Category: Health

The “F” Word

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Shut Your Mouth!

There is no word in the world that evokes such strong emotions as this three letter word that begins with “F”. Yes, you read me right, three letter word. The word is the dreaded adjective that almost everyone fears and holds in disdain, FAT. However, there are different types of fat in our bodies and visceral fat is a killer.

Childhood Crush

I grew up with a boy named Jeremy who was a delightful child. He was my crush in the third grade. As Jeremy grew up, he turned into quite the handsome man. He married a woman who became morbidly obese and Jeremy gained slowly, right along with her. While she gained much more than he did, he finally became obese enough that his doctors told him that his fat was crushing his internal organs.  He was muscular and he had so much visceral fat that, as he gained weight, this stealthy fat that wraps around your internal organs, was slowly exerting more and more force inside his body. Jeremy had a gastric bypass to lose weight, and did lose weight, but as is the case in many weight loss surgeries, he gained it all back. Jeremy died in his 50’s from complications of the visceral fat that had literally squeezed the life out of him. Visceral fat also contributes to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even dementia.  Visceral fat contributes to belly fat and leptin, a hormone which plays a part in learning and memory, is produced by belly fat so there is a possible link to dementia from visceral and belly fat. Since I work with dementia patients, this is not a risk that I want to take.

Big Belly Is Spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Belly fat is both visceral and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is found just under the skin. It’s the fat that is measured with a caliper or that you pinch up to see how fat you are. While subcutaneous fat on the thighs and butt is not considered dangerous, when this fat deposits on the belly it contributes to all of the problems associated with belly fat such as insulin resistance, diabetes, poor blood lipid profiles and also increasing risks for both stroke and heart attack. A “beer belly” is a warning sign that you need to take control of your appetite. A protruding belly and large waist are signs that you may have excess visceral fat. A woman should have a waist measurement of less than 35 inches and a man should keep his waistline at less than 40 inches. A bigger measurement indicates that you are at increased disease risk because visceral fat is associated with an increase in inflammation in the body which is associated with chronic disease including heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes among many other deadly diseases, including cancer.

What To Do?

Low carb diets like we promote at David’s Way are more effective at reducing visceral fat than low-fat diets.  Regular aerobic exercise is also effective in reducing this deadly tissue. All heavy weight lifters know that heavy weights produce aerobic exercise. If my heart beat any harder or my breathing got any heavier during exercise, I don’t believe that I would remain conscious. Choose your aerobic activity and burn, Baby, burn. Soluble fiber such as the fiber found in flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, legumes and grains also contribute to visceral fat loss. Soluble fiber supplements are also available. Increasing your soluble fiber intake to 10 grams per day may help you shed visceral fat by helping suppress your appetite and contributing to healthy gut bacteria which produce short-chain fatty acids. Fatty acids help increase satiety so you may eat less. We also promote a high protein diet which has been found to fend off hunger by increasing the levels of the hormones that make you feel full. Protein can also boost your metabolism and studies show that people who eat more protein have less visceral fat. Limiting your sugar intake will help you to lose this deadly fat. We advocate eating absolutely no added sugars. In one study where the simple sugar, fructose, was replaced by starch in 41 children’s diet, visceral fat was reduced by 10.6% in only 10 days. (1) Limit your alcohol intake. The empty calories will pack on the pounds and increase your visceral fat stores. Trans fats which are found in some processed foods are also linked to increased visceral fat. If you eat processed foods, read labels carefully to avoid them. Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep increases visceral fat by causing an increase in cortisol production. Excess cortisol will always increase your belly fat. Increased stress also cause an increase in cortisol production so find a way to create a calm life. As we always say at David’s Way, “Keep your world small.” Cut excess drama and strife and reap the benefits in your waistline. Probiotics may help reduce visceral fat by increasing good bacteria in your gut that is associated with a reduction in abdominal fat. We also promote intermittent fasting with your doctor’s approval. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce visceral fat by 4-7% over a 6-24 week period. (2) Intermittent fasting is simply the way that people ate before we had access to 24 hour food. You eat all of your food in a 8, 10 or 12 hour window and then you just don’t eat again for the remainder of that 24 hour period. It’s not new but it is effective.

White Death

White fat is the type of fat that we tend to put on when we gain excess weight. White fat inhibits the production of the good hormone, adiponectin, which makes our liver and muscles sensitive to insulin. This sensitivity makes us less likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. When the scale goes down, we are losing white fat.

Mystery Morphing Fat

We have small stores of brown fat which is being researched extensively to understand it’s function in our bodies. Lean people tend to have more brown fat than others and children have more than adults. When brown fat is activated, it burns white fat. This area of research may lead to medical interventions to help with obesity.

David’s Way

As you see here, David’s Way of eating is exactly what helps reduce visceral fat. This is a free website. Go to our Home Page and read about how to get started on your healthy journey. What have you got to lose? Always have your doctor’s permission before starting any weight loss program.

(1), (2) https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-fat#1

 

 

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Sugar Addiction

If you are overweight or obese and have a voracious appetite for junk foods, what would you think if I said you were no different than the junkie down on the corner looking to score a rock of  crack cocaine?

Would that piss you off?

If so, why does this make you angry, because you see yourself as better than a junkie?

Did my opening words get your attention? I sure hope so because our society has a humongous problem with junk foods and obesity. That craving you and I can get for sugar laden foods is an addiction no matter how you look at it. Let me ask;

Have you ever had an insatiable craving for brussel sprouts, broccoli, or any other healthy foods?

Could you eat a 5 gallon bucket of salad greens and still crave something loaded with simple carbohydrates?

Have you ever ate canned frosting with a spoon?

When you eat cookies, do you eat a half dozen or better at a time?

Does this kind of eating ever make you feel guilty, or that you have let yourself down?

What is addiction?

Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body. It also causes serious damage to families, relationships, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. The most common symptoms of addiction are severe loss of control, continued use despite serious consequences, preoccupation with using, failed attempts to quit, tolerance and withdrawal. (1)

My personal opinion is that addiction to foods that are calorically dense from simple carbs while being low in nutritional value are running neck to neck with common street drugs in the damage they do. I believe this because junkies on street drugs know they are doing something wrong when they consume illegal drugs while no one will ever think the same while snarfing down Grandma’s famous cookies or your favorite aunts pecan pie. Food junkies are a bit worse off because they do not always recognize the harm they are doing to their body’s when tossing candy and cakes down their throats.

Good lord, it’s food and we have to eat, right?

The addictive nature of sugar.

We reward children with it, over the holidays or for a job well done in school. And we reward ourselves with it — after a particularly stressful day or to celebrate a birthday or a special success. We add sugar to our coffee, bake it into our favorite treats, and spoon it over our breakfast. We love the sweet stuff. We crave it. But, are we addicted to it?

There’s an increasing body of research that tells us sugar could be as addictive as some street drugs and have similar effects on the brain.

The link between sugar and addictive behavior is tied to the fact that, when we eat sugar, opioids and dopamine are released.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is a  key part of the “reward circuit” associated with addictive behavior. When a certain behavior causes an excess release of dopamine, you feel a pleasurable “high” that you are inclined to re-experience, and so repeat the behavior. As you repeat that behavior more and more, your brain adjusts to release less dopamine. The only way to feel the same “high” as before is to repeat the behavior in increasing amounts and frequency. This is known as substance abuse.

“Research shows that sugar can be even more addicting than cocaine,” says Cassie Bjork, R.D., L.D., founder of Healthy Simple Life. “Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more.”

“Studies suggest that every time we eat sweets we are reinforcing those neuropathways, causing the brain to become increasingly hardwired to crave sugar, building up a tolerance like any other drug,” she adds. (2)

You know, there are actually some people out there who can casually drink alcohol and never have a problem associated with it. There are also people who can casually consume street drugs and never fall victim to a full blown addiction. This is true also in that some people can eat sugary foods and never have any issues either. However, there are many, me included, who have a problem with sugar addiction. We have a difficult time controlling our cravings for sugar and the next thing you know, you are overweight or obese.

If you are overweight or obese, odds are quite slim that you became that way by eating like a rabbit, and you know this to be true.

Once your body has a weight issue, health issues are going to be next, if you do not already have them. Health issues such as:

Heart disease and stroke.

High blood pressure.

Diabetes.

Cancer.

Gallbladder disease and gallstones.

Osteoarthritis.

Gout.

Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea and asthma.

Sadly, far too many who have weight related health issues will refuse to modify their nutritional habits. If this is not you, you almost certainly know someone who refuses to clean up their nutrition even when they know that will give them a better quality of life.

Follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we are and always will be free to you. We have about 750 health and fitness articles along with many healthy recipes to help you lose and manage your weight in a healthy manner. Click on our Home Page Menu sub-item  in order to learn all about our methodology. Subscriptions to David’s Way are free and easy, By subscribing you will receive each new article or recipe straight to your email inbox.

(1) centeronaddiction.org

 (2) healthline.com

Goodbye My Friend

There are elements to weight loss and management that simply confound me at times. I knew from weight loss social media sites that many people when getting close to their goals will sabotage their own efforts and will subsequently implode. They will quickly wipe out all of their efforts in less than half the time it took to lose the weight they had lost. They will regain all of their lost body fat, and most of the time will wind up with a higher body fat percentage than what they had began with. This is a sad reality that occurs each and every day.

When I was working towards earning my certification as a Nutrition and Wellness consultant, a portion of the course of study covered human nature when it comes to weight loss. You would think the most important question to ask a prospective client would be  – “why do you want to lose weight”?  This question actually ranks down to about third in  importance. The top two questions are actually – “are you willing” and “do you think you can”? If you are not willing or do not believe you can, then the question of why is a moot point.  Even people who are facing death will not find this reason enough to change their dietary habits. This lesson was slammed home for me in a very personal way over the course of the last year.

( in the interest of family privacy, I’m withholding my friends name below)

 A little over a week ago, I lost my best friend to liver cancer. I had taken him into my home a year ago to care for him since he was unable to care for himself in his own home. My friend was also morbidly obese, he had very poor nutritional habits that contributed to his demise.

As we watched his condition deteriorate, it was becoming obvious that we would be needing help in the home with his care, or possibly have him placed in a Hospice House. I took him to his last oncology visit with the intent of speaking to the doctor about hospice care, but it turned out I did not need to raise the subject as the doctor brought it up first. Even though I knew my friends condition had deteriorated, I sat in stunned silence as the doctor told him nothing more could be done, and then he described how his demise would occur. The doctor reassured him it would be painless, and that he would simply fall asleep and never wake up again. We left the oncologist’s  office and checked him into the hospital with the hope he would be transferred to a Hospice House at the beginning of the week. For my dear friend, the beginning of the week never came. Early Saturday morning he fell asleep. Sunday afternoon, I watched him gasp for his last breath and then sadly watched as the life left his body.

As tragic as this loss has been, I want to convey an important lesson from it in order to help others. My best friend had hope for a cure. Although he was morbidly obese, I was there when his doctor said that if he could get his body mass index (BMI) down, he would be able to get a life saving  organ transplant. It was a long shot, but through good nutrition I was able to assist him in losing weight from 588 pounds down to 361 pounds. He went from being immobile to actually being able to do the exercise program I had set him up with. He also regained his ability to walk without his walker. We were on a good path towards achieving his goal of getting his BMI down far enough for the transplant. He was feeling much better, his blood labs had vastly improved. It was amazing to see the transformation to his quality of life. But then, about late summer or early fall, he fell back to his old eating habits, which resulted in a rapid decline to his health. I had talked with him about the importance of not resuming his bad nutritional habits ever again, as he did not have the luxury of time with the cancer in his liver. We had to get his BMI down before the cancer took over. I was actually optimistic about achieving this goal until he began once again eating sugar and sneaking out for fast foods excursions along with having it delivered to our home. I know he wanted to live, but in the end, the cravings for unhealthy food choices beat out his desire for life.

We cannot, nor will we ever know if my kind and gentle friends life would have been saved if he had remained on point with nutrition and exercise. Cancer is a bitch and will take even the most healthy with a swiftness. The take away point is the importance of healthy nutritional habits as a permanent lifestyle and not a temporary diet. It is not rocket science that a fit and trim body is going to allow you to live a life of better quality than living with an obese or overweight body. When you allow yourself to become obese and out of good physical condition, you are literally gambling with your life.  The longer you let a habit overcome sensibility, the harder it is for one to break this habit. This is especially true when it comes to poor nutritional habits. If you have a child with a weight problem, it is incumbent upon you to help them to change their unhealthy ways. By allowing your child to continue with poor nutrition of sugary, processed foods, you are dooming them to an unhealthy life in the future. A healthy body is more important than a roll of the dice.

Yes, You CAN Change!

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The Irony

It seems that when we know that overeating is bad for us that we would just stop it. I mean, that’s the logical course of action. It’s hard to believe that anyone wants to die the slow and painful death that the complications of overweight and obesity can cause, yet most people who are overweight don’t believe that they can change and an alarmingly large number of those, don’t even want to get healthy. I have witnessed two people say, “Oh, I don’t do healthy.” That has got to be one of the dumbest statements that has ever been uttered. So, if you don’t do healthy then I can only assume that you do unhealthy. Do you consider yourself suicidal? Whether you do or not is irrelevant, you are suicidal if this statement has ever come out of your mouth. There is still hope for you, however. Just employ a little strategy.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Habits actually help keep us alive and well. We develop habits to wake up every day and groom ourselves. We learn our route to work by repetition and that repetition develops a habit so that we can get to work with little or no thought. Automatic behaviors save energy that we might need for something else so some habits are advantageous. When we have good habits, our brain can focus on bigger and better things and problem solve  more efficiently. Repetition is a very efficient method to learn a behaviour whether it’s good or bad.

Intertwined in this repetition is the release of dopamine from the reward center of the brain based on an action producing pleasure. Again, some of these rewards come from good habits but quite often, negative habits trigger a dopamine release and then we want to repeat them. That’s when our habits start working against us.

There Is Hope

Humans are unique in that we do have the ability to retrain our brains away from destructive habits even if those habits produce pleasure. Research has shown that when we exercise control over bad habits in any area, we strengthen our ability to change. If you think that you simply can’t resist your Mom’s chocolate cake, then work on some other area of perceived weakness. Over time, your resolve will be strengthened. Just as we tend to become more and more irresponsible as we continually give in to our cravings, we can become more able to resist unhealthy foods by simply exercising control over a single food craving one time. The ability to change will be strengthened like a muscle is strengthened from exercise and that strength will increase every time that you make a healthy choice. I know of at least one time that someone asked David how he can resist sugar-filled foods like birthday cake. His reply was that he never ate it so there was nothing to resist. True, that’s how you do it. Flex those behaviour muscles!

Be Aware

Identify your bad habits. Sometimes we have had bad habits for so long that we become unaware that they are working against us. Going to a buffet after church on Sunday may not be in your best interest. Consider how old habits are tearing away at your goals.

Avoid the Issue

If you think that you can’t resist eating something that is in conflict with your health initiative, don’t put yourself in that situation. If the vending machine in the hall calls your name every time you walk by then take another route. If you always eat unhealthy foods at a traditional family event, carry a healthy alternative that you really like. Avoiding the obvious foods and situations that work against you can be very effective in helping you relearn good habits and destroying bad ones that cause ill health.

Change Your Mind

Flip those ideas that you have about your ability to succeed. Instead of imagining yourself stuffed full of Aunt Sara’s pecan pie, imagine yourself gracefully walking right past it with a bowl of fresh fruit in hand. Our body tends to follow our mind.

Create A New Habit

Instead of putting yourself in a precarious situation like a food oriented night out in a bar, where you are likely to lose control of your cravings and appetite,  replace that event with a positive, goal oriented behaviour like walking your dog or working out in the gym. While the old behavior is hard wired into your brain, over time and with new rewards being associated with the new behavior, the good habit will take hold and become a source of pleasure in itself. As you reap the benefits of your new choice of activity, dopamine will surge into your brain whenever you perform this new habit and the good habit can eventually become a source of great pleasure. When I first began working out under the Iron, I was so intimidated, but I was also determined to achieve success. Strength training is my life now and a source of great pleasure. Two years into my program, I have retrained my brain to crave a good thing.

Believe and Achieve

There’s an old saying, “Can’t never could do nothing.” Yes, I know it’s bad grammar, but what it’s saying is simply that unless you believe that you can do something, you never will. Believe that you can change the habits that are wrecking your health and achieve new habits that will give you the body, health and mind that you want and then…get up and do it. Your future is in your hands. Create Your Life.

 

 

 

 

How To Control Your Eating

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As a result of having a lifelong battle with binge eating, I have learned a few tricks along the way to help me wean off of bad habits and score the win. Here’s a few of the coping skills that have worked for me.

1-Never go hungry unless you are practicing Intermittent Fasting. In the beginning of IF, you may have to train yourself to go without eating for whatever time you have chosen to fast. Other than that, space your calories out throughout your day in a way that suits your appetite. There is no magic in IF, it’s the way that people have eaten for centuries until the advent of 24 hour convenience foods.

2-Eat ONLY whole, not processed, foods. When foods have been processed, they are partially broken down already and won’t stay in your stomach as long as whole foods so you will feel empty quicker. Processed foods are practically pre-digested.

3-Pre-track your meals and snacks. This helps you avoid last minute binge eating because you have no idea what you’re going to have for dinner.

4-Prepare your food at home. If you don’t know how to cook, read up on it. Simple food preparation is not hard. Read the internet to find the best way to cook your meat for maximum tenderness. Your meals don’t have to be complicated. A meat and potato and green or yellow vegetable is easy to fix.

5-For God’s Sake! DON’T BRING YOUR “TRIGGER FOODS” HOME!!! There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. Don’t say that bad foods are “for the kids” or some other nonsense. “The kids” don’t need them either. Neither does your significant other. If they are that significant, help them safeguard their health too.

6-If you find yourself faced with a trigger food, a food that you have trouble resisting, quickly put it in the trash and cover it with dishwashing liquid. Believe me, you won’t retrieve it from the garbage covered in Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. See, I was a compulsive binge eater. Otherwise, I would not know about getting food out of the garbage.

7-Make sure to get enough protein and fiber. This power duo will sustain you for hours. I frequently have an apple and two string cheese sticks. It will hold you for a couple of hours. Read David’s articles, Pragmatic View on Protein and Protein Supplements to learn more about protein. It will help you stay full and build muscle which will boost your metabolism and help you remain mobile into old age.

8-Unless your M.D. has advised you differently, eat eggs. They really are a wonderful, filling, cheap protein source. Read David’s article, Know Your Nutrition! Your Health Depends On It. to read some interesting information concerning eggs.

9-Stay well hydrated. Read David’s article, How Much Water Do I Need? for some general guidelines concerning hydration. Always follow your doctor’s advice concerning this important issue.

10-Don’t eat added sugars. They cause cravings of all kinds. Naturally occurring sugars in whole foods such as milk, and other dairy products, and fruits are fine. Also avoid other simple carbohydrates such as refined white flour that will break down into simple sugar when it is digested.

11- Study this website. We put many hours into research to help the world at large to, hopefully, have better health. Read the Home Page to learn how to search for any topic that you would like to read about including your favorite recipes made with No Added Sugar. If you want a brownie recipe, search “brownies”, etc.

12- With your doctor’s permission, get some exercise! Search “exercise” on the Home Page for a vast number of articles on this topic. Exercise destresses you which will make you less likely to binge eat.

13-Use our Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs to lose 1-2 pounds per week, maintain your weight or gain 1-2 pounds per week. We strongly advise the conservative 1 pound per week option. It’s easier on your body and you are more likely to stick with it.

We are always available for questions via comments on articles or the “Contact” button on the Home Page. This website is entirely free. We hope to help make the world a healthier place and alleviate some human suffering brought about by overweight and obesity. It’s an epidemic. Take control of your health and begin to create the life that your heart desires. Your life is in your hands.

 

 

 

 

How to Succeed at Everything

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The Battlefield of The Mind

It’s often said that where the mind goes, the body will follow. If we believe that we can do a hard task, we will. We may fail repeatedly but we will regroup and get up and go again until we do it. When I first began lifting what was going to be heavy weights, it was unimaginable that I would soon replace my beginner set. David told me that I would soon. I believed him. I couldn’t be trained by someone that I did not trust. I replaced that set a long time ago and now I call them my “Baby Weights”.  If I had not believed that I could progress to where I am now, I would have never done it. It’s hard. Today under the Iron, in order to stand back up, I told myself, “I can do this. I have to do this. This is everything. I am more than able.” and I stood up. We are so much more capable than we know unless we try. While my challenge is under the Iron, this same ideology applies to everything. If you don’t believe that you can control  your eating, you won’t. I believe not only that I can, I believe that there is no other option.

Acknowledge Your Insecurity

You can’t overcome a problem unless you admit that it exists. If you fear that you can’t follow a healthy eating plan, admit that and fill your mind with information and activities centered around your goals. Knowledge is power. Study this website. We have over 700 articles and recipes to keep you focused on your health initiative.

Discern What Your Insecurity Is Telling You

When we choose to not believe that we can change, that may mean that we really don’t want to change. That, my friends is the last nail in your coffin. Unless you want to change, you never will. No one can motivate you into caring about the quality and the length of your life. If you believe that junk food and lethargy is as good as it gets, then you will have that, with the body and health that goes with it.

Your insecurity may be revealing a lack of confidence. If you want to change, but lack confidence, you can begin to build confidence. Start with small steps and determine that you will not stop regardless of the level of difficulty that you encounter. Once you have made up your mind, your confidence will increase because you know that you will not stop until you are victorious. Then the battle becomes your everything. It is your life and your lifestyle. There is no going back. This kind of commitment will take you to your goal.

What Are Your Insecurities?

Take a long, hard look at yourself and figure out why you lack self-confidence. Are you comparing yourself to others? Don’t. It will paralyze you. While I take great pride in my accomplishments under the Iron, I always remember that all over the world there are women who warm up with my AMRAP, my heaviest weight. If I let that bother me, I would never lift. The weight that I lift is hard FOR ME. Since it’s hard for me and I’m pushing myself to my limit, it will do me as much good as those heavier weights do others who lift them.

Are you a perfectionist? While good form is a must to avoid injury, some people might believe that a constant increase in weight with only “good” lifting sessions is the only acceptable way to lift. Excuse me while I regain my composure… I wish that was the truth but the truth is that lifting can get painstakingly tedious and can make you really cranky if you always expect gains and great sessions. The same is true in everything, eating plans and life in general. Success comes from diligence, not perfection. Don’t allow the ethereal quality of perfectionism ruin your program. Do your best. That’s all there is.

Build Your Confidence

Every small step will take you closer to your goal. Celebrate your victories. If a person undermines your confidence ditch them. If you can’t handle the artificial images on social media, don’t look at them. Do what makes you feel badass and walk away from everything that does not. Simple. Yes, I know that sometimes it’s not easy, but it is simple. Just do it. I recreated my entire life at 60. Believe me, I understand.

Consider The Source

Whenever you figure out what your insecurities are, consider their source. If someone made you think that you always had to do things perfectly, take a look at them. Are they perfect? Probably not. Odds are they are a mess and they are trying to live vicariously through you or just control you. It’s easier to control someone with low self-esteem. Ditch them or at least ignore them. They don’t matter if they are undermining your health. The same goes for those who hold you up in comparison to others. Compare them to others. They won’t pass the test.

Remember, Take Care Of Yourself!

That’s what this is all about, self-care. All of the excuses in the world won’t get it done. The only thing that will insure success is continually getting back up after you fall down. Reasons to fail are not reasons, they are still excuses. Commit. Face your insecurities and satisfy them. Practice excellent self-care and get it done. You will slay your goals. Just Do It!

 

The Difference Between a “Diet” and a”Lifestyle Change”

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Oh, To Be Like “Them”!

Until coming to David’s Way, and finally laying hold of what a changed lifestyle actually is, I had always marvelled at those magical creatures who never dieted, but were perpetually slim, energetic and healthy. I really believed them to be different somehow, maybe having great genetics to just burn up everything that they ate or not even craving the things that I craved to begin with. I was partially right. Because they had a different lifestyle from me, they did burn what they ate because they didn’t overeat. They didn’t have the same cravings because they were disciplined in their eating, so they simply didn’t eat the foods that caused cravings in the first place. Where most of my happiness was centered around food, theirs was not. Food was sustenance, or fuel for them. These small details made all the difference in the world.

The Loop

From very early in my life, I would diet. My Mother would decide that it was time for me to diet and she would fix special meals, different from what everybody else ate. She would painstakingly calculate my 1000 calories and plan days and weeks of foods that I could barely swallow. I hated baked fish as a child and up until about age 45 or 50, I thought that it was what I would get to eat if I went to Hell. Of course, the diet always involved a lot of baked fish. My breakfast cereal and milk would be meticulously measured and my brown bag school lunch would be tuna in oil on white bread with an apple. While my Mother believed that she was doing what was best for me, what I learned from this life was that a diet was something to do and finish and get over… I mean, who could live like this, right? So, when I got to be an adult, I repeated this weird behaviour of starving myself on foods that I hated and losing a few pounds and then binge eating my way back up the scale. It was an endless loop and I was a miserable person.

The Deception

At age 16, my Mother paid for me to join a weight loss group. It was similar to the diets she would put me on but there was a deadly wrinkle in their plan. They allowed sugar. Yes, sugar, as in dessert. O.M.G. I thought that this plan was Heaven sent! I could eat dessert(s) and still lose weight! I was overjoyed! While I did have to limit other foods in order to indulge my sweet tooth, I didn’t mind. A plate of baked fish and broccoli and carrots was easy to trade for some frozen artificial whipped cream substitute concoction. It was interesting. Although they allowed us to eat sugar, they still had “special” recipes and also sold “special” snack cakes at their meetings. It seemed like they wanted us beholden to them to tell us what was okay to eat. If we had been thinking for ourselves, we would have realized that we weren’t actually making any changes, just manipulating our food. Albert Einstein said  “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That’s what we were learning to do, continuing with our old ways and expecting permanent change. It couldn’t happen that way. It worked for the company because when we regained the lost weight because of the cravings caused by all that sugar, we paid them money. After being involved in that way of thinking for about 45 years of yoyo dieting, I came to David’s Way and quit eating sugar and finally got control over my appetite and cravings.

Differences

There are distinctive differences in diets and lifestyle changes. Diets are temporary, lifestyle changes are forever. Diets create an artificial state of extremely low calorie starvation that also reduces sodium intake merely by lessening the volume of food eaten. Lifestyle changes reduce excess calories and incorporate highly nutritious foods to nurture and fuel us to perform at our best. While those crazy, restrictive fad diets will make the scale go down, it will be temporary. When we learn how to eat for optimum nutrition, we will naturally achieve our best weight. Eating plans that allow us to eat sugar will always keep us addicted to this substance that has been associated with inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the beginning of almost all disease. As we continue down this path, we will fall into decline, veering farther and farther away from our best selves.

The Norm

When we “go on a diet” we are living an unnatural existence. We know that we can’t continue eating cabbage soup exclusively or buying “special” snacks and meals forever. When we make changes in the way that we live our lives every day, eating healthily from our pantries, we learn new coping skills that we can continue and these skills become the norm. We don’t feel deprived because it’s just what we do every day. I don’t eat sugar so I don’t have it in my house. I naturally seek out nutritionally dense sources of carbohydrates like apples, oats and sweet potatoes. I feel good and am never hungry for long. I always have something hardy to eat. I am also at an ideal weight for me. I don’t diet. I live this way.

On Your Own

One of the most important aspects of a successful eating program is for you to be able to do it on your own. Observing good nutrition and avoiding empty calories is an easy plan and costs nothing. When I worked for a major weight loss group, I witnessed people who would buy everything that they could find to buy that was supposed to help them stay on track. Those things were fine but buying trinkets and books and special foods didn’t help the ones who were not willing to just simply be accountable about what they ate. The most successful people are always the ones who keep an accurate record of what they eat. Being accountable to yourself also means exercising because it’s healthy, not to eat more. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program. When we try to stay ahead of the scale with exercise alone, we will always fail in our efforts to control our weight. It takes thought and deliberation about what we eat and tracking every BLT, (Bite, Lick and Taste) to master the scale once and for all.

Make Changes To Expect A Change!

The way to change your habits is to set a goal and take small steps towards that goal every day. Do it repeatedly until it becomes a new habit, only this will be a good habit. It will be part of your daily routine. Look at your nutrition and exercise habits and decide what you need to change and make those changes consistently. Then you will have created a new lifestyle and consequently, a new life. This is the difference in a lifestyle and a diet. Your new life is your lifestyle. Create your life.

 

Yes, You Can Lose Weight!

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Don’t You Dare Quit!

I know that right now, someone is reading this article that wants to quit trying to be healthy. You have tried and tried, only to come to yourself half way through a brand new carton of ice cream that didn’t even make it into the fridge when you unpacked it from the grocery store because the soft part around the edges just kept calling your name, or you caved in and ate the mile high, frosting bomb cupcakes that a saboteur left at your workstation on the job. That was then. This is now. Today really is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it good, It’s up to you.

How Do I Know?

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That’s an old picture but you can see that it is me. I have some pictures that people don’t even believe are me but this one shows my “girth” pretty good. While I am far from skinny now, I am a healthy power builder at age 63 and I have a defined waistline and I weigh about 60 pounds less now. I was addicted to sugar my entire life before coming to David’s Way. Although my weight fluctuated, I would always regain the lost pounds in just a few short weeks or months because I would eat more and more sugar until I thought that I couldn’t go through the day without cake or ice cream. Nobody loves that poison more than I did. I promise you. If I can get control of my eating, so can you.

But How?

First of all, decide right now if you truly want to lose weight. If you don’t want to lose those extra pounds, no amount of encouragement or money spent will do it for you.  This website is free. We have the Calorie Counter Pro that can help you figure out how many calories to eat. Cut out added sugar and eat whole foods within your calorie allowance. Visit our Home Page to read all about us. We do this because we believe that people can be so much healthier than they are, overall. As a population, our habits are killing us. Before beginning any weight loss program always consult your physician.

Stronger Than You Know

A common response that I hear when talking with people about weight issues is “But losing weight is HARD!” Well, yes, it is. However, I know very young people who have life-threatening health issues that their physicians have told them would be helped by weight loss. The conditions that they live with are also very hard. They spend countless dollars on medical costs and have a quality of life that is way below what they should have at their young ages. Of all of the young people that I know who are dealing with these problems ranging from fatty liver to sleep apnea bad enough to warrant a pacemaker in a 20 year old, only one of these precious young people is actively trying to improve her health. She knows who she is and she has my utmost respect. After losing 35 pounds with more to go, she is pressing forward. Guess what. It’s hard for her too but she is doing it. Like me, she loves to eat and likes about everything. She has abandoned her Deep South sweet tea habit and is conscientious about everything that she eats. It’s work and she’s doing the work. She’s listening to her doctor and her health is slowly improving. Although she has found the journey difficult at times, she is into her third month of improved nutrition and it’s becoming natural to seek out healthy options. She had the strength to do this all along but she didn’t find it until she made the decision that she wanted to improve her health. With rare exception, we are born with the strength to accomplish whatever we need to accomplish, like the “Prego” spaghetti sauce commercial, “It’s In There!”

Take Care of Yourself

We are given this one body. It will be our place to live as long as we inhabit this Earth. Do you want a highly functional, clean, healthy place to live or do you want a shell of a human body, riddled by sickness and pain? While everything that can bring suffering to a human being is not entirely within our control, so many of those things are greatly affected by our decisions. The list of diseases and disorders that are adversely affected by overweight, obesity and poor nutrition is endless. You have heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” Well, guess what. Most of the time, we are exactly that. We also need rest and exercise and a low stress environment. If there’s too much stress in your life, figure out where it’s coming from and fix it. I’m not telling you to do anything that I have not done and continue to do myself. I regularly make all kinds of sometimes drastic, life-altering changes to decrease stress in my life. Some of those changes have made people doubt my sanity, but I have peace in my home. Think what you will. If you don’t take care of yourself, I promise you, no one else will because they can’t. They may do all that they can but only you will decide what you put into your mouth and  how you live. What ends up in your mouth is entirely to your credit or your dismay. When you soar, victorious, into good health it will be your victory alone.

The Hard Times

When you decide to get healthy and leave some bad habits behind, there will be moments of great difficulty and even sadness as you part with your substitutes for real life and fulfillment. The substances, people and habits that drag us down that we keep going back to are just that, substitutes for true peace. As long as we have no control over our actions we are unstable, and instability is a hard way to live. In an unstable environment we are always trying to find a balance that forever eludes us. As we long for our heart’s desire more and more and our habits move us farther and farther away from it, we become double-minded. A life filled with the contradiction of who and what we want to be and who and what we make ourselves is almost unbearable. Again, how do I know? I’ve been there. Although a great deal of effort goes into my health initiative now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I haven’t missed a day of work in years and I am the sole supporter of my household, working full-time at an age where many are living on Social Security. I have a special needs family member and two dogs. I keep a hectic pace and still lift heavy weights four days per week and walk as much as the weather allows. The hard times pay off. If you have hard times because you’re unable to work or your health fails due to your habits, that’s a whole different kind of hard. Usually it’s entirely up to you. Choose your hard. Choose wisely. You will live, or die, with that decision.

Weight Loss Confidence

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The Secret to Success

Long ago I noticed that being confident of my skills and abilities made anything that I attempted much easier to achieve. If I truly believe that I can do something, I automatically make small tweaks in my daily routine to accomplish that goal. I also make major changes to ensure my success, whenever they seem like a good idea. If we follow through on our positive mindset with positive actions, we are much more likely to see our dreams come to fruition. The belief that we can accomplish what we set out to do is called self-efficacy. It’s the difference in those who achieve and those who don’t. It’s a skill that can be developed, or learned, over time.

Like-Minded Individuals

It’s important to have a healthy support system when you undertake a difficult task. If your family and friends don’t support you fully in your weight loss initiative, seek out others who are like-minded concerning health and fitness. Seeing someone else fighting and winning the same battles that you are fighting will help empower you to success. We’re always here for an encouraging word either in comments or on our “Contact” button.

Be Your Own Best Friend

Be mindful of your inner dialogue. Always think to yourself the way that you would talk to a dear friend. Be careful to never think that you can’t lose weight! That’s a bit ridiculous. Anyone can lose weight. Tell yourself that you will reach your goal, that it will take some time, but you will do it! Change any negative talk to positive and watch yourself change what you do.

Always a Student

Be aware that physiology is a complex topic and you still have a lot to learn. David always says that “You don’t know what you don’t know.” This is so true! When I first began lifting, I wanted to know how long “It” would take. I truly didn’t know what I didn’t know, that “It” would take the rest of my life because it’s a lifestyle. It’s not a temporary diet or exercise program. I was, and will always be, willing to learn and actively seeking all the information that I can ferret out of research and practice. I am constantly learning about the Iron and how to apply it to my life. Without a willingness to learn, I would have given up a long time ago. Keep your mind open and stay hungry for information concerning your health and fitness.

Be Proud!

Always be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate them regardless of how big or small. If you were challenged in any way and you learned how to successfully navigate that issue, glory in it! Every Personal Record that I set, every barrier that I break through, is an adrenaline producing, endorphin pumping high! I feel like a total badass when those walls come tumbling down. I live for those moments and glory in them. If you accomplish one thing that you set out to do that is a positive action for your health, bask in it! Don’t let anyone rain on your parade.

Seriously

Above all, keep your goals realistic. If you struggle with getting any exercise whatsoever, set an attainable workout goal, with your doctor. Don’t think for one minute that you will go from no exercise, to huffing and puffing your way through a gruelling two hour HIIT program every day. If you don’t like eggs, don’t plan on eating eggs every morning for breakfast. Set small, achievable goals and watch your self-confidence soar and your goals will begin to come into view. Then set a slightly bigger goal and do it again and again until achievement is your default. Then you will be living the goal-oriented, results producing, lifestyle that will carry you into good health for the rest of your life.

It Didn’t Happen Unless It’s Written Down!

Make a list of your accomplishments and add to it daily. I keep a written record of my lifting sessions. This will allow you to see how far that you have come. When we’re in this for the long haul, it becomes as natural as breathing and unless we write down our victories, we may forget how hard fought they were and get discouraged. Look back to see your progress but always look forward to new goals and celebrations. Remember, it’s the rest of your life, enjoy!

As always, consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program.

 

 

 

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

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I Feel Your Pain, Seriously

There is nothing anymore frustrating than expecting to see that cursed number on the scale drop and hopping up there and either have no change or, God forbid, GAIN. I have fought this battle for a long time. My anorexic mother placed me on my first diet at age four against the doctor’s advice. I struggled with my weight for about 56 years before, at the age of 61, I discovered David’s Way. I manage my weight well now by daily maintenance. After doing every diet that you can imagine and being a lifetime member of a major weight loss corporation, I have discovered a lifestyle, not a diet, that works for me and it’s free. I don’t buy special food and I can always find something to eat. I don’t have to go to meetings or check in online. I just live it every day of my life. I don’t eat sugar and I eat whole foods. I count my calories and stop when I eat them all. The truth is, some days I find it hard to eat them all because whole, high quality foods fill you up and stay with you. I am seldom hungry.

The Mysterious “Plateau”

Water

When we first start to count our calories, there is usually an initial loss if water because we are eating less volume. Along with that volume, comes less sodium. Many of the high calorie foods that pack on the pounds are also high in sodium. Chips of all kinds are a common culprit in overweight and obesity. Almost all chips, and other empty calorie snack foods, are sodium bombs. Add the volume that we consume into the equation and you can just imagine the sudden release of water from our bodies when we cut these nutritional nightmares from our diets. Sugar also causes us to retain water as our bodies attempt to dilute the sugar for us to achieve a normal blood sugar. So, while we do lose fat in those first weeks of a weight loss program, we are losing a lot of water along the way. At some point, if we continue on with healthy habits, we will stop losing water. Then the scale will reveal our actual fat loss each week and if we are on a healthy program, that will not exceed 2 pounds per week. Any more than that is an indication that we are not eating enough calories. So, your first “plateau” may just mean that now you are seeing how much fat you are losing rather than fat and water.

Accuracy

Again, at the beginning of our program a decrease in calories will yield fat loss but, unless we accurately count our calories each day, the scale will stall or go the other way. I have tried “I know what I should eat.” thinking. That’s where you think that you don’t have to track your food because you just “know” what you should be eating. Seriously? If we did what we know to do, we wouldn’t have a weight problem in the first place. Tracking makes us accountable. If we track every bite, we are much less likely to grab that extra handful of almonds or add an extra pat of butter to our oatmeal. Little things do mean a lot. All of those BLT’s (Bites, Licks and Tastes) add up. Track your food for success. “Pre-tracking” works best for me. Plan, track and then eat. If you eat anything other than what you pre-tracked, make sure to track that also.

Honesty

This has got to be one of the most common and ridiculous habits that we can possibly employ in our weight loss journey. It is common for people to over-estimate their calorie burn during exercise. One of the groups that I was a member of for many years had a system where you earned points, or calories, that you could “spend” on food. Oh. My. God. I knew a woman who swore that she earned the equivalent of about 4,400 calories a week that she could eat. She never lost weight and surely enough, began to gain and just quit trying to lose at all. Those 4,400 calories every week were causing her to put on over a pound every week, after her initial weight loss at the beginning of the program. When anyone tried to counsel her concerning the absurdity of her so-called “earned points” and how that would affect her weight loss, she violently disagreed. She would say, “But I EARNED those points!” No, she didn’t. She couldn’t have earned that much extra food if she worked out 12 hours a day. She was over-estimating her level of difficulty. She counted every activity as being high exertion. Unless you cannot talk and can barely breathe, you are not exerting yourself at that level. I work out hard, with heavy weights, for two hours at a time and I don’t even count those calories burned. Do you want to lose weight? Don’t lie to yourself.

Progress!!!

Yes! Progress towards your goal may be one reason that you are not losing! As your weight declines, so do your caloric needs. You can calculate your caloric needs as often as you like with our Calorie Counter Pro. You can have the results sent to your email for losing or gaining 1-2 pounds per week or to maintain your weight. This is a free service to our readers. Take advantage of this great tool. We strongly advise losing only one pound per week. Slow weight loss is better on your skin. You are less likely to have sagging skin than if you lose fast and slow loss is safer overall. You can also adjust your personality as you go when you lose slowly. Otherwise getting slim quickly can be like waking up in someone else’s body with no idea how you got there and unable to maintain that new body. Slow loss enables you to truly change your habits over time so that they become ingrained in your life, a lifestyle, not a diet.

“You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet” David Yochim

This is an ongoing topic of discussion here at David’s Way. While we both work out hard and regularly, we also know that we MUST track every bite and be selective about how we spend our calories. Quite often, people who are athletic or active slip into thinking that they can just run another block or Zumba one more song and burn up that hot fudge sundae. No, you can’t. I had the revealing experience years ago of joining a new gym to swim laps and gaining weight like mad! Boy, was I upset! The problem was that the new gym was on the other side of a great frozen yogurt shop. Almost every time that I went swimming, I stopped for yogurt. I just figured that ALL THOSE LAPS had earned me a sugar cone…full of yogurt…a big one. It had not. Although I was swimming like an Olympian, I gained weight. Just work out because it’s healthy and count your calories according to how many it takes to lose. Trying to squeeze in every extra bite that you possibly can, will sabotage your efforts to lose.

Scale Obsession

While the scale is a great indicator of over-all progress, it is also a bit fickle. Salt, lack of sleep, carbs, stress, heat and so much more can cause us to retain water in our bodies. Our weight will fluctuate accordingly. Hard workouts cause inflammation in the body and then the body heals and creates muscle. While that’s a little over-simplified, the point is this, you may be doing everything exactly right and the scale may say that you have gained weight. Sometimes, if we are too dependent on the scale as the measure of our success, we will just give up if it appears to chastise us, especially if we truly believe that we are doing everything right. Weighing once a week at the same time of day in the same clothes will give you your most accurate weight. Don’t obsess about daily fluctuations. If you know that you are constipated or retaining water due to a hormonal issue or salty food, just wait a few days, until the problem has subsided and then you will have a more accurate idea of your progress.

Quitting

If you quit trying to lose weight and be healthy, you will gain weight and be unhealthy, most likely. If you fall down, get up. Don’t quit. That’s why it seems that you never lose weight. You try a while and get a craving or a mood swing and quit. The only difference in a winner and a loser is that the winner got up one. more. time. Get up. Don’t quit. Keep going through all the hurdles and you will win the race.