Category: Fitness

The “Generational Curse”, What Is It?

The What?

I first heard that phrase about 20 years ago and had absolutely no idea about what it was supposed to be. Turns out that there were people around me who believed that bad traits passed from one generation to another by some mystical means other than just genetics. True, there are some tendencies that are familial and some outright inherited maladies, but they are few and far between. Almost all of the negative health and life issues that we have are a direct result of the choices that we make, not genetics, and certainly not some mystical, spiritual curse. Believing this falsehood is simply an excuse to under achieve and fail at life. Believing this is an excuse to abandon all effort to be responsible for the health choices that you make. Mom became diabetic at age 40? If that’s the case, it’s Mom’s choices that caused it. Make different choices. I had an Aunt who died a terrible death from throat cancer. I loved her. She was my favorite Aunt. She smoked, a  lot, and never quit. Do her children have a similar risk? Possibly, they also smoke and the genetics are secondary compared to that decision.

Is It Learned?

There is a state of mind called “Learned Helplessness” that is believed to occur when someone is exposed to traumatic events that they cannot control. Over time, the individual “learns” that he cannot control events around himself and simply doesn’t try. Feeling that we can’t control traumatic events leads to loss of motivation to the extent that even when we are presented with the opportunity to change the course of our lives, we may not take advantage of the opportunity. This “loser” state of mind cripples the individual in decision making because he feels that his decisions won’t make a difference. Feeling helpless in the face of trauma and unable or unwilling to change the course of action by deciding to take control, leads to depression in most people with learned helplessness. This is a deadly personality trait when we are faced with decisions concerning our health.

                                                                               Is It A Decision?

In the original experiments on this topic, it was discovered that dogs who did not try to avoid negative stimuli had not, however, learned helplessness. They had not learned control. (1) The difference is profound. In order to “learn” helplessness, or the lack of control, we must first decide to take control and then be unable to do so. If an individual is afraid of failure simply because that’s all they have ever seen or been exposed to, then they have not made a decision to break that consecutive chain of failure, dysfunction and sickness that may have existed in their family for generations. They have not learned helplessness, they simply have not learned control. Therein is the problem.

Lovely Ladies

I remember when I actually believed that “skinny” girls were just genetically gifted. Never mind that my Mother, who was 5’7″ and about 110 pounds, ate very little and almost never sat down. For some strange reason, I ignored the obvious. Truth be known, it was easier to believe that she had great genes, that were somehow vastly different from mine, than to see the truth of the matter. While I would binge on brownies at every chance, she might eat one, maybe not even one. While I preferred the life of a sloth, she was a busy bee. I have mentioned “Janice” a few times. She was a lovely girl, close to my age in my 20’s who had a rock star body. While I struggled to fit into a size 12 or 14, Janice was a lithe size 5 or 7. Guess what. I finally ask her what she ate. She showed me a tray of freshly cut vegetables in her fridge and she told me that she ate those veggies all the time and seldom got hungry between meals. I was at her house for meals. They were healthy meals of grilled lean meats and veggies, fruit for dessert and no munchies at the parties unless you wanted the fresh veggies. She did not deviate and was not swayed by the negative comments of those around her concerning her diet.  She was in control. So was my Mom. Both Janice and my Mom had obese Mothers. They had made a conscious choice to take control, to do better than their upbringing. Genetics be damned.

Your Choice

What would your life be like if you decide, right now, to take control over the things that you have refused to exercise control over until this moment in time? Would you be different tomorrow? What about this time next year? Would you still eat the same things, smoke, drink alcohol and hang out with the same people? Remember, if someone doesn’t encourage you to be healthy, they are not your friend and do not have your best interest at heart. I challenge you. Exercise your ability to create your life and take control today. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

(1) medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325355.php

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Invest In Yourself, Exercise!

I cannot fathom the reasoning that goes into ones thought process when they state they do not do healthy. I have heard this enough over the years I actually wrote an article about it which I titled,  I Don’t Do Healthy and Other Dumb Quotes.

Honestly, I have a difficult time getting past such an absurd mindset. Yet I know it is not uncommon. The mind set delves further into the absurd when it is coming from who is obese and suffering from many self inflicted ailments that require constant medical attention. Not that I have, or will ask this, but sometimes it makes me wonder if they are really this dumb, or just want me to believe they are. After all,  who are they hurting with their obstinence?

Who they are hurting might just be you if you are the one who will be picking up all the shattered and broken pieces of their lives one day.

 Is it really too much effort to take care of yourself before your body decides to fight back with ailments and or disease?

It does not take rocket science to know and fully understand that exercise is good for our bodies. Even if you suffer from DOM’s (delayed onset muscle soreness) for your first few days of an exercise regimen, your body is liking that it is being worked as it was meant to be. Too many lay about licking their wounds, wanting a doctor to just prescribe them something to stop the sickness, the aches and pains, and the early aging. Yet, you have the power within yourself to put a stop to most of this without ever stepping foot in a doctors office.

It is proven science that as we age, exercise will help mitigate the frailty and diseases that come from a sedentary lifestyle. The more fit your body, the longer you will live a quality life. If you want to live a life of laying about the house eating cookies and cakes while binge watching your favorite program on the television, then you will likely die younger than you need to, while being a miserable individual in your final years on earth. It really is as simple a concept as this, and no one can scientifically argue against the benefits of physical exercise.

Invest in yourself!

Make an inexpensive investment into your future that will pay big dividends for quality of life as you age. Begin investing when you are young, and before you get too far out of shape. Even if you are obese and out of shape, get your butt up off the couch and move it with a purpose. Once you begin getting into better shape, you will live a more active life that will make you feel and look younger. Exercise is going to make daily life functions much easier and simpler. There will not have to be any thinking about how hard it will be to climb the steps in your home. You will have an easier time carrying in your groceries. Best of all, you will be able to live a fuller life where you can actually enjoy doing outside activities with your grandchildren. And you will be able to do these things without gasping for air every few minutes or having to constantly sit down to rest.  By exercising at enough aerobic intensity to get your heart rate elevated, by strength training and stretching, you are going to improve your functional fitness, which is going to improve your life for you and your loved ones. You will no longer rain on your kids, or grandchildren’s parades anymore by sitting out every activity they might want you to be involved with them in.

Immediate payoff

Good exercise can and will give you a boost in energy. If you are lethargic in the afternoons, you can easily turn this around with a brisk walk and simple stretching. This will aid in getting your more blood pumping to your brain. At night, you will find that sleep will improve and come easier than it did when you were fat and out of shape. Your body will have true fatigue and your stress levels will have fallen as a result of a good bout of vigorous exercise. This is good since as we age, our periods of deep sleep will often shorten, which translates into less restful sleep.

Being as physical exercise essentially resets the brain, you will find that you have become a calmer individual than you might have been before. Exercise reduces our stress levels immensely. It helps to keep our blood pressure lower during stressful situations. If you are a couch potato, your blood pressure will rise quicker and higher than a normal weight, fit individual. This benefit is one of great quality as it allows you to remain better focused on the difficult tasks life often hands to us.

Exercise helps with chronic pain and helps relieve menopausal hot flashes. After a few short weeks with an exercise regimen you notice that your self esteem has improved as you achieve your new fitness goals, and of course, as you begin to feel healthier. you will find that an active life style will work wonders with your mood as it is known to release endorphins, or the feel good brain chemicals in your brain. Have you ever heard of runners high? I can tell you it is absolutely real, and it damn sure feels good.

Getting your heart healthy.

Any type of exercise is going to be better for your heart health than sitting on your couch all day doing nothing of substance. By getting your body moving with some intensity, you will strengthen your heart, which is absolutely going to make you feel better. Your heart will beat with less effort and your arterial walls will be more supple, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Moderate exercise that burns 1200 to 1600 calories per week will improve your cholesterol profile by raising your HDL (good cholesterol) and preventing the oxidation of your LDL (bad cholesterol) which if left unchecked, will cause your LDL to stick to the walls of your arteries.

This is a topic I love! The American Heart Association has come to the conclusion that lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Strength training lowers your cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, and improves your overall cardiovascular fitness. Your glucose metabolism becomes more efficient, which lowers your risk of diabetes and your ratio of muscle to fat will be increased which means your metabolism will be more efficient at burning off body fat. The importance of having a low bod fat to lean muscle percentage is the fact lean muscle burns more calories than your body fat ever will, and it does this even when you are sitting down resting. When people ask me if I do much cardio, I always tell them that weight training done right, is cardio.

Greater lung capacity.

After the age of 25, there is a 1% decline in lung capacity that occurs every year unless you do something about it with aerobic activity. This lung capacity, known as your VO-2, will typically increase by 6 to 20% with aerobic conditioning, and can go as high as a 50% increase. When you can breath better, you live better. Only a fool would argue this. As your lung capacity improves, oxygen enters your lungs more efficiently and the carbon dioxide waste, leaves more rapidly. By increasing your lung volume, you are increasing the quality of your life. You will be able to function without getting winded so easily.

Benefits, head to toes.

You do not need any expensive gym memberships or high tech fitness gadgets to get yourself into good physical condition. All you need is your doctors clearance and a will to get yourself active. By simply walking 30 minutes per day, you will begin reaping many benefits to your body and soul.  From arthritis to weight gain, good vigorous exercise will help mitigate many medical issues in your life. The investment in a pair of sneakers and a comfortable outfit to exercise in is far cheaper than unnecessary medical bills brought about by an unhealthy diet and sedentary life. Strong muscles in your thighs will help reduce the risk of arthritis in your knees. Women can reduce their risk of diabetes by half.

It is a well established fact that exercise boosts your body’s immune system function. And you do not have to work out every day to enjoy the many health benefits. I have read of a study where it was found that people who exercised moderately for 30 minutes, only 6 times per month outlived those with a sedentary lifestyle by a 43% margin. When it comes to quality of life and longevity, staying physically fit is the best investment you can make in yourself.

Invest into your own future wisely. You will have no regrets.

Why Sit-ups Enlarge Your Gut

Do you ever wonder why you do hundreds of sit-ups every week and your gut gets bigger? Do you ever wonder why, despite all of this abdominal work that you’re doing that instead of a six-pack you have a dunlap? It’s your diet.

Everyone has heard that abs are made in the kitchen. No truer words have ever been spoken. If you have a layer of fat on your belly, regardless of how much ab work you do, you will not see your abdominal muscles. It’s mandatory to shed that fat pad if you want to look ripped.

I’ve often heard it said that someone wants to “get some abs”. Guess what, you have them. We all have abdominal muscles or we couldn’t stand upright. The trick is to uncover them. Good strength training will make them look better but you will never see the fruit of your labor unless you shed the fat.

When you do a high number of ab exercises you will get hypertrophic growth of those muscles. This occurs when inflammation from the exercises causes the body to retain sarcoplasmic fluid in response to the microtears to the muscle tissue caused by exercise. If you have a layer of fat on your abdomen, then the retained fluid, also known as “a pump” will just cause your gut to protrude all the more. If you lose the fat, then when you get that “pump” in your abs, you will have a visible six-pack.

At David’s Way we promote a high protein, low carb diet. We do not promote keto. For most people that is too restrictive and if they lose fat that way, they will usually rebound and overeat and gain the fat back rather quickly. We also advise to aim for about 1 pound per week loss. You can download the Calorie Counter Pro and enter your information for a customized calorie count for your personal needs. This is private, only you can see this information. It is also a free service. Everything on this blog is free to you because we want to improve the health of humanity worldwide.

When you begin to lose that fat pad, you will see your hard earned abs emerge. They are waiting.

Out Exercise a Bad Diet? You’re Funny

Congratulations, after a living a considerable time of being over weight and out of shape you made the wise decision at the beginning of spring to do something productive about it. You did your due diligence with homework and found a great weight loss plan as well as an intensive exercise program to compliment the new diet. You absolutely rocked this new lifestyle and lost about 10 pounds in the first couple of weeks. Then you started becoming somewhat discouraged as the weekly weight loss began to slow down to only a pound or two a week. This rapid deceleration lasted for a couple of months before the losses really slowed to a turtle’s pace of only a pound or so a month. if even that much. Now, it is the end of summer, the kids are back in school, you exercise yourself to near death and the weight is stuck exactly where it was at the first week of June. It is at this point where you are totally exasperated and ready to just throw in the towel because you believe you did everything right, therefore you must be one who is genetically doomed to a life of obesity. What went wrong?

Plenty went wrong.

You did not know what it is that you did not know about successful weight loss and weight management.

The above scenario is one we have encountered many times from our clients and our readers who have contacted us for advice. It is a scenario that gets played out all across the globe among many of those who have decided to get their bodies down to a healthy weight while increasing their physical fitness. If this scenario fits you, it is not all of your fault being as there is so much conflicting information out there in regards to diet and physical fitness. Besides a huge plethora of information telling us “just do this, and don’t do that” from well meaning individuals, there is also an abundance of scam businesses putting out information that only serves to keep you coming back to them as a perpetual income stream. It is enough to make your head spin, we understand this. At David’s Way, our blog information will always be free for your use in order to get fit and healthy.

Note: we are in work now towards publishing e-books which will be sold in order to offset our overhead expenses for the blog. The blog will always be free to you, as our purpose is to help others first and foremost. Anything else, is and always will be, secondary.

Now, lets address why you are not losing weight despite your best efforts. Barring the possibility of any health or medical issues, I am going to first take a look at your dietary habits before addressing your exercise regimen.

DIET

  • Do you know how many calories per day your body requires for healthy weight loss?
    1. If you do not know how many calories per day your body requires, you need to find this out before proceeding any further.
    2. You can simply consult our Calorie Counter Pro right in our blog menu to find this information out. This is 100% private. No one, not even we at David’s Way will know your information. We respect the privacy of all and are HIPAA compliant.
  • Do you know how many calories per day you are consuming? Do you measure and track your daily intake in order to ensure you are eating the amount of calories per day your body needs?
    1. No matter what other weight loss sites and business might tell you, you had better be tracking your intake of food in some manner or another. If you do not track how much you consume, it is quite possible you are eating too much for your level of activity. Any that tell you that tracking is not necessary are likely going to keep you around for perpetual income.
    2. As much as you do not want to over eat when trying to lose weight, conversely, you do not want to under eat .
      • Under eating will cause your body to go into starvation mode which will both slow down your metabolism and cause you to lose lean muscle mass.
  • Do you keep track of the macro-nutrients you consume? Do you know how much protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats your body requires for good health?
    1. At David’s Way, for weight loss we recommend a diet high in a variety of proteins, lower in complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
      • By keeping your protein intake higher, you will feel satiated much longer than when you fill up on carbs.
      • Be sure that your consume a variety of protein sources to ensure you are getting a full profile of the 9 essential amino acids required by your body to repair and replace cells and muscle tissues.
      • We have different protein needs depending on the level and intensity of our physical fitness regimens. For instance as a strength trainer and endurance hiker, I consume at least 1 to 1.2 grams of protein for each pound of my body weight each day. For women who are strength trainers, I recommend .8 to 1 gram of protein per day. Those who are not involved in high intensity physical fitness regimens do not need this much. In fact, the recommendation for women is .62 grams per kilogram of body weight and .8 grams per kilogram for men. A 130 pound woman who is not very active might only need 37 grams of protein per day for good health, but a higher total is going to help her to remain satiated better between meals. Especially if she is also consuming healthy fats to go along with the protein. Fat also helps to keep you satiated longer.
      • Note: A big deal is made by some in regards to excessive protein turning to fat within the body. This is true. However, if you are tracking what you consume, this is not a concern as the same can be said for excessive carbohydrates. The point is to track and know how much you are eating and to not exceed the number of calories your body requires in a day. One gram of protein and one gram of carbohydrates both provide 4 calories to your body. I weigh 170 pounds and consume 2500 calories per day in order to maintain my weight. If I consume 1 gram of protein per each pound of my body weight, this equals 680 of my allotted 2500 calories for 27 percent. Even on my heavy lifting days when I might consume 200 grams of protein, this is still only 32 percent of my total calories coming from protein. With the hunger that comes from a heavy weight training session or a long distance hike, it is much easier to keep my calories under control with protein rather than carbohydrates. By tracking my total intake of calories and macro-nutrients I can properly fuel my body without taking it to an excess. This allows me to maintain my body fat percentage at 9 percent at 56 years old.
  • If you are still consuming added sugar, simple carbohydrates without a fiber content, and processed foods, just stop it now. These foods will always keep you hungry as they have a direct impact on spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels. These foods will always keep you craving more.
    1. If you never had control over cravings for simple carbohydrates in the past, you are not likely to have control over them in the present, nor the future.  Simple carbs added together with exercise only means you are likely to end up craving more carbs.
    2. Who am I to tell you to not eat sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods when other weight loss business such as Weight Watchers specifically says you can still eat them?  Consider this, I am not charging you anything for my advice. Others such as Weight Watchers will charge you a monthly membership fee while they know that my advice is the truth. Yet, by telling a sugar addict they can continue eating sugar laden foods, they know that you will be a perpetual income stream to them. I make nothing off of your readership while they make anywhere from $20 to $40 per month off of each of their 100,000 plus members. With this kind of revenue, you can bank on the fact they have nutritionists and scientists under their employment that also know the truth about simple sugars and their role in keeping you over weight or obese.
  • Ensure that your diet is well rounded between a variety of protein sources, vegetables and fruits. Ensure that your dietary habits provide with the protein and a full amino acid profile as well as the vitamins and minerals you need for good health and vitality.
  • Last word on diet, although there is more which could be said. Let’s assume that everything about your diet is spot on point. You are tracking your calories and macro-nutrients. Your diet is nutritionally well rounded and you still can not lose weight no matter how much you exercise. My question to you is:
    1. Have you adjusted your caloric intake with your actual needs since beginning your weight loss journey?
    2. Are you aware that you have to adjust your caloric needs downward as you lose weight, even if you exercise?
      • If you are a 250 pound female who stands 5′ 2″ and want to lose 120 pounds down to 130 pounds, your caloric needs are going to drop as your weight does. In fact, the calories it will take for a 250 pound woman to begin losing weight at a rate of 1 pound per week will equalize to where that same amount of calories will be what it takes for her to maintain her weight at 165 pounds if she went from being sedentary to moderately active over the course of her weight loss. Therefore, if you do not periodically adjust, you will plateau. This is why almost everyone who goes on a weight loss journey eventually stalls out with 30 pounds or less to go in order to meet their goal weight.

Exercise

Many people will underrate how much food they consume each day and overrate the intensity level of their exercise. Some will overrate their intensity because they simply do not know any better, and then some will do this in order to justify eating their sweet treats or whatever extra it is they feel they cannot live without. I have seen one instance on a weight loss social media site where an individual was tracking their calories burned for their basal metabolic rate as a part of their calories burned from exercise too. This kind of thinking is ignorance at best and pretty dumb at the worse. Another example is the ones who now count their daily house cleaning as exercise in order to increase their calorie allowance for the day. News flash: if those calories burned did not help you when you last month before you began your weight loss program, they are not sufficient enough to help you now.

  • It takes 20 minutes at an aerobic level heart rate to burn through your body’s glycogen stores before you even begin to burn an ounce of fat.
  • If your heart rate is not getting elevated to where it causes your breathing to become a little bit labored, you are at too low of an intensity to do your body much good. True, you are lapping the couch potato, but not by much.
  • If you take your heart rate to the anaerobic level for a couple minutes of true high intensity, do not count your entire session as high intensity simply because, at a high intensity, you cannot hardly breath. If you cannot breath, you are not going to last more than a couple minutes at best. If you think you cannot breath, yet are able to keep moving at this intensity, you are still in a moderate intensity. Maybe you have not figured out what a true high intensity exercise is yet.
  • If you use a tracking app for your calories and exercise, be honest as dishonesty only serves to hurt you.
  • Your problem can also come from simply over doing it and not getting enough rest and recovery. Always remember that nutrition, rest and recovery are equally important to an exercise regimen as the actual exercise.

I know there are more points that can be made on this topic. If you care to elaborate on one, or address something not mentioned, please feel free to comment and or ask questions. We are always happy to correspond with our readers whether in our comments or through private contact through the blog menu. We hear from privately from readers pretty regular. Also, please feel free to make comments on our forum or create a topic of your own. We would truly like to see our forum begin to grow. Thanks and God bless.

Childhood Obesity, Do Something About It!

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

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

How big a problem is childhood obesity?

From the (CDC) Center for DIsease Control and Prevention

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

For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years:

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

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

Complications your obese child will face in life!

From Mayo Clinic:

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

Physical complications

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

Social and emotional complications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Hormones and Nutrition

Our Bodies Social Media

Our endocrine system is an amazing messenger that keeps everything up and running with chemical fuels that are more powerful than we can imagine. They regulate our metabolism, energy levels, growth rates, reproductive health and our responses to everything around us. Nutrition plays a role in regulating our hormones, so for optimum health we need to be aware of how some foods can affect this network of “instant messaging” that runs throughout our bodies.

Necessary Nutrient

I frequently hear people say that they have trouble getting enough protein. They tend to fill up on carbohydrate laden foods and as a result, are never satisfied and tend to overeat. Adequate protein is necessary for hormone production. There are 20 amino acids, the building blocks of protein, that are necessary for human life. We can produce 11 of those inside our bodies but must get the rest through what we eat. In order to insure adequate protein intake we need to get about 0.6-0.8 grams per pound of body weight. If you are a weight trainer, you need more, about 0.8-1.2 grams per pound of body weight to insure the strength and muscle gains that you need and want. Some protein will build hormones and some will build enzymes that act as chemical catalysts and other protein will become muscle cells. Eating protein at every meal will reduce your level of ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry. Experts recommend getting a minimum of 20-30 grams of protein at every meal. (1)

Eat to Stop Eating

Eating anti-inflammatory foods will increase how well you respond to leptin, the appetite suppressor hormone. Fatty fish, nuts and leafy greens are good anti-inflammatory foods that can improve your sensitivity to leptin and help you stop eating sooner.

Decreased Thyroid Function?

Thyroid hormones determine the speed of your metabolism. Eggs, cranberries, milk, lima beans, potatoes, ocean seafood, dried plums or prunes and yogurt are all good sources of iodine which is necessary for good thyroid function. Always consult your doctor for dietary guidance if you have known thyroid problems and especially if you take medications for thyroid function. These drugs are powerful and the thyroid is a very powerful part of your endocrine system.

A Disturbing Trend

I am becoming increasingly aware of an ever increasing number of young women with PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS is an insulin resistant condition that may be affected by diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. At David’s Way we always advise you to avoid these foods. Sugar has no known benefits, promotes insulin resistance and packs on the pounds that add additional insult to your endocrine system. Even simple carbohydrates that do not contain sugar may increase your chances of insulin resistance. I have known of young ladies who want children to be told that PCOS would impact their fertility and yet still, they would not make these necessary dietary changes for their health. There are some studies that show a relationship between PCOS and increased risk of endometrial and breast cancer and cardiovascular problems. (1) Sugar and simple carbs cannot possibly be worth the risks involved in eating them.

Good Fat

Medium Chain Triglycerides are good fats that may decrease insulin resistance. So often people avoid fat, thinking that all fat is bad. We are supposed to eat some good fat. These powerhouses are found in palm and coconut oil.

Always avoid transfats. There is nothing good about them. They are found in baked goods, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, fast food, vegetable shortenings, coffee creamers, canned biscuits and canned frostings along with other sources. Read Nutrition Facts on your food purchases and avoid these troublemakers.

Monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and nuts are believed to increase insulin sensitivity. I have coconut oil every day in my protein shake and am not hungry for hours afterwards. The healthy fat and protein punch is satisfying and supports muscle development and maintenance for my heavy lifting sessions. I use the liquid oil and it mixes right into my shake easily and gives it a velvety texture.

Naturally Balance Your Female Hormones

These tips that help balance other hormones will help balance your female hormones. Eat good whole foods and avoid sugar and simple carbs and you will immediately notice a difference in the way you feel, especially if you normally eat foods containing empty calories.

Be Proactive

We have so much control over our health including our hormones. We can never have good hormone levels if we don’t give our bodies what they need to make them. When we eat empty calories, foods devoid of nutrition, we set ourselves up for disaster. Take control and reap the benefits of good nutrition today.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/balance-hormones#section1

12 Week Beginners Walking Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compare your pulse rate with the below figures:

Women

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

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

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

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

Men

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

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

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

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

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

How vigorous is your workout?

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

Age    Target Heart Rate / Maximum Heart Rate

30      95 to 142 bpm              190 bpm

35      93 to 138 bpm             185 bpm

40      90 to 135 bpm             180 bpm

45      85 to 131 bpm             175 bpm

50      85 to 127 bpm             170 bpm

55      83 to 123 bpm             165 bpm

60     80 to 120 bpm              160 bpm

65     78 to 116 bpm              155 bpm

70     75 to 113 bpm              150 bpm

12 Week Walking Program

Week 1

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

Week 2

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

Week 3

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

Week 4

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

Week 5

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

Week 6

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

Week 7

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

Week 8

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

Week 9

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

Week 10

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

Week 11

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

Week 12

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

Watch your form!

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

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

 

Stick To Your “Diet”

BRAVO!

So, you have decided to get get healthy! Good for you, now let’s look at what it may take to make that lofty ideal become a reality. I could not possibly count or remember the times that I made that decision only to crash and burn. Don’t let that happen to you. David’s Way has been the only program that has sustained me at an ever increasing rate of health and stamina. I’m 62 and work a full time job and a part time job and spend countless hours blogging. I work out hard and regularly. I care for a special needs family member and pets. Health is everything. I have also been told that I deny my age in many ways and I know that I am not typical. You can achieve these results but only if you are diligent in your program.

The Difference

Decide on a strong motivation. Before beginning David’s Way, my primary motivation was to look good. While that is still very important to me, my health is my strongest motivation. That works well together because when we are strong and healthy we look good. It’s impossible to look great for a long time if we are unhealthy. Health exudes confidence which causes us to make more and more positive changes and we look better and better. I challenge you to define your motivation to stick to your program. While mine is health and looking like an athlete, yours may be different. Whatever it is, it should be the most important thing in the world to you. If you can have a strong motivation, you are much more likely to be successful on an ongoing basis. I have decided that I want to be at 14% body fat and be clearly defined in my torso. My body fat is a little higher at about 18% but I am getting new definition all the time. I will not rest until I can see the outline of every muscle in my body.

Get Real

Set realistic goals. We would all like to wave a magic wand over our heads and POOF! skinny. Well, that’s not going to happen. I have been working David’s Way for about a year and a half and I am the strongest and sleekest that I have ever been but believe me, it did not happen quickly. Our bodies have to have time to make positive changes. Start working your program without borders or deadlines. Commit and do it until you see results and do it again. That’s how it works. When we want to lose weight and get in shape fast. we set ourselves up for failure.

Set Yourself Up to Succeed

If you have foods or drinks that you can’t seem to resist for Heaven’s sake, don’t have them in the house. Don’t say they are “for the kids” or some other family member. If they are not good for you, they are not good for them. Just say “NO!”

Avoid “All or Nothing” Thinking

So often when we are trying to stick to a program and we slip and eat something , or a lot of something, that we shouldn’t have, we ditch the whole idea. That will cause you to fail every time. When you lose control, merely regain it. Immediately decide what you need to do for the rest of that day and do it. Make sure to get adequate protein to quell hunger and move on. If you wait for the perfect day to stay “on track”, you may never get on track again.

Speaking of Protein

Always have healthy, high protein snacks available at home, on the road and at work. The protein will quell your hunger enough to help you fight off cravings for simple carbs and empty calories. This is especially important if you are in a situation where you can’t eat a full meal on time. The high protein snacks will get you through the fast with energy to spare. Almonds, jerky, hard-boiled eggs cheese and Greek yogurt are great, portable, high protein snacks.

Work Out and Manage Your Food Simultaneously

Good habits reinforce each other. When we manage our food and work out together, we see faster results than if we do either alone. Sometimes people think that if they work out, then they can eat whatever they want. That is simply not true. David always says that you can’t outrun a bad diet. I know avid athletes that are hard core to the point of needing to budget for medical care for injuries and they still have a pot belly because they think they can eat and drink anything. Wrong. We need balance. Our bodies seek a state of homeostasis, or balance. Do your part to help your body find this balance and your body will yield benefits beyond your wildest dreams.

Women and Strength Training

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

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

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

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

Sex differences, body size and composition.

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

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

Strength and power output.

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

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

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

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

Strength training for women.

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

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

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

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

Beginning Diet and Fitness

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

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

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

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

It is as simple as that.

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

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

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

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

Quit over thinking diet and exercise!

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

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

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

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

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

Get you mind right!

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

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

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

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

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

Do not over think diet and exercise!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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