Author: David Yochim

Fine Tuning our Body

People photo created by shurkin_son – www.freepik.com

I am huge believer that in order to solve a problem, you must first understand your problem. Or at least understand the operating system to which the problem is wreaking havoc. If we understand operating systems, it becomes a much simpler task to fix malfunctions when they occur. If we comprehend theories of operation, we almost never need to rely on others to finely tune our systems for us, unless they have something specialized beyond the basics. This is a truth with our health and wellness as well.

For the vast majority of us, when we have a problem with our car, we usually resort to taking the car to a repair shop where we are at the mercy of the mechanic to fix the breakdown while hoping he does not bankrupt us in the process. We go to the shop for repairs because we either lack the expertise, or the specialized tools required for the task at hand. If we had the same knowledge and tools as the mechanic, we would probably save ourselves money and time and do the repairs for ourselves. We do not do this simply because it is easier and quicker to hand money over to another individual to fix the breakdown for us. And hopefully we can go on our merry way and our problems have gone away. But, if you watch your local news, you likely have seen the fairly common story where a local mechanic charged a high fee, only for the car to still have the same issue arise soon afterwards. If this has happened to you, are you comfortable with going back to that mechanic, or are you going to try another one, and maybe another few until your problem is resolved?

Why do we treat our body’s the same way?

Abstract photo created by freepic.diller – www.freepik.com

Have you ever made the observation that some folks treat their car better than they do their own body?

They do their preventive maintenance,  they fine tune their machines before major repairs are required, and they keep it looking good. For many guys, their car can become an extension of who they are. Yet, while they are fueling their car with premium fuel, they are fueling their own body with low grade foods. They will place expensive oils in the engine, while putting unhealthy oils into their body. Our body is much like that car though, when we put bad fuel and poor quality oil into it, we are soon going to have major issues which require fixing by someone with more expertise and equipment than ourselves.

Man photo created by drobotdean – www.freepik.com

Something any reputable mechanic will tell you about your car is that if you take care of it, most oil and fuel additives are not necessary. In fact, if you just add them randomly without no true understanding of why, you can cause damage to your engine. This is true with supplements we buy for ourselves. Some help us when we have good reason to take them, while others can actually bring us harm when they interact with medications in a bad way, or we take too much. The thing is, we often take supplements to help us feel better, or to help with losing weight. Just the same, when our car might be running rough after years of neglect, we will begin pouring additives into our motors to hopefully make them run better. This works in the short term, but long term, nothing works as good as taking good care of your motor in the first place.

People photo created by marymarkevich – www.freepik.com

The take away message is that with a little bit of thought and basic knowledge of nutrition and fitness, we can almost all have a healthy body at a healthy weight or body fat percentage. When we understand proper nutrition and apply that knowledge to our dietary habits, we can fix ourselves of many ailments that are a direct result of our nutritional lifestyles. When we fuel our body with wholesome foods and cut out foods that are full of added sugars and unhealthy fats, we instantly begin to feel better. Like how a car runs better when it is driven often, when we lay about and never exercise, our body runs inefficiently. The power to fine tune your body is in your hands, you do not need anything special to make your motor purr like a kitten. Fuel it with good fuel and then get it out of the garage on a regular basis, and it will run just fine.

Check out our Facebook page Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way and give us a like and a follow. We also have a new Facebook weight loss and wellness support group too. Just look for David’s Way to Health and Fitness (weightloss) Our support group is private in order to keep out the trolls, just send a request to join if you care to join us.  

Spicy Onion Tartlets

These versatile bites make fabulous hor d’oevres and are an excellent complement to a steak or roast. They can be made an hour ahead and kept at room temperature, then baked to order.

  • 2 medium-large sweet onions, such as Vidalia, cut into very thin wedges (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp hot paprika (preferably Hungarian)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated reduced fat Gruyere or Jarisburg cheese
  • 2 (2.1-ounce) packages frozen mini phyllo pastry shells
  1. To prepare the filling, spray a 12 inch non-stick skillet with non-stick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onions, cover and cook until they are tender and have released their liquid. Uncover and cook until the onions are golden, 30 minutes. Stir in the broth, paprika, and salt; cook until the broth has evaporated and the onions are very tender. (You should have about 2 3/4 cups) Cool 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. Stir the Gruyere into the cooled filling. Place the pastry shells on a baking sheet; spoon a level 1 1/2 tsp of filling into each shell. Bake until the pastry is lightly crisped and the filling is hot. 6 to 8 minutes. Serve at once

Makes 30 servings, 38 calories, 5g carbs, 1g fat, 1g protein

 

What Do You Want to Hear From a Nutritionist?

Food photo created by nakaridore – www.freepik.com

If you have recently decided that you either want to, or need to lose weight, what do you want to hear from either a nutritionist, or a weight loss program representative?

Do you want to hear a hard truth that will get you to your desired goal?

Or would you want the nutritionist, or weight loss program representative to tell you that they have a program that will not demand any type of real change to the foods you eat?

Do you want a temporary diet where you are likely at some point to regain your weight?

Or, do you want to make a lifestyle change that will bring you lasting, successful results of a healthy, fit, and trim body?

People photo created by shurkin_son – www.freepik.com

If you have become sick and tired of being sick and tired of how you might look or feel, I would think it would be obvious you would choose a new lifestyle that is sure to work. Yet, every day of the week, people who eagerly want to lose weight seem to get suckered into paying for weight loss programs that do not bring lasting change to their lives. It ought to be criminal to tell people that they do not need to cut out sugar, sweets and simple carb foods when it should be obvious to a professional the individual has gotten into the shape they are in because of these foods. I was watching a “nutritionist” in a video today talking about not cutting out sweets and having balance in our nutrition. If a major part of your weight problem has been a result of consuming calorically dense and nutritionally poor foods, I truly want to know what “balance” with these foods means. Are we to interpret that balance in our diet is a condition in which different foods are equal in nutrition? Can we balance the nutritional and caloric value of a milk shake with the nutritional and caloric value of a meal consisting of proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats? A large McDonalds milk shake has 520 calories with 67 grams of sugar in it.  Maybe you never get the milk shakes, but do get the Quarter Pound Cheeseburger Value Meal a couple of times per week or more for lunch. What kind of balance is there when this meal brings 1050 calories and 66 grams of sugar for a medium size meal? The caloric value of this meal alone comprises 47% of my daily calories that I consume. How much balance is there if I have a couple pieces of pie or cake in a week?  How much balance is there if I decide to forgo the McDonalds and eat pasta meals a few times a week that also bring a low nutritional value to the foods I eat?

The point  I really want to drive home is the nutritionists and weight loss businesses that tell you that you do not need to cut out any of your favorite foods, that you can eat them as long as your track them, are selling you a bunch of hogwash. It is a less than honest disservice to you that they would tell you this. I am here to tell you, the reason most diet plans fail you is because they do not insist that you make a permanent change to your lifestyle in order to get your body fat down to a healthy level and to then maintain it there. I have been at an unhealthy body fat level and I totally get how hard it is to conceive of giving up certain foods. But from personal experience, I can say that as your taste changes with a change of dietary habits, there comes a point where some of those foods no longer even taste good.

Why do we say to give up sugar?

World photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com

Giving up sugar is a tough thing to do, but the reward for doing so is entirely worth the effort when it comes to how how sugar affects your health.  Research studies have linked a high added sugar intake with various medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as poor dental health. It is an undeniable fact, sugar is simply not good for us! Even if you are not suffering from any of the bad outward effects, sugar can reduce your energy levels,  which leads to fatigue and reduced alertness during the day.  A diet that includes too much sugar may also be a factor in your depression if you suffer from it. Just think, if you eat that medium value meal from above, you have just consumed right at about 16 teaspoons of sugar in one meal. This is considerably more than recommended daily maximums, which are 6 teaspoons (about 24 grams) for females and 9 teaspoons (about 36 grams) for males

You might believe there is no reason to quit eating sugar. Sugar is a naturally occurring substance that is in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. I want to make it a point that you know that consuming whole foods which contain natural sugar is perfectly fine. Plant foods also have high amounts of fiber, essential minerals, and antioxidants, and dairy foods contain protein and calcium. Because your body digests these foods slowly, the natural sugar in them offers a steady energy supply to your cells. A high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains also has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. What we want you to cut out is added sugars and simple carbohydrates that are calorie dense, low in nutrition and have no fiber component to help regulate the absorption of sugar into your blood and cells.

With far too many foods we can find on our grocers shelves, we have a problem where the manufactures add sugar to improve taste  or to extend shelf life. In the Standard American Diet (SAD), the top sources of sugar in our food and drink are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. But added sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, like soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup.

The result: we consume way too much added sugar!

In a study published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, Dr. Hu and his colleagues found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. Over the course of the 15-year study, people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar. (1)

Have you ever looked at someone smoking a cigarette and thought about how harmful cigarettes are to our heart health, as you were washing down a few cookies with a soft drink?

Consumption of added sugars has been implicated in increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers. (2)

Think for a minute about what the last few paragraphs said. As we age, it is not uncommon that many of us will be afflicted by one or more of these conditions. The sad thing is, these conditions are brought on through poor nutritional habits. They are self inflicted just the same as those conditions that are brought on by smoking. Now, consider what you are doing to your health if you are a smoker who also has a sweet tooth!

Sugar is an addictive substance!

When we consume sugar, it creates a short-term high and a spark of energy in the body. Some studies have suggested sugar is as addictive as cocaine.  This is because we enjoy the dopamine release sugar brings. Dopamine makes us feel good. Sugar also releases endorphins in the body which combine with other chemicals in the body that result in a surge of energy. The problem is, once we mentally connect sugar with help providing energy, we very likely may become dependent on it. We may also begin to crave sugar to balance out irritability, emotional lows, and other conditions. Eventually, many of us find that we have little to no control over avoiding sugary foods, and a sugar addiction has developed.

People who are enduring breakups or other emotionally stressful situations often turn to chocolate or pints of ice cream to comfort themselves during difficult times. It is quite common that those who turn to sugar to deal with emotional issues are more likely to become addicted. Another particularly worrisome aspect of sugar addiction is when we binge eat. Binge eating is when we eat too much, too rapidly, and then we often suffer feelings of guilt, shame, and disgust with ourselves.  We often can find ourselves binge eating for emotional regulation and self-medication. It is critical to remember that food, especially sugar, is a short-term fix for emotional conditions.

What to look for on food labels.

Reading food labels is one of the best ways to monitor your intake of added sugar. Look for the following names for added sugar and try to either avoid, or cut back on the amount or frequency of the foods where they are found:

  • brown sugar
  • corn sweetener
  • corn syrup
  • fruit juice concentrates
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • malt sugar
  • molasses
  • syrup sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose).

Total sugar, which includes added sugar, is often listed in grams. Note the number of grams of sugar per serving as well as the total number of servings. “It might only say 5 grams of sugar per serving, but if the normal amount you eat is actually three or four servings, you can easily consume 20 grams of sugar and thus a lot of added sugar.

In closing, I ask again; What do you want to hear from a nutritionist or weight loss business?

Do you want to hear it is perfectly fine to continue eating the same foods as before as long as you keep it in balance?

Or, would you rather hear the straight truth, as I will tell you why this talk of continuing to eat the same foods is a disservice to you and your health?

What kind of results do you really want for yourself?

 

(1)https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar#:~:text=%22The%20effects%20of%20added%20sugar,Hu.

(2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133084/#:~:text=Consumption%20of%20added%20sugars%20has,decline%20and%20even%20some%20cancers.

Color My World With Sound

 

If you are one of our regular readers, you likely already know I love to get out in the great outdoors and hike. Hiking is great exercise that is as wonderful for improving our mental outlook as it is for conditioning our bodies. Today, I hiked a trail that I hit pretty often on the weekends, however, today’s experience was entirely brand new to me. It was as if I had never been on this particular trail before. And in a larger sense than I ever could have realized, I had never been there fully until today. Today I had full hearing which I have not had for over thirty years now. My hearing has been damaged from my years in the military working around aircraft on flight lines and on the decks of aircraft carriers, and from years of extensive fire arms training. We might add a little blame on too loud rock and roll as well.

In case you are wondering what hearing has to do with weight loss/management and overall physical fitness, it has tons to do with these issues as hearing is an integral component of wellness. At David’s Way. we address weight loss/management from a holistic approach where the individual as a whole is considered. We never have, nor will we ever, only concentrate on calories in verses calories burned in assisting others with their weight management journey’s. Your entire well being needs to be brought into balance as a part of weight loss. Now, I have found a missing piece to my puzzle that was larger than I had ever dreamed.

Recently, I visited the VA to address a few issues and to get back into the system. I decided to get a full physical work up to include eyes and my hearing which I knew from my military past was damaged. I had no idea that my hearing was as bad as it is, and was quite stunned to learn that I qualified for hearing aids. I thought my hearing was good enough and that my lovely wife just needed to learn to speak up when she was speaking to me. I was wrong.

Monday of this week, I was fitted for new hearing aids. ReSound LiNX Quattro to be exact. My God, these hearing aids are wonderful. The first thing I became aware of hearing was the ticking of a clock on the wall as the audiologist fine tuned them to my needs. Then I could hear the sound of air rushing through the vent in the ceiling and the sound of feet on the floor as people were walking in the hall outside of her office. It was amazing the sounds that were coming to life for me. These particular hearing aids also have an app along with different settings for normal use, a focused noise cancelling setting for conversations with a lot of back ground noise, a setting for music, and lastly, one for the great outdoors which I came to fully appreciate today on my hike.

Color my world with sound!

I have been playing around with the different settings on my hearing aids, but had not really done much with the outdoor setting until this morning. I got into my truck and drove over to Weston Bend for my hike while jamming on a little classic rock with my hearing aids set to the music setting. It’s nice to fully hear the tunes without having to crank the radio too loudly anymore. Once I got to the trail head, I donned my camel back full of drinking water and then switched my hearing aids to the outdoors setting where my mind was blown away with all the old familiar sounds of nature I had not heard in several years. My hearing has been poor long enough that I had totally forgotten how noisy the great outdoors can be.

Color my world with the sounds of nature. As I walked along the meandering trail, up and down hills and such, the woods came completely alive for me. I could hear gravel crunching underneath my shoes. I could hear the songs of several species of birds just a singing and tweeting away. The sounds of summer locusts was almost deafening, I could not remember the last time I heard them be so loud. I could hear Wood Peckers pecking away at trees along with the soothing sounds of water emanating from the babbling brook down at the southeast side of the trail. As many times as I have hiked this trail, even when the waters in the creek has been high and fast moving, I have never heard it there before.

As I hiked the trail, even the trees were coming to life. I could hear a gentle breeze rustling the leaves and the creaking of tree limbs as they swayed in the breeze. I kept hearing one odd noise in particular that I soon realized was the sound of acorns and other seed pods falling from the trees and landing on the ground all around me.

Millions of little frogs call these woods home. I see them all the time, jumping out of my way, clearing my path as I hike down the trail. Today, I could actually hear the sounds as they leapt into the shrubbery and weeds which line the trail. I have to even admit, I enjoyed hearing the sounds of mosquitos buzzing by me along with a few flies and bumble bee’s.

It was a beautiful day.

I cannot believe how much of life I have missed through silence alone.

Even though my hearing was not entirely gone, my world was much grayer over the last thirty some odd years until I had my hearing restored.

As I have said, at David’s Way, we believe treating the individual as a whole is integral to healthy weight loss/management and towards over all wellness. There are many singular paths that can be followed to lose pounds on the scale, but we believe in exploring all the paths we encounter toward our well being. Maintaining a physically fit and health body requires also having a healthy mind and spirit. It is not a one or the other choice, both of these sides in our wellness have to be addressed. To be at our optimum level, we have to fine tune our lives each and every day. If we are physically active or sedentary for a day, we have to adjust our food intake accordingly. If we want to progress in strength training, we sometimes need to only add one or two pounds at a time to our barbell to keep making forward progress. Sometimes, we even need to remove a few pounds from what we might normally workout with in order to keep progressing. We have to address areas in our lives that cause us stress and fix them. Even when the stresses are small, they require fixing. Sometimes, we might have areas of our lives where we are lacking and do not know it. Yet, when we fine tune those areas too, the quality of our lives improve. Live your life to your fullest, never settle for mediocrity.. Learn to fix enough of the small stressors in your life and the big ones will take care of themselves.

If you or a loved one have an issue with hearing, get yourself checked out. Even if you believe that hearing aids might be cost prohibitive for you, there are programs out there to assist the needy in these regards if only you reach out to them.

Fine tune your existence.

Color my world with sound.

Ladies, Forget About Getting Bulky from Strength Training

Young healthy woman training Woman photo created by master1305 – www.freepik.comupper body with weights at the beach. Single caucasian female model practicing at the river side in sunny day. Concept of healthy lifestyle, sport, fitness, bodybuilding.

Resistance training with weights is the best form of exercise for anyone, male or female. Yet far too often women will shy away from it. Besides having a lack of knowledge on how to proceed with a good strength training program, many women shun it because they are afraid of getting too bulky. News flash; You will never get bulky from lifting weights on accident. Weight training takes a considerable amount of work even for men to get bulky. The female body does not produce the testosterone to do so. If you think you will become bulky, lose your femininity, and look like a freak, it will be only because at some point you made the conscious decision to become a She-Hulk. It will never just happen. But what will happen is you will become mentally stronger as well as physically. Your self esteem and sense of self worth will increase as you begin to enjoy your new look. Ladies, strength training will improve your life in countless ways as every time you get under the iron, you will feel more and more formidable. It is guaranteed to make you better across the full spectrum of your life.

Why care about muscles?

When it comes to weight loss, many of you might go on on too large of a caloric deficit, and will lose muscle along with your body fat.

This is not a good thing!

It will only serve to keep you at a high body fat percentage even if you have hit your goal weight. The loss of muscle will slow your metabolism, and it will also make you weaker.

This is a fact.

And then for the downside; if you regain the weight you have lost without also replacing the lost lean muscle mass, your body fat will only be at a higher percentage than before. Therefore your metabolism will be slowed even more than it was before your initial weight loss. When you yo-yo diet, you are only compounding the problem with each and every up and down cycle you take your body through this insanity. Any time you lose your lean muscle mass, you are only making yourself physically weaker. At some point there could be severe consequences from not maintaining lean muscle mass.

We all know that our muscles give us the power to lift heavy objects, whether it is a bag full of groceries or a crying baby we need to comfort. They give us the power to stroll around the zoo with our children and or grandchildren, and the ability to accomplish a multitude of fun activities. None of these activities require us to be star athletes, but they do require a modicum of strength and endurance to take part in. You need, and should desire that your muscles have the ability to accomplish the basic functions of life and then some. Yet many, lose these simple abilities that most of us took for granted before our nation’s obesity problem became an epidemic. Resistance training is of great importance for a healthy body, while hormones are directly responsible for a large portion of your metabolism, your muscles ramp up your ability to burn off unhealthy and undesirable fat, your muscles will expedite the burning of calories while at work or when at rest.

Our body’s lean muscle mass give us the metabolic ability to more efficiently burn calories every time we move. This is true whether we are under the iron, swimming in a pool, or even just getting up and pushing a vacuum cleaner around our living room. Our lean muscle is constantly burning calories, therefore, the more you have, the more calories you will burn even at rest. A simple factoid for you; Our muscles will burn 40 to 120 calories a day just to sustain it’s existence, while fat will only feed on 1 to 3 calories per day. That is a pretty stark contrast between the two components of our body’s. Just by adding about 16 ounces of lean muscle mass to your body , about enough to fill a soda pop bottle, your metabolism will continue to increase your ability to burn off body fat.

Ladies, when you think of strength training, no matter the form in mind, forget the idea of becoming the female equivalent to Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is not going to happen without a lot of hours expended in the gym, and then only with the help of illegal steroids. You are not going to bulk up, but your muscles will appear fuller as your body fat decreases. This will make you look as healthy as you will feel with your newfound body.

By focusing on compound muscle groups in your workouts, and following the right workout plan, you will firm up and stimulate the amount of growth your body requires to burn more calories each day. The best thing is, you do not need expensive equipment or gym memberships in order to realize a difference. You can accomplish everything you need from the comfort of your own home while using your own body weight to get there. If you have questions about strength training, Brenda Sue would be happy to answer them. I began training her in free weights about 3 years ago. When she began, she could only dead lift about 50 pounds. She now dead lifts 210 pounds for multiple repetitions. And she has not become a bulky She-Hulk, nor has she lost any of her femininity in the process. Despite me now referring to her as the “Beast of Bama”, she is still a proud and petite Southern Belle in all aspects of how she lives and conducts her life.

Peaceful Inspiration from Nature

My personal favorite physical fitness activity is strength training, while my second favorite, by a fairly narrow margin, is getting out into the great outdoors on a good hike on dirt trails that meander through out our local woodlands here in north eastern Kansas and north western Missouri. Today, on an off day from weight training, I got in a most excellent hike of a little over seven miles on some really great trails at Weston Bend Park in Missouri, about 25 miles north of Kansas City.

This particular trail head begins at a prepared asphalt trail and then meanders through a wooded ravine and then gradually takes you upwards to the top of a high ridge that overlooks the Missouri River Valley and the river itself. This time of year is a beautiful time to hike there as the leaves on the trees are beginning to change to their fall colors before dropping to the ground for the winter months. The falling leaves will lay on the ground and rot before being absorbed into the soil as nutrients for next springs new growth. Much in the same manner as how our own body’s absorb nutrients for growth and cellular repairs when we are at rest.

Getting out on the trail is a relaxing method of vigorous exercise for myself. It is vigorous, as I make it a point to hike at a rate that keeps my heart rate within the aerobic fat burning zone for my body over the entire course of my outing. Yet as my heart rate comes up, I can only feel relaxed in mind, body and soul as my eyes take in the beautiful surrounding sights while my ears pick up on the subtle sounds of nature living all around me. I am but a small microcosm of all the life around me despite the fact I only encountered a couple other hikers out on the trail this morning. Surrounded by life, yet alone where I can bring upon an inner peace to settle my post traumatic stress.

Looking out, over the Mighty Missouri River from atop the ridge.

The hills and ridges in this part of America were cut by glaciers during the last ice age. I look upon these two humongous slabs of stone and wonder if they were one piece many centuries or thousands of years ago. Maybe this huge rock was split by the awe inspiring force of nature when water found it’s way into a small crack, and with each cycle of freezing, the rock split more and more until it was separated enough for a seedling to become a sapling, which eventually grew into a mature tree in the center of these massive stones.

When out hiking in the woods, my mind is freed which allows me to find inspiration to write just about anywhere about anything. You might find it odd, but the inspiration which came from this split rock was the thoughts of how just like water seeping into a small crack, and eventually breaking the rock apart, we do the same thing within our body’s when we eat a diet that is calorie dense and nutritionally poor. Too many simple carbohydrates with cookies, cupcakes and other junk foods cause our pancreas to release floods of insulin as a result of high blood sugar.

The rocks, with their cracks remind me of our cellular structure, which opens up to the entry of blood sugar when signaled by our insulin. Over time, with centuries of thawing and freezing cycles, the rock become fractured until it finally breaks apart. In the same manner, when our blood sugar remains high for too long, and our body’s begin suffering ill effects such as damage to your nerves, blood vessels and internal organs. It can also cause:

  • vaginal and skin infections
  • slow healing cuts and sores
  • loss of vision
  • nerve damage
  • and erectile dysfunction

Whether you realize it or not, our body is just another element of the nature which surrounds us, It is a shame, a sad reality that far too many people never give the health of their own glorious body the same care as they might give to plant or animal life out in the nature.

Some people shake their heads in disbelief when I speak of going out and hiking anywhere from 5 to 10 miles or better, or when I talk about dedicating no less than four days a week to strength train for two hours at a time. Some assume that to follow my way of living, they might have to go to the same physical extremes as myself in order to get the same results.

You do not have to go to my extremes to get fit and healthy, There is no one size fits all exercise regimen. However, you do need to be active at a level that is appropriate for your level of fitness and capabilities. Your activity needs to match your needs and preferences.

You need to know, that while you can lose body fat and be healthy without exercise, you are only selling yourself short in your efforts. Regular activity reduces both insulin levels and insulin resistance. Regular physical fitness activities can and will help with lowering high blood pressure, improve your total blood fat level, elevate your good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL). Exercise on a consistent basis will lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, while decreasing your body fat and your risk of insulin related heart disease such as Coronary Artery and Coronary Heart Diseases.

Exercise does not, nor should it ever be a chore to suffer through. You should select an activity that is fun and easy to fit into your busy schedule. Instead of going all out hardcore like, you need to start slow and easy and increase your intensity over time in order to not burn out before you have derived any benefit from your activity.

Consistency is going to be key to your success with any physical fitness activity/program. Again, you will need to select an activity that is fun for you and easy to fit into your schedule in order to make being consistent easier on yourself. You do not require a daily commitment in order to be consistent. You can pick 3 to 5 days a week to exercise and use your off days as time for rest and recovery. These two elements, along with nutrition are as important as the physical activity itself.

By giving yourself a break a few days per week away from exercise, you will be more inclined to stick with it as it is not an every day chore. By taking a few days off you will always be able to attack a new exercise session with a fully rested body which will give you the best results, more bang for your buck if you will.

Again, find an activity that you will enjoy. Never force yourself to do something you really do not want to do as you will come to resent it. By all means, while you need to push yourself to always excel at your activity, never push yourself past your level of endurance as you are likely to come to hate what you are doing. This is not helpful in helping you to achieve your goals.

My advice is to please try to be loving, understanding, firm and compassionate with yourself. In the end, it makes good heart sense on all levels.

Active minds and active bodies never grow old. – Lee Salk

 

Healthy Weigh In Habits

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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 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

Absurd Weight Loss Gimmicks

screenshot_20181115-113009~2642337351146435104..jpg
Free photo stock from Pexels

Does anyone else ever look at different weight loss methods that have been produced over the years and either sit and scratch your head in wonder or cringe at how extremely risky they may be to your health? This was a topic of a recent conversation I had with my friend and I thought it might be interesting to compile some of the absurd ways people have tried to use for weight loss over the last several years. I truly feel sorry for folks who have been reduced to attempting drastic measures in order to lose weight. The science behind weight loss is quite simple, yet putting it in play is a insurmountable task for so many.

In no specific order, here is a list of absurd weight loss methods compiled from the internet:

Alli Weight Loss pill. With Alli, you take their pill and eat a diet from their book provided along with your supply of pills. The first thing to note is their diet plan by itself is actually quite good and you can lose weight without the use of their pills. The problem is the side effects from the pill which include:

  • changes in your bowel function because of the unabsorbed fat,
  • fatty/oily stool,
  • oily spotting in your undergarments,
  • orange or brown colored oil in your stool,
  • intestinal gas with discharge,
  • loose stools,
  • a feeling of needing to have a bowel movement right away,
  • increased number of bowel movements,
  • poor bowel control,
  • stomach pain,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea, or
  • rectal pain.

Juice Cleanse. While a juice-only diet might leave you feeling light and clean, the problem lies in that juices have almost zero protein. So, you will lose water weight and muscle mass, while not losing fat. Once you have returned to solid food, the pounds are going to pile back on.

Drinking Vinegar. Some findings do show that vinegar promotes healthier blood sugar levels and feelings of satiety. But drinking highly acidic liquids such as vinegar can irritate your throat and stomach, it is nothing you want to do on a regular basis my friends. How about just leaving vinegar to your salad dressings instead and eating a well balanced diet.

Eating fat free everything. Not consuming fats, including healthy ones like olive oil and avocado will leave your food quite bland, and it could make you sick. Not eating enough fat has been associated with hunger, dry skin, and extreme mental fatigue. Not to mention low fat diets are completely ineffective for weight loss. If you pay attention to nutrition labels, usually you will find that fat free foods are loaded with sugar to enhance the flavor. Your body needs fat to properly absorb nutrients in your digestive tract. Your body does not need, nor does it benefit, from simple refined sugar.

Drinking ice cold water. If you prefer a glass of ice water over room temperature water, that’s totally cool. But, if you are only adding ice to your glass to lose weight, your efforts are not likely to pay off. You might have heard that drinking colder water forces your body to work harder, to burn calories, in order to bring the water up to your body’s internal temperature. Well, that is somewhat true.  However, the process only burns about 8 calories in doing so. That is pretty measly, I know you have to be smarter than this.

Laxative Teas. Uh yeah, these teas might leave you feeling a little lighter in your loafers once you get off the toilet. but they do not actually help you to lose fat and they can be harmful to your health. Teas that cause an increase in bowel movements only result in you losing water and could cause you health issues by disrupting your electrolyte levels.

Eating only one food. Well duh, there is a solid reason why gimmicks like the Grapefruit Diet or Cabbage Soup Diet never really caught on. They are crash diets that only lead to short-term weight loss. Long term, they are a guarantee for weight gain and an unhealthy relationship with food. Plus, eating only one thing makes it impossible to meet your nutritional needs and increases your odds of deficiencies.

Eating less than 1200 calories. Cutting calories may be the key to losing weight, but if you cut them too far, your waistline is not going to budge, When you do not consume enough calories, your metabolism slows down and you will not have the energy for workouts, and even worse, it is more likely at some point you are going to binge eat.

Commercial Detox/Colon Cleanse. The body does an amazing job all on its own and does not need silly supplement detox programs to cleanse it. It’s absurd, there aren’t caked-on toxins hanging around your colon needing to be removed. Want to ‘detox? Purge your diet of manufactured food-like substances and eat fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein!

Going Raw Vegan. If you are already vegan and want to kick it up a notch, know that this is not the best diet for maintainable weight loss. In addition to avoiding animal products, or their by-products, the raw vegan diet involves not eating foods that have been heated above 104F. The premise behind this nonsense is that you maintain the nutritional integrity of the foods you are eating. However, certain foods such as carrots, tomatoes and spinach benefit from cooking as the heat helps extract nutrients.

Eating nothing but soups. Just like juicing, souping requires you to stay away from solids and to drink your meals in their pulverized form. Although soups generally have more fiber and protein than juices, they are usually high in sodium which may cause your blood pressure to become elevated. This diet is also hardly maintainable as before long you will likely become bored with not having food you can chew.

Military Diet. This former Platoon Sergeant really wants to drop who ever named this diet into the “Forward Leaning Rest” pushup position.  This nonsense diet claims you can lose up to 10 pounds in 3 days by eating strict meals such as a cup of cottage cheese with a hard boiled egg and 5 saltine crackers. This issue besides being incredibly far fetched in it’s name is it is clearly unsustainable. This diet lacks lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and health fats. For the life of me, I am retired military and never heard of this nonsense during either my Navy or Army years of service. The whole premise of this reminds me of sending new guys out to retrieve a yard of flight line and a bucket of steam.

Doing the Master Cleanse. Ooh, some entertainers tried this one so really, I must go out and stock up on lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. You might lose weight on this diet, but it will be water weight, lean muscle tissue, and possibly bone too. You are for sure going to regain the lost weight as soon as you begin your regular diet again. This is certainly not a long term solution to losing weight and keeping it off. There is no proof that it actually detoxifies your body. I’m pretty sure it was 8th grade Biology where I learned this was actually the function of our liver.

Not eating egg yolks. Although the yolk contains more calories than the whites, the yolk also packs in 43 percent of the eggs total protein as well as metabolism stoking nutrients including fat soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and most significantly, choline. Choline is a powerful compound that attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. If you are throwing away the yolks, just stop. Also, know that the myth of dietary cholesterol causing you to have cholesterol was busted several years ago now.

Wraps instead of sandwiches. While a wrap may be thinner than a fluffy slice of bread, leading you to believe it has less calories than bread, many tortillas pack in more fat and calories than 2 slices of bread in order to achieve that doughy texture. If you are not a fan of bread, try wrapping your sandwich meats in romaine lettuce leaves as a great alternative. The exception to this would be if you use low carb, high fiber tortilla’s.

Eating margarine instead of butter. Butter gets a bad rap for being high in saturated fats, but it has been linked to weight loss thanks to the natural concentration of CLA. Margarine is made with partially hydrogenated fats which potentially pack in heart disease inducing man mad trans fats.

Eating cotton balls. In the cotton ball diet, those in search of a smaller waistline eat cotton balls soaked in juice to curb their appetite and dramatically cut their daily calorie intake. But eating cotton balls isn’t just unappetizing. It’s potentially deadly.

Training with cellophane round your body. This may sound incredibly stupid, but I have seen people in the gym training with a layer of cellophane wrapped around their bodies. They naively believe that by exercising with the cellophane it will encourage their body to burn more calories as they sweat more. However, the additional sweat leads to loss of water, not fat. There is another stupid version of this being sold on multi level marketing called It Works. With “It Works”, you rub a herbal or mineral lotion around your belly and wrap it in order to “sweat” out the toxins causing you to be fat.

There are many more absurd methods folks have attempted in their desperation to lose weight. My friends,  I discussed most of these today and thought it would be enlightening to list them for folks to see and think about before attempting themselves.

When it comes to weight loss, it truly is simple to consume less calories than you expend. The key is to exercise and eat a well rounded diet of whole foods. Simply put, do not consume processed foods which are high in sodium, sugars and fat.

Check out Facebook page, Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way and give us a like and a follow. If you would like to be a part of a weight loss, health and wellness support group, we have a group linked to the Facebook page you can join. The group is private in order for us to keep out the trolls and trouble makers. It is a safe place to share your triumphs and set backs with your health initiative.

Your Gut Microbiome

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

As promised to one of our faithful readers I am sharing information in regards to your gut health and why it is important. The following is excerpted from my curriculum in my Nutrition and Fitness Consultant certification, AFPA Fitness

Eight benefits of a healthy gut microbiome.

When you eat a meal, your stomach and small intestine will inevitably struggle to digest certain compounds within it. This is where microbes come into the picture. Many varieties work to break down the particles in your food, which helps your system extract the vitamins and nutrients it contains.

However, these bacteria do even more for your health. Below are some of the most significant benefits of maintaining a well-functioning microbiome.

1. Maintains a healthy metabolism.

A balanced gut microbiome controls a variety of metabolic functions that aid digestion. For instance, gut bacteria help your system extract vitamins, synthesize amino acids, and process insoluble fiber and resistant starches. This gives your system the energy it needs to maintain a healthy metabolism.

2. Promotes a stronger immune system.

When your microbiome is populated with beneficial microbes, there’s less room for pathogens to establish themselves. Some kinds of bacteria also produce antimicrobial substances called bacteriocins that inhibit the growth of competing microbes. This is called the competitive-exclusion effect, and it helps promote a stronger immune system. A lacking microbiome can lead to problems, as young children with allergies often have different compositions of intestinal bacteria than their peers who don’t.

3. Improves heart health.

A well-balanced gut microbiome can improve your heart health. One study of 1,500 people found that their digestive bacteria influenced their “good” HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which affected the functioning of their cardiovascular system. Likewise, certain pathogenic microbes produced trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a compound that can build up and block arteries, potentially triggering heart attacks and contributing to heart disease.

4. Controls the Gut-Brain Axis.

Your stomach and brain have a direct connection known as the gut-brain axis. This communication system impacts the signaling between the two organs, and it also creates a potential pathway for digestive bacteria to influence the brain, and vice versa. Recent research reveals that stress and depression affect the makeup of your gut microbiota, and its functioning will affect your mood.

5. Reduces the risk of weight gain.

The type of bacteria that reside within your gut impact your risk of obesity and other metabolic conditions. A 2014 study revealed that your genetics play a role in what bacteria are in your stomach and that some types are found more often in thinner people. For instance, Christensenellaceae minuta (a strain of bacteria influenced by genes) is more common in those with low body weight. Even more revealing, tests with mice suggest that introducing this type of bacteria into the digestive system can cause you to gain less weight and potentially prevent obesity.

Likewise, a lack of bacteria in the large intestine can slow down the activity of brown fat, which can cause you to burn fewer calories and gain weight. The evidence is still forthcoming about the direct relationship between gut bacteria and obesity, but the connection is worth exploring further.

6. Plays a role in Autism Symptoms.

Autism research today seemingly introduces more questions than answers, but the role of gut bacteria is gaining extra scrutiny. A 2013 study found that children with autism had lower levels of three types of digestive microbes (Prevotella, Coprococcus,and Veillonellaceae) than other children. Likewise, the concentrations of byproducts produced by specific types of gut bacteria in the fecal material of autistic children were statistically different than those without it. This leads researchers to speculate that gut microbes make a significant impact on the connection between the gut and the brain, and potentially affect brain functioning.

7. Affects Cancer development and treatment.

Recent research shows a strong link between gut bacteria and cancer. A 2013 study shows that the presence of Lactobacillus johnsonii in the intestines might impact your risk of developing lymphoma. Further research shows that the gut bacteria Helicobacter pylori might deactivate your immune system’s ability to regulate inflammation, potentially triggering ulcers and stomach cancer. Likewise, other reports have found that certain strains of gut bacteria can improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment like chemotherapy.

8. Plays a role in mental health.

Gut bacteria is a factor in your mental state, as the microbes produce a variety of neurochemicals that are used to regulate your brain’s physiological and mental state. According to reports from the American Psychological Association, 95% of your body’s serotonin supply (a compound that affects mood and happiness) is produced by gut bacteria.

How to promote a healthy microbiome.

How can you improve your digestive system’s bacterial levels? While most healthy people have relatively similar microbiomes, your lifestyle, environmental exposures, and diet will all make a difference in its precise makeup. While there is still a lot to learn about what influences your digestive microbial makeup, research shows that one of the best ways to work towards improvements is changing what you eat.

Optimal diet for better gut health.

If you’re ready to make a positive change for your microbiome, your diet is the best place to start. Every meal presents a new opportunity to affect your intestine’s microbe population, so follow these suggestions to keep it filled with beneficial microbes.

  • Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods: Refined carbohydrates and processed foods break down quickly in your small intestine without the help of microbes. This causes them to go hungry and potentially begin breaking down the cells that line your organs. This allows particles of food to break through the walls, enter your bloodstream, and trigger inflammation. To prevent problems, avoid these foods altogether.
  • Eat Leafy Greens and Low-Sugar Fruits: For gut health, try to get your carbohydrates from fresh produce. Smart options include kale, spinach, radishes, leeks, asparagus, carrots, garlic, and turmeric. If you plan to eat grains, stick to varieties with plenty of fiber and beneficial carbs like beta-glucan, which your gut bacteria can digest.
  • Try a Food Elimination Diet: If you aren’t sure what food is triggering your digestive problems, consider a food elimination diet. You can remove common foods from your diet (like dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts, and corn) for a week or more and see if your symptoms improve. For better results, stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners as well.
  • Consume Fermented Foods: Thanks to their probiotic content, fermented foods are a smart way to seed your stomach with beneficial bacteria. Strive to fill your diet with sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, pickles, and other fermented foods.
  • Take Probiotics: You can improve your digestive bacteria levels by supplementing your natural levels with quality probiotics. This is especially beneficial after a round of antibiotics, as it helps you replenish your system’s depleted bacteria supply with beneficial microbes.
  • Eat Prebiotic Foods: Though probiotics get most of the attention, prebiotic foods will also improve your microbiome. Prebiotics are a type a fiber that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria, and they can be found in bananas, oats, apples, artichokes, and more.
  • Breastfeed Babies for Half a Year: Regarding digestive bacteria, infants are essentially born as a blank slate. That’s why breastfeeding is critical for developing a healthy microbiome, as it introduces bacteria from mom’s system to her baby’s.
  • Fill Up on Polyphenols: As the plant compounds found in green tea, olive oil, red wine, and dark chocolate, polyphenols are broken down by the microbiome to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Balance your Microbiome for better health.

The state of your digestive system has wide-reaching consequences for your health, which is why monitoring your microbiome is essential for optimal wellness. By paying attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel, you can encourage the presence of good gut bacteria. Taking time to build awareness about what works for your body will benefit you in a multitude of ways.

Check out Facebook page, Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way and give us a like and a follow. If you would like to be a part of a weight loss, health and wellness support group, we have a group linked to the Facebook page you can join. The group is private in order for us to keep out the trolls and trouble makers. It is a safe place to share your triumphs and set backs with your health initiative.

Diet and Fitness Mistakes I Have Made

Making a list of diet and fitness mistakes I have made over the years might get kind of lengthy as I have made more than a few. Something I learned long ago is smart people learn from the mistakes of others, it might be said I am a slow learner. I hope you can learn a few lessons from my past mistakes, here goes:

1. I just did not care about diet and fitness at a couple of times in my life. This point is the one I want to place the most emphasis on, I did not care. Now, how about that for being not only less than intelligent, but also pretty selfish too? This mindset is less than intelligent as, at some point, an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle will jump up and pop you in the nose before you can even say ouch. You might get away with this for a period of time, but unhealthy eating and laziness will always, at some point, catch up with you.

I guarantee this. Without fail, your health will begin taking a nose dive on you at some point. For some, this may come later in life, but for many, they will become stoved up with old peoples issues and ailments far too prematurely. Look around yourself on any given day and you will see folks in their early forties who are obese, out of shape to be able to function to their full capabilities as a human. Every day people become victims of their own poor lifestyles and then spend a good portion of time and a great deal of money on medical care which could otherwise be preventable.

Not taking care of your own health is a naive, or even a selfish attitude, that is never going to be just about you. Your poor choices will always become the business of someone else when you cannot fully take care of yourself. If you are going to be selfish about your own health, you might begin looking now for the loved one who is going to have to pick up the broken pieces behind you.

2. I never tracked my intake of food. When you eat with no regard to what types of food you are consuming, nor the amount of calories, you are going to become obese at some point. Most people can live a healthy life on 1800 to 2500 calories per day, especially if they eat whole, healthy foods that are not processed, contain added sugars and or tons of preservatives. You can very easily consume in excess of your daily needs in just one outing to a fast food restaurant. With all of the garbage foods of so called convenience of today, it is no difficult chore that people can find themselves consuming 5000 to 6000 calories per day, or even more. This is why in America we have an obesity epidemic where close to three fourths of our population is either already obese, or at a minimum, overweight. Sadly, this is also why our nation’s military is having a hard time finding quality recruits that can even meet the basic requirements to enlist. Our children are growing up obese, out of shape and suffering preventable physical ailments such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome to name just a few.

3. I over-estimated my caloric burn from exercise. This is a common problem where people greatly exaggerate their physical exertion from exercise. The thing is, many people have no clue what vigorous exercise truly is. Nor do they understand or know how to recognize the intensity of their efforts. I have seen this on a few weight loss social media sights where people will justify to themselves eating more than they need because they “exercised” at high intensity for at least an hour.

News flash; If you are overweight, or obese, it is highly unlikely that you are going to exercise at high intensity for a full hour. Really, it just is not going to happen simply because you would need to be an elite level athlete. If you were an elite level athlete, you would not be struggling to lose 100 pounds in the first place. This is just the truth, even if it hurts.

If you can easily carry on a conversation during your exercise, you are exercising at a low intensity. You can still carry on a conversation with ease because your heart rate is not elevated enough to burn fat. While a slow walk around the neighborhood is certainly much better than sitting your tail on the couch watching the boob tube, it is not going to justify going out for an ice cream sundae afterwards.

You want your heart rate to be at a level where you can still speak in conversation, but your words need to be labored. This is when you are at a medium intensity level. When your heart rate makes your conversation labored, you are at the fat burning aerobic zone for burning fat. This is where you need to be when doing cardiovascular exercises. Once your heart rate is in the right zone, it will take your body at least 20 minutes to burn through it’s glycogen stores before it begins burning fat for energy. You might need to work up to this, and that is perfectly fine. I would encourage you to do so. But in the meantime, do not over rate how much fat you are burning if you cannot go at it for at minimum of a half hour, and at least three times per week, four times preferably.

If you are huffing and puffing and cannot talk, you are at a high level of intensity. At this point, you have entered the anaerobic zone and need to slow down your intensity to the medium level. If you are over weight or obese, you are not going to be able to exercise at this intensity for more than a couple minutes at best. Period. I do not care who you are. If you go onto your diet app and log that you exercised at a high intensity for a solid hour, you either do not understand intensity levels or you are lying to yourself in order to shovel more sugary crap into your belly. If you do this, you are likely to never lose your weight and should take a moment to evaluate yourself, your goals and just how you are going to achieve them

4. I did not place the same emphasis on nutrition as I did my physical exercises of choice. If you enter Fitness Triad in our blog search bar, I have written an extensive article on this topic. In a nutshell, if you begin an exercise regimen, you need to feed your body with healthy foods for fuel. You need to ensure you are also consuming enough good protein in order to either maintain your lean muscle mass or to build upon it.

You need to ensure you are consuming the right amount of calories. Too many and you will find that you cannot out exercise your diet. Too few, and you will find yourself losing lean muscle mass and you could become what we refer to as skinny fat. Skinny fat is where your body might be at the so called ideal weight for your height, yet your body fat percentage is still to high for good health. Skinny fat is probably more harmful to your overall health and wellness as it could give you a false sense of security by being at your goal weight. Too high of a percentage of body fat is unhealthy no matter your weight which is why we teach and promote concentrating on body fat percentage over a random number on your bathroom scale.

Note: You can go to Calorie Counter Pro in our menu and find how many you need for your individual goal. It is free of charge to you.

5. I did not understand how important rest and recovery is to exercise specifically in weight training. Again, enter Fitness Triad in our search bar as this topic is also a part of that article. When you exercise, you cause micro-trauma to your muscle tissue which requires time to heal itself. This is how we get stronger. Another component of this equation is that your central nervous system needs a break too. This is particularly true when training with heavy weights. If you do not give your body adequate rest and recovery, you will find yourself burning out before you have reached your physical potential.

6. I did not do my due diligence in fully researching my exercise of choice from known experts. This is easier now days to do with all of the modern search engines available on the internet. It used to be that all we had for weight training was muscle magazines where Joe Wieder was selling worthless supplements and convoluted routines no one could ever fully understand, nor would they possess the personal equipment in order to even do them. Do yourself a favor and listen to those who are established professionals instead of falling into the trap of Bro Science which is usually based on the gym equivalent of “old wives tails”‘.

7. I did not understand the importance of using an established routine or tracking my workouts in a log. If you are serious about any type of exercise, do yourself a favor and establish a routine, even if it is just running. And then log everything that you do. Sets, reps and weights for weight training. Distance, pace and time for running as examples. Tracking a routine is a form of measurement, and what gets measured gets done. It also allows you to keep track of your progress by being able to go back and read over your earlier sessions. It is also a good idea for weight trainers to log the amount of sleep you get each day, and the amount of calories and macronutrients you have consumed before hand. Your mood and or how you felt when beginning your exercise session is important too. By logging these items, you can more easily identify why your routine might be stalling out on you.

8. Getting hung up on not being the strongest, the fastest or the best in the gym. Everyone is a newbie at some point, and most gym goers know this. Do not worry about what others might think of your level of fitness when you go to the gym. Just get in there and be diligent in getting your routine completed. Your tenacity will be noticed by those who are experienced in physical fitness. And even if you do go unnoticed, who cares? Just do your own thing. Bear in mind too, that sometimes, some of those you might think are all that in the gym might not know much more than you.

9. No matter your exercise of choice, learn to perfect your form and movements. If you think lifting weights is just picking up heavy stuff and setting it down, you are sadly mistaken. Take the time to perfect your form before trying to go heavy as this will mitigate your risk for injury and allow you to continue going forward for years to come. Lifting weights is as much about technique as it is about strength. Bad form and technique can hurt you bad.

If you are an aspiring runner, you need to learn it is more than just moving your feet as fast as you can for as far as you are able. Learn and perfect your stride. Build upon your pace, and how to breath. Seems simple enough, that is until you head out and cannot manage to jog around even a simple neighborhood block.

At my age, I have honestly made my share of mistakes in nutrition and exercise over the years. Those without blemish are usually found to be liars in my experience. Take care of your nutrition and fitness and odds are likely that your quality of life as you age is going to be leaps and bounds superior than if you neglect yourself. Too often, folks neglect themselves and find themselves sickly in their early forties, or younger, with ailments that used to not hit until at least the upper sixties or seventies. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take proper care of yourself. Anything else is could easily be seen as selfishness on your part. Others will always have to pick up all of your broken pieces at some point.

Check out Facebook page Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way and give us a like and a follow. If you would like to be a part of a weight loss, health and wellness support group, we have a group linked to the Facebook page you can join. The group is private in order for us to keep out the trolls and trouble makers. It is a safe place to share your triumphs and set backs with your health initiative.