Author: David Yochim

The Dead Lift

I often hear people say they just do not have time for working out. I hear and understand this, but I also live a quite busy life. I have a job where I work 60 plus hours each week on top of writing and building this website. Because I am a very busy man, I believe in making the most efficient use of the time I do have for getting in my exercise. Therefore, when I am working out with my weights, my concentration is placed on doing lifts that are compound in nature. What this means, is I do lifts that work multiple muscle groups with each rep and set instead of concentrating on single muscles. I simply do not have time for that and believe that compound lifts give the best bang for the buck for the time spent getting in a workout.

If I was limited to only being able to get in two different lifts in a week, the Dead Lift and Squat would be my first and only choices. This is because these two lifts work your entire body when you execute them. As you can see in the picture above, the Dead Lift leaves almost no area of your body lacking for resistance when you are pulling a heavy weight from the floor. When you build muscle from the Dead Lift, you are causing stress throughout your entire body. You are building up lean muscle mass everywhere, and not just in the highlighted areas in the above picture.

The Dead Lift provides enormous  physical benefit as they not only help build lean mass but also it increases your functional strength in a manner that helps you actually avoid injury while making  your life easier in the performance of daily tasks.

When correctly executed, the Dead Lift will build up your strength to lift weights, boxes and other items with proper form. The increased strength you’ll gain from this exercise may lower your odds of lower back pain and injury. You will find that a strong back is a healthy back. Another benefit from doing Dead Lifts as we age is they will also strengthen our core,  which leads to improved balance.

The Dead Lift can and will promote growth of your muscle size and strength. Muscle size increases over time as the muscle fibers adapt and grow in response to the stress of the strength training. Increased muscle size contributes to strength, but the main factor is the nervous system adapting and being better able to communicate with the muscle cells which will provide you great benefit for any physical task you are ever faced with.

How to properly execute the Dead Lift.

When executed properly, the Dead Lift will strengthen every bone in your body while challenging every muscle within your posterior chain (all the muscles that run from your neck to your heels). The Dead Lift will test your grip strength and core stability to the absolute max. It will find any weakness in your body to be addressed if you ever hope to lift heavy. For that reason you should always start light, well within your means. Only consider building up your working weight  once you have first perfected proper lifting form.

  • With your feet flat on the floor, bend at the knees and grab the bar with hands shoulder-width apart.
  • You have two grip choices: a double overhand grip or a reverse grip, where one hand grips the bar overhand and the other underhand. The reverse grip will allow you to lift heavier. Always squeeze the bar as hard as you can, especially on heavier sets, before the bar leaves the floor.

  • If you struggle with your grip try using chalk or a mixed grip (with one hand facing forwards, one facing back), which will help you cling onto the bar so you can focus on your form.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position by looking forwards with your eyes fixed to a spot on the ground, about 4 feet ahead of your feet. Keep your chin up so your head stays in the best position for lifting.
  • Keeping your back straight and your head facing forward throughout, lift the bar using your legs and driving your hips forward. The Dead Lift should be a fast and powerful lift using your legs and glute strength. Drive upwards as explosively as possible.

  • Aim to maintain a strong spine from the beginning of the lift to the end. Do this by keeping your chest up to prevent your torso hunching forwards over the bar.
  • Your shoulders should remain slightly in front of your hands until the bar passes mid-thigh level, at which point you want to retract your shoulder blades for a strong and stable torso.
  • Pull your shoulders back at the top of the move, then carefully lower the bar to the ground.

Programming the Dead Lift.

Higher reps generally contribute to building muscle. Most power lifters will train with anywhere from 1-8 reps, but when training specifically for strength, the general rep range is 3-5. Bodybuilders and people who want to add muscle to their backs usually stick to doing 8-12 Dead Lifts and sometimes more, it all depends on your goals and what you want out of your training and body.

Dead Lifts are a great tool in your weight loss arsenal to use during the week. Ladies, you will build muscle and strength but here are four benefits you also need to consider:

Work several muscle groups promoting high-level fat loss

Increase primary anabolic hormones that stimulate fat loss and muscle growth

Burn more calories compared to running

Increase cardio endurance if programmed properly

No Hill For a Climber, We See a Rainbow!

What a glorious sight it is when you behold the beauty of a colorful rainbow following a  severe storm. For at least a moment, we can forget the disaster that has come our way when we spot these gifts from God. We know there will be more storms to face in our path through life, but in the moment we can glory in the knowledge that even out of life’s worst circumstances, an object of beauty can still shine through to brighten our day.

Living in the state of Kansas, the heartland of America  which is also known as Tornado Alley, we know that with each destructive storm that passes our way, there are better days to follow, We also know and understand quite well that there will also be more storms to follow. Some will be minor, some will wipe out entire  towns out on the prairie. It is a way of life for us, that we somehow become accustomed to. And with all this being said, after her last visit to the radiation oncologist, we find ourselves in the peaceful calm after the storm with Loraine’s battle against breast cancer.

We are between storms and we have spotted a rainbow.

For at least the moment, life is beautiful.

Finally, the wounds from her double mastectomy have healed. The infections have gone away for good now, and the ugliness of the radiation burns and radio-necrosis are no longer visible to the eye. We have weathered a multi-front storm that actually began with Loraine’s brother , my best friend Howard’s liver cancer when he became terminal and we took him to care for him several months prior to Loraine’s own diagnosis.

Losing Howard was the end of a long, drawn out and tragic end to the life a good man. We knew his days were numbered when he could no longer climb onto his motorcycle which he had loved to ride. Howard was known for randomly climbing onto his bike and taking off on rides that might take him 1000 miles one way just for a steak dinner somewhere he had seen on the television or on the internet.

It was a sad day when he could no longer ride his bike, he had a bad knee that was complicated by his being morbidly obese. His morbid obesity was complicated by long term Hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver. These conditions were eventually worsened by the development of liver cancer and hepatic encephalopathy   which generally occurs in people with chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis or hepatitis. Hepatic encephalopathy brings on different levels of dementia, which obviously complicated his care in our home even more.

We took Howard into our home in early March of last year. We had a few months where he was feeling better, but once Loraine was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall, we began seeing more of decline in Howard’s health each day. He was losing his mind to hepatic encephalopathy and his mobility to get around was getting worse. His mobility was a great concern being as he was morbidly obese at almost 600 pounds at one point. He had fallen down in his home shortly before we took him in and I drove down to help him back up, this task took me 45 minutes to do. I swore that day that if he ever fell again, I was going to call the fire department instead of trying to help him myself. I had a fear that he would fall trying to navigate his way from our front door to our driveway, so I had a contractor come in to level my front yard, and to put in a new sidewalk and driveway to accommodate his needs.

I’m not seeking sympathy, nor a pat on the back. We do what we need to do for our loved ones. But, I do feel a need to vent a little in regards to a few family members. At about the time Loraine received her diagnosis, Howard was in his decline. I often had to help him bandage his legs which were weeping fluid from lymphedema, as well I would also have to occasionally help him in getting dressed, putting on his shoes, along with his personal hygiene needs of showering and cleaning up after the toilet.

We do what we have to do sometimes.

We took off work to get Howard to his doctor appointments, as well as doing all his laundry, cooking and cleaning for him. Howard was no longer able to take care of his basic living needs for himself, and from the phone there was a deafening silence from their only  remaining brother and sister.  Neither of them ever called us to check on Howard, or to even see if there was anything we needed to help in his care. But guess who was there wanting to direct things and who had their hands out when he passed. And we were dealing with this after Loraine’s diagnosis of having cancer too. It is a truth that people will show their true colors when times are tough…

January 6th of this year, Loraine underwent her double mastectomy. The operation went very well, and she was sent home from the hospital the next afternoon with drain tubes placed at four locations in her chest.

After a few weeks, the drainage had come to a stop and the drains were removed by her surgical oncologist during an office visit. Loraine was healing pretty well and was in good spirits until a staph infection settled in her left incision sight sometime in February. The infection caused a large, nasty looking hole to appear that had to be cleaned and dressed day and night for a couple months until it finally went away. During the middle of fighting her infection, I took Howard to his final doctors appointment on February 21, where he was informed he needed to consider going into hospice for palliative care as his time was drawing to a close. I got him checked into KU Medical Center that afternoon, Sunday afternoon, I watched him draw his last breath as he passed away. But for the fact we had already been grieving for Howard’s eventual demise for some time, we never had time for truly grieving as we were still battling Loraine’s infection. She could not begin her radiation treatments until she was fully healed. That being said, there came a point when the radiation oncologist made the call that Loraine was not fully healed, but she was healed enough to begin her treatments which could not be put on hold for any longer.

Finally, my dear and sweet wife of 33 years began her radiation treatments in May and finished them in June after six weeks of daily treatments. Radiation is supposed to be easy, yet she suffered from second degree burns and radio-necrosis which brought on another infection afterwards.

Tuesday morning of this week, we took Loraine to a followup visit with her radiation oncologist. Thankfully, I could go with her on this visit as I have not been able to accompany her over the last few months because the Covid 19 virus. Loraine has finally healed  from everything, and the incision sights are no longer angry looking as they have been over the course of the last 6 months. Most of her pain has subsided, yet there is still a little lingering pain that hopefully will go away soon. She still has a small amount of a burning sensation where her radiation treatments were focused, and will be asking about this tomorrow when she goes for a sonogram of her chest and breast area. There is a small knot from a keloid, but other than that all appears to be normal now.

The storm we have been enduring is over now, we have seen the colorful rainbow which brings us joy. Yet, the fight is not over as we never know when the next storm is going to crest the horizon. There will be follow up doctor visits each of the next three months, and then every three months for the next two years. Loraine is a very tough and resilient woman, she was a military spouse who has endured two previous cancers. As she stood at my side during my military career, I will stand at her side for this tough battle of hers.

Will ever hear the words “Cured of cancer”?

I’m not so sure anyone ever truly hears they are fully cured.

What I do know is we will live with the threat of a return of active cancer for years to come.

Even when one has been declared free of cancer, there is always a continued threat.

But for the moment at least, we can finally take a breather and do our best to continue life in as normal a manner as possible. Life is tough and not always fair to any of us, but life still offers us choices to make. We can choose to succumb to bad occurrences, or we can choose to shake it all off and lean forward into the fight of our lives.

We are fighters to the end!

Is Counting Carbs Enough For a Diabetic

When you are diabetic, is it enough to simply count your carbohydrates out for each meal and snack you consume during the course of your day?

For some diabetics, yes this may be enough. But for others, there is far more to carbohydrates you need to concern yourself with than just the net total.

What is happening when you are not consuming more total carbohydrates than your doctor allows, yet your blood glucose continues to go up anyhow?

First, I advise you to work closely with your doctor on this issue. You may very well require a change to your medications. But, there is also a good chance that you need to adjust your diet too. It could be that despite your carbs being within their allowable limits as a total, you could be consuming foods that are too high on the Glycemic Index. When it comes to some fruits and melons, you might as well be eating spoonfuls of straight table sugar because of the manner in which the natural sugars just dump straight into your bloodstream. Some fruits and melons are low in fiber content which will causes your blood sugar to sky rocket when you consume them.

What is the Glycemic Index? 

Simply put, the glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. Foods low on the glycemic index (GI) scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily. Foods high on the glycemic index release glucose rapidly. For optimum blood sugar control, those who are pre-diabetic or have full-blown diabetes, no matter the type, need to concentrate on consuming low GI foods . People with type 1 diabetes can’t produce sufficient quantities of insulin and those with type 2 diabetes are resistant to insulin. With both types of diabetes, faster glucose release from high GI foods will result in  spikes in blood glucose levels. The slow and steady release of glucose in low-glycemic foods helps maintain good glucose control.

Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100. The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood glucose levels.

Here are the three GI ratings:

Low: 55 or less

Medium: 56–69

High: 70 or above

Foods which are high in refined carbs and sugar are digested quickly and will have a high number on the Glycemic Index, Foods high in protein, fat, or fiber typically have a low number on the Glycemic Index, while foods that contain no carbs are not even assigned a number on the Glycemic Index. These foods that have no assigned “GI” number include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and oils.

If you are diabetic, you also need to keep in mind that there are other factors that affect the GI of a food. These factors include the ripeness, cooking method, type of sugar it contains, and amount of processing it has undergone. When you consume a lot of high GI foods, you may very well find yourself having a difficult time in controlling your blood glucose, even with insulin and diabetes medications. By paying attention to the GI of the foods you consume, you will have a way to determine slower-acting “good carbs” from the faster “bad carbs.” You can use it to fine-tune your carb-counting and help keep your blood glucose more steady as it should be.

The natural control of blood glucose is very complex and can become unbalanced when you have diabetes. It is important to understand what is supposed to happen in your body, and what is different when you have diabetes.

Glucose is a type of sugar you get from the  foods in your diet,  your body uses it for energy. As it travels through your bloodstream to your cells, it’s called blood glucose or blood sugar.

Insulin is the hormone which transfers glucose from your blood into your cells for energy and storage. People with diabetes have higher-than-normal levels of glucose in their blood. Either they don’t have enough insulin to move it through or their cells don’t respond to insulin as well as they should. Either way, having high blood glucose for a long period of time can damage your kidneys, eyes, and other organs.

Glucose mainly comes from the foods you eat which are rich in carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes, fruit and desserts. When you eat, food travels down to your stomach where acids and enzymes break it down into tiny pieces. During this digestive process, glucose is released. This glucose then enters your intestines where it’s absorbed. From there, it passes into your bloodstream. Once in the blood, your insulin, which is produced by your pancreas, helps this glucose get into your cells.

Our bodies are designed to keep the blood glucose level constant, it is not meant to fluctuate from high to low and all over the map at all. Beta cells in your pancreas monitor your blood glucose level continuously,  therefore when your glucose level rises after you eat, these beta cells release insulin into your bloodstream. Your insulin acts like a key that unlocks muscle, fat, and liver cells in order for glucose to get inside of them. As damaging as too much glucose in the blood can be, most of the cells in your body use glucose along with amino acids and fats for energy. It is the primary source of fuel for our brains. Nerve cells and chemical messengers there need it to help them process information. Without glucose, your brain wouldn’t be able to work.

Once your body has used all the energy it needs, the leftover glucose is stored in little bundles called glycogen in the liver and muscles. Your body can store enough of this glycogen to fuel you for about a day. Once you have not eaten for a few hours, your blood glucose level drops and your pancreas stops churning out insulin. At this time, Alpha cells in the pancreas begin to produce a different hormone called glucagon which signals the liver to break down stored glycogen and turn it back into glucose which travels to your bloodstream  in order to replenish your supply until you’re able to eat again. This is a continuous loop cycle that must be kept in balance through good nutrition for optimal health, especially if you are diabetic.

There are two types of diabetes:

In type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, your body doesn’t have enough insulin. The immune system attacks and destroys cells of the pancreas, where insulin is made. Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults .Despite world wide, active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure. Treatment focuses on managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet and lifestyle to prevent complications.

In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells don’t respond to insulin as they should. Therefore the pancreas needs to make more and more insulin in order to move the glucose from your blood into your cells. With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas is eventually damaged and can’t make enough insulin to meet your body’s needs. Without enough insulin, glucose can’t move into the cells. The blood glucose level stays high which is a condition called hyperglycemia.

Too much glucose in your bloodstream for extended periods of time can damage the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your organs. High blood sugar can increase your risk for:

Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke

Kidney disease

Nerve damage

Eye disease called retinopathy

People with diabetes need to test their blood sugar often. Exercise, diet, and medicine can help keep blood glucose in a healthy range and prevent these complications. It is a sad fact, there are many people who are either ignorant, or apathetic in how to manage their diabetes and blood glucose levels. I personally know more than a couple whose idea of managing blood glucose is a matter of checking their level and then eating what ever they want, and then adjusting their medicine or insulin to adjust instead of  just eating the right foods to adjust their blood glucose in the first place. These people are fools gambling with their health!

Even if you are not diabetic, you are smart to still take your nutrition seriously in order to not become one sometime in the future. Once you have become diabetic, life takes a turn where you must become knowledgeable of your body and diet. It is not enough to think you can just manage your diabetes through medications, that is simply a method of hacking your way to still eating all kinds of carbohydrate laden crap you do not need. Simply counting carbs is not enough when your blood sugar is still rising despite your exercise and medications. You have to analyse everything you eat in order to avoid the condition in the pictures below,or even worse:

 

Diabetic foot ulcer
Diabetic retinopathy

OYO Personal Gym Review, Can I Sell You a Bridge?

I created a new series titled “Worthless Fitness Equipment” with the sole intent of helping people to avoid spending their hard earned cash on pieces of junk that will allegedly help them to build a fitter and trimmer body. If you are a serous fitness buff, you already know that these contraptions are worth about as much as a bucket of sail boat fuel, but these items are not being marketed to you. These pieces of junk are being marketed to those who are lacking in knowledge of physical fitness. These marketing schemers are solely interested in their profits above all and could not care less about the health and fitness of their consumer market. If they did care, they would create items that have actual utility.

They are taking their customers for fools!

No, you are not going to transform your body with this piece of junk in only “minutes a day”! 

Please, when you see anything that tells you that you can transform your body in only minutes a day, by all means, avoid it. Physical fitness, requires dedication that spans a far greater divide than “minutes a day”. Physical fitness requires dedication to a new lifestyle that involves a good amount of effort and time coupled with good nutritional habits. “Minutes a day” are not going to get you there unless you are some type of genetic outlier. If you believe this contraption can get you into the best shape of your life, I have a bridge to sell you. The only problem is my integrity will not allow me to let it go…

It looks like you can use OYO about anywhere!

Do any of the people above appear to be getting even a small amount of a decent workout?

Real People, Real Results?

I can guarantee you, if the gentleman above is driving a golf ball another 30 yards, it is because he is working on his stroke out on the course.

They claim Andy lost 17 pounds and 14 inches and that Dave lost 19 pounds and 23 inches. These claims are an outright insult to the intelligence for anyone who can think. These two gentlemen may have lost weight while using the OYO gym contraption, but the most important aspect can be found in the small print, their weight loss was through diet.

I have never heard of any mathematical formula to figure how many inches you might lose for each pound of body weight, but it appears these crooks are working numbers in some manner for your consumption. I want to put this into perspective, when I was at my largest and strongest as a power lifter, I was 70 pounds heavier than I am now. Because the excess weight was beginning to take a toll on my health despite being stronger than I had ever been in my life, I dropped those 70 extra pounds, and only took about 12 inches off my my torso. At the ages of these two gentlemen, if they had lost all those inches as claimed, you can bet they would have visible loose skin.

Yes, resistance training will do what they claim below;

However, you are not going to be accomplishing much of the above with this thing, especially once you have discovered for yourself it is not all it is cracked up to be and it winds up gathering dust in the back corner of a closet.

Of course they give you a number of exercises to do;

But, the reality is, almost all of these exercises they tell you about can be done with your body weight only as they are little more than calisthenic exercises with a bit of expensive resistance added for effect.

They have another option that will cost you about $125 too!

The bottom line is your money can be better spent on a pair of light dumbbells for a fraction of the cost.  The OYO gives you the option of either squeezing the thing together in different fashions, or pulling the lines apart. You will find that with limited movements, you are likely to at best, develop muscle and strength imbalances, especially if you only use it for “minutes a day” as they state. It would take you several hours to actually get a good workout with this if you want to actually improve your body in both looks and fitness. I have to say, every time I see advertisements pop up for this, all I can think is it appears someone added some resistance lines to an old Thigh Master they found in the trash somewhere.

Here is a simple truth for you. Having a healthy body that is physically fit requires healthy nutrition and good exercise that actually benefits your entire body instead of isolated portions if you are only into working out “minutes a day”. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness you can always have access to the absolute best in health and fitness information for free. We charge no one to access our articles, for any reason, ever. Subscriptions are free and easy to all if you care to join us. We will tell you how it is, and never sugar coat anything as we believe it is always better to give an uncomfortable truth over telling comfortable lies. We have a wide variety of articles and healthy recipes for you, and we are ever growing with new content being added multiple times per week. If you use our search function and cannot find information on something that interests you, let us know and we will get on it for you!

Simple Tips For Permanent Weight Loss

Commitment!

Commitment beyond anything you have ever wanted for yourself in the past is the first key to weight loss. Because of all the different ways you can find yourself sidetracked when it comes to weight loss, you have to place this commitment to yourself above all else in your life. There are no half measures that are going to get you to a healthy weight for your frame, the commitment required is akin to what it takes for soldiers to work and earn their way into special operations units. You have to want to be at a healthy weight as if your very life depends on it, your life very well does depend on it in the long run.

Are YOU worth this degree of COMMITMENT to YOURSELF?

YES!

You are worth it!

But, even with total commitment to yourself in the journey of weight loss, you are going to find many obstacles in your path that will sometimes seem insurmountable. It is when you encounter these obstacles that you must steel yourself to get around it. You can push climb over it, tunnel underneath it, go around it or blow it the hell up, and then push your way on through. No matter, you have to remain determined to meet your goals and objectives no matter who or what might get into your way.

Obstacle: Your willpower disappears in the face of temptation.
Solution: Plan your defense.

One of the first things you have to understand and commit to is you have to be willing to tell not only yourself NO, but also your family and friends as they will sabotage you every damn time. We all know the struggle it takes to pass on a slice of decadent chocolate cake, but this becomes a much larger turmoil when it is being offered up by your loving mother or grand mother. Your best friend might not understand why you no longer want to share a dessert when you are out and about the town. These well meaning folks will often compliment you on how much better you are looking since you have lost weight and then tell you that you should treat yourself on occasion since a little bit of sugar never hurt anyone. These temptations are the toughest to overcome, but you must. You have to understand that just as you would not give a recovering alcoholic a drink, you cannot have that sweet slice of heaven when you are addicted to carbohydrates! Very often, it is that one little indulgence that drives people clean off the rails. Family and friends  can and will do this to you every time. Some of these same people who will compliment you to your face while you are losing weight will be the same ones snickering behind your back when you regain it. And it will not even occur to them that they were at least partially responsible for your failure by not being supportive when you needed their support the most.

Obstacle: You’re embarrassed by your failed attempts.
Solution: Let it go, rethink, and reboot.

The difference between successful people and failures is successful people have tried and failed many times on their path to success while failures quit the first time they reach a tough obstacle. This is true no matter what the endeavor may be. You cannot let past failures stop you in your tracks. You may have failed every weight loss program you have ever tried, but have you ever tried our methodology at David’s Way to Health and Fitness? You have nothing to lose being as we do not charge a single penny to anyone, for any reason. We are entirely free, we do not want you to be a perpetual income stream as many of the other weight loss businesses do.

Never be ashamed or embarrassed by your past failures. The only thing you should ever find yourself embarrassed about is being a quitter.

Obstacle: You’re just not that motivated.
Solution: Set short and long-term goals.

You have to set as many short term goals as it takes in order to achieve your long term goals of weight loss and fitness. When you only concentrate on the end goal, it becomes easy to feel overwhelmed. You can alleviate this entirely by setting short term goals that are much easier to focus on. Losing ten pounds is easier than losing one hundred pounds although the methods in getting to that one hundred pound loss are not any different than the doing it in ten pound increments. By setting short term goals, you can celebrate more victories along your way. You will find this to be far more kinder to your self esteem and self confidence.

Obstacle: Your joints ache.
Solution: Go low-impact.

Go to your local swimming pool for your exercise. Take walks. There is no need to beat yourself up with high impact exercises to lose weight.

Obstacle: You rely on workouts to do it all.
Solution: Understand that exercise is just part of the puzzle.

Exercise is only about 40% of the equation when it comes to successfully taking off weight and then keeping it off. Have you ever heard the saying that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym? This is a universal truth, you cannot out exercise a bad diet unless you are some kind of outlier. A bad diet will always prevail in you retaining too much body fat.

Obstacle: You push yourself too hard, too often.
Solution: Make recovery a priority.

This is a tough one for many to grasp. People often assume the best thing they can do is to push themselves physically every day of the week when they first begin a weight loss regimen. This is a common mistake, you have to also give your body time to recover between exercise sessions or you will burn out, you can actually cause your central nervous system to become fatigued which will bring all your exercise to a screeching halt. As i have written about in my article Fitness Triad you have to treat your nutrition, rest and recovery with the same importance as you do your exercise of choice. Each of these elements carry equal importance when it comes to achieving a fit and trim body.

Obstacle: You don’t have time to exercise.
Solution: Find a workout that fits your schedule.

Commit yourself to making the time to exercise! Surely you can dedicate 30 to 60 minutes for at least four days of the week to work towards your fitness. Maybe you should pull yourself away from the television. If you are binge watching a program, you can always pick up where you left off if you are watching on Netflix, Hulu or any other streaming program.

The truth is, anyone who is committed will find a way to make the small amount of time they need in their lives for exercise. Odds are high that if you have excuses, you are really just not committed to achieving a health, fit and trim body.

Obstacle: You think exercise is boring.
Solution: Find something you love.

This excuse is about as lame as saying you do not like soup. Have you tried much exercise to truly know if you are going to like it or not?  As with soup, there is are endless types of exercise you can try until you find something you can become excited about. You cannot spend a boring half hour on a treadmill and assume that a nice nature walk would be equally as boring.

Obstacle: You think nutritious food is too expensive.
Solution: Make smart choices.

With this one you have to ask yourself if nutritious foods are more expensive than out of pocket expenses you incur with doctor visits and medications for ailments that can almost exclusively be tied to unhealthy nutritional habits and a sedentary lifestyle.

While it is true that healthy food choices might cost more than a box of macaroni and cheese and other sugar and fat laden processed foods, you are going to save money on your grocery bill because when you only consume whole, healthy foods choices, you eat less of it. Healthy food choices do not leave you with cravings soon after eating as junk foods will do to you. Healthy foods choices keep you full with less and for a longer duration than cheap unhealthy foods. With healthy food choices, your body is receiving all the nutrients it requires for optimal health instead of leaving you to cravings associated with poor nutrition.

Obstacle: You don’t like the taste of healthy food.
Solution: Be patient and keep trying new things.

Assuming you do not like the taste of all healthy foods is as absurd as saying “I do not like soup”. How much healthy food have you actually sampled?

Have you explored with spices when preparing new foods?

Do you know how to make good food choices?

Look, I full well get it if you tell me that you have tried many low fat or zero fat foods and told me they taste bad to you. These foods taste bad to me as well, especially  low fat or no fat yogurts. I do love plain full fat Greek yogurt that I flavor with sugar free flavorings, nuts, seeds and even powdered peanut butter for a delicious, daily treat.

Fats make foods taste better and will keep you satiated longer than non fat foods. We need healthy fats in our diets to aid in absorbing the nutrients provided to us in the foods we do consume. Healthy fats provide energy, support cell growth, protect organs, and keep your body warm. Essential fatty acids are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and help with hormone production. If you eliminate fat altogether, meals and snacks will lack satiety, flavor, and texture. Just make sure you are eating healthy fats as I have laid out in my article “Quit Shunning the Fat”.

With whole foods, there is absolutely no reason for you to ever say you do not like the taste of healthy food. When you prepare the food yourself, you have the control over how it is going to taste. And best of all, you will never run out of options in how to prepare healthy meals.

Obstacle: You hate being hungry.
Solution: Load up on low-calorie, filling foods.

Well duh, who does not hate being hungry?

There is never a need to feel deprived of food when losing weight with healthy food choices.

I maintain my body fat a low percentage and I would be considered a volume eater. Yes, I can eat a lot of food, and I do so on a regular basis. However, what you need to know is this is possible when eating nothing but healthy food choices. Foods that provide all the nutrients your body requires for optimal health are naturally lower in calories than unhealthy foods and it is actually hard to eat enough when your diet does only consist of healthy foods. For my health needs, I consume 2,250 calories  a day to fuel my body for 60 hour work weeks while also dedicating 8 to ten hours a week for my physical fitness regimen. I consume dairy, lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds each day. I never feel hungry during the day as I ensure that every bite of any food that passes my lips has a nutritional value to it and I never eat foods that are high calorie and low nutritional choices for any reason.

Obstacle: You don’t have time to cook.
Solution: Do some prep work.

Let’s be real about this one. If you do not have time to cook, it is because you are not committed to making the time to cook.

If you have time to sit in a restaurant, you have time to cook.

If you have time to go through a fast food chain’s drive through to order food, only for them to mess up your order and thereby cost you even more time, you have time to cook.

You and I both know that if you do not have the time to cook, it is more than likely you really just do not feel like cooking. By doing a little preparation ahead of time, it should never take you much time to throw together a healthy meal for yourself and your family. For instance, this morning, I can guarantee it took me less time to cook a bowl of nutritious oatmeal loaded with chopped pecans, pepitas, a seed trilogy and cinnamon than it took for any one of the folks in the local drive through to drive there, place their order, and then wait in line for their sausage egg biscuit before driving back home or to work. Cooking and then cleaning up behind yourself is not an all day affair unless you make it so.

Never feel guilty about prioritizing your health needs!

Remember, maintaining a healthy weight is a process much like preparing for a marathon. The race to achieving and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is not a sprint. In the same way that one day of healthy eating won’t undo a month of less healthy choices, the reverse is also true. Take advantage of opportunities in your day to day life to make nutritious choices. Balancing your lifestyle with healthy food choices, regular physical activity and rest coupled with stress management techniques can go a long way in making you feel and be your best.

Bolthouse Farms Dark Chocolate Protein Keto Review

As I was picking up produce at my local Dillon’s store the other day, I spotted these Bolthouse Farms products nestled among several other “healthy drinks”. Most of the other drinks on the shelf are laden with added sugar, so I normally skip on past them. However, I knew when I saw the word Keto, this product should be sugar free. I am not exactly a fan of Keto as I believe it is unnecessarily restrictive on carbohydrate consumption, but I do live my life entirely free of added sugars in my diet. Seeing this sugar free dark chocolate drink, I figured I would give it a try and report my findings to all my wonderful readers!

Taste

I really enjoyed the flavor of this drink. It was not too sweet and did not have any strong after tones you sometimes get with protein products. What I loved about this drink produced by Bolthouse Farms is it took me back to early childhood memories when my loving mother used to make us chocolate milk by using Hershey’s Cocoa Powder instead of store bought Nestles Quick. True to the name, this drink tastes like dark chocolate.

Viscosity/Texture

Besides a nice rich taste, this product has a silky smooth texture to it. This silky, smoothness would be derived from the coconut milk and coconut oil derived MCT oil. Yet, these ingredients do not impart any hint of coconut, thank God. I hate the flavor of coconut, however you can buy liquid coconut oils that have no flavor at all. I use a tablespoon of liquid coconut oil in my supplemental protein drinks on a daily basis.

What are MCT oils and why do I care?

MCT oil, is a medium chain triglyceride which has been shown to increase the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin. MCT oil has been found to even be better than coconut oil in keeping you full. One study found that people taking two tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch compared to those taking coconut oil.

MCT oil has been dubbed a super fuel since your body absorbs MCTs more rapidly than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which contain more carbons in their fatty acid chains. Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break down like longer-chain fats do. In the liver, the fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat. Since MCTs easily enter your cells without being broken down, they can be used as an immediate source of energy.

MCT oil may reduce heart disease risk factors such as weight, cholesterol and inflammation. Adding it to your diet could help lower your risk of heart disease. I can say that since beginning the daily use of coconut oil which is a source of MCTs, my last three blood labs have come out with perfect readings. My cholesterol and triglycerides are all well within healthy levels and there is zero trace of inflammation in my 57 year old body.

Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, which makes diabetes harder to manage. The use of MCT oil has been shown to help management of diabetes by reducing fat storage and increasing fat burning. It may also help you control your blood sugar.

It is important to note, this product contains 15 grams of protein and 280 calories with no added sugars. The 1 gram of sugar that is found is from the natural sugar within the ingredients. This amount is minimal to say the least.

Ingredients

Coconut Milk (Water, Coconut Cream), Milk Protein Isolate, Erythritol, Mct Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides), Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Dipotassium Phosphate, Carob Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Sea Salt, Stevia Leaf Reb M.

Ab Rocket Twister, Another Total Waste of Money

Wow, what a grand deal this contraption when you can make five easy payments of $19.95 in order to be able to “Just Rock and Twist to Tighter, Sexier Abs”!

GOLD MEDAL ABS GUARANTEE!

In the ever increasing world of abdominal exercise machines, we find this worthless piece of junk. They claim that by investing five minutes per day, you can develop rock hard abs simply by going through motions similar to that of a rocking chair.

Please, do not let anyone think you are naive enough to believe this malarkey.

But just look at those results below!

Real People. Real Results.Fast

If I was lacking as much integrity as the crooks marketing this damn contraption, I might be a rich man living on a tropical beach somewhere instead of in a place of blistering hot summers followed by frigid cold winters.

Just look at their claim that you can get ripped, washboard abs in half the time!

Do they know what it actually takes to get ripped, washboard abs, or are they counting on you not having a blooming clue how to earn them. I would venture to say, they are counting on you not knowing what it takes to EARN visible abs.

Visible abs do not come easy or just by exercise alone! 

Pay attention to the small print above!

They provide you with a low calorie meal plan to shed pounds and inches.

Visible abs are made in the kitchen more so than in the gym with exercise. No matter how much you work your ab muscles, if you are not eating a healthy diet within your daily caloric needs, no amount of exercise of any type will reveal your abdominal muscles for the world to see.

A good many people desire having a sexy midsection, yet they often lack the discipline required to ever have it. A sexy midsection does not come easy, it requires a commitment to a healthy diet combined with exercise as a lifestyle. These contraptions are marketed to tap into our innate desire for perfectly sculpted abs, by making it seem as if they have the solution to give them to you with little effort. Not to be insulting to any of you, but these shysters are banking on your lack of knowledge regarding how to build a fit, trim and healthy body. They are also counting on people who want to take the easiest route possible towards having a sexy midsection to hand over their hard earned cash. If you have a bulging tummy, the first thing you need to worry about is getting your nutrition in good order. We can help you with this for zero charge ever. Just go to our home menu and click the David’s Way Plan to learn exactly what it takes to  permanently lose your unwanted body fat. This is entirely free to you!

The cretins at Ab Rocket Twister claim that you will get a better workout from their piece of junk than you will get from crunches and sit-ups. They also tell you that you can essentially sit back and the machine will do most of the work for you. These bold claims could not get any more absurd, you could easily think this junk is more of a gag gift than something that is allegedly supposed to be serious fitness gear. But, they would not be still in business if there were no customers buying them.

Let’s be real, there are few people now days who actually have visible ab muscles, which should tell you just how hard it is to get them. We can acknowledge that it has a little to do with genetics, but it is mostly due to the fact that it takes a making the choice to personally commit to a combination of factors, which you must put together in the right amounts. These factors are healthy eating, regular exercise, and a committed lifestyle. There are no short cuts!

Never,ever buy into the lie that you need “revolutionary resistance technology to flatten your entire core. Abs might get built in the gym, but it is the work in the kitchen which will reveal them.  No matter how much you workout, there is one simple truth that applies to all of us. Your diet is 80% responsible for the way you look, exercise accounts for the other 20%.

You cannot outperform a bad diet!

 

Medicalizing Obesity?

Medicalizing Obesity, what’s the problem with that?

I first became aware there was a problem with the term “medicalizing obesity” yesterday while listening to a podcast where the discussion was centered on understanding the ever changing political correctness of language. I have obviously heard the term before, I just never considered it a problem.

Apparently there are people out there who feel there is a bad stigma which comes with “medicalizing obesity”.  There are people who feel that the stigma of their obesity is little different than racism and will insist that “we can no longer pretend that their obesity makes them less likely to be hired or to be promoted”. They feel their obesity will result in them being paid less, receiving biased medical treatment, being socially excluded and bullied by people who attempt to help them to live healthier. Allegedly we live in a culture that vilifies and fears fat bodies and as a society we treat people who do have weight problems as morally lesser beings.

Taking the absurdity even further, it has been stated:

You cannot wage war on obesity without waging war on the people who live in those “obese” bodies. Moreover, the dignity of a group should not be contingent on whether its members are deemed healthy, eating “right,” or exercising regularly. It should be obvious, but weight stigma does not reduce “obesity”—and health care should be about self-care and promoting the health of the person in all its forms.

There are even people who feel the term“Obesity” by itself is a problem, as it “pathologizes” the size of a body. They will tell you that body mass index (BMI) is nothing more than a mathematical equation based on height and weight to measure physical appearance, not health.

First, let me say that if you have a weight problem, my heart goes out to you. Brenda Sue and myself have both experienced our own issues with being overweight in the past too. Brenda Sue and I have dedicated countless hours in building this website and keeping it free to our readers in order to help others in losing weight and keeping it off. This website is first and foremost a labor of love over anything else.

Is there a boogeyman around every corner, or is it your imagination?

In America alone, 68% of our population are either overweight or obese. Being that a majority of our citizens are not fit and trim, does it pass the smell test that there is a widespread stigma against people with weight problems in the society of today?

Do you not believe that being overweight or obese is a medical issue?

In 2013, the American Medical Association declared that obesity is a disease and there should be an emphasis put on this condition by doctors and insurance companies.

From the US Center For Disease Control

People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:

  • All-causes of death (mortality)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Many types of cancer
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning

One would have to be seriously uninformed or or in a state of denial to not recognize that weight issues can and will lead to poor health. Just because you might feel alright today at too heavy a weight does not mean that ten years down the road you will still feel good. Being overweight will eventually catch up with you over time.

Did you not get a job because of the stigma of fatness, or was it something else?

I believe there are jobs where one who is fat will be excluded for a number of reasons, but we need to be objective about this too.

If you were a gym owner, would you hire a fitness trainer to work with your clients if they were not fit and trim themselves?

Can we consider there are some jobs that people with weight issues simply cannot do? For instance, my full time job is one of driving a semi-truck and delivering construction and industrial supplies over a 515 mile route. I work long, hard hours that involves climbing on and off the truck and forklifts. I have to lift, pull and push very heavy items of freight to the back of my trailer in order to get it off the truck. And I often have to do this in tight confines that one with a big belly simply could not fit into.

If you or a loved one require the help of any type of first responder, do you want the individual to arrive and be able to do their job, or would it make any difference to you if they could barely breath and lacked the strength to do whatever it was necessary to help you?

Are you able to be on your feet for an entire shift, or do you need to sit down often?

There are many jobs that people with weight issues fill. It is wrong to believe that with 68% of America being overweight or obese, people cannot get a job because of their weight. As for pay raises and promotions, you have to be real about what it is you bring to the job. This is true no matter your level of fitness. Anyone can be trained to work hard, but not everyone is capable enough to actually manage or plan efficiently enough to be promoted. Your mind makes you money, not your willingness to work.

Have you actually felt your medical care was biased because of your obesity?

If so, why?

If you are overweight or obese and present yourself to a doctor for type 2 diabetes, heart issues, or metabolic syndrome to name just a few weight related medical problems, is it not the doctors obligation to talk to you about your weight and also to advise you on diet and exercise? How else will your doctor provide you with quality care if you cherry pick their advice and get your panties in a bunch if they mention your weight. If you are this type, it is you with the problem and not your doctor.

In order to illustrate the point even further to where even the most obstinate should understand, I had a morbidly obese family member who hurt his knee. When this occurred, he weighed between 450 to 500 pounds. His doctor told him he could not do much of anything until he had lost some weight. He could not perform any surgical procedures on the knee because there was no way it could support his weight and heal properly. Therefore, my family member got angry and decided the doctor was just a quack for even suggesting he lose weight. He felt his doctor was biased against fat people when the reality was, the doctor could not do an operation without complications coming afterwards that would have caused the knee to degrade into an even worse condition.

Was this decision based on bias or reality?

It should not be difficult to figure out the answer.

I despise bullies, and will not tolerate that kind of behavior out of anyone in my presence.

I understand that many, if not most, people with weight issues also have emotional problems associated with their size and can become quite defensive when their weight is mentioned.

While I believe it is understandable that many believe they are being picked on about their weight when anything about it is mentioned, it does not mean the one bringing the issue up is bullying you. They may truly care about you enough to want to help you overcome the problem.

If you are one who does not want obesity medicalized, you should really turn to your inner self and ask why.

If this term makes you angry, maybe the problem lies solely in your perception and it is quite possible you are the one not grounded in reality.

Obesity can and will lead you to medical problems. This is a fact and not an opinion. Remember this as you go about life – we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts.

 

 

What’s The Difference in Burning Calories and Fat?

In my last article I wrote about what calories are, in this one, I will explain what happens when we burn calories and fat. We hear and use the expression “burning calories” and “burning fat” all the time, but how many of you actually know what this means?

We know that we burn calories when we exert ourselves.

We know if we consume more than we burn, we will get fat.

But, when you ask people what actually happens in your body when you burn calories or fat, you will often be met with a blank stare.

When you lose weight, where does the lost body fat go?

In short, it helps to remember that fat is basically stored energy in your body. During the day when you are moving about, or even at rest, your body converts fat to usable energy for your muscles and other tissues through a series of complex metabolic processes. This causes your fat cells to shrink. These metabolic processes generate heat, which helps maintain your body temperature, and waste products. These waste products are water and carbon dioxide, which are excreted in your urine and sweat or exhaled from your lungs.

Are these two women burning calories or are they burning fat?

Is there a difference between these terms?

This is a simple fact for all of us, to lose weight and get in shape you have to commit yourself to maintaining a good diet coupled with regular exercise in order to burn that unsightly body fat. The first thing you must comprehend about a physical fitness regimen is that just because you are burning through calories, it does not mean you are burning fat. It takes about twenty minutes of moderate exercise for your body to get into the fat burning stage. You will not burn even an ounce of fat until you have exhausted your glycogen stores. If you want your exercise to be meaningful to your overall health, your main focus when you exercise should on burning body fat. You simply can’t lose body fat just from burning calories.

When we exercise, for it to have much benefit we must get our heart rate into the fat burning zone for a minimum of twenty minutes before we start burning body fat for energy.  Of course our bodies will start burning calories from the start, however the calories we burn are from the carbohydrates in our system.

For weight loss, it is not enough to just burn through calories alone!

In order to burn calories from your body fat stores, your body requires the presence of oxygen. There is a certain amount of oxygen that your body needs in order to start burning fat and the only way for you to measure the amount needed for your own body is to keep up with your target heart rate during exercise. We have seen on more than a couple of weight loss sites where they allow their clients to figure into their caloric needs the calories burned through activities such as cleaning house. Unless you are huffing and puffing when pushing your vacuum cleaner around your house, these calories burned are pretty insignificant towards losing body fat. It irritates me to no end that these businesses who promote this actually do know, or damn well should know, this kind of calorie burn is next to meaningless. If pushing a vacuum cleaner did not help their clients to never gain weight, this activity is not going to help them lose that weight either.

Understand this, if you only burn calories from carbohydrates, you will lose almost exclusively “water weight”, this actually leads to a decrease in your metabolism instead of an increase.

When you begin an exercise regimen of any type your diet and exercise become a balancing act. The calories burned from carbohydrates are your energy calories. You must manage your caloric intake when you are on an exercise program to replace your burned energy calories. A common mistake that people make is when they reduce their caloric intake too far. They manage to slow down their metabolism when they actually need to increase it. This is why we advise to adjust your daily intake of calories for only a one to two pound maximum of weight loss per week. If you need to lose faster than this, you really should consider doing so only under the supervision of a doctor.

Burning Fat Calories during Exercise

When we exercise, our body goes through a few stages before it reaches the point where we are actually burning body fat. For the most part, you are only burning sugar (carbohydrates) and little to no fat during about the first 20 minutes of exercise.  You have to get your heart rate into the fat burning zone  past the 20 minute mark if you want to burn fat. And, you must increase your intake of oxygen in order to burn that fat. If you are not working out hard enough for your body to want more oxygen, or conversely, if you are working out too hard, you can”t supply your body with enough oxygen for fat burning.

When you do cardio exercise, you must move at a steady pace so your body will utilize your stored fat as its energy source. You must also bear in mind that once you have reached the fat burning stage, it does not necessarily  mean you will stay there. Remaining in the fat burning zone depends on you moving at a pace that is right for your body. Make sure that you are within your target heart rate range.

If you can speak easy, your heart rate needs to increase.

If you can carry on a labored conversation, you are in the fat burning zone.

If you cannot speak, you have gone anaerobic and need to slow down your pace as you are no longer burning fat because of a lack of oxygen to your muscles.

Burning Fat Calories at Rest

Could burning fat while at rest be any better of an option?

Sounds like a  fantastic idea for the lazy among us I would guess. However, in order to burn fat while at rest comes from paying your dues to the resistance exercise, weight training either with weights or your body weight.

The way for you to continue to burn fat calories at rest takes effort beforehand. This is possible through the anaerobic exercise of weight training.

Weight training is the key to burning fat at rest.

Weight training is an anaerobic activity that will cause you to burn more calories than aerobic exercise.

The calories that you are burning during a weight training session are mostly calories from carbohydrates. However, the calories you burn at rest afterwards are mostly from fat. The scientific and biological reason you are burning fat at rest after weight training is because it increases your metabolism which uses your stored fat as energy.  When you boost your metabolism at rest,  you will be more efficient at burning fat calories.

How is this possible?

Muscles grow through protein synthesis, which is one of the most energy consuming processes in the cell . If you’re building muscles, it is not just the workout itself but also the growth of muscles that consumes energy and burns calories. Additionally, muscle tissue is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat tissue. The more muscles you have, the bigger your resting energy expenditure, which means that your body burns more calories and fat “while doing nothing”.

Live well, Be Well!

Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!

What Is a Calorie and Why Should You Care?

Calories, what they are and why we should care.

We might hear this term every day of our lives, yet how many of you ever stop and think about what exactly a calorie might be?

We know that our food and drink contains calories.

We know too many will cause us to get fat.

We know that some will insist we need to count our calories while others believe this minor task bears no importance.

Yet, how many of us actually know what a calorie is and why they are important to us?

A calorie is a unit of energy. Historically, scientists have defined “calorie” to mean a unit of energy or heat that could come from a variety of sources, such as coal or gas. In a nutritional sense, all types of food — whether they are fats, proteins, carbohydrates or sugars — are important sources of calories, which people need to live and function.

“Our brains, our muscles,  to include every cell in our bodies, require energy to function in an optimal state.  For good health and well being, we must nourish our bodies and brain with good nutrition. If we don’t get enough proper nutrients that calories provide, there are negative consequences. These negative consequences include losing lean muscle mass, not being able to concentrate or even having the energy we need on a day-to-day basis to get us through life.

The physics of a calorie.

According to an article in the Journal of Nutrition, titled “History of the Calorie in Nutrition,” in 1863, a calorie was defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water from 0 to 1 degree Celsius. In 1925, calories became scientifically defined in terms of joules, which are units typically used by physicists to describe the amount of work needed to force one newton through one meter. This is why you sometimes see calories being called kilojoules, especially in Europe and Australia. One calorie equals 4.18 joules; 1 joule equals 0.000239006 of a calorie.

The amount of heat needed to make a calorie differs at different temperatures, so scientists decided to create different types of calories according to their water temperature. Different temperatures yield different types of calories, such as the small calorie, also called the gram calorie or the 15-degree calorie. This calorie refers to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water from 14.5 to 15.5 degrees Celsius. 

A calorie in nutrition is actually 1,000 of these small calories. Some researchers use the term kilocalories to refer to the nutritional unit of 1,000 small calories. These units of 1,000 small calories are also sometimes called large calories, dietary calories, nutritional calories, food calories and Calories with a capital C. 

Therefore, what Americans see on food labels are actually kilocalories, or kilojoules. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that one medium-size apple contains 95 calories, it actually contains 95 kilocalories.  

Different types of macro-nutrients have standard amounts of calories. One gram of protein has 4 calories. One gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories. One gram of fat has 9 calories, according to the McKinley Health Center.  (1)

Do we really need to track our caloric intake?

If you care about your weight, you damn sure better be tracking your caloric intake in some manner, even if in your head.

That being said, I would only advise a mental tracking to one who is not overweight or obese.

But my weight loss group I joined does not require me to track calories, and neither does my Keto plan!

There are a couple of issues to address here:

If you are paying to belong to a weight loss group who tells you that you do not need to track calories, you might want to consider what their true agenda might be. Do they care about me losing weight, or can I be manipulated into being a perpetual income stream for them?

Tracking and measuring is a form of accountability.

You need to be accountable to yourself for your weight and health.

Odds are pretty high that if you are over weight, or obese, you have never been truly accountable for any length of time when it comes to your nutritional habits. I’m sorry if that hurt, but I have been there too and know this from personal experience.

How do I lose weight on Keto and some of the other popular diets or eating plans?

Whether or not some people want to accept this as a universal truth, the “calories in versus calories out” model is based on the reality that for you to maintain a stable weight, the number of calories you eat needs to match the number you expend.

“Calories in” refers to the calories you get from the foods you eat, while “calories out” is the number of calories you burn.

There are three main bodily processes that burn calories:

  • Basic metabolism. Your body uses most of the calories you get from food to sustain basic functions, such as your heartbeat. This is commonly referred to as your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  • Digestion. Around 10–15% of the calories you eat is used to power digestion. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) and varies based on the foods you eat.
  • Physical activity. The leftover calories you get from your diet are meant to fuel your physical activity, including workouts and everyday tasks like walking, reading, and washing dishes. (2)

When the number of calories you take in from food matches the number of calories you burn to sustain your metabolism, digestion, and physical activity, your weight will remain stable.

Thus, the “calories in versus calories out” model is strictly true.  I do not care what your weight loss group has told you as you hand over your monthly dues money, your body requires a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. It is a simple fact of life that from a biological perspective, you must consume fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. There’s no way around it, you are not a special snowflake this fact does not apply to. When I was still a young boy in school it was taught to us that once your body’s energy needs are met, extra calories are stored for future use in your muscles as glycogen, but most as fat. Thus, eating more calories than you burn will cause you to gain weight, whereas eating fewer than you need will cause weight loss.

But, but I read a study that said…

Yes, there are some studies you might find that make it appear as if what you eat matters more than how much you eat, implying that the calorie content of your diet is irrelevant for weight loss. However, these studies are based on a few incorrect assumptions. You have to be careful of what you read as some  these studies only report the total amount of weight lost, without mentioning whether the weight loss came from muscle, fat, or water losses. Additionally, some of these different studies and diets affect muscle and water losses differently, which can make it seem as if they are more effective for fat loss when this isn’t truly the case.

Have you ever considered why Keto appears to work good for people?

A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbs. As carbs are reduced and fat is increased, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Then the body starts turning fats into ketones, which are molecules that can supply energy for the brain. It is a scientific truth that after a few days or weeks on Keto, the body and brain become very efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs. The ketogenic diet also lowers insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, are two of the main reasons this diet has so many health benefits. But, what is often left out of Keto discussions is the fact you have become full, your body is satiated from the foods you have consumed before you have reached the caloric needs to maintain or gain weight. It works because you are at a caloric deficit.

When trying to lose weight, it’s critical to create a calorie deficit no matter your plan or method.

If you switch to a ketogenic diet and just randomly eat anything Keto friendly you desire while not watching your calorie intake, you are quite unlikely to drop pounds. Because many Keto-friendly foods, including avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy and nuts, are high in calories, it’s important not to overdo it. Most people feel more satisfied after eating ketogenic meals and snacks due to the filling effects of fat and protein. However, it’s still entirely possible to consume too many calories on a ketogenic diet by eating portions that are too large or by snacking on high-calorie foods throughout the day. Paying attention to portion size, increasing physical activity and snacking in moderation between meals can help create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.

Ever wonder why you occasionally see fat Vegans?

Vegan Overeating is Still Overeating

Simply put, weight loss success is achieved only when your choices reflect an overall decrease in calories going in and a corresponding increase in calories out. Factors that contribute to weight loss on a Vegan diet are significantly associated with weight loss included decreased dessert, sugar-sweetened drink, and fried food consumption and less eating out at restaurants. Or simply put, a caloric deficit.

Candy corn is just as vegan as an apple but from a nutrient standpoint they are far from equal.  The same goes for vegan baked goods, potato chips, deep-fried foods, etc.  Vegan foods high in fat, sugar and calories are just as unhealthy as their animal counterparts so don’t be fooled into thinking  “it’s vegetarian so I can eat as much as I want”.

No matter who you are, or what you might believe, weight loss always results from a caloric deficit. This is true regardless of whether your calories come from carbs, fat, or protein. Of course there are factors such as hormonal imbalances which can interfere with you being able to maintain a body at a healthy weight, however, these problems can most often be prevented from occurring in the first place through proper nutrition.

Educate yourself!

Be accountable to yourself!

Commit yourself to being the best you can be!

Be healthy and well!

 

 

(1) LiveScience.com

(2) HealthLine.com