Category: Health

Be Strong and Courageous

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The Deception

There is a negative force in all of us, and in the World, that teaches us to be weak. It says that we can’t do it. Some believe that this “voice” is the voice of negative parenting or some other authority figure in our pasts. I don’t know the secular origins of these thoughts, but I know that we are all influenced by them. I grieve every day watching people struggle, living so far below their potential. They believe that they “can’t”. Oh, nothing could be farther from the Truth. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Very few of us have any idea of our strength. If we did, the “bad guys” would be rendered powerless. If we did, disease would not reign over us because we would live a different kind of life. If we did, we would work harder and longer. If we did, we would be in control of our lives. We would not be the victim of every evil ever imagined on the face of the Earth. We would be the Victor.

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Physical Strength

When we say that someone is strong, we are making a comparison to other people’s strength and abilities. As best as can be observed by scientists, allowing for differences in variables such as climate, diet and age, a man walking on a level road can walk 30 miles in a day. If this man weighs 150 pounds, he has expended the amount of strength that would be necessary to move 23,760,000 pounds 1 foot in 1 minute. (1) Our physical strength is much greater than most of us can imagine. We were designed to survive. We are not fragile organisms at the mercy of any other force. Where our physical strength stops, our intellect starts. We were designed to rule the Earth. That is not possible for a weak organism. Remember that the next time you’re faced with a difficult task.

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Mental Strength

In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural pathways are formed every second. (2) Can you see how we are designed to cope and survive? So often I see people who are just quick to give up. When you encounter mental difficulty, do not quit and stop trying. Push. You have untapped potential. Your brain, regardless of your assumed abilities, is more capable than you have discovered. An interesting thing that I have observed is that some animals do amazing things that humans would not even attempt when faced with a task of similar difficulty. The difference is that the animal never considers that it can’t. It only knows that it must. We should learn a lesson from them. Have you ever felt like you had no strength but went ahead and worked out anyway? Some of those times you will have the best workout of your life. You may set Personal Records that surprise you . That negative voice in your head will always try to hold you back. Use common sense, but if the task at hand is something that needs to be done, odds are, you can do it.

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Emotional Strength

Emotional strength is the ability to manage and grow through life’s challenges. (3) Patience, optimism, resilience, gratitude and confidence are emotional strengths. These traits decrease our chances of experiencing anxiety and depression which are known destroyers of physical and mental health. They lower our stress level which can impair immunity. They strengthen relationships which improves immunity. Even if you believe yourself to be emotionally weak, look back at some of the most trying times of your life. You survived. Again, you are much stronger than you know. Most of you have already survived life events where the odds were against your survival, but after a season of grief, you carried on. Life goes on. Life continues. Even though you felt like you could not live through that event, you did. Right now some of you are experiencing the worst days of your life to date and you can survive them even if you don’t want to right now. I heard something years ago that helped me put some things in perspective. “I thought that I was on rock bottom and I heard a voice say, “Get off of me!” ” There are times that I have to say, “Hmmm…it could be worse.” Although there are events that make you wonder if that is true, it usually is. I am an American and we are so spoiled in this great Country. If you are American, please don’t complain too loudly. Most likely you have never been too hungry for too long and I daresay, you could always access water. There are places with no clean water. Be grateful for your Blessings. Be patient with those who struggle. Tomorrow it may be you. Always remember, “This too will pass.” My Mother who suffered with poor health and the chronic pain of crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis always said that. She was right. Knowing that even the worst of times are temporary can alleviate a lot of anxiety. While looking at the bright side of optimism can be a difficult task, it is a beacon in the darkness that can guide you home, safe, grounded and breathing through the most difficult times. Optimism creates resilience that enables you to grow and flourish through life’s uncertain days.

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Confidence

Self-confidence is probably the most important emotional strength that you can acquire. When we “trust ourselves’, we not only attempt what others won’t, we do what others can’t do. During devastating events and circumstances, instead of giving up, we are constantly reformulating our game plan because we “know that we can do it.” While this trait is critical in every area of our lives, it comes to play strongly in strength training. When I first began training, I was weak. Although I worked for a major weight loss company, I was losing muscle and strength fast because I was spending a lot of time on the road and missing workouts. When David presented me with the programming necessary to build strength I assumed that I could do it. I never doubted, even though this kind of lifting is formidable. Heavy lifting is just that, heavy. It pushes you to your limit. As I adapted and grew, my confidence soared as my physical strength increased. Learning to step up to the challenge taught me that I am capable of anything. In a heavy squat, I learned that all I have to do is stand up. That’s how life’s battles are. We may be on the ground when the weight hits us but when we engage our muscles and exercise our strengths, we can stand up. Whether you are a strength trainer or not, the same is true for you. Just stand up. If you are lacking in confidence, working to improve it will make you more aware of your God-given strengths and abilities and make you more aware that you can survive the hard times.

1-Visualize the outcome that you want and work towards that end.

2-Affirm yourself, pat yourself on the back. Give yourself that “Atta Boy!” for every small step that you make towards realizing your potential.

3-Stretch your limits every day. When presented with a difficult task, don’t back down. As Nike says, “Just Do It!”

4-Question your inner critic. When that voice says you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t, answer that you can, will and should.

5-Make arrangements for success. Sometimes this is so simple and it’s something that we frequently overlook. I have been working out in the same batch of workout clothes for 2 1/2 years. Those clothes made me feel frumpy and hindered me mentally. In heavy lifting, your mind is everything. “Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will.”-(unknown). Yesterday I bought serious workout clothes that will cause me to work harder to wear them well. Make provision for success. I have my gym equipment in my basement so I don’t have an excuse to skip workouts. I have had people say, “Oh, I don’t have that kind of money.” Really? I’m the sole supporter in my household on an L.P.N. income. I put my money into what builds my confidence. I don’t eat out except on RARE occasion. I don’t buy clothes that I don’t need. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. I put my money into my health and welfare. Use your resources to build your life, not destroy it.

6-Above all, in order to build your confidence, take care of yourself. You will be more confident in a healthy body. If you need to make sweeping life changes to live your best life, do it. I made radical changes in March of 2018, escaping a terrible life situation and becoming my own best self-advocate and have never looked back. You are the only one who can create the body and life in which you want to live. This is an ongoing process. Constantly look for ways to improve your health and your life. Unless you test your strengths, you will always think that you are weak.

You are stronger than you know.

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(1) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/human-strength/

(2) https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/brain-architecture/

(3) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-pregnant-pause/201901/understanding-your-emotional-strengths

Shattered Body Image

If you are one who plays the lottery, odds are pretty good that you do not come from wealth. The lottery is actually a voluntary tax on the poor as the allure of instant riches is terribly powerful for those who have never had long term financial comfort. It is ever so easy to think about having the same problems as rich people. Problems such as deciding which 5 star restaurant to eat at tonight, where to vacation, what luxury car to buy next, and what kind of bling are you going to impress your family and friends with tomorrow. But the problem for most lottery winners is 70 percent of lottery winners end up bankrupt in just a few years after receiving a large financial windfall. Runaway spending, toxic investments and poor accounting can burn through a lucrative windfall in next to no time. From rags to riches then back to rags again.

This problem of rags to riches, and then back to rags is largely because when poor people are presented with large windfalls of cash, they do not live their lives in the same manner as rich people who have always had financial security. The bottom line is, if you want to live like the rich, you have to live with the same mind set that rich people live with.

And this is the truth for those who think they want a fit and trim body too!

You cannot achieve a fit and trim body with the same mindset as you have as one with a weight problem!

Your thinking has to change.

Your way of life has to change.

You have to commit to a change of lifestyle!

With anything less, you are doomed to failure every time you attempt to lose weight.

If we are going to be honest, we have to admit that those who have been obese for several years have the same type of problem as those who have been poor for most of their lives. It is easy to dream about being the opposite of what you may be, but dreaming is not going to bring you a lifetime of success without careful planning and commitment for change. You have to prepare yourself for a change to your social norms. You have to learn to say “NO” to your family and friends.  You have to have the courage to accept that others are not going to be quite as accepting of the new you as they were of the old you. Misery loves company and you find family and friends to be like the proverbial crabs who only try to pull you back down into the bucket with them.

You have to give yourself time to adapt to the new you!

We know from personal experience and interaction with our readers and clients that rapid weight loss makes it tough to even get your mind wrapped around your new appearance. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we encourage our readers and clients to not attempt to lose more than one to two pounds maximum per week. Your goal should be to think about your plan as a lifestyle, not a diet. A diet is usually temporary in nature, something you go on and then go off of. There is no start and end date to living a healthy, fit and trim life. If you lose weight very quickly, there can be psychological consequences. When you do not give yourself time to settle into your new body shape and weight, it can lead to things like body dysmorphia, anorexia, or bulimia.

Many folks start a diet with an ‘if X, then Y’ mentality. As in, ‘if I lose weight, then I’ll be happy. Or then I’ll find love.”

So, after weight loss, when those things haven’t materialized, it can exaggerate preexisting mental health conditions or further promote body image issues.

There should be a lot of thought and consideration that goes into your weight loss approach. It’s more than just picking up and jumping into the latest fad. You’ll be kinder to yourself if you choose a slower, more progressive route for weight loss.

Never compare yourself to others!

Comparison is the thief of joy.

A person should try and focus on themselves (internally) without comparing themselves to others. For an obese person, dramatic weight loss is primarily about getting to a healthy physical state, and should not lean towards a superficial outcome (which often leads to a perpetual state of disappointment).

A problem for men, is we often see super lean and muscular guys and want to look like these hulks too. The problem is, what we see is often not real. For example, when an actor gets super cut for a movie role, there is more at play than just diet and exercise. Often times, they are also on the performance enhancing drug Trenbolone in order to get super lean and muscular.  Trenbolone builds muscle staggeringly fast—even faster than testosterone. It also increases fat burning and strength even more than regular testosterone which is why Hollywood actors like to use it in order to quickly get ready for movie roles. Guys, we cannot get like this naturally, therefore it is foolish to hold this body style up as the standard which you might want to achieve.

Pictured above is a popular Instagram model who has openly advocated for rib removal in order to create a more slender and feminine body.

Yes, you read that right.

She advocates rib removal surgery!

Anterior rib removal is to reduce subcostal protrusions and vertically lengthen the torso.

This is often desired in male to female transgender patients. It is frequently combined with posterior rib removal for waistline narrowing.

The point is not to belittle a transgender individual, the point is you often might not actually know who or what you are wanting to emulate when you are beginning a new lifestyle for health and fitness. That sexy woman you see in the Instagram pictures might actually be a creation of surgical procedures that you will never be capable of becoming. We teach that the best approach for all to take is one where you just be the absolute best that you can be and not hold yourself up to the standards of people you see in various media outlets.

Be realistic in what you want to become!

If you set yourself up with unrealistic expectations, then you are going to fail miserably. First and foremost, your goals and objectives have to be realistic and achievable. With losing weight and creating a healthy body, you have to get your mind wrapped around not only your new looks, but what is going to come with it during your journey to get there.

For example, you might think you want rapid weight loss, but are you prepared for all the loose skin that can come with it?

No matter your personal motivation for weight loss, the benefits of being at a healthy weight are indisputable. But some unexpected changes and challenges rear their ugly heads when you are losing, or have already lost, a significant amount of weight.For many, the psychological adjustments of dramatic weight loss are an intensely emotional experience, and a very personal one at that. Many find themselves thinking;

I wish someone had told me that about losing so much weight.

Realising that losing weight doesn’t necessarily equal happiness: A person may not feel as happy or content as they may have expected. This can come as a shock following dramatic weight loss if a person is not yet mentally prepared for it

Losing weight can make a person feel vulnerable: For an obese person, a larger frame may have provided a degree of emotional protection and a sense that they could ‘hide’ their true selves. Psychologically, it enables a person to feel as though others cannot truly see who they really are. Losing this ‘fleshy protective barrier’ can leave a person feeling somewhat ‘exposed’.

Losing weight casts a spotlight on a person: Adding to feelings of vulnerability, dramatic weight loss can bring about a certain amount of attention from others which may not be all that welcome. Although comments received about the change in physical appearance may be glowing and show approval of the accomplishment, it can make a person feel all the more exposed and vulnerable. Losing such a lot of weight is quite an adjustment, on multiple levels, for the person concerned. Coping with the attention of others in a way that isn’t as familiar at the same time can be challenging, and can sometimes feel a little ‘too personal’ for others to be acknowledging. It can also become emotionally problematic for some people when all of the attention dies down and passing comments no longer happen.

Losing a lot of weight can lead to feelings of anger: When others notice such a dramatic physical change, it can spark a little annoyance or anger. Not all positive remarks will necessarily be flattering. It may be difficult for a person to want to acknowledge the approval of others who never gave them the time of day before, and who are now expressing positive comments or asking how the weight loss was achieved. In learning to cope emotionally with physical changes (outside appearance), it can make a person feel that others are shallow and superficial if they’re only now treating a person positively after they have lost weight. Some people have also experienced negative remarks, commenting that they no longer look ‘healthy’. Counselling can also help a person to understand that others may have trouble getting used to a physically ‘new person’ or assist in dealing with jealousy.

Dramatic weight loss can affect relationships: For those already in relationships, tension can occur if a person’s partner is also overweight or obese. A person going through such a dramatic change may wish the same for their partner which can create obstacles and challenges within the relationship. On the opposite end of things, a partner may experience problems with self-esteem, feel threatened, or worry that temptation to be with another may force the relationship apart. A change in lifestyle habits can also create tension between a couple who used to share certain things together, such as meals or time spent not being active.

Losing a lot of weight can cause intense fear and anxiety: Along with or instead of a sense of accomplishment, a person may become fearful about putting any amount of weight back on once the ultimate goal has been reached. This fear may lead to anxiety and stress over every morsel that is eaten, or cause a person to deprive themselves of food that would give them satisfaction or enjoyment. The pressure to maintain weight loss can become overwhelming if not dealt with appropriately. In extreme cases, constant obsession and restriction can lead to eating disorders if a person is not careful. With the right support on hand a person can learn self-control without feeling that one food related indulgence will place them right back to where they started. (1)

Losing weight and living a healthy life after one of poor health and obesity is a process. You are more than a number on a scale, and you have to understand this, otherwise, you will be seeing yourself in a shattered mirror.

 

(1) MyMed.com

The Truth About Carb Blockers!

First things first. I am not addressing any type of medical issues such as diabetes with this article. If you are diabetic and your physician has directed you to use an over the counter type carb blocker, then by all means, do what your physician has told you. This article is directed entirely towards those who are trying to lose weight by controlling their carbohydrate intake.

I do use a few dietary supplements to enhance my needs. But despite this, I feel that a large percentage of what you can find on the shelves in any store amounts to a bunch of worthless garbage. You have to be knowledgeable and selective of what you spend your money on in any supplement store you patronize. In any store you might venture into, you will find supplements designed to appeal to the gullible and the desperate. And the majority of these will be marketed towards those who feel the need for help in weight loss or weight management.

Carbohydrate Blockers

What are carb blockers?

I cannot stress this point enough, if you’re considering using any product marketed for weight loss, talk to your doctor or a dietitian first. Ask yourself if it sounds too good to be true, and be skeptical. If it sounds too good to be true, then you know damn well it is.

Starches are complex carbohydrates that cannot be absorbed unless they are first broken down by the digestive enzyme amylase. Amylase inhibitors, also called starch blockers, prevent starches from being absorbed by the body.  When amylase is blocked, those carbs pass through the body undigested, so you don’t absorb the calories.

Or at least that is the theory…

There are indeed some legitimate starch/carb blockers which require a doctor’s prescription. They are called acarbose (Precose), and miglitol (Glyset). These are used as treatments for blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

There are also starch blockers that are sold without a prescription as supplements.

What’s the difference?

Prescription drugs have to prove to the FDA that they are safe and effective. Supplements don’t. Because of the lack of oversight, you can’t be sure of what’s in a supplement. Some supplements may have unlisted ingredients such as stimulants, that could be dangerous for people with diabetes and or heart issues. This has been enough of a problem in past years that the FDA has sent warning letters to makers of non-prescription carb blockers for their misleading marketing claims such as being weight loss aids which allow you to eat as many carbs as you desire without providing any calories.

Carb blockers only prevent a portion of the carbs you eat from being digested. At best, they appear to block 50–65% of carb-digesting enzymes.

It’s important to note that inhibiting these enzymes does not necessarily mean the same proportion of carbs will be blocked.

One study examining a strong carb blocker found that even though it could inhibit 97% of the enzymes, it only prevented 7% of the carbs from being absorbed.

This may happen because carb blockers don’t directly prevent carbs from being absorbed. They may simply increase the amount of time it takes for the enzymes to digest them.

On top of that, the complex carbs affected by carb blockers make up only part of the carbs in most people’s diets. (1)

For most people trying to lose weight, the added sugars in their foods are a bigger problem. Added sugars are almost exclusively simple carbs like sucrose, glucose or fructose.

These sugars are not affected by carb blockers!

There are some claims that carb blockers will keep you from being as hungry, because in addition to blocking carb digestion, carb blockers may affect some of the hormones involved in hunger and fullness. One reason for this effect may be because bean extracts also contain phytohaemagglutinin. This compound can increase the levels of some hormones involved in fullness.

One rat study found that the phytohaemagglutinin in carb blockers did cause a significant decrease in food intake. The rats that had been given the compound ate between 25–90% less. However, this effect lasted only a few days. By the eighth day of the experiment, the effects had worn off and the rats ate just as much as before.  To compound the problem, once they stopped taking carb blockers, the rats ate up to 50% more than before to compensate and returned to their previous weights. (2)

Carb blockers are not the magic bullet people want them to be. They don’t block all carbs, or even half of them, and they very often cause gastrointestinal side effects like diarrhea and gas.  Even the most favorable studies can only find a 2-pound average benefit for weight loss with long-term use, that’s just not a great use of your money. Remember this next time you are pondering whether you should use a carb blocker or not;  supplement studies are usually funded by the company that makes them. You have to ask yourself if their claims actually straddle the fence between actual research or is it clever advertising instead.

If losing weight was a easy as simply taking a pill, their would no longer be an obesity epidemic now would there?

If you desire healthy weight loss, follow us at David’s Way to Health and Fitness where we take a holistic, whole body approach to weight loss and management. Our simple methodology revolves around a lifestyle instead of a diet, there is no endpoint.

We promote healthy eating and exercise for a healthy body and sound mind.

David’s Way is a healthy nutrition and active lifestyle based on years of personal experience and scientific research. Our methodology involves the consumption of a high protein, low carbohydrate, nutritionally sound and diabetic friendly diet.

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness we don’t tell you what to eat so much as we tell you what not to eat. This is no weight loss gimmick, this simple plan is how our mothers, grandmothers and generations past used to feed us. It is simply a matter of using portion control when consuming healthy, whole foods, while avoiding foods that are not nutritionally sound. In other words, do not consume anything that does not provide you a nutritional benefit.

At David’s Way, we advise you to maintain a regular exercise regimen, and to count and track your calories and macro-nutrients in order to ensure you are eating enough, and also that you are not eating too little which is detrimental to your metabolism. For your personal caloric needs, simply go to our menu and click on Calorie Counter Pro and enter your information and get a customized calorie count to suit your individual needs. Your personal information is only visible to you, as we respect and follow all HIPPA privacy laws. We advise entering your information to lose one pound per week in order to ensure that you have plenty to eat and still manage to lose body fat in a healthy manner and comfortably.

At David’s Way our first and foremost intention is to help people live a nutritionally sound lifestyle in order to improve or maintain your health. The vast amount of content on this blog will always be free to you. We promise to never treat you as a perpetual stream of income as some other weight loss businesses are prone to do. Lastly, as a method of lowering the stress of weight loss and or management, we encourage our followers to focus on achieving a healthy body fat percentage over trying to achieve a specific or random number on the scales. We welcome all questions and comments and can be reached by e-mail through the Contact tab on our blog menu. We promise you will hear personally from either one or both of us.

David’s Way

  • Do not consume sugar or simple carbs such as refined sugar, pasta and breads made of refined white flour. Avoid sugar sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages as they are loaded in simple carbohydrates.
    1. Foods containing added sugar and simple carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar and insulin which will drive your cravings for more. If you have not had control over sugar and simple carbohydrates in the past, it is unlikely you will keep them under control in the future if you have been prone to binge eating. If you are addicted to simple carbs you will almost certainly have the same issues as an alcoholic who thinks he can enjoy just one drink. This might work occasionally, but will usually derail the individual entirely.
    2. The only caveat to not consuming simple carbs is fruit. The fiber in fruit acts to buffer the simple carbohydrates in them from just dumping into your bloodstream like happens when you eat sugar and other simple carbohydrates.
    3. In our recipe category, we have subcategories with plenty of sugar free dessert recipes that are delicious, and can be eaten by anyone including diabetics, while not having to concern yourself with the health issues and cravings which come from sugar.
  •  No processed foods as they are almost always high in sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and    preservatives.
    1. While there are some processed foods that are nutritionally sound, most are not. If you are going to consume processed foods because of the convenience factor, be sure to read the label first. For example, if you purchase a sauce, read the label to identify whether the product contains added sugar, unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium and any other ingredients which you might have to do a Google search of in order to even know what it might be.
  • Simply put, we encourage you to eat whole foods such as meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and dairy products that are easily prepared at home. Skip restaurants and fast food’s unless you know that you are able to make healthy choices from their menu.
    1. An example of a healthy choice in a restaurant would be meat and vegetable fajitas in a Mexican restaurant. You could enjoy this while skipping the flour tortillas and the corn tortillas and salsa that is usually served. Have a unsweetened drink with your meal instead of a soda pop or alcoholic beverage.
  • Be sure to track how many calories a day you consume and do not exceed the amount your body requires. Just as important, you want to ensure you are not under eating.
    1. If you find yourself going over on one day, simply eat lighter the next day and do not stress over it. One day is not going to derail your weight loss, especially if you are eating healthy, whole foods only. You can do an average of your daily caloric intake for the week, and if your average does not exceed what it would be if your calories were spot on each day, there is no need for worry about weight gain.
    2. If you have an exercise regimen, you will especially want to track your caloric intake in order to ensure you are consuming enough calories to fuel your physical activities. Too large a caloric deficit will cause you to lose lean muscle mass along with body fat. This will only serve to slow down your metabolism.
  • Be sure during your weight loss mode to eat a diet that is high in protein and lower in carbs, Do not skip out on healthy fats either as they are essential for good health and proper absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat.
    1. A diet that is higher in protein and which includes healthy fats will keep you satiated between meals far better than a diet that is higher in carbohydrates than protein.
    2. During your weight loss, try to consume no less than 35% and up to 50% of your calories from a variety of protein sources. Meats, seafood, dairy, eggs and even protein shakes that do not contain sugar. Once you are maintaining your weight, try to eat at least 35% of your calories from protein sources. Track your macronutrients!
    3. If you have a vigorous exercise regimen such as strength training and or running, be sure to eat from .8 grams to 1 gram per pound of body weight if you are female. And 1 gram to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you are male. Protein is a must in order to maintain, build and repair your lean muscle tissue which gets broken down during vigorous exercise.
  • Be accountable to yourself! Besides tracking your calories and macro-nutrients, weigh yourself no more than once per week, and aim for only a 1 pound per week weight loss, and no more than 2 pounds per week.
    1. Be consistent in your weigh in. Do it on the same day each week, at the same time of day and in the same clothing or lack thereof. We recommend weighing yourself before you even get dressed, and before you have anything to eat and drink.
  • Practice Intermittent Fasting on the 16:8 protocol. This means to fast for 16 hours and then eat all of your allotted calories for the day during your 8 hour eating window.
    1. You can build yourself up to 16:8 by first starting with 12:12 then 14:10 before going 16:8. By consuming enough protein along with healthy fats, you will find this much easier than you might think. With the elimination of added sugar and simple carbohydrates, you will feel hungry, but the hunger will not be unbearable as when you are craving simple carbs.
  • David’s Way is NOT Keto. Keto only allows you to consume about 50 grams of carbs per day. We advocate you target 100 to 150 grams of complex carbohydrates per day, with 125 grams as a target number. 16:8 Intermittent Fasting while on high protein and low carb will drive you into ketosis for weight loss. But again, we are not a Keto plan.
  • Aim for a healthy body fat percentage as an ultimate goal over a specific number on the scale. Everyone has fluctuations in their body weight from day to day, and from morning to night. These fluctuations are from water weight. If you are aiming for a healthy body fat over a specific number, you will find weight loss to be less stressful. Your weight can fluctuate by 5 pounds or more with no impact on your level of body fat.

Again, David’s Way is about living a healthy lifestyle over living on a diet. We believe in keeping it simple, thereby reducing the level of stress which can come when on a weight loss mindset. What we advocate is nothing new under the sun, this lifestyle is just how life used to be lived before the epidemic of rampant obesity in America. It is about personal responsibility and accountability to self and loved ones as your health will always become a burden on others should you allow it to. Someone will always have to pick up the broken pieces behind you should you live a unhealthy lifestyle. Do not allow yourself to become a burden to your loved ones simply because of a lack of dietary control or discipline.

You are better than this, and your loved ones deserve better.

 

(1) Healthline.com

(2) MayoClinic.org

Boost Your Immunity

wp-15971905789748762707304396142823.pngHealthy Habits Learned from Necessity

I have always tried to have a healthy immune system. I was a sickly child due to chronic allergies and tonsillitis. My Mother was unaware that I had allergies until I began having significant symptoms around her cats. I was allergy tested and the doctor told my Mother that I was allergic to dust, cats, wheat and strawberries. We lived on a dirt road with a house full of cats and ate wheat bread every day and strawberries whenever we could get them. I had severe pneumonia at age three that I still remember. It was wicked. They thought that I would surely die. I had my tonsils out at age 6 and had pneumonia again at age 7. I had bronchitis every Winter until I was 14 when our last cat died. My Mother did not believe that anyone could be allergic to food and there was no getting away from the dust on that road, until we moved away at age 9, and cats were my siblings. By the time I was 14 years old, I had been sick enough for a lifetime. Even as a much younger child, I was trying to be healthy, learning how to eat liver and spinach just because the doctor told me I needed to because I was anemic. Health has always been a priority. I learned early that our actions make all the difference in the world in our health. Getting away from the dust and the beloved Persian cat greatly improved my allergies. Being mindful to eat plenty of Iron containing foods alleviated my anemia fast. The doctor was astonished when I returned a month later with a normal red blood cell count. I have learned a thing or two along the way to healthy.

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911

In this time of disease and unrest, health has to be our number one priority.  I talk to people daily who refuse to take responsibility for their own well-being. All of the pills, shots and medical interventions in the world won’t save you if you don’t practice good health habits. You may squeak by an illness, even COVID, but unless you become your own health advocate and actively seek good health, another ailment will most likely get you sooner than necessary. If you want to have a good quality of life, you MUST do your part. You can continue to roll the dice and you may win sometime, but your day of reckoning is at hand sooner rather than later if you make the wrong health choices. Learn to prioritize your health and learn to live well. There are simple things that you can do to greatly improve your health and immune function.wp-15971949464093687931752840904475.pngHealthy Habits

1-DON’T SMOKE. It destroys Vitamin C and Vitamin C is an immune system booster.

2-Eat multi-colored fruits and vegetables. The colorful compounds are powerful immune system stimulants.

3-Get regular exercise. Exercise can make changes in antibodies and white blood cells which fight disease. (1)

4-Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight increases inflammation in your body and inflammation is the beginning of almost all disease.

5-Avoid alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to a susceptibility to pneumonia. (2)

6-Sleep-You release cytokines, proteins of the immune system during sleep.

7-WASH YOUR HANDS.

8-Cook foods thoroughly to avoid the immune system stress of food-borne infection.

9-Decrease stress, like we are always telling you, “Make your world small.”

10-Avoid added sugars. They cause inflammation and obesity which are the beginnings of many disease processes.

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Told You So

These are the basic tenants of David’s Way. We promote a healthy lifestyle filled with healthy food and regular exercise that has been approved by your doctor. We advocate stress reduction at all costs. We will always tell you that YOU and you alone are responsible for the lifestyle choices that you make concerning sugar and alcohol consumption and smoking. We are not hapless victims. We navigate our lives by the decisions that we make and live, or die, with the results of those decisions. There are always exceptions to this where someone has done everything that they know to do and still tragedy befalls them, but this is rare. Even then, if you have done everything that you can to be healthy, you can weather the storm much better with strength and a measure of pride and dignity. Be responsible. If each one of us would do our best to have a strong immune system, COVID would not have as much power in the World.

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/

Covid-19 and Obesity

The Covid-19 epidemic has affected a few of my friends in the last month or so with deadly consequences. This is a virus that we must take serious or we may find ourselves paying a price we are not prepared to pay.

The price of our life!

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we have always put out a message of how important it is to be proactive about our health rather than to be reactive when we are either sick or injured. Just as we do preventive maintenance with our homes and vehicles to keep our investments in proper working order, we must do the same with our bodies. Sadly, a great many people are not proactive, and only once their health is in jeopardy do they become temporarily concerned about getting their life in order. We all know of someone who is like this, or it could even be ourselves who are guilty of this malfeasance to our own well being.

I can say I have known more than a few people who lived unhealthy lifestyles that all of a sudden became all serious about changing their ways as they were literally about to die. They have doctors jumping through hoops trying to save them, as they promise to do better if they live through their crisis. And then, once they are well again, they returned to their old unhealthy habits, all the while bitching about the sky high cost of health care…

Everywhere we look, we will see people wearing masks to protect themselves and others from the Covid-19 virus. Some are doing this because they truly care, and some simply because it is mandated where they live. It has also become common on social media to see people being verbally assaulted for not wearing a mask in public. The great irony of this is when you see the one who is doing the verbal harassment, clearly in some cases, is not a picture of health themselves. They appear to only be concerned about Covid-19 and not what their bag of cookies is also going to do to their health.

 At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we promote a lifestyle that is proactive for our health through nutritionally sound dietary practices combined with regular exercise as a lifestyle!

While living a fit, trim and healthy lifestyle does not always prevent us from becoming ill, it does lesson the chances we will suffer as badly as we could since our immune systems are pretty strong. It is only common sense that the stronger your immune system is, the less sick you will be throughout your life. There are many bad consequences in allowing ourselves to become obese, and Covid-19 has now provided another consequence to the list.

From WebMD

 If you’re younger than 65 years old and obese, COVID-19 poses a special danger to you. A new study reports that the more obese you are, the more likely you are to either die from infection with the new coronavirus or require lifesaving mechanical ventilation to survive.

       Morbidly obese COVID-19 patients are 60% more likely to die or require intubation, compared with people of normal weight, researchers found.

 Patients who were mildly obese were 10% more likely to die or need a breathing machine, while those who were moderately obese were 30% more likely, according to the study.

       “Increasing obesity was associated with an increased risk of lung failure or death in COVID-19,” said lead researcher Dr. Michaela Anderson, a pulmonologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City.

“At the beginning of the pandemic in New York, we noticed there were a lot of young and obese people who required breathing tubes to help them breathe,” Anderson said.

About 25% of the patients died and 22% required mechanical ventilation.

How being obese impacts those with Covid-19

We know that with Covid-19 people quite often find themselves in respiratory distress which can, and does lead to their demise. It is a simple truth that if you have a big, obese belly, it will complicate matters by pushing up on your lungs which makes make it harder for you to expand your lungs when taking a breath. If you watch an obese person tie their shoes, you will most often see them bring their foot up by crossing their leg to tie it rather than bending over to do so because it is hard to breath when bending over.

How do I know this?

Because I have had my own issue with being obese in the past.

The problem with being obese goes much deeper than just an issue with appearances. Fat tissue doesn’t just sit there and store fat. It also does lots of other things that can influence our health by contributing to other illnesses associated with obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which contribute to COVID-19’s impact on the body

It’s not surprising that the pandemic is hitting the southeast and rural communities particularly hard, because so many people in these areas suffer from obesity and the other medical conditions that can make COVID-19 severe, said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“What’s also clear is that we must allocate increased resources to populations in rural communities, which have a disproportionately larger percentage of chronic medical conditions. These communities are at higher risk for adverse outcomes and death from COVID-19 as transmission rates continue to increase,” Glatter added.

The CDC team acknowledged that in its report. “Health care in rural counties is often under-resourced, and rural communities might have limited access to adequate care, which could further increase risk for poor COVID-19-associated outcomes,” the study authors stressed. (1)

Again, when you are obese, you are making inflammatory chemicals. Those inflammatory chemicals may very well trigger or be associated with cytokine storm or the other inflammatory responses which are seen in Covid-19, including blood clotting. And let’s not forget the other part of the equation in that you can’t fully inflate your lungs when you’re obese. Once you have Covid-19, it is too late to think about losing weight, this is something you should have done before ever getting sick in the first place. If you want to lower the severity of Covid-19, or any other ailment, it is incumbent upon you to live a healthy lifestyle that is proactive rather than reactive.  When you live a reactive lifestyle, you only succeed in stacking the deck against yourself. Do yourself a favor, and never sell yourself short by cheating yourself out of a healthy life.

(1) Medicalxpress.com

Knee Pain Epidemic

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Common Complaint

I notice people. I am a nurse, and a Certified Nutritional/Wellness Consultant and observation is what I do. I am shocked at the increase in knee pain in all ages. As I began to research this sad phenomenon, I discovered that it is considered an epidemic by medical professionals.

Complications

It’s common knowledge that excess weight can cause knee pain, but as I was reading about the effect that obesity has on our musculo-skeletal system, I was shocked when I read that there is a type of knee dislocation, that can be caused by obesity, that injures the artery that runs down the leg. (1)

“Knee dislocations are an extremely traumatic injury and can be limb threatening. Because of the potential neurovascular damage associated with this injury, knee dislocations are considered one of the most serious knee injuries, albeit one of the most rare. Due to spontaneous reductions, the true frequency of knee dislocations is not known. Unreduced dislocations present with an obvious deformity, but spontaneously reduced dislocations can lead the examiner to underestimate the severity of the injury, thereby risking the limb. After suffering a knee dislocation, the patient is faced with a long and difficult rehabilitation program, which must focus on full range of motion (ROM) and strength in order to achieve functional recovery.” (2)

Are you willing to give up a leg for that cupcake that is bigger than your head? Notice that the above referenced government research refers to “risking the limb”. This type of vascular injury is more than twice as likely to occur in an obese individual. (3)

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Even without the injury to the artery, obesity still causes more severe knee dislocations, longer hospital stays and slower healing. The longer it takes for a surgical site to heal, the more likely you are to get an infection. The hospital stay for the obese individual averages 15 days as opposed to about one week for others. The cost of this extra care is significant, being $131,000 for the obese and $60,000 for everyone else, on average. (4) How much money have you got for surgery that may not be necessary if you would just take care of yourself? Even with good insurance, there is time off work, co-pays, prescriptions and dressings to buy. Add these costs to the costs of all that extra food and eating in restaurants, and you have a financial nightmare.

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Causes

While knee pain can be caused by factors other than obesity, such as injury, mechanical problems and arthritis, the main risk factor for knee pain is excess weight. Lack of muscle strength also contributes by causing the knee to be unstable. Strong muscles, tendons and ligaments hold the knee stable and help to protect your joints. Regular exercise that has been approved by your doctor can help keep your legs strong.

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Prevention

While you may not be able to prevent knee pain altogether, there are steps you can take that may prevent injuries and/or joint deterioration.

1-Manage your weight. Every pound of excess weight puts 4 pounds of extra weight on your knees for every step that you take. If you are 10 pounds overweight, your knees are carrying about 40 pounds of extra weight due to the mechanics of our bodies. This is the main factor in knee pain for almost everyone.

2-Get strong. Find an activity that will strengthen you all over, especially your quadriceps and hamstrings. Balance and stability training helps the muscles around the knee work together more effectively. Take the time after your workouts for some gentle stretching because muscles that are too tight can also contribute to knee pain.

3-Work out smart. I lift heavy weights and I cannot progress in weight until I make improvements in my form with the lesser weights. This helps to prevent injury. When I was still squatting shallow, my knees hurt occasionally. When I improved my form, the knee pain disappeared. Take the time to learn good technique and form for whatever exercise you choose.

4-Use common sense about exercise. If you have knee pain, you may need to limit your high impact activity. Switching to low impact exercise for even a few days every week can make a significant improvement in your level of pain. Swimming and water aerobics may be smart choices that your doctor may approve.

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(1) https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/news/20171110/obesity-to-blame-for-epidemic-of-knee-dislocations-complications

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535529/

(3) https://icjr.net/articles/obesity-increases-the-physical-and-financial-cost-of-knee-dislocation

(4) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171103105645.htm

Killer Cholesterol

I consume about a half dozen eggs every day of the week, and have done so for several years because they are a most excellent source of inexpensive protein. And of course the first question people have for me when they learn how many eggs I eat each day is;

Don’t you worry about getting high cholesterol?

No, I do not worry about getting high levels of cholesterol as a result of my dietary habits.

No I do not worry about getting high cholesterol because I am mindful and accountable to myself in making sure that everything I eat has a significant nutritional value. I do not eat unhealthy foods that are loaded down with added sugar, unhealthy fats, high levels of sodium and preservatives. I do not worry about it because I make a daily, concerted effort at keeping my body healthy. Every day, with everything I consume, I track my caloric and macro-nutrient intake as a normal part of my healthy lifestyle. And just because I am able to, I have blood labs done on a regular basis at my local Veterans Administration hospital in order to re-evaluate any of my habits should my labs ever show a change towards the negative, which has never happened.

Of course, there are some people who do everything right who are genetically prone to higher levels of cholesterol coursing throughout their blood vessels, but this is not the case for most of us when we have a healthy diet and include regular exercise as an integral part of our lifestyles.

What exactly is Cholesterol?

Simply put in layman’s terms, Cholesterol is a fat like, waxy substance produced by our liver and is found in our blood. Our bodies actually require cholesterol in order to help your body make cell membranes, many hormones, and vitamin D. The problem is, high levels of cholesterol can increase our risk for heart disease. Have you ever heard the term of having “too much of a good thing”? With the obesity epidemic we now have, we have a far too many who are guilty of this as a result of their unhealthy lifestyle habits.

When we have “high cholesterol”,  we develop fatty deposits in our blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, which make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. The result is similar to how it is when we are trying to suck a thick milkshake through too skinny of a straw, it’s just not efficient. And then one day as you go about your business, one of these  deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes you to fall over dead from a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol has no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to detect if you have it.

High cholesterol can be inherited, but it’s often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, which make it preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol.

Bad and Good Cholesterol

Cholesterol and other fats are carried in your bloodstream as spherical particles called lipoproteins. The two most commonly known lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). (1)

 LDL (low-density lipoprotein) Cholesterol

LDL (‘bad”) cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood that contains the most cholesterol. It can contribute to the formation of plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis). This is linked to higher risk for heart attack and stroke. You want your LDL to be low. To help lower it:

Avoid foods high in saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and extra calories

Exercise

Maintain a healthy weight

Stop smoking (1)

 HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol

HDL (“good”) cholesterol helps to remove cholesterol from the blood. This keeps plaque from building up in your arteries. You want your HDL to be as high as possible. Some people can raise HDL by:

Exercising for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week

Quitting smoking

Not eating saturated fats

Losing weight

Others may need medicine. Because raising HDL is complicated, you should work with your healthcare provider on a treatment plan. (1)

Checking your blood cholesterol level

A cholesterol screening is an overall look at the fats in your blood. Screenings help find people at risk for heart disease. It is important to have what is called a full lipid profile to show the actual levels of each type of fat in your blood: LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and others. Talk with your healthcare provider about when to have this test. (1)

What is a healthy blood cholesterol level?

High blood cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

You can lower your risk by getting more exercise, losing weight if you are overweight, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet. 

Blood cholesterol is very specific to each person. Your healthcare provider will determine your total cholesterol and LDL goals based on other risk factors. For that reason, a full lipid profile is an important part of your health history and important information for your healthcare provider to have. (1)

What treatments are available for high cholesterol?

Medical treatment may include:

Changing risk factors. Some risk factors that can be changed include lack of exercise and poor eating habits. (1)

Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Medicines are used to lower fats in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol. Statins are a group of medicines that can do this. They include simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin. Two other types of medicines that lower cholesterol levels are bile acid sequestrants such as colesevelam, cholestyramine, and colestipol, and nicotinic acid (niacin). (1)

Statistics about cholesterol

High cholesterol is a risk for many Americans. Consider these statistics:

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about 95 million American adults have total blood cholesterol levels of 200mg/dl and higher. Of those, about 28.5 million American adults have a level of 240 or above.

Slightly more than half of the U.S. adults (55%, or 43 million) who could benefit from cholesterol medicine are currently taking it.

95 million U.S. adults age 20 or older have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dLNearly 29 million adult Americans have total cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL.

High cholesterol levels early in life may play a role in developing atherosclerosis as an adult.

7% of U.S. children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 have high total cholesterol.

According to the AHA, high blood cholesterol that runs in families will affect the future of an unknown but probably large number of children. (1)

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are another class of fat found in the bloodstream. The bulk of your body’s fat tissue is in the form of triglycerides. (1)

Triglyceride levels and heart disease

The link between triglycerides and heart disease is being studied. But many people with high triglycerides also have other risk factors, like high LDL levels or low HDL levels. (1)

What causes elevated triglyceride levels?

High triglyceride levels may be caused by health conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, or liver disease. Dietary causes of high triglyceride levels may include drinking a lot of alcohol, and eating foods containing cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat. (1)

Lifestyle changes that help high Cholesterol

Of course there are medical needs for medications, but I believe that we are much better off if we can address our health needs through good nutrition and exercise if we can do this in lieu of finding ourselves tethered to prescription medications for the rest of our lives.

1. Eat heart-healthy foods. A few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health:

  • Reduce saturated fats. Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise your total cholesterol. Decreasing your consumption of saturated fats can reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol.
  • Eliminate trans fats. Trans fats, sometimes listed on food labels as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” are often used in margarines and store-bought cookies, crackers and cakes. Trans fats raise overall cholesterol levels. The Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils by Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL cholesterol. But they have other heart-healthy benefits, including reducing blood pressure. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseeds.
  • Increase soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber is found in such foods as oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.
  • Add whey protein. Whey protein, which is found in dairy products, may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy. Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure.

2. Exercise on most days of the week and increase your physical activity. Exercise can improve cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol. With your doctor’s OK, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week or vigorous aerobic activity for 20 minutes three times a week.

Adding physical activity, even in short intervals several times a day, can help you begin to lose weight. Consider:

  • Taking a brisk daily walk during your lunch hour
  • Riding your bike to work
  • Playing a favorite sport

To stay motivated, consider finding an exercise buddy or joining an exercise group.

3. Quit smoking. Quitting smoking improves your HDL cholesterol level. The benefits occur quickly:

  • Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike
  • Within three months of quitting, your blood circulation and lung function begin to improve
  • Within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker

4. Lose weight. Carrying even a few extra pounds contributes to high cholesterol. Small changes add up.  Snack on pre-measured nuts, seeds, greek yogurt or foods that are high in protein between meals if you feel the need to.

5. Look for ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine, such as using the stairs instead of taking the elevator or parking farther from your office. Take walks during breaks at work. Try to increase standing activities, such as cooking or doing yardwork. (2)

Personal Accountability

As I have addressed above, there are some people who are genetically prone to high Cholesterol levels, as well as other ailments too. However, the vast bulk of us can suffer ailments that are entirely self inflicted.

How do you know that you are genetically prone to your health problems?

Have you ever had any type of medical testing to see if you are genetically prone to what ails you?

Or, is it an assumption on your part that your family’s genes have caused you to be a loser in life’s lottery?

I want to say, I am not discounting the role that genetics play in our lives, they obviously do have some impact. The larger point is we do not always have to fall victim to genetics if we instill healthy habits into our lives beginning at an early age. Brenda Sue just wrote an excellent article on this topic, It’s Fun at 21. We have also addressed familial/cultural issues regarding weight and health in this article, Genetics, Reason or Excuse. Another great article where we have addressed the issue of genetics can be found in this article, The Generational Curse, What is It?

Sometimes what we might assume to be a genetic trait within a family when it comes to weight and health is actually a cultural thing instead. Quite often, multiple family members suffer the same maladies because they have the exact same lifestyle habits as each other. It is not rocket science to figure out that unhealthy kids raised by unhealthy adults, will only grow into unhealthy adults who will raise unhealthy kids. And the cycle continues on and on…

(1) John Hopkins Medical

(2) Mayo Clinic

 

It’s Fun at 21

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The Common Fallacy

I have always heard “You can get away with that, (being overweight or obese) when you’re young, but you’d better lose that weight before you get older, because it will hurt you then.” I had accepted that as the truth. I was inspired to do some reading on this subject yesterday and the hard science that I uncovered was stunning. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Cultural Creation

I remember when obesity was unusual. Once in a while, we might see someone who weighed 300 pounds or more, but it was rare. While there is a large movement for acceptance of obesity as a lifestyle choice, it’s still unhealthy. Regardless of your level of confidence, obesity will still take it’s toll on you in many ways. The list of physical ill effects of carrying too much fat on your frame is endless. The term “medicalizing obesity” is absurd. It is a medical problem. You can read David’s article Medicalizing Obesity to get a better understanding of the effects of obesity on your body. Some people think that if they don’t believe something, it’s not true. That is the untruth. Truth will stand when the world’s on fire. It does not require that you believe it. It just is. If you say that you don’t believe that obesity hurts you, it doesn’t change the fact that it does. The “self-lovely” movement has destroyed the health of thousands. While it builds the self-esteem of some, it is simultaneously destroying their health. I have been obese. I chose a different path. No amount of false ego-boosting could ever build true confidence. True confidence comes from putting in the work to be the best that you can be. With the ever loosening standards of health, morality, beauty and good taste, a wave of obesity related health problems has pounded the youth of America. Health problems that once plagued only the elderly are now common among the very young. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and gall bladder and liver disease run rampant in our young adults with fatty liver disease becoming commonplace. Fatty liver disease leads to cirrhosis of the liver and death is the only outcome without a liver transplant. All too often, death is the result in people who have lived half of their lives or less. We have allowed a culture of immediate gratification, on all fronts, to kill our children and grandchildren.  The idea that we should be able to live anyway that we like has carried over into the world of health with young people making statements like “I enjoy my UNHEALTHY lifestyle.” and “I don’t do healthy.” Seriously? I suppose that if you don’t “Do Healthy” then you are “Doing UNHEALTHY” whether you intend to or not. You will not be neutral. You will be either healthy or unhealthy and in almost every case that decision is made consciously with every bite that you put into your mouth.

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The Science

According to a 2014 paper in The Journals of Gerontology, a STRONGER association between obesity and various serious health problems exists in the YOUNG (18-40 years) than in the old (65-75) and very old. (1) In a paper published by the U.S. government, the statement is made that “the effect of obesity on mortality is about twice as strong for persons younger than 50 years of age.” (2) While these papers do discuss the effects of obesity in various age groups, it is clear that young people are at a greater risk. We have all heard of the young person who “suddenly dropped dead”. I am guessing that while the death was sudden, the lifestyle that may have contributed to this early demise was not. Quite often, the same personality traits that contribute to an individual being overweight or obese will cause other addictive behaviors. This is a deadly combination. I know of obese young women who died from a combination of drugs and alcohol. With or without these additional addictive behaviors, the fact still remains that obesity in youth appears to be more dangerous than in middle life (40-65) or later. This flies in the face of what most people believe to be true. You are NOT healthy or safe if you are obese at any age, especially if you are in the 18-40 year range. Your youth will not protect you and may possibly increase your chances of death from obesity related medical conditions.

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Ways to Win This War

In a lot of the World, especially the U.S., it seems like there is a war being waged against humans and especially the young. The enemies are: marketing, availability, peer pressure and the all too common fat acceptance movement. You have to chose whether you will win or lose this war. Winning means a lifetime of good health and longevity, full of activity and energy. Losing means sickness, immobility and death. The decision is yours alone. The war will be decided by the daily choices that you make about nutrition. Exercise is wonderful. I spend many hours working out every week, but as David says, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.”

1-Stop drinking your calories in sugar-laden sweetened beverages. You might read Meigan Loses 50 Pounds! Meigan is a young woman who just turned 21, who has followed David’s Way for about 6 months and lost 50 pounds. The first step in her progress was to stop drinking sugar-sweetened tea. Abandoning sweet tea made it easier to give up other foods with added sugar.

2-Quit eating added sugar altogether. You can read https://davidsway.blog/2020/03/28/junkies-addicted-to-that-sugar/ for some of David’s wisdom on this subject.

3- Get Active! With your doctor’s permission and advice, find a way to get some exercise. You will burn a few extra calories, increase your lean muscle mass and speed up your progress with exercise suited to your needs.

4-Make your calories count! Avoid foods devoid of nutrition. Choose whole foods and avoid processed foods that don’t stave hunger off very long.

5-Count your calories! You can go to the Calorie Counter Pro to determine how many calories that you need to lose, or gain, 1-2 pounds per week or to maintain your current weight.

6-Avoid fad diets. You can read How Long Will It Take to Lose Weight? for information about the problems with fast weight loss.

7-DON’T SKIP MEALS!!! You will get ravenous and eat everything in sight and feel justified doing it…BAD IDEA!

8-Stay Hydrated. Read David’s article How Much Water Do I Need? for good tips on the importance of hydration.

9-Reduce Stress. At David’s Way we teach “Make Your World Small”-(David Yochim) Stress can change your hormone levels and cause hunger and cravings. It increases cortisol production which promotes belly fat. Find a way to stress less.

10-Set realistic goals. When we first begin a weight loss program, we always want to “get there” in a hurry. The main reason for that is so we can go back to our old ways of eating, and living, which will cause the weight to come right back. Set your goal to be a lifetime of healthy choices that will get you to your optimum goal of being the best that you can be for the rest of your life. If you begin to practice good self-care now, that may be a very long time.

(1)https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/69/1/87/546788

(2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3375953/

 

 

How Long Will It Take to Lose Weight?

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The Dilemma

If you have ever been overweight you know exactly what I’m talking about. After more than one failed attempt to get slim and sexy, you get tired of waiting and BAM! the pounds come back faster than you could ever imagine possible. The anxiety of wanting to “hurry and get it over with” makes you think of food all the time. It’s akin to holding your breath. You just suffer through each day, hour and moment, waiting for the pounds to melt away and it seems like it will never happen. Have you ever heard the adage, “A watched pot never boils.” ? That’s what’s happening. You’re so obsessed with seeing a change in your body and ending your “diet” that you can’t even see the progress that you are making each time that you make a healthy decision. You pour over images in the media of “skinny people” or “buff people” and wonder how long it will be before you wake up ripped. Your focus is not merely your goal of looking great or being healthy. It’s also returning to your former habits. That’s why you’ve never been successful. You’re putting a band-aid on a fatal wound. You need a bigger bandage.

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Perspective

When I first began Davids Way, I was at a goal weight that was set for me by the international weight loss company that once employed me. My goal was to get to a specific number so that I did not have to pay weekly dues. I finally got to that goal. The problem was, I was still too fat. I still had high blood pressure and I was losing muscle fast. I was not active enough and I was not eating enough protein. Even though I had “arrived”, it was not working like I thought it would. Still unhealthy and soft and too fat, I sought out something better for me. I wanted to be strong and healthy. As soon as David started teaching me, I asked the question, “How long will it take?” His answer, full of wisdom, was “The rest of your life.” Immediately, my perspective began to change. I knew that this was not something that I would finish. I suddenly understood the meaning of “a lifestyle change”. The idea that I was embarking on a journey that would not end, changed everything. If you will never stop trying to get healthy and improve yourself, there is no pressure. There is an ebb and flow of easy days and tough days, days that you food prep like a pro and days that you struggle to scramble an egg but all of those days are part of the process. You don’t stop because you burn the chicken. You have to eat, so you just cook something else, your nutrition being your foremost responsibility, solely to yourself.

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Time Marches On

If you are stressed about how long it will take to get fit, think about this. Time is going to pass. It will pass if you are making wise decisions or eating yourself into an early grave. Will quitting get you to your goals quicker? Probably not. While that sounds absurd, that’s how we act. It’s as if we think that we will be better off if we abandon our healthy program if it doesn’t work FAST. The truth is, if you lose weight fast, your habits don’t really change and as soon as you get to that magic number on the scale, you will return to those old habits, like coming up for air when you swim up from the depths of the ocean. You will feel like you’ve been shot out of a slingshot and rebound right back into obesity. If you lose weight too fast, depending on how much you lose and other factors, you will most likely have stretch marks and loose skin. Some of those things can happen even if you lose slowly but they will be much worse if you lose fast. If you are going to be doing this the rest of your life, there is no rush. You have the time to do it right. Occasionally there are medical reasons to lose weight faster. I am not addressing those medical conditions. That must be addressed by your medical doctor. Otherwise, slow loss is always best.

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Yo-Yo Dieting

Yo-yo dieting is believed to cause extra weight gain. (1) Leptin,which is regulated by your fat cells, is decreased in your body when you diet. Leptin helps control your appetite by signaling you to eat less by giving you a feeling of fullness. As you lose fat cells, and their associated leptin, your appetite increases and you want to eat more. While this is happening, you are losing muscle, if you are dieting strictly. This causes you to conserve energy, or to hold onto fat cells. As a result of this cycle, one in three dieters ends up heavier than before they went on a diet. This is one of the reasons that we don’t promote a diet. We promote a healthy lifestyle based on healthy choices and slow weight loss. Eventually, the yo-yo dieting cycle will cause you to have a higher body fat percentage which can make it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.

One of the scariest things that i have discovered about weight cycling, (yo-yo dieting) is that studies indicate that it can lead to fatty liver disease which, in turn can cause cirrhosis of the liver or liver failure. Fatty liver can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Is a quick fix worth the possibility of these very dangerous medical problems? Before you answer, remember, the “fix” will most likely not be permanent. It will be a fleeting victory that may leave you with huge medical problems over the course of a lifetime. I know many women who have “managed” their weight with fad diets their entire life only to get fatter and fatter and sicker every year. The risk of heart disease rises so much with this type of dieting that many doctors will tell you to just stay fat unless you’re going to lose it once and for all.

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What You Can Do

You can go to the Calorie Counter Pro and enter your statistics to find out how many calories you can eat to lose or gain 1 or 2 pounds per week or to remain at the same weight. Your information  is always  confidential. We strongly advise you to aim for only one pound per week unless your doctor has a different  opinion. Eat whole, healthy foods that nourish your body and keep you full. Avoid sugar and highly processed junk foods that add calories devoid of nutrition. Sugar and other processed foods make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly and the inevitable hunger that follows will drive you to eat MORE, even if you have already eaten way too many calories. See your medical doctor and ask him to advise you concerning exercise. While you can’t outrun a bad diet, (David Yochim), exercise will burn some calories and build muscle that is crucial to your health. Rest well. Lack of sleep causes a rise in cortisol which is associated with excess belly fat which can be deadly. It increases your risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, colorectal cancer, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and premature death from any cause. (2) You need 6-8 hours of sleep every night.

We have an article, ATTACK! that discusses the difference in being “Reactive” and “Proactive”. Being proactive is simply taking charge of your life. That’s what you can do. You’re in the driver’s seat. Ladies/Gentlemen, start your engines.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/yo-yo-dieting

(2) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045685

Simple Tips For Permanent Weight Loss

Commitment!

Commitment beyond anything you have ever wanted for yourself in the past is the first key to weight loss. Because of all the different ways you can find yourself sidetracked when it comes to weight loss, you have to place this commitment to yourself above all else in your life. There are no half measures that are going to get you to a healthy weight for your frame, the commitment required is akin to what it takes for soldiers to work and earn their way into special operations units. You have to want to be at a healthy weight as if your very life depends on it, your life very well does depend on it in the long run.

Are YOU worth this degree of COMMITMENT to YOURSELF?

YES!

You are worth it!

But, even with total commitment to yourself in the journey of weight loss, you are going to find many obstacles in your path that will sometimes seem insurmountable. It is when you encounter these obstacles that you must steel yourself to get around it. You can push climb over it, tunnel underneath it, go around it or blow it the hell up, and then push your way on through. No matter, you have to remain determined to meet your goals and objectives no matter who or what might get into your way.

Obstacle: Your willpower disappears in the face of temptation.
Solution: Plan your defense.

One of the first things you have to understand and commit to is you have to be willing to tell not only yourself NO, but also your family and friends as they will sabotage you every damn time. We all know the struggle it takes to pass on a slice of decadent chocolate cake, but this becomes a much larger turmoil when it is being offered up by your loving mother or grand mother. Your best friend might not understand why you no longer want to share a dessert when you are out and about the town. These well meaning folks will often compliment you on how much better you are looking since you have lost weight and then tell you that you should treat yourself on occasion since a little bit of sugar never hurt anyone. These temptations are the toughest to overcome, but you must. You have to understand that just as you would not give a recovering alcoholic a drink, you cannot have that sweet slice of heaven when you are addicted to carbohydrates! Very often, it is that one little indulgence that drives people clean off the rails. Family and friends  can and will do this to you every time. Some of these same people who will compliment you to your face while you are losing weight will be the same ones snickering behind your back when you regain it. And it will not even occur to them that they were at least partially responsible for your failure by not being supportive when you needed their support the most.

Obstacle: You’re embarrassed by your failed attempts.
Solution: Let it go, rethink, and reboot.

The difference between successful people and failures is successful people have tried and failed many times on their path to success while failures quit the first time they reach a tough obstacle. This is true no matter what the endeavor may be. You cannot let past failures stop you in your tracks. You may have failed every weight loss program you have ever tried, but have you ever tried our methodology at David’s Way to Health and Fitness? You have nothing to lose being as we do not charge a single penny to anyone, for any reason. We are entirely free, we do not want you to be a perpetual income stream as many of the other weight loss businesses do.

Never be ashamed or embarrassed by your past failures. The only thing you should ever find yourself embarrassed about is being a quitter.

Obstacle: You’re just not that motivated.
Solution: Set short and long-term goals.

You have to set as many short term goals as it takes in order to achieve your long term goals of weight loss and fitness. When you only concentrate on the end goal, it becomes easy to feel overwhelmed. You can alleviate this entirely by setting short term goals that are much easier to focus on. Losing ten pounds is easier than losing one hundred pounds although the methods in getting to that one hundred pound loss are not any different than the doing it in ten pound increments. By setting short term goals, you can celebrate more victories along your way. You will find this to be far more kinder to your self esteem and self confidence.

Obstacle: Your joints ache.
Solution: Go low-impact.

Go to your local swimming pool for your exercise. Take walks. There is no need to beat yourself up with high impact exercises to lose weight.

Obstacle: You rely on workouts to do it all.
Solution: Understand that exercise is just part of the puzzle.

Exercise is only about 40% of the equation when it comes to successfully taking off weight and then keeping it off. Have you ever heard the saying that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym? This is a universal truth, you cannot out exercise a bad diet unless you are some kind of outlier. A bad diet will always prevail in you retaining too much body fat.

Obstacle: You push yourself too hard, too often.
Solution: Make recovery a priority.

This is a tough one for many to grasp. People often assume the best thing they can do is to push themselves physically every day of the week when they first begin a weight loss regimen. This is a common mistake, you have to also give your body time to recover between exercise sessions or you will burn out, you can actually cause your central nervous system to become fatigued which will bring all your exercise to a screeching halt. As i have written about in my article Fitness Triad you have to treat your nutrition, rest and recovery with the same importance as you do your exercise of choice. Each of these elements carry equal importance when it comes to achieving a fit and trim body.

Obstacle: You don’t have time to exercise.
Solution: Find a workout that fits your schedule.

Commit yourself to making the time to exercise! Surely you can dedicate 30 to 60 minutes for at least four days of the week to work towards your fitness. Maybe you should pull yourself away from the television. If you are binge watching a program, you can always pick up where you left off if you are watching on Netflix, Hulu or any other streaming program.

The truth is, anyone who is committed will find a way to make the small amount of time they need in their lives for exercise. Odds are high that if you have excuses, you are really just not committed to achieving a health, fit and trim body.

Obstacle: You think exercise is boring.
Solution: Find something you love.

This excuse is about as lame as saying you do not like soup. Have you tried much exercise to truly know if you are going to like it or not?  As with soup, there is are endless types of exercise you can try until you find something you can become excited about. You cannot spend a boring half hour on a treadmill and assume that a nice nature walk would be equally as boring.

Obstacle: You think nutritious food is too expensive.
Solution: Make smart choices.

With this one you have to ask yourself if nutritious foods are more expensive than out of pocket expenses you incur with doctor visits and medications for ailments that can almost exclusively be tied to unhealthy nutritional habits and a sedentary lifestyle.

While it is true that healthy food choices might cost more than a box of macaroni and cheese and other sugar and fat laden processed foods, you are going to save money on your grocery bill because when you only consume whole, healthy foods choices, you eat less of it. Healthy food choices do not leave you with cravings soon after eating as junk foods will do to you. Healthy foods choices keep you full with less and for a longer duration than cheap unhealthy foods. With healthy food choices, your body is receiving all the nutrients it requires for optimal health instead of leaving you to cravings associated with poor nutrition.

Obstacle: You don’t like the taste of healthy food.
Solution: Be patient and keep trying new things.

Assuming you do not like the taste of all healthy foods is as absurd as saying “I do not like soup”. How much healthy food have you actually sampled?

Have you explored with spices when preparing new foods?

Do you know how to make good food choices?

Look, I full well get it if you tell me that you have tried many low fat or zero fat foods and told me they taste bad to you. These foods taste bad to me as well, especially  low fat or no fat yogurts. I do love plain full fat Greek yogurt that I flavor with sugar free flavorings, nuts, seeds and even powdered peanut butter for a delicious, daily treat.

Fats make foods taste better and will keep you satiated longer than non fat foods. We need healthy fats in our diets to aid in absorbing the nutrients provided to us in the foods we do consume. Healthy fats provide energy, support cell growth, protect organs, and keep your body warm. Essential fatty acids are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and help with hormone production. If you eliminate fat altogether, meals and snacks will lack satiety, flavor, and texture. Just make sure you are eating healthy fats as I have laid out in my article “Quit Shunning the Fat”.

With whole foods, there is absolutely no reason for you to ever say you do not like the taste of healthy food. When you prepare the food yourself, you have the control over how it is going to taste. And best of all, you will never run out of options in how to prepare healthy meals.

Obstacle: You hate being hungry.
Solution: Load up on low-calorie, filling foods.

Well duh, who does not hate being hungry?

There is never a need to feel deprived of food when losing weight with healthy food choices.

I maintain my body fat a low percentage and I would be considered a volume eater. Yes, I can eat a lot of food, and I do so on a regular basis. However, what you need to know is this is possible when eating nothing but healthy food choices. Foods that provide all the nutrients your body requires for optimal health are naturally lower in calories than unhealthy foods and it is actually hard to eat enough when your diet does only consist of healthy foods. For my health needs, I consume 2,250 calories  a day to fuel my body for 60 hour work weeks while also dedicating 8 to ten hours a week for my physical fitness regimen. I consume dairy, lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds each day. I never feel hungry during the day as I ensure that every bite of any food that passes my lips has a nutritional value to it and I never eat foods that are high calorie and low nutritional choices for any reason.

Obstacle: You don’t have time to cook.
Solution: Do some prep work.

Let’s be real about this one. If you do not have time to cook, it is because you are not committed to making the time to cook.

If you have time to sit in a restaurant, you have time to cook.

If you have time to go through a fast food chain’s drive through to order food, only for them to mess up your order and thereby cost you even more time, you have time to cook.

You and I both know that if you do not have the time to cook, it is more than likely you really just do not feel like cooking. By doing a little preparation ahead of time, it should never take you much time to throw together a healthy meal for yourself and your family. For instance, this morning, I can guarantee it took me less time to cook a bowl of nutritious oatmeal loaded with chopped pecans, pepitas, a seed trilogy and cinnamon than it took for any one of the folks in the local drive through to drive there, place their order, and then wait in line for their sausage egg biscuit before driving back home or to work. Cooking and then cleaning up behind yourself is not an all day affair unless you make it so.

Never feel guilty about prioritizing your health needs!

Remember, maintaining a healthy weight is a process much like preparing for a marathon. The race to achieving and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is not a sprint. In the same way that one day of healthy eating won’t undo a month of less healthy choices, the reverse is also true. Take advantage of opportunities in your day to day life to make nutritious choices. Balancing your lifestyle with healthy food choices, regular physical activity and rest coupled with stress management techniques can go a long way in making you feel and be your best.