Category: Health

Secrets to Lose Weight Permanently!

Obese woman preparing healthy foods

Most all people with weight problems desire to lose weight permanently. The problem is, a large percentage of these people either do not know how to lose weight. Or, they are simply not willing to truly do everything it takes to lose their excess body fat. There is no secret as to how to lose weight permanently, yet with all the fads and gimmicks which are readily available, you would think there was.

If you want to know how to lose weight permanently and effectively, you must take time to learn about nutrition and human biology. Permanent and effective weight loss comes from knowledge instead of pills, drinks and fad diets. When you try fad diets, gimmicks and weight loss supplements, you are only setting yourself up for failure. You have to be willing to do everything it requires in order to have permanent weight loss without resorting to fads, gimmicks and supplements.

Weight Loss and Human Biology

Unless you have specific medical conditions, or are on certain medications, you can lose weight. If you do have a specific medical condition, or are on a medication that increases weight, most often your weight can still be somewhat controlled if you do not just give in and give up to your weight gain.

Your weight is influenced by a combination of genes and environment. Even so, your weight depends on the number of calories you consume, how many of those calories you store, and how many you burn up. No matter what you think or feel, that is a basic truth in life. If you are over weight, you are eating more calories than your body burns in a day. It is true that your genes can, and do play a role in your metabolism. However, the larger factor is your behavior when it comes to what types of foods you choose to eat.

You might, and probably do have a genetic predisposition to be heavy (I actually do). However, it’s not so great that you can’t overcome it with some effort. To lose weight permanently, you have to be willing to create a new lifestyle that focuses on weight management.  People with a genetic predisposition to be overweight have a good chance of losing weight on their own by eating fewer calories and by getting more exercise. Are you willing to do that is the question.

If you have a genetic predisposition to being overweight, think about the welfare of your children’s health and well being.

Little boy eating a donut.

Childhood habits often stick with people for the rest of their lives. Kids who drink sugary sodas and eat high-calorie, processed foods develop a taste for these products and continue eating them as adults, which tends to promote weight gain. Likewise, kids who watch television and play video games instead of being active may be programming themselves for a sedentary future. Are you willing to be proactive in your child’s life when it comes to food and physical exercise?

The food factor as one of the causes of obesity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans are eating more calories on average than they did in the 1970s. Between 1971 and 2000, the average man added 168 calories to his daily fare, while the average woman added 335 calories a day. What’s driving this trend? Experts say it’s a combination of increased availability, bigger portions, and more high-calorie foods.

Practically everywhere we go — shopping centers, sports stadiums, movie theaters — food is readily available. You can buy snacks or meals at roadside rest stops, 24-hour convenience stores, even gyms and health clubs. Americans are spending far more on foods eaten out of the home: In 1970, we spent 27% of our food budget on away-from-home food; by 2006, that percentage had risen to 46%.

Fast food basket, hotdog and fries

In the 1950s, fast-food restaurants offered one portion size. Today, portion sizes have ballooned, a trend that has spilled over into many other foods, from cookies and popcorn to sandwiches and steaks. A typical serving of French fries from McDonald’s contains three times more calories than when the franchise began. A single “super-sized” meal may contain 1,500–2,000 calories — all the calories that most people need for an entire day. And research shows that people will often eat what’s in front of them, even if they’re already full. Not surprisingly, we’re also eating more high-calorie foods (especially salty snacks, soft drinks, and pizza), which are much more readily available than lower-calorie choices like salads and whole fruits. Fat isn’t necessarily the problem; in fact, research shows that the fat content of our diet has actually gone down since the early 1980s. But many low-fat foods are very high in calories because they contain large amounts of sugar to improve their taste and palatability. In fact, many low-fat foods are actually higher in calories than foods that are not low fat. (1)

There are no secrets to lose weight permanently, you have to create a new lifestyle that revolves around eating healthy.

The Secret of How to Lose Weight Permanently

Fad diets are not going to result in permanent weight loss. Diet supplements won’t either, no matter their bold promises and fancy packaging. The secret to permanent weight loss begins with a permanent change to your diet. That permanent change will require a switch to whole foods, and for you to stop eating foods with added sugars. You will also need to greatly reduce your intake of processed foods. And when you do eat them, only consume what has zero added sugars and minimal ingredients.

Many people experience compulsive cravings towards sugar due to addictions they never knew existed. Breaking the habits of eating junk foods is really not an option.  If you are one to get carb cravings, you will always get them as long as you are eating foods with added sugars. Those cravings will never go away.

Is it necessary to kick almost all carbs as advocates of Keto dictate?

No, it’s not necessary to cut out almost all carbohydrate intake as advocates of Keto foolishly, or naively dictate. We need to still consume foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrate foods provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are important to the health of an individual.

Foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables are complex carbohydrates. Does it make sense for you to quit eating them? I sure hope not…

The bottom line is, healthy eating should never be about short-term change. At David’s Way, we teach for it to be a long-term measure put in place with an emphasis on enjoying more of the foods that protect and nourish the body. This is done by choosing a variety of foods from each of the different food groups each day. Fast foods, processed foods, and foods made with added sugars do not fill this requirement.

Figure out your daily caloric needs and track your intake!

You should discuss your daily caloric needs with your doctor, but, we also have a feature that can help with this. Just click on the Calorie Counter Pro tab in the main menu of the website.

Weight loss and weight management is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change this fact.

And yes, it does matter where your calories come from. While a calorie is a calorie, not all calories provide equal benefit to our bodies. In terms of weight loss, 100 calories will remain 100 calories regardless of whether they come from an apple or a brownie.  While some foods have the same quantity of calories, they can be of different nutritional quality and will have very different effects on your health. It is imperative that you make the distinction between the quantity and quality of your calories consumed.

People are horrible at estimating how much they eat!

Because of this, it is important to weigh and measure the foods you eat. For instance the difference in calories with 1 ounce of almonds and 1.5 ounces of the same almonds is 85 calories.

As you can see, there are very few almonds in the bowl to make a half ounce.

A half ounce difference in 80% ground beef is 34 calories.  While a 1 ounce difference in milk is 16 calories. Considering that only 500 excess calories per day over what you need leads to one pound of fat gain over a week, a few under estimations a day can easily lead to weight gain when you are estimating foods.

If you are not measuring, weighing, and tracking your foods, you have zero means to actually know how much you are eating.

If you are not willing to make these simple changes, you are not committed to losing your weight.

There is nothing magical or secret about how to lose weight permanently. You just have to choose to make permanent changes to your dietary lifestyle. Otherwise you are likely to be a part of the 95% statistical diet failure rate.

Fad diets only lead to failure.

Diet pills and supplements only lighten your wallet.

If you truly want to learn the secrets to permanent weight loss, simply follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. We are, and always will be entirely free to our followers. Subscriptions are free and easy!

You can also follow us on our Facebook page Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way.

 

 

(1) Harvard Health

Why Doctors Don’t Discuss Weight

Doctor giving comfort to patient

It’s not rocket science to know that obesity is not healthy, so why is it some doctors don’t discuss weight with their patients?

I am no doctor, but I have asked a few, along with other health care professionals, why it is doctors sometimes do not discuss weight with their patients. There are so many preventable ailments that are directly tied to our weight, this should be a topic of every doctor visit, but it’s not.

Again, why is it some doctors don’t discuss weight with their patients?

Doctor holding tape measure

You may have gotten away with being overweight or obese for several years without noticeable health issues in the present. Because your blood pressure has been good, you aren’t diabetic and are in otherwise good health, you probably do not see that your weight is really an issue to be concerned about. That is, until you receive a diagnosis of an ailment that could have been prevented if only your doctor had discussed your weight with you.

Should you be angry with yourself, or your doctor?

Would you have even listened to your doctor if you believed your health was good despite your weight?

             Research shows that doctors don’t always broach                     the topic with their patients.

In a study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers looked at more than 600 visits to family practice offices where 68% of the adult patients were overweight or obese. They found that only 11% of the overweight or obese patients received weight loss counseling during these visits.

Doctors rarely talk about weight concerns with patients who are overweight or obese, and when they do, patients’ experiences tend to be negative. (1) Most often, doctors avoid the topic, because their patients feel stigmatized. I can vouch for this as I have a loved one who got furious when his doctor told them him that he needed to lose weight.

There are guidelines which recommend that doctors intervene when a patient is obese. But how many patients will abide by their advice?

I believe it is pretty obvious by todays obesity epidemic, most do not abide.

Some may not want to.

Others may feel as if they can’t.

And many don’t know how where to even begin.

Many doctors don’t discuss weight with their patients because it is pretty complicated for them to treat.

This is because it involves behavior, and medication, as well as managing medical conditions that come with obesity. When a patient can’t or won’t do anything about their weight, doctors will instead spend their time by treating the ailments that come from obesity. Ailments that are preventable such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These ailments are preventable because they are tied directly to your lifestyle and nutritional habits. Are you willing to change how you eat?

Many people feel their doctors “Fat Shame” them.

Let’s be real here. If your doctor brings up your weight, you have a problem. They are not fat shaming you, they actually do care about you. No one should tolerate disrespectful treatment or medical fat shaming. However, if your doctor made you feel ashamed for bringing up your weight, then it’s very likely you were already ashamed of yourself.

Just because you perceive your doctor’s words to be disrespectful or shaming, it does not make it so. It could be that they need to be quite serious in order to save your life from a weight or nutrition related ailment. If you are carb addicted, what are the chances you will change your habits based on passive, sugar coated advice? You and I both know, this is not too likely.

I read this in an article on Healthline:

Graue told Healthline that these pervasive biases within the medical community are a result of ingrained misinformation within educational and cultural structures.

“As doctors, we have been indoctrinated in a system in which weight bias is rampant,” she explained.

“We have been fed greatly biased and faulty research with the conviction that ‘science’ is true and neutral,” she pointed out.

“So, we have a heavy dose of biased, weight-centric science that does not make room for the social determinants of health, and a broader system’s perspective that allows for an intersectional lens or a view informed by social justice and trauma,” Graue said.

Graue believes in approaching the treatment of people of size as one would any other patient.

Still, there are times when weight must be addressed, particularly “when the patient brings up a concern related to their weight.”

At this point, medical practitioners have “a wonderful opportunity to dispel myths around equating weight with health, share some of the science that proves that focusing on weight is harmful, and shift the conversation, depending on the setting, to healing the relationship with food and body, and/or focusing on health and well-being-enhancing behaviors, always attuned to the patient’s needs and requests.”

People in larger bodies must demand that we be treated like any patient with a BMI within the “normal range” might be”. (2)

Could anything be more ludicrous?

Should one with cancer demand to be treated as if they do not have it?

Maybe cardiac patients should be advised to not worry about other things that might happen from their condition.

Does anyone seriously believe that everyone should be treated as being equally healthy and well even when they clearly are not? That kind of thinking is not helpful in the least. In fact, it is dangerous to the individual who has a weight problem.

Doctors don’t discuss weight all the time, but they should.

Obesity is almost always caused by consuming more calories than you burn off through physical activity. We know for certain these calories often come from fatty and sugary foods. When you consume more than you burn, the excess energy is stored by the body as fat. Obesity is an increasingly common problem because for many people modern living involves eating excessive amounts of cheap high-calorie food and spending a lot of time sitting down at desks, on sofas or in cars.

Obesity-related problems

Obesity can cause a number of further problems, including difficulties with daily activities and serious health conditions.

Day-to-day problems related to obesity include:

  • breathlessness
  • increased sweating
  • snoring
  • difficulty doing physical activity
  • often feeling very tired
  • joint and back pain
  • low confidence and self-esteem
  • feeling isolated

The psychological problems associated with being obese can also affect your relationships with family and friends, and may lead to depression.

Obesity can bring about serious health conditions

Being obese can also increase your risk of developing many potentially serious health conditions, including:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol and atherosclerosis (where fatty deposits narrow your arteries), which can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke
  • asthma
  • metabolic syndrome, a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity
  • several types of cancer, including bowel cancer, breast cancer and womb cancer
  • gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), where stomach acid leaks out of the stomach and into the gullet
  • gallstones
  • reduced fertility
  • osteoarthritis, a condition involving pain and stiffness in your joints
  • sleep apnea, a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep, which can lead to daytime sleepiness with an increased risk of road traffic accidents, as well as a greater risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
  • liver disease and kidney disease
  • pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, when a woman experiences a potentially dangerous rise in blood pressure during pregnancy

Obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of 3 to 10 years, depending on how severe it is. Remember that your doctor’s job is to care for your health. Studies show that people who talk with their doctors about weight tend to have healthier habits. Your doctor can tailor a weight loss plan specifically for you. But individualized care starts with a conversation. This conversation might need to be up to you to start, since many doctors might not.

Childhood Obesity’s Effect on Bone and Joint Health

 

(1) Physicians Weekly

(2) Healthline.com

Stay Full and Lose Weight!

 

Photo by Toni Koraza on Unsplash

Common Misconception

Eating to stay full could be a challenge in the diet era that I grew up in. I well remember years of my life growing up in a home where I was constantly on a diet. My mother believed that 1000 calories per day was the magic number for weight loss, although I was 5’6″ tall in the 8th grade. I had the body of an adult with a little muscle to boot. There was no way that 1000 calories was enough food for me to be anything except miserable.

 

Photo by Masahiro Naruse on Unsplash

While my mother cooked all of our meals and they were healthy food, sometimes they were calorie dense. I typically had 250 calories for breakfast, 250 for lunch and 500 for supper. A typical meal in our home was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas and cornbread or rolls. 500 calories did not get me a very full plate of that. By supper time I was ravenous due to low calorie intake during the day and 500 calories was just enough to tease me, especially when those 500 calories were made up of heavy Southern food. Between too few calories and the wrong food choices, my diets didn’t last long enough to make me skinny. Extreme hunger gave way to “cheating” on my diet and when my mom found out, she refused to help me any more. This cycle repeated itself until losing weight seemed like a torture chamber.

Photo by Hassan Vakil on Unsplash

Signs of The Times

Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

Have you ever noticed how the standard of beauty is continually changing? When I was under the age of about 10, curvaceous women were considered desirable. That seemed easy enough for young girls, as long as we managed to develop breasts, and most of us did. We had gotten to this very impressionable, critical time of our young lives thinking that was about all there was to being good-looking and then, everything changed. Eating to stay full was not a part of our lives.

photo by emiliano-vittoriosi-h7dWAkvPqOA-unsplash.jpg

Suddenly gaunt, bony, heroin-chic models were everywhere with their cheeks pulled in and their flat chests brazenly displayed in see-through, braless tops. Those of us who were approaching puberty with great anticipation of what was about to happen in our bodies, were suddenly taken aback as curves started showing up. As a generation, we starved ourselves and plunged into depression as sharp angles gave way to feminine softness. There was no way to avoid pain much less stay full. We were doomed to be fat. It became the norm to avoid eating altogether. We would never eat to stay full, only to ease the pain of the constant hunger that we all lived with every day. As soon as we felt like we could stand it another minute, we stopped eating. None of us learned how to eat healthy. We only learned that food was our sworn enemy.

Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

REVOLUTION!

After being mercilessly tortured by society for years and falling prey to every fad diet that came down the track, a new culture began to emerge. Skipping right over the self-lovely, fat-acceptance trend, a group of women emerged that wanted to be the best that we can be. We chose to conform neither to the ever-changing trends of media and fashion OR to the feminist/self-lovely trend of ignoring fitness. As we found our equilibrium and came into a state of balance, we discovered that we can be curvy and athletic without being fat, unhealthy or ashamed of wanting to look good. Eating to stay full became a necessity.

While different cultures do have different ideas about what is attractive, there is nothing wrong with wanting a fit, healthy body at a body fat percentage that is pleasing to the eye. You can be whoever you want to be but for a huge number of proactive women, we stand united in the thought that it’s not only okay to strive to control our weight, but that it’s a good thing. The new body image that has emerged is a fit woman with adequate muscle for strength and self-reliance and low enough body fat percentage to wear anything we want to wear, (or not!) with  ultimate confidence.

It’s a common misconception that great bodies are made in the gym. While I am a fitness enthusiast, all of the strength training or cardio in the world will not give you a great shape if you eat too much. There is a skill to eating enough to stay full but keeping your calorie count low enough to have a good body fat percentage. It’s simply exactly what we teach, fill up on good, whole healthy foods and avoid added sugars and most processed foods most of the time. Learn to budget your calories like you budget money. Make them go as far as you can and you will stay satisfied and have the energy and stamina to get through your workouts.


Photo by Jeff Covey on Unsplash
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Eating to Stay Full Is All In Your Choices

The top picture is about 330 calories of muscle building protein and a bit of complex carbs in the green beans while the THREE servings of French Toast with butter AND regular pancake syrup are about 800-900 calories and tons of simple carbohydrates from all that white bread. Do I really have to elaborate? As we always tell you, weight management is about calories in-calories out. That French Toast breakfast will also leave you ravenous in a short period of time as those simple carbs break down into sugar and demand an insulin dump. I didn’t even count the orange juice, That’s another 100 or so calories of fruit sugar. This meal will not help you to stay full.

Photo by Kenneth Mallia on Unsplash
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

The grilled chicken salad pictured above is approximately 300 calories of great, lean protein and complex carbs that will fuel a workout. The burger as big as your head, pictured here with the washtub of fries is every bit of 1000 calories. Add in the ever-present milkshake and you just ate your calories for the day. This is a no-brainer. There’s nothing wrong with a good, 4-6 ounce burger patty on a whole grain bun with condiments that are weighed and measured. As is usually the case at fast food joints, this one here is just over-the-top. If you want a burger, have it, at home where YOU control the weight of every single ingredient. Serve it up on a whole grain bun and enjoy. You can even have French fries IN MODERATION. Slice them about the size of a pencil, ONE medium potato per person and simmer them in about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil per person. Drain them well, measure your oil and count the calories of how much your fries absorbed. You DON’T NEED a quart of oil to make fries. A home-made burger meal like this is delicious and will help you stay full for hours.

Photo by sunorwind on Unsplash
Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval on Unsplash

The luscious steak dinner pictured above will cost you about 500 calories and supply large amounts of protein and trace minerals to build muscle and strength. Nothing helps you stay full like a steak dinner! If you eat at a buffet, the sky is the limit. While you may be able to be conservative at a buffet and make wise choices, the odds are against you. If you choose the buffet, you are intending to overeat. Order from the menu or go somewhere else altogether. Remember, YOU are in control of your life. Don’t leave these critical decisions to anyone else.

Your Most Important Body Part to Stay Full

We often refuse to use the tool that will make more difference in our lives than any other. We all have one. Agreeably, some are in better shape than others but if you’ve gotten this far in this article, yours is working pretty good. It’s your brain. THINK about what you are putting in your mouth. Download My Fitness Pal, or some other calorie counting app, and log your food. If you don’t want to do that then for God’s sake, write it down. We have a calorie/macronutrient chart that you can access here  with the calories listed for many foods. You can also look up the calorie content of any food online simply by typing in “calories (name of food)”.

Becoming conscientious of what you eat will take practice but it’s the most important thing that you can do to manage your weight and get the body that you want. Start logging your food today and never quit. Let it be as much a part of eating as opening your mouth. In no time at all you will see a difference. I promise.

Eating On The Run

Sugar and Depression Connection

Depressed girl with scales on the floor

The sugar and depression connection is a very real issue that has become quite prevalent over the last several years. There have many studies done on this phenomenon, researchers have found that consuming too much sugar can trigger numerous inflammatory, metabolic, and neurobiological processes linked to depression. (1)

Inflammation is a critical physiological effect of dietary sugar intake.  As we have addressed in numerous articles, added sugars have a profound effect on inflammatory processes within the body and brain. This inflammation serves as a key mediator of sugar-induced depression.  Your consumption of sugar only serves to increase your risk for depression, mood disorders, and several chronic health issues. Would it surprise you to learn that researchers are so confident that depression can be linked to sugar intake that they’ve studied using insulin to treat it? (2)

Those baked goods that bring you enjoyment are also bringing you down.

 We can all agree that muffins, croissants, pastries, and other commercially prepared baked goods taste good. That is a given.  But the fact they may also trigger depression is something you had really need to consider if you suffer from depression. You have to ask yourself is the momentary joy that comes from the endorphin release caused by sugar really worth depression later? Is a regular morning double chocolate chip muffin worth the following symptoms of depression?

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Why do we crave sugary foods if it can lead to depression?

If the sugar and depression connection issue is real, why is it so hard to kick sugar?

  • A diet high in sugars has been linked to cognitive impairments, negative neuroplasticity and emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.
  • Sugar consumption increases the impulsivity to feed.
  • Sugar overconsumption leads to changes in neurobiological brain function which alter emotional states and subsequent behaviors.
  • Addiction, stress, fear, anxiety and depression involve overlapping neural mechanisms.

Neural plasticity that occurs as a result of long term sugar consumption has been shown to reduce impulse control and therefore lower the ability to resist the high fat/sugar foods. Your food craving is not just a matter of being weak. It is a biological effect in your body which no amount of willpower can make go away.

Our food cravings involve serotonin,  which is a neurotransmitter needed for mood regulation. An imbalance of serotonin in the brain is known to contribute to the development of depression. This is why you’re usually being drawn to foods that encourage serotonin production when you’re craving carbs.

Although you might not realize it, when you are munching down sweet treats to quell a craving, you are actually self medicating. If you are one who likes to munch on candies all the time, your carb cravings will be strong as these cause a higher peak in blood sugar levels.  As long as you consume sugar, this will never end for you. This is one of many reasons we recommend that you quit eating sugar altogether my friends.

Those delicious morsels of sweet treats you eat cause inflammation!

 Inflammation is often triggered as a way to protect your health. It occurs when the immune system notices anything foreign in the body. While intermittent inflammation can be protective, chronic inflammation has been linked to many serious illnesses.

If you want to battle inflammation, start by taking a look in your kitchen. And when you make your grocery list, add less inflammatory foods and more anti-inflammatory foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds and fatty fish. (3)

Would you like to break your addiction to sugar?

Woman considering her addiction to sugar.

 We all know that sugar is everywhere. We commonly find it in drinks and sauces to soups and sandwiches. But, you should look for other places sugar hides in your daily diet. Some might recommend that you create strategies to slowly cut back. But I recommend you just quit it altogether with the knowledge that your palate will adjust, and you won’t need sugar to be satisfied. If you still want something sweet, there are good alternatives available that are calorie free and very low on the glycemic index. Erythritol is my favorite, but you might prefer a product such as Splenda.

Now that you know about the sugar and depression connection, you should think long and hard about your food choices. Especially if you are prone to depression. It could very well be what you are eating that brings you down.

Got the Blues?

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Sugar Induced Inflammation

(1) https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/topics/mood-disorders/depressive-disorder/skip-the-sweets-to-avoid-the-holiday-blues-study-says/

(2) https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/sugar-and-depression#insulin-as-a-treatment

(3)  https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-foods-that-can-cause-inflammation/

Nighttime Eating Making You Fat?

woman eating cake in front of open refrigerator

Is there any truth to the conventional wisdom that nighttime eating makes you fat? Many of us have heard this admonition over the years, but is it a nutrition myth we should continue to perpetuate?

confused woman

Yes, you can become fat from eating at night, but the time of day you are eating really has nothing to do with it.

Of course, we have all probably heard that if we eat after some given time in the evening, the food will just lay around in our gut. You would think that our internal bodily functions just turn off at some random time in the evening when hearing this. The truth is, that is just a load of hooey. If you believe this nonsense, here is a news flash for you – calories don’t count for more at night than during the day. You will not gain weight by merely eating later as long as you eat within your daily caloric needs.

plate of brownies

Mindless Eating

When it comes to eating, it does not matter what time of the day you are eating. What matters is what you are eating and how much of it. Most people who eat at night tend to mindlessly munch away on high-calorie foods while unwinding in front of the TV after a long, stressful dayThe problem is, most people who do this have already eaten an evening dinner and then snack on sweet or salty snacks which are high in calories and low on nutritional value. Those who tend to eat in the middle of the night, are also prone to grazing their refrigerator and pantry for whatever is easy. And the easy foods are very poor choices the majority of the time.

Our Metabolism

Our metabolism does slow down some at night, but there is no switch that gets flicked to turn it off.  It never quits working no matter if you are up and running around or laying in bed asleep. Only death or disease can turn off your bodily functions. No matter what you might have been told, calories consumed during the middle of the night will not change your metabolism. Those calories you ate last night while grazing your refrigerator did not count more than the calories you eat for lunch. So no, nighttime eating makes you fat only when you are eating too many calories.

apple on open math books with equation behind

Do the math!

Weight gain and weight loss comes down to a simple math equation. If you eat more calories than your body burns, you are going to gain weight. Time of day does not matter in this equation! Additionally, it does not matter even if you eat low calorie, nutritionally dense foods. Once you go over your caloric needs, those excess calories are going to get stored as excess fat in your body.

Does nighttime eating make you fat?

The bottom line is, when you eat is not as important as what you eat or how much you consume. Your body doesn’t store more fat at night, and your metabolism does not slow down in the evening hours.

In general, there is no set time to cutoff eating, so long as you do not exceed your caloric needs. If you’re eating at night, don’t go about it mindlessly. No matter what time of day you eat, do so with purpose, a purpose in mind to fuel your body with healthy nutrients to keep you well.

Metabolic Syndrome, the Hard Truth

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Metabolic Syndrome, The Hard Truth

out of breath, overweight woman

As the years of our lives pass, it gets easier and easier to become a little over-weight, obese, or even morbidly obese. It may seem that just a few short years ago you were the high school star athlete or cheer leader. You were in top physical condition and a fine specimen to look at.

Then came the responsibilities of life, where you are raising a family and sometimes, no matter how hard you work, keeping the bills paid becomes a stressful focus. Sally has dance lessons, Johnny has his trumpet lessons, while the baby has colic and her constant crying is allowing no peace for anyone in the house.

Yesterday you were the picture of perfect health and fitness, today you look and feel like a busted can of biscuits. Your gut is hanging over your belt, unless you wear those stretchy pants where a belt is not required. You quit tucking in your shirts to hide said gut and you have also begun coordinating your clothing in order to not appear as fat as you have become. And yes, guys can be just as bad about this as the ladies. Well, guess what? You are not fooling anyone. If you are fat, you look fat no matter how you dress. But more importantly than your physical appearance, your health is what matters. Face it, if you continue your path to obesity with poor nutritional habits, your ability to care for your family and even yourself is going to become more difficult over time. You may find yourself making a choice between paying a utility bill this month or a co-pay at the doctors office in order for you to be seen for a condition that is 100% related to your poor dietary choices.

Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

In short, you are fat, out of shape and no longer a healthy individual.

Or for a longer explanation, you have a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (1)

The term Metabolic Syndrome is a medical diagnosis. What you do about this diagnosis is going to be a matter of personal choice. You can choose to continue with your poor nutritional habits of convenience foods that are packed full of simple sugars, high in fat, sodium and preservatives. This weak choice is going to lead to taking out the time for more doctor visits with blood labs possible each time, along with having to take medications to control the issues you suffer from. Unnecessary money and time being expended away from the larger responsibility of your family and home.

Your other choice is to take personal responsibility for your health and to be proactive in doing something about it. If you are smart, you will clean up your diet and replace processed foods with healthy whole foods. You will eliminate simple sugar from your diet, and you will begin some form of exercise with your doctors approval. By cleaning up your dietary habits, your blood labs will normalize. By quitting refined sugar and other simple carbohydrates, your cravings for foods that contain them will subside. If you think eating healthy foods is too expensive, consider the reduction of monthly expenses when you no longer need to see your doctor regular and all of those monthly prescription refills you may have for blood pressure drug, statins, acid reflux etc… With the cost of medical care today, you could likely pay for at least a weeks worth of groceries with the medical expense savings alone.

Is exercise necessary to become healthy? What if I am in a condition where my ability to do so has become impaired?

Well. if you either cannot, or simply do not want to exercise, then you had damn well better be much stricter about your diet. That is a simple and plain hard truth my friends. This point is not even arguable on any level. Here is another truth, if you can move your body in any fashion, then you can begin doing something, anything to become more mobile. Even if you cannot walk, you can still do arm, abdominal and back exercises. If you are still capable of walking, then you can do the following:

  1. Walk briskly. Or, briskly for you.
  2. Put on some music and move your body with dance, Move your body around, shift your weight from one leg to another, lift your arms to the beat of the music. Look like a young child again, have fun with it.
  3. If you cannot jump rope, make believe you are by skipping in place.
  4. Get up and down from your chair 50 to 100 times.
  5. If you have stairs in your home, then walk up and down them several times per day.
  6. Try doing jumping jacks.
  7. Hop in a circle around a room in your home. Get your kids involved, the young ones will have a blast. Try hopping on one foot at a time for 30 second intervals.
  8. Rise up and down on your toes to work your calves.
  9. Stand on one leg and hold onto a chair or a wall for balance. Extend your free leg in front of you so the heel stretches out about 12 inches in front of your standing leg. Now bend your standing leg knee so you lower your body about 6 inches, and then come back up. Do this 25 times and then switch legs.
  10. Jog in place, picking your knees up higher each time and also extending the time you do this.
  11. You can pick and choose any of these simple exercises and do them as you watch television and your program is interrupted by a commercial.

Now of course if you are overweight and in poor condition, fatigue and soreness are going to be a limiting factor. But, these factors are only short term in nature. The objective is for you to work your way up with increased exercise. You may not be capable of running in a marathon next month, but you may find yourself at least able to walk in a 5k event. You can walk, do a few flights of stairs until you are fatigued. Take a rest and go at it again after a few hours. Build on the amount of time you can do this until you can go for a solid hour. The more out of shape you are, the more important it will be for you to exercise in short periods on a frequent basis. If you can only go at it for 5 minutes at a time, then plan your day to dedicate six five minute time frames to do your exercise. No excuses, just choose to plan and then commit. If you make regular exercise a habit, before you know it, you will find yourself far exceeding your original capabilities.

You can burn calories and fat with a variety of cardiovascular exercises, but if you want more bang for the buck, you must consider some form of strength training in order to increase your lean muscle mass. Some people will complain that they can not lose weight even when they have cut back on their food intake. Usually the problem is they are still consuming too many calories for their basal metabolic rate, still eating sugar and have very little lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the easier it is going to be for you to burn body fat. The way to address this is to go to our Calorie Calculator in our menu to find out your caloric needs and then consume a sugar free diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, along with performing strength building exercises. Your body needs the protein to not only maintain your lean muscle mass, but more importantly to increase it. As your body fat percentage comes down, you also need for your lean muscle mass percentage to rise. At David’s Way, we actually support working towards a healthy body fat percentage over a random number you might want to see on your bathroom scale.

Invariably, people who complain that their metabolic rate is slow and they have trouble losing weight no matter what they consume week to week have weak muscles and are poorly conditioned. When you perform strength building exercises, you are going to increase the density of your lean muscle mass which is going to raise your metabolism. Increasing your lean muscle mass can be done by anyone who makes the choice to do so. If you want to be healthy, this is imperative. This is why we encourage achieving a healthy body fat percentage over a number on the scale. You might lose 50 to 100 pounds, be thin and yet be what is referred to as “Skinny fat”. Your weight means little if your body fat percentage is still at an unhealthy level. If you are thin and also soft to the touch, then you are no healthier than you were when you were much heavier. You are only thinner, do not fool yourself that being able to wear smaller clothing now means you are in decent shape. Skinny fat is still bad for you.

Many, if not most who go about losing weight, lose lean muscle along with body fat. If you do not maintain what you have or build upon it, you can regain all of the weight you have lost and now have a higher body fat percentage than you had before losing weight. This is going to be detrimental to your metabolism. If you are a yo-yo dieter who does not build muscle too, then your metabolism is going to slow more and more with each weight gain. Exercise is going to facilitate your weight loss and make you healthier. Vigorous exercise is even better. Build up to it gradually, You have the rest of your life if you have made a decision to be healthy for the remainder of your life. Start slow and build yourself up, do not injure yourself. If you have the fortitude to begin living a healthy life, you will find the will to eat healthy and exercise.

Metabolic Syndrome may be a medical diagnosis, or maybe it is actually a politically correct and polite way of saying you are fat and out of shape. Either way, you can do something about it. And what you do, does not have to require expensive doctors visits and medications. If you make an intelligent choice, you will clean up your diet and begin an exercise regimen right away. This truly is a matter of personal choices and then sticking with it. You are likely to have a few saboteurs along the way who will try to derail you by getting you to “just eat a little cake” or what ever. People who will tell you how good you have done and then pester you to join them in poor food choices. When you stick to your decision to only eat healthy and remain committed to making time for exercise, some of the people close to you may get angry when you do not join them in unhealthy habits. Bear in mind, if these kind hearted folks really care about your health and well being, they will not try to sabotage you. Misery loves company and unhealthy people will try to drag you down to their level. Sometimes, being around a crowd that eats a lot of unhealthy foods and do not exercise is like finding yourself in a bucket full of crabs. Where the harder you try to climb out, the harder they are going to try to pull you back in. Do yourself a favor and avoid the crabs.

Life and how we live it is truly a matter of personal choices. Choose wisely, you only have one body and one life.

(1) http://www.MayoClinic.org

Weight Loss Magic

 

Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

You Can Do Weight Loss Magic!

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

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

Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash

Words Into Action

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

Photo by Ana Tavares on Unsplash

Accountability for Weight Loss

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

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

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

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

Photo by Alina Chernysheva on Unsplash

Explore

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

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

The second bit of magic is be willing to learn.

Photo by Monica Silva on Unsplash

Toughen Up for Weight Loss!

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

The third bit of magic is be strong!

 

Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash

Commit

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

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

The fourth and final bit of magic is endure.

 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Guaranteed Weight Loss

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

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

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE BEGINNING ANY WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM.

Visit us at http://www.facebook.com/Davidsway2hlth/ for more!

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

How To Lose Weight

 

The Secret to Rapid Weight Loss

thin woman in oversized pants

Almost everyone who has ever had a weight problem has wanted a rapid weight loss solution. Never mind the fact they might have been over weight for several years, or decades. Once they want to lose weight, they want it off right now. The overwhelming desire for quick weight loss has created a unscrupulous market of drugs, supplements and procedures that all promise to remove those unwanted pounds. It is quite simple to find products, or services that make wildly exaggerated claims that you can lose 10 to 20 pounds per month, and desperate people buy into this garbage.

two men shaking hands in a deal

Bold Promises Abound!

Eat as much as you want and still lose weight!

Drop one dress size in a day!

Rapid weight loss is easy, just take our product or follow our specialized plan!

Fad diet plans and marketers of weight loss supplements make some pretty bold claims with their products or services. I recently saw one that promised that all you had to do was take their supplements and lose 10 pounds per month until you have reached your goal weight.

Does this seem credible to you?

If weight loss was that easy, would obesity still be a problem for such a vast number of people?

Probably not.

Yet,  in the U.S. alone, consumers spend $33 billion each year on weight loss products.

Do any of these products really produce rapid weight loss, and are they safe?

What are the risks of such fast weight loss?

Starvation Diets

Variations of starvation diets have been around for several decades now despite the fact they are neither safe nor effective. The only people who should ever be on this type of diet need to do it under medical supervision for specific purposes. Starvation diets are not sustainable and will often only serve to worsen your physical condition rather than help.

Starvation diets can produce negative effects on the body. Chronic starvation leads to changes in your metabolism. Your metabolism and resting metabolic rate are directly linked to lean body mass. A person with greater body mass will require more energy to function day to day, thus will have a larger basal metabolic rate (BMR). As weight decreases, so does BMR.

What that means is, there’s a certain number of calories we all require to maintain our lean mass. If we go below this number, our bodies will be forced to break down our muscle stores in order to create energy. Starvation diets not only cause us to lose strength through loss of lean muscle mass, they also cause us to lose bone density.

Starvation leads to not only a loss of fat and muscle, but also a loss of organ tissue, and skeletal mass. Because of this, our bodies begin to work to regain the lost mass. This activates “collateral fattening,” which increases appetite.

Now, when you begin eating as you normally would, you are more likely than not, to regain all your lost fat, and then some, without regaining your lost lean muscle mass. You will find yourself at your previous weight, but with a higher percentage of body fat. This only serves to slow down your metabolism even more than where you began.

woman with diet supplements in hand

Diet Pills and Supplements

Desperation to lose weight can cause otherwise sensible people to be reckless. Marketers of diet supplements promise rapid weight loss products with claims their products will either block absorption of nutrients, increase metabolism, or burn fat. The veracity of their claims can be as bold as they are dangerous to your health and wellbeing. Diet pills and supplements promise rapid weight loss, but what are the risks of taking them?

There are some diet supplements which are harmless and have no ill effect on your health.  Some may even be effective at creating a sense of fullness, burning fat, or boosting your metabolism. However, some of the popular ingredients in weight loss products have been banned by the FDA because of harmful side effects such as these:

  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver damage
  • Rectal bleeding

Taking long term risks for short term gains.

One of the biggest risks of taking over-the-counter diet supplements is that you can’t always be certain about the ingredients that a product contains. Because the FDA does not test all weight loss products for safety, there’s no guarantee that each ingredient in every supplement is safe.

Desperate people with eating disorders often are not concerned about the dangers of dietary supplements. They are often so preoccupied with losing weight that they don’t care about the risks to their health. In an obsessive drive to lose weight, an individual with anorexia or bulimia is likely to abuse diet supplements in the following ways:

  • Taking more than the recommended dose of a dietary supplement
  • Taking diet products that aren’t recommended for individuals who are at a normal weight or underweight
  • Taking prescription weight loss medication without a doctor’s supervision
  • Combining multiple weight loss stimulants
  • Combining diet pills with laxatives or diuretics
  • Combining diet supplements with illegal stimulants like meth or cocaine

Instagram influencers are compounding this problem by promoting their own shapely figures along with their fantasy lifestyles. They are also pushing the diet pills to go with them. Instead of glossy magazines, now it is “real people” on the internet who are telling us that we all have the potential to look like models. We just have to ignore the fact they all have retouching apps on their phones, and can remove swaths of underarm flab with the swipe of a fingertip.

Creams, Devices, and Magic Voodoo Spells

There seems to be no end to the dubious ideas promoted in the name of rapid weight loss. Most promise to replace diet or exercise. Promises that far too many gullible people buy into even with known risks to their health and wellbeing.

Is Rapid Weight Loss Ever a Good Idea?

Rapid weight loss diets can have ill effects, but so does obesity. For this reason, very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) are considered a reasonable weight loss option for people who are obese and have a need for rapid weight loss. These needs are usually only for a specific purpose such as surgical procedures.

VLCDs should always be doctor-supervised.

These diets often last several weeks. VLCDs can safely produce a loss of 15% to 25% of body weight in 12 weeks. But here is the rub, 25 to 50% of people will not even complete their program. When the diet is stopped, their weight returns. Quite often, this return of weight occurs pretty rapidly.

Can there be a place for weight loss drugs and supplements?

In some cases, a weight loss drug or diet supplement may be a useful part of an eating disorders rehab program. Binge eating disorder, for instance, can leave patients overweight or morbidly obese. But in many cases, these products are being abused by teens or adults who have no medical need to lose weight. In such cases, the use of a diet pill is dangerous, even life-threatening. Most people seeking rapid weight loss, though, usually do it on their own. Frequently, it’s to achieve a short-term goal, such as fitting into a dress, or looking good at the beach. If your weight loss goal is one of vanity over health, you might as well remain over weight.

If you ever consider an extreme diet which may push your body into starvation, do yourself a favor, think of the consequences. You had better consider the negative effects it may have on your body now and in the future. At a minimum, don’t forget the likelihood that you will probably regain most of the weight that you lost. That, in and of itself, should point you to a more practical and safer approach to weight loss.

Weight Loss Supplements are a Waste

Weight Loss Group Rebel

Weight Loss Group Rebel

Are you a weight loss group rebel?

rebellious young man
Rebel without a cause!

If so, I sure would like to hear an explanation as to why. I know that question might seem odd to many of you, but I also know it is quite familiar to others. You see, there is a huge and popular weight loss business that has a social media forum, and at any given time, you can read where someone refers to themselves as a Rebel within that group. When it costs between $20 and $45 a month to be a member of this popular group, it makes no sense to me when one wants to rebel against the program.

How do these people even expect to lose weight if they are not properly following the paid for program?

Angry young lady holding bathroom scales up.

The bottom line is, they are not successful with their weight loss journey. Sure these rebels might lose a little bit of weight. But with the rebellious mindset, they are most likely to regain all their lost weight and then some.

What is a weight loss group rebel?

The weight loss group rebel is no different than any other type of rebel who doesn’t follow rules or a plan. They just feel the need to not fully comply, but this makes little sense when they are paying for the information and support they are getting.

For instance, there is a difference between getting your calories from blended fruit, or leaving that same piece of fruit whole. You can explain to the rebel that with blended fruits, the fiber is broken down and the natural sugars are released. This released fructose is no different than adding refined sugar to your smoothie instead of fruit. Yet, the rebel will still do what they are going to do even after it is explained that cane sugar and fructose are both simple carbohydrates that provide 4 calories per gram.

Although cane sugar, or sucrose, differs slightly from fructose in terms of molecular structure, both are sugars that add calories without improving the nutritional composition of the food. Your body uses both cane sugar and fructose for immediate energy if needed, or stores them for later.

 Although fructose doesn’t raise your blood sugar right away, it may have more long-term negative effects. Your liver has to convert fructose into glucose before your body can use it for energy. Eating large amounts of fructose on a high-calorie diet can raise blood triglyceride levels. Excessive fructose intake may also raise the risk of metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

The weight loss group rebel does not like to track all that they consume each day.

Diet rebel not counting all they eat.
From a Reddit message board.

Woman not open to dialogue

I will just be blunt here, weight loss is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned. You cannot even argue this point from any scientific point of view. You have to consume fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight. Your feelings or opinions about this matter do not matter, it is the simple, straight up truth. Facts matter, your feelings about this, not so much. You could argue this point, but you also are not going to lose weight as long as you do not accept fact over feelings. Every bite you take has calories!

One pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you want to lose one pound of fat per week, you have to cut your daily calories by 500 below what it takes to maintain your current weight. This is simple truth that applies to everyone who does not have a diagnosed medical condition that prevents it. The truth is, most of us do not have a medical condition that keeps us from losing weight. What we have that prevents weight loss is an appetite.

When you do not keep track of everything you eat during a day, you have no way of knowing just how many calories you have consumed. If you ate 1 1/2 ounces of almonds a few at a time over the course of your day, you have consumed 255 calories. Just that by itself can derail your weight loss efforts.

It all adds up!

If you eat the crust from your child’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich, those calories still count. Samples of food at the grocery store count towards your daily intake. If you take a slice of deli meat as a sample before your order is prepared, that is an easy 30 calories.  You may not like tracking what you eat, but you are doomed to failure if you do not. You should be able to see how many calories you can consume just in small bites during the day.

Common Sense Eating

One popular weight loss group in particular where I first became aware of the weight loss group rebel, assigns points to different foods. Some foods do not have points because they are good for you. But, these same foods still have calories! The rebels in this group think they can eat all of these zero point foods they desire, and then lament on why they are having a tough time losing weight. While these rebels may be doing the program as laid out, they are also hacking the program in order to eat more. Listen up Rebel, if you are hacking a program in order to eat more, why in the world are  you paying to belong to a weight loss group in the first place? It does not cost you to remain obese, does it?

A couple more examples of weight loss group rebels taken from Reddit forum.

From Reddit

Is there anything that would make you believe this individual knows, or cares how many calories they are consuming?

From Reddit
From Reddit

Would it be difficult to figure out why any of these weight loss group rebels have a hard time losing weight?

I think you all might get the point by now. Seriously, if you want to successfully lose weight and keep it off, you must keep track of your food intake. No matter how you might feel about this, if you are not losing weight while trying to, you are eating too many calories! There is nothing wrong with your body, the problem is your appetite. For the most comprehensive weight loss, health, nutrition and fitness recipe on the web, follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness.

 

Something Special for Losing Weight

shocked man looking at his fitness tracker

Do you really have to do anything special to lose weight?

With all the special diets and fitness gadgets on the market, you would certainly think losing weight involves something special, but does it?

No, you do not require any special diet, nor do you need and type of fitness gadget in order to get fit. What you need is a desire and willingness to do what it takes to lose weight. What it takes to lose weight is always going to come down to calories consumed versus calories burned. You must consume fewer calories than you burn in a day in order to lose weight. There is nothing special about this basic fact of biology and life.

Shady man lurking in the shadows.
There are always shady characters waiting patiently in the shadows to extract money from your pocket

With a simple Google search, you can find a very wide variety of special weight losing schemes and gadgets. Almost all of these only serve to extract money out of your pocket while leaving you in the same shape you began with. The troublesome aspect of this, is these marketers know their product or service is not good. Yet, they also know they have a desperate and gullible field of folks lining up to hand over their hard earned cash.

Special diets are a waste of time for most people.

Of course for medical reasons, some people do require special diets, but that is not the scope of this article. Who I am referring to is the otherwise healthy individual who needs, or wants to lose weight. My friends, you do not require a special diet in order to lose weight. Diets are temporary in nature, and almost always result in a rebound of weight once you come off of it. The rate of diet failures is 95% across America. A lot of this occurs because crash diets don’t take into account how insulin, carbohydrates and fat storage affect one another.

Crash diets are tempting due to their promise of fast results, but these rarely last for the long term. The results you see from them are misleading and are usually quickly reversed. The best diet plan is one that stresses realistic long term expectations. The best weight management plan is to only eat whole foods that you prepare for yourself. You want to create a lifestyle that involves healthy meals that are not processed, nor contain added sugars. Of course processed foods will sometimes be necessary, just use your brain and only prepare minimally processed foods when you have to.

Calories consumed versus calories burned.

When we go on a diet to lose weight, we invariably lose a mixture of muscle and fat, both of which are metabolically active. What this means is, when we burn calories, our muscles burn more calories than fat. Our bodies require a certain amount of energy to keep all its cells functioning so that we stay alive. With less muscle and fat, the amount of energy that your body needs to take in decreases. At the same time, your metabolism becomes more efficient. We no longer require the amount of calories we needed when we were heavier. As a result, to maintain weight loss in your lighter, more efficient body, you now have to consume fewer calories on a daily basis than you did previously.

As you lose weight, you have to adjust your caloric intake downwards accordingly. It is when we do not adjust our caloric intake that we plateau. There is nothing special about cutting out foods with added sugars and processed foods. Additionally, there is nothing special about watching your caloric intake each day. With apps such as My Fitness Pal, tracking your calories is easier than ever.

If you still feel the need to follow a diet plan after reading this, please avoid all that have you doing the following:

  • Do not follow a diet that cuts your calories to starvation levels. This is not safe, nor is it sustainable. As soon as you come off of it, you will simply regain all of your lost weight and then some.
  • Do not follow any diet plan that allows you to still eat the foods that got your weight in trouble in the first place such as sweet treats or simple carbs. Think about this, simple carbs are addictive in nature. If you had little to no control over them before, what makes you believe you will have control going into the future? Like it or not, if you have cravings for sweets or salty foods such as chips, you need to quit eating them, even if you track them. As long as you continue to eat them, you will always be susceptible to cravings.
  • Do not get sucked into special diets such as Keto. Yes, you will lose weight on Keto. However, there is nothing special about Keto, you lose weight because you go into a caloric deficit. It is actually possible to gain weight while on Keto if you over consume your daily caloric needs. Keto has you unnecessarily limiting your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams or less per day. You need to know that once you incorporate carbs back into your diet, you weight can, and often will rebound.
clueless guy looking puzzled
You mean I really do not need to do anything special for weight loss?

The Downside to Keto

A good plenty of fitness gadgets are a waste of money!

Yes, there are a lot of really useful fitness gadgets to be found. However, there are also an equal amount of worthless gadgets on the market. Always be sure to do your research before handing over your money on anything that promises to help you lose weight or get you toned. You do not want to buy an expensive machine or gadget that will only later serve as a place to hang laundry.

Here is a list of machines and gadgets to avoid:

  • Any fixed or static movement machine in general. Equipment that have a fixed range of movement don’t move in the natural way your body does. All movement has a general arc or swing to it. Moving a weight stack in a fixed plane is not what our bodies are meant to do. Movements that are not natural to our bodies will actually injure us over time.
  •  Hip Adduction/Abduction machines. They might appear to be decent since they target problem areas in many people, especially women and the elderly. However, the muscles targeted are not always engaged in the sitting position. Additionally the sitting position can place unnecessary strain on you hip socket.
  • Stay away from machines that rotate your trunk. Aggressive twisting motions while locked in a seated position can cause you a painful and expensive spinal injury.
  • Abdominal machines are almost always a complete waste of money. They almost never work as advertised. You are not using your abs when you add weight in a seated position and then press down.  What you are using is your hip abductors, feet, calves and lower back to press the weight down with your upper torso. You are also doing this with assistance from your arms. Your abs are barely engaged. If you want to see your abs, then you must cut your caloric intake into a deficit!
  •  Seated Back Extension. These machines are a back injury waiting to happen. Isolating your lower back can cause immediate strain. These machines are unsafe and have you doing  a movement we never do in real life.
  • Avoid all products that appear to be too good to be true. You want to skip past any product that promises a lean and fit body with minimal efforts over a small amount of time.  You cannot strap on electrodes and sit on your couch in order to get into good shape. A gadget that only targets single muscle groups are not going to get you toned. Always remember, the loftier the promise usually only means a loftier loss of cash. Many of these companies aren’t all that interested in actually helping the consumer with their health and fitness. Their interest is in lining their own pockets with cash from ignorant and desperate consumers. As long as there are lazy people and good marketers, there will never be a shortage of worthless fitness products.

Do we need something special to lose weight?

No, we do not need anything special except for a change of lifestyle that we can live with for the rest of our lives. I know that changing our behavior is easier said than done. But it is not impossible for anyone who truly wants change. Weight loss and weight management are straightforward concepts. Yet most people have not figured it out on their own. You might understand and realize that you need to watch what you eat and to be more physically active. But knowing alone is different from actually putting that knowledge into practice. Realistically, you probably have a gap between what you know and what you do.

What’s between this gap?

Your psychology, including your beliefs, outlook, and emotions.

If you want to successfully lose weight, you must be willing to change your perspectives and then commit yourself to doing what must be done. There really is nothing special for losing weight, except your commitment to doing it.