Category: Health

Emotions

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In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

—Colossians 2:3 NLT

We all have emotions, but we must learn to manage them. Emotions can be positive or negative. They can make us feel wonderful or awful. They are a central part of being human, and that is fine. Unfortunately, most people do what they feel like doing, say what they feel like saying, buy what they feel like buying, and eat what they feel like eating. And that is not fine, because feelings are not wisdom.

Feelings are fickle; they change frequently and without notification. Since feelings are unreliable, we must not direct our lives according to how we feel. You can be aware of your feelings and acknowledge their legitimacy without necessarily acting on them. God has given us wisdom, and we should walk in it, not our emotions.

Healthy emotions are very important. They help us recognize how we truly feel and what we value. Good emotional health is vital for a good life. But a good life also means being able to manage our emotions and not be managed by them.

Fat Loss Versus Weight Loss

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One of the things we see as a huge problem in the weight loss industry is the focus is almost always placed exclusively  on weight loss alone. You can join one of the largest weight loss groups in the country, pay your monthly fees and still not find true success in achieving a healthy body, specifically because they only concentrate on helping you in getting to a goal weight instead of a goal body fat percentage. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we want you to concentrate on achieving a healthy body fat level over reaching a random weight. You might reach your goal weight when following any of the popular programs, yet still have an entirely too high percentage of body fat. What you weigh is meaningless when you are what we refer to as being “skinny fat”. Being skinny fat is when by outward appearances you are at an ideal body weight, yet you are still soft and pudgy from still carrying too much fat. In fact, being skinny fat is worse than just being obese simply because most skinny fat people do not recognize they have a problem.  After all, if you are over the age of thirty and weigh what you did as a senior in high school, all is well, right?

Not necessarily!

Here in lies a humongous problem, nutrition is similar to religion in that it is visceral. People can get too caught up in what feels good over using intelligence and common sense. It feels good to lose weight, and many take it as a matter of faith that a pound lost is a pound lost, while not caring where the pound lost came from. They do not care, or do not understand, there is a huge difference in a pound of water being lost over a pound of actual fat being lost. All they want to see is the number on their scale dropping which makes them feel good. These people will always find themselves let down when that pound of water weight is replaced as soon as they begin consuming and retaining fluids. Water weight loss is meaningless when it comes to what is important. What is important is losing your body fat to a healthy level for your body.

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To get at a healthy level of body fat and remain there, we need to first understand something. Obesity is not just a matter of simple weight gain.

Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat!

If you want your weight loss to mean anything, then you must understand that your priority must be focused on achieving a healthy level of body fat over a random weight number that just “seems” to be right. Some of the major weight loss groups will help you to get to a weight that places you in a healthy range within the Body Mass Index scale, yet you might still be “skinny fat” and unhealthy. To be healthy, you have to concentrate on losing body fat, not just weight.

Through interactions with our own followers at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, and through the study of several weight loss programs, it is astounding that there are so many people who have little grasp of what makes up their weight and what to do about it. Your body weight is comprised of more than one factor; water content, fat content, muscle content and your structural components  such as bones, tendons and ligaments. If you want to simplify this, look at your body as two parts, pure body fat and lean body mass for the rest.

If you are trying to figure out your ideal weight, quit looking for a mystical number you believe is going to make you look and feel good about yourself. Concentrate on getting to and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. You can refer to our Pictorial Body Fat Estimator  here to see where you need to be. Fifteen percent is a good goal for men, while twenty two percent is a good percentage for women.

In today’s America, the average man has 23% or higher levels of body fat, while the average woman’s body fat is 32% or higher. This means the average male is 53% fatter than he should be while the average woman is 50% fatter than what is healthy. Somewhere along the way, we Americans have become some of the fattest people on the face of the earth.  And why would this be?

This is simply because too many people, including so-called experts, have no true understanding of the relationship between diet and fat loss!

 

Be sure to check out and join our new Facebook Support Group, David’s Way to Health and Fitness, Sugar Free Living

Hit Goal Weight, Now What?

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I hit my gym tonight and during the course of getting in a kick ass workout, I engaged in conversation with a friend who is fairly new to weight training. We discussed how strength training becomes a part of a healthy lifestyle and how despite the fact she is becoming strong and knows most all the mechanics behind her lifting, she has not yet reached that point where the lifestyle of lifting has fully enveloped her, how she is almost there, but not quite fully in the groove of the routine being a part of her being. There comes a point where all that comes with being a serious strength trainer just falls into place. Obviously, the newbie questions will all but disappear, but it is more than that. It is where the mechanics of lifting, nutrition and rest all fall into thier respective places with no wrenches getting jammed into the cogs. The gears rotate smoothly with perfect timing in order for the lifting lifestyle to all fall into place naturally.

How’s this relate to weight maintenance?

In the world of weight loss, the issue of losing weight and then maintaining after you have reached goal is similar to getting in the groove of weight training in that weight management has to become an integral part of a well oiled lifestyle. You have to understand the mechanics of weight management by learning not to just control your appetite and recognizing your trigger foods, but also you owe it yourself and the efforts you expended in reaching your goal weight to have a better understanding of the human body and nutrition. If you are an emotional or stress eater, you owe it to yourself to learn to control those emotions and stress, otherwise you will regain your weight. You have to get your mind wrapped around a lifetime commitment to maintenance and be prepared to leave the struggle of losing behind.

I know there are many who do great work at losing their body fat, their motivation flies high, and then they hit goal and fall on their face, lost, not knowing what their next step is supposed to be. Next thing you know, they have gained back that 10, 20, 30 or 60 pounds they lost. The world is full of yo- yo dieters, and I have read over the years that an individual may actually be healthier to remain obese over losing weight and then regaining that weight over and over. According to Health News NPR those who yo-yo diet double their chance of heart attack, stroke or death when there are already issues with the heart. As in strength training where an intelligent new lifter learns all they can about techniques, nutrition, rest and routines, a person who sets out on a weight loss regimen needs to learn all the ins and outs of the what’s and whys behind their actions. This is critical in being able to maintain your weight after reaching goal and in not compromising your health. When you begin a journey to lose weight, you need to be intelligent and set forth a long term goal with many short term goals in how to get there. Those long term goals need to be solid and with sound reasoning. As in serious strength training, you owe it to yourself to ensure your plan is well thought out and makes perfect sense to carry you for the rest of your life. You want to avoid a strength training plan where you are going to do a dozen variations of curls in order to one day be able to stand on a Bosu ball with barbell on your back and then squatting. Yeah, there are uninformed people blindly doing this in gyms across the country under instruction from their trainers, don’t be that individual. Not with weights, not with your weight loss.

Be Realistic!

Yes, be realistic on creating a lifestyle of healthy eating which begins before you ever get to goal. Be sure to consume a well rounded diet where you receive all the nutrients required for a healthy body. Do not fall for the fad diets and think for a second that you can use a fad in order to lose weight and then be able to keep it off. Avoid the prepackaged meals they sell on television such as NutriSystem, Slim4Less etc… Learn to cook wholesome and nutritious meals where you get a sufficient variety of all your macronutrients. Educate yourself in how to ensure that you consume all the proper proteins in order to supply your body with all the amino acids required for your body to build it’s own proteins. With a decent amount of understanding your bodies nutritional needs you can avoid loss of lean muscle and physical problems which come from malnutrition. Yes my friends, even with the abundance of food we enjoy in western nations, we still have a lot of folks suffering malnutrition. You bet, you can be obese and suffering malnutrition as a result of not eating a well balanced diet. You can bet, that if you eat more sugary high fat foods than healthy, you are likely suffering from some degree of malnutrition.

Enjoy Your Exercise!

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If you are healthy enough to have a consistent exercise regimen, then by all means, make you sure you pick an exercise that you will enjoy and can be done year round. It will serve you no purpose to begin a routine that can not be a healthy part of your lifestyle. For instance, Mixed Martial Arts might be fun in the early stages where you might begin learning basic grappling skills, and then you find that all the fun disappeared the first time you got punched in the nose or slammed to the mat by your sparring partner. This may be at the extreme in making a point, but I hope you get the point in picking a routine where you can do it about anytime consistently and will always enjoy it and the health benefits going forward.

Take It Slow!

If you are obese, the odds are that you did not get that way over night. Therefore do not place an unneeded stress on yourself in trying to lose the body fat in a matter of a couple of weeks or months. A rapid weight loss is not reasonable or healthy and will only cause you possible health issues, lots of loose skin and a lack of adaption to the new you before reaching goal weight. Make your weight loss journey and maintenance a lifestyle over something you just do in order to look better. Make this about being healthy over being skinny.

Your body will want to go back to being heavy even if you take your weight loss slow and easy, but the longer you take to lose your weight, the less will impact you. Once you achieve your goal weight, do not think you are done, At this time, reevaluate where you are and decide if you are at a healthy weight and body fat percentage. Body fat being the larger issue as you can actually be light in weight, yet be skinny fat. Skinny fat is where your body is slender and does not weigh a lot, but it is also very soft from an abundance of body fat and too little lean muscle mass.

In summary, educate yourself in nutrition and in the most efficient way to meet your body fat/weight goals. Have a realistic plan going forward after reaching goal. Make your weight loss journey and then maintenance a lifestyle of healthy living instead of a temporary state of just trying to make a goal. Believe in yourself, trust in yourself, and do right for yourself. With planning and forethought, your stressing will not be as intense and your chances of permanent success will only be greater.

God bless, and thank you for reading. From the bottom of my heart, we truly appreciate each and everyone who takes the time to follow my blog. Brenda and I are both honored and humbled by the tremendous support we receive at David’s Way. We promise to continue to bring you quality content as quality will always be of more import than quantity.

We have created a weight loss/fitness support group on Face Book. Join and engage with supportive people who have the same or similar goals as yourself. We are a safe group where there are no judgments. We a place where you can share your victories and your set backs, either way, we can all learn from each other through shared experiences.

How to Be Thankful


Sometimes we can wonder what we have to be thankful for when hardship has come our way. If you consider the glass half full or half empty question, David’s teaching on that is the answer. “It doesn’t matter whether the glass is half full or half empty, refill the glass.”

Today take small steps to refill your glass. Eat well, get in some exercise, walk away from people and situations that increase your stress, avoid alcohol and get to bed a little earlier tonight.

When we practice good health habits our cortisol levels are more stable and we are happier, have fewer cravings and see improvements in all aspects of our lives, including our weight.

Have a wonderful day and remember to take care of YOU. It’s a choice. Thank you for following us. May God bless you today and always. 

Living a Grateful Life

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What does it mean to live a grateful life, and how does it apply to health and wellness? A grateful life is quite simple yet takes a bit of effort on some days. Hell, maybe even most days. I make it a point, every day of my life, to find something beautiful to enjoy. Even on days when I might feel as if life has kicked me in the nuts, I still try to find something positive to enjoy. Yeah, I’m that guy who is happy in the mornings even before having that first sip from a hot cup of joe. By God, I am not going to let any fool rain on my parade without consequences to them. Every day, I am grateful for everything good in my life as I know from life experience it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye. Life is short, and there are no guarantees that you will make it to the end of the day without meeting your maker, or having your life drastically altered as a result of an accident or unexpected diagnosis of a terminal illness. I live my life every day with chronic sciatic pain from a bad spinal injury. The pain is now just a part of my life which I have learned to live with. I take no pain medications for it. As much as it sucks to live with chronic pain, it keeps me reminded of what happened to my spine, and the impact that horrible injury had on my life. So, as sick as it sounds, I am even grateful for this pain. It keeps me humble. Even while having a great deal of pride, I also maintain a degree of humility in order to never forget my blessings in life can be taken away.

Living a life of gratefulness requires more effort than living a life of gloom and doom. Hell, gloom and doom requires no effort at all. And as in all of life’s endeavors that require little to no effort, the reward is minuscule to non-existent. Much like being a low skilled worker where any monkey can do the job, the pay is never going to be sufficient. If you want more pay, you have to work for it.

Too many folks seem to not understand that by making it point to live a positive life, your well being is going to be improved. Living a grateful life with a positive mental outlook will bring rewards in small and large ways. It will help you to be the best you can be and therefore your health and wellness is going to be greater than the poor bastard who seems to have black clouds and gargoyles over his presence. A positive mental outlook will heal your soul even when the chips may be down. Who in life is happier? The glass half empty individual or the glass half full individual? The contents of the glass may be equal, but one person is grateful for what they have instead of pissed about what they do not have. Who has the better quality of life? The pissed off guy, or the happy guy? Who also enjoys a better quality of life? The person addicted to sugar who is always stressing about their weight? Or the person who has totally kicked sugar who lives a full life and is physically fit and able to do anything they want? Here is a bit of reality, by living life with a positive purpose, you can avoid a lot of health impairing stress. Living with the doldrums and eating your stress will only add more stress to your life. Feeding that body fat which is hollering for you to shovel shit down your gullet in order to calm the way you feel is counterproductive. Your body fat does not give a care in the world about your feelings. If you feed that monster, you will never be the best you that you can be. It takes personal discipline and will power to do what is right for your health and well being. It takes a positive mental outlook to beat the craving monster down. Working on that personal discipline makes it stronger in time just as working a muscle with a barbell. Living that grateful life helps immensely in developing that personal discipline.

Today, I was quite grateful to get out and enjoy the great outdoors on my Harley Davidson. A day on the scoot lifted my spirits and this will carry me through until I meet my wife at the gym later this evening to knock out some cardio training with her.

Changing “The Change”

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As if going pretty much brain dead for a season, isn’t enough. As if waking up and not even recognizing the person in your head isn’t enough. As if experiencing an intensity of emotions, or complete lack thereof, that could land us in jail or the psyche ward isn’t enough… We tend to gain weight during and after menopause. Damn!

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On Being a Woman

There are a few factors that contribute to this travesty of justice. You’d think that we’d already suffered enough, right?!? However… the changing hormone levels in our bodies actually cause a decrease in muscle mass, (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health-depth/menopause-weight-gain/art-20046058) which automatically decreases our caloric need and guess what? Eating LESS during the most miserable times of our lives is NOT what we want to do! We usually eat more and the pounds begin to pile on. As time passes, our bodies can change into something that we don’t even recognize.

According to the Mayo Clinic source cited above, to merely maintain our current weight we may need about 200 calories/day less during this time of our lives. Oh, great. “Comfort food” suddenly becomes our staunch enemy because there’s no comfort in watching that scale go up week after week.

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The Equation

The “formula” that worked/works for me is pretty simple. It’s a combination of eating less and moving more. Any activity will burn excess calories but weight training will aggressively rebuild some of that precious lost muscle so it has the advantage over all other forms of exercise for me. It burns approximately 90-266 calories/hour on average, depending on the individual’s weight and effort involved in the lifting, according to the Harvard Medical School (https://www.livestrong.com/article/256854-calories-burned-through-strength-training/). It has served me well. I eat 1600-1800 calories/day, non-lifting and lifting days respectively. Before this time of my life I daresay I ate 2,000-3,000 every single day. I could eat 2,000 easily without gaining weight. Reducing caloric intake after menopause is necessary to avoid weight gain but instead of drastically cutting calories, I found it much more pleasant to increase my activity and cut fewer calories. The added benefit of the endorphins and other neurotransmitters produced by strenuous exercise was a win-win when I realized that I could still eat enough to be satisfied. Since beginning David’s Way I find it difficult to eat all of the calories that I need because the foods that David encourages, whole food sources of protein and complex carbohydrates, are so filling. Sometimes I feel guilty because I didn’t eat all of my allotted calories!

You Are What You Eat

I also discovered plain, full-fat, Greek yogurt during this time. I read somewhere that it decreased belly fat better than other sources of calcium and I jumped on that bandwagon. It definitely made a difference for me.

Simple carbohydrates and sugar cause insulin spikes and and insulin spikes cause an increase in cortisol levels in the body. Over time, increased cortisol levels may cause excess belly fat. I avoid simple carbs and treat sugar like a poison. If I have sandwich bread in the house, I will see an increase in belly fat. I just don’t eat it except on rare occasions. My burger doesn’t have a bun. I keep my Net Carbs at 100 grams/day to control tummy pudge. I constantly pursue a lean body and I have discovered that David’s Way of high protein and low carb eating is exactly how I need to eat now. The truth is , I’m certain that I should have been eating this way all along.

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Considering the cortisol link, stress causes terrible cortisol spikes. David’s advice to “Keep your world small.” can help with that. If people or activities stress you out, avoid them. Keep your world full of positive people who encourage your efforts to be healthy and leave the negative ones behind. This time of your life that can be so frustrating will instantly get a little easier and your overall health and waistline will reflect that wise decision.

Knowledge is power. Don’t let this time of life catch you off guard. It’s a real thing, Girls. Be ready. If you’re in it, and you’re not eating this way and you’re not exercising, then decide if this sounds like something that would be good for you. I’ll never go back. I say that I’m middle-aged at 64 because I plan on living a very long life in good health, completely independent. It looks like I have a pretty good start on it.

Don’t be miserable another day. A quality diet and physical fitness are always beneficial. Use the energy that you have to make important changes in your life. The same methods work for both naturally occurring and surgically induced menopause. I have no intention of growing old gracefully. I haven’t even hit my peak. Your best years really are ahead of you. The choices are yours. ;-*

Have a Cola and Osteoporosis?

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How many people do you personally know that guzzle soft drinks from the time they get out of bed until the time they crawl their ass back into it? I know of several who do this every day of the week and they also never drink anything else like water or milk. Who in their right mind could ever think of this as being anything healthy? Are you nuts?

This topic came about as a result of a conversation I had with my mother who was telling me about a little old lady in her neighborhood who has bad Osteoporosis which according to said little old lady, was a direct result of drinking soda pop only for several years. Allegedly, her doctor told her this, which got me curious if this could be true. My research into this also took me down many other rabbit trails regarding this affliction. Osteoporosis is a terribly debilitating condition, I have found that there is a lot more to it than soda pop, it can also be caused by poor nutritional practices over a life time.

The biggest tie to Osteoporosis and soda pop seems to come from an excess of phosphoric acid intake over calcium intake which can lead to bone loss. However, research also shows that those who drink only sodas rarely drink milk in order to increase their calcium. So, this could be the bigger culprit in the ties between soda and Osteoporosis.

Crappy diets over a life time can lead to Osteoporosis and drinking nothing but soda every day is also a pretty damn stupid thing to do for a whole host of other reasons. The bottom line is just because we can get away with dumb choices for a period of time in our lives, eventually our stupidity will catch up to us through failing health. Is it any wonder that now days you can see people as young as in their forties who suffer from ailments that used to only affect true senior citizens? Isn’t is ironic how in our society that we can judge smokers as being dummies who will die young from their dirty habit, we can condemn the lifelong alcoholic or drug addict for the damage their habits will inflict on loved ones besides themselves, yet it would be socially unacceptable to call people out for their gluttony of bad foods and drink. Gluttony is probably more harmful than smoking, drugs and alcohol because most people do not recognize it as being bad until their ass is getting a foot chopped off because of diabetes, or they are too fat to get get their own ass on and off the toilet.

In writing this blog, I began with a purpose of going in one direction, but this is now going in a couple. The first thing I am going to address is drinking soda pop every day. Specifically, drinking several servings a day or nothing but soda. Whether you drink diet or regular soda all day, you are a blooming idiot if you understand the health implications and continue to do so anyway. If you do not know this is bad for you, then I truly hope someone else is in charge of your life as you must have a learning disability or something. If you can read the following and still continue your all day, every day soda habit, you would be a special kind of stupid. Stupid as Ol Smokey going through a pack or two of cigarettes a day.

According to Cleveland Clinic;

  • The sugar in sugar-sweetened sodas may increase blood glucose and increase insulin. Over time, these may lead to glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and inflammation. Those changes in turn influence atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries), plaque stability and thrombosis (clot formation), a risk factor for strokes caused by blockage of an artery.
  • The fructose in sugar-sweetened soda can be converted to visceral (belly) and liver fat. This enhances lipogenesis (fat buildup and triglyceride synthesis in the blood stream). Fructose also increases uric acid in the blood, which can reduce nitric oxide in the vessel lining and increase blood pressure, a risk factor for strokes caused by blockages or hemorrhages.
  • Because the body does not regulate our consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in the same manner as foods, drinking them may lead to excess caloric intake. This is unlikely to explain our study findings, however, because controlling for energy intake in our models did not change results.
  • The caramel coloring in sugar-sweetened and low-calorie colas contains advanced-glycation end products. These have been linked to inflammation, which has been linked to the initiation, growth and unstable plaques that can break off and cause strokes. An inverse (U-shaped) association has been reported between high blood pressure and caffeine, while a linear association has been reported between high blood pressure and increased soda intake. This suggests that ingredients other than caffeine in soda affect blood pressure.
  • The ways in which diet or low calorie soda may influence stroke risk are less clear than those for sugar-sweetened soda. Diet soda has recently been linked to an increased risk of vascular events (Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2012); diabetes (Diabetes Care 2009, European Journal of Nutrition, 2013) and kidney function decline (Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2011).
  • Researchers have also begun to look at ways in which diet soda may affect “reward processing” in different parts of the brain (Physiology & Behavior, 2012) and hormone levels (Diabetes Care, 2012). Both mechanisms may help to explain the epidemiologic findings.

That is a lot of bad stuff happening in your body when you drink high amounts of soda every day. What ever happened to the days when a bottle of pop was a treat instead of something to consume by the gallons every day.

Now, to get back to Osteoporosis. Of course there are many reasons folks can get this that are beyond their control such as menopause and or sickness. My point is not aimed at these folks. My focus is on those who do end up with Osteoporosis as a direct or even indirect result of a poor dietary habits over a life time. With my own age advancing closer to my retirement years and the ever rising cost of medical care, I think about ailments that are preventable or at least minimized by healthy eating. If some of this sounds overly harsh so far, understand that I am frustrated beyond belief with two immediate family members who are in piss poor health because of their eating habits. One barely eats now and the other is eating himself into an early grave at 54 years old and a body weight of about 500 lbs or better. And neither one of them seem to give a damn that their lifelong habits have a direct result on those of us who love them.

According to Mayo Clinic, a bone healthy diet can help in preventing and managing Osteoporosis.

Like any living tissue, bones need nutrients so that they can grow and then maintain that growth. That’s why a key component to both managing and preventing osteoporosis is good nutrition. Is there a bone-healthy diet? The answer is yes. Here are five steps to eating well for strong bones.

1. Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains

Studies show that eating more vegetables and fruits will lead to improved bone health. These foods are generally lower in calories and fat and are high in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. They also contain phytochemicals, substances that can help protect against a variety of diseases, including osteoporosis.

Aim to eat four or more servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, K and A. All play a role in maintaining bone health.

Also eat four servings of grains daily. Choose whole grains when possible because whole grains contain more nutrients, especially magnesium and fiber, than do refined grains.

2. Choose healthy sources of protein and fat

Protein is important for bone health, because it’s a major component of bone tissue and plays a role in maintaining bone. The best choices include plant proteins, such as beans and nuts, as well as fish, skinless poultry and lean cuts of meat. Plant proteins are rich in vitamins, minerals and estrogen-like plant compounds that help preserve bone. Low-fat dairy products, including milk and plain yogurt, are another good source of protein and also provide calcium, which benefits bone health. Protein should account for 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories.

You need some fat in your diet for your body to function properly. The best choices are monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, nuts and seeds. Cold water fish also provide essential omega-3 fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Even these fats, however, should be eaten in limited amounts. Avoid saturated fats, which have been shown to be detrimental to bone health in adults.

3. Get plenty of calcium

Calcium is critical to bone health. This mineral is a key building block of bone, and it helps prevent bone loss and osteoporotic fractures in older people. Although the recommended daily intake for most adults ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) or more, the typical diet provides much less.

If you’re not getting enough calcium, try to increase your consumption of foods that are high in the mineral. Milk and other dairy products are the richest food sources, but calcium is also found in kale, broccoli, and calcium-fortified foods such as juices, cereals and tofu products.

If you can’t get enough calcium in your diet, then you should consider a calcium supplement. A calcium supplement is often recommended for postmenopausal women because it can reduce the rate of bone loss. Calcium should not be taken alone, however. Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption, and magnesium helps direct the calcium to the bone, keeping it out of the soft tissues.

4. Limit sugar, salt and phosphate additives

Foods that contain sugars added during processing generally provide a lot of calories, additives and preservatives, but very few vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. For this reason, dietary guidelines often recommend that you limit processed foods and beverages. Soft drinks are often the biggest culprit.

Too much salt in your diet also can be harmful. Not only can salt cause high blood pressure, but too much salt also can increase the amount of calcium you excrete from your body with urination. Aim for a limit of 2,300 mg of salt daily — the equivalent of about one teaspoon.

Phosphorus is used as an additive in many processed foods. Too much phosphorus in your diet can interfere with how much calcium is absorbed through your small intestine.

To limit your intake of these problematic ingredients, check the labels on the processed foods you buy at the grocery store and choose fresh foods whenever possible.

5. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption

Consuming more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day hastens bone loss and reduces your body’s ability to absorb calcium. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. And drinking alcohol with meals will slow calcium’s absorption as well.

Caffeine can slightly increase calcium loss during urination. But much of its potentially harmful effect stems from substituting caffeinated beverages for milk and other healthy drinks. Moderate caffeine consumption — about 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day — won’t be harmful as long as your diet contains adequate calcium.

So, the question becomes, do you care about your health concerns as you age? And what are you prepared to do about it? Do you eat a bone healthy diet, or a diet that only temporarily fills an empty void when you are hungry on a constant basis? Besides the types who only drink soda pop all day, how many do you know who only seem to ever eat from fast food restaurants, junk food from convenience stores or the garbage usually found in vending machines. How many go the less benign route of only buy foods from the grocery store where all you have to do in order to feed your family is to pop the already made meal into the oven or in a pot of boiling water? How much processed garbage do you eat or feed to your family? Can you actually pronounce the names of all the ingredients on the label, and do you actually know what each of those ingredients are? Do you look at the contents sugar, salt and preservative amounts?

Maybe you can roll the dice by eating garbage your entire life while washing it down with soda and never have a health issue. Or, you may roll the dice and lose in a big way. Is temporary satisfaction really worth a risk to your health and well being over the long term? If you do not really care about yourself, do you care about your kids enough to not fuck them with a life of preventable ailments? Ask yourself, is there ever a good reason to feed your loved one a meal with zero nutritional value which could directly affect their well being. Lastly, next tie you see the stooped over old lady or the little old man who is frail and maybe not as old as he appears, ponder the question if that condition was a result of a poor diet. Take the thought even deeper with the understanding that even if it was from a hormonal issue or sickness, it still could be a indirect result of a shitty diet.

Why Gamble with Diabetes?

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Are you a gambler? Do you love the thrill of placing a Vegas bet on the craps or card tables? How much are you willing to gamble at a time? Would you be willing to bet your home on a sure bet? Or are you more of a small time gambler who see’s no harm in the benign scratcher tickets and occasional Powerball game. You know, nothing harmful ever comes from scratching tickets at the local convenience store. Heck that $20 purchase of tickets is going to actually pay off big time one day, right?

How about gambling with your life and or your health? We see this every day when smokers walk out to smoking areas and light up their cigarettes. To a non-smoker, those types are a special fucking kind of stupid aren’t they? After all, we are only gifted with one set of lungs when we are born. How many roll the dice with alcohol by taking their first drink while knowing that it affects some to the point of losing everything. You have likely seen hobo’s panhandling on street corners for enough scratch to purchase a bottle of Wild Irish Rose to swill down under the bridge with Ol Smokey and their pal affectionately referred to as Zoo Breath. Yeah, those bums gambled and lost with that one didn’t they? Of course, we are all better than those stew bums, right?

We can all take relatively safe gambles with our lives, and not have to pay the Piper for several years. Hell, most of us live for today and cannot fathom the future 30 years later when we can not see past the ends of our own noses. It’s not like we are playing Russian Roulette with a .357 Magnum when we bite into a Snickers Bar. Or are we…

Type 2 Diabetes runs in my family. Family members on both sides have suffered it, therefore it is only prudent that I do everything I can in order to avoid it myself. Knowing that it runs in my family, it would be a dick move if I throw caution to the wind and gamble on my life that I can eat tons of sugar and carbs and never get it myself. For all my reasons “Why” for losing weight and committing myself to a life style of health and wellness, avoiding Type 2 Diabetes ranks right there at the top of the list for living the way I do. It is why I promote a diet high in protein and low in carbs. Complex carbs only. No sugar or processed foods. Avoiding those foods are now just a part of my lifestyle which has been given the title David’s Way by my friend.

WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES

Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes mainly from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose get into your cells to be used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Too much glucose then stays in your blood, and not enough reaches your cells.(1)

You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, type 2 diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are age 45 or older, have a family history of diabetes, or are overweight or obese. Diabetes is more common in people who are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.

Physical inactivity and certain health problems such as high blood pressure affect your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes or had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant. (1)

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include

  • increased thirst and urination
  • increased hunger
  • feeling tired
  • blurred vision
  • numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • sores that do not heal
  • unexplained weight loss

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly—over the course of several years—and can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart disease.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is caused by several factors, including

  • overweight and obesity
  • not being physically active
  • insulin resistance
  • genes

(1) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

On Weight Watcher’s social media Connect, I have responded to people who have trouble with losing weight by telling them they should quit sugar all together. It is unbelievable how pissed some of them get when I make this suggestion despite the fact it will work for them if only they try. Hell, their panties can get in such a twist, you would think I had barged into their home and removed every source of their sugar. Because sugar is seen as a food source which is added to just about everything now days, many can not see how harmful it can be for some folks. Not just in the problems which stem from obesity, but the even uglier problems which can be prevented just by not eating sugar and by watching your intake of even complex carbohydrates.

If you look at the top causes of Type 2 Diabetes, you will see that being over weight, obese and not being physically active are the top causes. Fixing the third item will help to fix the first two, but is not enough by itself if you still like to indulge in sweet treats on a regular basis. You can not outrun or out work a bad diet as a permanent fix to being over weight or obese. You have to fix your diet and mind set first and foremost. If you need a reason, just look at those feet afflicted with diabetic ulcers with the understanding that your diet can either cause the same for you, or it could correct this course before you get there by simply eating whole and healthy foods and cutting out sugar and processed foods from your diet. Every time you stick a spoonful of sugary crap in your mouth, you are gambling that you will never be stricken with that horrible condition.

Besides ugly ulcers on your extremities which can often lead to amputations, are pints of your favorite ice cream or Little Debby Cakes, worth your eye sight? Do you value your vision enough to clean up your diet? The above pictures are eyes with Diabetic Retinopathy. When your child or grandchild looks into your eyes, do you care if these eyes are what they peer into? Would you ever want to gaze into your child or grand children’s eyes and see these looking back at you? Probably not, but if you do not fix your diet, quit or at least greatly reduce your sugar intake, and increase your physical activity, those eyes might just become your reality. Bad things happen to all of us, not just the other guy.

The costs of Type 2 Diabetes to us personally and financially are devastating to our lives and causes preventable heart ache and stress. Nobody need suffer from Type 2 Diabetes if only they eat healthy whole foods and incorporate vigorous exercise into their lives.

According to American Diabetes Association:

The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2017 is $327 billion, including $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity.

The largest components of medical expenditures are:

  • hospital inpatient care (30% of the total medical cost),
  • prescription medications to treat complications of diabetes (30%),
  • anti-diabetic agents and diabetes supplies (15%), and
  • physician office visits (13%).

People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of $16,752 per year, of which about $9,601is attributed to diabetes. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

For the cost categories analyzed, care for people with diagnosed diabetes accounts for 1 in 4 health care dollars in the U.S. and more than half of that expenditure is directly attributable to diabetes.

Indirect costs include:

  • increased absenteeism ($3.3 billion) and
  • reduced productivity while at work ($26.9 billion) for the employed population,
  • reduced productivity for those not in the labor force ($2.3 billion),
  • inability to work as a result of disease-related disability ($37.5 billion), and
  • lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($19.9 billion).

Diabetes Costs in Specific Populations

  • Most of the cost for diabetes care in the U.S., 66%, is provided by government insurance (including Medicare, Medicaid, and the military). The rest is paid for by private insurance (60%) or by the uninsured (2%).
  • People with diabetes who do not have health insurance have 60% fewer physician office visits and are prescribed 52% fewer medications than people with insurance coverage—but they also have 168% more emergency department visits than people who have insurance.
  • Total per-capita health expenditures are higher among men than women ($10,060 vs. $9,110).
  • Total per-capita health care expenditures are lower among Hispanics ($8,050) and higher among non-Hispanic blacks ($10,470) and among non-Hispanic whites ($9,800).
  • Compared to non-Hispanic whites, per capita hospital inpatient costs are 23% higher among non-Hispanic blacks and 29% lower among Hispanics. Non-Hispanic blacks also have 65% more emergency department visits than the population with diabetes as a whole.
  • Among states, California has the largest population with diabetes and thus the highest costs, at $39.47 billion. Texas ($25.60 billion), Florida ($24.80 billion), and New York ($21.23 billion) round out the top four states in terms of total annual cost.

(2) American Diabetes Association

I can not imagine any caring individual wanting to burden their family with these problems, nor can I see anyone truly wanting to risk this for themselves. Yet, every time we indulge in unhealthy eating practices, we take a huge gamble that at some point this will be our lives and not just the life of the other guy. When you take your little girl down to the Dairy Queen on a hot summer day, it is inconceivable that anyone would want this for their sweet child, yet as a society, our children are being lead down this path every day when we feed them sugary foods that might taste really good but have zero nutritional value to man kind.

Friends reading this, know that if you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, there are things you can do to improve your quality of life. Quit eating sugar, and or drinking alcohol. Get on a proven weight loss program, and commit yourself to not losing weight so much as just living a healthy life style. The weight loss will come if you make this commitment. Next, get your ass moving with some kind of exercise. Create a plan for exercise and stick to it. Create a long term goal with as many short term goals as you need to get to the long term one. Be specific in what you are going to do. Do not say I will walk more, or I will try to lose weight. That is too vague to be of any good. Say I will walk briskly 15 minutes a day, or I will walk briskly 2 miles per day 4 days a week. With weight loss, I will lose how ever many pounds you need to lose. Lets say 50 for the long term. But in the short term, break that down to 5 pound incremental short term goals and only concentrate on those until you get to your long term goal. Learn to make your world small in order to reduce stress which leads to binge eating. The less mental clutter in your life, the less stress you will have in order to fully commit yourself to a life style of health and wellness.

No Access to a Gym?

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So I have folks ask me all the time what they can do to get toned while either not having access to a gym, or maybe they just do not want to go with my preferred route of getting after it with a barbell. Well, I have some good word for you. You do not have to have anything fancy at your disposal and you do not have to lift weights to get a good toned body Everything you need is right at your disposal and will cost you little to nothing.

Folks, in the military it is not practical to PT your unit in a gym full of equipment so we would rise early and PT with calisthenics followed by a run. Access to equipment not required. When I worked as a Correctional Officer, we had inmates who also had no access to equipment such as when they were in lock down. What would they do? Calisthenics, I have seen inmates who were in lock down for months at a time that were still specimens of physical fitness because they used their body weight and still had means to improvise weights. One improvisation being the use of a plastic trash bag filled with water and then wrapped in a blanket to use as a weight for for curling and pressing. There are always things at your disposal for resistance training in almost any circumstance. Try saving a couple of 1 gallon milk jugs and fill them with water for a couple of ten pound weights, or close to it anyhow. You can always find something if you open your eyes to what is around you.

You do not need fancy or heavy equipment in order to lose weight and to improve your strength, appearance and over all health. All you need is the will to do so. Here is an example of a workout you can do that will be effective in getting you strong and fit. This will tone your body well, as long as you also eat right. Remember, while it is not necessarily impossible to out exercise a bad diet, it is difficult to do over an extended period of time.

Put on a good pair of sneakers and get yourself into some comfortable work out clothing and do the following at least four to five mornings a week. Give yourself a couple rest days either with two days in a row or separated. However works best with your schedule. I have not been one to workout early in the morning since retiring from the military, but if you do, then it is out of the way for the rest of the day. You can do this routine in an hour and get great results.

Spend a couple minutes stretching your muscles and getting loose and then;

  1. Push Ups, shoot for 30 or as many as you can in one set. Take yourself to failure when you r arms can no longer push your weight. Make it hurt.
  2. Jumping Jacks, perform 50 of these to get your heart rate up.
  3. Bent Knee Crunches, Do 25 to 30
  4. Diamond Push Ups, again aim for 30 reps or push until your muscles are burning.
  5. Jumping Jacks, for another 50
  6. Reverse Crunches for 25 reps
  7. Wide Arm Push Ups, Again, go until the lactic acid burns
  8. Jumping Jacks for another 50
  9. Sit Ups, for 25 to 30 reps
  10. Burpees, go for 30 reps or as many as you can get
  11. Run, go out and run for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you can not run 30 minutes, then run as long as you can and push it a little further every day you exercise. Even if the added distance is just to the next telephone pole.

If you do this simple exercise routine, you will build physical strength and cardiovascular endurance. Your body will become fit and toned. This exercise routine is tough to do at first, but you have to push through that first week and it will get simpler every day. Do not give yourself much if any rest time between exercises. Go straight from one to the next. If you can not do it all at first, just do the best you can to get at least a little of each exercise until you can.

I recommend this be done before breakfast in the morning, but you can do this routine anytime you want. Ensure you stay well hydrated and as with any strenuous exercise, make sure to consume protein shortly after you finish working out. A good protein shake following exercise can be as refreshing as it is good for the body.

Always consult your doctor before beginning any new physical fitness program.