New You

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash/new

Caught In The Loop

New goals give us hope for great outcomes! When we see things that we want to change, we automatically begin to consider new possibilities. Pretty quickly our excitement about our metamorphosis begins to be marred by thoughts about previous failures. We begin to think that if we have been unable to lose weight before we won’t be able to lose weight now. Abandoning a workout program in the past haunts us as we make out our new exercise schedule. The specter of failure lingers throughout every day until we eventually begin to identify with the underachiever pictured in our minds.

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

New Reason…or Old Excuse?

When we listen to our own thoughts about our perceived inability to make positive changes in our lives, we begin to act on those thoughts. We repeat negative behaviors that manifest the same results that brought us to this place to begin with. While some people would view this as a cause for failure, I present a different thought. I believe that we sabotage ourselves with negative thoughts because once we decide to get healthy, make a plan, buy the stuff and begin to implement our plan, we realize that there’s more to this than talk.

As we embark on the journey of changing our nutritional and exercise habits, the harsh reality that new habits are hard work becomes all too real for many. At that time, it’s very easy to just relax and slide right back into what we know. As the old saying goes, “Talk is cheap.” Now it’s time to “Put your money where your mouth is.” Negative self-talk will bring about our most comfortable, instantly gratifying response, chips, cookies and sitting in front of the T.V., so it may not be a reason for failure. It may be a tool that we use to take us back to a temporary comfort zone. Maybe that’s why it can be so hard to stop negative self-talk. Maybe we deliberately set ourselves up for failure to avoid hard work.

To make matters worse, as we constantly feed ourselves negative thoughts our self-esteem plummets and stress rises. Stress always causes a cortisol release and cortisol causes blood sugar to rise. An insulin dump is soon to follow in order to stabilize the rising blood sugar from the cortisol release. All of this see-sawing in the blood sugar and insulin cycle causes cravings, lethargy and repeated bad behavior. We will get genuinely hungry when the insulin kicks in to stabilize the cycle. As we experience hunger, we feel justified to eat anything to satisfy the gnawing in our stomach. So at this point, we have talked ourselves into failure and eaten our way into lethargy. Wouldn’t it be much better to leave off the negative self-talk to begin with?

Photo by Rojan Maharjan on Unsplash

Be Your Own Cheerleader

There’s a reason that athletic teams have cheerleaders. Listening to voices telling you that  you can do it, to go ahead and get it done, and that you are number one will help you accomplish your goals. Do NOT base your outlook for the future based on past failures. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results. If negative self-talk has not helped you in the past, why would you think that it ever will? You must base your pursuit of change on the expectation of positive outcomes.

Quite often we crave high calorie, sugar-laden junk when we are dealing with negative thoughts and emotions. One way to stop the knee-jerk binge reaction in these situations is to ask yourself the HALT questions. Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? If you are not experiencing hunger but you are experiencing negative emotions, then find an appropriate way to satisfy those negative emotions. The critical factor here is whether you want to progress or stay the same. If you want to progress, you will push yourself to do hard things such as asking yourself these questions and responding appropriately.

Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

Rewards!

Once you have clarified the source of your conflict and taken action to resolve it, reward yourself! It’s always better to reward yourself with things that help you achieve your goals. New workout clothes, equipment or a gym membership is ALWAYS better than food that got you in trouble to begin with. Addictive food will just pull you backwards. You can even reward yourself with healthy foods that you don’t usually buy because you think they’re too expensive. Sometimes moms won’t buy a food if they are the only one in the family that likes it. Buy it. You worked for it. When I was a child, my mother wouldn’t buy any fruit except apples and bananas because it was too expensive so now, berries and other delicious seasonal offerings are a treat for me. Reward yourself with good things that are good for you. Let’s face it, no one else recognizes the amount of effort that you put into reaching even the smallest milestone in your battle for health and fitness.

 

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Extended Rewards!

When we languish in the past and all of our failures and shortcomings, we set ourselves up for depression and anxiety. Positive thinking and optimism benefits may include: (1)

  • increased life span
  • lower rates of depression
  • lower rates of distress
  • greater resistance to the common cold
  • better psychological and physical well-being
  • better heart health
  • better coping skills

I have heard it said that our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. I do believe that is true. Decide today to let the past be passed and design your future as you see fit. Your past failures only have as much power over you as you give them. Your future is up to you.

Create your life.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

 

(1) Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress – Mayo Clinic News Network

Are You Food Addicted?

Man excited about a hamburger
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Food addicted people are not happy people. Sure, they appear happy when they are sitting down to a delicious meal, but that happiness is only temporary at best. That food induced euphoria leaves shortly after the meal has been consumed, and the realization comes that once again you have blown your diet.

How do I know this?

I know this because I have also struggled with my weight in years past, and know the emotions that come along with it. There is no joy in watching the number on the scale rising each week when we step on it. We secretly feel ashamed every time we pull on a pair of pants that fit a few weeks ago that are now too small for comfort. And there is most certainly no joy in the way we feel as one who is obese. No one can honestly say they feel good when they can’t do simple tasks without getting out of breath. Even basic tasks such as tying your shoes can be a problem when you can’t breath while bent over to do so. Yes, I have experienced all of this, and none of it ever brought joy into my life.

Oh, did I forgot to mention the sickness and shame that comes from quickly binge eating in secret too? Odds are, if you are obese, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Life does not have to be one that revolves around food for pleasure and comfort. But sadly food is highly likely to continue dominating our lives for an indeterminate amount of time going forward. Besides our chemical and biological addiction to sugar and simple carbs, there is another piece to the obesity puzzle. That other piece is flavorings. When we enjoy a treat such as a chocolate milkshake, not only are we feeding our sugar addiction, we are also getting great joy from the human palatants mixed into the chocolate syrup and vanilla flavorings.

What are Palatants?

Palatants are ingredient systems that are specially designed to make pet foods, treats, and supplements taste better, ensuring that pets receive the vital nutrients they need. Palatants entice a pet to consume a food, treat, or supplement that, while nutritious, may be inconsistent with their native diet.

Now for the rub, this is also done to human foods as well. The entire food industry has flavor scientists whose main function is in creating delectable manmade chemicals which we add to foods to make them taste better. People expend a great deal of effort making food taste good. In pursuit of palatability, we sprinkle spices, use flavorful fats, and choose varying preparation methods. Appetizing foods take center stage at parties, holidays, and family gatherings. Restaurants, snack food marketers and grocery stores are now doing to human foods what the pet food industry has been doing to, or for, our animals. We have foods that are now highly palatable as a result of science and manmade chemicals. They do this to keep us coming back for more!

Many of us are addicts and the food industry provides us with our next fix. It is up to us to break the chain of this cycle through nutritional education and then using what we learn to better our lives. No one is going to do it for us, not even your doctor. It is up to you to fix yourself.

Are You a Food Addict?

Answer the questions in the Yale Food Addiction Survey and think about your results.

Note: I am not licensed  to engage in clinical assessment or directly counsel and/or offer targeted therapy to a client with disordered eating.

This survey asks about your eating habits in the past year. People sometimes have difficulty controlling their intake of certain foods such as:
– Sweets like ice cream, chocolate, doughnuts, cookies, cake, candy, ice cream
– Starches like white bread, rolls, pasta, and rice
– Salty snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers
– Fatty foods like steak, bacon, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza, and French fries
– Sugary drinks like soda pop
When the following questions ask about “CERTAIN FOODS” please think of ANY food similar to those listed in the food group or ANY OTHER foods you have had a problem with in the past year.

  1. I find that when I start eating certain foods, I end up eating more than planned.
  2. I find myself continuing to consume certain foods even though I am no longer hungry.
  3. I eat to the point where I feel physically ill.
  4. Not eating certain types of food, or cutting down on certain types of food is something I worry about.
  5. I spend a lot of time feeling sluggish or fatigued from overeating.
  6. I find myself eating certain foods throughout the day.
  7. I find that when certain foods are not available, I will go out of my way to obtain them. For example, I will drive to the store to purchase certain foods even though I have other options available to me at home.
  8. There have been times when I consumed certain foods so often, or in such large quantities that I started to eat food instead of working, spending time with my family or friends, or engaging in other important activities or recreation activities I enjoy.
  9. There have been times when I consumed certain foods so often, or in large quantities that I spent time dealing with negative feelings from overeating instead of working, spending time with my family or friends, or engaging in other important activities or recreation activities I enjoy.
  10. There have been times when I avoided professional or social situations where certain foods were available, because I was afraid I would overeat.
  11. There have been times when I avoided professional or social situations because I was not able to consume certain foods there.
  12. I have had withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, or other physical symptoms when I cut down, or stopped eating certain foods.
  13. I have consumed certain foods to prevent feelings of agitation, anxiety, or other physical symptoms that were developing.
  14. I have found that I have elevated desire for, or urges to consume certain foods when I cutdown or quit eating them.
  15. My behavior with respect to food and eating causes significant distress.
  16. I experience significant problems in my ability to function efficiently because of food and eating.
  17. My food consumption has caused significant psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, self-loathing, or guilt.
  18. My food consumption has caused significant physical problems or made a physical problem worse.
  19. I kept consuming the same types of food or the same amount of food even though I was having emotional and/or physical problems.
  20. Over time, I have found that I need to eat more and more to get the feeling I want, such as reduced negative emotions or increased pleasure.
  21. I have found that eating the same amount of food does not reduce my negative emotions or increase pleasurable feelings the way it used to.
  22. I want to cut down or stop eating certain kinds of food.
  23. I have tried to cut down or stop eating certain kinds of food.
  24. I have been successful at cutting down or not eating these kinds of food.
  25. How many times in the past year did you try to cut down or stop eating certain foods
    altogether? (1)

Uncontrollable Cravings

For even more of David’s Way to Health and Fitness, give us a like and a follow on our Facebook page Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way.

(1) Yale Food Addiction Scale link: https://www.midss.org/sites/default/files/yale_food_addiction_scale.pdf

 

Why Diets Fail You!

character on broken scale
Freepik.com

It is obvious that most people do not grasp why diets fail them when you see all of the obesity in todays modern world. The majority of western society now has a terrible obesity problem which is only getting worse and worse every year.

The food industry as a whole have flavor scientists whose sole function is to find ways to make foods more and more palatable. These people work for restaurants,  junk food producers, and even grocery stores now. The entire food industry has an emphasis on making foods as tasty as they can, while ignoring how nutritious they are. It is hard enough to lose weight when we are addicted to carbs, but when we are also hooked on great flavors, the job gets even tougher.

Your task should be on educating yourself about nutrition in order to make healthy choices for yourself, and understand that some foods you really need to just give up. If you do not understand this point, you are doomed to fail. It may not happen right away, but you will revert back to obesity over time if you do not heed this warning. You should also know that organizations that charge you a fee to lose weight on their program, and who also allow you to continue eating poor food choices, do not have your best interest in mind. These businesses only care about taking your money which you naively hand over in the hope of losing weight for good. Would it not be reasonable to expect an absolute majority of people paying for commercial weight loss programs should be successful at weight loss and management?

Frustrated dieter
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The Reason Diets Fail Us

We become fat not only because we eat too many calories for our needs, but also because simple carbohydrates and sugar make us so.

Protein does not make us fat, and fats are not the evil culprits as some people might want to believe. For instance, how many people have you personally known who went onto a low fat diet, only to fail miserably. The problem with low fat diets is that they are usually relatively high in carbohydrates. The simple truth is, we lose weight and keep it off when we restrict our intake of carbohydrates.

When we get serious about losing weight whether through diet and/or exercise, we almost always make changes to what and how much we eat. Whether you realize it or not, your weight loss comes from a reduction in your carbohydrate intake. simply because they are the easiest to eliminate. We stop drinking beer, and quit eating sweet treats to cut our caloric intake, but these calories are carbohydrates that are exceptionally fattening.

When we stop drinking sugar sweetened drinks and fruit juices, we replace them with other drinks that do not contain sugars. When we do this, we are not only eliminating calories, we are also eliminating fructose which is specifically responsible for making those soft drinks and juices sweet. When we quit eating sweet treats, we might think we are eliminating fats that get a bad rap. However, once again, we are eliminating simple carbohydrates with an emphasis again on fructose. Fructose comprises half of the make up of refined sugar. Diets fail us when we do not cut out sugar and simple carbs.

When we go onto a calorie restricted diet, we are cutting the total number of carbohydrates we are consuming too. That is just simple math. If we cut our calories by half, we also have cut our carbohydrates by about half. Because carbohydrates usually comprise the largest portion of our nutritional habits, that is where we will see the greatest reduction of macro-nutrients.  Again, this is simple arithmetic.

When we diet, we are cutting our intake of fattening simple carbohydrates from our diet. This is the reason you lose weight. You have cut your intake of calories and carbs which cause you to lose water weight along with body fat. Every gram of carbohydrate you consume causes you to retain three grams of water, which is the only reason we lose weight so quickly in the first ten days or so.

When you begin eating low fat foods, you are not helping yourself in the least. The reason is, food producers will remove fat in order to remove some of the calories, but then they add sugar into the product in order to make it more palatable. For instance, when fat is removed from yogurt, it is usually replaced with high fructose corn syrup which is only going to sabotage your efforts! You might innocently believe that your low fat treat is a heart healthy snack, but the reality is it is only going to make you fatter because of the added carbohydrates and fructose.

Our diets fail us because they restrict foods that are not the culprits that make us fat. Protein builds muscle and tissue repair and replacement. Fats help our hormonal balance and assist with uptake of vitamins and minerals. Those carbohydrates and sugars that you are still eating are what spikes your blood sugar and insulin. Your diet will only last as long as you can stand being in a state of semi-starvation. And that is not going to be too long when you keep consuming simple carbs and sugar.

 Diets fail us when we do not make changes that work towards our goals. When we reduce our consumption of protein and fats, we starve our bodies of energy and protein required to rebuild tissues. The resultant hunger which will always accompany this only brings about a failure to succeed at weight loss and management.

Common Sense Eating

 

Quit Blaming Your Genetics

Obese woman eating a huge sandwich
Freepik.com

Just stop with blaming your genetics for your obesity. Of course genetics can, and do play a role in your metabolism and weight, but your problem is more so one of environment. You might honestly believe that since you come from a fat family that you cannot help your obesity, but this is simply not the case. Just because you have a family history of obesity and health problems, it does not mean your genes have doomed you.

Virtually every chronic disease is polygenic. That means that there are multiple genes which are in play when it comes to your health risks. Your genetics account for about 50% or less when it comes to your risk of obesity and poor health. When it comes to the genetic roll of the dice, you might just be a winner within a family of losers. You simply cannot just throw up your hands in defeat and blame your genetics for your obesity.

When it comes to obesity, there are thirty-nine genes that determine risk. However, only two have any real clinical import, and these are only found in about 16 percent of the population of obese people.  If you had every other obesity risk gene, these will only have about a 22 pound impact on your weight. When we look at people that surround us, we can clearly see that we have a larger problem than just 22 pounds. Our society has a problem of obesity that has become a problem of up to 100 pounds and more. We need to quit blaming genetics for this and begin looking at the real problem causing our weight problems. The problem is largely the result of the environments we grow up in.

The Environmental Problem

Genetics actually play only about a 15 percent role in our risk for obesity and chronic disease. The other 85 percent of our risks come from our personal environments. What this means is, there is plenty we can do to take control of our lives in order to prevent obesity and diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and virtually every other chronic disease. Your mother, and her mother may have been type 2 diabetics, but this does not mean you are doomed to the same fate. It is an 85 percent chance their diabetes came from their home environment instead. This is because they ate the same poor food choices that they introduced you too as well. This is not genes at play!

And when did you become introduced to poor nutritional choices?

You were introduced to these nutritional choices while you were still in your mothers womb. The foods your mother was eating while your fetus was gestating had an effect on your future much more than your genetics. Your mothers nutritional habits had an effect on your DNA called epigenetics. If she was eating poorly and was obese during her pregnancy, this placed you at the same risks as her. Conversely, if she had practiced good nutrition  and was at a healthy weight, then you would also be more prone to the same. Your genetics might play a small role, but it is more so your mother’s behaviors that you were exposed to that determined your risks. You cannot alter your propensity for obesity and chronic disease. But once you know the problem, you can alter the outcomes for yourself and your children. Quit blaming your genetics.

Knowledge is The Key!

There are many weight loss businesses that will take your money while claiming to help you lose weight. The problem is not only that they are unaffordable for some, they also do not teach you much about nutrition. If you lack nutritional knowledge, you are not likely to ever be successful at losing weight and then keeping it off. When you apply good knowledge to your nutritional habits, you will be successful, no matter your genetics. It is also not enough to just become knowledgeable, you need to teach your children about good nutritional practices too.

David’s Way to Health and Fitness is a Free Resource!

It has been my pledge from day one to always be a free resource to our readers and followers. We believe that everyone has the right to be healthy regardless of their financial status. Everything here on the website is free. You should never have to pay for the simple truth about how to lose weight. It’s not rocket science. While many entities make a lot of money dispensing information concerning weight loss, the way to lose weight is so simple that we believe that it’s an unalienable right to have free access to these basic truths. The truth should not be available only to those who can afford it. We’re here to help you manage your weight and live a healthy and full life through good nutritional practices and physical fitness. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM. We do not offer any medical advice or treatment of any kind. We DO NOT offer any advice concerning medical diets.

For more of David’s Way to Health and Fitness, check us out on Facebook. Simply click on this link where you will find Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way.

Check out this great article by Brenda Sue!  Genetics and Habits in Obesity

 

Low Carb Pizza Casserole

4 oz. turkey pepperoni or your meat of choice

4 oz. cream cheese

4 large eggs

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 t. minced garlic

1/2 t. dried oregano

2 c. Parmesan, Asiago, Romano cheese blend

2 c. Mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. tomato sauce

Grease 13X9 dish (David prefers a bigger pan and thinner crust. You choose what you prefer)

Preheat oven to 385°.

Combine cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Add cream, 1/4 c. Parmesan, garlic and oregano and blend well. Sprinkle the cheese blend in bottom of pan and then pour the egg mixture over it

Bake 30 min. or until browned.

Spread tomato sauce over the crust. Top with pepperoni and the cover with 2 c. Mozzarella

Broil on low rack in oven until brown and bubbly.

Cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Makes 8 slices

Calories 306

Carbs 4.3 Net Grams

Protein 20.7 Grams

 

 

Sugar Elimination? I Won’t Do That!

No, I won't do that!

I Will Do Anything for Love, But I Won’t Do That 

And I would do anything for love,
I’d run right into hell and back
I would do anything for love,
I’ll never lie to you and that’s a fact
But I’ll never forget the way you feel right now,
Oh no, no way.
And I would do anything for love,
But I won’t do that
No I won’t do that
The words penned in that song by the rock star Meatloaf back in 1993 that reminds me of the response “would be” weight losers give when they are advised to quit eating sugar. They claim they desperately want to lose weight, and would do anything to do so, yet they respond with “I won’t do that”!
If you claim you are desperate to do anything to lose weight, but refuse to abide by solid advice, I don’t think you are actually as desperate as you think you are. When you are asking for advice, you are essentially admitting that you do not know what to do – so, why be quick to say no?
If this is you, you have already failed yourself.
Ask yourself if you take this position from one of emotion, or does it come from personal knowledge and experience?

Give up sugar?

But I won’t do that

No, I won’t do that!

When we consume sugar, it causes our blood sugar to rise. The result of this rise in blood sugar is a corresponding rise in insulin. This occurs when the pancreas releases insulin in order to get glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells, where it’s needed for fuel. When we consume a meal, particularly if the meal is high in sugar or simple carbohydrates, we will experience a spike in our insulin levels. Too much of this is not a good thing as it leads to insulin resistance and/or type 2 diabetes. But, there are more factors to be considered when it comes to our insulin levels.

Are you sure you still won’t do that?

It is clear to most people that we all need healthy insulin levels, but most people actually have little understanding of insulin.

Insulin allows glucose to enter your cells for energy. But too much leads to insulin resistance which is where your muscles, fat, and liver no longer respond to the insulin signal. When we have insulin resistance, glucose cannot get into our cells which causes them to starve. When this happens, our body signals the pancreas to crank out even more insulin, which does not help the matter. Glucose just keeps building up in your blood while your cells are starving. This is happening for most people as a result of what they eat!

Insulin resistance can manifest itself in many ways. You may have outward and obvious symptoms, but then you might not. Some will be overweight, while others are still within healthy weight ranges. Your blood pressure could be high, it could be low. The same is true with your cholesterol levels. The point is, your consumption of sugar could be having a dire impact on your body whether you know it or not.  The symptoms above are all part and parcel to metabolic syndrome which it is now known, you can have whether you are skinny or fat. Obesity is now being recognized as a symptom of metabolic syndrome rather than as a cause of it.

Insulin does not work by itself.

There are two more hormones that work in conjunction with insulin. Leptin and ghrelin also play a role in the hunger-satiety process. Leptin gets released from adipose tissue to let you know you have eaten enough, while ghrelin tells us that we are hungry. Insulin does double duty by telling our body to store energy, and to stop eating. When all is in balance, the insulin and leptin counter the ghrelin to keep our weight stable. However, when we become insulin resistant, the leptin signal becomes blocked. What this means for you is the ghrelin is now running the show, and you will find yourself hungrier and hungrier while getting fatter all the time. The prime directive of metabolic therapy is to get your insulin levels down. And this is important no matter what your scale tells you about your weight.

If you suspect you are diabetic, insulin resistant, overweight, or may have metabolic syndrome, see your doctor!

In the meantime, there are things you can do for yourself.

The first thing you can do to help yourself is to drop the attitude of “I won’t do that”.

  1. Eliminate foods and drinks that contain added sugars and other simple carbohydrates. Simple sugars contribute to insulin resistance and overall poor health. High fructose corn syrup is a particularly bad offender. Just stop with the simple carbohydrates that contain glucose, fructose, and sucrose, such as candies, cakes, soft drinks, and added sugars and sweeteners. Learn to read food labels — you’ll discover that processed foods and sweets tend to be loaded with added sugars.
  2. Change your nutritional habits to revolve around whole foods rather than processed foods that are full of sugar, unhealthy fats, sodium, and preservatives. Besides protein and healthy fats, try to include complex carbohydrates as they take longer for the body to break down. This means they absorb more slowly, helping to keep blood glucose levels stable. Complex carbs will also help you feel fuller longer, and help with weight and appetite control.
  3. Increase your fiber intake. Eating insoluble fiber along with whole grains and complex carbohydrates reduces your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Aim to eat some insoluble fiber with each meal. Good sources include:
    • Fresh fruits: pears, apples, prunes, dried figs
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Vegetables like leafy greens, squashes, peas
    • Berries
    • Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats
    • Beans: Lentils, navy beans, kidney beans
  4. In addition to dietary changes, it is important to increase your activity and fitness level. With your doctor’s approval, choose a physical activity you enjoy doing, and commit to at least three days per week.
How about we change the attitude of I won’t do that to one of I will do that! Check us out on our Facebook page and give us a like and a follow. You can find us at this link Fit and Healthy Living with David’s Way.

 

The Insulin and Cholesterol Connection

Exercise for Your Health

 

 

Why Are We Nutritional Idiots?

 

apathetic young woman
Freepik.com

Have we as a society become nutritional idiots?

Or, have we just become lazy and apathetic when it comes to our daily food choices?

It really is of no surprise that most people do not eat healthy diets anymore when you look at the abundance of high calorie, low nutrition foods we are surrounded by nowadays. Our grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail outlets almost always have large displays of junk foods to pique our appetites. And this is not by accident. As with flavorings added to alcohol and tobacco products, the food industry is doing the same thing to bring in repeat customers.

Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with advertisements and displays of highly palatable foods that provide little to no nutritional value, yet we still gobble them down. When we encounter highly palatable foods, our appetite instantly kicks into high gear, and this is when we must put on the brakes. Is it any wonder there is such a thing as the Yale Food Addiction Scale, 69% of our population now have a weight problem, and the American Heart Association now recommends bariatric surgery as a viable option for those who are severely obese?

How is all of this happening?

How did we become a society where we now have obese children with type 2 diabetes and other adult onset diseases? Our palates are not just out of tune with our nutritional needs, they are out to kill us. In the U.S. it is estimated that we have 300,000 premature deaths every year as a result of obesity. American eating habits cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking. Our nutritional habits are causing us heart disease, type 2 diabetes, several types of cancer, and musculoskeletal disorders including osteoarthritis of the knees. All of these are directly related to our excessive and unhealthy eating.

We often raise hell over the cost of medical care, yet the annual bill for obesity related health problems is about $117 billion as a result of medical bills and lost wages. And this is largely because we have become massive consumers of fast and heavily processed foods instead of low calorie, nutritionally dense foods that actually do us good. We have to take responsibility for ourselves and our children. The food industry is not going to change, it is entirely up to you in making healthy changes. You have to become aware of all that you are eating and then leave out the bad. And a part of this equation is that you also need to become aware that a good portion of the foods we eat nowadays are addictive in nature. We really are not nutritional idiots, we are a nation addicted to poor food choices!

Food Addiction

“A repetitive behavior that some people find difficult to quit.”

We have a problem where it has become too convenient to go to your favorite drive through in order to find inexpensive and highly palatable foods. It is not uncommon to see multiple fast food places in a single block in many cities across America. And now, grocery manufacturers are also in a race with the fast food industry to the bottom, that rewards profits over health.

Food addiction is deeply enmeshed with memory. The memories we connect to certain foods are typically stronger and longer lasting than any other substance we might have had problems with. Childhood memories of food can have considerable power over our lives. Is it even possible to forget the yummy goodness of our grandmother’s home baked cookies?

Over the course of the last four decades, food researchers have engineered foods full of  sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt which we find immensely alluring. Through their brilliant marketing, we are now easily manipulated to eat even when we are not hungry.  Because of our addictive natures, we must learn to take control over our impulses to eat. And this all begins with learning as much as you can about nutrition, and then implementing that new found knowledge for the betterment of your health. And no, this is not going to be easy.

But, we can do something!

You are not a nutritional idiot, but you are going to have to be accountable for your health.

Our entire bodies are designed to not only like the taste of foods, but to also to make us want more and more of it. We have evolved over thousands of years to seek out foods that are not only sweet, but which are also loaded with calories. Today, we also enjoy the benefit of finding these foods in relative convenience, at low cost and with a wide variety. From the beginning of time, we have thrived with the nutrition of the time. It has only been  about the last forty to fifty years that being hooked on food has begun to cause us harm. Our food supply has been drastically altered, and now we all are paying the price.

Food companies have learned to exploit our addictions to fast, easy, and fattening foods. but we do not have to resort to eating them. There are still healthy, whole foods that we can cook for ourselves. No one, but yourself, is forcing you to make poor food choices. Follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, and you will learn how to kick all the poor nutritional practices you have had to the curb. We are always a free resource to all who want to lose weight in a healthy manner and then to keep it off. You are not a nutritional idiot, but you might need a little help.

Sugar Addiction

Fit Over 40 with Muscle

The Lie

Muscle rules! As far back as I can remember, I have heard people say things like, “Well, you know, I’m getting old.” as an excuse to let themselves go. I have known mere girls of 30 who cried for days when they turned 30 because they thought that it meant a descent into fat and frumpy. Men are not immune to this line of thinking. There is some truth in this if you are not proactive concerning your health and your appearance. We are criticized for being vain but the truth is, vanity is a strong motivator, especially as you age. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good.

hispanic woman feeling stressed, worried, anxious or scared, with hands on head, panicking at mistake

Frustration!

Many of you know about my lifetime battle with my weight that was only won when I came to David’s Way. Through the years, I had tried endless diets and all kinds of exercises. I had been an avid swimmer, a runner, a pseudo-weight lifter, studied belly dancing, yoga, pilates, tai chi, calesthenics, HIIT training and sent myself to the chiropracter from jumping rope on hard-packed clay. I was in a hustle for that muscle! I used bands, a treadmill, a pull-up station in my home and joined gyms year after year. I had trainers and went to classes. I was my own guinea pig for exercise experiments. I had numerous DVD’s as long as that was a thing. I walked in my home to videos and hiked the Smokies. This is only a partial list of my activities. Let’s not forget bowling.

We know that nutrition is the most important factor in health and fitness and I struggled with that. I was a lifetime member of a well-known weight loss group. They allowed us to eat sugar and although I tracked my food religiously, the sugar cravings would always win out eventually. The weight might come off but it always returned. My muscle was continually declining. What was I doing wrong?!?

Lightbulbs on blue background, idea concept

Epiphany!

When I first began David’s Way, I bought a kettlebell for weight training. When I went into Dick’s Sporting Goods, they had a very serious bell that could be loaded with as much as 50 pounds. I bought it. Yes, there are 200 pound kettlebells but there are also 5 pound bells so a 50 pound bell looked like a challenge. The workouts that I started doing were not wimpy workouts. I could tell that I was beginning to stress my muscles. The workouts were challenging, but before long, I bought a standard barbell. I was about to learn a critical truth.

As I began the Starting Strength Program, it pushed me farther than I had ever gone before . My paltry 35 pound squat began to grow. As much as I feared deadlifting 100 pounds, before long, I was. My “Newbie Gains” got me hopelessly addicted to the Iron. There was no turning back.

The great Truth that was becoming crystal clear was simply that if I wanted amazing results, I had to do amazing things. A short, easy workout was NOT going to get me where I wanted to go. Muscle has to be damaged to repair itself to build. In my 20’s, a little walk around the block might keep me fit but believe me, at 64 it takes a whole LOT more. When I accepted the difficulty of the term, “Body Recomp”, I began to make serious progress. I learned to do hard things.

Book in library with old open textbook, stack piles of literature text archive on reading desk, and aisle of bookshelves in school study class room background for academic education learning concept

Muscle Facts

David wrote an excellent article, Losing Muscle Mass as We Age that discusses the impending change in body composition that accompanies ageing unless we aggressively fight against it. I well remember being a member of that famous weight loss group that allowed every day activity to earn the members more food to eat. Although I knew that this would not work for me, I gave it a try. I religiously tracked all of my food intake and energy output.

The other women in this group were always cleaning their houses and awarding themselves extra food for the activity. None of these woman had significant muscle. I tried counting housework as activity and gained 7 pounds in two weeks. It was not water weight, it was fat. It took me two MONTHS to get it off. Is it any wonder that out of these women, maybe 2% ever got to goal and not all of them were able to maintain their losses. In no time at all, most gained all of the weight back, eating their way into oblivion as they counted the calorie burn for washing dishes to justify eating more food.

As muscle wastes away, the signals that they send to bones to stay healthy begin to fade away, and osteoporosis can be soon to follow. We can walk the dog, do some Pilates or take a little Zumba class if we want to, but to keep the specter of these two age-related maladies away, we need some strength training. ONLY YOUR DOCTOR CAN DECIDE WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU. Talk to him to see how far you can go into strength training and what type.

Unrecognizable man and woman having fitness training with kettlebells in gym

Muscle Machines

There’s everything from elastic bands of different strengths to the barbell. It’s possible that he will recommend only body weight exercise. Performed correctly, it can do amazing things for muscle and bone. I have even read that when lap swimmers push off the wall of the pool at the end of their swimming lane, they build muscle and increase bone density in the hip. The water does provide some resistance and your doctor may only allow swimming until you get stronger or settle significant medical issues.

The point is, I had to work out hard. An evening stroll around the block was not changing my body. I watched as my muscle faded more and more with those wimpy workouts. After seeing your doctor, you may decide that you might benefit from working out as hard as you SAFELY can. When I was 21 years old, I could get in the floor and do calesthentics (body weight exercises) for 20 minutes, a few times a week, and change my body in a short period of time. While I don’t know what it will take for you, at 64 I work out harder than I have ever worked out in my life. It works for me. In three and a half years, my body composition has changed drastically. I began this journey with about 30% body fat. Now, as close as I can measure, I am at 16%. Nothing changed until I changed the intensity of my workouts. I had a clean bill of health from my doctor. NEVER try to push yourself before you have a check-up with your medical doctor where you tell him your exact intentions. Hidden health problems can be exacerbated by strenuous exercise.

You Choose

We are all going to get old but we won’t all get frail. No one is immune to ageing but you have tremendous input into HOW you age. So you tell me, how will that be?

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Free2BFit David’s Way to Health and Fitness

Welcome to David’s Way!

We believe that everyone has the right to be healthy regardless of their financial status. Everything here on the website is free. You should never have to pay for the simple truth about how to lose weight. It’s not rocket science. While many entities make a lot of money dispensing information concerning weight loss, the way to lose weight is so simple that we believe that it’s an unalienable right to have free access to these basic truths. The truth should not be available only to those who can afford it. We’re here to help you manage your weight and live a healthy and full life through good nutritional practices and physical fitness. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM. We do not offer any medical advice or treatment of any kind. We DO NOT offer any advice concerning medical diets.

Living a Balanced Life

Stacks of balanced rocks.
Balancing rocks on each other at the beach.

What does it mean to you to live a balanced life?

I hear this term used all the time, and have used it myself, but what exactly does it mean?

Yes, we should all have a desire for equilibrium in our lives. Equilibrium brings us a sense of peace and wellness when we achieve it. But do most of us actually know how to bring it about?

Work and pleasure should not interfere with each other. We might feel like a night out on the town having drinks with friends each week will bring us balance.

And we certainly have to balance our nutrition of healthy and not so healthy foods to truly enjoy the abundance of life before us, right? Many people believe that by enjoying their vices, their lives are balancing out, because they feel good in the moment.

Achieving equilibrium is a very exciting concept about maximizing the quality of our lives. We only live once, therefore we should not get bogged down in one aspect of our lives, to the detriment of the others. We should not want to find ourselves at the end of our lives filled with regrets. Sadly, what many people believe has brought balance to their lives was only an illusion. An illusion that has brought about more misery than it did in quality living. Bringing about equilibrium does not occur by giving into our vices. You might want to argue the point, but you would be living in the moment and not looking to your future by doing so.

The importance of a balanced life. 

Maintaining a balanced life is important for your personal health and well-being in this fast-paced, modern world. Sustaining a balanced diet, alongside personal fitness, can help improve and stabilize overall health and wellbeing. Nights of drinking, days of eating junk foods, and a sedentary life will never bring you health or well being. However, this would be what many consider as having a balanced life.

A balanced life will provide the following:
  • Improved health. No matter who you are, it’s easy to let things like exercise and diet go by the wayside once our lives become too busy. But the reality is, the bodies we are blessed with are the only bodies we are going to get, and it needs to carry you until the end of life.  That’s why it’s critical to continue to keep your body strong and healthy enough to enable you to do the things that excite you, even into your senior years.
  • Improved family life. Family ties are the tightest relationships you should have in your life, no matter how busy life can get for you. When you indulge in your vices, do they actually improve the quality of your family life? When your health has been ruined by your “balance” will you be an asset or a burden to your family? Think about it.
  • Financial benefits. When living a so-called balanced life that involves poor nutritional habits and other vices, think about the financial ruin that can come from the sickness and disease these habits can bring about. Lost time from work, and extraordinarily high medical bills can ruin a family. Is this balance?
  • Personal growth.  A healthy life balance allows you to achieve higher goals in life. Skills and other abilities are enhanced through socialization, different experience, and trying new hobbies which you need time for. People have a higher level of worth and satisfaction when they can do the things they love.
  • Improved relationships. Spending time with the people we love helps to maintain healthy and long-lasting relationships. Stress, anxiety, and other work-related issues are often carried home  and are detrimental to personal relationships. With a balanced life, we can maintain healthy relationships as a result of less irritability and depression. The rewards of hard work are more fulfilling when we can share them with friends.

Take care and look after yourself.

In order to achieve a balanced lifestyle, you must make sure you are healthy. Your body needs plenty of rest, exercise and healthy food. It’s important to take some time out from a busy day to enjoy activities and unwind by reading or meditating.

Everything in moderation is a phrase we hear and use often. Everything in moderation means that there’s a healthy balance to your life, so laugh, love, live, and be healthy. Balanced living means having a positive outlook, focusing on good habits, and lowering stress.

Make your world small!

Ending a Toxic Relationship With Food