Category: Health

Diet Soda Causes Weight Gain?

diet soda and hot dog

Diet soda causes weight gain is an absurd statement I have heard several times over the years. Of course, the individuals who have stated this to me preceded by telling me they might as well drink regular soda instead. This line of thought is not well thought out, but maybe it should be addressed anyhow.

Could there be a glimmer of truth about this?

Is it possible that diet soda causes weight gain?

research laboratory

Where did this information even come from? Research from George Washington University is one place that has promulgated this theory. Their research does suggest that artificial sweeteners may actually increase a person’s risk of becoming obese.  Studies  of artificial sweeteners reveal that they could increase the chance of us accumulating fat in our bodies. But this is in a “dose-dependent” fashion. In other words, you have to eat a very large quantity of artificial sweeteners to increase your body fat.

What is the basis of this theory?

It is factual that weight management is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned. So how exactly could a zero calorie sweetener in a diet soda cause you to gain weight?

 Sweet substances bind to sensors in our mouth called “sweet-taste receptors.” These receptors send a message to our brain to tell us that we are eating something sweet. In the last decade, these sensors have been found in other parts of our body, such as the bladder, the lungs and even in bones. This has raised questions about what effect sweeteners, and these sweet taste receptors, could be having inside our bodies.

 Results of research presented recently at the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, addressed the effect that artificial sweeteners have on the cells that make up our fat stores. These cells have a glucose transporter (a protein that helps glucose get into a cell) called GLUT4 on their surface. When we eat more sugar, the cells take up more glucose, accumulate more fat and become larger.

 Studies have found that the artificial sweetener sucralose increases GLUT4 in these cells and promotes the accumulation of fat. These changes are associated with an increased risk of becoming obese. But what you need to know is that only a small number of obese people who consume artificial sweeteners have been involved with this research.

Artificial Sweeteners Effect on Insulin and Blood Sugar

Now for the rest of the story.

This same research displayed that when consumed in low quantities, artificial sweeteners have been shown to aid weight loss. They have also been shown to improve metabolic conditions. There is little support for the notion that no-calorie sweeteners stimulate appetite or contribute to obesity.

Still think diet soda causes weight gain?

People who regularly consume diet drinks are more likely to have poor diet quality and eat fewer fruits and vegetables than those who don’t drink them. It is common that people switch to diet soda when they begin gaining weight without addressing other aspects of their diet that are causing the weight gain.

Weight management will always be about calories consumed versus calories burned. With zero calories, it is a bit absurd to believe diet soda causes weight gain.

You can’t believe everything you read. All the news stories and blog postings on this topic cite the same few studies: research in rats conducted by two investigators at Purdue University and two studies that followed soda drinkers over time.

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Ending a Toxic Relationship With Food

young lady eating pasta

Toxic relationship with food?

Having a toxic relationship with food can be a common theme on a lot of weight loss social media forums. Are you one who has one too?

I was watching a video the other day of IFBB Professional Bodybuilder Greg Doucette  where he was discussing the absurdity of having a relationship with food. He made a point in a question that reverberated with me, “How do you have a relationship with food?”

I have heard this term, but never paid it much mind.

You might think it is just words in a term, but are they?

Does it do you any good to talk to your food? Can your food bring you a lasting satisfaction in life?  What kind of companion exactly is your food?

I have thought about this term, and believe we should stop referring to having a relationship with food and just call it what it is. This relationship that is so hard for people to part ways with is an addiction no matter how you look at it.

You and I both know that this “toxic relationship” is not with healthy foods. Healthy foods cannot be toxic. No, we are talking about foods loaded down with added sugar and unhealthy fats. These toxic relationships with foods are ones we cannot imagine ever giving up. We crave these foods in that relationship. These foods are what we turn to when we are stressed. Celebrations almost always involve sugary foods such as cake and ice cream. Comfort is temporarily found when we consume foods with added sugars.

Eating sugar releases opioids and dopamine in our bodies

If we changed out the word food with the word alcohol in the preceding paragraph, what would we now call this toxic relationship? If you answered addiction, you can move to the front of the class. We do not have toxic relationships with food, we have addictions to poor food choices. That craving you get for sugary foods is the same as an alcoholic gets for a drink. Alcohol also causes the release of dopamine. When you first quit drinking, the lack of dopamine and diminished receptors can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Is this not also how we feel when we first kick sugar from our diet?

Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more. This is an addictive behavior, it is not a relationship with food my friends. Every time we consume sugary foods, we are causing the brain to become increasingly hardwired to crave more sugar. We build up a tolerance like we would with alcohol or any other drug.

Obese man eating chips

Sugar is also much more prevalent, available, and socially acceptable than amphetamines or alcohol, and therefore harder to avoid.

Is it no wonder how obesity is now so prevalent in our society? It used to be that people of a healthy weight were the majority, now the reverse is true.  Today, in the United States, 36 percent of adults are obese. Another 32.5 percent of American adults are overweight. In all, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

Obesity affects 1 in 6 children in the United States.

Around 17 percent of American children ages 2 to 19 are obese. That’s more than 12.7 million American children. One in 8 preschoolers is obese. Children who are overweight or obese are five times more likely to be obese or overweight adults than children of normal weight. This can increase their risk for many chronic diseases and health complications.

If your child has a weight problem, is it a toxic relationship with food?

Or, is it an actual health problem that needs to be taken care of?

Obesity is a medical condition that happens when someone has an excessive amount of body fat. Having too much body fat can increase the risk of getting additional health problems, and it can cause health problems of its own. No amount of the fat acceptance movement is going to change these facts.

Being obese can hinder your quality of life and that of your loved ones. Being overweight or obese will bring about serious health consequences like developing heart disease, strokes, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint problems, and sleep apnea.

  • There are more than 2.8 million hospital stays every year in the U.S., where obesity is a cause or contributing factor.
  • Approximately 300,000 people die from obesity in America every year.

Why is obesity so prevalent today?

There are many reasons why obesity has become so common. People are eating more processed and high-fat foods that also contain added sugars to make them more palatable. They are eating larger portions, exercising less, and they’re spending more time in front of electronic screens.

Weight Loss Tips for 2021!

If you are overweight, it is not because you have a toxic relationship with food. It is because you have developed a lifestyle centered around foods of an addictive nature and you do not move your body enough to compensate for all the extra calories you are consuming.  By following our entirely free weight loss plan you can lose those extra pounds. Through all of our informative articles, you can learn all about nutrition and how it affects you. After all, the more informed you are, the more likely you are to succeed.

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“Easy” Weight Loss?

Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash doctor’s scale

“Weight” Sells!

Weight is the topic of any number of expensive magazines that are sold in the check-out line at most retail stores. I bought those magazines for years before I found David’s Way. At one time, they were reasonably priced. Now the price ranges from $3-$20. Strangely enough, they still sell enough of them to keep rehashing the same old theme. They promise quick, easy and radical weight loss if you will only buy that book!

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Without fail, there will be a type of “magic” involved in the promises found on these pages. There will be a special formula that no one has EVER thought of before. Belly fat is quite often the focus of many of these articles, although we know that the only way to lose belly fat is to lose overall. There is no such thing as “spot reducing”. If we are spared the empty promises of getting rid of belly fat alone, we are usually bombarded with exceptionally fast weight loss “tricks”. There are no “tricks”. Lose excess fat and it will come off of your belly AND everywhere else that is home to extra fat cells. If you lose too fast, you will almost surely have loose skin. Take your time and care for your skin while you are losing to keep that to a minimum.

Too Good To Be True!

There’s an old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” NOWHERE is this more obvious than in the weight loss and media businesses. While we at David’s Way are FREE, weight loss is BIG business. Many major businesses are raking in the cash on the pretense of trying to help you lose weight.

As I was moving through the above-mentioned check-out line, the words, “The Fat Just Disappears” caught my eye. That is exactly what I hoped for most of my life. It didn’t happen. I bought all the books and followed every quirky, miracle method of voodoo that was supposed to make the fat fall off of my body. Unfortunately, I did not do the most important thing. I did not quit eating sugar. I stopped for a little while but went back to it. As soon as I did, the pounds piled back on to my body. I felt like there was no way out.

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

As a result of the torture of those years, it bothers me to an extreme when I see those supermarket tabloids that spew empty promises only to get your hard-earned cash. As I perused this recent issue, I noticed a few items of interest.

It touted “drop 11 pounds a week”. Seriously? Even if you can lose 11 pounds a week, which is not likely to happen, it’s not a good idea for most people. There are medically supervised programs that allow for such drastic losses in extreme cases but the phrase to remember here is “medically supervised”. PLEASE do not try this without your doctor watching your every move. He will probably want to do frequent lab work and other things. Trying to lose weight that fast can destroy your health.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Weight Will Change!

One step mentioned in this article is to eat an average of about 1300 calories per day by alternating extremely low calorie days with more moderate days of eating. While there’s supposed to be something special about this alternating of calories, or “confusing” the body… if you average too few calories throughout the week, the weight will come off. Unfortunately, it will come off too fast in most cases and you will be malnourished. We advise losing no more than 1 pound per week. Otherwise, you will have more loose skin and be very hungry a lot of the time and just want to “get this over with” because you will be miserable. That is a “diet”, not a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor can recommend the number of calories that you need to eat. We also have the Calorie Counter Pro here that can give you an idea about how much to eat.

Nothing New

This article did address intermittent fasting which is healthy for most people IF IT IS APPROVED BY YOUR DOCTOR! Only he knows what is best for you. If you are diabetic, this could possibly be dangerous. We do agree with intermittent fasting for some people. It’s simply eating the way we ate before we had food available 24 hours a day.

After supper, we didn’t eat again until breakfast which was about 12 hours. It lowers insulin levels and insulin can signal your body to eat more and hold onto fat. Both David and I live like this most of the time. Before you try intermittent fasting, get your doctor’s approval. If you have underlying health problems, you could be headed for trouble otherwise. A supermarket magazine is not a substitute for medical care.

This article recommended eating mostly plant based meals. While this can be a healthy lifestyle, it’s hard for the average person to get enough protein doing this. I said HARD, NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t confuse the two. If you are diligent to address your protein needs and you can be satisfied with mostly plant-based meals then by all means, do it. When I try to eat like that, I’m NEVER satisfied and I just keep eating until I have eaten too many carbs AND calories. It brings to mind the “Granola Hippies” that thought that they could live on nuts and seeds. Some of my fattest hippie friends never ate meat, fish or poultry. High quality protein satisfies you and stokes your metabolism. It also helps increase your lean muscle mass which is imperative for your metabolism to be healthy.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Weight Loss Ground Rules

This article also said to stay hydrated. Of course it did, right? That was presented as part of “The Magic”. Folks, if you don’t stay hydrated, you will die. Yes, stay hydrated. David has an excellent article here that can help you navigate those waters.

It also said to eat whole foods rather than processed foods. Yes, do that. Again, no “magic”, just common sense. If you do that, you will avoid added sugars and get plenty of satisfying fiber which will help you avoid over eating. We always tell you to eat plenty of whole, healthy foods and avoid processed foods and added sugars.

Part of “The Program” is to “Move every day.” Yes, I certainly hope you move every day. Do one better. See your medical doctor for a recommendation for exercise that he approves and YOU WILL DO.

An interesting item in this article was the instruction to be kind to yourself. It addressed the issue of “slipping up” on your diet. When you are progressively creating a healthier lifestyle, there is no “slipping up”. You constantly evaluate your habits and adjust accordingly.  You should never give yourself license to eat unhealthy food. If you find yourself doing that, stop. Figure out why it happened.

If it’s the people that you allow into your life influencing you in a negative way, remember one of our tenets, “Make Your World Small”. Remove negative influences from your life. If people do not support your healthy lifestyle, they do not have your best interest in mind. If it’s family that you must be around, educate them to your new habits and refuse to budge. Who knows, they might even get healthy too.

Hold onto your money in the check-out line. It doesn’t cost a penny to lose weight after you talk to your doctor.

Fast Weight Loss

Lim woman in oversized jeans

Fast weight loss, it seems, is the desire of most everyone who has ever gone on a diet. After years of being overweight, many individuals have become so tired of their girth, they want it gone right now. Life becomes burdensome when you have become too large to fully enjoy it anymore. Obesity brings us many physical and mental health problems, it would be nice to be able to reverse it overnight. But it would also be nice to wake up fabulously wealthy one day too, right? But we know that isn’t going to happen for any of us unless we happen to win the lottery.

Hurry up and weight!

Hurry up and wait is something that we who have served in the military grow accustomed to. We always hurry to complete a task, and then await further instruction. I saw a weight loss meme this morning that made me think of that old adage. People want to hurry up their weight loss, but then what?

What are you going to do once you have reached your weight loss goals?

Have you thought this through?

Are you prepared for the rest of your life now?

soldier standing guard

Being a retired military veteran, I often think out of the box compared to those who have never served. Not that this makes me special, it’s just thinking in terms of my personal life experiences. When I think of military training, I see an analogy between some training and weight loss. But not in the sense you might be thinking. I’m not thinking about our physical fitness training. What weight loss reminds me of is the more specialized training where we become prepared to face more training, or to face the world beyond. No matter the service component, those who want to be Special Forces undergo training for close to a year, before they can actually begin training for qualifications in their chosen field.

That year of training is similar to losing weight. It prepares you for life afterwards, or at least it is supposed to. If you rush through your training and do not grasp what you were supposed to learn, then you are doomed to failure afterwards. Fast weight loss is the same.

woman stepping on scales
Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

Fast weight loss is not good for many reasons.

If the amount of weight you want to lose is significant enough, you will not even be able to fully grasp your new look. And, it is not going to be helpful when people begin asking you if you have been sick or something. Fast weight loss can leave your face looking gaunt which will cause people to assume something must be wrong with you. Is that going to help you?

Unless you are morbidly obese, we do not ever recommend that you try to lose more than one pound of body fat per week. Two pounds loss per week is the maximum we will ever advocate. Anything more than that, and you need to be under medical supervision. Note, this does not apply to the first ten pounds since it is almost exclusively nothing more than water weight you have lost.

Fast weight loss usually comes from fad diets, drugs, or other gimmicks that are not sustainable over time. If you care more about your health than looks, you really need to lose your weight in a healthy manner. When you are only concerned about losing quickly to appease your vanity, you should know that  looking sickly is not a good look.

When you do not rush your weight loss, you will be healthier and you will feel better about yourself. Slow weight loss through healthy nutrition is something you can sustain for the rest of your life. With fad diets, drugs or gimmicks, you will soon regain those lost pounds and then some. Fast weight loss is a losing battle as proven by millions before you. And will be proven again and again by millions after you.

hour glass representing passage of time
Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

Making your weight loss permanent.

As in the military training I mentioned, your weight loss journey needs to be preparing you for the rest of your life. When you begin losing weight, you need to be learning all about nutrition and fitness. You will eventually reach your goal weight, and will need to be ready for maintaining that weight for the rest of your life. You can’t just rush your weight loss and return to your former lifestyle without regaining your lost weight. There is a ninety five percent rebound rate for people who do this. Our mission here at David’s Way is to help educate you!

If you are genetically prone to being overweight, you will need to create a nutritional lifestyle that enables you to keep your weight at a healthy level. People who lose weight and return to their former way of eating will always regain their weight. It becomes a vicious cycle for many.

Fast weight loss is never good, nor permanent.

Click this link for the most comprehensive weight loss method found on the internet. We always have been, and always will be free to all.

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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Obesity and Low Testosterone

Obese man pondering his Low Testosterone

Low testosterone has become a more common health issue today than in years past. The prevalence has skyrocketed in the last twenty years, along with obesity. Fellows, can you see the connection?

Guy’s, is your low testosterone levels the cause of your obesity?

Or, is it actually a result of your obesity?

The fact of the matter is, the answer to both questions could be a resounding “YES”. Correlation does not always equal causation fellows. The important take away is to do something about the condition, either way low testosterone levels have a negative impact on our lives. Those negative impacts affect more than your prowess in the sexual arena, so get over yourself. Your libido might be the least of your problems if you do not take care to maintain healthy levels of testosterone in your body.

Unhappy couple in bed. Erectile dysfunction.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone found in humans, as well as in other animals. In men, the testicles primarily make testosterone. Women’s ovaries also make testosterone, though in much smaller amounts.

The production of testosterone starts to increase significantly during puberty and begins to dip after age 30 or so.

Testosterone is most often associated with sex drive and plays a vital role in sperm production. It also affects bone and muscle mass, the way men store fat in the body, and even red blood cell production.

A man’s testosterone levels can also affect his mood. (1)

Low levels of testosterone, also called low T levels, can produce a variety of symptoms in men, including:

decreased sex drive

less energy

weight gain

feelings of depression

moodiness

low self-esteem

less body hair

thinner bones

Guy’s, as you can see, low testosterone has a negative effect on our overall health.  A sedentary lifestyle, sleep deprivation, insulin resistance, and nutrient deficiencies are common causes for low teste levels in men. It is important that we take care of our health, and we can help this through good nutrition and regular exercise. Low testosterone levels is a natural part of aging. But we do not have to just let it plummet because we want to sit on the couch to watch a game while eating chips and drinking beer on a regular basis.

Cream puffs to represent obese men

As a male, if you care anything in the world about manliness, there is nothing manly about being lazy and obese. There is nothing at all manly about not caring for your body enough to not properly nourish it through healthy foods and exercise. Trust me, if you are weak and lack stamina, everyone can tell. If bravado is your attitude, you are fooling no one with your charade. Being intellectually honest, we all know at least a few, or a good many who fit this profile. When you sit on your butt all the time eating cream puffs, a cream puff you become.

Do not waste your money on Testosterone Boosters

Today, we can find a huge plethora of testosterone boosters online, or at any retail outlets that sells nutritional supplements. If you have low teste, you need to consult your physician instead of trying to treat it yourself with supplements. Your physician can order blood labs to see if you actually need hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or not. The truth is, most of you can raise your levels with good nutrition and exercise instead of getting expensive, regular treatments.

Testosterone “boosting” supplements don’t contain actual testosterone or other hormones. Instead, they contain herbs and other substances that are supposed to increase your natural production of testosterone.

But the evidence that these products are effective is extremely limited. Just because you might experience an increase in your libido, it does not mean that you actually increased your testosterone level. Over the counter testosterone boosting products make extraordinary promises to restore your muscle mass, sexual function, and overall vitality. But proceed with caution if you’re thinking of using one. Most of the ingredients don’t actually increase testosterone levels, and some carry serious health risks.

If you are going to do anything at all that can affect your testosterone, do not be a fool and think you can do it on your own. Always consult with your physician and only do what they prescribe for you.

Weight loss and regular exercise will increase your testosterone!

Obese man after exercising

You might want a quick and simple fix to your testosterone levels, but what you need is a change of lifestyle. Good nutrition and exercise are what you need my friends. Creams, pills, and injections might do the trick for you, but so will moving your butt and good food choices. There is no quick fix, but there is a slow fix. The fix involves adjusting your diet to take in fewer calories and ramp up your exercise to burn off more calories. It’s the manly thing to do, and the time to start is now.

Foods That Kill Your Testosterone

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(1) https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-testosterone

Understanding Hydration

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

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.

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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.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

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.

Photo by emy on Unsplash

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.

Photo by Bradley Dunn on Unsplash

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

It Works IF You Work It!

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Just The Facts?

Words without real life application are useless. We can study until we know a subject thoroughly but unless we apply our knowledge, it will never help us. It will give us something to think about but it won’t change our lives, much less change the world. Changing the world to be healthier is our goal at David’s Way.

Real life application of our teachings must occur in all parts of our life, not just when we’re wanting to test the theory, or the results mean nothing. It would merely be a staged exhibition designed for a given end. The reason that I believe in David’s Way is that it works in every situation. I’ve worked this plan through tornadoes, relocation, new employment and other major life upheavals. If I work the plan, the plan always works. It not only helps manage my weight but to live a better life all the way around.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Number 1 Way to Work It

Making sure that we have healthy food options on hand is an important part of the program. Eating out can get expensive and it’s harder to make healthy choices when you are away from home.

Work The Plan

I worked extra hours on my job recently and while I made good food choices, my sleep suffered and that caused me to feel weak. I didn’t feel quite like myself and honestly had trouble deciding what to eat and when to eat it. As I neared my workout that evening, a sense of dread settled over me. There was no doubt that I would work out. I had one of my best workouts ever, but not because I felt like it.

I had a good workout and achieved some new minor goals because David’s Way gives us a framework to live within. Before lifting I went to the grocery store and bought lean protein and complex carbs to fuel me for strength and energy and to build muscle. There is a system, a method, a right way to go about everyday decisions and that system saw me through.

Make It Work

I knew that I didn’t want to spend any time in the kitchen because I was late coming home. I bought protein bars, fat free plain Greek yogurt, apples, cheese sticks and coffee along with my other groceries. To contrast this to going out to get food, it must be considered that the mere act of going out to get food is quite often a waste of time. It only covers one meal. When it’s time to eat again, you still have nothing in the house!

A “quick” drive-thru can set the entire day back. Although it seems like a good option, we can spend a long time at that window. That time can be better spent working out or prepping real food. A trip to the grocery store provides you with food for days.

We post recipes that make cooking a worthwhile venture. The best laid plans can be laid waste easily so we have to have recovery strategies. Getting the food we need and working out when it’s hard to do will set us up for victory every time. Count your calories. Consult your doctor to decide how many calories to eat. You can also use the Calorie Counter Pro to get an idea of how many calories to eat. We encourage you to lose no more than one pound per week. It’s easier, safer and you will look better. When you finish eating all of your allotted calories for the day, stop eating. It’s that simple. Choose foods that are nutritionally dense and avoid empty calories.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Exercise

ALWAYS consult your medical doctor before beginning ANY weight loss or exercise program! Once you have done that, find a type of exercise that you will do. It doesn’t help to go out and buy a gym membership if you hate driving to the gym. At one time I was an avid swimmer. I swam 5-7 days per week for 2 hours each day. Between getting ready to go to the gym, driving, swimming and the shower and primp time afterward, it became insufferable.

I have my strength training equipment at home now so all of my allotted time to work out is spent actually working out. I’m not going to spend all day just getting ready and recovering from a workout. It is nonsensical for me to join a gym. Plan to do what you will implement. The best laid plans alone won’t work your body. You have to do it.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Rest

When you are building muscle you make microscopic tears in your muscle tissue when you work out. The healing of those tears results in more muscle. As your body lays a layer of protein down to mend those “injuries”, that layer of protein is new muscle. This healing occurs best during sleep. In the fast-paced, busy world that we live in, sleep is a luxury to some of us. Even though it’s hard to come by, it’s necessary if you want to build a great physique. Find a way to make it work. The idea of being able to “catch up” on sleep is an ever-changing argument but at this time, the verdict is that you can’t. Sleep deprivation can cause many serious health problems. When you’re building muscle it’s certainly better to sleep well each night for maximum repair and growth.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Make Your World Small

Remove negative influences from your life. If you allow people and circumstances in your life that keep you upset all the time, they will curtail your health incentive. Having too many irons in the fire will cause you to push your nutrition and exercise program to the side. Before long, you will most likely abandon the whole idea. Surround yourself with positive input as much as possible. When the unavoidable negative influence does seep in, it will have little to no power to change your plans. Program your mind for success.

The moral of this story is simply this. The methodology works, work the methodology. It doesn’t work only when we want to do it. It works IF we do it. Our feelings are irrelevant. Even if we don’t feel like it, IF we do it, it will still work.

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What’s Your Weight Loss Goal, Health or Vanity?

Vain Woman

What is your most important weight loss goal?

Is it how you perceive that you are going to look?

Or are you more interested in having a healthy body?

In years past, possibly even today, girls wanted to grow up to look like their Barbie Dolls. Today, many want to emulate the popular models that can be found on Instagram any day of the week.  In either case, those dolls and internet models often have unnatural figures.

There is nothing healthy when physical appearance has been prioritized over health and intelligence.  But yet we can find this a majority of the time when people go onto diets. Too often, the weight loss goal is focused on vanity over health, and there is a price to be paid for this fallacy. The outward beauty often does not last when the body becomes unhealthy over the years. If you are over 40 years old, I guarantee you have run into someone who was a beauty back in school. Now, you wonder what in the world has happened to them. Sadly, you might even see this in yourself.

To the men reading this, you and I both know that we often have vanity problems too! Therefore, this article is not just for the ladies.

Beach scene

Now that winter has passed in the upper hemisphere, people are now beginning to think about how they are going to look at the beach. During the winter months, bodies can be covered with bulky clothes. But in the heat of the summer, bulges cannot be so easily hid. When we go to the beach,  our bodies are exposed for all to see. It is at this time of year when the winter doldrums are quickly fading away that our readership at David’s Way begins to peak.

People want  to be ready for the beach by Memorial Weekend at the end of May.  If this is your weight loss goal, by choosing vanity over health, you have already lost your battle. I’m sorry if that is a hard truth for you, but that is a simple reality. If you are over your ideal weight by 20 pounds or more, the best you can hope for is to look good by the end of the summer. Much more than that, and it will be next summer before your vanity needs will be met for the beach. If your skin has lost it’s elasticity, you are not going to look good in a bathing suit when you have loose and saggy skin. Loose and saggy skin is what happens when the significantly overweight attempt to lose weight too fast.

Your weight loss goal needs to be one of health over vanity.

You might as well get used to that reality, but that does not mean to not begin working on your weight.  Instead of focusing on how you believe you want to look, how about concentrating on losing bodyfat for optimum health instead? We never recommend that anyone ever try to lose more than one pound of fat per week. This amount, or even a half pound per week is far healthier than rapid weight loss that is usually brought about by extreme dieting.

Why rapid weight loss is not good for you.

The problem with fast weight loss is that it usually takes extraordinary efforts in diet and exercise . These efforts are often unhealthy and you are not likely to maintain them as a permanent lifestyle change. You need a lifestyle change that is sustainable for the rest of your life. Fad diets, weight loss hacks and extreme exercise ,might cause you to lose weight, but besides fat, you are going to lose lean muscle mass. By losing lean muscle mass, you are going to slow down your metabolism. This loss of lean muscle will only serve to make it harder to lose weight going forward.

if vanity is your priority, rapid weight loss will not make your body look healthy. Instead, you will find people asking you if you have been sick. The reality is, with rapid weight loss, you are not as healthy as you should be. Many people who go on rapid weight loss gimmicks and diets often malnourish themselves to lose weight. If your body is healthy, it will look healthy. If it is malnourished, that is how you are going to look.

With rapid weight loss, people often regain all of their lost weight, and then some. Rapid weight loss should only be done under the care of a doctor for specific medical reasons. If you do not have a medical reason to dump weight quickly, then put your vanity aside. Place your priority on getting healthy over looking good in the moment. You will be better off!

Benefits of slow weight loss.

Yes, it is difficult to remain motivated with slow weight loss since it takes month, or even years to achieve your goals. However, with slow weight loss, you will be much healthier and happier with yourself once you achieve your goals. You have to understand that your body can only burn so much fat within a week. After this, it has to resort to burning lean muscle tissue which is not a good thing.

Eating healthy is living healthy, it’s a lifestyle, a philosophy, a way of interpreting things. It’s  an attitude of being the best you that you can be. Your weight loss goal needs to be one of health over vanity. When you are healthy, you will feel healthy. A healthy body will result in a healthy appearance. Choose health over vanity, you will be more satisfied with your outcome once reaching your goal.

Why Rapid Weight Loss Can Be Bad

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