Author: David Yochim

Carb Addiction and Insulin Resistance

Woman raiding the refrigerator for sweets.
Photo by goffkein @ Freepik.com

If you are one who raids the refrigerator for sweet treats in the middle of the night you may be well on your way to a carb addiction and insulin resistance – if you are not already there.

If you are carb addicted, you cannot change your body’s predisposition to release too much insulin. You can look at this as being akin to your body being a loaded gun and your finger is on the trigger. If you are carb addicted, it is up to you to not pull the trigger, lest you cause harm to yourself in the process. You get this predisposition genetically from your parents,  however you can control this if only you will.

While your body might be genetically primed to release too much insulin which causes you to crave carbs, you can keep this under control if you know how. You do not have to be overweight simply because of your carb addiction and insulin resistance.

Constant Carb Consumption

Our largest problem with carb addiction comes from the frequent intake of carbohydrate rich foods. Everywhere we turn nowadays, we are faced with foods laden with added sugars which do not add anything to the nutritional value of the food. These foods only supply us with a burst of short term energy which causes us to crave more and more. Your cravings may be strong, but you do not have to open your mouth and insert the fork or spoon.

Eating these foods is a choice, no one can make you do this!

Thrifty Genes?

There are some in the nutrition and medical fields who believe we have what is referred to as a thrifty gene. It is believed that if you are born with this gene, the more often you consume carb rich foods, the greater your insulin response will be. The high level of insulin will cause you to crave more of the same foods.

The fundamental basis of the thrifty gene hypothesis is that, in our early evolutionary history, genes, that promoted efficient fat deposition would have been advantageous because they allowed their holders to survive during periods of famine. In modern society, such genes are disadvantageous because they promote fat deposition in preparation for a famine that never comes, and the result is widespread obesity and diabetes. (1)

As we continue to consume carbohydrate rich foods on a regular basis, we will have a greater insulin response. This high level of insulin will cause you to crave more of these foods, but it is your choice whether you eat them or not.

When we consume carbohydrate rich foods on a regular basis, our muscles and organs begin to become insulin resistant. When you are insulin resistant, the insulin and the blood sugar it escorts will be channeled away from your muscles and organs  and stored  in your fat cells.

Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up.

Insulin resistance syndrome includes a group of problems like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. It could affect as many as 1 in 3 Americans. You might also hear it called metabolic syndrome. (2)

In the first stages of insulin resistance, you will begin to gain weight easier. Later in insulin resistance, even your fat cells will become insulin resistant. The result of this is insulin and blood sugar will remain trapped in your bloodstream which is likely to result in adult onset type 2 diabetes. If you give in to eating foods high in simple carbs and added sugars, this cycle will keep repeating itself. The choice is yours to make whether or not you want to continue playing Russian Roulette with your health.

Thin people are not off the hook with this matter! 

If you believe that because you are thin despite eating carb rich foods that you have nothing to worry about – you are wrong!

You may have never struggled with being overweight or obese in your youth, but this does not  make you immune to insulin resistance. As we age, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases. This is also  associated with senile skeletal muscle dysfunction. During skeletal muscle aging, mitochondrial dysfunction, intramyocellular lipid accumulation, increased inflammation, oxidative stress, modified activity of insulin sensitivity regulatory enzymes, endoplasmic reticulum stress, decreased autophagy, sarcopenia and over-activated renin-angiotensin system may occur. These changes can impair skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and increase the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes during skeletal muscle aging. (3)

When our bodies are young, and thinner, simply growing older changes our metabolism which makes us more insulin resistant. As we age, insulin and blood sugar are channeled to our fat cells, thus weight becomes easier to gain than in our youth.

We all know someone  who has always been able to eat sweets all day long, every day, without gaining weight. Even though they might not be overweight, this does not mean they are not carb addicted. This occurs when the body continues to push through more and more insulin in an attempt to override insulin resistance. Your body works hard to push insulin and blood sugar to the muscles and organs which need it.

All of this extra insulin leads to more and more intensive carbohydrate cravings. In order to protect itself from these constant insulin insults to the body, it tries to protect itself by becoming more insulin resistant. Of course when this occurs, over time even the fat cells may shut down and the insulin along with the sugar it accompanies, get stuck in the bloodstream. In time, even though you may be thin, you still stand a good risk of adult onset, type 2 diabetes setting in.

Getting the Correct Balance

Cravings and weight gain are signs of insulin resistance no matter your size. If you want to live a normal and healthy life, you must take control of your intake of carbohydrates.

When you consume carb rich foods without the correct balance of protein and fiber, you are highly likely to set off an insulin imbalance. This is why we teach to cut out foods rich in simple carbs and added sugars. Our recommendation is that you eat only whole foods and as few processed foods as possible. You have control over what you eat – it is your choice to eat foods of inferior quality and substance. No one is force feeding you cookies and cupcakes.

When you have uncontrollable cravings for those innocent sweet treats of the past, you have a major problem which needs to be addressed. By following David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we can help educate you about weight loss, and how nutrition affects your body whether good or bad. Subscriptions are free and easy, you can receive all of our latest articles straight to your email in order to never miss a thing.

We all have choices to make in life. We can give in to our carbohydrate cravings and suffer the consequences, or we can choose to not do so. Choose wisely my friends, we are only blessed with one body and one life to live. Create your life and live it at your best.

 

(1) National Library of Medicine National Center for Biological Information

(2) WebMD

(3) https://dmsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13098-020-0523-x

I’m a Fat Man In A Fit Body

Yes, I said it and I meant it by declaring myself a fat man in a fit body. Despite my level of fitness, there is always that chubby fellow looking to resurface at some point – therefore I must be vigilant for the remainder of my life to never let that happen. Being a fitness fanatic, a nutrition and wellness consultant, and nutrition and fitness author, I am fully cognizant that 95% of dieters fail, and I could be a failure too.

But, I will only be a failure if I allow that to happen.

My friends, I know firsthand how it feels to believe that we are powerless over obesity – I have suffered from obesity in the past too. I also know firsthand that we can overcome obesity. You might honestly believe that it is impossible for you to lose weight – your belief would be wrong! Losing weight, and keeping it off is entirely possible. You only have to commit yourself to not just doing it, but also you must learn how to lose weight in a holistic manner.

What do I mean about losing weight in a holistic manner?

I mean you need to not only concentrate on the weight you need to lose, but to treat yourself as a whole person, taking into account your mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a obesity. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, several comprehensive reviews have suggested that between 20% and 60% of persons with obesity, and extreme obesity in particular, suffer from a psychiatric illness. These percentages are typically greater than those seen in the general population. (1)

 Research suggests a relationship between excess body weight and depression. Persons with extreme obesity, for example, are almost five times more likely to have experienced an episode of major depression in the past year as compared with those of average weight. This relationship between obesity and depression seems to be stronger for women than men, perhaps because of society’s emphasis on thinness as a characteristic of female beauty. (1)

 Friends, my own periods of obesity have come as a result of my suffering from a diagnosed major depressive disorder coupled by significant Post traumatic Stress. Despite knowing better, I have also been one to mask my conditions with the temporary pleasures in which we derive from highly palatable foods that have been largely comprised of sugar, simple carbs, coupled with unhealthy fats. I know the shame that comes from sneaking off to the kitchen alone, in search of sweet treats to soothe the soul. Only to feel like a remorseful, fat pig afterwards. We cannot eat our way out of depression or the effects of PTSD. Trying to do so, only makes our problems worse and worse by the day.

Disordered Eating

Disordered eating is common among persons with obesity. Many people who seek out weight loss treatment report that they often eat for emotional reasons. Others admit to having difficulty controlling how often they eat and their portion sizes. Obese peoples eating behaviors are also often in response to the bombardment of food cues we receive from modern society. Surprisingly, only a small minority of obese people actually have formally recognized eating disorders.(1)

However, the most common eating disorder among persons with obesity is binge-eating disorder. Binge-eating disorder is characterized by the consumption of a large amount of food in a brief period of time (less than 2 hours), during which the individual experiences a loss of control. As a result, the individual eats much faster than normal, until uncontrollably full, in the absence of hunger, and often eats alone. After eating, the individual often reports disgust.

The above description describes me very well.

Does it describe you as well?

Attempting to mask my depression and PTSD, I have been a true binge eater. I could eat a whole large pizza in one sitting. Devouring large amounts of cookies, cakes and ice cream has always been too easy for me. Truth be told, being as I am a fat man in a fit body, it would be easy for me to revert back to these behaviors. The blessing in all of this is – now there is nothing that tastes as good as I now feel physically and mentally. I still suffer from depression and PTSD, but I reached out and received help for my conditions. There are some days where it is difficult when that fat bastard inside of me would like to crawl out of hiding, but he has become easier and easier to control over time. This is one of the reasons we always tell people that in order to lose weight and keep it off, they must create a new lifestyle for themselves. I cannot live the lifestyle of the fat man I was and remain in the physical and mental shape that I am in today.

We Lose our Health to Poor Nutrition!

There is an undeniable relationship between excess body weight and decreases in quality of life. Having been a fat man myself, I know this to be true through my firsthand experience – as well as through my extensive studies for this website.

Me when I was a fat man.
Full of shame, eating and drinking to mask my pain.

I have been fat and weak.

I have also been fat while also being physically stronger than at any other time of my life, even though I knew how to be physically fit and healthy.

 

Me receiving a military award
Me receiving a military award.

When I left the Navy in 1997, I was suffering from my depression and PTSD pretty fiercely. I hid from my problems behind alcohol and food. I didn’t care that I had become a fat man for a couple of years. I did seek help from the Veterans Administration, only to get a punch to the gut with their refusal. This only made my depression worse as then it was also coupled with anger and a growing embarrassment of the fat, weak man I was becoming. At this point, I was also suffering from bad acid reflux at night, along with digestive issues, and elevated blood pressure. I finally became disgusted with myself and lost my weight back down to a healthy level. I also once again became physically fit enough to return to military service at 45 years old.

Me and my lovely wife Loraine
Me and my lovely wife Loraine

In 2009, as I was preparing for deployment to Afghanistan, I blew out my spine at L5 S1. The injury was pretty horrible, with constant, excruciating pain. I was placed on pain pills, muscle relaxers and other meds right away. I also went through a series of epidural injections to my spine before undergoing spinal surgery which was followed by two months of physical therapy. As a result of this injury, it took me a year before I had learned to actually walk with a normal gait once again.

Depression and PTSD were now kicking my ass once again, and I had to get my life back to normal. Before my injury, I was weight training heavy three days per week, while also riding my mountain bike between 60 to 70 miles each week as well. I had been in the best shape of my life when I was downed by my back injury. I had to get back to some level of fitness despite my doctors telling me to never lift anything heavy again in my life.

I was a hard head and returned to weight training with an empty barbell and worked my way up to a 465 pound squat and a 275 pound bench press. Additionally, I was pulling 450 pounds for reps with the deadlift. The problem is, this kind of weight training requires a lot of fuel for the body, which I foolishly obliged. At my strongest, I was eating about 6000 calories per day and was getting pretty huge. I weighed in at 250 pounds on my 5′ 7″ frame.

Me dead lifting
Me dead lifting

I was strong as could be, but my health also had begun to suffer the consequences. My blood pressure was once again elevated, and I had also become pre-diabetic. Sure, we can become strong as hell, but strong does not always equate good health. I knew this, only I lost sight of reality by trying to be an overachiever in getting past my spinal injury.

Never Forget What is Most Important to YOU!

Our health is the most important thing we can possess. Because without good health, everything is is moot. Without good health, there will be a point where you will no longer be able to appreciate all the other good in your life. Today, my body is fit and trim, I am as healthy as can be. I work out for my health now, instead of brute strength. I eat only good foods that nourish my body, and have created a healthy lifestyle that revolves around good nutrition and physical fitness.

I have suffered the same indignities and health problems that come from obesity as you have. I may be fit, but I will always be a fat man in a fit mans body. I must be ever vigilant to keep that fat man down lest he once again rise to the top. Being fit and healthy is a lifelong endeavor, it is not something we do for a little bit. It should not be so much about vanity as it is about being healthy enough to do the things in life that we enjoy.

When you begin a weight loss journey, you must be all in. Anything short of all in, means failure at a later point. I still suffer depression and PTSD, along with chronic pain in my sciatic nerve as a result of my spinal injury. That being said, I can either be down and in pain, hating life,  or I can choose to live my life as fully as I can despite my personal issues that will never go entirely away.

When you decide to lose weight, success will come when you treat your weight loss holistically. You need to think about your mind and soul as well as your body. What affects one, will affect the other. For this reason, we teach people to “make their world small”. Or in other words, cut out as much of the superfluous stuff from your life as you can. Eat healthy, and exercise your body to the extent your doctor approves. You will have no regrets!

I am a fat man in a fit body!

(1) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

 

So, Counting Calories Doesn’t Work For You?

Counting calories
Photo by rawpixel.com @Freepik.com

Have you tried and failed with calorie counting and believe that calories in vs calories out (CICO) does not work for you? The bad news is, you either did not know how, or were not fully committed. The good news is, it may not be entirely your fault that you failed at counting calories. Although the concept of CICO is pretty simple, it requires an attention to details that may mean more than you realize.

Why Calories In Calories Out Matters

In layman’s terms we are looking at the basic law of thermodynamics as it applies to our diet. To maintain our weight, our calories consumed must equal the calories we burn. In order to lose body fat, we must utilize more calories for energy than we consume.

There are three main bodily processes that burn calories:

  • Basic metabolism. Your body uses most of the calories you get from food to sustain basic functions, such as your heartbeat. This is commonly referred to as your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  • Digestion. Around 10–15% of the calories you eat is used to power digestion. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) and varies based on the foods you eat.
  • Physical activity. The leftover calories you get from your diet are meant to fuel your physical activity, including workouts and everyday tasks like walking, reading, and washing dishes.

No matter what you may have come to believe over the years from failed diets – from a biological perspective, you have to consume fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. There’s no way around it. This is a truth for you, me, and everyone else in the world. None of us are exempt from this except for very few people who have a legitimate and diagnosed reason from a medical doctor otherwise. The truth be told, even with medical reasons which might affect your weight, it still comes down to the total amount of calories you consume in a day compared to what you burn. If your weight is suffering as a result of a medical condition, you need to discuss this issue with your physician who should be able to assist you in the matter.

How People Fail With Calorie Counting

  1. You might believe CICO is tedious, inaccurate, and sets you up for failure. Counting calories is not a tedious, nor monumental task. Seriously, how much time and effort does it take to note the calories in a serving of food? The counting of calories is only as inaccurate as yourself – you are not set up for failure, you do it to yourself.
  2. You do not weigh and measure foods as you prepare them. If you are estimating the amount of your servings, chances are you are underestimating the amount you are eating. Weighing foods, followed by measuring, are the most accurate methods of accountability.
    • If you estimate a 2 tablespoon serving of peanut butter, but it is actually 3 tablespoons, you have underestimated by about 90 calories.
    • Ask yourself, how much time does it require of you to lay a piece of meat onto a kitchen scale before cooking it. Is your time so pressed you can’t take an extra second or two to weigh a serving?
    • Are you aware that most serving utensils are made for accurate measurements of food. You can know with good accuracy how much food you put onto your plate when you use them.
    • When people try to estimate their portion sizes, or calories, they often inadvertently low-ball how much they are eating. Sometimes, when they think they had three ounces of chicken for dinner, it almost invariably turns out they actually had more. By estimating, you might actually double or triple the recommended portions—when servings get that large, calories can add up.
  3. You may be accurately tracking your calories, but are still eating more than you need. The exact amount of calories you need will depend on a number of different factors, including your gender, age, weight and activity levels.
    • Online calorie calculators are only as accurate as the input of information you give. You may have overestimated your daily activity which would give you a higher caloric number than you actually require to lose weight. This is even true for our Calorie Counter Pro feature that we provide here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness.
    • If you are weighing and measuring your foods to ensure that you are eating at a caloric deficit – you have to adjust your daily calories downward if you are still not losing weight. You are still eating too many calories.
    • When you are losing weight, and then plateau as we all will, you have to readjust your calories downward again. The amount of calories you need to lose weight in the beginning will at some point equal the amount of calories you need to maintain weight at a certain point.
    • To record food portions correctly. Here are a few common ways to measure portion sizes:
      1. Scales: The most accurate way to determine how much you’re eating is to weigh your food.
      2. Measuring cups: Standard volume measures are slightly quicker and easier to use than a scale.
      3. Comparisons: Using comparisons to common items is quick and easy, especially if you’re away from home. However, it’s also much less accurate.
    • If you find yourself having to estimate your portions such as when eating out, here are some common serving sizes compared to household items that may help you estimate your portion sizes:
      1. 1 serving of rice or pasta (1/2 a cup): a computer mouse or rounded handful.
      2. 1 serving of meat (3 oz): a deck of cards.
      3. 1 serving of fish (3 oz): a check book.
      4. 1 serving of cheese (1.5 oz): a lipstick or the size of your thumb.
      5. 1 serving of fresh fruit (1/2 cup): a tennis ball.
      6. 1 serving of green leafy vegetables (1 cup): a baseball.
      7. 1 serving of vegetables (1/2 a cup): a computer mouse.
      8. 1 teaspoon of olive oil: 1 fingertip.
      9. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter: a ping pong ball.
  4. You are greatly overestimating the amount of calories you burn from exercise! The bottom line is, most people believe they are burning far more calories from exercise than they actually are. If you believe that you burned 1000 calories by spending an hour on the treadmill, the truth is, you only burned maybe about 500 to 600 calories. Many popular brands of fitness trackers are overestimating the number of calories burned by more than 50 per cent.
    •  Fitness trackers aren’t the be all and end all when it comes to monitoring how many calories you’re burning, as a lot of the time the companies themselves say the information they offer is only based on estimations.
    • For those hoping to lose weight, research suggests that the amount of energy people expend during exercise is often much less than they think. In reality, exercise is vastly overshadowed by diet in determining weight-loss success. While exercise does contribute to more energy burned in a day, a change in diet will generally be the largest factor in whether or not a person loses weigh.
    • Cardio equipment uses standard formulas to figure out how many calories you burn, and asks users for their age and weight in order to produce a more accurate read. But there are many more factors that figure into how many calories you burn, such as your body fat, body temperature, hormone changes, your running form, and your running efficiency. The machines themselves get less accurate as they age and at higher intensities. Furthermore, even if you are one of those people who actually enter your age and weight, many cardio machines are calibrated for men, leaving you with a skewed formula from the get-go.

Here are 5 tips to count calories:

  • Be prepared: Before you start, get a calorie counting app or online tool, decide how you will measure or estimate portions and make a meal plan.
  • Read food labels: Food labels contain lots of useful information for calorie counting. Make sure you check the portion size recommended on the package.
  • Remove temptation: Get rid of the junk food in your house. This will help you choose healthier snacks and make it easier to hit your targets.
  • Aim for slow, steady weight loss: Don’t cut calories too low. Although you’ll lose weight faster, you may feel bad and be less likely to stick to your plan.
  • Fuel your exercise: The most successful weight loss programs include both diet and exercise. Make sure to eat enough to still have energy to exercise.

The hard core truth is, our weight is dependent on the amount of foods we eat versus the amount we actually need. While a hormonal imbalance can cause us to gain weight, and have a difficult time removing those unwanted pounds, most of these issues can be mitigated through proper nutrition and/or your physicians guidance.

Consuming nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis and engaging in other healthy behaviors can go a long way toward improving your hormonal health. Your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in very specific amounts for your body to function optimally. Hormonal imbalances may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. Despite the fact that aging and other factors are beyond your control, there are many steps you can take to help your hormones function optimally and to keep your body healthy and fit.

Weight Loss and Portion Control

Orthorexia, An Eating Disorder?

Woman cutting vegetables
Photo by shurkin_son @ Freepik.com

Brenda Sue and I were recently discussing eating disorders when we came across the term Orthorexia Nervosa. This term was a new one to both of us, even though it was coined in 1996 by Dr. Steven Bratman

What is Orthorexia Nervosa?

Well, if I put it in layman’s terms, orthorexia is a meaningless term invented to give a name to an eating disorder that I personally find hard to call a disorder. Orthorexia is considered a disruptive obsession with healthy eating that hyper focuses on the quality of food in your diet. It’s a good thing  the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) does not recognize it as an official eating disorder – it can be challenging to identify, and the exact definition is still in debate.

This is not an attack on Dr. Bratman, it is my critique of his idea that healthy eating is not healthy. This falls into placing everything into the lowest common denominator instead of recognizing that some things in life are actually superior to others. Healthy eating is not a disorder – although there would be some who refuse to eat healthy who would imagine that it is.

With 68% of the American population overweight, or obese, is it any wonder that someone would identify healthy eating habits as a disorder? In my personal experience, I have had people get quite upset when I have politely turned down a piece of cake, or a slice of pie. To these people, it doesn’t matter that I have been overweight, as well as pre-diabetic. They think I am weird because I will not indulge in sugary treats with them, and that I do not eat processed foods.

I Enjoy Feeling Healthy and Well!

Knowing how obese people think – because I have been obese – I can’t help to think the term orthorexia was coined in order to make them not feel isolated for having an eating disorder. Now, everyone has an eating disorder, even when we are eating to be healthy.

Is it a disorder to actually enjoy nutritious foods?

Because I enjoy how I feel with a fit body, I have a disorder because I am strong?

Is it a disorder to enjoy being able to enjoy walking around a zoo with my grandchildren?

Why would anyone consider it a disorder to eat in such a way that the risk of nutrition related illness is greatly mitigated when you eat healthy. I have an athletic blood pressure at 58 years old, and my annual blood lab screenings are always excellent across the board.

It is my opinion that if any doctor says that you suffer from Orthorexia Nervosa, you need to fire that doctor on the spot by never returning to their office.

Warning Signs of Orthorexia Nervosa:

It is said that enthusiasm for healthy eating only transforms into orthorexia when it turns into an obsession that negatively affects everyday life, such as extreme weight loss or a refusal to eat out with friends. What a load of baloney, that sounds a lot like Anorexia Nervosa which can be deadly.

  1. Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels.
    • It only makes sense to check the ingredient and nutrition labels on foods that you have never tried before. Many foods on our grocery store shelves undeniably do not provide quality nutrition.
  2. An increase in concern about the healthiness of ingredients.
    • I am genetically prone to type 2 diabetes, and have been pre-diabetic. I would emphasize that anyone susceptible to obesity and diabetes, heart disease among many other diseases, should be concerned about ingredients. Face it, facts do not care about feelings, and people suffering from obesity are at risk of many preventable diseases.
  3. Cutting out an increasing number of food groups (all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat, all animal products).
    • Sugar, simple carbs, and dairy are known to cause inflammation in the body. When we eat sugar and simple carbs, they spike our blood sugar, and therefore our insulin levels.  Foods containing sugar and simple carbs cause people to crave more and more to their detriment as these foods are almost exclusively high in calories and low in nutrition.
  4. An inability to eat anything but a narrow group of foods that are deemed ‘healthy’ or ‘pure’.
    • Maybe it is not an inability as much as a refusal to eat just anything placed before you. Having had a weight problem coupled with associated health problems, I am not going to eat foods that have caused me to be unwell in the past.
  5. Spending hours per day thinking about what food might be served at upcoming events.
    1. Proper planning for social events is what you do when you want to still be involved with loved ones and friends. Isn’t it funny that Vegans are not said to have as eating disorder when they plan around meals that involve meat?
  6. Showing high levels of distress when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ foods aren’t available.
    • It doesn’t take more than a bite or two to derail one who has lost weight by cutting out unhealthy foods. While this can be mitigated by planning ahead in all events, it is a legitimate concern for those who have suffered health problems as a result of obesity and their poor nutritional habits of the past.
  7. Obsessive following of food and ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on Twitter and Instagram.
    • People are not taught about nutrition in school as we were in the past. They are eager to learn how to be healthy, and should be applauded for trying to improve their health.
  8. Body image concerns may or may not be present.
    • Most people have some form of body image concerns whether they will admit it or not. Your body speaks volumes about your health today, and into the future.

Orthorexia Nervosa is a rising term amongst eating disorder practitioners. Therefore it makes practical sense that we critically examine our beliefs about Orthorexia Nervosa so we don’t make the same intellectually lazy assumptions. Media outlets have used the term orthorexia to erroneously label adherents of restrictive diets – particularly Paleo Dieters and Vegans – for the sheer purpose of garnering click-bait attention.

Obviously, there are going to be some people who will insist that Orthorexia Nervosa is a legitimate diagnosis for them. If you feel that you have any type of eating disorder, go talk to your physician about your concerns. If something is causing you a problem, then it is very real to you and you should seek help for it.

Anorexia Nervosa, Dying To Be Thin

Disordered Eating? Recognize It!

Check out our our plan here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. It is not complicated at all and is really nothing more than a common sense approach to nutrition. I guarantee that anyone who tries our methodology will lose weight, and then keep it off. Best of all, we charge nothing to anyone to follow our methodology, we are entirely free to all.
We also have a a page on Facebook where you can also follow along with David’s Way to Health and Fitness. Give us a like and a follow if you like what you see!

Why You Can’t Lose Weight!

Angry obese woman looking at scale/
Photo by Noxos @ Freepik.com

Why can’t you lose weight!

You have tried everything under the sun to do so, yet have never found success.

If this describes you, then you need to know that there is a good reason why you cannot get rid of that unhealthy body fat. And most of that reason can be found within yourself. I am sure that more than a few of you find that to be offensive, and your feelings will be hurt. But, the truth is, facts don’t care about feelings my friends. If you can’t lose weight, you are about 95% likely to not be doing something right about your nutrition. You are not special in that you can’t lose weight. And, you are far from alone in this problem that affects about 68% of western society.

Your difficulty stems from the fact you consume more calories than your body requires to maintain any given weight!

Simply put, you are still eating too much. No matter what you think, or have been told – weight loss and management is truly nothing more than calories consumed versus calories burned. This is true even for some health related issues that might “cause” weight gain.

You might believe that you can’t lose weight because of your thyroid – you are wrong in thinking this. If your thyroid is underactive, it isn’t producing enough hormones, and your metabolism will be slower than normal. This condition is called hypothyroidism. That means your body won’t burn calories as quickly as it should. Slowly, over time, your underactive thyroid will lead to weight gain – anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds or more. Most of the extra weight is due to water and salt. By paying attention to the calories you consume each day, even this can be mitigated by a caloric deficit.

NOTE!

Because an underactive thyroid can be tricky to diagnose, you should talk to your doctor if you are gaining weight for no apparent reason.

I can’t lose because I have a slow metabolism!

Your metabolism might not be as slow as you think. Although there is such a thing as a slow metabolism, it’s rare. And it’s usually not what’s behind being overweight or obese – that’s ultimately a result of interactions among genetics, diet, physical activity and other factors. Even if it is a little slow, you can still lose weight by reducing your caloric intake. The greatest factors in weight gain as you age are often poor diet and inactivity.

The best way to sustainably lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume, while still meeting the caloric needs of your Basal Metabolic Rate. This might mean you lose weight more slowly – but it will be easier to keep the weight off if you don’t burn through muscle mass.

Do you even track the calories you consume in a day?

If you have trouble losing weight, you may be inaccurately estimating how many calories you’re consuming. Unless you measure your portion sizes, it can be easy to overconsume healthy but calorically dense foods, such as nuts, peanut butter or olive oils.

A lot of people we encounter tell us they only eat once a day and still can’t lose weight. Okay, the problem is still that they are eating more calories than they need in a day. Only eating once per day does not allow you to eat as much as you want if you desire to lose weight.

The bottom line for the vast majority who can’t lose weight is that you are eating too many calories. But there are some medical reasons you might not be able to lose weight – in this case you need to see your doctor. There may be something seriously wrong with your health.

Seven medical reasons that cause weight gain:

  1. Inflammation and cellular damage. Inflammation is an essential function of the body for fighting infections and healing injuries. Chronic inflammation, however, is a dangerous health condition that can be caused by environmental or dietary factors such as prescription medications, smoking, air pollution, and certain foods, including sugar, wheat, and dairy. Dairy is usually the main source of calcium for most people – don’t remove it from your diet unless you know that your calcium requirements are being met otherwise  Chronic inflammation can lead to cellular damage, which in turn impairs normal functioning throughout the body. Both the inflammation and cellular damage need to be addressed in order for weight loss to take place.
  2. Hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland produces several hormones that regulate processes throughout the body. In many people, the thyroid is either overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). If your thyroid is underactive, it may not be producing enough thyroid hormone, which is needed to keep cells functioning throughout the body. If your thyroid slows down, then everything else slows down – including your metabolism. It can be very difficult, but not impossible for people with hypothyroidism to lose weight. They may also experience fatigue, sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, depression, muscle pain, and severe PMS.
  3. Chronic stress and depression. Stress triggers the release of a hormone known as cortisol, which influences many processes throughout the body. If you are living with chronic stress, anxiety, or grief, the result is often high, prolonged levels of cortisol, which can lead to health issues such as a depressed immune system, elevated blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat. Chronic stress and depression also often lead to emotional eating, which in turn causes weight gain.
  4. Cushing’s Syndrome. Elevated levels of cortisol in the body for an extended period of time can also lead to Cushing’s Syndrome, which is characterized by weight gain, especially in the face and upper body, as well as acne, lethargy, high blood pressure, sleep problems, and irregular periods. Cushing’s Syndrome occurs more often in women than in men, particularly in women between the ages of 25 and 40.
  5. Syndrome X. Weight gain is often inevitable for those suffering from Syndrome X, which refers to a group of health conditions that seem to be related to insulin resistance. When your body doesn’t respond well to insulin, it affects the function of other hormones throughout the body, including those that help control your metabolism.
  6. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Symptoms may include acne, excessive facial hair, irregular menstrual periods, thinning hair, difficulty getting pregnant, and unexplained weight gain. Although there is no cure for PCOS, it can often be managed through lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet, exercise, and weight management. Keeping PCOS under control helps lower the risk of infertility, heart disease, and uterine cancer.
  7. Hormonal changes. The only thing constant about hormones in a woman’s life is that they change. Three of the most notorious periods of hormonal change are puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. If you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause, these natural hormonal changes may make it more difficult for you to shed excess weight.

Diets almost never work long term. A great many studies have shown that people who diet actually  gain more weight over time. Instead of approaching your  weight loss from a dieting mindset, make adopting health-promoting habits your primary goal as a sustainable lifestyle. You can accomplish this by eating a nutrient-dense, balanced diet, exercising as much and as often as possible, and doing those things that make you happy on a regular basis.

Focus on nourishing your body instead of depriving it and let weight loss follow as a natural side effect. For more great reading on this topic, read this great article from Brenda Sue by clicking the link below.

Hormones and Nutrition

Healthy Nutrition Requires Fat

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Healthy nutrition requires fat, yet fats are what people believe they need to give up first. This misguided idea that fats are not healthy in your diet was based essentially on the fact that fats contain more than twice the calories of protein and carbohydrates. While this is true, your body still requires this vital macro-nutrient.

For the last few decades, fat became a dirty word when it came to nutrition. It was after World War II that studies began linking saturated fats to heart disease. Because of this, people were advised to not consume as much fat. It was also believed that because fat contained twice the calories of protein and carbohydrates, that it was a driving force behind obesity. As it turns out, the “all fat is bad” message was wrong. Foods that contain fat help fill you up, so you feel more satiated and stop eating earlier.

When fats began being removed from foods entirely, or in part, another ingredient was incorporated to improve flavor. What the food industry began using instead of fats was sugar and other simple carbohydrates. What was not anticipated is that people would begin getting fatter and fatter with each passing year. Because of the impact that simple carbohydrates has on our endorphins, we began consuming far more calories than we ever did with foods prepared with fats. This rise in obesity has also caused a correlating rise in heart disease instead of the decrease that was predicted.

Not all fat is bad for you!

Not all fats are alike. Saturated fat, found mainly in meat and dairy foods, can contribute to clogged arteries and cardiovascular disease. The effects of saturated fat on health is among the most controversial topics in all nutrition. While some experts warn that consuming too much — or even moderate amounts — can negatively affect health, others argue that saturated fats aren’t inherently harmful and can be included as part of a healthy diet. The key is to consume only moderate amounts as you should everything else as well.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, found in plants and healthful oils, actually protect your health by improving your cholesterol profile. Your body needs some fat from food. Fat is a major source of energy. and it also helps you absorb some vitamins and minerals. Healthy fats are required in order to build cell membranes, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. They are also essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

For long-term health, some fats are better than others. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans fats. Saturated fats fall somewhere in the middle.

It is true that Trans Fats are bad for you.

Early in the 20th century, trans fats were found mainly in solid margarines and vegetable shortening. As food makers learned new ways to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, they began appearing in everything from commercial cookies and pastries to fast-food French fries. Trans fats are now banned in the U.S. and many other countries, therefore they are no longer the problem they used to be.

It is well established that the consumption of foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. They also reduce the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even small amounts of trans fats can harm your cardiovascular health.

So, what is the deal with saturated fats?

Saturated fats are found in animal products and tropical oils. Whether or not these fats increase disease risk is a controversial topic, with study results supporting both sides of the argument. But, you need to keep in mind that there are different types of saturated fats depending on their carbon chain length, including short-, long-, medium-, and very-long-chain fatty acids. Each of these can have different effects on health. Not all saturated fats are created equal.

Saturated fats are saturated with hydrogen molecules and contain only single bonds between carbon molecules. On the other hand, unsaturated fats have at least one double bond between carbon molecules. This saturation of hydrogen molecules results in saturated fats being solid at room temperature, unlike unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, which tend to be liquid at room temperature.

One key take away in regards to saturated fats is that one single macronutrient can’t be blamed for disease progression and that diet as a whole is what matters. Though saturated fat intake may increase heart disease risk factors, research hasn’t shown a significant link between it and heart disease itself. Some studies indicate that it may negatively affect other health aspects, but more research is needed according to Harvard Health.

Contrary to what some nutritionists might say, foods high in saturated fat can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. Coconut products, including unsweetened coconut flakes and coconut oil, grass-fed whole milk yogurt, and grass-fed meat are just some examples of highly nutritious foods concentrated in saturated fat that may positively affect health. Research has actually shown that full fat dairy intake has a neutral or protective effect on heart disease risk, while coconut oil intake has been shown to boost HDL (good) cholesterol and may benefit weight loss.

So, what is good about monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats?

There are two broad categories of beneficial fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. They differ from saturated fats by having fewer hydrogen atoms bonded to their carbon chains. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature, not solid.

Monounsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats have a single carbon-to-carbon double bond. The result is that it has two fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fat and a bend at the double bond. This structure keeps monounsaturated fats liquid at room temperature. Good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts, as well as high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils.

It was discovered in the 1960’s Seven Countries Study that monounsaturated fat could be healthful . This study revealed that people in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean region enjoyed a low rate of heart disease despite consuming a regular high-fat diet. The main fat in their diet, though, was not the saturated animal fat common in countries with higher rates of heart disease. It was olive oil, which contains mainly monounsaturated fat.

Polyunsaturated fats.

Polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your heart when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fat and trans fat in your diet. From a chemical standpoint, polyunsaturated fats are simply fat molecules that have more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule, this is also called a double bond. Oils that contain polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled.

Polyunsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in polyunsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.

Oils rich in polyunsaturated fats also provide essential fats that your body needs but can’t produce itself – such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. You must get essential fats through food. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are important for many functions in the body.

Quit avoiding dietary fats!

Contrary to popular myth, fats are not something that just automatically search out and then cling to your own body fat cells after you have consumed them. The consumption of healthy fats are not going to clog your arteries nor will they cause your cholesterol to rise. Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs fat. Eating foods with fat is definitely part of a healthy diet. Just remember to choose foods that provide good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and balance the amount of calories you eat from all foods with the amount of calories you burn.

Quit Shunning the Fat!

Killer Cholesterol

For more of David’s Way to Health and Fitness, be sure to check out our Facebook page Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way. We would love to see you there, and be sure to give us a like and a follow! You can also sign up for a free subscription to David’s Way and receive all of our latest articles straight to your email.

Self Love or Self Destruction

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Of course you should love yourself, that shouldn’t even need to be said. However, sometimes your self love can result in self destruction. And to make matters worse, there are so-called nutritionists on some social media sites who proclaim that self love equates a total acceptance of your own obesity. These nutritionists are obvious failures in my opinion, and are only trying to drag others down with them. Whenever you encounter anyone who encourages you to forego your weight loss efforts  in order to enjoy a moment, walk away – they are swirling the drain and want you to come along for company. Misery loves company my friends.

I am pretty unapologetic in my stance on this self love movement by the obese who not only want to remain obese – but also want to encourage others to be obese too. If you are one who promotes self love, then promote loving yourself enough to do what is best for your health instead of ruining it. Whether you want to accept it or not, someone else will eventually have to pick up the broken pieces of your self destructive lifestyle. I know, I have been there picking up those pieces – and it’s not a walk through the park.

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Health Consequences

If we are being honest, self love becomes self destruction when you are only living in the moment, instead of living for the future. Eating sugar filled treats, and or other high calorie, low nutrition foods all the time is just as dumb and self destructive as the use of tobacco, alcohol, and street drugs. Those cookies, cakes, pizza, and hot dogs, to name a few, are designed to be highly palatable for your momentary joy just the same as tobacco, alcohol and street drugs.

Making low nutrition habits your lifestyle is just as destructive and actually more dangerous to your health. At least you know that tobacco, alcohol, and street drugs are bad for you – many people never consider the food they eat to also be bad for them. Considering in America, 68 percent of our citizens are overweight, or obese, it should be obvious to all that poor nutrition is slowly killing us.

 That unhealthy diet you are living on can lead to health issues such as malnutrition, poor digestion, inflammation, unwanted weight gain and obesity. It can also increase your risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and impact your mental health. All because you are living in the moment.

Americans have become too lazy to cook for themselves, one in three citizens eat fast food every day.  Yes these foods taste great, but they are also rich in carbohydrates and high-fat content. The frequent consumption of fast food products like fries, fried chicken and pizza can definitely contribute to an unhealthy diet -especially when coupled with sugar dense treats and drinks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, having overweight or obesity can increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, stroke and many other conditions. Obvious physical changes don’t occur to everyone. However, just because the effects of unhealthy eating aren’t obvious doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.

It’s not uncommon for one to consume an unhealthy diet for a long time and suddenly experience its effects. The first sign of type 2 diabetes often comes to light when an individual suffers a heart attack.

The lasting impact of your eating habits are more important than you may realize. Everything you consume has the potential to change your gut microbiome. We all have trillions of microorganisms residing in our digestive system. The microbes are influenced by the foods you eat every day. An unhealthy diet can cause an imbalance in these microbial communities that can allow too many of a bad type to live in your gastrointestinal tract. When you eat poorly, it impacts digestion, metabolism and causes diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. Because your gut is directly linked to your brain through a cranial nerve, your diet can even impact your mental health.

How Your Lifestyle Effects Others

You may or may not be thinking right now that how you eat is no business of anyone else. Right now, you may still be somewhat healthy as your habits have not totally caught up with you yet. But here is the problem, your habits can eventually catch up to you, and someone will have to be there to help you pick up the broken pieces of your life.

Do you know what happens when you get too heavy and weak to pick yourself up off the floor should you fall? You have to call either a loved one to come help you, or the fire department. Either way, it is a humiliation.

Is it still not the business of anyone else when you have become too heavy and ill to toilet yourself? What happens to your self esteem when you can’t even take care of your personal hygiene anymore and someone has to wipe your butt for you? How would you like to be the one cleaning the butt of an obese individual?

Are momentary joys found with food worth the risk that eventually someone else might have to assist you with bathing and dressing because you are unable to do it by yourself?

Self Love Advocates are Often Cretins in Disguise!

Self love is great when it means that you are taking proper care of your body. Otherwise, it is just a lame excuse for living in the moment. Have you ever watched someone eat a sweet treat and then instantly check their blood sugar? Did you think it was odd they did this, and then had to stick a insulin filled syringe into their gut?

Wouldn’t it be better to manage diabetes through good nutrition?

Have you ever considered how terrifying it would be to find out that you are a heart attack, or a stroke waiting to happen because of your high cholesterol and triglyceride levels?

Of course we want you to love and respect yourself. What we do not want is for you to buy into the self love thing only to have it lead to your self destruction.

Are you aware that the number of adults with diagnosed diabetes has nearly doubled in the last 2 decades as the US population has increased, aged, and become more overweight. People who are overweight or obese is at increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those at a normal weight because, over time, their bodies become less able to use the insulin they make. Of US adults, 88 million—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes, and more than 8 in 10 of them don’t know they have it.

Are you aware that being overweight and obese are associated with at least 13 types of cancer, including endometrial (uterine) cancer, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and colorectal cancer. These cancers make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed.

Six in ten young people aged 2 to 19 years and five in ten adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

It should be obvious to all that good nutrition is essential for keeping us all healthy across our lifespans.

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10 Tips to Avoid Self Sabotage

 

Feeding our Nations Truckers

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Everything we can buy is brought to the public by our nations truckers. Some practically live in their trucks while others still work extra long hours in a demanding, and stressful work environment. Practically everything you own was at one time carried by truck from one place to another before making it into your home. I know this from personal experience as I am a trucker as well as a nutrition and fitness author.

As a trucker myself, I work about 60 hours per week hauling construction and industrial supplies to stores owned by our company. I transport my freight in a 53 foot trailer, which I also unload by myself. It is hard stressful work, which must be carried out no matter the weather and road conditions. I have driven through severe thunderstorms and have seen a few tornadoes in the Kansas prairie from the cab of my truck. Driving in white out blizzard conditions are also a hazard we truckers face in the winter months.

These working conditions make it imperative that we are able to stay on top of keeping our bodies healthy, yet food choices on the road can be outright deplorable. As a result, many truckers become unable to pass our bi-annual Department of Transportation physicals. Poor food choices for truckers on the road leads to obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other metabolic ailments. It should terrify you that many truckers on the road are a heart attack waiting to happen.

This can only be expected when you consider a lot of them are fueling their bodies with energy drinks, highly caffeinated coffee, and junk foods loaded with tons of added sugars and other simple carbohydrates to provide quick jolts of energy. A double shot espresso drink coupled with a package or two of Pop Tarts can wake a trucker up enough to add several more miles over the road before they have to take a legally mandated break.

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Eating on the Road

My lovely wife and I took a trip this last week to Colorado from our home in Kansas. She quickly learned that out on the high prairie between Kansas City and Denver there are not a lot of good places to eat while on the road. She was appalled with the abundance of poor road food choices that can be found at any truck stop of your choosing. Of course there are some that have sit down restaurants, but most of these only serve fast foods. When it comes to finding food on the road, there are few choices available for our truckers to attain healthy food choices.

Man putting ketchup on a hotdog.
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When a trucker enters a truck stop, the first thing they usually see is the coffee bar which is always surrounded by junk foods. There will be hotdogs, pizza, chips, cookies, soda pop, ice cream and a whole slew of high calorie, low nutrition foods. If the driver wants healthier choices, they will have to look around for it. Usually, there might be a small area in an aisle where you might find a salad, boiled eggs, cheese and a small few other options. Protein drinks can be found in the coolers, as well as protein bars close to the cookies. But it is hard to actually find these items which are not loaded up in sugar.

An instance that really woke my wife up to the realities of road food for truckers came in a truck stop at Limon, Colorado. At the fuel counter where truckers pay for their fuel, this particular truck stop had hot pizza of several varieties right beside the cash register. She watched as an obese trucker left the fuel counter with four very large slices of pizza, a large fountain, and other junk foods in his arms.

Knowing that truckers have to pass physicals in order to drive commercial vehicles, it was eye opening to her to see first hand how out of shape not only this trucker was, but a great many she saw in each of the stops we made while on the road. She knows that one of the first signs of diabetes is the individual can have a heart attack, or simply pass out. The horror of knowing that a diabetic driver could lose consciousness while driving an 80,000 pound truck is terrifying. As a trucker myself, I refuse to team with diabetic drivers who I know do not properly manage their diabetes. I will not risk my life in this way.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

With a little careful pre-planning, we truckers can eat healthy while on the road. Modern semi trucks have electrical inverters where small refrigerators can be plugged in to keep foods from spoiling. If we so choose, we can also cook in our trucks too. Our food choices do not have to be limited to what we can purchase at truck stops on the road. When I am on the road, I pack healthy foods that have been weighed and measures. I ensure that I have a good mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.  You will never find sugary junk foods in my truck for any reason. I also make it a point to exercise my body when I am not on the road. It is imperative that I remain in good health. I cannot imagine losing my commercial drivers license for my health, yet this happens to many truckers each and every day. For more about this topic read my article below.  

Eating on the Road

Flat Tummy in 28 Days!

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28 Day Flat Tummy Challenge!

By making a few simple changes to what you eat, what you do, and how you exercise, you can go from flab to fab in 28 days. Get your flat tummy now!

Are you rockin’ some extra cushion around your mid-section? Are you tired of sifting through your closet for clothes that’ll properly hide that muffin top? You’re not alone.

What if you could learn how to get a flat tummy in 28 days?

The answer could be closer than you think!

Designed to get you your desired results, this challenge will help you make some noteworthy progress and drop that stubborn belly fat in only 28 days. This proprietary regimen consists of fat-blasting days, cardio days, and yoga to strengthen and tone your entire figure while shedding unwanted pounds in as little as 28 days.

This challenge does require a little bit of discipline, and minimal effort on your part to achieve this lofty goal. The only thing of significance this challenge requires from you is your money, and to be gullible enough to suspend all common sense and disbelief.

Nutritional knowledge combined with exercise is the best way to reach your goals, especially in a shorter amount of time. If you eat right AND exercise, the results will come in due time. But the truth is, the longer and more overweight you have been, it is going to take some time to achieve a flat tummy. Consistency and hard work is key to achieving long-lasting results. Anyone, or any business who tries to tell you otherwise are either crooked thieves, or greatly misinformed.

There is no shortage of supplements, diet books, and web articles promising new ways to target the tummy region – targeted weight loss does not work. The single most important factor in creating a flat tummy is to maintain a negative calorie balance — you have to eat less than you burn on a daily basis. By creating an energy deficit, you will automatically shed fat. There is no other legitimate path to gaining a flat tummy. Crooked advertisers will say just about anything to sell their weight loss products. Common fake claims, the Federal Trade Commission cites, include:

• Lose weight without dieting or exercising. (You won’t.)

• You don’t have to watch what you eat. (You do.)

• Use this product and lose weight permanently. (Wrong.)

• To lose weight, just take this pill. (Not true.)

• You can lose 30 pounds in 30 days. (Nope.)

 This product works for everyone. (It doesn’t.)

• Lose weight with this patch or cream. (You can’t.)

Miraculous weight-loss promises are false without a sensible diet and regular exercise. You can’t eat everything you want and lose weight. Permanent weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes. There is no getting around the fact that you have to do the work to earn the results.

Scammers peddle false stories and “news” reports online through fake news websites, blogs, banner ads, and social media about how an ingredient (like garcinia cambogia) in a diet pill is effective. They use stolen logos and web addresses of real news outlets and photos of known reporters, asserting “investigations” validate false claims. They also pay for positive online reviews, write their own, and cut and paste positive comments from other fake sites.

Here are five quick weight loss scams to avoid:

1. Metabolism-boosting/calorie-burning pills. Topping the list of diet scams are pills based on herbal ingredients that promise to boost your metabolism and help you burn calories or fat faster. New herbs always seem to percolate to the top as potential diet aids, as one leaves another shows up because the FDA doesn’t monitor herbs. Most of time they are just ineffective, once in a while they are dangerous. The use of some diet supplements have led to liver and heart damage. They are not worth the risk.

2. Fat and carb-blocking pills. Pills that claim to block your body’s absorption of fat, and more recently carbohydrates, are also commonly-sold diet scams. Even if these fat and carb blockers worked as advertised, the effects can be dangerous if not just plain unpleasant.

3. Weight loss teas. Teas based on herbal ingredients are also touted as diet aids, but researchers say the main ingredient in many of these teas is caffeine, which is a diuretic and leads to water loss. Losing water isn’t losing weight. Caffeine can  cause an increase of your metabolic rate by a small amount but not enough that you would be able to say that it contributed to weight loss.

4. Diet patches. Don’t be gullible, no effective weight loss drugs have been designed to be delivered through the skin via patches. Most of the time, these patches contain the same ineffective herbs found in dietary supplements or teas.

5. Body wraps or “slim suits. If there were an “oldie but goodie” diet scam that just will not die on the vine, it is those god forsaken body wraps. These sweat suits once popularized decades ago have morphed into silver “slim suits” and fat-melting body wraps designed to lock body heat in and melt away the pounds. Listen up – the only type of weight loss caused by wearing these outfits is water loss caused by excessive sweating. As soon as you take a drink, you’ll gain all that water weight back.

Desperate, and or gullible people always want a magic bullet and quick fix, and that’s never going to work. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. The key to gaining a flat tummy is to eat clean by following our easy, common sense plan here at David’s Way. At David’s Way, we take a holistic, whole body approach to weight loss and management. Since it’s a lifestyle and not a diet, there is no endpoint. We promote healthy eating and exercise for a healthy body and sound mind.

David’s Way is a healthy nutrition and active lifestyle based on years of personal experience and scientific research.

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Liver Detox and Colon Cleanse

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It seems I cannot visit any of my social media sites lately without seeing advertisements for liver detox and colon cleanse supplements, or even procedures.

Is any of this necessary for the average person?

If so, how do you even know?

The Liver

Your liver is your body’s primary filtration system. It converts toxins into waste, cleanses your blood and metabolizes nutrients to provide your body with important proteins.  Obviously, it is important to keep this vital organ healthy. You do not want to ever experience life with liver failure, I guarantee. Having cared for a family member with a terminal liver condition, I can tell you first hand that liver failure is a nightmare.

If you think that you can go out on the weekend, overindulge in food and drink, and then take supplements to cleanse your liver – you are not correct in your thinking. There is no proof that liver cleanses can overcome your binges.  These bogus products are not regulated by the FDA, and thus are not uniform and have not been adequately tested in clinical trials. Yet, they still sell like hotcakes. Instead of simply taking care of their livers in the first place, foolish people believe they can abuse their livers and then self medicate with these liver detox products. Liver cleanses are not going to repair your overindulgence.

Many liver detoxification products are also sold as weight loss cleanses. However, you will find no clinical data to support the efficacy of these claims. Why in the world do people even believe they need to do this, I do not know. Some of these dietary supplements can actually cause harm to the liver by leading to drug-induced injury and should thus be used with caution.

Obesity is a known factor that causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Your overindulgence can create fat in the liver which can cause inflammation, and may also lead to the development of fibrosis and cirrhosis. With the rising epidemic of obesity in the United States, the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is rapidly increasing and is expected to overtake hepatitis C as the leading indication for liver transplant in the next 30 years. The bottom line is that these over the counter products are not going to keep you healthy. What will keep you healthy is to simply change your lifestyle and not overindulge in food and alcohol. Liver detox products are robbing you of hard earned cash.

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Colon Cleanse

If you have ever experienced a colonoscopy, you know exactly what a colon cleanse is already. A colon cleanse can mean a day on the toilet until your bowels have completely emptied. It is not a great way to spend the day. But gullible people believe they need to do these colon cleanses on occasion to rid their body of toxins and waste.

Pay attention here, colon cleansing — also called a colonic or a colonic irrigation — for such purposes isn’t necessary. That’s because your digestive system and bowel already eliminate waste material and bacteria from your body. It’s what they do. Yet, the misguided idea that toxins build up in feces and can leak into the body has been around for centuries.  Before modern medicine, enemas and purges were often the only remedies that physicians could offer a sick person.  Their use stemmed from the idea of autointoxication, the notion that feces in the intestinal tract were the cause of disease.

Proponents of colon cleansing believe that toxins from your gastrointestinal tract can cause a variety of health problems, such as arthritis and high blood pressure. They believe that colon cleansing improves health by removing toxins, boosting your energy and enhancing your immune system. However, there’s no evidence that colon cleansing produces these effects or is beneficial at all

During a colon cleanse, large amounts of water — sometimes up to 16 gallons (about 60 liters) — and possibly other substances, such as herbs or coffee, are flushed through the colon. This is done using a tube that’s inserted into the rectum. In some cases, smaller amounts of water are used and are left to sit in the colon for a short time before being removed.

  • Colon irrigation is not wise—particularly if you have a history of gastrointestinal disease (including diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis) or a history of colon surgery, severe hemorrhoids, kidney disease, or heart disease. These conditions increase the risk of adverse effects.
  • Side effects of colon cleansing include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, dehydration, electrolyte abnormalities, acute kidney insufficiency, pancreatitis, bowel perforation, heart failure, and infection.
  • The devices that practitioners use for the procedure are not approved for colon cleansing by the US Food and Drug Administration. Inadequately disinfected or sterilized irrigation machines have been linked to bacterial contamination.
  • Colon cleansing practitioners are not licensed by a scientifically based organization. Rather, practitioners have undergone a training process structured by an organization that is attempting to institute its own certification and licensing requirements.

The Bottom Line

Liver detox supplements and colon cleanses can cause you more harm than you are trying to fix. If you believe that a liver detox, or colon cleanse is necessary for you, you are best off to visit your doctor. If there is a valid reason why you would need either of these, only a physician can help you. By believing that you can simply take a supplement, or get a questionable procedure to give you better health, you might actually mask something  that is actually a serious medical issue. If you are not a doctor, do not self medicate or treat yourself. You are not qualified to make these health decisions.

If there is one thing you can do for yourself, it is to eat a healthy diet and exercise with your doctors approval. Just about everything that falls under the umbrella term of “cleansing” or “detoxing” is pseudo science or a scam. The health and fat reduction claims made for cleansing diets, supplements, and procedures are almost 100% anecdote and testimonial, fueled in large part, by aggressive multi-level marketers and alternative health practitioners.

If you place your health in the hands of an alternative health guru, you are either desperate or a fool. Detox is a case of a legitimate medical term being turned into a marketing strategy – all designed to treat a nonexistent condition. In the setting of real medicine, detoxification means treatments for dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol, or poisons, like heavy metals. Detoxification treatments are medical procedures that are not casually selected from a menu of alternative health treatments, or pulled off the shelf in the pharmacy. Real detoxification is provided in hospitals when there are life-threatening circumstances.