Author: David Yochim

Childhood Obesity, Do Something About It!

All who have followed this blog know that I am not even remotely apologetic in my attitude regarding our responsibility to ensuring our children do not become obese. Whether they realize it or not, our children look towards us to lead them down the path towards a well nurtured and healthy life. When we allow our children to eat themselves into obesity while living a sedentary life sitting in front of a television, this is negligence at best, abuse at the worse. You, the parent and responsible adult in their life, must be the example your children want to emulate in life. If you are fit and healthy, your children are more likely to be fit and healthy. If you are obese, lazy and out of shape, do I need to say more?

Did that last line offend you? You might check your parenting if it did.

How big a problem is childhood obesity?

From the (CDC) Center for DIsease Control and Prevention

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. Obesity prevalence among children and adolescents is still too high.

For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years:

  • The prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents.
  • Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
  • Hispanics (25.8%) and non-Hispanic blacks (22.0%) had higher obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic whites (14.1%).
  • Non-Hispanic Asians (11.0%) had lower obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.

Nearly one in five American children have a problem with being either obese or overweight. This number is far too high!

Complications your obese child will face in life!

From Mayo Clinic:

Childhood obesity can have complications for your child’s physical, social and emotional well-being.

Physical complications

  • Type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition affects the way your child’s body uses sugar (glucose). Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome. This cluster of conditions can put your child at risk of heart disease, diabetes or other health problems. Conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and excess abdominal fat.
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure. A poor diet can cause your child to develop one or both of these conditions. These factors can contribute to the buildup of plaques in the arteries, which can cause arteries to narrow and harden, possibly leading to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • Asthma. Children who are overweight or obese might be more likely to have asthma.
  • Sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a child’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disorder, which usually causes no symptoms, causes fatty deposits to build up in the liver. NAFLD can lead to scarring and liver damage.
  • Bone fractures. Obese children are more likely to break bones than are children of normal weight.

Social and emotional complications

  • Low self-esteem and being bullied. Children often tease or bully their overweight peers, who suffer a loss of self-esteem and an increased risk of depression as a result.
  • Behavior and learning problems. Overweight children tend to have more anxiety and poorer social skills than normal-weight children do. These problems might lead children who are overweight either to act out and disrupt their classrooms or to withdraw socially.
  • Depression. Low self-esteem can create overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, which can lead to depression in some children who are overweight.

Now that you have read that troubling list of complications your innocent child will encounter through a life of obesity, look upon that sweet child and think about your role in preventing them  from experiencing an unnecessary struggle. You know you do not want their lives to be cut short because of obesity.  I cannot imagine anyone wants a bad life for their child, but if you allow them to be sedentary and feed them an unhealthy diet, you are responsible for their future misery.

You are the responsible party for your child’s health and well being!

Many factors — usually working in combination — increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight. From Mayo Clinic

  • Diet. Regularly eating high-calorie foods, such as fast foods, baked goods and vending machine snacks, can cause your child to gain weight. Candy and desserts also can cause weight gain, and more and more evidence points to sugary drinks, including fruit juices, as culprits in obesity in some people.
  • Lack of exercise. Children who don’t exercise much are more likely to gain weight because they don’t burn as many calories. Too much time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching television or playing video games, also contributes to the problem.
  • Family factors. If your child comes from a family of overweight people, he or she may be more likely to put on weight. This is especially true in an environment where high-calorie foods are always available and physical activity isn’t encouraged.
  • Psychological factors. Personal, parental and family stress can increase a child’s risk of obesity. Some children overeat to cope with problems or to deal with emotions, such as stress, or to fight boredom. Their parents might have similar tendencies.

Diet and family factors. You are the responsible adult who does the grocery shopping. You control what your children consume every day at home. You have a choice when you go to your local grocery store to either fill your cart with healthy food choices to feed your children, or you can load that cart with highly processed sugar and unhealthy fat laden junk foods. You are the one who allows them to sit on their butts in front of a television or other electronic device all day while getting very little to no exercise at all. You are the one who should see a problem when your child becomes over weight and you are the one who must do something about it. Your child did not ask to be brought into the world. No, it was your choice to bring them into the world, therefore it will always be your responsibility to take proper care to ensure your child is healthy and well, even if it is an inconvenience to the manner in which you might want to live your life.

Whether your child is at risk of becoming overweight or is currently at a healthy weight, you can take measures to get or keep things on the right track.

  • Limit your child’s consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or avoid them all together. There is no reason for your child to drink sugar sweetened drinks every day. Many children grow up drinking soda pops all day instead of water. I have a nephew who grew up like this and he now requires dialysis for kidney failure because of this foolishness. His kidneys are shot because he grew up drinking Coke all day, every day. His mother is responsible for this as she let this habit begin in his early childhood.
  • Provide plenty of fruits and vegetables. Some children are going to be picky eaters. Lord knows I was picky as a child, yet my mother never gave up. What ever you do, you must ensure that your child is getting enough their needed macro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to live a healthy life. You know there is nothing nutritional about feeding your children sugar sweetened cereals and pop tarts. You know that soda pop and cookies are not nutritionally sound. You should know that while macaroni and cheese with hot dogs might be alright to serve your child occasionally for lunch, it is not nutritionally sound to feed them like this every day.
  • Eat meals as a family as often as possible. One of the healthiest things you can do as a family is to have dinner together at the dining room or kitchen table away from all other distractions such as television and other electronic devices. This is a great time to talk to your children and learn what is going on in their young lives. Your children need this kind of emotional support from you. You need this time to know what is happening in their young minds. You cannot get this when you allow them to play video games all day as an escape. If you are not interacting with your child, you might find yourself totally blindsided by their suicide one day.
  • Children and teens who are depressed have a higher risk of suicide. Symptoms of depression sometimes are obvious, such as appearing sad, hopeless, bored, overwhelmed, anxious, or irritable all the time. But some kids are good at hiding their feelings or don’t know how to share them. Since as many as 1 in every 5 teens experience depression at some point during adolescence, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all children over age 12 be screened for depression at their yearly checkups.
  • In addition to depression, mood disorders, eating disorders and other psychiatric conditions can increase the risk of suicide with your child. A sedentary lifestyle combined with obesity and poor nutritional habits greatly affects your child’s mood and how they view their own self worth. As a parent, you are responsible to help them sort all of this out before they decide to just end their own life before it has even begun.
  • Limit eating out, especially at fast-food restaurants, and when you do eat out, teach your child how to make healthier choices. Go to our Recipe Category for an abundance of healthy recipes that are easy on a family budget, and that are also as healthy as they are easy to prepare. Fast food drive through’s might be alright on occasion as a treat, but it truly is cheaper and quicker to feed your family nutritious meals at home.
  • Adjust portion sizes appropriately for age. You know, if your child is 5, they do not need a portion your 15 year old will want to consume. If you have teens in the house, you can still control the portion sizes by the amount of food that you prepare. Even if they raise hell with you, you are the parent. Stand your ground and manage your home instead of letting your child rule it as is so common now days.
  • Limit TV and other “screen time” to less than 2 hours a day for children older than 2, and don’t allow television for children younger than 2. If your child is not old enough to work a part time job to buy a television or electronic device for themselves, you have the control. You do not need to buy them their own television so they can sit and lounge about in front of it anytime they please. You set the rules of the house!
  • Be sure your child gets enough sleep.

Get your child outside and teach them to use their imagination!

I am a firm believer that one of the best things a parent can do for their child is to get them outside and teach them about nature. Take them out on a good hiking trail and ave some fun with them by exercising your imagination as well.

Explore a trail and turn it into a great adventure they will want to do again. A make shift bridge could be crossing a roaring river. The woods could be anywhere in the world you want it to be.  You can teach your children about the different plants and animal life you might encounter such as deer, raccoons and opossums. Those animal tracks you in the mud might be from a large wild cat you are trying to avoid. They can be anything you want them to be.

You could pack healthy snacks for your hike along with a pair of binoculars for bird watching. You can lay out your food and enjoy your snack while sitting on a large rock and observing the “dangers” or adventures you might encounter over the next hill. Let your imagination run wild with your child’s while out on a hiking trail. You can teach your child about edible plants you might find while pointing out those that are highly toxic such as Death Caps and any that are red on the cap. You never know where a wicked witch or evil troll might be lurking out in those woods when you use your imagination with the children.

There are many lessons of life you can impart onto your child while out in the woods. You can speak of the hard lessons of life we must all come to learn at some point which will only serve to make them be well adjusted adults. And you can, and must, also teach them to seek out the beauty that is the gift of life. Every where we may venture, there can be found something of beauty to behold. Get your children excited about life and all that it has to offer. Get them excited about outdoors activities that capture the imagination. As a parent, you are responsible for giving your child as great a life as you possibly can.

Let’s keep our children healthy, it is not an impossible task if only you will.

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“Meaty” Vegetarian Pinto Beans

Besides being a AFPA certified Nutrition and Wellness consultant and author, I am also a trucker who transports and delivers construction and industrial supplies to pay my bills. I often hear people who are on the road a lot say they cannot eat healthy, which is something I find to be simply a load of baloney, lame excuses if you will. With a little pre-planning it is always possible to eat healthy while on the go. You just have to be willing to put in a little effort. This simple, inexpensive recipe is a part of my food that I consume on a regular basis while I’m out on the road in my semi. It keeps good and warm in an insulated food container that can be purchased inexpensively at any Walmart.

“Meaty” Vegetarian Pinto Beans

Serves 2

183 calories

36g carbs

0g fat

14.5g protein

12g dietary fiber for 24 net carbs

  • 1 – 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Boca Crumbles (vegetarian ground beef substitute)
  • 3 tbsp Sugar Free Ketchup
  • 4 tbsp Salsa
  • Chili Lime seasoning to taste
  • (optional) habanero hot sauce or hot sauce of your choosing
  1. Drain and rinse the canned pinto beans to lower the sodium content.
  2. Mix all ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a good simmer over medium heat.
  3. Serve into bowls and enjoy this simple, inexpensive, healthy and delicious recipe. Put into a insulated food container if taking on the road to enjoy at a later time.

At David’s Way, all of our recipes can be enjoyed on a budget. We do not want people falling for the myth that it is too expensive in order to eat healthy either at home or away. This meal costs less than $3.00 US to prepare and can feed 2 people a good healthy and nutritionally sound meal.

12 Week Beginners Walking Program

Before you begin, let’s find out how fit you are.

If you have followed me for any length of time, you will know that I love to get out and walk, or hike on wooded trails. Walking is one of the best restorative exercises that almost everyone can do. Best of all, walking does not require any expensive gym memberships or any fancy equipment, including fitness trackers. Walking is something you have done all of your life with the exception of maybe fitness walking, so there is not a whole lot for you to learn in order to get the most benefit out of this beneficial, cheap and easy exercise.

First things first, if you are obviously out of shape and specifically, if you have any health problems, please get clearance from your physician before beginning any exercise program.

If you are physically cleared, you are going to need to know exactly where you stand in regards to being physically fit. This is a must, please do not overlook this step. You are going to need to know your recovery heart rate, or how fast your heart rate returns to it’s normal rate after you engage in vigorous exercise. This is going to let you know how efficient your heart operates. This test is easy to perform and does not require you to go out and buy any kind of expensive fitness tracker. Before you go out and spend a $100 US or more on a fitness tracker, you might want to see if you are even going to stick with a program first, and then buy one at a later date. All you need for this initial test is someone to keep time for you, however, you can do it for yourself too.

Next, dress out in comfortable clothing with a good fitting pair of shoes and find either a stair or something sturdy like a stool which you can step onto and off of for a period of 3 minutes.  Begin by stepping onto the step or stool first with your right foot, then up with your left foot. Step down with your right foot, then with your left, and repeat this with an even pace for 3 minutes. Once you have completed your 3 minutes, rest for 30 seconds before taking your pulse rate.

How to take your pulse: Find your heartbeat by placing your index and middle fingers on either your carotid artery (on your neck in one of the grooves along side our windpipe) or your radial artery (on your wrist near your thumb). Using a watch, count the number of beats in a 15 second period. Then multiply this number by four to determine your heart rate per minute.

Compare your pulse rate with the below figures:

Women

Age 30 – 39  Very Fit  <78  Fit 78-99  Avg. 100-109  Unfit  >109

Age 40-49    Very Fit  <80  Fit 80-100  Avg. 101-112 Unfit >112

Age 50-59    Very Fit  <86  Fit 86-105  Avg. 106-115 Unfit >115

Age 60-69   Very Fit  <90  Fit 90-108   Avg. 109-118 Unfit >118

Men

Age 30-39   Very Fit  <84  Fit 84-105  Avg. 106-122 Unfit >122

Age 40-49   Very Fit  <88  Fit 88-108  Avg. 109-118 Unfit >118

Age 50-59   Very Fit  <92  Fit 92-113  Avg. 114-123 Unfit >123

Age 60-69   Very Fit  <95  Fit 95-117  Avg. 118-127 Unfit >127

This walking program is geared towards helping the unfit and the person of average fitness towards gaining a life of physical fitness. If you have any history, symptoms, or major risk factors for heart disease such as smoking, diabetes, or severe obesity, do not take this test or begin any exercise program without your doctors approval!

How vigorous is your workout?

The best way for you to gauge the intensity of your workout is to check your heart rate.Your target heart rate is the pulse you are aiming for when you work out. The safe but effective range is between 50 to 85% of your maximum heart rate – the rate you should never exceed. To calculate your maximum rate, subtract your age from 220. If you are 45 years old, your maximum rate is 175 (220-45=175) beats per minute. Your target range is 88 to 149 beats per minute. (.50 or .85 x 175) . The American Heart Association suggests you aim for the following target heart rates:

Age    Target Heart Rate / Maximum Heart Rate

30      95 to 142 bpm              190 bpm

35      93 to 138 bpm             185 bpm

40      90 to 135 bpm             180 bpm

45      85 to 131 bpm             175 bpm

50      85 to 127 bpm             170 bpm

55      83 to 123 bpm             165 bpm

60     80 to 120 bpm              160 bpm

65     78 to 116 bpm              155 bpm

70     75 to 113 bpm              150 bpm

12 Week Walking Program

Week 1

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up with 5 minutes slow walking
  • Walk 10 minutes at 50 to 60% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down with 5 minutes slow walking

Week 2

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up, 5 minutes
  • 15 minutes at 50 to 60% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 3

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up, 5 minutes
  • 20 minutes at 50 to 60% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 4

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up, 5 minutes
  • 20 minutes at 60% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 5

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 20 minutes at 60 to 70% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 6

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 20 minutes at 60 to 70% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 7

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 25 minutes at 60 to 70% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 8

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 25 minutes at 70% maximum hear rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 9

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 30 minutes at 70% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 10

  • 5 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 35 minutes at 70% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down 5 minutes

Week 11

  • 3 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 35 minutes at 70% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down 5 minutes
  • 2 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 30 minutes at 70% maximum heart rate, including 5 minutes of hills or stairs
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Week 12

  • 3 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 35 minutes at 70% maximum heart rate
  • Cool down, 5 minutes
  • 2 times per week
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • 30 minutes at 70% maximum heart rate, including 10 minutes of hills or stairs
  • Cool down, 5 minutes

Watch your form!

You already know how to walk, it’s a no brainer to know that one foot goes in front of the next. But, how is your posture when you are out walking? Many people will slump over when they walk which can end up giving them problems with muscle strains, pains in the neck, lower back and hips. As you walk, hold your chest up and tuck in your gut which is helping to support your back. Every few minutes, evaluate your posture as you are walking and straighten up as needed.

Have fun, find a beautiful place to walk and get yourself fit!

 

Healthy Weigh In Habits

Brenda Sue and I have addressed a recurring issue with several of our online clients that I am not sure will ever be resolved. The issue is one of daily weight checking. If there is something that will quickly derail one who is on a weight loss journey, it is erratic weighing once or even several times in a single day. With some, it’s almost like they might hop onto their bathroom scale after every time they open and close their refrigerator door. This behavior is part of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is not going to go away simply because we tell our clients they should only weigh themselves once per week at best.

These obsessions and compulsions are unwanted and disruptive to daily life. OCD can be associated with eating disorders, anxiety disorders or depression, reports the National Institute of Mental Health. OCD has complex ties to eating behavior and weight loss, and may be associated with weight gain, difficulties losing weight or unhealthy weight loss. (1)

Friends, our aim is to help others in achieving a healthy body fat percentage in the most least stressful manner possible. We understand the compulsions as we have been there ourselves too. We understand what it means to ensure that you have emptied your bladder and bowels before stepping onto the bathroom scales. As with many of you, at times we have also found ourselves trying to step onto the scales as gingerly as possible in order to maybe not weigh heavier than we feel we should, and this after scooting the scale around the floor to that perfect weigh in spot. Admit it or not, we know there are a few of you reading this who are in full understanding of the last couple lines. We know the disappointment that comes when thinking weight loss for the week was a sure thing, only to have those thoughts crushed when we seen a heavier reading than from our last weigh in. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that between Brenda Sue and myself, there is nothing you can tell us that you have done that we have not also done in a lame attempt to cheat the scale. To weigh the least amount possible on weigh in day, people will do the craziest stunts to beat our brutal nemesis, the bathroom scale.

Daily Weighing is not helpful for many if not most!

How many of you step onto your bathroom scale every morning and then base the rest of your day on the numbers you read? How many times has your attitude towards life and all in between gone to hell simply because of the morning scale reading? You know this is not helpful or healthy, yet many will continue to keep up the insanity of daily weighing no matter what we advise. I can tell you how salt and other additives will increase your water retention and you will still be upset over your temporary weight gain. I can tell you that your worries need to be placed on body fat percentage over water retention weight, and yet the number on the scale will still ruin your day, even when you full well know the reason it might be higher than you expected. I do not advocate daily weighing, and believe that for some, even weekly weigh in’s are too much for those who are going to let the scale number rule their day.

Over the long term, it’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week. Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity. (2)

If you really must weigh daily:

Neither your body or your bathroom scales are finely tuned machines that never need adjustments. We know there are many factors that can cause our body’s to fluctuate in weight simply as a result of water retention, therefore our weight can yo yo up and down by several pounds each and every day. If our scales were known to be perfectly calibrated every time we stepped on them, we would never be scooting it around the floor, nor would we try to minimize our weight by the way we step onto it, would we? Nope, if we knew we could never manipulate that scale number we would never practice the “Scale Ballet” every time we weigh ourselves.

If you have done the “Scale Ballet”, you are not alone…

If you are going to weigh yourself regular, it is worth your time and money to actually invest in a good quality digital scale and then ensure it always has fresh batteries or a good charge. If your body weight is important to you, then it should be important enough that you buy quality scales whether digital or mechanical. Do not sell yourself short by going cheap since cheap scales are less likely to be reliable in their calibration. If your scales are only 1% off on their reading this can mean a 1.5 pound error if you weigh 150 pounds. Now, if you weigh in excess of 200 pounds, do the math and you will see that your reading could be off by 2 pounds or more. Good quality scales are a must!

Never let yourself get upset over what could be a faulty reading of your weight!

Now, lets assume you have purchased a good bathroom scale and still want to weigh yourself daily. While I do not advise you to weigh every day, I still want you to weigh yourself weekly or bi-weekly in order to keep a measure of your progress. I want you to keep track of your progress without getting down and out about it when the number is too high, nor do I want you to get too excited over your weigh in when the weight drop is too high.

Remember, your body weight can fluctuate greatly solely as a result of water retention.

  • If you simply must weigh yourself every day, get yourself a pen and a note pad to keep somewhere close to your scale.
  • Be consistent in weighing at the same time of the day and in the same or like clothing. Your clothing can add a couple pounds.
  • If you go to the bathroom and never have anything to eat or drink before weighing, then stick to this every day. Do not eat and drink breakfast and then step onto your scales before voiding your bowels and bladder. This one should be obvious.
  • Step onto your scale only once, write down your weight in your note pad and move on with your day no matter what the number said.
  • At the end of the week when you take your last daily weigh in for the week, write this number down and then figure your weeks average. For example. add the weight from each day together, then divide by the number 7 for your weekly average weight. 151+154+152+150+152+153+152=1064 1064/7=152 pounds weekly average weight.
  • The numbers during the week can fluctuate, it is the weekly average that you need worry about when you average them out for the entire month. A healthy weight loss is only 1 to 2 pounds maximum per week. If you average 1 to 2 pounds per week at the end of a month, you are on track for healthy weight loss. Daily numbers mean little to nothing if not used in a proper context. No matter the daily scale readings, if your first week average is 151 pounds and your second week average is 149 pounds, then your weight loss for the week is 2 pounds even if you had a minor gain during the week.

For successful weight loss/management, know yourself!

Know your goal!

You need to set a realistic goal for yourself. If you are 50 years old, you might not set a goal to once again be able to wear your cheer leading outfit from 9th grade. Not even if you get your weight close to where it was way back when. At David’s Way, we recommend not setting a goal weight, but setting a goal for body fat percentage instead. By setting a body fat percentage as a goal instead of a random scale number, it takes a lot of the stress out of weight management because your weight can fluctuate a few pounds and have no ill bearing on your overall body fat percentage. Whether you set a goal of a certain weight or body fat percentage, you need to be realistic about your body build, lifestyle and health needs.

Know your triggers!

There are certain foods and circumstances that will cause your weight to fluctuate or that will cause you to want to over eat. We always recommend that you go sugar and processed foods free, but we also understand there are times where this might be impossible for you. Brenda Sue and I have written extensively about the inflammatory effects of sugar in your body and how it affects your weight and health.

If you are out with friends in a restaurant and the wait staff asks if anyone is ready for dessert, ask for a cup of coffee and enjoy it while your friend indulges in their pie. You can still enjoy their company, and they can still enjoy yours. Make it a point to fill up on salad and vegetables with your meal and drink plenty of water to ward off the temptations of a sweet dessert treat. If you give in and have a dessert, try sharing it with your friend and let them eat the bulk of it. Then tomorrow, shrug it off and move on with your day. You might crave the sugar if you have been sugar free, but that craving will pass.

If you had restaurant food today, you can expect a weight gain tomorrow because the sodium and MSG chefs use will cause you to retain fluids. These circumstances where you have to eat out are going to happen whether you are out socially with friends, on vacation with family or on a business trip where you cannot cook for yourself. Do not freak out over the temporary weight gain and get back on track as soon as you can. It does not have to be the end of the world, and if you understand what triggers weight gain for you and what to do about these triggers, this in itself will greatly reduce the stress which comes when trying to lose weight. Stress reduction is something we have also addressed as at David’s Way, we treat the problem of obesity from a whole body, holistic approach where we know that simple loss of weight is not enough to make you successful at getting at, and then remaining at a healthy body fat percentage.

Ladies, most menstruating and premenstrual women might find their body weight rising by 3 to 5 pounds, even though their daily intake of food has not changed. (3) Do yourself a favor and do not get worked up by what nature is doing temporarily with your body. You know this is going to happen and must simply plan your lifestyle in order to deal with it instead of letting it control you. For more information read this article by Brenda Sue, Dirty Little Secret.

Keep adjusting!

At David’s Way, we encourage you to track your caloric intake in order to lose weight. We do not want you to over eat, conversely, we certainly do not want you to under eat which can have a negative effect on your metabolism and health. You will find that once you have lost a certain amount of weight, you will likely plateau. Do not get frustrated, adjust your caloric intake and get your weight loss moving again. You can go to our Calorie Counter Pro to find out how many calories a day you need to manage your weight.

Now for a key point!

Once you have lost weight, you have to adjust your caloric intake as what it takes to lose weight at 250 pounds is different than what it takes to lose weight at 160 pounds. Our clients seem to always get stuck on that last 10 to 20 pounds unless we remind them of this. For instance: if you are a 40 year old, 250 pound female who stands 5 feet 2 inches, and is sedentary or exercises very little, you will need 1609 calories per day in order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week. (This is easy when you do not eat sugar or processed foods, and only consume whole foods)

Lets say you are now 41 years old, and currently weigh 160 pounds, and you still get little to no exercise. You would now require 1613 calories per day to maintain this current weight. As you can see, this number is little different than the number it took for you to drop weight. If you never changed anything, the reason you have stalled is because you never re-figured your caloric needs. Your body has different requirements for how much you weigh. As you manage your body fat levels, you must always evaluate your needs. This is true for men and women of all ages.

No matter what happens during your weight loss journey, always remain focused on your goal. There are times when this is going to be difficult for all of us. If you slip up, do not cast judgement upon yourself, understand that life happens. Bad circumstances and tragedies befall us all. Even if you slip, make it a point to not get yourself permanently derailed. Be committed to your own good health and well being and make yourself a priority. Make healthy living your lifestyle. Instead of letting others pull you back down, reach out a helping hand and give others a hand up. Continue reading our work at David’s Way, it will always be free to you. Share what you have found here with family and friends who you think will also benefit from our labor of love. Comments and questions are always welcome here.

(1) Livestrong.Org, Jon Williams

(2) MayoClinic.org

(3) Carbohydrate Addicts Lifespan Program, Heller

Loaded Gun, Ready Triggers

Even if you do not believe in God, you can still enrich your life through the principles of the Serenity prayer. Sadly, a lot people only think of the Serenity Prayer as something said by recovering alcoholics and junkies in their recovery meetings, or when trying to remain clean and sober. I personally try to use this principle in all that I encounter in life. Including control over my appetite and emotions. Like many people in western society, I too have had my own past issues with maintaining a healthy body fat percentage and control over food cravings. I know that Brenda Sue has too. All that we address in our writing has come about from our own unique life experiences, we are not types who will go on and on about what needs to be done about weight management while having never experienced what you are going through too.

Choices!

Friends, if you have been following me long enough, you know that I always place an emphasis on personal responsibility and choosing to do what is right for your health and wellness. When you take personal responsibility for yourself, you quickly learn there are some things you can change for your benefit, and there are some that you cannot. This is a simple fact of life for every single one of us. None of us are special in this regard, some of us just learn to navigate our way around obstacles in life. How this applies to weight management is the mistake many of you make in trying to lose weight is repeatedly attempt to change the things in which you cannot change, and you fail to change those things in which you can. In private communications with our clients, Brenda Sue and I see this insanity just about daily.

Loaded Guns

The big mistake that most people make in trying lose weight is they try to use will power over their cravings. You are not a special snowflake, and the failure of will power is not unique to you alone! If you think will power alone is enough to get through cravings that keep you obese, you are most certainly going to fail!

When in weight loss mode, most people believe they need to learn to overcome their weaknesses by strengthening their will power. While I agree people need to work on strengthening their will power, this in itself is not enough to over ride your cravings for food, nor does your will power do anything about decreasing your body’s ability to store fat. Intense and recurring carbohydrate cravings, as well as the body’s heightened ability to store fat, come from a physical cause.

Cravings and fat storage come from a physical cause!

This physical cause is a direct result of an excess of insulin in your body. Therefore, will power does not come into play in decreasing your cravings for high carbohydrate foods, loaded with bad fats and sodium. Will power does not change the physical workings of your body. While you may over ride your cravings for a short period, if you do not do anything about controlling insulin production in your body, your will power is bound to fail you. Your will power is no where near as strong as the powerful effects insulin has in your system.

Commonly, when people fail at their diets and weight loss because they thought it was a matter of willpower and self control over all else, they are only partially correct. Instead of evaluating why they failed and what they could have done in order instead, they will place the blame on their lack of willpower, or accept blame from others, and then they will simply give up.

An evaluation of self is in fact needed to understand why we fail at weight loss and successful management, but the evaluation must come from a base of knowledge. Without a good understanding of the reason why you fail at weight loss you are bound to begin the cycle of yo-yo dieting all over again. At David’s Way, we have placed a great amount of time into the study of why 98% of people fail at diets, and it is always obvious their futile battles are lost because they either lack the knowledge of how their body works, or they refuse to acknowledge their need to come at weight management from a better, more informed perspective.

Ready Triggers

You must accept what you can and cannot do about your body and the manner in which it handles your intake of food. Know that you are not helpless in this struggle!

Those of us who are addicted to carbohydrates are little different than alcoholics. We cannot change our body’s predisposition to release too much insulin. You might think of your predisposition as a loaded gun that comes literally from the genes you inherited from your parents. However, this genetic message is only a predisposition, or a loaded weapon just waiting on you to be the one who pulls the trigger.  It will not go off unless, or until you personally pull the trigger for it to do so. This is something you indeed have control over. While you are predisposed to release too much insulin, you can control that in which you eat. You can make the choice to quit eating added sugars entirely in order to not pull the trigger on your cravings. You can prevent your blood sugar and insulin spikes by not eating sugar. If you are carbohydrate addicted, you  have to change the way you eat. It may be difficult for the first couple of weeks, but it is not impossible. You have to take the same approach to your carbohydrate addiction the same as one who quits drinking, the same as one who quits smoking. You just have to quit, and not believe that you can ever have control over the substance you never had control over in the first place.

Get your finger off the trigger, damn it!

The biggest way you can derail yourself is by frequently consuming carbohydrate rich foods. Specifically, simple carbs! You have to understand that if you are predisposed to carb addiction, this is for life, just the same as alcoholism.

If you are born with this unfortunate predisposition, the more often you eat carbohydrate rich foods such as starches, snack foods, or sweets (including fruit juices) the more intense your insulin response will be. When you eat carbohydrate rich foods all day as many people with weight issues are prone to do, the high level of insulin will only serve to make you crave more and  more of them. This is a physical response, and is not one of a weak willed individual.

As you continue to eat these carbohydrate rich foods on a frequent basis, your muscles and organs will start to become insulin resistant. This is simple biology, you cannot change this. As you become insulin resistant, both the insulin and the blood sugar it escorts, will be steered away from the muscles and organs that require them, and will subsequently be stored away in your body fat.

In the first stages of insulin resistance, your body’s tendency is going to be weight gain. However, over time, even your fat cells will become insulin resistant which means the insulin and blood sugar remain trapped in your blood stream which will eventually lead to type 2 diabetes if you do not already have it. When you continue to eat carbohydrate rich foods, you are causing your body harm as this vicious cycle will continue repeating itself.

In many people who have been over weight or obese their entire lives, or those who find triggers such as pregnancy, stress, stopping smoking, and medications, will make them crave simple carbohydrates and gain weight easily. For others, we will see that although they might have been a normal weight in their younger years, the simple act of growing older changes their metabolism, which causes their bodies to become more insulin resistant. The damage that can occur from insulin and blood sugar being channeled into fat cells can be greatly mitigated by a low carb, high protein diet combined with vigorous exercise as we promote at David’s Way.

As a carbohydrate addiction progresses, the body releases more and more insulin in a valiant attempt to push through the resistance and force the insulin and blood sugar into the muscles and organs where they are much needed. When you continue to consume added sugar and excess carbohydrates, this extra insulin will lead to more severe carbohydrate cravings, or that feeling of being “hangry”. This is why we say to stop eating added sugars in all foods and to only eat whole foods that you have to prepare yourself. You cannot prevent your body from trying to protect itself from too many “insulin insults”, you cannot stop your body from becoming insulin resistant when you continue to eat too many carbs. This is why your willpower means little if you do not approach healthy eating with the right mindset and armed with knowledge.

Lets take an intelligent approach to our dietary habits.

Of course we still need carbohydrates in our daily diets, especially complex carbs that come from many vegetable sources and even simple carbs from whole fruits. The important point to remember is that when we do consume our carbohydrates, we do not use added sugars, and that we maintain a correct balance of protein and fiber in order to not set off and insulin imbalance which will set off our cravings for more carbs. You can maintain your blood sugar and insulin levels simply by enjoying well balanced meals that provide all the macro and micro-nutrients your body requires for good health. You have to know that all carbohydrate rich foods, including starches, snack foods, and sweet treats and drinks, and even some starchy vegetables when eaten frequently and without balance, can trigger your genetic loaded gun that makes it difficult for you to remain slim and healthy.

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Heart Health and Insulin

Often, when we think of heart issues we never consider insulin and it’s role in heart health. Usually, when we think of insulin the first thing that comes to mind is diabetes. And here in lies a huge problem, most people who are over weight or obese will not think of themselves as having a true health issue with their weight when they have not developed diabetes. This thinking is foolhardy and comes from a lack of knowledge. Besides the effect on your body with insulin and whether you have diabetes or not, the powerful role insulin plays in your body has great effects that can lead to high blood pressure, risk-related blood fat levels, weight gain, atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, and heart disease in a great number of overweight or obese individuals who have never been diagnosed as being diabetic.

Insulin and Glucagon must be in balance!

In a healthy body, insulin does not like to be used up. It has been referred to as the “Saver Hormone”  This miserly nature of insulin is no easy task when you consider how some of us eat and live sedentary lifestyles. Insulin must meet multiple demands by the body such as appeals for energy to enable muscles to maintain their health and viability, to fuel our nervous system, and to keep our organs under constant repair to keep our body’s ability to function normally. Insulin will try to make your body store it’s energy stores, by converting carbohydrates into fat which is then stored inside of your cells, it must give up some of it’s food energy in order to get us through our basic daily living functions.

The second part of this equation which must be kept in balance with insulin is glucagon, or what is referred to as your body’s “Spending Hormone”. Most of us have heard of insulin, but I would guess that many, if not most of you, have never heard of glucagon. The balance between these two are just as insulin directs food energy into our cells, glucagon is what brings it back out of the cells in order to repair and fuel your body in between meals. This balance must be maintained and crappy dietary habits makes this task difficult.

A bad diet that does not meet all of our nutritional needs will quite obviously throw our hormonal balance out of whack. Although, as evident by the rampant obesity in our society, many will destroy their own health when there is a better choice to be made in living healthy with a good clean diet. It does not have to be this way, but many will still choose the lame way out with a diet of junk and fast foods and place their hormonal balance into a tail spin and then complain they cannot lose their weight.

If you choose to make good dietary habits a lifestyle that keeps your hormonal balance on an even keel, insulin and glucagon fully compliment each other and maintain a perfect harmony. Making this harmony occur is fully within your control, it will make you feel so much better. As insulin rises, it makes you want to eat, it helps with fueling your body. What energy is not used gets put away into your fat cells. Later, as your insulin levels fall off, glucagon begins to rise. The glucagon opens the fat cells up and the energy that is released is burned to keep your body running efficiently, as it was designed to do. After a period,  insulin once again begins to rise and the whole cycle repeats itself.

This natural balance is 100% within our control when we make the personal choice to make it so. Do not sell yourself short, ever!

When you make the lame choice for yourself to eat bad every day of your life, no matter your excuses, you are going to put this hormonal balance between insulin and glucagon out of kilter. The reasons why you eat a poor diet are not relevant to this reality. When you manage to get your hormonal balance off, there becomes a battle between the hormones that will put your heart health, or even your life at risk.

Although insulin and glucagon are to be in balance for good health, insulin is a more powerful hormone than it’s counterpart. Insulin will completely take over if you let it. When insulin is released into your blood, glucagon takes a submissive role and diminishes significantly. Glucagon will only rise back up once the insulin levels begin to fall again.

When you subsist on sweet treats and foods with added sugars, you insulin levels will always remain high! You do have control over what you eat! No excuse is going to fix your health. period.

Insulin’s dominance over glucagon is not all bad. In pre-historic times, when our ancestors had a surplus of food, insulin was needed in order to channel as much of the food in the fat cells as possible. Unlike us in the modern world, our ancestors did not always know where their next meal was coming from. And to make matters worse, their foods were not anywhere near as energy rich as our foods of today. Our ancestors had to fatten themselves up because they did not always know where or when their next meal would be coming to them. Insulin would get our ancestors to eat as much as they could so they could get the most out of the foods they were able to consume.

We no longer live in those times folks. Food is now abundant!

Now, on the other hand for our ancestors, food was not always available. In fact, famine can still be rampant in different parts of the world today. When our body requires energy, glucagon opens the fat cells and brings out the energy that has been stored. This energy fuels our muscles, brain and other organs to go out and get more nourishment. For our ancestors, when food was not readily available, insulin’s fat storing ability was not required. Our ancestors were not fat for the most part.

In days past, insulin kept us alive. In our modern world today where we might gorge and junk foods that keep our insulin levels high, this can actually kill us over time or even rapidly. 

Currently, we still have to keep our hormones in balance and we can do this through good dietary habits and exercise. However, many choose to eat bad food choices and to live sedentary lifestyles which causes a tug of war between insulin and glucagon. Insulin is usually winning this battle as we can see by all of the overweight or obese people that surround us. We can make a choice to control the outcome of our health we can choose to live a healthy life. Or we can sell ourselves short and not eat healthy, nor exercise. This can make the difference between a long and healthy life or one plagued by heart problems or cut short by heart disease.

Product Review, Beyond Meat

I consider myself to be nothing even close to being a vegetarian or vegan. I am a carnivore at heart, yet I do often enjoy vegan friendly foods such as vege-burgers. Not that I expect them to actually taste like a ground beef hamburger, I just happen to enjoy them because many of them are pleasing to my palate. If I am in the mood for a sandwich that is a little different, a Morning Star Southwest Black Bean Burger can hardly be beat as an alternative to ground beef. I have been seeing advertisements for a few months for Beyond Meat’s products and became intrigued with their Beyond Burger. I had no idea they also produced a vegan friendly hot Italian Sausage and Brats until I found their Beyond Burger in my local Dillon’s grocery store. I have now eaten the burgers and Italian sausages and once I try the Brats, I will do a review on them as well.

Beyond Burger

The picture on the left is from an advertisement for Beyond Burger, the picture on the right is one I snapped of the actual product. As you can see, the advertised picture appears to resemble ground beef patties much better than how the product actually appears. This reminded me of days gone by where hamburgers advertised for sell at movie concession stands appeared significantly better than the limp patty and soggy bun you actually received if you bought one. Curiosity still had me so I made my purchase despite the deception of the pictures I had seen in a multitude of adds.

What is a Beyond Burger?

From Beyond Meats website:

The Beyond Burger is the world’s first plant based burger that looks, cooks and satisfies like beef. It has all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, but comes with the upside of a plant based meal. The Beyond Burger packs 20g of plant based protein and has no GMOs, soy or gluten.

Can this be true? And what is in them?

This might be spooky as the vegan meat substitute is advertised to even bleed out the same as a ground beef hamburger when you cook it. I’m not sure I get why a vegan friendly burger that seeps blood would ever appeal to a vegan though. But, here are the ingredients and nutritional values for a burger:

Pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower oil, salt, succinic acid, acetic acid, non-GMO modified food starch, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, beet juice extract (for color)

Nutrition Values:

270 calories per burger

20g fat 5g sat)

380mg sodium

5g Carbohydrates

3g Fiber

0g Sugar

20g Protein

Just because of the difference of appearance between the advertisement and actual product, I was skeptical about if I would enjoy these burgers. I opened the package and instead of being red in color, the burgers were more of a brown color with specks of solid coconut oil interspersed to resemble beef fat. Instead of resembling beef patties, my initial impression from sight and smell was the patties appeared and smelled more akin to something resembling canned dog food, only not as strong in smell.

However, at $6.00 US and given the fact I have lived on worse food concoctions within military MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), I was going to cook them and at least taste them despite the fact I damn near chucked them into my kitchen trash can. I sprayed a little olive oil into a non-stick skillet over medium heat and began browning them. This is the point where my mind began wondering if they might actually be good after all. The coconut oil specks began to dissolve, and low and behold, there appeared a liquid that resembled blood seeping from the burgers. As they browned, that vague smell of canned dog food was replaced by an odor that more closely resembled that of frying beef. My brother in law who lives with us, came into the kitchen and thought from the smell that I had changed my mind and was actually cooking beef. The trial is beginning to look up now.

Once I had browned the burgers on both sides (about 3 minutes per side) I served them up to my brother in law and myself. I had told Howard that if they were no good to not feel bad about chucking it into the trash if he did not care to finish his burger. (He is kind of picky and had turned his nose up about vege-burgers)

Howard had his on bread with ketchup and mustard, mine was on a low carbohydrate, high fiber tortilla with Heinz 57 sauce. I was pleasantly surprised by the first bite. The burger had a taste and texture remarkably like actual lean ground beef. The taste was such that I believe you could feed someone one of these burgers and they would never realize it was entirely vegetarian, it was that realistic. The burgers browned nicely and looked just like ground beef once cooked.

Will I try them again? Yes, the package in the picture is my second purchase. At first, Howard only said they were alright in a non-committed way. About an hour later, he fessed up that he also thought they were pretty darn good too.

Beyond Sausage, Hot Itallian

From Beyond Meat web site: The worlds first plant based sausage that looks, sizzles and satisfies like pork. Nope, I’m going to disagree, but it is not all bad.

Beyond Sausage Ingredients:

water, pea protein isolate, refined coconut oil, Sunflower oil, natural flavors, Contains 2% or less of: Rice protein, Faba Bean protein, potato starch, salt, fruit juice for color, vegetable juice for color, apple fiber, methlycellulose, citrus extract, calcium alginate casing

Nutrition

190 calories

12g fat

500mg sodium

230 mg potassium

5g total carbohydrate

3g fiber

16g protein

Well, I actually enjoyed the hot Italian sausages, yet I did not think they even remotely resembled a pork sausage during the cooking process. I sprayed a skillet with olive oil and began browning them all around. Being as there was no casing from an animal source, they did not brown the same as a sausage made from meat. In fact, they left the vege-casing material a little bit stuck in my frying pan. While their smell during cooking was pleasing to me, I never smelled anything resembling pork. There was a smell of spice and something else I could not describe as anything I ever cooked, yet it was certainly not a bad odor.

Once I had my sausage fully cooked, I was ready to taste it. I sliced into it with a knife and I was not disappointed to not see a bunch of fat pour out. It was almost like they were made with lean meat in the same way as the burger. The sausage was firm and not greasy at all. The taste was good, however, I thought it tasted much closer to that of a very mild Mexican Chorizo than Italian sausage. They are advertised as being hot, yet I did not think they were the least bit spicy. But be warned, I also go through a bottle of habanero pepper hot sauce about every two weeks.

While I did not find them to taste much like pork, I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian sausage as a sandwich. At $6.00 US for 4 links, I enjoyed them enough to try them again and look forward to trying Beyond Meat’s Brat product in the near future. I will do a review on them too.

Please note that we have now categorized every one of our 500 plus articles into their own groups such as nutrition, fitness, health, and recipes. We did this in order for you to not have to sort through other articles if you are in search of a recipe. If you are interested in our health articles you will not have to sort through recipes and fitness, etc. We hope this helps make navigating our sight much easier, and we appreciate any feed back you want to give us whether negative or positive. As always, our search bar is still there in order for you fill in key words to look up specific topics. For instance, if you type in diabetes, every article we have ever authored that addresses diabetes will be displayed for you to peruse.

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My Life Is Not Your Business! Or is It?

Do you have anyone in your life, a family member, friend or co-worker who gorges themselves on really bad food choices? Does this individual also admonish everyone around them that they are living their life as they see fit and it is none of your business how they are living it?

By God, they will eat any damn thing they want, and they will damn well eat as much of it as they feel like? It is none of your concern how they eat!

Did you ever consider how selfish and destructive this self centered attitude can be?

Is there any chance you might actually be this individual and never thought about how your life actually does affect the lives of those around you?

If you are this individual, odds are that you have never considered yourself as being selfish and uncaring of others. Never the less, when you consume an unhealthy diet long enough, your health will eventually begin taking a nose dive and that is exactly when you are quite likely to become a burden on your loved ones. Look around at the people in your life and you are likely to know at least one if not multiples of people who are having to care for a loved one who has eaten themselves into sickness.

Type 2 Diabetes has become much too common among all age groups today!

Like most people, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you never planned for a life with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Hell does anyone ever get out of bed one day and make the decision to just do something stupid to wreck their own lives? Probably not.

No,  it is more likely that you had other more pressing issues on your mind than the junk foods you were going to pig out on later in the day when you might find yourself mindlessly eating from daily stress or shear boredom. As with many good people, you were probably thinking about caring for your loved ones, paying your bills, volunteering in your community, or maybe coaching a youth league sports team. However you envisioned your day, getting diabetes or becoming prediabetic through a crappy diet was probably nowhere on your agenda.

Maybe you think you just don’t give a damn about eating healthy.

If you do not give a damn about eating healthy, you are quite simply being a fool. Your dietary habits will eventually cause you to become a burden on others if you are not careful. Have you ever seen or known of a diabetic who had a foot or leg amputated?

Do you foolishly believe this cannot happen to you? Will you need help from loved ones if this does happen to you? Are you prepared to put aside your pride in order to ask for assistance from another individual?

Did you ever consider the unnecessary medical expense burden you might be placing on your family and what they might be missing out on because you require blood sugar testing supplies and medicines such as Metformin?

I’m going to get real, if left unchecked, diabetes will trash your health and it can, and will progress all stealthy like a Ninja in the night.  Diabetes typically does not become noticeable to the one afflicted only once the damage has reached advanced stages. Therefore, if you have actually been newly diagnosed with diabetes, have prediabetes, or are planning to cook for one who does have diabetes, it is high time you get your act together, and learn about all the critical elements of this highly preventable and treatable disease.

Diabetes defined.

Broadly defined, diabetes is a metabolic disorder that disrupts the way our bodies use the energy we receive from the foods we consume each day. During digestion, most of what we consume, particularly carbohydrates, is broken down into glucose which is the form of sugar in our blood that provides energy. In order to reach all of the cells in our body, glucose requires some assistance in order to hitch a ride in our bloodstream. In order for glucose to actually get into our cells, it requires the hormone insulin that is produced by the pancreas, which is a small gland that is located just behind the stomach.

If your body is healthy, your pancreas will produce the exact right amount of insulin to move the glucose from your blood and into the cells, In people with diabetic conditions, either the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Or, your cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. As a result of this, your glucose backs up in your blood, then overflows into your urine,and then passes out of the body without ever nourishing it, Like spilling gas if attempting to fill up your car with the fuel cap still on, you will just piss away needed glucose.

Types of diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes. Also defined as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack and destroy the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. A person with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to survive!.  For this piece, type 1 is not our focus as it is not preventable.
  • Gestational diabetes. (also not our focus) As the name implies, this type of diabetes develops in women during pregnancy, and often disappears after the birth of her baby. Note: Women who have experienced gestational diabetes carry a 20 to 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within ten years! For this reason, these ladies need to be forever more, mindful of what they eat.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Our main focus as it is entirely preventable through good dietary habits and exercise. This type is by far the most wide spread form of the disease. (Again, this is entirely preventable which makes it even sadder.) About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have this type. Risk factors include older age, obesity, family history, previous gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and certain ethnic backgrounds. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are over weight! Unlike type 1, type 2 develops gradually. At first the body has  trouble using its insulin effectively, which is a condition called insulin resistance. After several years, insulin production decreases, glucose builds up in the blood, and your body cannot make efficient use of its main source of fuel.
  • Prediabetes. Which is also referred to as Metabolic Syndrome, prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. This condition is identified by impaired fasting glucose, or impaired glucose intolerance depending on the test used to diagnose it. People with prediabetes are at a higher risk to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. You can turn this condition around if you choose. You are not helpless.

Will any of these conditions affect others in my life? Damn right they will!

The first 2, you have little control over. Type 2 and prediabetes you have absolute control over if you make intelligent decisions with your dietary habits and by getting up and moving your body with exercise. Despite the sobering reality of diabetes, there is hope for you if you reach out and take control over your life instead of letting it control you. If you have prediabetes, you have the full power within yourself to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, by making intelligent lifestyle choices, you have the power to manage, or even lower your blood glucose levels. Yes, you can bring your A1C back into normal levels if you make the choice to do so. You can do this simply by following our methodology at David’s Way.

We highly promote a diabetic friendly diet for everyone through:

  • Counting your calories in order to lose or manage your weight. You can learn your needed calories by clicking on our Calorie Counter Pro .
  • Eating a high protein, lower carbohydrate diet where you target about 125g of complex carbs per day, and .6 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight with the remaining calories comprised from healthy fats. No, this is not Keto!
  • Quit consuming sugar and simple carbs unless the simple carbs come from a food source such as fruit with a good fiber component to control the absorption of sugar into your blood stream.
  • Quit eating processed foods that are full of sugar, unhealthy fats and an over abundance of preservatives.
  • Do eat whole foods such as lean meats, full fat dairy products and lots of beans and vegetables.
  • Ensure that every bite you consume has nutritional value to it. Ensure that the foods you consume are providing you with all the protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals in it to keep you healthy and strong.
  • With your doctors clearance, get involved in vigorous exercise you can enjoy. Exercise does not have to be complicated or expensive. A good brisk walk will work wonders for your body if you cannot do anything else at first.

Studies have clearly shown that even a modest weight loss can help you to lower your risk of developing diabetes. One major study of more than 3000 people with prediabetes found that diet and exercise resulting in a 5 to 7 percent weight loss, about 7 to 10 pounds for a 150 pound woman, lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent.

Like it or not, you have a responsibility to your loved ones who may one day have to care for you to manage your health through a good clean diet and exercise. Eating healthy is not boring, nor is it expensive when you consider the savings from medical bills,  or all the extras you eat because of sugar cravings.

By taking responsibility for your health and well being you can prevent yourself from ever having prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Through diet and exercise, you can permanently lose your excess body fat in a healthy manner by following our principles at David’s Way. You can also lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by getting and keeping your blood pressure under control along with reducing your risk of micro-vascular complications such kidney and nerve issues too.

A good healthy diet an exercise is not rocket science, yet these simple things can save your life and cause less stress in those within your circle of family and friends. We give you the tools to live a healthy life if you make the personal choice to do so. For further information you can always contact us through our Contact Tab in the blog menu. We will answer all comments and questions as all are most welcome.

Make the choice today to get yourself to a healthy body fat percentage in order to protect your health and to hopefully never become a burden upon anyone else. Remember, someone will always have to pickup the broken pieces behind you when you choose to Live your life as you see fit. Please do not complicate this effort for your loved ones.

 

Women and Strength Training

I want to address the topic of strength training and women in this article and hopefully clear up a few misconceptions. Over the last few years, I have had several women ask me about how they should best approach resistance training and they are about always surprised when I recommend they train with the exact same exercises as a man would do, the only difference being the amount of weight used as a starting point.

Women who regularly train with weights can improve their health, develop a healthier self esteem with a higher degree of self confidence, reduce their risk of degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and they can enhance their athletic capabilities. In the past, some women have questioned the value of strength training and have even avoided it because of social stigmas, and or the fear of getting too big.

You might even believe that training with a barbell is too hard for a woman to attempt.

Current evidence clearly displays that women are perfectly capable of tolerating and adapting to the stresses of strength training, and the benefits of doing so are quite substantial. An excellent example of how strength training benefits women, even those who are older, is our very own Brenda Sue whom I have been training via online videos for the last year and a half. Brenda Sue asked me for weight training advice and I took her on as a trainee. Despite being a 62 year old female, I began her on the same training program I would any young man, only at a lighter starting weight. Her strength gains have been remarkable to say the least, and it is incredible how much it has improved every other area of her life through being stronger physically and mentally. These qualities bring on a higher sense of self confidence which simply makes the tasks we face every day seem much easier. Brenda Sue has learned that if she can rise back up from a heavy squat, then she can tackle anything else that comes her way.

Sex differences, body size and composition.

Obviously because of differences in strength between men and women, some approaches to strength training might need to vary by a small degree. That being said, there are many men who are weaker than many women when they begin strength training too so this is not as large an issue as some might believe.

Before puberty, there are essentially no differences in height, weight and body size between boys and girls. As the children begin going through puberty, the differences between boys and girls becomes more evident primarily because of hormonal changes. During puberty the production of estrogen in girls increases fat deposition and the development of breasts. Whereas testosterone in boys increases bone formation and protein synthesis. Though estrogen also stimulates bone growth, boys have a longer growth period, and thereby adult men tend to achieve greater stature than women. On average, women tend to have more body fat and less muscle than men. Women also tend to weigh less than men, yet require a higher amount of body fat for good health than a man requires. Anthropometric measurements of adults indicate that men have broader shoulders relative to their hips and women tend to have broader hips relative to their waists and shoulders. The broader shoulders of men can support more muscle tissue and can also provide a mechanical advantage for muscles acting at the shoulder. Yet, again I still maintain there not be weight training programs that have to be different solely because of the differences in the sexes as our anatomies and physiology is not that different. We might have a difference in our build, yet we have the exact same muscle groups, our cardiovascular systems are also the same. Women prove every day they are just as capable of performing the same physical tasks as men. In a world where my fellow men feel they need to prove their manliness, I will tell you straight up that I would rather work with a woman who can physically pull their load than with a weak man who cannot. This was true both when I was in the military and during my period as a maximum security correctional officer.

Strength and power output.

When comparing training induced changes in muscular strength between men and women, it is important to distinguish between absolute and relative measures. In terms of absolute strength, women generally have about two thirds the strength of men. The absolute lower body strength of women is generally closer to male values, as compared to the absolute values for upper body strength. Gender related differences in body composition. anthropometric characteristics, and fat free mass distribution can partly explain these differences.

When compared on a relative basis, gender related differences in muscular strength are greatly reduced. Because the average man and woman differ considerably in body size, it is useful to compare gender differences in strength relative to body weight, fat free mass and muscle cross sectional area. When expressed relative to body weight, the lower body strength of women is similar to that of men, while their upper body strength is still somewhat less. If comparisons are made to fat free mass, differences in strength between men and women tend to disappear. It is interesting that but there is data that suggests that eccentric strength may be more similar between men and women than concentric strength when compared to relative fat free mass.

When strength is expressed relative to muscle cross sectional area, no significant difference exits between genders, which indicates that muscle quality is not gender specific. Granted that the muscle fibers in men and women are also similar in fiber type distribution and histochemical characteristics, never the less men tend to have larger muscle fiber cross sectional area than women. Notwithstanding the importance of these observations, we need to remember that there is a wide range of strength abilities and that in some cases differences between two women may in fact be greater than the difference between a man and woman.

In terms of absolute strength, women are generally weaker than men because of their lower quantity of muscle. When compared relative to muscle cross sectional area, no differences in strength exists between genders, which indicates that muscle quality is not gender specific.

Strength training for women.

Despite gender related differences, men and women respond to resistance training in similar ways from pre-training baselines. Although the magnitude of change in selected variables may differ to some degree, the overall value of resistance exercise for women extends far beyond an increase muscular strength and includes favorable changes in other important measures of health and fitness.

Being as the physiological characteristics of muscle between the genders are the same, there is no sensible reason why weight training programs for women need to be any different from that of men. In fact, because the muscle groups involved are the same for men and women, resistance programs should be designed to improve the performance of the muscles involved regardless of gender. It is a misconception that weight training programs for women should be any different from those of men. It is also a misconception that women lose flexibility and become bulky from weight training. The only difference required between weight training programs for men and women is generally the amount of weight used for a given lift.

Ladies next time you balk at the idea of strength training, consider female Olympic athletes such as gymnasts who are able to perform 40 pull ups and competitive female weight lifters who can lift over two times their body weight. These outstanding female athletes display what is possible through strength training. For another excellent example of what is possible when a woman commits herself to “Life under the Iron”, take a good hard look at our own Brenda Sue for inspiration. This little lady is 62 years old, weighs about 135 pounds, and can deadlift 190 pounds, and will soon surpass 200. Brenda Sue has become strong without becoming bulky, her health and level of fitness are that of a twenty something, her self esteem and confidence levels are at an all time high.

I will place this topic on our new forum where you can comment or ask either of us questions. I am positive Brenda Sue will share some of her fitness secrets with you there. Lets get the forum up and rolling!

Beginning Diet and Fitness

I’m never sure we can ever address the beginning pitfalls of diet and exercise for beginners enough. Afterall, statisitcs show that 90% of people who begin diet and exercise regimens fail them. They might lose a good amount of weight only to regain those pounds and then some once they quit their diets and exercise. Obesity is a chronic condition that we bring upon ourselves, and once we become obese, it is almost impossible for most to ever reverse the trend.

Again, obesity is a chronic condition that we bring on upon ourselves.

We have to take deep personal responsibility for ourselves in order to reverse obesity. The only caveat to obesity being a self inflicted condition is when we have children whose parents allow them to become this way. Of course there are children who are genetically predisposed to obesity, the reality is in western society, we have far too many parents who are lazy in their parental responsibilities. Look around in your grocery store at all the sugar sweetened junk foods that are targeted towards our youngsters. If these products were not selling good, the manufactures would not be producing them for the consumer. If this paragraph pisses you off, and your child is sitting in front of a television snarfing down powedered sugar donuts or anything else sugary, you had best re-evaluate yourself.

If you buy the groceries, you control what your children eat.

It is as simple as that.

We have a responsibility to our children to raise them to be as healthy as they can be. As I stated above obesity is a chronic condition that 90% of people fail at overcoming. As humans, when we become overweight our fat cells do not just puff up, they actually change our biology. Our bodies will respond as if the obese condition is normal for us, and thusly, will begin protecting our fat stores like a mother protecting her newborn baby. It is tough for adults to lose weight, therefore we must do all that we can to protect our children from becoming obese and educate them how to avoid ever becoming so.

Permanently losing weight through diet and exercise is tough, yet is is not impossible.

With diet and exercise we will often say that we wil begin a new routine beginning tomorrow, next week or even next month.

Why? How about thinking that if this decision is important, then begin it right now, as the longer you procrastinate a diet or exercise, the more time you will have to justify putting it off even longer. The perfect moment to get healthy is right now. There is no guarantee you will even see tomorrow. Make it a point to live to your highest potential every day.

Quit over thinking diet and exercise!

Enjoying healthy dietary habits is not rocket science. You do not require any special diet, and you damn sure do not need any fad or gimmick diets that promise you quick weight loss results. Especially if the fad or gimmick requires you to pay money in order to follow them.

Whether you pay for a fad diet or weight loss gimmick or not, plan to lose about 10 pounds the first month as they will often promise you. Next, you should expect to fall off of the fad and then, you can expect to regain those lost pounds with a swiftness.

With every diet, you can expect to lose a good amount of weight in the first few weeks to month and then the losses will rapidly slow down. This happens to everyone wthout exception.

Fad and gimmick diets almost always guarantee up to 10 pounds of lost weight in the first month and this is actually near meaningless in terms of actually getting healthy. With the exception of certain health conditions, your focus needs to be on your body fat only.

The rapid weight loss from fads and gimmicks is almost entirely a result of lost water weight. This loss is a biological response where your body releases water as a result of tapping into your glycogen stores once you have cut back on your calories and carbohydrate intake. Fat mass does not rapidly change in your body and you need to know that your weight can fluctuate by 5 pounds in a single day simply by the amount of water your body is holding onto. You can actually urinate over 4 pounds of urine in a single day.

Get you mind right!

If you are solely trying to lose weight because of vanity reasons, you need to change your thought process and prioroties. Your focus needs to be first and foremost on losing body fat in order to actually live a full and healthy life. By living for a healthy life, your vanity will take care of itself. If your body and mind are healthy, you will appear healthy. If your body is strong you will look strong. There is no faking this no matter what type of clothing you might want to wear through out the year. When you are pudgy, nothing can hide or disguise it.

No special diets or gimmicks are ever necessary to attain a healthy level of body fat.

What is required is personal discipline to not give into the instant gratification, or feeling of reward we receive when biting into a sweet treat. What is required is making your mind up to only consume foods that are nutritionally sound, foods that are not full of empty calories, added sugar and chemical preservatives. Instead of taking the lazy way out for a meal by ordering delivery pizza or going through the local fast food drive through, get your butt off the couch and actually prepare and cook a healthy meal. Cooking a healthy meal does not need be expensive, nor does it take any exotic ingredients, thought processes or complicated steps. You can prepare a dinner of your choice of protein along with any types of vegetables in less than 15 minutes with only a small amount of effort. When you eat nutritionally sound foods, your body will quit it’s cravings for sugar laden junk foods in a fairly short amount of time. You have to decide to make the personal choice of living with a bit of discipline and quit chasing after the instant rewards of junk foods like a junkie looking for his next fix. Make your mind up that you are not going to wimp out every time you spot a candy bar, Given enough time, you will come to understand and appreciate that nothing tastes as good as being fit and trim feels.

If you really feel the need for an occasional treat, you can simply use our blog search function and find a vast array of delicious sugar free dessert recipes. We have either created these recipes ourselves, or modified existing recipes to remove all simple sugars in order for you to enjoy them without ever getting cravings later in the day for simple carbohydrates. Every recipe has been tested before we have published them for your use.

Without going onto any diet, you need to adopt healthy eating as a lifestyle that does not include added sugar or simple carbohydrates unless they come from fruits or vegetable where there is a fiber componenet that regulates how the sugars enter your blood stream. Simple sugars dump into your blood stream which throws your insulin into over drive. Simple sugars, like amphetamines, will give you a pick me up emotionally, then you will crash and crave more. You need to wrap your mind around the fact that you cannot hope to lose body fat to a healthy level by holding onto your unhealthy habits of the past. Odds are that if you became obese because you had no control over your appetite for sugary, high carbohydrate foods in the past, you will not have control in the future. You must get your mind right in regards to living a healthy life over just getting rid of your muffin top that protrudes over your pants top. This is not me trying to be mean, it is reality.

Do not over think diet and exercise!

As with diet, people tend to far over think exercise. Healthy exercise that will help you with getting fit does not require expensive gym memberships, fancy attire, nor high tech equipment.

Get your body up and move it with enough intensity to raise your heart rate into the fat burning zone where you can still have a conversation, only you want your speech to come labored. If you cannot talk, your intensity is too high. If you can speak as easy as you could before beginning your exercise, then you need to pick it up in intensity as you are doing damn near nothing towards burning fat. This is true whether you are walking, dancing, lifing weights or any other activity you decide to adopt.

If you do not know where to begin with exercise, get your tail outside and go for a brisk walk. Unless you have a true physical limitation to preclude this, then there is no reason you can not do it. My 79 year old mother walks a mile and a half every day even when there is snow on the ground. Unless it is pouring down rain when she wants to walk, she gets it done. If it is pouring down rain, she goes when it stops or lets up. This walking requires no programming, no special clothes, no special preparation and costs nothing, yet she reaps many rewards from it as she has a healthy body and mind. I do not care how poor or broke you might be, you can still afford to get out and walk.

If you believe you might want to work into jogging or running, I do advise that you buy a decent pair of shoes desgned for running or jogging. Shoes are something we all need anyhow, so it does not need to be an extravigant extra expense to you. We all need and wear shoes.

For jogging or running, do not put it off until ou can buy yourself any of the popular fitness trackers that so many wear today. The devices are nothing more than a luxury and not a necessity. You can map out a route with the gps on your phone if you want to know your distances. The reality is you need to raise your heart rate into the fat burning zone and then keep it there for at least 30 minutes since it takes 20 minutes to burn through your glycogen stores before your body begins burning fat for energy. A Fitbit or fitness tracker of any type is not going to make you magically burn off more fat.

If you are new to jogging or running, do yourself a favor and ease into increasing your speed, time and distance. Otherwise, you can injure yourself with shin splints, joint and tendon issues. While you need to push yourself, you need to temper this as you stand a good chance of burning out before your body has even began to get close to being conditioned.

Always remember that physical fitness is also about proper nutrition and rest for recovery purposes as I have written about in my article Fitness Triad. If you do not eat enough or get proper rest, you will soon burn out and quit your exercise regimen. The less you have exercised in the past, the worse the problem of burn out will be for you.

I have written numerous articles on the benefits of strength training in order to maintain or build upon your lean musle mass which drives your metabolism to burn fat more efficiently. You can enter key words such as “strength training” into our blog search bar and see everything I have published on this topic. If you decide to incorporate a strength training regimen into your life, whether you are a man or a woman, you need to start out much lighter than you might feel is necessary, and build up in weight, reps and sets slowly. Learning form is first and foremost and must be done with manageable weight and in a rep range where you are not too fatigued to retain proper form. Improper form can hurt you now, or in the futre.

As I have written about exhaustively, you must know that with strength training, nurtition and rest are vitally important.

If you are going to strength train, you need a well rounded program that addresses all of your body and not specific muscles only. If you do a pushing exercise, then you also must do a corresponding pulling exercise in order to not create muscular and strength imbalances that can lead to injury and also just looks bad for the vain. You need to work your body from the tips of your toes to the tips of your fingers and every where in between.

For effective strength training, you need to have a set program and keep a log in order to track your progress. There will be times where you wll stall out, everyone does. With a written record you can look back and see how far you have come. Also, keeping a log is a form of measurement. I always say “what gets measured gets done”.

Fancy and or expensive equipment for strength training is not required. Equipment does not need to be pretty, it needs to be effective and heavy for you. Before going out and buying expensive equipment, try buying used gear online for much cheaper. Strength training is hard work that takes persoanl discipline and great effort. Many people burn out and quit before they even do their bodies any good. There is an abundnace of equipement to be had for cheap as most of it becomes a place where many find a convenient place to hang clothing.

Remember the KISS principle with diet and exercise. Keep It Simple Stupid.

With your nutritional needs, it is difficult to eat enough to gain weight when you eat healthy whole foods without added sugars. It is easy to lose weight when you quit eating foods of convenience. It is easy to maintain a healthy body fat percentage when do not eat simple sugars or processed foods. When you do not bring these products into your home, it does not even take any thought to prepare healthy foods when that is all that you have on hand. If you do not bring cookies and cakes into your home, they are not there to tempt you. If you quit eating added sugar, your body will quit craving it.

If not for the fact I require a certain amount of calories to fuel my physical fitness routine, I would not even count calories. To fuel my routines, I have to actualy force myself on some days to eat enough since healthy whole foods are quite satisfying to the appetite. When your body is getting all of its required nutritional needs, you will not crave anything else. You will not want anything else. This is simple and does not require anything complicated and is maintainable. In fact, the only time discipline is even required is during the period where you are adjusting to no sugar and getting your mind wrapped around living healthy for life.

With your exercise, do not over think what you are going to do. There are programs available on the internet such as Couch to 5K where you can ease your way up from being a couch potato into being able to run in a 5K race in a fairly short amount of time for one example.

Be careful of who and what you follow from the internet though as I have written about in my article Wastes of Time in the Gym. Do not get pulled in by complicated exercises and think you can only find success by doing them too. This thinking is hog wash. For instance, on one very popular weight loss sight forum, there is a very popular character with numerous followers who is always doing push ups where he is hopping around from side to side or in circles while doing them. Or he might be doing foolishness such as doing a few from the ground, then from the tops of dumbbells balanced on end, then back to the ground. All of this malarky might look pretty cool to the uninformed, many might want to emulate him as he appears to be some kind of fitness expert. Yet, he does his push ups with poor form, without going a full range of motion and openly admits that he may soon require shoulder joint replacement surgery. Never fall into thinking you need to be able to do what those who showboat are doing. These showboat exercises are not necessary and can lead to permenent injury. You do not want that for yourself.

Friends, just remember that weight management and exercise takes personal discipline that gets easier over time when you incorporate healthy habits as a lifestyle for good instead of as something temporary with a stopping point. If you focus on a stopping point in order to resume your former unhealthy life habits, then you are doomed to repeat all of them along with a greater fat gain.

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