was ignited when animal studies found an increased risk of bladder cancer in mice fed extremely high amounts of saccharin and cyclamate. However, it needs to be noted that mice actually metabolize saccharin differently than humans.

Overall, the use of artificial sweeteners poses few risks and may even have benefits for weight loss, blood sugar control, and dental health. These sweeteners are especially beneficial if you use them to decrease the amount of added sugar in your diet. That said, the likelihood of negative effects can vary by individual and depend on the type of artificial sweetener consumed. Some people may feel bad or experience negative effects after consuming artificial sweeteners, even though they are safe and well-tolerated by most people. These products have been around several decades now and are carefully tested and regulated by U.S. and international authorities to make sure they are safe to eat and drink.

Flour: One point of contention we recently encountered was over the use of almond and coconut flours. The individuals were against the use of all flours, but could only give vague reasons why nut based flours are just as bad as refined white flour. Giving up white flour does not mean you should also give up other types of flour. If you are going to give up a food group or ingredient, then do so on sound reasons and not the rhetoric coming from an ill informed Food Fascist.

We can agree that white flour is not a healthy choice for us. When grains are refined, almost all the fiber, vitamins and minerals are removed from them, thus we are provided with calories that are devoid of any nutritional value. Refined flour contributes to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, and only make you feel full for a short time. This is followed by a drop in blood sugar, hunger and cravings. We want to avoid this at all costs, but this does not mean we have to quit enjoying all flours!

In my article No Sugar, No Flour, Now What? I lay out healthy flours you can and should try as substitutes for white refined flours. You will find these flours to impart excellent flavors to some of your favorite recipes.

Dairy products: Dairy is either good or bad for you depending on the latest diet trend or recent study. So what is the truth — is dairy healthy, or a health risk?

While dairy isn’t actually necessary in our diets for optimal health, it is the easiest way to get the calcium, vitamin D, and protein we require in order to keep our heart, muscles, and bones healthy and functioning properly. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese, are good sources of calcium, which helps maintain bone density and reduces the risk of fractures. Adults up to age 50 need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. Women older than 50 and men older than 70 need 1,200 mg. (For comparison, a cup of milk has 250 mg to 350 mg of calcium, depending on the brand and whether it’s whole, low-fat, or nonfat. A typical serving of yogurt has about 187 mg of calcium.) Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, which bones need to maintain bone mass.

Older adults also need protein to protect against sarcopenia, the natural age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, and dairy can be an inexpensive and healthy source. The recommended amount for older adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. A 180-pound man would need about 65 grams of protein per day, and a 140-pound woman would need about 50 grams.

The bottom line is that when it comes to overall health benefits, dairy is neither a hero nor a villain. As a part of a well balanced diet, there is plenty of good benefit by adding some dairy to your daily diet — a splash of milk in your coffee or a cup poured over your breakfast cereal, or a slice of cheese on a sandwich — can help you get some of the vital nutrients you need. If you are lactose intolerant and prefer some of the nut milks, then that is perfectly fine too. Just avoid those who are militant in their beliefs when it comes to dairy products.

Veganism and Keto: Okay, adherents to these strict dietary practices are quite passionate about how they eat. While there is nothing wrong with passion, it does become wrong when they become militant about their beliefs. Food is a personal subject. We all have strong opinions of what we eat and how we eat it. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the lifestyle and leave behind the fact that food is a necessity for living, but this does not mean we are always correct. Sometimes, if you are not armed with good nutritional knowledge, some of these dietary practices will actually make you sick instead of healthy. It’s only a smart move to consult with a medical or nutritional professional when making the choice to omit meat. Meat is some of the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It contains essential aminos acids that most plants cannot provide. You must be up on your body’s inner workings before you toss meat to the curb. You have to ensure that your diet is providing you with all the macro and micro nutrients your body requires.

Restrictive eating patterns can and will result in nutritional deficiencies which is also a problem when it comes to Keto.

Keto: Yes, Keto has been used for successful weight loss by many around the world. But is it always good for weight maintenance or health?

Maybe, maybe not.

Adherents will tell you about all of the great benefits of Keto, but if you are going to follow this plan your future health will depend on your nutritional knowledge. The Keto diet is simple in concept. It eliminates almost all carbohydrates from your diet which is supposed to make it easier for people to follow. The reality is, this diet makes people feel full despite having fewer calories and it gives them more energy. That’s because people are giving up their diet of processed foods which can make you feel sluggish after consuming them. The Keto diet will keep blood sugar levels stable, which produces a more stable flow of energy, but you need to also know the downsides of Keto. In the beginning, as with all diets, most of the lost weight is water weight which gives a false sense of security that you are on the right path.

Keto is not optimal for someone trying to gain muscle. Once your body enters ketosis, you  can also begin to lose muscle, become extremely fatigued, and eventually enter starvation mode. While this is going to take weight off your body, some of this is going to be from a loss of lean muscle which will lower your metabolism. When this happens, it actually becomes even harder to lose weight.

We have encountered some who are quite adamant and militant in their beliefs about Keto, and to me it is often obvious they have only researched what they want to believe and have not read up on the bad side of Keto. The Keto diet has been known to cause low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies and an increased risk of heart disease. Strict diets like keto can also cause social isolation or disordered eating. Keto is not safe for those with any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder. The diet restricts fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy which can help with long term weight loss and overall health. Keto is ultimately not realistic or sustainable.

Note, always consult with your physician before beginning any new dietary program, including mine.  While we advocate 16:8 Intermittent Fasting, there are some who might want to avoid it such as those who are diabetic.

David’s Way to Health and Fitness Methodology

At David’s Way we don’t tell you what to eat so much as we tell you what not to eat.

No sugar, simple carbs and most processed foods!

This is no weight loss gimmick, this simple plan is how our mothers, grandmothers and generations past used to feed us. It is simply a matter of using portion control when consuming healthy, whole foods, while avoiding foods that are not nutritionally sound. In other words, do not consume anything that does not provide you a nutritional benefit.

We advocate Intermittent Fasting on the 16:8 protocol. While there is a lot of information which can be found all over the internet regarding Intermittent Fasting as if it is a new found weight loss gimmick, it is really nothing new. Intermittent Fasting used to be the norm in America even though it did not have a name. For example, when I was a child we used to get up in the morning and have breakfast, lunch and then dinner. Once the dinner dishes were cleaned up and put away, we did not eat again until the next morning’s breakfast. If your mother caught you eating after the dinner dishes had been put away, you might get a little reprimanding for not eating either all of your dinner, or not enough. Intermittent Fasting was just a normal part of American life before this era of our obesity epidemic.

We advise you to maintain a regular exercise regimen, and to count and track your calories and macro-nutrients in order to ensure you are eating enough, or that you are not eating too little which is detrimental to your metabolism. For your personal caloric needs, simply go to our menu and click on Calorie Counter Pro and enter your information and get a customized calorie count to suit your individual needs. Your personal information is only visible to you, as we respect and follow all HIPPA privacy laws. We advise entering your information to lose one pound per week in order to ensure that you have plenty to eat and still manage to lose body fat in a healthy manner and comfortably.

David’s Way

  • Do not consume sugar or simple carbs such as refined sugar, pasta and breads made of refined white flour. Avoid sugar sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages as they are loaded in simple carbohydrates.
    1. Foods containing added sugar and simple carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar and insulin which will drive your cravings for more. If you have not had control over sugar and simple carbohydrates in the past, it is unlikely you will keep them under control in the future if you have been prone to binge eating. If you are addicted to simple carbs you will almost certainly have the same issues as an alcoholic who thinks he can enjoy just one drink. This might work occasionally, but will usually derail the individual entirely.
    2. The only caveat to not consuming simple carbs is fruit. The fiber in fruit acts to buffer the simple carbohydrates in them from just dumping into your blood stream like happens when you eat sugar and other simple carbohydrates.
    3. In our recipe category, we have subcategories with plenty of sugar free dessert recipes that are delicious, and can be eaten by anyone including diabetics, while not having to concern yourself with the health issues and cravings which come from sugar.
  •  No processed foods as they are almost always high in sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and    preservatives.
    1. While there are some processed foods that are nutritionally sound, most are not. If you are going to consume processed foods because of the convenience factor, be sure to read the label first. For example, if you purchase a sauce, read the label to identify whether the product contains added sugar, unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium and any other ingredients which you might have to do a Google search of in order to even know what it might be.
  • Simply put, we encourage you to eat whole food’s such as meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and dairy products that are easily prepared at home. Skip restaurants and fast food’s unless you know that you are able to make healthy choices from their menu.
    1. An example of a healthy choice in a restaurant would be meat and vegetable fajitas in a Mexican restaurant. You could enjoy this while skipping the flour tortillas and the corn tortillas and salsa that is usually served. Have a unsweetened drink with your meal instead of a soda pop or alcoholic beverage.
  • Be sure to track how many calories a day you consume and do not exceed the amount your body requires. Just as important, you want to ensure you are not under eating.
    1. If you find yourself going over on one day, simply eat lighter the next day and do not stress over it. One day is not going to derail your weight loss, especially if you are eating healthy, whole foods only. You can do an average of your daily caloric intake for the week, and if your average does not exceed what it would be if your calories were spot on each day, there is no need for worry about weight gain.
    2. If you have an exercise regimen, you will especially want to track your caloric intake in order to ensure you are consuming enough calories to fuel your physical activities. Too large a caloric deficit will cause you to lose lean muscle mass along with body fat. This will only serve to slow down your metabolism.
  • Be sure during your weight loss mode to eat a diet that is high in protein and lower in carbs, Do not skip out on healthy fats either as they are essential for good health and proper absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat.
    1. A diet that is higher in protein and which includes healthy fats will keep you satiated between meals far better than a diet that is higher in carbohydrates than protein.
    2. During your weight loss, try to consume no less than 35% and up to 50% of your calories from a variety of protein sources. Meats, seafood, dairy, eggs and even protein shakes that do not contain sugar. Once you are maintaining your weight, try to eat at least 35% of your calories from protein sources. Track your macronutrients!
    3. If you have a vigorous exercise regimen such as strength training and or running, be sure to eat from .8 grams to 1 gram per pound of body weight if you are female. And 1 gram to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you are male. Protein is a must in order to maintain, build and repair your lean muscle tissue which gets broken down during vigorous exercise.
  • Be accountable to yourself! Besides tracking your calories and macro-nutrients, weigh yourself no more than once per week, and aim for only a 1 pound per week weight loss, and no more than 2 pounds per week. 
    1. Be consistent in your weigh in. Do it on the same day each week, at the same time of day and in the same clothing or lack thereof. We recommend weighing yourself before you even get dressed, and before you have anything to eat and drink.
  • Practice Intermittent Fasting on the 16:8 protocol. This means to fast for 16 hours and then eat all of your allotted calories for the day during your 8 hour eating window.
    1. You can build yourself up to 16:8 by first starting with 12:12 then 14:10 before going 16:8. By consuming enough protein along with healthy fats, you will find this much easier than you might think. With the elimination of added sugar and simple carbohydrates, you will feel hungry, but the hunger will not be unbearable as when you are craving simple carbs.
  • Aim for a healthy body fat percentage as an ultimate goal over a specific number on the scale.
    1. Everyone has fluctuations in their body weight from day to day, and from morning to night. These fluctuations are from water weight. If you are aiming for a healthy body fat over a specific number, you will find weight loss to be less stressful. Your weight can fluctuate by 5 pounds or more with no impact on your level of body fat.

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