Women’s Strength Training Program


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ALWAYS consult your medical doctor before beginning ANY exercise program.

I had a special topic request from a very special reader, my baby girl Molly Ann. Of course at 31 she is no longer a baby to anyone but me. What great timing for her request as this is something I have had on the back burner for a few days anyhow.

To first get a few things out of the way, there can be several reasons why ladies and men fail with weight training programs. Although lifting weights is not rocket science, if you have no experience, you do not know what it is you do not know. Your lack of knowledge will result in over training, injury and burn out to name a few issues you will encounter. Over training comes from pushing yourself too hard before your body is actually ready for it. Your central nervous system can become fatigued over time and one day you will wake up feeling as if you are coming down with the flu and a depression can overwhelm you. Injury can happen from over training, such as pushing too much weight too soon. Your muscles will gain strength at a quicker rate than your connective tissues which will leave you with painful tendinitis. Injury will also happen if your form goes deteriorates during a lift and you strain or tear a muscle. You have to know when to throw in the towel. Burn out can be a result of a combination of Central Nervous System Fatigue and injury, or it could be that you should have had some rest days in between sessions and just got bored with the hard work of strength training.

My next word of caution if you want to get into strength training is be extra choosy about who you take your advice from. Even if someone looks to be in great shape, it does not mean they know much about good training. Sometimes a person might look fit despite their training. Just because a person appears strong and has muscles, it does not mean they can put together a workable strength training program for you. In short, the guy who is always posing in the mirror or in front of a camera flexing his muscles, and who spends hours and hours in the gym hitting muscles from every different direction, is not who you want to go to for advice when you are new to lifting. Especially if they try to get you to complete a hard to understand laundry list of exercises every session. These types usually have more of an interest in impressing you with their vast knowledge over actually helping you. Weight training does not need to be complicated to be very effective. In fact, when you are new, a complicated routine will end up aggravating you more than anything. Who has the time or interest in learning and doing every curl variation there is under the sun, then moving on to another dozen lifts per muscle. If you go that route though, be sure they teach you how to flex in the mirror or in front of the camera between every set just like they do. Also make sure they teach you how to do that annoying guttural groan with every rep of every set so that every one knows you are pumping the iron.

I am going to lay out a simple barbell program along with a dumbbell variation at a later time for any who may only have access to them instead of a barbell. You do not require much equipment, but a good flat bench with squat stands is essential for the barbell program. Adjustable dumbbells is all you require for the dumbbell variation besides the bench.

In full transparency, the barbell program is not one I have written myself. I am a student of Coaches Mark Rippetoe, Bill Starr, Louie Simmons, Glen Pendlay, Steve Shaw and Jeff Cavalier to name a few. Most of these coaches have developed programming based on old school training methods which are simple by design and the best linear progressive programs you can do. In my early years of weight training I realized that the only way to go if I was going to be serious was to learn from serious coaches and not go with trial and error from bull I picked up in Muscle Magazines and other media. It only makes sense to learn from those who have already made and corrected every mistake that can be encountered while under the iron.

Now, to get to my thoughts on Women’s Weight Training. How about we not distinguish any difference in how men and women train. True we have hormonal differences, and obvious differences in our genders. But other than that, our bodies are the same. There is no difference in our muscle groups, therefore there is no good reason to train any differently solely because of a difference in our genders. Ladies, know that barbell training is not going to make you bulky unless you put in a lot of effort towards getting bulky. You do not produce the testosterone to get there.  It is a lot of work for men to ever get bulky and usually requires eating a very high calorie diet to get there. At my strongest, I was intentionally eating 6000 calories a day to fuel heavy lifting. You do not do that by accident, I guarantee. No one just gets bulky over night, not ever. Unless they are on performance enhancing drugs, and not always even then if they are not putting in the work to get huge.

Besides having run the barbell program myself, I coach Brenda Sue. We began her with a simple Kettlebell program before she decided to get truly serious and bought a barbell. Her bench and squat rack came later. We had barely began with her training when her home took a direct hit by three tornadoes back in March 2018. In the beginning, she was doing floor presses instead of bench press and had to improvise a squat rack by stacking containers up to set the barbell at shoulder height. Brenda Sue recovered her iron from the wreckage of her home and continued the improvised lifting for a couple more weeks in her temporary shelter at a local hotel. And then she moved into a house and completed her set up with a bench and squat stands. Brenda Sue went from a very shaky 35 lb squat and maybe about the same for a dead lift and bench press to her current 140 lb squat, 110 bench press and 225 lb deadlift.  Her squat was so weak and shaky that I truly wondered if she was going to master the lift or stick with it long enough to master it. I told her when she first began that if she stuck with my training that she would need to buy more weight for her barbell. I know that did not seem real to her at first, then soon we had to discuss her getting more weights. And guess what ladies, Brenda looks strong, she is strong, yet she is not the least bit bulky. Oh, another point of interest, Brenda was 61 years old when she began lifting weights seriously. She had piddled around in years past, but never serious as in now. Now, she is a true believer in how effective it is. This is a very simple to follow basic barbell program that follows a linear progression, which means you will start very light and add 5 to 10 pounds to the barbell every lifting session until you fail to execute all of your reps in a set. At that time, you will simply try that same weight next session and if you get all reps, you add more weight the next. If you fail to get all of your reps again, then you de-load by about 10% and work your way back up. This is the Rippetoe Starting Strength model of 3×5 where you will do 2 warm up sets and then 3 working sets of 5 reps only on each set. The entire program only involves 5 different lifts; Squat, Dead Lift, Bench Press, Overhead Press and Bent Over Row. This is a full body workout that will get you great results without having to spend more than an hour in the gym and does not require any complicated set and rep schemes that the body builders would have you doing. I believe in the KISS concept, Keep it Stupid Simple so even a guy such as myself can follow it. This routine will only be done 3 days a week, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then no lifting at all on the other days. If you want to do cardio, I suggest you run or walk directly after your lifting. Do not run on your non lifting days as the running will kill your lifts. You have to be able to recover between sessions, even though you will not feel the need at the beginning. Know this, a good lifting program performed right is cardiovascular in nature. This training is going to work your heart as much as running.

Now to cover the lifts and the muscle groups impacted by each:

Squats: (From Wikipedia)

a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs and hips, and buttocks, quadriceps, femoral muscle and hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. Squats are considered a vital exercise for increasing the strength and size of the legs as well as developing core strength.

Dead Lifts:(From LiveStrong)

Back Muscles

The erector spinae, the muscles of your low back, are some of the main movers during the deadlift exercise. These three muscles — the iliocastalis, the longissimus and the spinalis — run from near the base of your skull, down your back and attach to the lower vertebrae. The erector spinae muscles perform several movements related to the torso and neck. During the deadlift, these muscles help extend the torso, pulling the spine back as you stand up.

Glute Muscles

The deadlift also targets your butt muscles, the gluteus maximus. This is the large muscle that runs diagonally down from the middle of your body to the outside of your thigh. It attaches to your pelvic bone and sacrum on one end and your femur, the thigh bone, on the other end. The gluteus maximus muscle is responsible for hip extension, moving the top of your pelvic bone back as you stand up during the deadlift exercise.

Leg Muscles

The deadlift targets both the quadriceps on the front of your thigh and the hamstrings on the back of your thigh. However, the hamstrings only act as stabilizers during this exercise; the quadriceps muscles are the primary movers. They are four muscles that run from the top of your thigh, down the front of your leg and attach to your tibia, one of the bones of your lower leg. These muscles are responsible for knee extension, straightening the knee joint as you stand up during the deadlift.

Bench Press: (from BodyBuilding.com)

It is the staple exercise for building muscle mass and strength in the chest. The primary muscles that are worked in a bench press are the triceps brachii and pectoralis major with the anterior (front) deltoids, traps& back as secondary muscles.

Overhead Press: (from LiveStrong)

You usually lift less weight in the overhead press than you do in a squat, deadlift or bench press because the primary movers are small muscles.

The anterior deltoids, located at the front of the three-part shoulder muscle, activate when you push up. This muscle does the most work during the overhead press. The lateral, or medial, deltoids, located at the top of the shoulder, and the postior delts at the back also help in the pushing process.

Your rotator cuff muscles, a complex group made up of the surpraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis that fan over the shoulder blades, keep your shoulders in proper position during the press. This group also benefits from doing moves like the overhead press because it makes them stronger and prevents them from failing during everyday activities, such as playing tennis, moving furniture and lifting things onto a high shelf.

Upper Back and Arms

The shrug performed at the top of the press activates the upper portion of your trapezius muscle, which shows as a broad, diamond shape across the upper back. The upper traps originate in the neck and along the very top part of the backs of the shoulders. The middle and lower traps activate to a lesser degree during the shoulder press.

Your arms, specifically your triceps, are responsible for the extension of the elbow that allows you to push up. The biceps stabilize the extended elbow at the top of the movement.

Core Stability

Doing an overhead press from the classic standing position requires greater muscle control and stabilization. Your core, primarily the muscles of your abs and lower back, help keep you pushing in a straight line.

The shoulders, arms and upper back must also engage in a greater degree of stability during a standing overhead press, as compared to a seated press, showed a 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Although the overhead press is not leg-specific, your thighs, hips, ankles and calves maintain your upright position as you overhead press. They work isometrically to do so.

Bent Over Row: (from BodyBuilding.com)

This exercise is a great compound movement which incorporates the lats, rhomboids, rear delts, traps, and even the biceps. It is obviously a good choice to ensure you are getting as much benefit out of your back training as possible.

Here is the workout in it’s simplicity. You will begin with an empty 45 pound Olympic barbell for each lift or load a standard barbell to 40 pounds if you have no access to an Olympic bar:
Workout A:

Squats, 5 sets of 5 reps.

Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 reps

Bent Over Rows: 5 sets of 5 reps
Workout B:

Squats, 5 sets of 5 reps

Deadlifts: 4 sets of 5 reps

Overhead Press: 5 sets of 5 reps

Alternate these workouts, ABA on week 1, BAB the next then back to ABA. Be sure to skip a day between sessions and skip 2 days after the third. In due time, you will need those rest days.

You will squat every session. You will only do 4 sets of 5 reps with the deadlift. When the deadlifts get heavy, they will be very taxing on your system, especially with squatting each session.

Start with an empty 45 pound Olympic barbell or 40 pounds on a standard barbell. On your second work out, do your first two sets with the empty bar and then add 5 pounds to the barbell. Next session, begin with the empty bar and add 10 pounds, then 15 and on and on, by adding five pounds to the last weight you used every session. Once your 3 sets of working weight gets about 35 pounds heavier than your warm up, begin adding in 5 pound increments to your warm up also. Even if this seems ridiculously light at first, you first need to perfect your form before getting into heavy weights. By adding 5 pounds every session, that barbell is going to get heavy more rapidly than you might think. Keep your ego in check, you do not want to rush heavy weights as first, and foremost we do not want you to suffer an injury from improper form.

Lastly, try to eat 1800 calories of whole healthy foods a day and you will drop body fat as you gain strength and tone your body. Please do not let any meathead body building types get you side tracked with a bunch of superfluous lifts that will only serve to take away from the main lifts on this program and have you trying to follow their madness. As laid out above, you can see these compound lifts will work your entire body. Weight training is not rocket science and does not have to be a day long commitment in the gym unless you just truly want it to be. Keep it simple and enjoy.

ALWAYS consult your medical doctor before beginning ANY exercise program.

Be Successful at Weight Loss with Continuity

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The “Magic”

“Continuity” is sometimes defined as “the unbroken or consistent existence of, or operation of something over a period of time” or “the maintenance of continuous action and self consistent detail…”¹ and it is so important that huge studies in sociology have been conducted to determine it’s power in changing not only specific people groups but the course of the history of humankind. How much more power does it have to change the individual?

Years ago I had the opportunity to see this in action on a small scale when I was at work. I usually worked with a man who was pretty slack with the rules. Even though, at first glance, that seemed to create a low stress environment, I discovered different when he was unable to report for duty one day. In his absence, not one but three separate supervisors covered for him. These employees were known for their attention to detail, their strict adherence to the rules. As I entered the workplace, I noticed a completely different atmosphere. There was no drama. There was no confusion. There was no variance. Everyone present knew that in this situation, their only option was to just do their job the way that they were trained. The smoothness of that day was astounding! Everything worked the way it was intended to work. When unique situations presented there was no chaos because guess what? We just went “by the book”. I quickly learned the concept of “continuity”. The outcome was efficient productivity.

This is a key to successful weight/wellness management. Quite often we make a valiant effort to lose weight or work out or improve our sleep…for a while. We “try” every day not knowing exactly how long we can endure. After an enthusiastic start, we slowly lose momentum and when hard things present themselves in our lives, we use those dark times as an excuse to ditch our health initiatives. The changes that were wrought begin to lose their hold and the scale begins to go up or we skip a workout altogether or just forego our sleep initiative and pretty soon, not only have we lost our progress, we have moved in the opposite direction. The variance produces confusion and chaos and we become emotional and dramatic and spin out of control. When we commit to “the rules” with little or no room for variance, we automatically know exactly what we are supposed to do and if a question arises, we pursue the correct answer. We don’t look for excuses to vary from our program. How avidly we pursue continuity is an accurate indication of our sincerity and devotion to our health initiative. Are we really intending to change or are we merely going through the motions, getting through from day to day, working our plan at a very low level and never attaining any goals? If we desire a different life or body or mindset we must do the things required to get those things.

We have all known the individual who was unhappy with his/her life but was unwilling to make the changes necessary to be happy. I was one of those people. I had been beyond unhappy for so many years that I almost didn’t remember being happy. I talked about it, a lot. One day a well- meaning woman looked me in the eye and said, “Brenda, nobody can do anything about that except you.” It was like ice water thrown on me. In one moment, I realized that all the talking in the world would not fix my life. I had to take action. I made a post on social media about wide-sweeping changes coming in my life and set out to do just that. I had not been playing by the rules. A well known definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. (Albert Einstein) I had been doing just that. The rules dictate that if we want change, we must change and the reality is that it must be a continual change for ongoing change in our lives. I am the happiest that I have ever been after making such drastic changes that my former life is not identifiable anywhere in the life that I have now. Within three months of that  post, my former life was dissolved and I continue to re-enforce this new life daily with the activities necessary to fuel it’s existence. I must be proactive in my ongoing creation of this life. A large focus in my life now is physical strength because it has far reaching positive influences across the board. This strength defines me now. I’m known for it and I follow those rules, working out, pursuing rest and eating healthy. Continuity, or the lack of it, is the key to contentment or chaos. It creates the goal that it moves towards and without it our lives stagnate into pools of depression and inefficiency with our hopes and dreams broken on the rocky shores of the sea of confusion brought on by having no clearly defined plan to see them come to life. I wish that I had made these changes before I did. I challenge you to make a plan to live your best life, now. Without adherence to continuity, your stress and ghrelin levels will soar. Ghrelin is your hunger hormone and excessive amounts will make you ravenous and can cause you to veer off-course from your goal.

The first step to a fulfilled life is to set goals that will give you satisfaction. Again, make those goals attainable. If they are attainable you can easily design a clear course of action to get there. Make your statement of your goals detailed. These details will be some of steps you need to take to get to your ultimate goal. If you want to lose X number of pounds, a detail could be to lose 5% of your body weight which will give you great improvements in your health. Read David’s article, How Incremental 5% Weight Losses Benefit You for information about how this goal can make a lot of difference!

Once you have set your goals, commit. There will be schedule changes. There will be upheavals. There will be every demon in hell trying to prevent your success. Press on. Don’t stop. See it through. Keep seeing it through and do it again. Never stop. That’s how you make sweeping life changes. One commitment to Continuity at a time.


Weight Loss Tips for 2021!

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Here are a few good tips to help you in your weight loss journey. This list may not encompass everything, but it should be enough to help most in losing weight initially, getting over a plateau and then maintaining.

Decide your “WHY”

If you are in need of shedding a few pounds off of your glorious body, then one of the first things you need to do is to have a solid reason “WHY” you are doing so. Is it strictly a vanity issue, or is it more a health and wellness problem which needs addressed in order for you to be the best you possible for your family and friends. The best thing for you to plan is that your “Why” is for a solid reason, a reason which is of the upmost importance for you. A reason(s) which truly has a deep and profound meaning to you. The more your “Why” means to you, the more apt you are going to be in achieving and keeping your goals once you have arrived there. You can have many “Why’s” just ensure that you have one identified in your heart which will never lose significance during your battle with the scale. One that will always be your constant, because as your body changes, your mind is likely to begin changing some too.

Set long term goals for yourself!

Unless you only have 5 or 10 pounds to lose, make sure to set yourself a long term goal of where you think you want to be. Once you have set your goal, develop several short term goals to be reached in order to meet your long term. Never completely forget the end point, but if you only concentrate on a few pounds at a time instead of 50 to 100 pounds for example, there is less stress in worrying about lets say 5 pound increments. Remember, you did not gain all of your weight over night, and it is certainly not healthy to try to lose it all over night.

As a part of the short term weight loss goals, while I would advise to weigh yourself once a week, do not, DO NOT, get all hung up on the numbers each week as you will retain some water weight on some weeks and then not retain it on others which accounts for rapid up and down  swings in either direction on the scale. What you want to watch for is a trend for each month where you can take your end of month loss and divide it by the number of weeks and determine if you are actually meeting your weekly goals, If you lose 4 to 8 pounds in a month, then you are on a healthy trajectory with your loss even if you had a week where the number did not budge or may have actually went up. The human body will fluctuate naturally every week even once you have reached your goal. Just getting real here, a few cups of coffee and lack of bowel movement in the morning can make it appear you did not lose any weight. Your monthly trend matters far more than your weekly and for heavens sake, do not think you need to jump onto the scale every morning.

Some people can weigh themselves every morning, yet it seems there are far too many who only cause themselves undo stress every day when they do not see the numbers drop daily. News flash, you should not see a daily drop once you lose that initial weight in your first few days or weeks which are mostly water weight anyhow. That first big weight loss in the first week or two is almost entirely water weight which comes from your body not holding onto it as a result taking in fewer carbohydrates.

Figure out your body fat percentage

You can easily figure your body fat percentage by having a family member or friend take measurements of your body around the neck and belly, then entering those figures and your gender, height and weight into easily accessible military body fat calculators online. If you are female, then you will need to take a measurement around the hips too.

I personally believe most people would be better off concentrating on trying to reach a set body fat percentage over a number on the scale as this can help to keep you from stressing over a number on the scale. Too much stress only increases your cortisol levels which contribute to you retaining body fat. What ever your body fat percentage may be, the scale number can fluctuate a few pounds without changing your percentage. For instance, if you are female, you are at an athletic level of body fat if yours is between 14 to 20 percent. Ladies, if your body fat falls anywhere between those percentages, then you are going to not only look good, you will feel good too, no matter what your weight is. Men, this is true if your body fat falls between 6 and 13 percent. And remember, these figures are for an athletic build. You can be perfectly healthy at a higher percentage. Ladies, a healthy acceptable body fat percentage is between 25 to 32 percent. Men are considered healthy acceptable between 18 to 24 percent.

Educate yourself!

Educate yourself! This is a biggie. Educate yourself on the healthiest manner to reach your weight loss goals and then formulate a plan. The worst thing you can do is blindly follow some fad diet plan which may cause you to rapidly lose weight, only to regain those pounds and possibly more than you lost to begin with. Know the ins and outs of your body’s nutritional needs and then develop a plan to meet those needs every day. Seriously, if there is one thing I would contribute to folks not being able to lose weight besides building a personal discipline to do so, it is a lack of nutritional knowledge. If you want that sweet treat every now and then, you owe it to yourself to know how to meet all of your body’s nutritional needs first so you can work the junk in. Going at weight loss all willy nilly without a shred of nutritional knowledge is about as dangerous to your well being as sending your teen age kid out to drive a car all by themselves for the very first time. This kind of action is highly likely to end with a crash….

Remember that even with a well laid out diet program, good people fail to meet their goals every day because they have no concept of nutrition. Even the best of nutrition programs require some basic knowledge.

Move your body!

If you are new to exercise or have not done so in a long time, first get your doctors clearance. You do not want to find out the hard way that you should have made that visit first.

Next, and this is speaking specifically to exercise newbies, pick an exercise which you are going to not only enjoy, but one that will be sustainable for you. Pick an activity that you can slowly build into in order that you avoid hurting yourself by advancing your body before it is ready. You also want to avoid pushing yourself harder than you can adjust to which will only serve to cause you to burn out.

If you are interesting in running, there are apps out there such as Couch to 5k which will have you begin with walking and then progressing to being able to run a full 5k, or 3 miles. Know that if you progress too fast, you will end up with joint issues in your ankles, knees and hips. And you can stand the risk of developing shin splints which are quite painful and will sideline you from running.

If you are interested in strength training, then by all means begin using light weights, Lighter than you might even feel necessary and also begin an established program based on linear progression where you are able to see and track progress from session to session and week to week. You can remain on a linear progression program for a year or better as you build yourself to an intermediate level of strength.

What is an intermediate level? Probably not what you think. An intermediate level lifter is not based on how much weight they can lift, but this level is based on how well your body can recuperate between sessions and your gains have slowed. IE, you are no longer able to put more weight on your barbell from session to session.

A couple things about most exercise, while most activities you can engage in are not rocket science, there will be many things you do not know that you do not know. Some of these things you do not know will hurt you. For example, you can attack some killer sets and reps with weight training on some random bro advice you picked up from some Schmoe in the gym. You might assume that because this guy has really swole and pumped arms, he must know what he is talking about. You try to follow his lead because it looks easy and you learn the hard lesson that sometimes your muscles gain strength faster than your tendons and connective tissues. Next thing you know, you are sidelined with some sort of tendonitis. You may go out and run in cheap shoes that do not fit your feet properly, which do not provide proper arch support, and next thing you know, you have shin splints or plantar fasciitis.

Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on your new activity first. And by all means, do not bite off more than you can chew at first. You want to enjoy your workouts and to know that you can remain at it for the long run Ensure your activity is sustainable. Make sure it is something you can do year round or at least for half the year and then have a secondary activity that you can pick up on during months of cold and inclement weather.

Be kind to yourself

Being kind to yourself kind of fits in with what has been addressed already with nutrition knowledge and exercise. But, what I really mean is to not beat yourself up with every set back. We all have them. WE ALL HAVE SET BACKS! No exceptions, we will all fall short of our plans from time to time, yet it is the ones who are kind to themselves that will be forgiving of their shortcoming and move on.

One way to be kind to yourself is to know your caloric needs for the day in order to lose, maintain, or to even gain weight depending on your goals. For instance, it takes a 500 calorie a day deficit over 7 days in order to lose 1 pound of body fat. One day of over consumption is not going to hurt you as long as you do not exceed the total you would need in a week to lose a pound. If you have a need of 2000 calories a day to maintain, then you will consume 14,000 calories in a seven day period. As long as you do not exceed that 14,000, your body fat will remain unchanged. Lets say you are going to aim to lose 1 pound per week and you need 1500 calories in a day to do so, then you will have 10,500 for the week. You can eat over your 1500 calories in a day as long as you do not exceed your 10,500 for the week and still lose.

Forgive yourself if you have an over indulgence one day, just move on. It is long term trends which matter.

Do not eat SUGAR

Do not eat sugar, nor processed foods which usually contain added sugars. If you do, you will quite possibly never kick your cravings for sweet foods and will always struggle to lose and keep your weight off. I will not tell you what to eat, only what not to eat. Sugar. I would advise that you eat a higher protein diet with low glycemic index foods during your weight loss phase as the added protein will serve to keep you satiated longer. Once you have met your goal or are closing in on it, then I would advise to add in more complex carbohydrates to your diet as our body’s need them as much as we need protein. I will also advise you to eat fats such as olive and coconut oils, nuts, oily fish, avocados etc.. Our bodies need fats to properly process our vitamins and minerals.

As for the percentages of protein, carbs and fats you need, that is really individual to the amount of vigorous exercise you do. For instance, I strength train quite heavy 4 days per week and try to get in 4 hours of cardio per week. Therefor, my body requires more protein than that of a sedentary man who is only counting calories to lose weight. Know that the percentages of each macronutrient you need can and will change over the course of time as your body composition changes. It is folly to try to make up a set percentage of macronutrients and try to make that fit everyone across the board. You will need to experiment and while doing so, you still must ensure that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs for a healthy body and mind. A problem you will occasionally see with vegans is folks who go at that life style not fully informed will end up unhealthy as a result of not consuming all the essential amino acids the body needs. There are 20 amino acids of which your body produces 11. There are 9 essential amino acids your body has to have which only come from food sources. Your body builds it’s own protein with these amino acids and if some are missing, then some of the proteins your body needs to produce are not going to be produced, replaced or repaired. This can and will have an impact on your health at some point.

Eat a well rounded diet where you fulfill all of your nutritional requirements and you will find that by doing this and eliminating sugar and processed foods, your body and soul will all that much healthier for doing so.

God bless and thank you to all my new readers and a most humble and sincere thank you to my faithful readers who have catapulted David’s Way to Health and Fitness to having been read in 160 countries now.

Much love to all,


Elite Sports Born Tough Workout Pants Review




Workout Jogger Pants & Leggings

Born Tough Women Contoured Tracksuit Bottom Black


I have looked for good workout pants for years and paid way too much for many of them. I have bought a lot of the top brands and while they were pretty or professional looking, none have performed like these.

The sizing is true. I ordered a medium which is my regular size, and the fit is perfect. I am 5″6′ tall and there is a little extra length that scrunches close to the leg, so they will be long enough if you are taller than me. If you are not as tall as I am, you will still have a good fit because the high-quality fabric that Elite used to make these pants lays close to the skin. The SWIFT fabric is 92% cotton and 8% spandex and has incredible stretch and structural support. They are contoured to fit close to the body which is perfect for all athletes. The accentuated seams make the pants more flexible and tough, so they perform well in the squat. We all know that if pants stand up to the squat, they will stand up to anything!

I particularly like the drawstring waist that helps give you a smoother waistline and also keeps your pants secure in the squat. You don’t have to worry about southern exposure when you go deep when you’re wearing these pants. The inset panel at the waist also smooths your front view. The contoured panels in the legs allow for the muscular build of athletes. Your quads will be cozy in these pants. While they have great stretch, as witnessed by their performance in the squat, they also have good support due to the high quality fabric. I believe that this quality of comfortable, functional support is made possible by the high percentage of cotton in the fabric. While cotton does stretch, it stretches much less than those trendy pants that are mostly spandex.

You can order the pants at https://www.borntough.com/products/born-tough-women-contoured-tracksuit-bottom-black . At only $39.99, they are a true bargain. You can even choose to pay for them in four $10.00 interest-free payments! Now where else can you buy workout pants like that? I have paid much more for well-known brands of workout pants that I have either thrown away or are simply taking up space in a drawer. I tend to wear my favorite pair of pants over and over because they make me feel good in my workout. As of today, I have a new favorite.

Where Does Burned Body Fat Go?

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When you are losing weight through diet and exercise, do you know what is actually happening within your body?

Do you know what becomes of all these fat cells as your body leans out?

At David’s Way, we believe for one to be successful at weight loss and management, it is imperative that you know and understand what is happening within your body. Knowledge is the key simply because just going through actions is truly not enough. If you do not understand the physiology of your body, you are more likely to put your undesired weight back on after losing it.

Of course, most all people understand that when we  consume more calories than our body can burn, fat cells increase in both size and number. But what becomes of these cells when we diet and exercise?

When you lose fat, your fat cells actually shrink in size, while their number remains roughly the same.  The primary reason for changes in body shape is a reduced size of your fat cells,  not the number of them. When you lose weight, these fat cells remain and if you do not remain vigilant and steadfast in managing your weight, these fat cells are going to enlarge themselves once again. This is one of many reasons why maintaining weight loss is so difficult for most people. This is exactly why healthy nutrition and physical fitness need to become a part of your lifestyle rather than something you just want to get through in order to be ready for the beach in the summer.

How fat loss works.

When we over eat, or consume the wrong foods, the excess calories from fats or carbs is stored in fat cells in the form of triglycerides. This is how your body preserves energy for future needs. Over time, this excess energy results in a fat surplus that can affect your body shape and health. This is why calories consumed versus calories burned is important to weight management even if all we eat is healthy foods. Excess calories are excess calories no matter who you are. You have to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose fat. If you are on a diet and the fat is not coming off, you can be guaranteed that you are still eating more calories than you are burning.

When we maintain a consistent calorie deficit, fats are released from fat cells and transported to the energy-producing machinery of the cells in your body called mitochondria. Here, the fat is broken down through a series of processes to produce energy. This is a process that is occurring within your body 24 hours per day, but for some, the process is hampered when it is still having ten pounds of junk being shoved into a five pound bag. Excess calories overwhelm this process! You must maintain a calorie deficit in order for fat stores in your body to continue to be used as energy, which is the only way to reduce your body fat.

Carbon dioxide and water are the byproducts of fat loss.

 When we consume fewer calories than our body burns, our body composition begins to change. Carbon dioxide and water are released when your body fat is broken down for energy through complex processes within your cells. The carbon dioxide is exhaled during breathing, and the water is disposed of through either urine, sweat, or exhaled air. Disposal of these byproducts is greatly elevated during exercise due to increased breathing and sweating.

The Bottom Line

Of course genetics and medical reasons can make it difficult to lose weight, but they do not make it impossible. Fat loss is a complex process influenced by a number of factors, with diet and physical activity being two of the major ones. With a sufficient calorie deficit and proper exercise regimen, fat cells shrink over time as their contents are used for energy, leading to improved body composition and health.


The Emotional Bondage of Obesity

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When you ask most people what causes obesity, their answer will always be “over eating”.

Well duh, that is the most obvious answer but there is far more to the problem than just over eating. Not only do we often have emotional ties to our comfort foods, we also can have emotional ties to our obesity. It is because of this, that we will regularly watch as someone who has had great success at losing weight turn around and put it all back on. The emotional bondage to our obesity can actually be stronger than our addiction to sugar and simple carbs. It is a hurdle that a good many have to face when losing weight, but most people won’t. Obesity is often a symptom of deeper, emotional problems that can come from a multitude of issues that are not always your fault. If you are one who has an emotional block to losing weight, there is no shame in seeking out professional help. You have to know that losing pounds off of your body may not bring you joy to your life, if your emotional connection to your obesity is not addressed. You may not realize the depth of your attachment to something that causes you misery, but these attachments are quite real my friends. Weight loss is not only a physical adjustment. It’s psychologically complex too, and may not always bring about as much happiness as a person may expect.

Emotional challenges that come with weight loss are:

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Realizing that losing weight doesn’t necessarily equal happiness: A person may not feel as happy or content as they may have expected. This can come as a shock following dramatic weight loss if a person is not yet mentally prepared for it. Because of this, we recommend you only try to lose no more than one or two pounds per week.  It takes time for your mind to accept your new look. It takes time for you to not see yourself as being obese. Your mind has to adjust to your new look, and despite how you might feel better physically at a lower weight, you are probably not going to be happy with your look if you see a lot of excess, sagging skin when you look in the mirror.

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Losing weight might make you feel vulnerable: For a person who has been obese, their larger size will often provide a degree of emotional protection. This can come as an emotional sense that they could ‘hide’ their true selves. Psychologically, losing this ‘fleshy protective barrier’ can leave a person feeling somewhat ‘exposed’ to the world around them.

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Losing weight casts a spotlight on a person: Adding to feelings of vulnerability, dramatic weight loss can bring about a certain amount of attention from others which may not be all that welcome. Although positive comments given about the change in physical appearance are meant to be complimentary, they can actually make a person feel all the more exposed and vulnerable. Our friends and loved ones will almost never understand that losing such a lot of weight is quite an adjustment, on multiple levels. Coping with the attention of others in a way that isn’t familiar at the same time can be challenging, and can sometimes feel a little ‘too personal’ for others to be acknowledging. Additionally, for some people when all of the attention dies down and passing comments no longer happen, this can become emotionally problematic. When the compliments subside, the individual can feel as if they are failing in their health initiative even though it is natural that others will get used to the new look and stop acknowledging the change.

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Losing a lot of weight can make us feel angry: When other people start noticing our new look, it can spark anger for some. Positive remarks will not necessarily be received as flattering when they come from others who never gave them the time of day before. In learning to cope emotionally with changes to a persons body, it can make them feel as if others are shallow and superficial if they’re only now treating a person positively after they have lost weight. Some people have also experienced negative remarks, commenting that they no longer look ‘healthy’. It is a shame that people think of being over weight is a healthy look!

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Losing a lot of weight loss can make a person a little self-absorbed: Making such a dramatic change in day-to-day life can become a little all-consuming for the person going through it all. A person may not be feeling all that negative about the changes they’ve been through but can still become very lost within themselves. While this can be understandable, our family and friends may not be as gracious about it if taken too far.

Losing weight may not automatically give any of us a sense of self-confidence, nor should this be expected. This is especially true if you were not in the habit of being outgoing before you began losing weight. Self-confidence will need to come ‘from the inside’ while learning how to cope with the physical changes, happening ‘on the outside’. Learning to dress in smaller sizes may help towards positive feelings about dramatic physical changes to the body. But, it’s not uncommon for to find ourselves still shopping for clothes at the size we were before or dressing in the usual ‘over-sized’ comforts. As I have said, it takes time to get our minds wrapped around the changes we go through when losing weight.

When we decide to lose weight and to be healthy, it requires a lifelong commitment. A person may have goals to set and accomplish, but there is no real end to ‘the journey’. Losing and maintaining a healthy weight will continue every day. Dieting is not the answer, a change to your nutritional habits for life is the answer. If you are prone to being overweight, then this will be a permanent problem for you if you do not adapt to a new lifestyle of healthy nutrition and exercise of some type that is right for you.

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How Incremental 5% Weight Losses Benefit You

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The mere thought of losing a few pounds can really get some, if not most people stressed out. They will often lament about all they are going to need to give up while not considering what they will actually gain, and how little weight loss it takes to feel better and to gain significant health benefit.

Does the taste of a daily sweet treat outweigh being able to walk your children around a zoo or park all day without being out of breath and worn out?

Would you rather spend time with a pizza and beer or would you rather be able to enjoy quality time with your grandchildren either now or in the future?

Set short term and easily achievable goals to achieve your long term goals.

If you are significantly overweight, the thought of losing a great amount of weight can be pretty daunting. Because of this, I would suggest you only concentrate on losing 5% of your weight at a time. This will take a lot of the stress off of you since it is easier to focus on lets say 5 to 10 pounds at a time instead of 50 to 100 pounds at a time. By focusing on a smaller amount, you are more apt to succeed in healthy weight loss over the long haul. Small victories add up and are actually more satisfying than one huge victory.  If in the past you’ve not been able to lose as much as you would like, you may assume there’s little point in trying. But if you lose even a small amount of weight, you’ll reap benefits that will make a big difference in your health.

It only takes 5% weight loss to realize  significant physiologic changes!

 If you weigh 200 pounds, a 5 percent weight loss equals 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the “overweight” or “obese” range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk factors for chronic diseases related to obesity. Shedding just 5% of your total body weight does a lot – it’s enough to decrease total body fat, visceral fat (the dangerous kind that hugs your organs), and liver fat. Plus, it can lower your blood pressure and improve your insulin sensitivity and lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes. We all can acknowledge that vanity can play a role in weight loss, but, you need to stop making weight loss all about your pants size and make it about healthy, longer living.

5% Eases pressure on Joints

Just 10 extra pounds add 40 pounds of pressure on your knees and other lower body joints. That can wear them out quicker. Extra fat can also cause inflammation – when chemicals in your body damage your own tissues over time, including your joints. Losing even a little weight can ease these effects. If you keep it off, you’re much less likely to get arthritis later in life.

Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

If you’ are genetically prone to developing type 2 diabetes, weight loss is one of two ways to prevent or delay it.  If you weigh 160 pounds, you could lose just 8-12 of them to get the benefit. If you already have diabetes, losing that weight can help you take less medication, keep control of your blood sugar, and lower the odds that the condition will cause other health problems.

A “Good” Cholesterol Bump

You can lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol with healthier food and medications. But it’s harder to raise levels of the “good” kind of cholesterol, HDL. That’s the type that clears bad LDL from your blood, so the more you have, the better. Exercise and losing body fat can get you into the ideal HDL range: above 60 mg/dl, which lowers your odds of having heart disease.

Bring Down Triglycerides

They’re particles in your body that transport fat for storage and energy. High levels (more than 200 mg/dl) mean you’re more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. You can get closer to healthy levels (around 150 mg/dl) if you slim down a little.

Ease High Blood Pressure

Extra body weight makes your blood push harder against your artery walls. That makes your heart work harder, too. You can lower the pressure by about 5 points if you trim 5% from that number on the scale. Cut your salt and eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy, and you may lower it even more.

Stop Sleep Apnea

People who are overweight gain extra tissue in the back of their throat. When your body relaxes when you sleep, that tissue can drop down and block your airway. It makes you stop breathing over and over all night, which causes all kinds of health problems, especially for your heart. Slimming down a little can often help with sleep apnea — sometimes enough that you can stop using the bulky breathing devices that treat it.

Reverse Insulin Resistance

Body fat, especially in your belly area, gives off chemicals that make your body stop reacting to the effects of insulin, a hormone that keeps the level of sugar in your blood normal. Even though your pancreas works harder to make more insulin, your blood sugar can get too high. A little bit of weight loss can help reverse this effect.

A Better Mood

Weight loss may help chase your blues away. Scientists are still trying to work out why, but better body image and improved sleep may be part of the reason. In one study, depressed people who were very overweight felt better after they lost an average of 8% of their body weight. Other research shows you’ll continue to feel better, even after 2 years — as long as you keep the weight off. (1)

Why slow weight loss is better for you emotionally.

When we lose a significant amount of weight, it takes time to get our minds wrapped around our new look. Our new look does not register right away in our minds, especially if we have been over weight for a significant number of years. For many, the psychological adjustments of dramatic weight loss are an intensely emotional experience, and a very personal one at that. Dramatic weight loss isn’t just a physical adjustment. It’s psychologically complex too, and may not always bring about as much happiness as a person may expect. Contrary to popular belief, a good many people may not feel as happy or content as they may have expected they would.

This can often come as a shock following dramatic weight loss if a person is not yet mentally prepared for it.

Comparison is the thief of joy!

When we lose weight, we really need to focus on ourselves without comparing ourselves to others. For an obese person, dramatic weight loss is primarily about getting to a healthy physical state, and should not lean towards a superficial outcome which often leads to a perpetual state of disappointment. Self confidence will not be automatic and will need to come ‘from the inside’. It takes a little time to learn how to cope with the physical changes, happening ‘on the outside’. You have to know that being thin does not necessarily mean being happy.

None of us ever got overweight over the course of a few days, and none of us can lose our excess weight in just a few days, nor should we ever try. We recommend you only try to achieve a 1 or 2 pound per week weight loss objective. Take it slow and easy, you will reap far more benefits than you ever would with a quick and temporary weight loss gimmick or fad diet. Meaningful change takes time. Always keep your non-scale victories insight and consider all the ways your small improvements have done your body good. Shedding excess weight the right way leaves you healthier and happier. Follow us here at David’s Way and we can help you with this!


Elite Sports Born Tough Women’s Fitness Wear



New Discovery!

Here at David’s Way we are always looking for products to encourage ourselves and you, our readers, along the road to ultimate health and fitness. We have recently become aware of  Elite Sports Born Tough line of workout clothes for women. I have found very few brands of workout clothes that I feel my best in when I’m under the iron. The Born Tough brand is designed for all athletes, regardless of your workout. If you’re just starting on your road to fitness, they have designed their apparel with you in mind as well.

First Glance

While I have not worn these clothes yet, I will in the near future and I will report my findings in an unbiased, honest review. I do notice some things even now that I like. The price is great! Let’s face it, regardless of how much you like something, if it’s priced so high that it’s a sacrifice to buy, then it automatically loses some of it’s appeal. This High Altitude Sheer Tank Top is only $24.99. I like the way that it fits in the back yet drapes softly over the upper abdomen, all the while keeping a trim silhouette.

Bottoms Up!

I like the structure of these Contoured Tracksuit Bottoms. Note the inset panel at the top of the waistband. I have some workout pants now that has that feature and it makes for a nice trim line there at your waist. They have a deep pocket on the hip that appears deep enough for your phone. I believe it curves over the largest part of the quadriceps which would keep your phone from falling out. The structured line underneath the glutes will most likely give you a little lift and a feminine curve in silhouette. Overall I really like the sleek fit, it’s exactly what I need under the iron or walking my dog. Sleek pants move with me with no distraction.

Form and Function

This is the Contoured Tracksuit Hoodie. The beautiful sleek lines coupled with the ample sleeve for ease of movement and those warm front pockets are just the bomb. I just might have to give this a trial run!

As soon as I get my pieces of these promising workout clothes, I will put them to the test in a hard workout  and report my findings. You just might think that I look my best yet!



New Year New You, But What’s Your Plan?

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This  cold, first Monday morning of the year as I was drinking my first cup of coffee and perusing my news feed, I observed a few advertisements for the newest, most modern weight loss systems to be had on the market. They are all variables of the same theme though – take our expensive supplements and you will be rocking your swimwear at the beach this coming summer. They all promise that their revolutionary and proprietary blend of herbs, green coffee bean and green tea are going to get you slim with no effort on your part. One of these brands have you adding an appetite suppressant combined with vitamins to your drink of choice in the morning, and then another blend of magical voodoo to another drink at lunch and dinner. And lastly another concoction to make you have a bowel movement the next morning.  Here is what was reported by the Federal Trade Commission on one specific supplement business I am referring to:

FTC alleges Neora, formerly known as Nerium, operates an illegal pyramid scheme

The FTC has announced a lawsuit against Neora, LLC, formerly known as Nerium International, LLC. The FTC alleges that Neora, an international multi-level marketing (MLM) company that sells dietary supplements, skin creams, and other products, is an illegal pyramid scheme. The FTC also alleges that it deceptively promotes its Nerium EHT dietary supplement by making unproven claims that it’s a breakthrough antidote for serious brain diseases.

Are you going to trust your health to a shady pyramid scheme?

Besides the obvious health risks that come from fad diet schemes and supplements, they will also doom you to weight loss failure because they require nothing from you except to hand over your hard earned cash. They really do not require you to actually plan ahead and think for yourself about how to successfully manage your weight in neither the short nor long term. Successful weight loss and weight management is not rocket science, but it requires planning, and action on your part in order for it to be lasting and meaningful. Your plans do not have to be long and drawn out, but you must always plan ahead as you would with anything else in your life.

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Would it not be reasonable to assume that our health is the most important component of our lives?

We should be able to agree that without good health, most everything else becomes secondary when we can no longer live to our fullest extent possible, when we cannot take proper care of our families, when we struggle just to enjoy being alive because we are too sick and hurt all the time. While there are certainly conditions that can just happen to any of us, there are also a great deal of ailments that are a direct result of how we live our lives. Metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, most heart disease, and several others are a result of us living in the moment and not planning ahead for the future by living healthy lives in the first place.

When it comes to weight loss, we’d all like a quick fix. And plenty of diets promise that, advertising results that sound too good to be true. But the truth is, successful weight loss and management comes down to a formula we have always known:  we have to eat a variety of healthy foods in reasonable proportions and combine that with exercise. The changes you make to your lifestyle should be ones you can live with forever. There’s no finish line when it comes to healthy eating and being active, I don’t even like using the word ‘diet’ because so many people think of it in terms of something you do for a while and then stop.

You shouldn’t need special supplements or equipment to eat a healthy diet. You are an individual who is capable of your own thoughts, instead of going on a fad diet, make small changes in your habits that you can sustain. Take the time to get to know yourself and what your body needs to be healthy!  When it comes to fad diets, it doesn’t matter which one we’re talking about. It’s the idea that you need to go on a diet in the first place that needs challenging. You deserve more that  a temporary solution to what for many people is a lifelong problem.

If you really need a plan set up for you to follow, then follow this one. It is simple, easy and requires no hard earned money out of your pocket other than what you spend on your groceries anyhow:

  • Keep a record of what you eat. If you feel you need structure to help you lose weight, log what you eat for a few weeks. This will help you identify bad habits, and give you a general idea of how many calories are in various foods.
  • Move your body. Do something you like, do it on a regular basis, and do it for more than 20 minutes. If you enjoy it, you’ll be more likely to do it regularly. You don’t have to be a hard-core triathlete to be active. Start with 10-minute walks and move up from there.
  • Each week, set two small goals. For example, if you love doughnuts, pledge not to eat them for one week. Instead eat an extra serving a day of something healthy, such as a fruit or vegetable. If you succeed with that small goal, you’ll feel good about yourself and gain momentum for adopting healthy behaviors.
  • Try new things. Eat the healthy things you know you like, and also experiment with new tastes to stave off boredom and cravings for junk food. You probably haven’t tried every fruit and vegetable available at your local supermarket. Learn to get creative in your kitchen with herbs and spices.
Always remember to consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise regimen.

Emotional Eating

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To fix a problem, we must first understand the problem. This is a true statement for all that we encounter in life. And one problem that is quite prevalent with those of us who have ever had a weight problem is that of emotional eating.

According to the American Psychological Association:

  1. Many adults report engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors as a result of stress and say that these behaviors can lead to undesirable consequences, such as feeling sluggish or lazy and feeling bad about their bodies.
  2. Thirty-eight percent of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress. Half of these adults (49 percent) report engaging in these behaviors weekly or more.
  3. Thirty-three percent of adults who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say they do so because it helps distract them from stress.
  4. Twenty-seven percent of adults say they eat to manage stress and 34 percent of those who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say this behavior is a habit.
  5. After having overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods, half of adults (49 percent) report feeling disappointed in themselves, 46 percent report feeling bad about their bodies and more than one-third (36 percent) say they feel sluggish or lazy. After skipping meals due to stress, 24 percent say they feel sluggish or lazy and 22 percent report being irritable. (1)

Do you find yourself racing to the pantry when you’re feeling down or otherwise upset?

Finding comfort in food is common, and it’s part of a practice called emotional eating. Quite often, our strongest food cravings hit when we are feeling at our weakest points emotionally. Emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. When we eat to soothe our emotions, this action often leads to eating high-calorie, sweet and fatty foods. Emotional eating is how we often attempt to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Major life events or, more commonly, the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts. The downside to emotional eating is that while it might make us feel better in the moment, the harm it causes far outweighs a momentary benefit. It is not rocket science to conclude that overeating causes  us to become overweight or obese, therefore increasing our risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Obesity is a major contributor to preventive death in the U.S. and greatly raises our morbidity risks associated with chronic diseases, such as hypertension, stroke, respiratory problems and various cancers.

Can you distinguish between physical and emotional hunger?

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I know from personal experience just how difficult it is to overcome emotional eating. While it is not an easy thing to do, it is far from impossible. I know how eating to pass the moment has only left me more stressed and depressed than before I sat down and began stuffing unhealthy food choices down my throat. I have experienced feeling like a junkie looking for the next fix while scrounging through the refrigerator or pantry looking for sugary and fatty foods. I also know for certain this can be overcome, but it takes full commitment of self in order to do so. It requires a change in thinking and lifestyle. It requires a change in your relationship with food when you have this problem. You can still enjoy food, but it needs to be viewed as a fuel for your body and physical health rather than a short term fix for your stress or emotions. If you are prone to emotional eating, then you must make a permanent change to your lifestyle for you will eventually fall back into this rut. It happens every day, and the evidence is clearly visible if you follow any weight loss forums for any length of time. I have read and studied many of them, and this is the common thread in them all.

But, what can we do?

Find other ways to cope with stress!

Discovering another way to deal with negative emotions is often the first step toward overcoming emotional eating. This could mean writing in a journal, reading a book, or finding a few minutes to otherwise relax and decompress from the day. It takes time to shift your mindset from reaching for food to engaging in other forms of stress relief, so experiment with a variety of activities to find what works for you.

Some people find relief in getting regular exercise. A walk or jog around the block or a quick round of calisthenics may help in particularly emotional moments.

  • Exercise helps chronic depression by increasing serotonin (which helps your brain regulate mood, sleep and appetite) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (which helps neurons to grow).
  • Exercise reduces immune system chemicals that can make depression worse.
  • Exercise increases your level of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.
  • Exercise helps by getting your sleep patterns back to normal. We know getting enough sleep can protect the brain from damage.
  • Exercise gives you a focused activity that can help you feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • Exercise limits the effect of stress on your brain.

It is helpful to keep a detailed log of what you eat and when and why you eat. This can help you identify triggers that lead to emotional eating. When we log what we eat, it is a form of accountability to ourselves and it allows us to reframe the question in our mind if we are really hungry or are we going to eat out of boredom or emotional reasons.

Successful and long term weight management require that you ensure that you get enough healthy nutrients to fuel your body. Yes, it can be difficult to distinguish between true and emotional hunger, but if you eat only foods that bring nutritional value to your body throughout the day, it will be easier to still manage your weight.

Acknowledge Behaviors

Practice becoming more aware of your emotional triggers for eating. The next time you pick up a “comfort food,” stop and ask yourself why you’re reaching for it.

Feeling sad, anxious, or lonely?  Identify your feelings, then pause and reflect on the action you usually take (such as reaching for a sweet treat).

Talk to Your Doctor

If you’ve tried addressing your cravings on your own without success, you may want to talk to your doctor. Sometimes, cravings for certain foods can be a sign of an underlying health condition. For example, you might crave certain foods if you are deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Medications can stimulate appetite or cause blood sugar problems, including drugs used to treat depression and bipolar disorder. Other prescription and over-the-counter medications can affect your appetite as well.  Once your doctor is on board, you’ll be able to work together on developing strategies for coping with cravings and their cause.