Category: Uncategorized

Fat Loss Versus Weight Loss

Photo by Natasha Spencer from Pexels

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

Not necessarily!

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

Photo by Natasha Spencer from Pexels

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

Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat!

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

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

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

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

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

 

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COVID 19 and Metabolic Syndrome

Free stock photo from Pixabay

As some of you might already know, I very recently recovered from a bout with COVID 19. I am here to tell you, this sickness is no joking matter and it needs to be taken quite seriously despite the fact some people will display little to only a few symptoms. I am in excellent physical condition and it affected me pretty good for three weeks. While I was fortunate to not experience troubles with my lungs consolidating, the virus made my entire body hurt. My body hurt in a way to where it was like I could feel pain in every fiber of every muscle in my body. Even the tendons and ligaments were painful to me. And then, the fatigue was enough to have me sleeping more than half of the hours of each day for two weeks, and after the third week, I was still feeling weak when I resumed my weight training. Being quarantined to the house (my wife Loraine had this too) became difficult when we were running low on groceries and trying to find a store or business that could deliver goods to our home.

There are so many ways this virus affects us that we cannot truly appreciate until we have been impacted by it. I love to eat, but for three weeks I hated food. Instead of losing my sense of taste and smell, everything I ate or drank tasted and smelled kind of earthy and pungent to me. My coffee tasted the same as my scrambled eggs, which tasted the same as anything else I consumed. Everything tasted the same, and none of it tasted good. A month later, my sense of taste is still a little bit off, but at least my coffee is once again tasting like coffee instead of like brewing peat moss scraped off a rock in the forest into a hot drink.

Overall, Loraine and I got off easy compared to some. I was fearful for her being as she still has a compromised immune system from her breast cancer. We have both recovered without hospitalization, yet my friends wife just got out of an extended stay in the hospital as a result of contracting this virus. I know a few other people who have lost loved ones to this sickness and despite this, I still know a few who are not taking it seriously. Common sense has to prevail my friends. I’m not suggesting we should run around looking for death under every rock, but we must still take care of our health and take precautions against the virus.

How does COVID 19 affect those with Metabolic Syndrome?

ArtTower, free stock photo from Pixabay

First, what is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, which increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and inactivity, and it is also linked to insulin resistance.

Patients with metabolic syndrome exhibited an almost 4-times greater odds of fatal Covid-19 outcomes, compared to patients without metabolic syndrome in the multivariable analysis.

Among the patients hospitalized for Covid-19, having three common comorbidities associated with metabolic syndrome – hypertension, obesity and diabetes – was associated with an almost 5-fold increase in risk for requiring treatment in an ICU, being placed on mechanical ventilation and developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The findings suggest that metabolic syndrome is a “composite predictor of Covid-19 lethal outcome,” wrote researcher Joshua Denson, MD, of Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, and colleagues. (1)

“Together, obesity, diabetes and pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels are all predictive of higher incidents of death in these patients. The more of these diagnoses that you have, the worse the outcomes,” said lead investigator Joshua Denson, MD, assistant professor of medicine and pulmonary and critical care medicine physician at Tulane University School of Medicine, in a statement. “The underlying inflammation that is seen with metabolic syndrome may be the driver that is leading to these more severe cases.”

While many observational studies have examined the impact of diabetes, obesity, and other risk factors with COVID-19 outcomes, Denson and a team of colleagues sought to further this understanding by assessing the impact of metabolic syndrome and each of its individual components on outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Using the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for metabolic syndrome, investigators designed their study as an assessment of data collected from a pair of Tulane-affiliated hospitals in New Orleans. (2)

Metabolic Syndrome is Preventable!

Preventing metabolic syndrome is most certainly possible. you can prevent yourself from getting this condition by maintaining a healthy waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, a huge obstacle blocking the way to prevention is there are far too many people who are apathetic about their weight and health until it actually does make them uncomfortable. Sadly, some never get over their apathy.  In talking to people about nutrition and fitness, it is not uncommon to hear people say they “do not do healthy” and that “they are going to enjoy life by eating whatever the hell they want”. It is not rocket science that our immune system is our defense against disease, and poor nutrition is the most common cause of immunodeficiencies. Maintaining your immune system requires an intake of proper vitamins and minerals. Eating a well-balanced diet, including fruits, vegetables and food low in unhealthy fats, will help support a *healthy immune system. Yet, quick junk foods still are the go to for a majority of western society of today. We can see the evidence of this each day by the long drive through lines at any fast food joint you might drive past in America on any given day.

Picture credit MabelAmber, free photo stock Pixabay

Exercise and weight loss will aid in preventing Metabolic Syndrome. You can begin by consuming a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while excluding sugar and processed foods. Leading a sedentary life leads to Metabolic Syndrome, therefore exercise of some sort is also important when it comes to preventing this condition. Regular physical activity will reduce your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. The key is to try to maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program or radically changing your diet.

It Is Expensive to be Unhealthy!

Nearly two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a healthier diet could prevent at least $71 billion per year in medical costs and lost lives. That number may be underestimated because it only accounts for diet-related coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. It does not include other diet-related illnesses.

Seventy-five percent of health care dollars are spent on treating preventable diseases. (3)

(1) https://www.physiciansweekly.com/covid-19-metabolic-syndrome-strong-risk-factor-for-death/

(2) https://www.endocrinologynetwork.com/view/impact-of-metabolic-syndrome-on-covid-19-outcomes-in-black-patients

(3) https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=ff0de079-682c-4f1a-b686-6b5b50e2f541

Lifestyle Tips for Autoimmune Disease

Hard Road to Travel

Some of my earliest memories involve my beautiful mother sitting, painting a product called, “Heet” on her wrists. She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 19 soon after giving birth to me. Although she suffered immensely her entire life, that dreadful disease did not stop her from living a full and productive life, which says something for her and her doctor. The day that she was diagnosed, he told her, “Bobbie, there’s not much we can do about this. You have to make up your mind right now that it will not stop you. Do not ever sit down and stay there for long, because if you do, you will spend the rest of your life in a wheel chair and never be independent again.” It scared her and honestly, I almost NEVER saw her sitting down. She got up at 7AM every day and worked like a maniac. Her house was spotless and she looked like a million bucks, always primping and preening and beautiful. She put her make-up on right after her first cup of coffee and proceeded to attack the day. Through the years, she tried several prescription medications aimed at helping RA, but they all made her deathly ill and finally settled in with prednisone being her only relief. While that drug is good for a lot, the effects of long-term use had some devastating effects. I watched her health deteriorate her whole life until she passed away at age 68 from sepsis brought on by a bone infection from a surgery site that was performed to correct a bone deformity that was so bad that something had to be done.

Lifestyle

While my mother was skinny and adhered to a very restrictive diet, she would not drink water, did eat sugar and was obsessed with what other people thought of her and our family to the point that if I got into any kind of trouble whatsoever, she could barely hold her head up in public. I have always believed that her lifestyle may have impacted her health in a very negative way. Human beings have to have water. Adequate intake can help fight inflammation. (1) Sugar is a horribly inflammatory agent and obsession with other people’s opinion will negatively impact you every time. We teach making your world small because you can’t please most people, and constantly trying to please them, will make you produce stress hormones which are also inflammatory.

Practical Tips

Autoimmune Disease of all types can be life-threatening and you MUST be under a medical doctor’s care! There are lifestyle changes that may ease some of your suffering. Check with your doctor before making any changes to your daily routine.

  • Get Regular Physical Activity That Has Been Approved By Your Doctor. Gradual, gentle exercise usually works best. My mother loved to swim whenever she had a chance. It was about the only exercise that did not cause her pain. My dad was going to build her an in-ground pool but she would not let him and I don’t know why. I truly believe that she would have been so much better off. Some people like yoga or tai chi due to it’s gentle nature and it’s ability to calm the mind. Living with chronic pain creates a stress unlike any other and calming activity is so good.
  • Rest. Good quality sleep is so important for everyone but if you have auto-immune disease, it’s especially beneficial in helping repair tissues and joints that may be affected by the disease process. Without enough sleep, stress levels rise and your mind and body both will feel the damage. Sleep helps regulate the immune system which is imperative. Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
  • REDUCE STRESS. Our ‘Making Your World Small” (David Yochim) motto is one of the best tools for doing this. When stress levels rise, symptoms may be triggered. In my mother’s case, stress was one of the most devastating influential factors in her bad health. She did not seem to have the ability to detach from other people’s opinions and her life was filled with anxiety because of it. When she was stressed, her symptoms always worsened. If someone or something has a negative impact on you, ditch them. If you can’t, find a way to detach from them, or the situation, emotionally. Your struggle for health is more important than ANYBODY’S opinion.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet.  Include lean protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Limit saturated fats, trans fats, salt and added sugars. In auto-immune disease, new cells may be produced that can cause cholesterol to be trapped inside of blood vessels so in light of that, it is recommended to avoid it also. (2)  Most processed foods contain this list of no-no’s in abundance. Freshly prepared food is always best.

 

 

(1) https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/healthy-eating/best-drinks-for-arthritis

(2) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181108130543.htm#:~:text=Summary%3A,become%20trapped%20inside%20blood%20vessels.

Those Pesky Bat Wings!

Free stock photo, Flickr

The bane of many women who lose weight is the saggy skin left on the back of the arms, often referred to as “Bat Wings”. This saggy skin can be quite the eyesore to one who has worked hard to successfully lose weight – it can seem like a punishment for doing good for oneself. To understand what you can do about  your unsightly Bat Wings, you must first understand how they occurred in the first place. Understanding the cause of a problem is always key to a successful remedy.

Bat Wings are caused when you have very little muscle tone underneath a fatty arm. As you lose body fat, there is very little muscle tone to fill that now empty space. To make matters worse, if you lose weight too quickly because of a very low calorie diet, you will also be losing what muscle is there along with the fatty tissue. Additionally, Bat Wings are typically more than fat alone. As you get older, your skin quality changes. Skin that was once tight and elastic becomes thinner and stretched out. On the arms, this excess skin is prone to jiggling with movement, hence the name Bat Wings.

Weight loss is a major contributing factor to developing bat wings. When you gain weight, the skin stretches to accommodate more fat. Unfortunately, skin doesn’t contract as easily as it expands. Loose skin and remaining pockets of fat on the upper arm are very common after weight loss, especially for women.

What can you do about your Bat Wings?

If you are just beginning your weight loss journey, please be patient and do not try to lose more than 1 or 2 pounds per week maximum. I know we can get anxious to get the weight off, but slow and steady is the best course for you to take.  The more time you give your skin to adapt to your new body size, the more you minimize your risk of loose skin. Even if you’ve already lost a significant amount of weight, slowing down your weight loss for the rest of your weight loss journey can help you keep your skin as tight as possible.

Lean muscle takes up space under your skin, which helps reduce your risk of developing loose skin,  it also gives your arms more definition so they look more toned. The best way to tone flabby arms after weight loss starts with compound exercises: Pushups work your triceps, chest and the front of your shoulders, while inverted rows challenge your biceps, the back of your shoulders and the muscles in your back.  You can also do isolation exercises to build specific muscles; you should include bicep curls, overhead triceps extensions and lateral shoulder raises into your weight-training routine. The truth is, if you want your arms to look good, you are going to have to fill in that voided space underneath your skin with lean muscle mass.

Set Realistic Expectations for Yourself

While slowing weight loss and building muscle helps, this will not make loose skin disappear for everyone. This is especially true if your weight loss has involved losing more than 50 pounds or if you had been overweight for a long time. At that point, your skin may have stretched to the point that it loses some elasticity, so it’s not able to shrink back and accommodate your new smaller size. If you have lost a significant amount of weight, there is a chance that you may never build enough muscle to give your arms the toned look you may desire. There are medical options, such as surgery and other sculpting methods, but these options should be only between you and your physician. While loose skin or fat might affect your confidence, remember that it’s actually a sign of the enormous step you’ve taken to improve your health and live a happy, healthy lifestyle. 

Sugar Free Banana Apple Muffins

Nutritional Info

Serves 9

Calories 161

Net Carbs 8 grams

Fat 12 grams

Protein 6 grams

We got this recipe from our friend and follower Pam, or Runner Pam of Instagram fame. She did not create it but it’s one of her all-time favorites. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup mashed ripe banana

1 Tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups almond flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Dash of salt

1/2 cup chopped apple

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line 9 muffin cups or coat with baking spray.

Mix eggs, banana and butter and mix well and set aside.

Combine almond flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.

Add apple and mix just til blended.

Put into muffin tin and bake 18-22 minutes or til golden brown and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Transfer to rack and cool.

 

Cardiovascular Training/Walk, Run or Jog

There is probably no better exercise for restoration of the body and mind than a good outside walk, run or jog. Being outside in the great outdoors with your heart pumping extra oxygenated blood throughout your body does wonderful things for physical and mental healing. It matters not if you are an avid runner, or just one who likes to go for brisk walks, the benefit is all the same. Cardiovascular training not only aids in lowering your risk for heart disease, it also reduces stress levels, increases energy, and improves sleep and digestion. It is a well established fact that regular cardiovascular training improves muscular function and strength and improvement in the body’s ability to take in and use oxygen.  As one’s ability to transport and use oxygen improves, regular daily activities can be performed with less fatigue than when your cardiovascular health is not optimal.

You do not need to be a marathon runner or an elite athlete to derive significant benefits from cardiovascular activity. You do not have to already be in “shape to begin.  Know that you should always consult your physician before starting any type of exercise.

Clearly, most people can derive significant benefits from integrating a half hour of moderate activity into their day. If you know you simply cannot or will not set aside a half hour of activity on a given day, then try to work more activities into the day by taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or try walking rather than driving a short distance to the store. Try to work several shorter periods of activity, such as 10 minutes, into your schedule. The most important thing is to get started.

Whether you walk, run or jog, cardiovascular training can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. It may also help prevent certain diseases and even prolong your life. Best of all, cardiovascular exercise is free, and quite easy to fit into your daily routine. All you need to start  is a good pair of shoes for the exercise you are going to do.

Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise:

Cardio helps you burn calories.

Burning calories can help you maintain or lose weight. Your actual calorie burn will depend on several factors, including:

  • your speed
  • distance covered
  • terrain (you’ll burn more calories walking uphill than you’ll burn on a flat surface)
  • your weight
Cardio strengthens the heart.

Walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can reduce your risk for coronary heart disease. And your risk may reduce even more when you increase the duration or distance you walk per day.

Cardio can help to lower your blood sugar.

It is well established that by taking a short walk after eating, you can lower your blood sugar.  Studies have found that taking a 15-minute walk three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) improved blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk at another point during the day. Consider making a post-meal walk a regular part of your routine. It can also help you fit exercise in throughout the day.

Note: If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle, give yourself a half hour after eating before beginning any vigorous exercise.

Cardio can ease joint pain.

Walking can help protect the joints, including your knees and hips. That’s because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints. Walking may also provide benefits for people living with arthritis, such as reducing pain. And walking 5 to 6 miles a week may also help prevent arthritis.

Cardio helps to improve your mood.

Walking can help your mental health. Studies show it can help reduce anxiety, depression, and a negative mood. It can also boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal. To experience these benefits, aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate intensity exercise three days a week. You can also break it up into three 10-minute walks.

Walking can clear your head and help you think creatively, especially when walking outdoors. It is a most excellent way to open up a free flow of ideas and is a simple way to increase creativity and get physical activity at the same time.

What if the inclement weather does not permit outside cardiovascular exercise?

If weather keeps you from outside exercise, then you might consider buying a treadmill for home use. There are many on the market and are a great investment for your health and wellbeing. Using one will help you lose weight and burn fat, and you can get started at almost any level of fitness. Benefits of having a treadmill at home include:

  1. Cheaper than a gym membership for a year but will last longer.
  2. Available all year round 24/7 – whenever you have a spare 5 or 10 minutes.
  3. You’ll burn extra calories to help boost your weight loss.
  4. No need to get changed into gym wear. Just pop on your trainers, grab a bottle of water and go!
  5. Doesn’t matter what the weatherman says, you can walk regardless.
  6. Brilliant for de-stressing after work or when the kids are finally in bed.
  7. It is a great way to wake you up in the morning.
  8. You can listen to songs you love that no one else likes while you’re walking on the treadmill. Even your guilty pleasure songs that you don’t admit to anyone you like!
  9. You could listen to an audible book while burning some calories.
  10. You could even set up your laptop and catch up on an episode of your favourite TV program while you’re walking.
  11. Only got 3 minutes spare? You can walk on the treadmill.
  12. Many of them fold up so loads of space isn’t needed.
  13. You can use the incline on your treadmill to make the walk a little harder which will make you burn even more calories.
  14. It will help to tone up your bottom – walking uphill is great for the glutes
  15. Looking for some peace and quiet? Get on the treadmill
  16. Need to work through a problem? Work it out while you’re working out!

If you are considering the purchase of your first treadmill, you do not need to feel the need to break your bank with the most expensive model you can find. Yet, you also do not want to choose one that is cheaply made, they will not last any longer than their warranty, which is usually not that long. Our good friends at ConsumersAdvocate have an excellent, in depth review of treadmills you can read by clicking the link provided. This is a must read before making your purchase. In their article, they discuss price ranges, features, warranty and customer service for several good treadmills you can find at your local sporting goods outlet. Do yourself a favor and be armed with solid information before putting down your hard earned cash and this investment into your health and well being.

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The Insulin and Cholesterol Connection

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

The sweetness of sugar tastes oh so good, and has brought us great joy in life. It has been fed to us since early childhood by the person in our lives we trust the most – our mothers.

Yet, sugar  is also terribly bad for us.

This white, crystalline goodness not only decays our teeth, it also causes our pancreas to secrete one of the body’s most powerful hormones – insulin. While insulin is necessary for the regulation of our blood sugar, an overabundance of it will eventually result to insulin resistance. The main culprit behind insulin resistance is overeating,  high sugar intake, inflammation, inactivity, genetics and increased body fat. A high level of blood sugar is associated with a host of complications, including cholesterol abnormalities.

The linking factor is insulin resistance!

Have you ever noticed the prevalence of media advertisements for diabetic drugs and statins for high cholesterol? Is it just a coincidence these advertisements have prevailed with the increase of sugar consumption?

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells. As long as your pancreas can make enough insulin to overcome your cells’ weak response to insulin, your blood glucose levels will stay in the healthy range.

With insulin resistance, you may also develop an abnormal cholesterol profile – low high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good cholesterol”), high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”), and high triglycerides. These cholesterol abnormalities then greatly increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Even if you are currently healthy, the smart money is on managing your blood sugar as a means of protecting your cardiovascular health.

Insulin Resistance and Cholesterol Changes

Once you have consumed a meal, all of the carbohydrates are then broken down into glucose by your digestive system. This glucose is then absorbed through the wall of your intestines into your bloodstream. Once there, insulin causes the glucose to be absorbed into various cells in order for them to have the energy to function and do their jobs. Insulin also blocks the breakdown of fat into fatty acids (lipolysis) within your body.

Insulin resistance is when the cells become less responsive to this process. As a result, blood sugar eventually increases, which is why it’s considered a precursor to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Fats are also broken down within the body at an increased rate, and this ultimately leads to various cholesterol changes.

Specifically, insulin resistance lowers HDL and raises triglycerides and LDL.

 Insulin resistance increases your risk for both high glucose levels and abnormal cholesterol levels, which then increases your risk for heart disease!

Heart disease is the leading cause of death across the globe! People with insulin resistance are 93% more likely to also develop heart disease.

The following are risk factors for insulin resistance:

  • being overweight or obese, especially when the extra weight is around the midriff
  • a sedentary lifestyle or one that is low in exercise
  • smoking
  • sleep issues
  • high blood pressure has been linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance

You can take steps to reverse insulin resistance:

  • Exercise. Go for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity (like brisk walking) 5 or more days a week. If you’re not active now, work up to that.
  • Get to a healthy weight . If you’re not sure what you should weigh or how to reach a weight loss goal, ask your doctor. You may also want to talk with a nutritionist and a certified personal trainer.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish, legumes, and other lean protein. Follow our simple to follow plan here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness.

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Believe In Yourself

We frequently tell you to create your life. You alone have administrative powers in your life. Regardless of your situation right now, you can create a vision of the life that you want. Once you have your vision, focus every thought and action towards achieving that life. We have never told you that it would be easy, only possible. It’s up to you. However, working through great difficulty is still easier than allowing your health to deteriorate and living as a chronically ill person. If you find yourself chronically ill today, listen to your medical doctor. Listen to everything he tells you. Don’t listen selectively to justify unhealthy habits.  Listen and do your part. Pursue health with everything in you. Envision yourself healthy and develop healthy habits. Your quality of life will be better. If you’re healthy now, your health will be even better when you focus all of your efforts on becoming your best self.

Fill your life with positive input in the form of people who encourage you to excel. Be pro-active in self advocacy. Champion your own cause. Never allow yourself to be manipulated by negative people and circumstances that do not have your best interest at heart. When the office doughnut pusher confronts you with a box of beautifully decorated doughnuts, smile and say, “No way!” That individual might be trying to keep you weaker than them. Rise up and do what’s best for you.

When you get your vision and pursue it with your whole heart, you will see a different life begin to unfold right before your eyes. Take control. You are the Boss.

Common Sense Eating

Let me tell you a straightforward and  blunt fact of life that I cannot in good conscious sugarcoat for you. I am not one who is into hurting feelings, but to get my message through to you, I will not wrap it up in a pretty little package and top it with a ribbon and bow to make you feel good.

My mission is first and foremost to help you.

Do you know why every diet plan you have tried has always failed you?

It is because it lacked COMMON SENSE!

If your nutritional habits are not based in common sense, you are doomed to a life of being overweight or obese. It is as simple as that.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Which food group looks most like what you eat on a regular basis?

Photo by Caleb Oquendo from Pexels

Be real with yourself if your meals are more like the lower picture than the one above.

Are the nutritional values of these two pictures even remotely close to being the same?

Common sense dictates that we need to fuel our bodies with good fuel if we want to be at our best level of health and fitness. Yet, fast food has become a daily staple for far too many in western society.

From US Center for Disease Control:

34% of children eat fast food on any given day.

Regular fast food consumption increases your risks for obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes & depression.

Fast food consumption increases 2.2% every year.

Fast food is high in calories and loaded with fat, sugar & salt. Most of the nutrition that would be present has been stripped away due to processing, so those things are added in order to make the food taste good. Combine that with a caffeine & sugar laden soft drink and it’s no wonder we all hit that work day slump around 3 pm. Fast food might taste good – but common sense should tell us, it’s not good for our body. Fueling our body with fast food is like knowingly putting bad fuel in our car.

It just does not make sense!

Now, let’s move on to commercial weight loss diet plans and why they fail you.

Photo by Vickie Intili from Pexels

Common sense dictates that to lose weight, and keep it off, your nutritional habits have to become your lifestyle and not something temporary with an endpoint. The problem with every diet is there will always be an endpoint at some time in the future. 

One of the top weight loss companies in America, if not the top, has a convoluted diet plan that can, and does work for some. But, it leaves too much wiggle room for those who do not apply common sense. In their plan, which you pay good money for, foods are given an assigned number of points while healthier choices are not given any points at all. What happens, and why people fail at this plan is, they will eat all their points in poor nutritional choices and then fill up for the rest of the day on foods that do not have any points. The problem is the foods  that are not assigned points still have calories that add up. If you eat 500 calories per day over your caloric needs, common sense dictates you are going to still gain 1 pound per week no matter the foods that put you over are zero point foods. Common sense can, and does fly right out the window when you allow people wiggle room with their nutrition.

Diet Foods/Plans Sent to Your Home

There are more than a couple companies that will promise you weight loss by eating their foods and following their simple plans for an expensive fee. They entice you with menu pictures that look like the picture above,but what you receive is pictured below.

I have to tell you, my wife tried the Nutrisystem once a few years back. The food was simply awful, and was not satisfying at all. If I had a choice between eating these prepackaged foods or the MRE (Meals Ready To Eat) that we ate while in the field when I was in the military, I would go for the MRE.

But here is the larger problem with these prepackaged diet meals.

These programs really do not teach you anything about good nutrition, and you are not learning how to prepare healthy foods for yourself at home. For permanent weight loss, and successful management of your body fat levels, you have to learn to cook foods for yourself that are nutritionally sound and which are not full of empty calories that provide you no health benefit.

Ordering a month’s worth of food is easy, and the items are already made for you. But you won’t have your usual degree of control over what foods you choose to eat.  You can  expect to pay from about $230 to the mid $300s a month for the Nutrisystem foods, plus whatever you buy from the grocery store. The real question is whether you can continue to lose weight or maintain your weight when you are no longer relying on these prepackaged foods.

Common sense should tell you the odds are stacked against you.

Meal Replacement Drinks

While there may be some valid reasons to use meal replacement drinks on occasion, it does not make sense to believe you can or should use these for the long term. The smart money is once again, on preparing healthy and nutritional whole foods to nourish your body with.

It’s just good old fashioned common sense to do so!

In most cases, these products are designed to be bought and sold in bulk and do NOT contain fresh ingredients. Grocery stores keep them stocked on shelves for months. And they’re often kept in vending machines where they must be shelf-stable. These meal replacement drinks must have a long shelf-life, and they have be safe to consume without refrigeration. When both of these features go into any food, it can be an unhealthy combination. In most cases, the ingredients need to be heavily processed. And as a direct result of all that processing, there’s little whole-food nutrition or nutrients left over in the meal replacement itself. That means many of the necessary ingredients for healthy digestion, food absorption and a nutritionally sound diet are greatly reduced.

For anyone who wants to lose unwanted weight, it can be mighty tempting to skip real food and consume meal replacement drinks. However,  there’s one major problem with this strategy – meal replacement drinks for weight loss do not work over the long-term. While you might drop a few pounds quickly, you’re more likely to end up feeling deprived, restricted, low in energy and full of cravings for the foods you actually enjoy.

At David’s Way, we take a holistic, whole body approach to weight loss and management!

David’s Way is a healthy nutrition and active lifestyle based on years of personal experience and scientific research. Our methodology involves the consumption of a high protein, low carbohydrate, nutritionally sound and diabetic friendly diet. At David’s Way we don’t tell you what to eat so much as we tell you what not to eat. This is no weight loss gimmick, this simple plan is how our mothers, grandmothers and generations past used to feed us. It is simply a matter of using portion control when consuming healthy, whole foods, while avoiding foods that are not nutritionally sound. In other words, do not consume anything that does not provide you a nutritional benefit.

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

Common Sense Approach!

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

The Impossible Burger Review

Not long ago, my younger sister suggested I do a review on Burger King’s vegetarian Impossible Whopper. I normally never eat fast foods and would have no reason to enter a fast food restaurant unless I was on the go and would not be able to eat for several hours. But, it is always good to know where one can go and still have a healthier choice of foods than the typical burger and fry meals served at almost all fast food establishments.I have not had a reason, nor opportunity since her suggestion to review the Impossible Whopper, but last Saturday I was excited to see my local Dillons grocery store is now selling the Impossible Burger. I bought a package for a review and found myself quite pleased with the product.

As you can see, the Impossible Burger almost looks like actual meat, and, I noticed this product did not have the faint smell of dog food as a couple other veggie burgers I have tried.

Hmm, vegetarian burgers that bleed as you cook them… This blood is what gives the Impossible Burger it’s meaty flavor. However, it is not truly blood of course. What this blood is, is Soy leghemoglobin which is short for legume hemoglobin — the hemoglobin found in soy, a leguminous plant. Leghemoglobin is a protein found in plants that carries heme, an iron-containing molecule that is essential for life. Heme is found in every living being — both plants and animals. (Heme in animals is carried by “hemoglobin” and “myoglobin” among other proteins.)

Out of all the fake meats I have sampled for reviews, the Impossible Burger truly is more meat like than I ever thought possible. In fact, I believe that once the burgers are dressed on a bun, most people would never know the difference between these and actual ground beef. The taste and texture are similar enough to the real thing that if someone said something about the taste, it could be played off on how you had seasoned the burgers before cooking. I’m not suggesting you fib about these burgers, I am just trying to illustrate a point to how much they do in fact resemble actual ground beef burgers. I will say, this carnivore likes these veggie burgers and will buy them for a little something different in the future.

Nutrition:

 From Impossible Burger Website:

Impossible Burger is made from proteins, flavors, fats, and binders. The key difference from your average beef burger? Our ingredients are derived from plants. Here’s an overview:

  • Protein from soy and potatoes
  • Flavor from heme (the molecule that makes meat taste, well, meaty)
  • Fat from coconut and sunflower oils make it sizzle on the griddle
  • Binders, methylcellulose and food starch, hold it together so you can make anything you want — meatballs, kebabs, patties, and more.

Want the details?  Here’s the ingredient list:

Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals (Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12).

The Impossible Burger comes in at 240 calories which is about 49 calories less than an equivalent 4 oz 80/20 ground beef patty. Nutritionally, these burgers have somewhat of an edge over their meat counter parts since they also contain 3 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein which is the same as ground beef. Impossible Burgers contain soy protein concentrate, which is a good source of fiber, as well as folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, and iron, but most importantly, it’s the only commonly consumed plant protein that’s comparable in quality to animal protein. Soy protein carries a full complement of all nine essential amino acids which our bodies can only receive from the foods we consume.

Protein quality is typically defined in terms of protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), which is a measure of its essential amino acid composition and digestibility.  Higher PDCAAS means higher quality, with 1.00 being the highest score possible. Soy protein concentrate has a published PDCAAS of 0.95. For reference, conventional ground beef from cows has a published PDCAAS of 0.92. Soy protein’s high PDCAAS means you get plenty of nutritional bang for your buck with the Impossible Burger– a 4oz. serving has 31% of the daily value (DV) for protein. Comparing the DVs for different proteins is a better way of comparing two products than grams of protein alone. Two foods may have the same amount of protein per serving, but very different DVs because of differences in their PDCAAS.

The Impossible Burgers are going to cost you about $7.00 US for a package of 2 burgers. While this is more expensive than ground beef, it is still less expensive than going out to buy a hamburger anywhere you could go anyhow. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself how much is too much for healthy foods, and why? You could spend this much or more on a single serving of ice cream at your local Dairy Queen.

My bottom line is that while I do enjoy these vegetarian products, I am not going to give up my meats anytime soon. I enjoy a good steak on occasion and there is no good reason for me to not indulge in this delicious source of protein. Going vegetarian or vegan is a personal choice, but one thing I can promise you is – if you go vegetarian or vegan, this in itself does not in any way mean that you are also going to lose any weight. I have encountered several overweight and obese vegans over the years. No matter what you choose to eat, you must make wise decisions in the foods you consume. Moderation is still key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight no matter what you are eating on a daily basis.