Category: Nutrition

Is Keto a Miracle Diet?

Keto food display

Is Keto a miracle diet? With it’s popularity, you might think so. While being an effective diet to bring down weight, it is no miracle, no matter what some people might think. Personally, I believe that it is unnecessarily too restrictive in carbohydrate intake. And, it can actually cause some people health problems over time. That being said, people desperate to lose weight are overjoyed when they think calorie counting is not required, and, they can eat a lot of fat.

How Keto Works

Keto aims to cause your body to use ketones for fuel rather than glucose from carbohydrates which you get from a normal diet. The ketones are a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.

Burning fat seems like an ideal way to lose pounds. But getting the liver to make ketone bodies is tricky:

  • It requires that you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day (keep in mind that a medium-sized banana has about 27 grams of carbs).
  • It typically takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.
  • Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis.

Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of your daily calories. Keto is not the type of diet you should try as an experiment if you are not knowledgeable of nutrition. It can cause you problems.

Man hoping for a miracle

What do you expect from a miracle diet?

When something seems too good to be true, you should trust your instincts. Especially with miracle diets. The keto diet has many risks because it is high in saturated fat which is linked to heart disease. Keto is also associated with an increase of LDL (bad cholesterol) which is also linked to heart disease.

Is this miracle diet still sounding good?

Other potential keto risks include these:

  • Nutrient deficiency. If you’re not eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and grains, you may be at risk for deficiencies in micronutrients, including selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C.
  • Liver problems. With so much fat to metabolize, the diet could make any existing liver conditions worse.
  • Kidney problems. The kidneys help metabolize protein, for those with kidney problems, the keto diet may overload them.
  • Constipation. The keto diet is low in fibrous foods like grains and legumes.
  • Fuzzy thinking and mood swings. The brain needs sugar from healthy carbohydrates to function. Low-carb diets may cause confusion and irritability in some people.

    Those risks add up. Always make sure that you talk to a doctor and a registered dietitian before ever attempting a ketogenic diet.

What kinds of fruits and vegetables can I have on Keto?

Fruits and vegetables
Seriously, why deprive yourself of these healthy foods?

All fruits are rich in carbs, but you can have certain fruits (usually berries) in small portions. Vegetables (also rich in carbs) are restricted to leafy greens (such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes.

Again, Keto is unnecessarily restrictive on the carbohydrates you can eat. Only one who is not knowledgeable would think they should cut out most fruits and vegetables because of their carbohydrate content. When you cut out these fruits and vegetables, you are depriving yourself of healthy nutrients and fiber. Sure, there are fruits and vegetables you can eat, but restricting them is not in your best interest.

Yes, there are some medical reasons why you might do Keto.

Young doctor with older woman

Keto diets are being considered for use in several disorders due to their beneficial effects on metabolic health and the nervous system. However, many of the results have come from case studies and need validation through higher-quality research, including randomized controlled trials.

With respect to cancer and several other serious diseases, a Keto diet should be undertaken only in addition to standard therapies under the supervision of a doctor or qualified healthcare provider. No one should ever consider the Keto diet a cure for any disease or disorder on its own. While the research is exciting, there’s very little evidence to show that this type of eating is effective, or safe over the long term for anything other than epilepsy. Additionally, very low carbohydrate diets tend to have higher rates of side effects, including constipation, headaches, bad breath and more. Also, meeting the diet’s requirements means cutting out many healthy foods, making it difficult to meet your micronutrient needs.

Is it possible to not lose weight, or even gain weight on Keto?

woman disappointed with weight gain

Yes, it is entirely possible to not lose weight, or to even get fatter while on Keto. It is not a miracle diet where calories do not count as some people would have you believe. As with any diet, if you eat more calories in a day than your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) requires, you are going to get fat whether you are in ketosis or not.

The high fat foods you eat on Keto tend to contain many more calories than foods that are high in carbohydrates and proteins. It is, therefore, important that you keep track of the number of calories that you consume. You can’t just eat as much as you want and expect to lose weight. Keto or not, your body does not work that way.  If you binge on high calorie foods such as full-fat dairy, avocados, coconut oil, fatty cuts of meat and nuts, you can expect to remain fat.

In Summary

Although Keto can be an effective diet for weight loss, it is not a miracle diet. It is not a miracle simply because your weight loss is still a matter of calories in versus calories burned. When you eat a high fat diet that is low in carbs, you will typically become satiated before you exceed the caloric needs of your specific BMR. However, if you exceed your caloric needs, you are going to gain weigh even when in Ketosis. Before beginning Keto, or any diet for that matter, you need to do your research and find all the downsides along with the upsides to your health and well being.

The bottom line is, the healthiest way to weight loss is to eat a well balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. A well balanced diet provides all of the energy you need to keep active throughout the day. It will provide all the nutrients you need for growth and repair, helping you to stay strong and healthy which helps to prevent diet-related illnesses.

Be accountable to yourself and eat whole, healthy foods and track your daily calories. With your doctors approval, exercise on a regular basis with an activity that you enjoy. You do not need a miracle diet, what you need is healthy nutrition and the initiative to be the best you that you can possibly be.

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

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Sugar Is Not a Food Group

white and brown sugars

Sugar is not a food group! It is simply an ingredient used in a lot of foods.

Why am I stating the obvious? I am stating this because there have been people who got confused about giving up entire foods when I have advised them to only give up sugar.

My friends, many people believe they need to give up certain food groups when they are trying to lose weight. I am here to tell you, this is absolutely not necessary. When I tell people giving up foods is not necessary, they often respond with “but I have to give up sugar”. Again, sugar is not a food group, it is simply an ingredient that needs to be cut out of our diets. Sugar needs to be cut out from our diet simply because of it’s adverse effects on our health when we eat too much of it. It causes inflammation in our bodies which is the precursor to many preventable illnesses, such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Sugar is an addictive substance!

You might want to argue that sugar is not an addictive substance. But you could not be more wrong. If you have a weight problem and believe sugar is not addictive, then ask yourself why you can’t give it up. Why do you turn to sugary foods every time that you become derailed in your weight loss efforts? If I told you to give up green beans, you might think that suggestion was absurd. But, you wouldn’t have a problem with not eating them any more, would you? You would not have a problem quitting green beans simply because they don’t contain that white crystalline substance we call sugar.

Face it, you never crave green beans. And even if you did crave them, green beans are not going to make you fat or cause you health problems. You crave sugar because you are addicted to it, and the pleasure you receive when it causes the release of endorphins. Green beans do not cause that release of feel good brain chemicals, do they?

Sugar is not a food group!

The bottom line is, while we advise people to give up sugar, we do not believe it’s necessary to give up foods that we enjoy. With the alternative sweeteners on the market now, you can still enjoy baked goods and other foods where you traditionally have used sugar. We have recipes here on the website for cookies, cakes, brownies and other sweet treats that do not contain sugar, nor other simple carbs that we so often crave. You can still enjoy foods you love, even sugar free ice creams are pretty tasty now days.

Follow this link for delicious Sugar Free No-bake Oatmeal Cookies

Or follow to this link for Sugar Free Cheesecake!

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we love to eat as much as you do. And, if you are struggling with your weight, there is a plethora of healthy recipes here on this website. Always remember, Sugar is not a food group, it is just an unnecessary ingredient that adds tons of empty calories to the foods you love.

Food Prep for Success!

 

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Chaos Reigns!

Food prepping will simply your morning routine and make you more effective all day. A lot of us know the feeling of rushing out the door with a protein shake in one hand, car keys in another and forgetting our billfold. This kind of disorganization comes from a lack of preplanning. I have been guilty of this for years but I am learning new skills that are greatly improving the quality of my life.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

How to Begin Food Prep

This may be a no-brainer for a naturally organized person but for those of us who struggle with the concept, it’s a challenge. I was of the mindset that if I was going to spend all that time on my off days food prepping then I would spend the same amount of time just prepping when I was going to eat. While that is mostly true, The HUGE difference is that food prepping gives me ultimate control over my nutrition. When I food prep, I make my choices about my meals based on what I should be eating, not on what is handy.

Mind you, all that is “handy” in my house is healthy choices. I don’t have junk food. There’s not a grain of added sugar in my house. I don’t have a bag of sugar in the cabinet either. All of the food in my house is either whole or minimally processed, with rare exception. So, you would think that anything that I grabbed while I was rushing to work would be just fine. While I can stay within my caloric and macro limits that way, I don’t maximize my nutrition making last minute choices.

A good example is the choice between an apple, which is good and a sweet potato which is better.  If I don’t food prep, the apple will win almost every time. I don’t have to cook it and I can just grab it while I’m running out the door.

While the calories and fiber are similar in both, there’s 6 grams of sugar in the baked potato and a whopping 19 in an apple. The sweet potato will not require as much insulin to digest so it will satisfy me longer and cause less cortisol response. Cortisol is linked to belly fat. I AM NOT saying that apples cause belly fat. I’m saying that for a body builder, these things make a difference over a long period of time. Since the sweet potato keeps me from being hungry longer, it may help me stay within my caloric limit easier with less stress. Again, stress activates the cortisol response.

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Food Prep Basics

  1. Choose which meal is your greatest challenge. For me, that is breakfast. If prepping is hard for you, just do that one meal for the number of days that you need control of your time the most. Work days are the ones that I choose. I prep on off days and then on my work days, breakfast is waiting when I get up!
  2. If lunch is a challenge in that you may eat out because it’s easier, then by all means PREP LUNCH. Otherwise, you very well may fall prey to the party mentality of the office and either hit the buffet or order pizza.
  3. Get the containers that you need! I have tried to food prep before with whatever I had on hand. While I have been cooking since I was 6 years old, I have never been one to invest in a lot of kitchen gadgets and unnecessary clutter. The first thing that I did was go out and buy exactly what I needed to store meals for me and my son for four day stretches of time. I only work four days without a break. It makes a HUGE difference when you have good containers instead of using grandma’s twenty year-old Tupperware.
  4. Set aside the time to do it. This was a challenge for me, the ultimate challenge. Believe me, it’s worth it. When you glide out the door well-fed with a bag full of well-balanced, nutritious food in your hand the first time, you will be a convert.
  5. Make your menus.
  6. Make your grocery list.
  7. Prep!
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The Best Food Prep Foods

I like frozen berries when I prep yogurt. I put them in the cup frozen and then when I eat the yogurt, they’re perfect.  Both sweet and white potatoes can be prepped ahead of time. They are good reheated. Crunchy fresh veggies like celery, carrots and bell peppers stay crunchy and romaine lettuce keeps great. Just wait until you are about to eat before you dress it. Whole grain breads hold up better than highly refined breads and tortillas. They are better for you also. Refined breads break down if prepped ahead of time just like they break down quickly in your digestive tract.

Beans and peas  hold up well and actually take on more of the flavor of the dishes that they are cooked into over time.  Lean meats are better than fatty cuts because the fat tends to permeate everything in the container quickly. Whole fruits are easy to carry and retain their color and texture better than after they’re cut. If biting into an apple is a challenge for you though, by all means, cut it up!

All nuts and seeds carry well. If you are going to add them to oats or yogurt, add them just before you eat. Otherwise they will loose their texture. Boiled eggs are as easy as whole fruit. Peel them at home and pop them into a container and keep them cold for an easy snack or small meal.

You can up optimize your nutrition and streamline your life, especially your mornings with just a little planning. After living both ways, I can assure you, you will be glad you learned how to food prep. Keep doing it until it becomes your normal. I guarantee that you will see a difference in your progress towards your health and fitness goals.

Sugar Free Sweet Potato Casserole

Health Benefits of a Grocery List

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Family Tradition

Weight management and health were a central theme in my home as a child. One of the key components to keeping our weight under control was home cooking. We ate out once a week as a treat. My mother was very frugal and made a detailed grocery list so that she would have what she needed to make good, healthy meals at home. By having a core grocery list that you can build your meals around, you will always have healthy food on hand.

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Eggs

I eat eggs every day. Many years ago, “science” produced a study that vilified eggs as a dangerous food that would raise your cholesterol and give you a heart attack. I never quit eating eggs and every time that my cholesterol is checked, it’s in a very healthy range. Newer research says that eating an egg every day is fine. “Eggs were previously associated with heart disease risk as a result of their high cholesterol content. However, a solid body of research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet.” (1) 

Eggs have been called “Nature’s Multivitamin” because they are so nutritious. They contain Vitamins B12, B2, B5, A and selenium. They are also a rich source of minerals. At only 77 calories, with 6 grams of protein they are a true superfood. Eggs are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein.

 

 

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Oats

Nothing fills you up much better than oats, partially because they are about 11% fiber. They are one of the most nutritionally dense foods in the world and are quite inexpensive. They contain beta glucans that lower bad cholesterol. Combine the fiber and cholesterol-lowering components and the 11-17% protein that is higher than other grains for a true superfood. The health benefits of oats are incredible when you consider how cheap and common this food is.

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Sweet Potatoes for Health

Growing up in the South, my introduction to sweet potatoes was sugar-coated, sticky and sickeningly sweet. I couldn’t stand them. As an adult, I have learned to love them for their complex carbs and naturally sweet flavor. They power me through work-outs like nothing else!  Packed with Vitamin A that is good for vision and antioxidants that may fight cancer, you can’t go wrong with these. They are a standard in my pursuit of health.

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Meat, Fish and Poultry

I eat about 8 ounces of meat, fish and poultry every day. Combined with eggs, soy and other protein sources, I get a significant amount of high quality protein in my diet. Beef is high in glutathione, the “Master Antioxidant”, and minerals, including iron. It’s known to improve muscle mass and since I am a strength trainer, beef is a regular part of my menus for muscle health. I add in fish and poultry for low calorie protein options, but my favorite is beef.

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Greek Yogurt for Metabolic Health

One of my favorite things is Full-fat, plain, Greek yogurt with partially thawed, frozen raspberries. This makes a delectable dessert or snack. Add your 0 calorie sweetener of choice or maybe some Raspberry Crystal Light Water Enhancer to the mix for a truly sweet treat. Greek yogurt is high in calcium and protein that keep your metabolism stoked.

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Pumpkin Seeds

These little powerhouses are wonderful eaten alone or in oats or yogurt. I only buy the shelled ones, no husks for me! They are high in antioxidants and magnesium to name just two of their benefits. The magnesium is good for heart health and the antioxidants may help reduce your chance of cancer.

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Health Benefits of Romaine Lettuce

The standard Iceberg Lettuce salad is devoid of significant nutrition. Romaine lettuce is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and folate. Folate converts carbs into energy which is very important for a strength trainer. Romaine helps me get the most out of the carbohydrates that I eat.

The Money Myth

Something that I want you to note about these foods is that all of them, except the meat, are inexpensive. Beans are a very healthy food that I don’t eat very often. They are also cheap. The myth that healthy food is expensive is a lie. You can buy some specialty items that are expensive but it’s not necessary. Regardless of what you buy, it’s always cheaper to eat at home.

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Practical Application for Health

While these foods are the core of my menus, I add in other foods for variety. You have to build your grocery list around foods that you will eat. There’s no need in buying sweet potatoes if you won’t eat them.

People ask me what I eat. You can see here that I eat relatively plain food. I do add in protein shakes and sometimes a protein cookie. None of my foods contain any added sugars and I prefer the lowest amount of processing possible in my nutrition. I may have a tortilla to carry my protein with me to work. By tracking every bite that goes into my mouth, I know exactly what I can eat at any time to reach my nutrition and fitness goals.

Cabot Greek Yogurt Whole Milk Plain Yogurt Review

 

Eggs | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

 

 

Should You Quit a Diet for Pregnancy?

pregnant woman standing by window

Some women feel the need to quit a diet for pregnancy. I know from different weight loss social media groups this is common thinking.

But, why should the concept of quitting a diet for pregnancy even be necessary?

The only solid reason I can think of is the diet you might be quitting would be one you should have never went on in the first place. If your diet is no good for you while pregnant, what makes you think it was any good for you when not pregnant? One of the most common places I have seen people telling about leaving their diet while pregnant is on one of the largest commercial weight loss groups in America.

During pregnancy is when you need to be concentrating on good nutrition. Therefore, if you feel the need to quit, what does that say for your diet plan? Before beginning any diet, especially when contemplating pregnancy, you need to first consult with your physician to see if it is right for you. When you do this, your physician is likely to order blood labs in order to see what area of your nutrition needs the most attention. A lot of people are lacking in different vitamins and minerals that do an important part in keeping us healthy.

Remaining healthy during pregnancy.

If you become pregnant, it becomes even more critical that you remain healthy during the course of your pregnancy. Otherwise, your baby will be the one to suffer the consequences of your poor nutrition. For this reason, I say if you need to quit your diet because of pregnancy, you should not have been on it in the first place.

There is never a time when healthy eating is not important, but it becomes more so when you’re pregnant.  You must ensure that your calories come from nutritious foods that will contribute to your baby’s growth and development.

If you are already at a healthy weight, you might need about 300 extra calories a day. This is especially true later in your pregnancy when your baby grows quickly. But if you’re overweight, your physician may actually advise you to consume fewer extra calories. It is critical for yours and your baby’s health that you follow your physicians orders. This is where creating a permanent lifestyle centered around good nutrition is important. When your nutrition is already good, it becomes only a matter of cutting or increasing a few calories as necessary.

I do not want the stress of dieting while pregnant!

Again, if you feel the need to quit a diet for pregnancy, you should not have been on it in the first place.

Pregnant or not, a diet that causes you stress is not good!

It is obvious for many reasons that pregnancy is going to bring about stress for a multitude of reasons. With stress comes the desire to reach out for comfort foods. Unfortunately, those comfort foods are the last thing you should be eating when pregnant.

Getting adequate nutrition is one of the most important responsibilities women have throughout their pregnancies. This is not only for yourself, but for the lifelong health of your baby as well. A significant amount of pregnant women are deficient in vitamins D, C, A, K, B-6, and E, as well as iron, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and choline. You get  these through good nutrition which comfort foods rarely provide.

Nutrition is critical for pregnant women. This is because there is an absolute dependence of the developing fetus on the mother for all of its nutrients. If you quit your diet in order to not stress about eating cookies and cakes, think about who is going to suffer from this choice.

Poor nutrition during pregnancy is a major public health problem in the United States and other countries. There is compelling evidence from epidemiologic studies that poor nutrition during pregnancy, in the form of insufficient intake, low protein, or deficiencies in micronutrients, is associated with poor developmental outcomes in children including lower cognitive functioning, deficits in attention, and disruptive behavior problems ()

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we promote a healthy lifestyle centered on good nutrition and physical fitness. When you follow our methodology, there is no good reason to ever feel the need to quit. Your physician might order you to increase or decrease your caloric intake. But that is simple when you only consume healthy foods that are low in calories and nutritionally dense.

Always consult your physician!

If you are pregnant, or contemplating pregnancy, always consult with your physician for your nutritional needs. We are not medical doctors, therefore we cannot give you any type of specialized diet for your pregnancy. Your doctor will have your blood labs and will know best what you and your baby will require for a healthy pregnancy.

(1) US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Pregnancy and Diabetes

Tips to Stop Overeating!

Stressed woman overeating

Stop overeating today!

If we are being intellectually honest, overeating is the reason why most of us have ever been overweight. You know this, as well as I do. We never get overweight from eating small meals. Our girth does not grow when we practice portion control. We gain too much weight when we overeat, that is a simple fact. When we consume more calories than we burn we get larger. This point is not even arguable at most any level. The only caveat being those with diagnosed medical conditions that cause an over abundance of fluid retention such as a sluggish thyroid  that could add a few pounds.  When we are overweight with body fat, it is because we eat more calories than we need.

Now, with all that being said, I know that talking about not overeating is easier said than done. I, myself have always been a volume eater. Large meals are still a part of my daily life, yet I still manage to keep within my caloric needs. With a few simple modifications to how you eat, you can stop overeating once and for all.

Lifestyle modifications to stop overeating.

  1. Get rid of your distractions. Stop eating in front of your television. Do not nibble on foods as you surf the internet. When we eat with distractions,  it is simple to overeat because our minds are in other places rather than on our meal. If you are unable to, or not willing to eat away from your distractions, at least measure out your foods before you sit down to eat. And once your plate is empty, stop eating.Couple eating in front of television
  2. Know your trigger foods. If you know the foods that will trigger you to overeat, do not bring them home with you. Leave them in the store on their shelf. Do not bring home leftovers from a restaurant. When we have trigger foods in our home, it is too easy to overeat them. For instance, cookies are one of my trigger foods. If there is a bag of cookies in my cupboard, I could devour the entire package in short order. It is the same with ice cream for me too. I know that I have little control over my appetite for my trigger foods, therefore I do not ever bring them home.chocolate ice cream trigger food
  3.  Eat low calorie, nutrient dense foods. Fill up on healthy, low-calorie, high-fiber foods to help promote feeling full. The good thing is, you might get full while not exceeding your caloric needs for the day.
  4. Stop eating from containers or packaging. Most of us who have ever had a weight problem are known to do things like this. We might stand at the freezer door, spoon in hand, eating ice cream straight from the carton. How often do you sit down and devour a bag of chips instead of counting or measuring out an actual portion? I have been known to chow down a bag of small, powdered sugar donuts without realizing it until the bag was empty. Colorful cookies in package
  5. Reduce your stress. This is a tough one to do, but at least make an attempt to do so each and every day. I call this “making my world small”. People tell me this is easy for me to say, but they have not walked in my shoes to know. I suffer from PTSD and my lovely wife has breast cancer along with other health issues to deal with. Controlling stress levels are easier when we are proactive about our lives rather than reactive to what occurs around us. We cannot control all events, but we do have control over how we react to them.               Check out our article Stop Emotional Eating for more info!
  6. Eat fiber rich foods. Choosing foods that are rich in fiber, such as beans, vegetables, oats, and fruit, can help keep your body feeling satisfied longer and reduce the urge to overeat. Unfortunately, an estimated 95% of American adults and children don’t meet the recommended daily fiber intake. Women should try to eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day. In America, the average daily fiber intake is estimated to be 16.2 grams. fiber rich foods
  7. Eat regular meals. Stop thinking you should try to reduce your caloric intake by skipping meals. All this accomplishes is to make you more ravenous, thus more prone to overeat when you do sit down to a meal. Regular meals also helps to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels better managed which will help your satiety during the day.
  8. Keep a food journal. When you write down your food intake, it makes you more aware of how much you consume. It is a manner of holding yourself accountable for every bite that you take. Using a food journal can also help identify situations and emotional triggers that contribute to overeating, as well as foods that are likely to provoke binge eating.
  9. Dine with like minded friends. This can be a tough one because not everyone wants to eat healthier. Many times when we also have overweight friends, they will try to drag us back down with them. They are what we refer to as crabs. The harder you try to crawl out of the bucket, the harder they will attempt to pull you back in.  Seriously, if you have these types of friends, you might want to avoid going to dinners with them. This may not be easy, but looking down at your scale in remorse is not easy either. Choose your battles wisely.
  10. Fill up on protein. Protein helps keep your body full throughout the day and can decrease the desire to overeat. For example, eating a high protein breakfast has been shown to reduce hunger and snacking later in the day. Choosing a protein-rich breakfast like eggs tends to lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger .Adding higher protein snacks like Greek yogurt to your routine can also help you eat less throughout the day and keep hunger under control.
  11. Manage your blood sugar levels. Eating white bread, cookies, candy, and other carbs with high glycemic indexes will likely cause blood sugar levels to spike, then fall quickly. This rapid blood sugar fluctuation has been shown to promote hunger and can lead to overeating. By choosing foods with lower glycemic indexes you can mitigate blood sugar spikes and reduce your overeating. Beans, oats, and brown rice are all great options as they are great sources of fiber. If you are not going to stop eating foods containing simple carbs and added sugars, you are not likely to stop overeating.
  12. Either quit, or greatly limit your alcohol intake. Whether you like this or not, we all know that drinking alcohol lowers our inhibitions. It becomes too easy to get off the wagon with poor food choices when we become even a little bit inebriated. And to make matters worse, alcohol can actually make you crave your trigger foods. What would you rather have, a few hours of inebriation with a lifetime of obesity? Or would you rather feel good about yourself and your health for the rest of your life. It is your choice to make.
  13. Plan ahead. We can always plan ahead when we want to. The important thing is to commit yourself to making pre-planning a part of your lifestyle. By pre-planning, we can reduce stress, and always be better prepared for any deviations in life that might come our way. It is a matter of being proactive about your life rather than reactive! With pre-planning you can stop overeating when on the go.
  14. Quit drinking sugary beverages! Have you ever considered how easy it is to consume hundreds of empty calories through beverages? You could be drinking anywhere from 125 to 180 calories per can of soda pop. Just think of the impact that 4 to 5  of these a day will have on your weight. It only takes a caloric surplus of 500 calories per day to make us gain one pound of body fat in a week. Is a soda pop really worth an expanded waistline to you?
  15. Eat healthy fats. We have always advocated eating healthy fats. Not only are they satiating, they are also good for heart health. High fat foods have been associated with weight gain and overeating, however, choosing foods rich in healthy fats can help you eat less. Several studies have shown that adults who consume high fat, low carb diets are less hungry 3–4 hours after meals and lose more weight over time, compared with people who consume diets high in carbs and low in fat. Adding healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and olive oil to your diet may help you feel more satisfied after meals and help you to stop overeating.

Stop overeating!

Overeating can be stopped, but it is going to take a personal commitment to self in order to do so. You really need to consider if the temporary pleasure than comes from the foods we eat are worth the health risks we face from them later in life.

Diet Culture vs: Nutrition Culture

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Dangerous Trend 

“Diet Culture” is a phrase that intends to discredit anyone who is trying to improve their health or change their looks. As a result, rants against the “Diet Culture” are rampant. The self-acceptance movement has gone overboard with this. Criticizing someone for trying to lose weight or work out is bullying. I don’t know why this type of bullying seems to be acceptable. Imagine the uproar if anyone made hateful remarks about those who choose to remain at a high weight. There would be a huge public backlash. So, let’s examine the Diet Culture vs: Nutrition Culture issue.

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Diet Culture

   Eating drastically low numbers of calories is an unhealthy practice. Those who eat too little in an effort to lose weight quickly create a negative impression of what being healthy looks like. Choosing to eat from only narrow categories of foods will cause nutritional imbalances. Therefore this type of chronic dieter looks unhealthy and has little to no energy. They are usually chronically depressed. They frequently border on anorexia, alternating with weight gain.

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Adhering to such stringent dietary practices is almost never motivated by a concern for health. Since appearance is the motivation behind this type of fad diet seeking behavior, yo-yo dieting is the norm. They never maintain a healthy weight.  They can be painfully thin. At other times they may  be carrying too much body fat to be healthy.

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Nutrition Culture, NOT a Diet

We advocate a “Nutrition Culture”. Removing empty calories from your diet leaves room for more calories from whole, healthy foods. “Empty calories” are the energy that you get from foods with little nutrition. They are devoid of adequate vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. These nutrients, and others, are needed for good health, energy and a healthy appearance.

 

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Carbohydrates

Carbs are the main source of energy for the body and brain. They are severely restricted in many of the popular fad diets. We advocate a diet that is lower in carbohydrates than most people eat but we stress that there must be enough complex carbs in your diet for good health. Avoiding carbohydrates is not sustainable. Healthy carbs come from vegetables, milk, nuts, grains, seeds legumes and fruit. (1) We believe in avoiding ADDED sugars, but there are naturally occurring sugars in foods that are okay to eat. They are found in fruits,  milk and some vegetables.

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Starch is a complex carbohydrate. Many fad diets avoid starches but a baked potato is an incredibly healthy food. Potatoes are rich in nutrition, including Vitamin C!

If we avoid carbohydrates, we will miss out on fiber which is necessary for good health. Fiber is necessary for a healthy gut, regulation of cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels and to help maintain a healthy weight.

Healthy Fats and Diet

Strict dieting can rob you of healthy fats. They are higher in calories than carbs and protein per serving, so dieters might avoid them. They help us to stay warm and are necessary for absorption of fat soluble vitamins, A, D. E and K. Skimping on healthy fats can deplete your stores of these vitamins.

Protein

Protein repairs and builds tissues in our bodies along with other functions.  Inadequate protein intake causes weakness. thinning hair, brittle nails and dry skin. Kwashiorkor, the disease caused from protein deficiency,  causes the swollen belly that is so obvious in malnutrition documentaries. It is caused by a fluid imbalance in the gut. Without treatment, this deficiency can be fatal.

A great irony in the center of this discussion is that the “Diet Culture” is focused on appearances, but you look your best when you are properly nourished. Dry skin, thinning hair and nails and the poor body structure of protein deficiency are not attractive. Obesity caused by constant cravings is not attractive. Lack of proper nutrition can cause cravings that tempt you to eat whatever you can find rather than what you need.

How to Keep Losing Weight

The next time that someone faults you for “buying into the diet culture”, tell them that you are a part of the “Nutrition Culture”…

and we DON’T diet.

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/basics/nutrition-basics/hlv-20049477

 

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

Diet Confusion

With all the diet plans available, how do you know which diet is best for your weight loss?

Could it be the Keto diet, or possibly Veganism that is best for you?

Have you considered any of the commercially available programs that charge you monthly fees? Or do you prefer some of the fads and gimmicks that promise you fast results? Which ever route you take in order to lose weight, you have already failed yourself if you decide out of desperation instead of knowledge.

Losing weight in a healthy manner requires a bit of basic fitness and nutritional knowledge. For this reason, we try to educate our followers as best we can. You will not find a greater resource of nutrition, fitness and health knowledge available than what we provide at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. The best thing for you is the fact we do not charge you anything to access any of it. We have always been, and always will be a free resource to all who want to live a healthier life. I guarantee, no one out there provides a more comprehensive library of information free of charge than we do.

Is Keto a good diet for weight loss?

Keto seems to be all the rage right now. you can lose weight by doing it. However, despite the fact you can lose weight on Keto, there are a few things you should consider before wasting your time with it.

  • Keto is something you might not want to do for the rest of your life. During your time doing Keto, you can lose weight, but you will regain it once you return to eating carbs again. You really need to consider how sustainable this diet is before you begin it.
  • Keto is unnecessarily too restrictive on carbohydrate intake. You are only allowed to consume no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates of any type per day while on Keto. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel that our body uses for all of our bodily functions. You may get used to such a lack of carbs, but why should you? As soon as you begin consuming them again, the weight is going to return to your body.
  • You can actually gain weight while doing Keto!
  • You miss out on a lot of good nutritional benefits when doing Keto. Because you eliminate the richest sources of fiber, you can suffer from digestive discomfort and constipation. We need rich sources of fiber such as fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains. These are all eliminated on Keto for being too high in carbs. That is just dumb.
  • Keto causes you to lose weight when you are in a calorie deficit. It’s naïve to believe that you can still eat a caloric surplus on Keto and not gain weight. A person can be as strict as possible with Keto and still gain weight through overeating. People who are prone to binge eating for reasons other than hunger are still going to be prone to overeating on Keto.

Does Veganism reign supreme for weight loss and health?

I get and respect that some people become Vegan’s because of their love of animals. However, for those who think they can simply lose weight and become healthier solely from quitting meat, you couldn’t be more wrong. Veganism can be a truly healthy way of life, but if you become a Vegan, you had best first have a great understanding of nutrition. Without a good understanding of nutrition, becoming a Vegan can and will make you sickly. The problem with those who lack nutritional knowledge becoming Vegans is they miss out on many essential macro and micro-nutrients they would be getting from a normal diet.

  • Those on a Vegan diet are at risk of not consuming enough iron, zinc, vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Vegans are also at high risk of developing a vitamin B-12 deficiency which can cause neurological issues that are not reversible.
  • Vegans often do not get enough protein. While there are many quality vegetarian sources of protein, most of them actually lack a full profile of essential amino acids. You can only get those nine essential amino acids through the foods you consume, therefore you must eat a good variety of vegetarian protein sources. These amino acids come from protein and are the building blocks of life.
  • Being Vegan does not give you free reign to eat as many cookies or cakes as you want, even if they are also considered Vegan. Weight loss is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned, no matter your nutritional lifestyle.

Commercial weight loss programs are more interested in your money!

If you believe that a commercial weight loss program cares about you as an individual, I have a bridge to sell you. These companies are in the business of making money for the owners and their shareholders. That is their first and foremost mission, you the individual, are a secondary concern to them.

  • Many people fail at commercial weight loss programs simply because the program never gets them out of the diet mentality. Diets are always temporary in nature. If you want to be successful at weight loss, and weight management afterwards, you must create a new lifestyle. That lifestyle is something you will need to stick with for the remainder of your life, lest you become overweight again.
  • Commercial weight loss programs will almost always allow you to keep eating foods that got you in trouble in the first place. Paying upwards of $50 per month is not going to help you lose weight when you are still eating bad foods, even if you are tracking them. This mentality will fail you the same as when an alcoholic thinks he can enjoy one beer per week. This may work for a little while, but sooner or later, a binge is going to happen. One binge can throw some people permanently off their plan. Why risk this when you are trying to improve your health through weight loss?
  • Commercial weight loss programs are going to dump you the first time you cannot pay their expensive fees. A business that will do this to you is not the best diet plan for weight loss. You are a number to them with a dollar sign, instead of a human with human needs.

Why David’s Way is the best for weight loss!

You might have noticed in the above subheading that I did not include the word DIET. We do not promote dieting. Instead, we advocate creating a new all around healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that incorporates healthy nutrition and exercise to your capability and your doctor’s approval.

Because we do not charge anyone to access our vast library of information, we tell it like it is. We sugar coat nothing in the interest of keeping followers. We have lost followers because they believed we were too restrictive when we say to not eat sugar. Not eating sugar is for your health, not because we want you to feel deprived. Sugar causes inflammation in our body which is the precursor to many ailments we might suffer in life. My mission is to tell our readers what they need to hear, and never solely what they want to hear. You can choose to not follow us, but no matter what, we will always be here for you should you decide to return. And, we will still be free of charge.

Remember if you will, if you think that cutting out added sugar is restrictive, there is no good diet plan that is not also going to be restrictive. To permanently lose weight requires that you do everything opposite of what caused you to become overweight. Your lifestyle must change or your efforts will be in vain. I promise you this is the truth, and as evidence, I must point out the 95% recidivism rate of rebounding weight after other diets.

Weight should never be solely a vanity issue, it needs to be an issue of improved health. When you are more concerned with your looks than your health, you have already failed yourself. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we first and foremost promote healthy living as a permanent lifestyle. Healthy and permanent weight loss, is actually a bi-product of what we advocate for you. We are only blessed with one life and one body, it is incumbent upon us to properly care for it. As adults, parents, and grandparents, it is up to us to show the way for the children in our lives. When the children grow up watching our unhealthy lifestyles, they are likely to live that way too. Children will emulate their parents, we owe it to them the to be the best examples we can be.

Check out our David’s Way Plan by clicking this link. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose but an unhealthy lifestyle and excess weight.

Help! I Can’t Stop Overeating!

Man sick from over eating.

Help, I can’t stop overeating is something we hear often in the business of weight management. People want to be told how to stop over eating, but they seldom want to hear hard truths. I can tell you all the usual methods such as:

Chew your food slowly.
Limit your distractions.
Limit portion sizes.
Stay hydrated and avoid stress.
And on and on…

Those answers are all valid, but they are not the message you need to hear. If you have a problem with over eating, you and I both know that you have tried those methods in the past and failed. Your problem with overeating is the foods you are over consuming. Overeating healthy food choices are not likely to keep you heavy, it is the overeating of unhealthy food choices that impact your health. When your lifestyle does not involve unhealthy food choices, you will have a difficult time overeating. Even if you do overeat healthy foods on occasion, they are less likely to pack the pounds onto your body. If we are being intellectually honest, your overeating is mostly foods you should be avoiding in the first place. Being serious about weight loss involves making permanent changes to your nutritional habits. You may not want to hear this, but it is the truth.

Why do we overeat?

People often eat for reasons other than hunger. We eat when we are stressed, tired, or sad. Many people also overeat because of certain habits, such as eating while distracted or eating too quickly. Any way you look at it though, their overeating is not causing them a problem unless it’s the consumption of poor food choices.

Of course, overeating in the absence of hunger could be a sign that something deeper is going on. Two common issues that have been linked to the urge to overeat are depression and boredom. Your overeating could also be a result of your routines, such as eating while sitting in front of the television.

However, the problem with your overeating is still a matter of poor nutritional choices. You are not usually going to get overweight by consuming fruits and vegetable. Odds are, you are not gaining weight from too much meat either when it is a part of a well balanced diet. When you make the personal choice to only eat healthy foods, it becomes easier to stop overeating.

healthy foods

Weight management is a matter of calories consumed vs calories burned even with healthy foods.

Fruits are nutritious, but too much of even a healthy food can lead to weight gain. Overeating healthy foods can be easy to do, but the same rules apply to healthy food as junk food. Our weight fluctuations are based on the basic concept of calories in versus calories out. If your total caloric intake is higher than the energy you burn off in a day, you will gain weight. If it is lower, you will lose weight. We have seen people gain weight from too much fruit when they believe it is a free snack that does not count.

Weight gain can sometimes come from overeating healthy foods, but the reality is most are overweight from poor food choices. When we make it a habit, or a lifestyle to only eat low calorie, nutrient dense foods, it is truly difficult to overeat your caloric needs. The problem is, we live in a world where the convenience and affordability of unhealthy food often lure people to eat nutritionally empty snacks and processed meals. Research suggests our brains are primed for craving these kinds of foods.

We crave foods that trigger feelings of satisfaction and pleasure that healthier options may not. It is difficult to stop overeating when the food you are eating is causing a release of feel good endorphins. Have you ever noticed the difference in how you feel when eating sugary foods as opposed to how you feel when eating vegetables? Those veggies are not releasing endorphins like the sugary foods do. Junk foods trigger pleasure centers in our brains, making us feel oh-so-yummy-good and making us want to keep eating.

Do large meals equal overeating?

The problem with overeating is not necessarily the size of your meals. Overeating is a problem when you consume more calories in a day than you burn. I eat a huge breakfast almost every day of the week. Yet, because of my healthy food choices, I rarely exceed 500 calories with my breakfast. I eat all the time, yet do not gain weight. Some people believe I am genetically gifted because I can eat a lot of food. But what they do not understand is, I can eat a lot because my food choices are low in calories and nutrient dense. I fuel my day with 2,270 calories per day, and I do this with one or two large meals per day along with many healthy snacks in between.

I was only able to actually stop overeating when I began making good nutrition a wholesome part of my lifestyle. You can do this too, but it involves personal choices to be accountable to self, and to quit the foods which got you overweight in the first place. To lose weight and keep it off, you must do the exact opposite of what made you overweight in the first place. You have to make good food choices and then keep within your caloric needs for the day. Weight loss is truly that simple.

 

Emotional Eating

Check out our plan here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. It is not complicated at all and is really nothing more than a common sense approach to nutrition. I guarantee that anyone who tries our methodology will lose weight, and then keep it off. Best of all, we charge nothing to anyone to follow our methodology, we are entirely free to all.
We also have a page on Facebook where you can also follow along with David’s Way to Health and Fitness. Give us a like and a follow if you like what you see!

Brain Food Made Easy

Living Longer!

In the United States in 2020, the life expectancy was 78.93 years, which is a 0.08% increase from 2019. (1) I am an advocate for aging well. Advancing age is not a reason for poor health or cognitive decline. At 64, I am a full-time Charge Nurse, mother of an adult autistic son, a writer here at David’s Way and an avid, passionate heavy weight trainer. I do not have time for either physical or mental malady and actively pursue excellence in health in every area. I have heard the expression, “Divine Health” and I am in hot pursuit of just that. Nutrition is the foundation for a high functioning life in all areas. Although I work out with ardor, unless my nutrition is on spot, I will not accomplish my goals. Not only are abs made in the kitchen, for the most part, so is your brain.

Brain Fuel

 You should not eat more than your calorie allowance as recommended by your doctor. We also have the Calorie Counter Pro to help with that. We do need to eat enough whole foods to support our neurological system. I remember when my grandfather was living. He severely restricted his nutrition because he would only eat a few foods. They were good choices, but they were not adequate. He developed dementia in his 80’s and became mentally unstable. It was not Alzheimer’s Disease. There is good evidence that poor nutrition can negatively impact your brain health. (2) Think about how your car runs on good fuel and how it runs on bad fuel. In order to have a smooth running brain that can take us where we want to go, we must fuel accordingly. We must eat enough of the right foods to have optimum brain health into our old age.

A multi-faceted approach works best when you’re working on brain health. Choose whole, healthy foods from different food groups. Avoid sugar and processed foods.

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Cognitive Decline

Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, collards and broccoli are rich in vitamin K.  Lutein, folate and beta carotene and may help slow cognitive decline. Fatty fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They are believed to decrease beta-amyloid plaques that form damaging clumps in Alzheimer’s Disease. Try to eat fish at least twice per week. Salmon is an excellent choice. If you don’t like fish you might ask your doctor for an omega-3 supplement. Flaxseeds, avocado and walnuts are excellent choices for healthy fat.

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Memory and Mood

Berries help improve memory and have been observed to delay memory decline by as much as 2 1/2 years. Tea and coffee are credited with the ability to solidify new memories because of their caffeine content. The caffeine gives a quick burst of energy but also plays a larger part in memory retention. Walnuts are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They contain a specific healthy fat known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which can lower the blood pressure and protect arteries which is good for the heart and the brain. (3)

Inflammation

Turmeric contains curcumin which has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It may benefit memory in Alzheimer’s patients. It may also help to clear the amyloid plaques that are present in this disease. Turmeric boosts serotonin and dopamine and improves mood. It has been shown to alleviate depression in about six weeks in some people. Curcumin also helps new brain cells grow and may delay age-related mental decline.

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Broccoli is rich in vitamin K that is necessary to form sphingolipids. This is the fat that’s densely packed into brain cells. It may help with memory and inflammation. It can reduce the destructive free radicals in the body and help protect the brain. Pumpkin Seeds are rich in zinc that is critical in nerve signaling. Zinc deficiency has been linked to many neurological conditions. They contain significant amounts of magnesium which is essential to learning.

Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C which helps to defend the brain against free radical damage. You can get your daily allowance of vitamin C in one orange. Eggs are a wonderful source of choline. Choline is very important in proper brain functioning and also positively  impacts mood. Choline is necessary for acetylcholine in the brain which is deficient in Alzheimer’s Disease.

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These foods are great for memory and helping to protect the brain against cognitive decline. They also help to improve mood. Begin to be pro-active where your brain health is concerned. Move into your senior years with excitement and anticipation of great things to come and always do your part to be the very best that you can be. With good brain health, you can truly live your entire life to your maximum potential. Clear your cabinets of junk foods, full of empty calories and sugars that cause brain inflammation and get sharper today.

 

 

 

(1) https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/life-expectancy

(2) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626

(3) https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/foods-linked-to-better-brainpower