Category: Health

Counting Calories Does Not Work

There is a humongous line of thought among many dieters that counting calories does not work.  If you have bought into this line of thinking, maybe you just do not know how to count calories. It is quite possible that you have not considered all that is involved in this little task. There is a little more to counting calories than meets the eye which you may not be aware of. Counting calories absolutely works for weight loss, but it needs to be done correctly. As with any math, if there is something missing from the equation, your answer will always be wrong.

You cannot change the laws of thermodynamics. Losing weight is, and always will be, a matter of consuming fewer calories than you burn. This is true for each and everyone of us, with the only exception being for those with possible medical conditions. However, the vast majority of us do not have these medical conditions to blame our weight on. Even if your thyroid is sluggish, the laws of thermodynamics still apply. If you are not counting your calories, you have no way to even begin trying to counter this point. You have to be accountable to yourself when losing weight. Accountability begins with tracking everything that goes into your mouth. Those who do not understand this simple concept are doomed to fail with weight loss every time. When you are serious about weight management, calorie counting is a part of personal accountability you should consider.

Every bite, lick, and taste matters!

If I have managed to get your attention, it is time to address why counting calories may have not worked for you in the past.  Odds are, you did not fully grasp what is necessary when counting calories. This article is meant to help you with this.

Every bite, lick and taste (BLT) counts towards your total caloric consumption. Those BLT’s are not meaningless free calories that you consume when you nibble on the little tidbits through out the day.  You have to consider how many calories you are eating when you taste the foods you prepare for the family. How many calories were in the bite of your child’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich? If you gobbled down a small handful of nuts, you have to understand they are very dense in calories. A small handful of nuts can easily equal 100 calories. If you believe this is too much, then you are doomed to fail at weight loss.

Why counting calories could have failed you in the past.

If you have been one who has counted and tracked calories and still failed at weight loss, there is a valid reason why. The reason is because unfortunately, Nutrition Facts labels are not always factual.  The law governing food labels allows a pretty lax margin of error of up to 20 percent for the stated value versus actual value of nutrients. In reality, that means a 100-calorie pack could, theoretically, contain up to 120 calories and still not be violating the law. What’s more, the FDA has never established a systematic, random label-auditing process. Compliance with the law is expected to be self-enforced by food manufacturers.

Knowing how flawed nutrition labels often are, it’s tempting to just ignore them altogether, but this would be a huge mistake. The best guidance I can offer is to minimize the number of foods in your diet that even have a nutrition label. When you consume more whole, minimally-processed foods you increase the quality of your nutrition and minimize the risk of hidden calories. Choose foods with short, recognizable ingredient lists featuring whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, and/or beans that deliver the most nutritional benefits regardless of what the label states.

What you can do.

First, you must understand that even if you have failed with calorie counting in the past, it is still something you should do. Some foods need to be actually weighed instead of measured. Weighing food is more accurate than simply taking a volume measurement because the amount of food you can fit in a measuring cup or spoon varies greatly. This is particularly true for more calorie-dense solid foods like nuts, proteins, starchy vegetables and certain fruits. For example, one cup of cubed avocado has 240 calories. But, how big of a cube are we talking about? If you dice it, chances are there are significantly more calories in that cup.

 Brown sugar is another good example. One cup of loose brown sugar contains 551 calories. Pack it tightly, though, and that same cup has a whopping 836 calories, enough to impede your weight-loss goals. Measuring cups and spoons are not accurate measurements for calories with some foods such as cereals, grains and other loose food ingredients. Food scales on the other hand do not lie to us. They are always accurate for counting calories.

If you are one who believes that you can just estimate your measurements, just stop with this nonsense if you are serious about weight loss. We all tend to underestimate how much we eat, and overestimate the calories we burn from exercise. You are no different from anyone else in this regard. If you are content to half-ass one aspect of your diet, where does it stop? Does it really stop with that one thing?  Often, that kind of attitude can bleed into other aspects of our lives. It may even compound over time. Then before we know it, we may find ourselves making excuses for putting lackluster effort into many other things. The next thing we know, we sit and scratch our heads, wondering why we’re not making progress.

Counting calories does work when done accurately.

If you have failed with this, then you need to learn how to count calories accurately if you are serious about weight loss. Perhaps you are counting your calories and still not losing weight, this simply means you are still eating too much. You have overestimated the total calories you need in a day and need to reduce your intake. The best way to do this is to eat more nutritionally dense, low calorie foods. Instead of eating a pint of Halo Top ice cream that contains about 320 calories, try having a cup of plain Greek yogurt flavored with fresh fruit or a sugar free, flavored mix in of your choice. The difference in calories will be about 100 calories in your favor with the Greek yogurt.

Mindless eating is what gets us overweight in the first place. Losing weight and then successfully keeping it off is just the opposite, we have to eat mindfully. Anything else will only result in failure and weight gain. This is true for all of us, because contrary to popular belief, none of us are special snowflakes in this regard. Our bodies are wonderful creations, where every component has a special purpose. There are some who unfortunately are born with defects, but when it comes to our weight and health, most of it is self inflicted through bad habits. If we are to remain healthy into our senior years, we must be accountable to ourselves. The consequences of a lack of personal accountability are we become overweight and unhealthy.

Check out our 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!

Sexy, Strong Legs!

 Strong Legs are Sexy Legs!

 Strong legs are much more than beautiful. They are vital to protect heart health. We spend countless hours working on them. Most people don’t realize that the calf muscles are a pumping station designed to be a second heart.

The Heart Needs Help 

Our heart is an amazing organ that pumps blood throughout our entire body with a single squeezing action. It sends oxygen to the farthest reaches of our body in a moment. There is one problem, to get the blood back to the heart, it takes more than that single pump. To get it back to the heart, the calf and ankle muscles assist the heart in circulating blood throughout your body.

Strong Legs Can Help The Problem

Our blood is returned to our hearts by venous return. The foot pump initiates the action and this occurs with each step. When the heel touches down the blood pools and as the toe touches, the blood is shot upwards. The blood then enters the soleus muscle that extends from the ankle to the back of the knee. Every time this muscle contracts, it applies pressure to the veins and helps return blood to the heart. Then the blood moves into the veins in the groin and travels through the largest vein in the body, the vena cava, to the heart. (1) This network of veins work together but none of them can do their job without a strong calf muscle.

Get Moving!

There are one-way valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing back to the feet when the muscles aren’t active. This is how the body fights the biggest challenge to the calf muscle pump, inactivity. When you stop moving your legs and blood pools, your heart will apply some pressure to the veins, but blood flow is drastically reduced. This predisposes you to blood clots in the deep veins. Swelling, pain, cramping and ulcers can occur. Clots can travel throughout the body. Infections in the ulcers can become systemic and present grave health risks. You’re at a greater risk of these complications if you are sedentary, stand for long periods or are overweight.

DANGER Of Not Having Strong Legs!

One study found that people with chronic heart failure have smaller calf muscles than people with fully functional hearts. This leads to overexertion during exercise. Small calf muscles are the result of muscle atrophy. David wrote an article entitled, Looking Good as We Age about that age related muscle wasting, or sarcopenia.  It’s an important article that thoroughly discusses the importance of keeping your muscles strong.

Intervention

Muscle atrophy is affected by diet and exercise, as discussed in David’s article. Good nutrition is mandatory but the best thing you can do for your calves is to lace up your sneakers and get moving. Walking is one of the best things that you can do to keep them strong. Get up and move for at least five minutes out of every hour. Calf raises, lunges, walking on your toes and foot pumps, simply pointing and flexing your feet will all help keep these vital muscles in good health. You can wrap a towel around the bottom of your foot, hold the ends gently and pull towards your body. This will increase blood flow in the moment. If we do nothing to prevent loss of this vital muscle, atrophy will occur with age.

Get up and get moving today, with your doctor’s permission. Taking care of your legs will improve your overall health.

Follow us here on the website! Subscriptions are free and easy. We also have a Facebook Page where you can follow along!

(1)https://healthtide.com/calf-muscle-considered-second-heart/

 

Looking Good As We Age

Stress Effects on Our Well Being

Stress effects can bring about profound changes to our health and wellbeing. I know this all too well from personal life experience. Contrary to what some might want to believe, I have not exactly lived a stress free and charmed life. But, I have learned to finally have some form of control or management of how stress affects me. While I know that managing stress is not particularly easy, I do know it is not impossible. Sometimes, it becomes necessary that we reach out and receive professional help, which is what I did.

Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. None of us are immune to stress. But we can bring it under control to a large degree when we learn how to control the manner in which we react to it.

Stress Symptoms

 Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. When stressed, individuals may eat much more or much less than usual. Or they may increase their use of alcohol or tobacco, which can result in heartburn or acid reflux. Stress or exhaustion can also increase the severity of regularly occurring heartburn pain. A rare case of spasms in the esophagus can be set off by intense stress and can be easily mistaken for a heart attack. Stress effects on our body are no laughing matter.

Fight or flight.

Most of us become overeaters when we’re feeling a lot of pressure. This happens thanks to your fight or flight response, a.k.a. survival mode. Once our body reaches a certain stress level, it does what it feels it needs to do. In most cases, that means we will overeat. Why? Because your body thinks you’ve used calories to deal with your stress, even though you haven’t. As a result, it thinks you need to replenish those calories, even though you don’t.

During tension-filled times, our levels of “the stress hormone,” cortisol, rise . This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the cortisol also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods. This is a biochemical response that you cannot stop from happening, but you can do something about it. You can help yourself by eating healthy foods, getting active, and doing things that make you relaxed and happy which do not involve alcohol.

Try these stress management techniques to combat stress-related weight gain:

  • Recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension.
  • Before eating, ask yourself why you’re eating — are you truly hungry or do you feel stressed or anxious?
  • If you’re tempted to eat when you’re not hungry, find a distraction.
  • Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. If you’re in a hurry, grab a piece of fruit on the way out the door.
  • Eat a healthy diet, such as whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Aim to include most food groups in your meals.
  • Identify comfort foods and keep them out of your home or office.
  • Keep a record of your behavior and eating habits so that you can look for patterns and connections — and then figure out how to overcome them.
  • Learn problem-solving skills so that you can anticipate challenges and cope with setbacks.
  • Practice relaxation skills, such as yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing or meditation.
  • Engage in regular physical activity or exercise.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Get encouragement from supportive friends and family.

Make Your World Small

Check out our 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!

Symptoms of Stress and Tips to Reduce It

 

Make Losing Weight Easier

Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

Make losing weight easier by following these simple steps! We all want to know the “secrets”.  I thought there was some kind of magic to it that I just didn’t know. I set about to learn all that I could about this mysterious phenomenon. There are habits that will ensure success.

Nutrition Is Number 1

  • Measure EVERYTHING! Especially if you plan to estimate your portions, because you won’t be accurate. I have experimented with portion control over time. As a result, I know that we must weigh and measure everything that we eat. Otherwise we will eat too much.
  • Create menus to make losing weight easier. Even if you have ideas about what you want to eat, unless you make menus, you won’t know what to buy.
  • Make a grocery list. After looking at your menus, write down the ingredients needed.  Then check your cupboard for ingredients and put anything that you don’t have already on your list.
  • DO NOT buy trigger foods. Since we sometimes lie and say they are for someone else, we fail to realize that they don’t need them either.
  • Fix plates instead of putting all of the food on the table. As a result, you will eat less. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Get enough protein! To understand protein better, read David’s articles Protein Supplements  and Pragmatic View on Protein for good information about protein needs.
  • Continually study nutrition and apply what you learn. Since we have over 1000 articles and recipes right here on this website, that should be easy!
  • Don’t drink your calories! The exception is a protein drink. Since so many contain sugar, make sure to choose a sugar-free variety.
  • Replace simple carbs with complex carbs. As a result, you will stay full much longer.

Exercise

  • See your doctor for advice on exercise. Then, implement what he says with simple steps, starting slowly.
  • Once your doctor approves you for exercise, don’t eat those calories! Because a  mistake is to exercise in order to eat more. It’s important to understand that the exercise won’t make losing weight easier if you replace the calories that you burn.
  • Choose an exercise that you like. In so doing, you are much more likely to get it done!
  • Choose an exercise that you can  fit easily into your life. As a result, you don’t have a readily available excuse to avoid it. Walking is easy to do every day, while swimming is very time-consuming. Choose wisely.

Behavior

  • Make losing weight easier by associating  with good role models. As a result, avoid people who don’t try to be healthy.
  • Set the stage for success. Plan meals, exercise and rest and stick to your plans.
  • Continually study and apply what you learn. We have over 1000 articles and recipes right here on this website that can help you learn about nutrition and health. Make losing weight easier by keeping it foremost in your mind.
  • Determine to be a good role-model for those around you. This will help to keep you on track.

Although it can seem impossible to make losing weight easier, these simple steps will make a huge difference. Since changing habits is always a challenge, try these tips. As a result, you will find that there is no mystery, only good habits that you can learn to implement every day.

Check out our plan here. It is not complicated and is really just a common sense approach to eating. We also have a Facebook page where you can also follow along with David’s Way to Health and Fitness.

 

Overweight is Not Healthy!

Overweight is not healthy!

The editors at Cosmopolitan should hang their heads in shame for promoting this message on the cover of their magazine. It may be the only message people see.

Health is what ever you want to call it? No, health is not what ever you want to call it my friends. Being overweight is not a healthy state of being. Slipping into obesity is an even worse state of health. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. The fact is, when we are overweight, we may appear somewhat healthy in the moment. But, it will not take much to push us over the edge in due time. The health implications of being overweight catches up with everyone at some point, no matter what Cosmopolitan would have you believe.

Before anyone begins to accuse me of fat shaming, you must know that is not my intent. I have been fat, and I have dedicated myself to helping others in overcoming their weight problems. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we dedicate numerous hours per week studying and researching issues. We write to educate people who have weight problems. This is a labor of love from the heart and not from a profit motive. I will never charge anyone a single cent to access David’s Way.

Being overweight, or obese brings about preventable health issues!

This simple fact above is not even arguable. It is a fact that is irrefutable, not an opinion that being overweight is not healthy. The idea that someone can be “fat and fit” but still healthy has been around for some time. But don’t be fooled by this malarkey. The science is quite clear that excess weight can carry considerable health risks, including a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. The denier is only placing themselves at greater risk of an early death when these facts are denied.  Excess weight can make you more susceptible to sleep apnea, joint pain, and arthritis and increase your resistance to insulin, which can lead to diabetes. These are scientific facts no matter who might tell you differently.

What if you are only a little overweight?

Is an extra 3 or 5 pounds a problem?

Well, of course an extra 3 to 5 pounds is not a problem to one who is at a healthy body fat percentage. That could just be water retention. The problems come when that 3 to 5 pounds become 30 to 50 pounds too heavy over time. And the heavier you go, the larger your problems will become. No one who is being intellectually honest can argue that overweight is healthy.

Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems. It only takes being over your ideal body weight by 20% to be considered obese. If your ideal body weight is 150 pounds and you weigh 180 pounds, you are obese. Anyone more than 100 pounds over weight is considered morbidly obese.

Health Risks!

Overweight and obese people  are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:

  • Heart disease and strokes. Obesity makes you more likely to have high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Obesity can affect the way your body uses insulin to control blood sugar levels. This raises your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
  • Certain cancers. Obesity may increase your risk of cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovary, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate.
  • Digestive problems. Obesity increases the likelihood that you’ll develop heartburn, gallbladder disease and liver problems.
  • Gynecological and sexual problems. Obesity may cause infertility and irregular periods in women. Obesity also can cause erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Sleep apnea. People with obesity are more likely to have sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  • Osteoarthritis. Obesity increases the stress placed on weight-bearing joints, in addition to promoting inflammation within the body. These factors may lead to complications such as osteoarthritis.
  • Severe COVID-19 symptoms. Obesity increases the risk of developing severe symptoms if you become infected with the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). People who have severe cases of Covid-19 may require treatment in intensive care units or even mechanical assistance to breathe. (1)

Overweight is not healthy!

Sixteen years ago in 2005, the health care costs of obesity in the U.S. were estimated to be as high as $190 billion. Just imagine where those costs are now in 2021.  This includes money spent directly on medical care and prescription drugs related to obesity.

But obesity has other costs associated with it, too, among them, the cost of lost days of work, higher employer insurance premiums, and lower wages and incomes linked to obesity-related illnesses. Countries with lower obesity rates than the U.S. spend a smaller share of their healthcare dollars on obesity, but the burden is still sizable. Perhaps one of the most surprising consequences of the current obesity epidemic in the U.S. is its impact on recruitment for the armed services, with data showing that close to 30 percent of young people in the U.S. are now too heavy to qualify for military service. Apart from tobacco, there is perhaps no greater harm to the collective health in the U.S. than obesity.

I cannot even begin to fathom the reasoning behind Cosmopolitan magazine promoting overweight people on their cover as being healthy. Obesity is an epidemic disease that threatens to inundate our precious health care resources. If you think you may be obese, and especially if you’re concerned about weight-related health problems, see your health care provider. You and your provider can evaluate your health risks and discuss your weight-loss options. Setting realistic weight-loss goals is an important first step to losing weight.

Childhood Obesity’s Effect on Bone and Joint Health

Check out our 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!

 

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742

 

Disordered Eating? Recognize It!

Disordered eating is a serious issue that can turn into an actual eating disorder over time. If you feel that you have an unhealthy relationship with food, you need to see a professional that can help you.  If you are constantly over eating, you may have a binge eating disorder, or your over eating could be a symptom of another issue affecting you.

For me personally, what appeared to be a disorder was actually a symptom of my Depression and PTSD. These are issues that I could not fix on my own. It became necessary for me to seek out and receive professional help. Like many people, I often felt shame in how I ate, especially when I would eat in secret. It was not uncommon for me to sneak off to the kitchen and eat canned frosting with a spoon. You might’ve found me sitting on the kitchen floor while snarfing down Nutella either by itself or spread on cookies. I have been one to eat ice cream straight out of the carton. I’ve also been one who would eat cake from the pan with a fork instead of cutting out a piece.

I too have suffered from disordered eating!

I speak and write from personal experience with disordered eating. What appeared to be a binge eating disorder was actually a symptom of something deeper. Some things you simply cannot just get over without help. I know.

Dealing With My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Why do we develop relationships with food?

“There, there. Just let me bake you some cookies.” “Don’t cry. We’ll stop and get some ice cream, and it will all be better.”

Do these words sound familiar to you? Maybe statements that you heard as a young child? They were innocent words and very genuine actions on the part of our caregivers to express love and concern to us when we were hurting. The way they knew to do this was through comfort foods.  Foods rich in fats and carbohydrates which only bring us comfort in the moment. As a result of this, food has come to be used as a special type of medicine to cure the mood that ails us. However, such patterns can become very problematic, especially if it is a habitual pattern causing excessive weight gain.

Food nourishes our bodies and gives us the energy we need to get through our day, contribute to the world around us, and be present for our loved ones. But do we really need to develop a relationship with it? Food does not return the love we have for it. A relationship with food is a one sided affair, that only serves to harm you.

What exactly is it about food that pulls us into unhealthy habits.

Well of course, food makes us feel better in the moment. But, have you ever considered why it makes us feel better in the moment? People who turn to disordered eating often do so to cope with uncomfortable emotions. We turn to food because our brains reward us for it, by releasing pleasure chemicals no different than drugs and alcohol. Scientists studying that good feeling after eating call it ingestion analgesia, literally pain relief from eating. Is it any wonder that we develop eating disorders?

Disordered eating is an epidemic in our culture. The National Eating Disorders Association reports that approximately 35 percent of “normal dieters” develop a pattern of pathological dieting. Breaking disordered eating habits before they lead to an eating disorder can be done, but you might require professional help to get over it.

Finding balance with our nutritional habits.

My friends, we have to find balance in our nutritional habits. There is absolutely no balance in disordered eating habits. At David’s Way, we want you to become the best version of you that you can be. But that does not mean we expect you to get hung up on perfection. When one gets hung up on perfection, it is just as harmful as the “Self Lovely” attitude where people expect to be accepted just as they are in an unhealthy body.

Both attitudes are extremely selfish in my opinion. The pursuit of perfection often brings about a neglect of more important things in life such as family. “Self lovely” is selfish because persisting with unhealthy living only serves to bring about heartache. Your unhealthy body will result in sickness and premature death your loved ones will have to deal with. Remember, life is never just about you!

Shattered Body Image

Recognizing disordered eating in ourselves and loved ones.

One of the most common misconceptions about disordered eating is that it’s a young white woman’s disease. The truth is that disordered eating can affect any gender, race or age. In fact, it is said that men account for 25% of disordered eating cases. However, I would actually reckon it is much higher. Everywhere we turn, we can see men walking around with fat bellies.

The following are the most common physical signs of disordered eating:

  • Significant fluctuations in weight.
  • Stomach complaints and pain.
  • Changes in bowel habits.
  • Changes in menstrual regularity, including stopped or missed periods.
  • Feeling dizzy, weak and/or tired.
  • Fainting.
  • Changes in skin and hair (such as being dry and brittle).
  • Acid-related dental problems, including cavities and erosion of enamel (caused by bulimia). (1)

The emotional signs of disordered eating include the following:

  • Being preoccupied with weight, food, dieting, calories and carbohydrates to the point that eating and managing weight become a primary concern over other activities.
  • Being preoccupied with body image, body size/shape, a specific part of the body and/or the number on the scale.
  • Significantly limiting the repertoire of foods by restricting whole categories of food and only considering a very small number of foods safe to eat.
  • Performing specific food rituals.
  • Withdrawing from social eating activities. (1)

The key to changing these lifelong patterns of equating food with happiness is to first be aware. Take some time to reflect on how food was used through your life and its connection to your emotional states. Next, take some time to reflect on your own emotional states. You may keep a feeling journal and write down how you felt each day. In reflecting, you will be more aware of the connection of food to your feelings in the past and more aware of your feelings in the present.

Remember, our disordered eating is a result of having developed a lifetime pattern of using comfort foods. This pattern is not likely to change quickly. You may need professional help, and there is no shame in this. Make sure to give yourself some time to make these changes. When you are able to change your relationship with food, you are able to change your relationships with others. You just might find these newfound relationships more satisfying and healthier than ever before.

Check out our 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!

 

(1) https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-recognize-the-warnings-signs-of-disordered-eating-and-what-to-do/

Bathroom Scale Strategy

Bathroom scale strategy is a topic every one of us who have lost weight is familiar with. Even if we will not admit it, we still know this to be true. If you’re new to weight loss, you will soon begin practicing the same rituals as those who came before you. These rituals and strategies just come natural to all of us, much like a hidden sense. The more desperate we are to lose weight, the sooner the little scale manipulations begin to appear. We veterans of weight loss already know all of the little tricks you will incorporate each time you weigh.

The Demon Inside

We all will develop a bathroom scale strategy in short order. The bathroom scale is a manipulator, it almost seems to have a little demon inside of it. This little contraption that lays on our bathroom floor will do its best to entrap our mind into the world of the insane. This little demon can be beat, but at times its seems like impossible odds are stacked against us. It is absurd that we do our best to beat this electronic, or mechanical beast with newfound bathroom scale strategies. But we all will fall into this trap. We will step on and off the scale, until we are satisfied with the lowest number.

I have heard of people stepping onto their scale fully clothed, and then removing items of clothing to lower the reading. Another common practice is to step upon the scale very gingerly, and then shift our feet for the optimal reading. Have you ever thought about the insanity the scale brings to us, that we would resort to doing the ridiculous? Our bathroom scale strategies may make sense in the moment, but can you comfortably explain them to a friend? Probably not, especially when it comes to evacuating your body of all waste before weighing yourself.

Bathroom scale strategy you should use.

I personally recommend you only weigh yourself once per week only and then watch for a trend. The trend of course, is a lowering of the numbers. You should pick a day and time to regularly weigh yourself, and then stick to to it. For the best accuracy, you should weigh yourself first thing in the morning before getting dressed. Step onto your scale, read the number, then step off and record it. Do not step on and off, take the reading at face value. Record your number and then get on with your day without letting the little demon inside the scale manipulate you.

Remember, at the end of the month if you see a drop from the beginning of the month, you are on track. If not, simply readjust your caloric needs, you are still consuming more than your body requires. That downward trend tells the full story of your progress, not a small blip of a weight increase because of water retention.

What if I prefer to weigh daily?

Well, this is something that many, if not most people prefer to do. While I do not feel this is necessary, nor helpful, many are going to do so anyhow. I accept this, and have a recommendation for you to follow. If weighing yourself daily is your bathroom scale strategy, then still be consistent in the time and day when you weigh yourself. Be consistent in how you dress for your weigh in.

Step upon your scale, read the number and then step off and record your number in a log. At the end of seven days, find the median number for the week. Not the average, but the median which is going to be the one right in the middle of the higher and lower readings. Keep this number for watching weight trend. At the end of the month, simply compare the median number from the first of the month to the last median number of the month. If the last is smaller, then you are on the right track. If it is larger, or has stalled, then simply lower your daily calorie consumption by 250 to 500 calories.

Keep it simple!

The key to having a bathroom scale strategy is to keep it simple and sane. Simple and sane lowers the stress of weighing. Remember, you did not gain weight over night, you are not going to lose it overnight, nor should you. We advocate not losing more than one or two pounds per week maximum. Any more than this, should only be done under a doctors supervision.

Why Rapid Weight Loss Can Be Bad

Check out our 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!

Bathroom Scale Self Sabotage

Dirty Little Secret And PMS

 

Photo by Ba Tik from Pexels

The Myth

As women, we are conditioned to believe that we are helpless and hapless victims of our hormone cycle. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have lived with this lie and it never made any sense. I have studied anatomy and physiology and countless other sciences and there is a truth that remains. All systems seek balance, not only at specific times of the month or when it’s convenient, but all the time, forever seeking balance. Balance is necessary for life or even non-living systems to function properly. Balanced is that state where the chemical reactions in our bodies just naturally move to the next step. Without balance, chaos reigns and chaos is not the natural order. Life seeks to sustain itself. Physical elements in the earth seek synchronization and ease of function. Without balance, life is so hard that we sometimes don’t want to live. Sound familiar?  PMS and the cravings and wild emotions that sometimes accompany it is an unbalanced state.

The Pits

I had such horrible cravings in my 20’s and 30’s that I would eat whatever amount of chocolate, or pound cake or banana pudding or ice cream or barbecue flavored potato chips or…. (well, I think you get the idea…) that I could find. I hid my binges, something that I learned to do growing up with an anorexic mother who seemed to base my value on the number on the scale. At the age of four she put me on the scale and told me that I was fat. I wasn’t. I weighed forty pounds. Google the average weight of a four year old, it’s forty pounds. I cried when I discovered that truth.

My weight bounced all over the scale, ranging from 221# to 118#. I tried every diet on the market  but cravings always caused me to quit. I became borderline anorexic. I’m 5’6″ and believe me, that 118# was no healthier for me than that 221#. I looked like a skeleton. My personal life was a living hell. I was so self-destructive that it’s amazing that I’m even alive. I peaked out in a size 22 dress and I quit wearing pants at size 18 so who knows what size they would have been. If you look at my pictures and think that I don’t understand what you’re going through, guess again.

Knowledge Is Power

One thing that I had learned growing up, even with an unhealthy state of mind being impressed upon me, was that we have the power to change ourselves. My mother and I would get the World Books and look up calisthenics, body weight exercises, and get in the floor and do them. I also learned, due to the endless diets that I was on, that what we put in our mouths makes a difference in everything, not just the scale. I noticed that while I was eating healthy, I just felt better.

I wasn’t happy being a victim of my hormones and eating habits. Believe me, victim is not my default. I began to study everything that I could find concerning PMS, cravings and related mood swings. One of the first bits of information that I uncovered was the sugar connection. When our estrogen and progesterone levels begin to shift during this time, it can cause a change in the level of serotonin in the brain. (https://www.webmd.com/women/pms/features/diet-and-pms#1) Serotonin is one of our feel good neurotransmitters and our brain needs to keep it available in just the right amount, too little and we become horribly depressed and too much and we become whacked out of our minds, maniacal, hysterical with an artificial, scary energy. Again, balance is everything. Dopamine is our strength and excitement neurotransmitter, too little and we are lethargic and too much and we are a fearful thing, all but terrorizing our environment. Sugar lights up the dopamine reward pathway (https://huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/sugar-brain-mental-health_n_6904778.html) and causes us to want to “hit it again”. It feels good, and at this time of month, nothing else does.

This problem is compounded by the fact that as we “hit it again”, multiple times, our serotonin is being released also. When this serotonin system is repeatedly stimulated we can become depleted and fall into a deep depression. Many anti-depressant drugs are serotonin boosters and if we burn this system out with too much sugar, we are in a world of hurt until balance is restored. Salt also affects our serotonin balance and when that one chemical is not balanced in our brains, all hell breaks loose. We will constantly try to self medicate with food, alcohol and prescription medications and sometimes illegal drugs. Balance is so crucial to sustaining life that we will self destruct trying to regain even a shred of “normal”.

I continued my studies and discovered that along with a good, wholesome balanced diet our bodies desperately need activity. Endorphins are produced by hard exercise and endorphins are natural anti-depressants. Getting outside increases GABA levels in the brain (The Edge Effect, Eric R. Braverman, M.D., Sterling Publishing Company., Inc. New York, 2004) and GABA is our calming neurotransmitter.

The Key 

I also discovered that during the luteal phase of our menstrual cycle, the last 7-10 days or so, we burn 2.5-11% more calories! (https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/4-ways-your-mentrual-cycle-affects-your-workouts.html) (Yes, “menstrual is misspelled in that url, but it won’t work if you spell it correctly. It was posted this way.) Yep, MORE calories! Ladies, we just got a break. The golden key had just been handed to me and I rushed to unlock the secret. The Dirty Little Secret was that we were being told that we had no control and it was a lie. The Dirty Little Secret was that we were being told that we couldn’t do anything about weight gain during this tumultuous time and it was a lie. The Dirty Little Secret was that an overall disdain for women’s issues in the mainstream media had never considered this a problem to be dealt with because it was a “Woman’s Issue” and, you know, “It’s All In Their Heads.” The Dirty Little Secret has caused the death of many, and countless others to live an entire lifetime trapped inside a body alien to them, a stranger in a strange land.

Application

I began to put this knowledge together into a workable program for myself. Everybody thought that I was crazy when I joined the YMCA and began swimming 5-7 days/week for 2+ hours/day. Everybody thought that I was crazy when I began to lift weights. I “Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know” (David Yochim) and I just gave those weights a whirl, yes I did. 😉 I was only lifting about 40-60# but no other women that I knew was even considering doing that. (Now, I lift heavy.) They thought that I was really weird, but now I am working a very difficult job full time and they are retiring. Some of them didn’t even make it that far. Some developed serious health problems and had to retire early and some died. I quit eating any and everything that contained sugar or excess salt. I had also learned that the fluid retention from salt would increase my overall level of misery, just turning up the fire on everything that bothered me, so I laid off of that. I began to run, which is an on and off activity for me and Lord, Lo and Behold! I began to LOSE WEIGHT during the time of the month when I usually gained. Every month, pound after pound had been creeping on and I thought that I was helpless to avoid it.

Victory Is Possible!

I want to make this very clear. You do NOT have to become a fitness freak like me to experience the benefits of this increased calorie burn during the last 7-10 days of your menstrual cycle.  But Ladies hear this, if you forget everything else that I’ve said, small tweaks in your daily routine during the luteal phase can turn it into your favorite time for weight management. When I wasn’t working out hard, I would go for a walk most days. When my diet wasn’t spot on I was just very careful to be moderate and to avoid as much sugar and salt as I possibly could and over time stopping sugar altogether got easier. When I began fully experiencing the benefit of these changes in my life, I never went back. I lost weight EVERY MONTH, all the way to the goal that I had set for myself at the time, working this Golden Key to my advantage.

I’m nobody’s victim. Not even my own. You don’t have to be either. You have the Golden Key, now unlock that secret. ;-*

 

Weight Loss and Weight Management Require Commitment for Life!

Man hiding behind scale

Weight loss requires lifetime commitment if you want to be successful. It’s a given that weight management afterwards needs the same focus as when you were still in weight loss mode. The importance of maintaining our new found nutritional and fitness habits will remain just as important twenty years after hitting your goal weight. There is no significant difference in your needs from the first day you began your weight loss journey. You can never again let your guard down when it comes to weight management.

My lifestyle is no different at a low body fat percentage as from when I began losing weight. I still weigh, measure and track everything I consume each day. The only difference today is my body requires fewer calories to maintain my weight than it did when I was significantly heavier. I am not a naturally lean individual, nor do I have a high metabolism. My commitment level to maintaining a fit and trim body can never waiver, and I accept this as my reality. My weight loss requires commitment for the rest of my life to remain healthy over my advancing years.

When we do not manage our diet, we can become over weight pretty quickly. But the reality is most people have been adding girth to their bodies for several years before attempting to lose weight. Each January, we can watch as commercial gyms are packed full of the New Years resolution crowd, By this time in February, those crowds will have dwindled down significantly. By March, they will have almost disappeared completely. This is a hard truth for all to learn.

Yoga group classes inside the gym

Why is it so hard to lose weight?

I believe most people do not understand the level of commitment weight loss and weight management require. Getting through cravings for high carb foods take time to get over when you quit eating them. Most people refuse to give up sugar and will never get over their carb cravings. A majority of people will not dedicate time for regular exercise.

Weight management requires commitment!

There is no getting around the commitment required for losing weight, and then managing it afterwards. When you are carb addicted, you just have to accept that you always will be carb addicted. As with any addiction, this requires that you never partake again, lest you fall completely off the wagon.

Weight loss requires commitment!

People often lament they do not have time for exercise. They will say they are too busy to take the time to weigh, measure and track the foods they consume. Yet, they will find the time to go to a fast food drive through. They will find the time to visit their doctor for ailments that are preventable through good nutrition and regular exercise. We often hear from some of our readers that they are not capable of losing weight. The truth is, everyone can lose weight. It is truly a matter of how committed you are to do so.

Even if you are more prone to being over weight than others. Weight loss and weight management requires lifetime commitment to doing things you might not really want to do. And that is just a reality we all have to face when we begin a weight loss journey. There are no exceptions my friends.

You are worth the commitment required!

Check out our 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!

Simple Tips For Permanent Weight Loss

Fitness Hacks

When we’re struggling with weight management, there seems to be some kind of “magic” involved for those who successfully manage their weight. The only “magic” is the choices that we make. Your choices will determine your outcome.

Accountability

A person or a group who will hold you accountable is an incredibly helpful part of a successful fitness program. Without accountability, you can have the best of intentions, buy the best work out gear, plan to work out, make time to work out, plan your meals, buy the right groceries to cook, instead of eating junk and then abandon it all for an afternoon in a cupcake shop with a not so well-meaning “friend”.  Our best bet is to have like minded people as our closest friends and ditch the ones who actively try to sabotage our efforts.  People who work against our goals are not our friends.

Positive Support

If we truly desire to make progress towards our health goals, we will extract the negative people from our lives.  Negativism causes a release of adrenaline which can burn us out if we allow ourselves to be caught up in drama.  The adrenaline surge from negativism can cause a release of cortisol and in turn the cortisol can increase belly fat and cause us to become insulin resistant.  Positive, supportive people increase our feel-good neurotransmitters which helps us focus on our goals without so much distraction. These people can be true friends, supportive family members, weight loss groups or supportive social media. The idea is to find people who understand your efforts to be healthy.

 

Technology

 Even if we have an accountability partner, we make most of our decisions alone.  Others can’t police every move that we make.  Technology engages our mind and in the absence of another person, the smart gadgets can keep us focused on our project at hand. Apps that help us track our food, online workout videos and a plethora of health and fitness information is all right in the palm of our hand. If we fail to avail ourselves of every advantage that we have access to, if and when we fail, we have no one to blame except ourselves. We can find the nutritional information for any food, lengthy discussion about any exercise and a demonstration of that exercise, healthy cooking shows and recipes in a couple of minutes, so ignorance about what it takes to be healthy is not a reality unless we want it to be. Google knows everything, just search a topic of interest and see!

Photo by Jeremy Beadle on Unsplash

Wait for It

One of the biggest challenges to fitness is the habit of instant gratification. When we just “want what we want”, we are unwilling to forgo any pleasurable thing in the present. A fitness program works in the opposite way. We give up unhealthy foods and a lazy lifestyle for the long-range goal of good health and a body that we like to inhabit. To push past this tendency to go for short-range gratification we must (1) Make a clear decision about what we want (2) Make detailed plans for the way to accomplish that goal and (3) Take the first step. Instead of vaguely stating that we need to lose weight, we need to state how much and why and then make menus and a grocery list, cook the food, decide what and when our workout will be,  and make arrangements for a gym or whatever home equipment that we need. To work out, we must actually begin. All the gym memberships in the world won’t help if we don’t use them. A good pair of walking shoes may be the only provision you need, if you use them. Putting our plans into action is being proactive as opposed to reactive, which is merely being unhappy with our present state of affairs but being unwilling to do anything to change it.

Decide and Implement

What we must decide is what do we really want? Most of us want to be healthy and attractive but  want it to come easily. The truth is, we are so accustomed to bad health practices that merely making good food choices usually seems hard. Committing to a regular workout seems hard in a sedentary culture.  The road to success is challenging but the alternative is certain destruction. I’ve heard it said that the harder the battle the sweeter the victory, I believe that is true. When we work hard to reach our goals, there is nothing any more fulfilling than the moment those goals begin to materialize. Do you believe that you can change? It is necessary to believe that you can accomplish what you set out to do, otherwise when it gets hard you will quit. Do you have support from others? If not, find it. You will need it.

 

 

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Reward Yourself!

When I first began lifting weights, I bought a kettlebell that had variable weights up to 50 pounds. After working with that for just a short while, since I was committed to getting strong, I invested in my first bar bell weight set in many years. It was 135 pounds maximum and David told me that I would soon outgrow it, and I did. Before moving on up though I spent several months stacking big, plastic tote boxes for a squat rack. Again, as a reward for being diligent, I bought a weight rack. As I progressed, I realized that I needed the safety of a power rack. It looks like a cage that will catch your weights if you go to muscle failure. That rack was an investment, but a very good one. It gives me the confidence to push a little harder when I would otherwise quit. I moved from a standard bar to an Olympic bar for most of my lifts and added a Power Tower for incline sit-ups and hanging knee raises. I got a pull-up bar, a lifting belt, “Ninja Straps” for the Power Tower and a new pulley system along with other odds and ends. These “Rewards” accelerated my progress. Sometimes people think that returning to old eating habits is a reward. It’s not. The same cupcakes that made you their slave before are waiting to do it again. Don’t give them the opportunity. Reward yourself wisely with things that will build on your progress.

While the deciding factor in weight loss and healthy living is the decisions that you make, if you implement these tips, you will achieve much more than you have ever dreamed that you are capable of doing. The choice is yours and whatever you do, DON’T QUIT. The difference between a winner and a loser is that the winner gets up one more time.

Do you want to change?

 

[1] https://victoryfitnesscamp.com/mindset-thought-life/the-importance-of-accountability-to-achieve-your-fitness-goals/

[2] https://medium.com/the-mission/the-accountability-effect-a-simple-way-to-achieve-your-goals-and-boost-your-performance-8a07c76ef53a