Category: Fitness

Athlete In You

Photo by Leon Liu on Unsplash athlete

The Imposter

I can remember when I first started lifting weights about three years ago. Although I was dead serious about bodybuilding, when I first began building strength, I felt like an imposter. I was studying well-known females who were already successful in this sport and I didn’t feel like I was “one of them”. The same thing happened many years ago when I went from casual water activity to lap swimming. Little by little, I centered my life around the sport. Before long, I became an athlete, the most unlikely thing in the world for me to ever be.

My first squat was only 35 pounds and was little more than a 3/4 depth. I was so embarrassed. How on Earth could I possibly continue in this King of Exercises with this beginning? Little did I know that the difficulty of this endeavor would change me into an athlete. It seemed like an absurdity that I would ever even pick that bar up again. But I did, over and over.

As my hunger for progress drove me deeper into the Iron, I researched nutrition and committed to my workouts above everything. If anything hindered my progress, it fell to the wayside. I cut out people, habits and ideas that might slow me down. I entered into a state of mind that was new to me. I was willing to do anything to learn to lift. Still, I felt like an outsider, a “Wannabe”, anything except a Bodybuilder. It seemed that I was taking on a Herculean task  and I didn’t have the qualifications.

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Newbie Gains

Before long, I had a new swagger. My squat had grown from 35 to 80 pounds and I was full of myself. The weight that I was able to add pretty quickly was working. I was getting stronger every day. Mind you, I started this at the age of 61.

At about 80 pounds on the squat, I started sitting on the stairs to my “Dungeon” in the garage where I had built my weight pit, staring at the bar for long periods of time before I lifted. I was also approaching a 100 pound deadlift and I was anxious about that. Although David was skillfully coaching me, I could barely comprehend being able to deadlift 100 pounds. It was in these days that I had to decide if I was serious. The answer was always “Yes!” In the midst of Newbie Gains, the early increases in weight, you will begin to feel like you know something. Before long, you will begin to wonder if you can spell bodybuilding much less do it.

Photo by Javier Santos Guzmán on Unsplash

Going All In to Become an Athlete

After setting up my weight pit in my garage, I began to train harder. I had previously set up in my living room of a house where I lodged temporarily after relocating from being hit by a tornado.  (Before that I trained in a motel room after the hit, using totes as a weight rack.) I thought that I had a luxurious set-up. It was the entire living room of a really nice house with plush carpet and a big picture window. I was so proud of my gym. That’s where David taught me how to “ditch”. He told me to build some safety horses, like saw horses, and squat and deliberately throw off that weight and get out from under it.

Although my carpentry skills are pretty sad, I did my best. I squatted about 90 pounds and threw it off my back and lunged forward. The bar cleared me just fine. He had me do it again. This was necessary early on. Safety is EVERYTHING and I had to know how to get out from under that bar just in case I ever got down with more than I could raise. After that, my confidence became almost obnoxious, but I was falling deeper and deeper in love with the Iron. You know, “The Iron Never Lies” . What’s not to love? It does you up just right and leaves you better than it found you. Yes, just yes…

I was so proud of my gym that David didn’t tell me immediately that I had to work on a hard floor. When my squat began to fail. He told me I had to move onto a hard surface so that’s when I moved to the “Dungeon”, my garage that looked like the back room of the Salvation Army. It had a concrete floor though and that is exactly what I needed.

Photo by Javier Santos Guzmán on Unsplash

New Identity

When I first committed to lift, I was living in a terrible situation. I had to explain why I bought socks in a household with a good income. Something came over me as my heart was drawn to the bar. I had finagled around and managed to buy a kettle bell with interchangeable weights, but very quickly, I knew that I had to have a bar and the weights to go with it. I simply stated that I was going to buy them…and I did.

After the tornado, as we climbed out of the wreckage that was our home, I saw that my weights were unscathed. I quickly gathered them up and lugged them around the house debris to my car. Someone asked if I wanted them to take the weight set about 10 miles away for “safe-keeping”. I said “NO!” Although I was ridiculed for the very idea that I would lift in a motel room, that’s exactly what I did, alone, for weeks. The Iron had taken hold. It was the air that I breathed. It was making me into a new person that would not be denied or mistreated. Major life changes occurred that night. I never had to explain anything to anyone again unless I chose to do that. I had become someone unique. I had become myself.

 

Photo by Javier Santos Guzmán on Unsplash

New Day to Be an Athlete

After lifting in the temporary home for 10 months and steadily gaining strength, my son and I moved back into the home that was destroyed that fateful night. It was rebuilt like brand new and so was our life. My weights were getting heavier and I knew that it was time for an Olympic bar and a Power Rack. I had one very close call in the temporary home when I dropped one end of the bar across my throat in a Bench Press. With heavier weights, safety was even more important so I bought a Power Rack much like the one pictured above. I never thought that I would want an Olympic Bar but that time had come. When it does, you will never look back.

By now, I had struggled and clawed my way through Starting Strength and Mad Cow 5×5. I thought that I was tough. Little did I know what was looming in the not so distant future.

I well remember the day that David showed me The Hepburn Powerlifting Program the second time. He had familiarized me with it during the third program that I did called 531. I was getting in deeper and deeper and would not turn back if my life depended on it. One day when we were discussing my progress he told me that we were going to do Hepburn. The next day, I had it in Google Sheets and my life changed again.

 

 

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The Agony and The Ecstasy

Although that picture is not me, the expression on the face of this athlete says it all. Just before I began Hepburn, a woman who was just not serious about her fitness looked at me and said, “Why do you do that to yourself?” She had no idea, and neither did I, of what was to come.

The Doug Hepburn Program is intended to build explosive strength for the athlete, and it does. It’s a commitment that few people can understand. It will test your limits of strength, commitment and endurance in every way. Although there are a few programs that are more difficult, it’s not for the weak of heart.

As I fought my way through each day, week and month of this program, I established my identity for myself. If this athlete had ever felt like an “imposter”, those days were far behind me now. I went down those steps to my gym like clockwork, like I was going to the gallows. Just before beginning Hepburn I had failed to set my safety pins one time on the Bench Press and almost died. There was no room for mistakes anymore. Hepburn became my proving ground. I progressed and struggled and cried but did not turn away from it until David said that it was time to move on.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash athlete

My Heart

From the beginning of weight lifting, I had wanted to be a Bodybuilder. I am vain and I want the look. Little did I know that I would have to walk through Hell to even be able to begin true Bodybuilding. Although it seems like pure vanity, if you are natural (no performance enhancing drugs or steroids), the skill, dedication, brute strength and endurance required for this sport is unimaginable for most people. Hepburn was necessary to get me strong enough to even begin what I bought that first Standard Bar to do. Even athletes who are using steroids are pushed to their limits in this demanding practice.

I am, and always will be, a Natty, a natural athlete. I understand the competitive nature of the business that pushes some people to do otherwise but Performance Enhancing Drugs are not for me. Notice what I just said. I AM a natural ATHLETE.

In the beginning, you won’t believe it. Along the way, you will think you’re faking it. Then one day, when you’ve walked through Hell and survived, you will know that you have become exactly what you set out to do. You are an athlete. You have paid your dues, now continue. As David says, “We don’t own our level of fitness. We’re only paying rent.” Many athletes contributed to the programs that benefited me and I will always be grateful. My greatest appreciation is for David, who sees me through my most difficult days with exactly what I need, when I need it. He does not go easy on me. His standards are high and I am forever grateful.

Choose your sport and do it over and over until it’s life to you.

That’s how you become an athlete.

Women’s Strength Training Program

Ab Doer 360, Just Don’t!

Ab Doer 360

Ab Doer 360+

Wow, just think, for three easy payments of $66.65 or one payment of $199.95, you too can have an Ab Doer 360 (or damn fancy office chair) to hang your laundry from too.

Why would you hang laundry from this fancy chair masquerading as a piece of fitness equipment you may ask? The answer is simple, you are going to be disappointed with your results from using it in very short order. Once you figure out that you have been had, you are going to put it somewhere where you might want to hang your clean laundry.  Another use would be as an extra chair when you have company over for dinner if you do not have enough to go around. Just be sure Grandma knows that it will tilt in any given direction before she sits in it.

What I find fundamentally wrong about the Ab Doer 360

The marketer of this piece of junk has a video on their advertisement that presents some bold promises that you will achieve the body you want by using it. The only truthful thing I heard was where they offered a book with nutrition information to help you lose even more weight than if you used the chair by itself.

NEWS FLASH!

It does not matter how much abdominal work you might do, if your diet is not on spot, you will never see your abdominal muscles. If you are overweight and considering buying the Ab Doer 360, you had best be prepared to drop your calories to 500 below what your body requires for maintenance. If you do not cut your caloric intake, your tummy is likely to only get larger when the muscle hypertrophy pushes the fat out even more than before. Abdominal muscles are made visible in the kitchen, not in the gym!

Best Exercises for Six Pack Abs!

The advertisement for the Ab Doer 360 has people in great condition using their product. But you should know that no serious athlete would waste their money on this. There are plenty of great abdominal and core exercises that you can do without wasting $199.95 of your hard earned cash.

Ab Doer 360 claims that you will have a total body transformation  faster than ever before through a full body workout that targets your core. They claim it is going to activate more muscles and will massage you all at the same time! You know what they say about things when they are too good to be true, right?

How does the Ab Doer 360 work?

When you watch the video they have on the advertisement, you will see fit people sitting in these chairs, moving about back and forth, side to side, and doing twisting motions. They claim that by doing the workout they provide you that you will burn more calories and build more muscle fast. As a strength trainer myself, I find these claims to be quite dubious. Yes, you might burn more calories than you would just sitting there like a lump, but you will also burn more calories than a couch potato if you are naturally fidgety.

Core Strength Development for Newbies

The bottom line truth is, if you have never been one to exercise, it is highly unlikely you will remain interested in a wobbly chair to get fit. As for muscle building, this is simply not going to do it for you. It takes hard work to build muscle at any age. If you are out of shape, the Ab Doer 360 is not going to get you even toned, especially if you do not have a corresponding change to healthier nutrition choices that come in below your actual caloric needs to remain at the same body weight.

Why Sit-ups Enlarge Your Gut

Consult your doctor before buying the Ab Doer 360!

I tell everyone to always consult with their doctor before beginning any new exercise regiment. And with the Ab Doer 360, I think it may be even more prudent for you to get clearance from your doctor before using one. The reason is, this contraption is not targeted at people who have been serious about physical fitness.

The Ab Doer 360 is designed to appeal to one who wants to begin an easy exercise routine since they are out of shape. If you are overweight and out of shape, all the twisting and bending you would do could be harmful to your back. This would be especially true for anyone who has already had a history of back problems beforehand.

If you are overweight and out of shape, my best advice to you is to save your money. You do not need a wobbly chair in your life. What you need is to begin daily walks with your doctors approval, and to clean up your nutrition. Once you have built up a little endurance, then think about adding simple body weight exercises to your daily walks. There is no need to waste your money.

For the best and most comprehensive nutrition, health and fitness information on the web, you can easily start following us at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. We always have been, and always will be free to our followers!

 

Weight Loss Magic

 

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You Can Do Weight Loss Magic!

I always looked at people who were thinner than me and thought that they knew some kind of magic trick. I read fashion magazines and looked at the high fashion models in disbelief. How could they look like that!?! They had to be magical creatures with pixie dust flowing in their veins.

As I got older, I began reading health based magazines and books. As I perused those fitness models, I thought that they were the “lucky” ones. They simply had to have superior genetics and lots of money to afford special food and trainers and such. I even suspected that their good looks might involve a bit of surgery or trickery of some sort. While I was not far off in some cases, the critical factor that I overlooked was simply what they put into their mouths. They ate healthy amounts of healthy foods. All of the genetics, drugs, camera tricks and surgeries in the world could not produce those results if those models ate poorly. The “Magic” was what they ate.

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Words Into Action

I well remember all those “diets” that I was going to start tomorrow. It was always “after” something. After a birthday party, after the vacation and after supper all seemed like better times than RIGHT NOW. The day that I decided to start NOW, was a turning point in my life. I still had a lot to learn but when I decided to stop procrastinating, I was ready to fix my life. I just had to discover the magic.

Photo by Ana Tavares on Unsplash

Accountability for Weight Loss

We tend to avoid being accountable for everything that we eat until we get serious about weight loss and health. We may “keep up with it in our heads”, avoiding logging each and every bite that we take. Bites of cupcakes at the school event, an extra dollop of sour cream on the baked potato and dessert “just one more time this week” all add up in a hurry. When we refuse to keep an accurate tally of the calories that we consume, we are stopping weight loss before it begins.

Many people have told me “I’ve cut back on my eating.” but when I ask them how many calories  they are eating, they don’t know. If that is the case, how do you know that you are eating less? It’s easy to lie to ourselves about our intake if we don’t journal it in some way. You can write it down on paper or use an app, but it is a mandatory part of weight loss. Programs that limit you to specific foods but do not require accountability are reinforcing bad habits. Lack of accountability is what got you overweight in the first place.

This is the time to quit eating added sugars. Foods with added sugars make your calorie count skyrocket and leave you under nourished because you have wasted your calories. Added sugars create foods with empty calories that keep you hungry and miserable. Those sugars create an insulin dump which lowers your blood sugar and you get hungry again quickly.

The first bit of magic for weight loss is count your calories.

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Explore

After learning to count your calories religiously, you may tend to eat the same things over and over. That will work for a while, but sooner or later you will need to explore different foods. You need to find ways to eat the foods that you love. That does not mean to eat sugar. It means finding foods that will give you a sweet taste that will satisfy your new taste for sweets. You will find that after you withdraw from added sugars, naturally sweet foods such as fruit will more than satisfy your sweet tooth.

It also means to find ways to cook other foods that conserve calories. I recently did a video on how to make low calorie french fries. These are not oven fries. They are french fries. You can fry a potato in 1-2 Tablespoon of oil and then still pour most of that oil back into a cup to measure just how much you are eating. Slice that potato into fries about the size of a pencil and put them in a seasoned, cast iron skillet in one layer and fry them on medium until brown on one side. Flip them and brown the other side and take them up, one at a time. Measure the oil left in the skillet and deduct that from the amount that you put in and track it. Salt them with your favorite popcorn seasoning or regular salt or both and enjoy! You don’t have to suffer to lose weight. You have to think and be willing to learn new habits. The old ones will only take you back to where you started.

The second bit of magic is be willing to learn.

Photo by Monica Silva on Unsplash

Toughen Up for Weight Loss!

Think about what you are trying to do. There’s a phrase, “Body Recomp”. It means “body recomposition” which is losing excess fat and gaining muscle. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made with built-in survival systems. If we are trying to change the cellular make-up of our bodies, we are delving deeply into advanced physiology. Everything in us will rebel. When you first begin to avoid sugar, you will have a real feeling of withdrawal. Sugar is a quick source of energy and our bodies get accustomed to having that for quick access. When we remove that, we feel it! You have to be ready for a few days of discomfort, but let me ask you a question here. Which is better, a week or two of discomfort or years of sickness brought on by the complications of obesity? Suck it up, Buttercup, if you want to realize your dreams.

The third bit of magic is be strong!

 

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Commit

People frequently fail at weight loss because they say, “I’ll TRY to lose weight.” That’s the problem because that means that they will do it if it’s comfortable.

We are creatures of habit. Change is never comfortable for us. Even if the changes are positive things that we really want and need to do, it is not comfortable. Unless you commit to stay on the path, when the craving for sugar gets intense, you will cave. Make up your mind that you will endure. Decide why you need to do this and don’t waver. The misery that you may feel in the beginning is short-lived but the rewards of enduring are for a lifetime.

The fourth and final bit of magic is endure.

 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Guaranteed Weight Loss

If you do these things, you will be successful at weight loss. The magic is all in your habits and mindset. I was both elated and terrified when I discovered that the answer that I had been looking for most of my life was within me. Elated because I had the key, but terrified because I had to use it. No one was going to wave a magic wand over me and make me lose weight. Working the magic was my job alone. I practice this magic daily and my life is good.

Now, get out your jar of pixie dust and get started!

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE BEGINNING ANY WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM.

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How To Lose Weight – David’s Way to Health and Fitness (davidsway.blog)

How To Lose Weight

 

Genetics and Habits in Obesity

photo from pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3768146

Cause or Curse?

I first heard the phrase, “Generational Curse” 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.

What “Genetics” Will We Pass Down?

True, there are some tendencies that are familial. There are also 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 fail at achieving your goals. 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 90-95% that Mom’s choices that caused it. (1) 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. Habits are sometimes “familial”. That is not the same as “genetic”. Bad habits that are passed down can cause death and disease. That does not mean that you are doomed to have those diseases. You can choose to avoid the bad habits that cause them.

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What Have You 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. Learned Helplessness is perpetuated in many families as an excuse for bad behavior. I have seen it in relatives and the families of friends.

Decisions, Genetics and Choice

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. (3) 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.

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The Habits of 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. I assumed she had great genetics. 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.

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.

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It’s Not My Fault, It’s Genetics

(1) https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-causes

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

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4920136/

Crush Your Weight Loss Goals!

 

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash marathon runner

Set Your Goals

Before we can begin to pursue a goal, it’s necessary to determine what those goals are. So often, people live for years just wanting to lose weight. They may have an unrealistic goal in mind. It could be to wear clothes that they wore when they were in high school or to be a size that is absurd for their frame. In recent years the Size 0 got to be a fad. In real life, there are very few people who actually should be a Size 0. A few years later the “thigh gap” craze began. With rare exception, no woman at a healthy weight should have a gap at her upper thighs. When we are setting goals it’s imperative that we are realistic. This does not mean to settle for less than your best body.

Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash female body behind plastic

It means to set the goal of making YOUR body the very best that it can be with the genetics that you have. All body types can be healthy and good-looking. Just because you find a picture that you like on Instagram that does not mean that is the best look for you. I am in pursuit of an athletic V-taper. Being a natural hourglass, I must accept the fact that my V-taper will be modified by curves. To try to change the very foundation of who I am is both absurd and pointless. It would lead to a life of endless, futile struggling and low self-esteem. I quit indulging in low self-esteem years ago

While I work long and hard at the iron, and other exercise, and stay within my caloric allowance every day, I am not in a struggle of futility. I have accepted my hourglass shape with appreciation that I can be both athletic and curvy at the same time. There are good points about every body type. Learn to enhance the body that you were given. Don’t ever fall into the thinking that one type is “better” than another. Unless you are a bodybuilding competitor, where a specific shape is the standard, that’s nonsense.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash researching

Do Your Weight Loss Research

Weight loss is simple. Eat less than you burn. It’s staggering when you consider the simplicity of the science involved and then note that there are infinite entities to help you do that. If a plan or program costs money other than the basic cost of whole, healthy food and a pair of good walking shoes, it’s possibly a money making plan. It may not be a weight loss plan. I know of such a company whose primary objective is merely to keep people coming back. That’s where they make their money, repeat business. If that is the business plan, then you may not lose weight and keep it off.

Another tactic is the prepackaged food programs. While we all might buy convenience foods from time to time, a steady stream of prepackaged foods is neither healthy or practical. Sooner or later you will tire of the salt and preservatives and stale, artificial quality of these meals and binge on food that tastes good. The feeling of shame and failure that accompanies “getting off of your diet” will most likely cause a downward spiral that will end in excess pounds. You very well may even gain more weight than you lost. In that case, the money that you lost will be part of the tragedy.

Fad Diets for Weight Loss

There are many fad diets that come and go. Many people think that keto is a new thing. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination! When I was 13 years old, my mother put me on what she called a “Low Carbohydrate Diet”. The idea was to eat as few carbs as possible. Believe me, I ate very few. I was also limited in calories, much unlike the keto of today. I averaged about 20-30 grams of carbs a day and about 1000 calories.

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash spiral

Twilight Zone

By the third day, my ears were ringing and I could barely hear. Maybe I could hear but it didn’t seem like I could. Nothing made any sense. I had NO energy and could barely study. Since I was in the 8th grade and expected to make good grades, that was a horrible experience. There’s the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Air Force Diet and on and on… While you will lose weight on all of these diets, I can assure you, you won’t keep it off.

At David’s Way we merely supply you with the knowledge that you need to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off. We charge nothing. There is no hidden cost. We encourage you to be the best YOU that you can be. Part of our methodology is to have a complete, fulfilling, healthy life all around. In the hectic, sometimes scary world that we live in, having a strong, healthy body, and a life that we have created with forethought, is an island of calm.

Commit To Weight Loss

So many times people misunderstand what a commitment is. It is a binding, such as in a contractual relationship. It is something that you agree to do, without waver. Oftentimes, at the commitment stage of a positive life change, the change is treated more like a suggestion. If we view weight loss merely as a suggestion or a good idea, when it seems tough, we will forget all about it. If we have determined in our heart that we will do this thing, there is no room for quibbling. Once a true commitment is made, we will find a way to execute our plan. At this stage, our motive is the most important element of implementing our plan. When it comes to weight loss, good health and mobility and being able to care for ourselves should be a strong motivation. Living independently in good health is it’s own reward.

Establish a Schedule

Goals are more easily realized when we work towards them on a regular schedule. Since I am a strength trainer, this is front and center for me. When we are building strength, programming is critical. I have to have a regular workout schedule. If I work out randomly, whenever I “feel like it”, I would never progress. Have a regular time for your meals as much as possible. Decide how many days you are going to work out and do it. Don’t look for excuses to deviate. Remember your reasons to commit. It’s okay to change the workout days within the week but make sure to exercise the number of times that you have committed to do.

Photo by Aleksandra Sapozhnikova on Unsplash yellow tabby cat Charlie

Make Your World Small

Remove hindrances to your program, whether they are people who try to undermine you, or clutter in your workout room. Get what you need to be healthy. It may be good, healthy food or shoes. Whatever it is, get it. Don’t over buy thinking that if you spend enough money, that will do the trick. It won’t. You have to use what you buy in accordance with your programming. The $2000.00 treadmill that turns into a clothes rack won’t help you at all. A $40 pair of athletic shoes that you use on the walking track will work much better!

Check-Points

There is probably nothing more important to an ongoing healthy lifestyle than periodic evaluation. I weigh, measure and compare pictures from different times to assess my progress. I have found out that I need to do that at least every three months. As I begin bodybuilding as opposed to power lifting, I will be doing that monthly. When we are committed to a lifetime of healthy choices, occasional assessment helps us to make minor or major changes when we see trends either positive or negative. Without reassessment, we can get way off track before we realize that we have a problem. If we see that a change we made at our last assessment has had positive effects, we will know to keep it up.

Never underestimate what you are capable of doing. Achievement is possible only if you first believe that you can do it. Plan your work and work your plan. You are more than capable of crushing your weight loss goals.

Commit To Lose the Weight This Time

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Understanding Hydration

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Spring has now arrived and many of us physical fitness buffs will be taking our activities outside where we can enjoy nature as we go at our favorite outside recreational activities. Some will go for walks, while a good many of us will go at our activity vigorously enough to raise a sweat along with our heart rates. While it is my personal opinion that outside exercise is great for everyone, we have to be quite vigilant about our level of hydration as dehydration can not only hurt us, it can kill us. ALWAYS seek medical attention if you have ANY signs or symptoms of dehydration!

Hydration might seem a boring topic, yet it is an important one as there are people who really do not understand the implications of both dehydration, nor the ill effects of over hydrating. It was through my following of Weight Watchers social media Connect where I really became aware of some of the crazy ideas which proliferate the internet, ideas which range from being mildly ill informed to down right dangerous. The mildly ill informed crowd would be the folks who make it a point to drink one to two gallons of water per day with no solid scientific evidence to back up their reasoning, it was just something they read on the internet they should do in order to lose weight easier. For most people, the worst aspect of this would be never being able to get too far away from a bathroom during the day as they will be urinating on a frequent basis. When this practice becomes harmful is if the individual drinks enough to suffer a condition called hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Water intoxication is a result of drinking an extreme amount of water in a short time which will cause the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood to drop too low. This situation is serious and can be fatal.

 A downright dangerous idea I saw perpetuated on Connect was by a very popular male “Connector” who appears to have little else to do with his day than to flex his muscles for selfie pictures which he constantly posts every day. Many people who are struggling with weight loss and are new to physical fitness hang on every word this gentleman writes on his page. This fellow who is a huge influence to a great many people once wrote about how he likes to workout while dehydrated. This is an old body builder trick for just before competition in order to make their muscles appear more “cut”, or to have a clear separation between each muscle group. While this ignorant practice might be good for him, it is beyond the pale, that he would put this word out to people who for the most part do not know better than to workout while dehydrated. I called him out on this and was blocked not long afterwards. I sure hope this individual never put out dangerous word like that ever again.

Friends, before I get further into dehydration, refer to the chart below and remember this as a rule of thumb in regards to hydration; there is no magic amount of water you need to drink each day for your health. The amount you need is going to be unique to each individual based on not only how much water is consumed, but how much water is taken in through other sources of liquid, including food. Look at the simple chart below and use that as a hydration guide. By the color of your urine, you can know if you are taking in too little or too much water. Note, the upper color is a light straw and does not represent entirely clear, like water, urine. If your urine can pass for drinking water, you have likely depleted a good amount of your body’s electrolytes and you will need to replenish them before partaking in vigorous exercise.

To get more into science of this topic, did you know that the human body is made up of about 60% water?

Adequate hydration for healthy digestion of our foods, proper breathing, and just about every basic function. When you are not taking in enough water, dehydration will happen which can lead into less than favorable side effects. Unfortunately, more than 70% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration according to doctors (1). And because it can come in the form of several different symptoms, many people fail to notice that they are dehydrated.

What is dehydration?

Your body requires adequate water intake for every function it performs. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, severe, or chronic depending on how much fluid your body is missing.

  • Dehydration is your body’s negative reaction to having a water deficiency.
  • Chronic dehydration is a condition where dehydration lasts for longer periods of time.

Again, without sufficient hydration, your body cannot perform its basic functions properly. No matter your age, dehydration can occur for several reasons. Babies and elderly people are more prone to fluid deficiencies than adolescents and adults.

Young children are most likely to experience diarrhea and vomiting which purges both electrolytes and water, which increase the chances of dehydration. Babies also do not have fully developed kidneys. This means they will retain less water than they store in their tiny little bodies.

Older adults naturally have less water in their bodies and often times will not realize they are thirsty until dehydration has already set in. Additionally, elderly people are more susceptible to dehydration if they take certain medications like diuretics.

Causes of dehydration

The causes of dehydration can vary per individual depending on certain lifestyles, genetic and environmental factors. Most people are prone to dehydration under specific circumstances such as exercising frequently, illness and exposure to heat.

Your body loses water every day just through breathing, sweating, going to the bathroom and through saliva. If you have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, you are excreting additional fluids that can worsen dehydration. People who are active, exercise frequently, and sweat a lot also have an increased risk of fluid deficiencies.

In addition, some digestive tract issues can make you more prone to diarrhea which is linked to dehydration. Some of these conditions include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gluten sensitivity

Always, make it a habit to increase your water intake when you are releasing more water than you normally would.

Signs you are dehydrated:

  • Not urinating enough, or your urine is dark yellow. A simple way to determine if you are dehydrated is by checking the frequency of your bathroom trips as well as the color of your urine. If you are not urinating frequently, and when you do it is a darker color of yellow, chances are you have moderate dehydration. The darker it is, and the less frequent you do urinate, the more likely it is you are dehydrated, period. Start drinking more water as soon as you see that your pee is a darker yellow.
  • Dry skin. Research shows that your skin contains 30% water which is responsible for elasticity and plumpness. Many people who show signs of dehydrating may sometimes appear sweaty but as you go through the stages of dehydration, from mild to severe, your skin will become drier. Your skin may also appear red and flushed if you are dehydrated. Applying moisturizing lotion can alleviate some skin problems externally, but drinking more water will help your internal bodily functions to maintain healthy, supple skin.
  • Bad breath comes from dehydration when you are prevented from creating enough saliva. And since saliva has antibacterial properties, the lack of production can cause bacteria growth in your mouth that can lead to bad breath. If you have “zoo breath” reaching for a glass of water may be more effective than a piece of gum.
  • Experiencing muscle cramps! Refer back to the idiot telling people he likes to be dehydrated when working out, and the harm this can cause people. Exercising frequently, or working in hot weather can make you dehydrated and cause muscle cramps. As your muscles work harder, they will stop functioning properly, especially in a hot environment. Excessive sweating from exercise or heat worsens dehydration and also causes you to excrete vital minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you are experiencing muscle cramps, consider bringing a sugar free electrolyte drink as well as a water bottle and sipping on both throughout your day.
  • Fever like symptoms, having the chills and other flu like symptoms is commonly associated with infection. But dehydration is another culprit to having fever. When your body does not have adequate fluid levels, it becomes difficult for your body to maintain a stable body temperature which can lead to hyperthermia and fever symptoms. If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, immediately stop all physical activity you are doing and drink more fluids as well as electrolytes while you rest.
  • Not consuming enough water may result in fatigue, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Your brain is composed of more than 70% water so it is crucial to stay hydrated for optimal brain and body functioning. Severe dehydration can come in the form of confusion and feeling like you may pass out any second. If this occurs, take a seat, slowly drink water and give your body a rest before attempting any physical activity. Ensure you consume a source of essential vitamins and minerals from water filled fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, apples and watermelon.
  • Craving sweets and sugary treats. When you are dehydrated, it is difficult for your body to release glycogen (which uses water) as your main source of energy. If you are experiencing sudden hunger cravings for something sweet or salty, there is a good chance that dehydration is making it difficult for your body to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as a fuel source. Instead of giving into this craving, drink a glass of water or two.

How to avoid dehydration and rejuvenate your body.

Here are some tips for bouncing back from dehydration and restoring your body’s proper fluid levels. ALWAYS seek medical attention if you have ANY signs or symptoms of dehydration!

  • Keep a water bottle next to you at al times. If water is constantly in front of you and readily accessible, you will most likely get in the habit of sipping throughout the day without even noticing.
  • Add flavoring to your water if you do not like the blandness of water. Consider getting a zero calorie sweetener to satisfy your thirst and taste buds.
  • Eat more vegetables. Aim for large servings of vegetables in each one of your meals. Some fruits and vegetables are made up of 90% water such as watermelon, cucumber, celery, zucchini and lettuce.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. Both increase the frequency of your bathroom trips, resulting in a higher chance of dehydration.
  • Drink unsweetened tea. If you like tea, a few cups a day can help you reach proper fluid levels while benefiting from antioxidants. Avoid sweetened tea as the added sugar can worsen dehydration.
  • Workout less during extreme heat. It is hard enough to maintain proper hydration when you are working out in an air conditioned gym. If you are experiencing chronic dehydration, consider less intense exercises while it is hot out.
  • Drink a bottle of water first thing in the morning. When you are asleep, your body is still excreting fluids. More often than not, you are slightly dehydrated after a full nights rest. Drinking at least one glass of water as soon as you wake up is a great way to restore proper fluid levels.
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise. Whether you are a beginner, or advanced in fitness, water intake should be one of your top priorities. We encourage drinking at least a glass of water three hours before exercise, sip on a bottle of water during your workout, and immediately after you finish.

Staying hydrated is key for optimal health and longevity.

Drinking enough water for optimum hydration can be a struggle for many people. Ranging from babies to older adults, dehydration can negatively impact your health at any age.

Putting conscious effort towards maintaining proper fluid levels will help you stay healthy and prevent dehydration from rearing it’s ugly head. If you are experiencing any of the tell tale signs mentioned above, consider adopting a few strategies above into your daily activity. Whether you are an athlete, construction worker, or live a sedentary lifestyle, drinking more water can help you improve your health and well being.

Subscriptions to David’s Way to Health and Fitness are always free. You can also join us at https://www.facebook.com/Davidsway2hlth  Facebook Page for more information.

How Much Water Do I Need?

(1) Claire Riley, AFPA Health, Nutrition & Fitness

Focus in Attaining Goals

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Upgrade

Focus makes everything easier. The rough, dangerous, annoying road to a local walking track that has been under construction, has “suddenly” been transformed into a magic carpet ride, smooth as silk.  The borders of the road are clearly defined with new paint and color.  It’s not only easy to traverse, but pleasant. This clearly defined pathway represents focus.

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Focus Changes Everything

As we navigate our lives we often lose focus on our goals.  This is the danger zone for our health initiatives.  As we become encumbered with the tasks and trials of daily existence, our lofty ideals of health and wellness can easily be pushed aside for more “necessary” tasks.  Our days become like the road under construction.  We can get through, but it’s a difficult task.  It’s frequently dangerous as we push ourselves to our limits without focus. We don’t enjoy it and the entire experience just wears us out.  How often do we skip a workout to manage the equivalent of a pothole in the road?  We tend to exhaust ourselves on distracting details.  We will arrive at our destination sooner if we keep our eyes on the goal.

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Make It Your Job with Focus!

The most important part of setting a goal is to be clear, detailed and focused. (1) Without this step, our minds wander and everything in the world distracts us from what is truly important.  Saying “I really need to do better.” will not give us the same results as “I will work out like it’s my job, every scheduled day.”   Everything in our lives should revolve around specific goals.

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Be Specific!

In my case, I lift weights four times per week.  My life revolves around that fact.  It is my job. Although I don’t get paid for working out, it is my first commitment, therefore it is my job.  My workouts get done by prioritizing them. There have been scheduling problems when I had to change which days I worked out.  I have not failed to work out the number of times scheduled since I made the decision to be specific.  It’s not always easy.  You would be stunned that I make this happen if you knew more about my life.  At first glance, it seems impossible.

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Without focus, we will fail.  It is not a question of whether we will or not. We will.  When we focus the journey is smoother.  We may go through hard times and dangerous places but focus redefines the pathway.  Suddenly, we know exactly what we have to do.  Then there are fewer distractions because the focus has expedited our journey.  Those unnecessary jolts, jars and potholes just don’t have a hold on us anymore.  We take note of them, but we are on a pre-determined path. With this path clearly in focus, our journey will deliver us to the doorstep of our ultimate goal.

10 Ways To Stay Focused During Stressful Times

Go ahead.  Set that goal and make it detailed.  Make it realistic.  Get committed to yourself. Focus on your goal and make it happen!

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¹www.pediatricservices.com/prof/prof-45.htm

Fitness Trackers, Fitbit or No Fitbit?

I get asked fairly often do I think Fitbits and other fitness trackers are worth the money. These questions come almost exclusively from folks who are new to physical fitness. Maybe they have begun a new exercise regimen. Or, they may still be in the contemplation stage, trying to gather all the information they need for success. I have mixed emotions about if I think Fitbits are worth the money for anyone and will get into that.  But first, I will address what a Fitbit is and how  they are utilized by fitness enthusiasts.

What is a Fitbit?

Fitbit is a brand name for what is essentially a glorified pedometer. You can find many of these  on the market available from different manufacturers. These devices when combined with apps work together to deliver a complete, connected and fun experience that’s available at any time. With these fitness trackers, you can track your activity, exercise, food, weight, sleep, heart rate and more for real-time information, day and night. That is pretty handy to say the least. The question is, are these devices accurate with their data? Common sense would say that accuracy is going to all depend on the quality of your tracker.

What you will find is they are usually pretty good for counting steps, but when it comes to distance, some are more accurate than others. You could believe you are walking or jogging, lets say three miles by your fitness tracker data, and then discover that you are actually only doing two and a half miles. Conversely, you could find yourself going even farther than your target of three miles.

Another issue with fitness trackers comes from tracking you caloric burn. Some are going to be fairly accurate while others are wildly off. If you are one who likes to eat extra calories based on the calories your fitness tracker said you burned, you could very easily find yourself not losing weight. In fact, if your caloric burn is not accurately reflected, you could even find yourself gaining weight if you eat the extra calories.

If you are in weight loss mode, you really need to know exactly how many calories a day you need to consume in order to lose body fat and really consider going easy on consuming more based on what you believe you may have burned extra through exercise. It is my observation that many people will underestimate the amount of calories they eat, and greatly over rate the amount of calories they believe they have burned each day.

The bottom line is, based on your gender, age, weight, and activity level, you require a certain amount of calories each day in order to maintain your weight. If you desire to lose one pound per week, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day, or 3500 calories per week in order to achieve that amount of weight loss. Your fitness tracker can hurt your weight loss effort if the data it gives you is not accurate.

A lot of today’s fitness trackers will monitor your heart rate, which is good if, once again, if the data is accurate. They are usually most accurate when you are at rest, and lose accuracy once your heart rate elevates during exercise. While there may be a legitimate benefit to monitoring your heart rate with a fitness device, know that this data is not accurate enough for medical purposes.

These devices are probably good enough to inform the user of general trends in their heart rate, but it is important to have more accurate information when physicians are relying on this data to make decisions on medications or other tests and treatments. Also, where this applies to you, the end user, is if you have or had heart problems, bad data can give you a false sense of confidence in your physical capabilities. You could believe your heart is healthier than it may actually be. A released study by the American College of Cardiology showed these devices can be off by up to 34 beats per minute. All this being said, I do not believe that any of the manufactures market their products as a medical device.

The prices of fitness trackers range from as low as $25 to upwards of a couple hundred dollars. Are they worth the money? Well, that is all dependent on the quality of the device you purchase and it’s accuracy. Just my humble opinion, but if a device is not accurate, then it is not worth a penny in my book. But, you might find them to be really useful for your purposes. Their value is entirely subjective to the individual wearing it and what they hope to achieve by using the data they collect from their device. My advice to anyone considering buying a fitness tracker whom may also be tight on funds is to ask yourself a few questions;

  1. Have I been at an exercise regimen long enough to know that I am in it for the long haul and will not quit when the going gets tough?
  2. What do I hope to achieve by using a fitness tracker?
  3. How useful is the information really going to be for me? Is the data going to help me run farther and faster. Is it going to be the holy grail that gets me into good physical condition?
  4. Instead of a fitness tracker, would I be better off spending that money on a good pair of shoes? This question really is pretty important to consider as a cheap pair of shoes can derail you from your efforts before you truly even get started. If you are heavy, then a cheap pair of shoes is going to be your worse enemy as proper arch support and cushion is a prerequisite towards becoming a runner. Poor arch support can lead to Plantar Fasciitis. This condition comes from the numerous complex tissues, muscles and bones that can become damaged quite easily if your feet are not properly protected when you run. The foot has a thick, fibrous band of tissue called the fascia that reaches from the heel to the toes and provides support to the muscles and arch of the foot. When this tissue becomes overly stretched, tiny tears can occur on the surface, resulting in pain and severe discomfort. Trust me, if you do not care for your feet, that fitness tracker is not gong to do a thing for you while you are recuperating.
  5. Another issue to consider when deciding on a fitness tracker over a quality pair of shoes is a fitness tracker will no more prevent you from getting Shin Splints than it will Plantar Fasciitis. Shin Splints are also referred to as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. The cause is stress on your shinbone and the connective tissues that attach the muscles to your bones. They get inflamed and very painful. Shin Splints can happen from flat feet, or over pronation, when the impact of a step makes your foot’s arch collapse. They can be cause by shoes that do not fit well or provide good support and by weak ankles, hips or core muscles. Another preventive measure is to ensure you warm up before and cool down after exercise. Know that your fitness tracker does nothing to help this. It will give you no warning that your legs or feet are about to be in terrible pain. You are better off in having good shoes over any fitness tracker on the market.

But, I really like to know my heart rate when running in order to get maximum fat burning benefits….

Note:

Always be sure that your doctor has cleared you before beginning any new exercise regimen.

Heart rate training can benefit almost everyone who exercises. The key is to exercise at a rate where you elevate your heart rate into the optimum training zone. You really do not need a fitness tracker. Here are seven easy steps that will help you to calculate your ideal heart rate training zone.

  1. Calculate your maximum heart rate with a simple paper and pencil calculation. Simply subtract your age from 220. This result is an age predicted maximum beats per minute. Note, this method does not take in account your fitness level or inherited genes. This can make your true maximum rate 10 to 20 beats higher or lower than the age predicted number. Your best heart rate can actually be detected by our ability to speak during a run or jog. If you can barely, or not speak, your heart rate is too high. Slow yourself down. If you can speak easy, your heart rate is too low. Step up your pace until you can have a labored conversation.
  2. Determine your resting heart rate. Take your pulse before you get out of bed in the morning. Do this for several days in a row to get consistent readings.
  3. Calculate your heart rate reserve. Subtract your heart’s resting rate from your maximum rate. For example, if you are 40 years old, then subtract that number from 220, your max heart rate is 180 beats per minute. Next, subtract your resting rate or 80 as an example. Your heart rate reserve is 100 beats per minute. This heart rate reserve represents the cushion-heartbeats available for exercise.
  4. Calculate your aerobic training heart rate for fat burning. This fat burning range is between 50 and 75% of your heart rate reserve.
  5. Calculate your aerobic training heart rate for fitness. This range, required to improve aerobic endurance is higher than that needed for fat burning. It ranges between 75 and 85% of your heart rate reserve.
  6. Calculate your aerobic-anaerobic threshold heart rate range. This range represents the upper limits of aerobic exercise. Or, the point just before you push yourself into exhaustive anaerobic work. Exercising at this intensity is usually done to improve athletic performance. It is not recommended for weight loss. The range to get to this point is between 85 and 90% of your heart rate reserve. Know also that operating at this intensity level will not burn body fat. It becomes a carbohydrate (muscle-glycogen) burning exercise.
  7. Calculate your anaerobic training heart rate range. This is an all out effort and represents 90 to 100% of the cushion of your heart rate reserve. The goal here is to go as fast as you can for as long as you can. At this level you are achieving a pure anaerobic, carbohydrate burning, exhaustive, lactic acid producing exercise. This is truly no pain-no gain type training.

Whether you feel the need or not to buy a Fitbit or any other fitness tracker, do so with knowledge. Fitness trackers have their utility for a lot of people. However, do not put off beginning a new exercise program because you do not have one. If your money situation is tight, consider investing in a quality pair of shoes first. Get into a good routine for a few months to where you know if you will stick with it.  Then save your money in order to buy a quality fitness tracker at a later date. Your feet and legs will appreciate this, I guarantee.

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

Easy Weight Loss

 

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Small Steps

Small steps are the pathway to big goals! Many years ago in nursing school,  I realized that I wanted to lose 80 pounds. Mind you, I didn’t need to lose that much weight but I wanted to be skinny. In contrast, I needed to lose about 50. Eighty pounds or fifty, they were both overwhelming. I decided to focus on losing 5 pounds and discovered the first tenet of easy weight loss, small steps. I knew that I could do that. The pounds began coming off easier than I ever imagined. The power of small steps had changed my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t maintain  that weight loss. I never gave up the foods that I was addicted to, specifically sugar. Since I still craved sugar and it gave me other cravings, the weight that I so meticulously peeled away 5 pounds at a time, came right back on.

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Frequent Weight Loss Success!

When we begin a weight loss program, initially we feel empowered. Shortly afterward when we begin making behavior changes, doubt creeps into our minds. By setting small goals that we can attain more often, we see progress and feel successful sooner. As we begin to feel successful, we build on that momentum more easily. Weight loss becomes our new normal as we conquer each small goal. If you want to lose a large amount of weight, you might set five pound goals along the way like I did. Read this article here for tips to help you get started.

Make Losing Weight Easier – David’s Way to Health and Fitness

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Easy Does It!

When I began living David’s Way I started strength training with heavy weight as a goal. Starting Strength, a program for beginners got me interested in lifting, without demanding more than I was capable of doing. Since I had gotten weak while I was working for a major weight loss company due to all the driving, I started with pretty light weights. If I had tried to lift too much weight early in the program, I would have quickly gotten discouraged. Discouragement can cause many people to quit. The same idea applies to weight loss. Keep it simple. Start small and be proud of every victory! When I add weight, I add small increments. It empowers me when I conquer those new weights!

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Stay Flexible

Be willing to make changes in your goals. Grandiose ideas of what we want to accomplish will make sticking to our program harder. Instagram is a huge influence on a lot of people. If we set a goal of looking like an Instagram model, we may want to abandon the whole idea of weight loss. I read a lot of what the IG models put on their pages and there is a theme that is recurring. The more honest, down-to-earth models frequently write, “Don’t worry about looking like an Instagram model. We don’t look like that either.”

One very famous fitness model has elaborated on the length of time those pictures take to shoot. She talks about the hundreds of images that are destroyed before the perfect image is chosen. This 23 year old girl has had multiple surgeries and advocates the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. If we set our goals based on artificial images, we will get discouraged unless we reconsider the reality of that. It’s necessary to change goals and methods of accomplishing them as we become more knowledgeable about our health and fitness.

The Golden Rule of Weight Loss

Cravings are the main reason that most people give up on weight loss. Hunger is easy to satisfy with good nutrition based on whole foods. Cravings call out for specific flavors and textures and are never satisfied. Added sugar causes cravings because you release insulin to metabolize it. As the insulin does it’s job of lowering your blood sugar, even the slightest bit too low will set off cravings again. While sugar is usually what most people crave, we will crave a wide variety of calorie dense foods until our blood sugar rises enough to offset the insulin.

This cycle repeats itself continually as long as we eat added sugars. Weight loss is almost impossible when we’re lost in this repetitive cycle. The answer to this dilemma is obvious. Don’t eat added sugars. Remember, it’s an addictive white powder that causes inflammation throughout your body. No good can possibly come from eating sugar. Almost every disease known to man begins with inflammation.

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Weight Loss Tactics Simplified

1-Set small goals.

2-Be proud of every small victory.

3-Take your time.

4-Don’t eat sugar.

and ALWAYS remember David’s wise advice when I asked him how long will this take. His answer? “The rest of your life.” Health and fitness are an ongoing process. David also says, “We don’t own our present level of fitness. We’re only paying rent.” As you work towards your health and fitness goals, remember, there is no endpoint. In order to get and remain healthy, you must consistently live a healthy lifestyle. Look at this worthy process as a new life rather than a temporary, self-inflicted torture.

My habits were once as bad as anyone’s. I wore a size 22. Now I live a healthy lifestyle that keeps me working full-time at age 64, in a size 8 at 5’6″. I also care for a special needs family member alone. I train hard four days a week and have worked my way to the Elite level in Strength Standards in my age group for the deadlift by adhering to the simple teachings of David’s Way.

Believe me, you can change.

 

 

 

Fasted Exercise for Weight Loss

Fasted exercise being better for weight loss is a misguided belief. You will find this misguided notion on the plethora of different social media forums for losing weight.

Fasted exercise is not better for weight loss than exercising after you have broken your fast!

In fact, fasted exercise is counterproductive to your efforts at losing weight. Successful weight loss comes from eating fewer calories than you are burning. You need to understand that it does not matter when you eat those calories. Losing weight always has been, and always will be a matter of calories consumed vs calories burned. Fasted exercise is a hack. The problem with hacks are they may show temporary results, but that does not mean the results are going to be effective or long lasting.

Why do people believe fasted exercise is best for weight loss?

The belief is that when you exercise first thing in the morning before eating, you will begin burning fat sooner than otherwise. You will work a little quicker through your glycogen stores before burning fat than you would otherwise. People believe this will cause them to be more effective at working off their body fat. The problem is, fasted exercise will only make you weak earlier in your exercise session than you would be if you had eaten first. It is undeniable that you will be more effective at burning fat if you are well nourished. Being well nourished will allow you to perform at a higher intensity for a longer amount of time than if you are fasted. I will guarantee you have never seen an athlete competing on an empty stomach for this very reason.

Fasted exercise worked well for me!

You also realized gains in performance too, right?

There is a reason that despite performing fasted exercise you saw gains in your performance. The increase in your performance are what is referred to as “Newbie” gains. Everyone who is new to exercise of any type will see an increase in their ability to get through their session with greater ease. This does not mean that those gains are as good as they could be otherwise. It also does not mean those newfound gains are going to be as sustainable over the course of time either. The result of fasted exercise for the beginner is you will plateau sooner than you would have. Your weight loss from exercise will always be more effective when you can increase your duration and intensity. Fasted exercise will not allow you to do this as long as fed exercise.

It is true that fasted training increases fat oxidation, but this doesn’t translate to increased (body) fat loss.

This is where a lot of the confusion stems from, so let’s understand what fat oxidation actually is.

Fat oxidation is just a fancy word for ‘fat burning’ and consists of two steps:

    • Lipolysis: This is when stored fat is broken down into fatty acids.
    • Oxidation:  Is when your body uses these fatty acids for energy.

Your body is constantly storing and oxidizing (burning) fat throughout the day. When you wake up in the morning, skip breakfast, and go to work, your body is oxidizing stored fat for energy. Once you eat lunch, your body stops oxidizing stored fat and now uses calories from your lunch as energy. You will be back in a fasted state once your lunch has been digested, therefore your body will begin oxidizing fat stores once again until you eat supper and the cycle repeats until breakfast.

Our body’s ability to do this is why we don’t end up incapacitated half-way through the day if we haven’t eaten for a while. Because of this fact, people assume if they train fasted they’ll burn more fat by forcing the body to use its own stored energy. The problem with this idea is that short-term fat oxidation (burning) doesn’t mean much for fat loss. It is the long term balance over days and weeks that will dictate whether you’re losing or gaining body fat.

If the amount of fat you burn stays the same as the amount of fat you store, body fat remains the same. You have to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight even if you do fasted exercise!

What’s The Difference in Burning Calories and Fat?

Morning exercise can be a consistent and positive way to start the day.

It does have many benefits such as eliminating excuses for skipping your workout later in the day and improving your mood and energy by getting endorphins circulating throughout your body. But it’s not necessarily the best time of day to exercise. Morning exercise is not superior to evening exercise when it comes to weight loss. Losing weight always comes down to burning more calories than you consume.

 While there is some evidence that fasted exercise may contribute to burning stubborn fat. The truth is, 98% of you don’t have a stubborn fat problem. You just have a fat problem. Instead of worrying about fancy protocols and weight loss hacks, get your diet and exercise in check and focus on reducing total body fat.

Check out our  plan here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. It is not complicated at all, and is really nothing more than a common sense approach to nutrition. I guarantee that anyone who tries our methodology will lose weight, and then keep it off. Best of all, we charge nothing to anyone to follow our methodology, we are entirely free to all.
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