Maple Glaze Pork Chops (sugar free)

This sugar free, Maple Glazed Pork Chop was quite the decadent dinner tonight. Yet despite the sweet flavor, there was zero sugar involved in making them. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness we adamantly believe we can still enjoy terrific foods as an integral part of our lifestyles. yet never feel any guilt or remorse after eating them. All of our delicious recipes are sugar free and healthy to eat.

While this glaze was fantastic on pork chops, it would also be excellent on grilled chicken or pork spare ribs. The garlic and ginger make a perfect complimentary flavor to the sweet maple syrup flavor.

Check out more of our recipes in Loraine’s Kitchen and let us know how you like them!

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 159, Carbs – 3.7 grams, Fat – 10 grams, Protein – 24.2 grams

Ingredients:

Glaze

  • 1/3  cup – sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves – garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. – ground ginger

Pork Chops

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 – 4 ounce pork chops

Instructions:

  1. Mix all glaze ingredients well in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Brown pork chops with olive oil in a non-stick skillet.
  3. Once chops are done, add sauce to pan and bring to a simmer for 3 to 5 minutes,         then serve with vegetables of your choice.

 

Norwegian Salmon

Another healthy dish from Loraine’s Kitchen. Tonight, she prepared Norwegian Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon for dinner which is paired with a baked potato and topped with a simple dill sauce.

A serving of salmon — 3 to 4 ounces — is about 200 calories. It’s very low in saturated fat and a good source of protein. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin B12. It’s also bursting in potassium and other nutrients like iron and vitamin D.

The vitamin B12 in salmon keeps blood and nerve cells humming and helps you make DNA. But for your health, the true beauty of salmon is its wealth of omega-3 fatty acids. Most omega-3s are “essential” fatty acids. Your body can’t make them, but they play critical roles in your body.

Prep by coating salmon with olive oil, and then covering it with a mixture of salt and dried dill weed. Then place into the refrigerator to sit for an hour.

After an hour in the refrigerator, thoroughly rinse the salt and dill weed mixture from the salmon and place onto a cedar plank which has been soaking while the salmon is in the refrigerator.

Bake at 350* f for 15 to 20 minutes until done. Remove from oven and place tent a piece of aluminum foil over it while it rests for 10 minutes before eating.

The Dill Sauce was a mixture of mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill weed. Get creative and create your own flavor profile with these ingredients, or create a sauce of your own. The salmon is wonderful even without the sauce.

Healthy, Homemade Potato Chips

Another easy recipe from Loraine’s Kitchen.

Many of us who have, or have had weight control problems usually love our potato chips. They are a palatable treat that are difficult for most to give up. Unfortunately, most commercially available chips are not a healthy choice to make. Now, if you love potato chips, you do not need to feel as if you are sacrificing a food that you love. you can prepare these in less time than it takes to run to the store to buy a bag, and for a fraction of the cost. The best part is that you control the flavor and fat content. You can rest assured that you know what each and every ingredient will be.

  1. Wash your potatoes and then slice very thinly. This is where a mandolin type food slicer comes in handy. A mandolin will ensure an even thickness which helps with even cooking.
  2. Spray a microwave safe plate with a light spray type olive or canola oil. It does not need much, which is great for keeping the calories down.
  3. Place the potato slices evenly spaced on the plate, and top with a seasoning of your choice. You have complete control over the flavor and the sodium content of your chips.
  4. Microwave on high for about 4 minutes until done to your desired doneness.
  5. Once done, enjoy these healthy potato chips with absolutely no guilt.

The calorie content is 110 calories per one medium size potato. The calories from the oil will be minimum considering it takes very little to keep the chips from sticking to the plate during cooking. Loraine did not use more than a teaspoon of olive oil for a whole potato, therefore the total calories for this batch was about 150 calories and was enough for the both of us.

Eat the Damn Tater

Loraine’s Sugar Free Salad Dressing

Loraine found this easy and delicious salad dressing recipe the other day, then made it her own through a few modifications. The beauty of all recipes is that you can tailor anything to suit your taste and needs.

This dressing is great not only on salads, but also spread onto fish or a burger. It has a sweet tangy flavor accentuated, but not over powered by the onion.

I put the ingredients in my recipe builder for 26 – 2 ounce servings. You might like a little more on your salad or a little less. Either way, the calories are still quite low. Give us feedback and let us know how you like it.

Nutrition

32 calories

  Carbs: 1 gram

Fat: 2.7 grams

Protein: .1 gram

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup – very finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup – No Sugar Added Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup – white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup – olive oil
  • 1 cup – water
  • 1 tsp – onion powder
  • 1 tsp – garlic powder
  1. Finely chop 1/2 cup of onion. A food processor works best for this.
  2. Add all the ingredients together, and stir until well blended.

Note: This dressing will congeal when refrigerated over night. All you need to do is heat it for a few seconds in the microwave and stir in a little water if needed. Enjoy!

No Hill For a Climber, Home Lymphedema Therapy

Lymphedema therapy at home

Lymphedema is abnormal swelling that can develop in the arm, hand, breast, or torso as a side effect of breast cancer surgery and/or radiation therapy. Lymphedema can appear in some people during the months or even years after treatment ends. Loraine has a problem with this now, therefore we are now doing therapy for it at home. This therapy will be a daily thing for one hour of each day of the rest of her life. It is another thing we never knew of before her diagnosis.

What is lymphedema?

Lymph is a thin, clear fluid that circulates throughout the body to remove wastes, bacteria, and other substances from tissues. Edema is the buildup of excess fluid. So lymphedema occurs when too much lymph collects in any area of the body. If lymphedema develops in people who’ve been treated for breast cancer, it usually occurs in the arm and hand, but sometimes it affects the breast, underarm, chest, trunk, and/or back. Loraine’s lymphedema is affecting her left arm and lower torso.

Why does lymphedema happen?

As part of a mastectomy for breast cancer, many people will have at least two or three lymph nodes removed from under the arm (sentinel lymph node biopsy), and sometimes many more nodes (axillary lymph node dissection). When breast cancer spreads, it usually moves into the underarm lymph nodes first because they drain lymph from the breast.  Surgery and radiation  treatments can cut off or damage some of the nodes and vessels that lymph moves through. Over time, the flow of lymph can overwhelm the remaining pathways, resulting in a backup of fluid into the body’s tissues.

I remember the discussion about the possibilities of lymphedema before Loraine’s mastectomy, but there was so much to absorb just in getting her well. We were aware of it well enough that I did write about it before she got it. But still, you do not understand the full ramifications until it has occurred. Lymphedema can sometime turn into a very debilitating condition if left untreated.

The Randy Suit

The first time we put Loraine’s compression garment on her, she reminded me of the little boy named Randy in the movie A Christmas Story. As you can see in the picture above, she is splayed out like Randy after his mother had bundled him up for the winter cold.

The “Randy Suit” is a pneumatic pump — also called an intermittent pneumatic compression pump — that has an inflatable garments attached to it. The arm and torso garments have multiple chambers  that inflate one after the other to stimulate the flow of lymph in the right direction. So far, this therapy combined with visits to her specialized therapist seems to be helping. We are going to remain optimistic!

Some may question whether this treatment is worth doing. Lymphedema can’t be cured, but you can control the swelling and keep it from getting worse. So, in my opinion, it is definitely worth it.

No Hill For a Climber, Lymphedema Prevention

Treating the chest pain that never goes away.

Shortly after Loraine’s mastectomy, she pulled a pectoral muscle and another muscle in her back. A year later, and these muscles are still knotted up. They cause her a great deal of pain which wakes her up at night in agony. The problem is compounded by the keloid scarring that was caused, or at least worsened by her staph infection that settled in before she had begun her radiation treatments.

After a year of pain, Loraine began a therapy for it this week. The treatment consists of receiving 200 units of Botox injected into nine locations with a long needle. The purpose of the Botox injections is to get the muscles to relax instead of remaining in a permanent state of spasm. She will get another 200 units of Botox soon, and will then undergo physical therapy to not only work the muscles by deep tissue massage. The therapy will also be focused on breaking down the keloid scarring to remove some of the tension on the pectoral muscle.

We have learned more than I care to know since Loraine’s breast cancer diagnosis. however, I would rather face all of her issues from a vantage point of knowledge. In my last article, I was hoping to not have much more to write in this series, but it seems there may be quite a bit more to come. Until then, God bless and thank you for your prayers and support.

Cabbage, Beef, Tomatoes and Mild Chili’s

Here is a hearty meal that is simple to prepare and inexpensive to prepare and a good healthy meal to feed your family for dinner. Cabbage is quite the super food and provides quite a good dose of nutrition. It’s outstanding nutrient profile is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation.

Cabbage is rich in vitamin B6 and folate, both of which are essential for many important processes in the body, including energy metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system. In addition, cabbage is high in fiber and contains powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds . Coupled with 24.9 grams of protein, this simple dish is quite the powerhouse meal.

This recipe serves four.

Nutrition:

211 calories per serving,

Carbs: 8.9 total grams carbs / 5.8 grams net,

Fat: 8.1 grams,

Protein: 24.9 grams

Fiber: 3.1 grams

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of cabbage chopped, about 4 1/2 cups
  • 1 pound, 97/3 lean ground beef
  • 1 – 10 ounce can Rotel (tomato and chilis)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet. If not using lean ground beef, be sure to drain off all the grease after browned.
  2. Once ground beef is browned, add chopped cabbage and Rotel on top, cover and let simmer about 35 to 40 minutes on low heat.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Crush Your Weight Loss Goals!

 

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash marathon runner

Set Your Goals

Before we can begin to pursue a goal, it’s necessary to determine what those goals are. So often, people live for years just wanting to lose weight. They may have an unrealistic goal in mind. It could be to wear clothes that they wore when they were in high school or to be a size that is absurd for their frame. In recent years the Size 0 got to be a fad. In real life, there are very few people who actually should be a Size 0. A few years later the “thigh gap” craze began. With rare exception, no woman at a healthy weight should have a gap at her upper thighs. When we are setting goals it’s imperative that we are realistic. This does not mean to settle for less than your best body.

Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash female body behind plastic

It means to set the goal of making YOUR body the very best that it can be with the genetics that you have. All body types can be healthy and good-looking. Just because you find a picture that you like on Instagram that does not mean that is the best look for you. I am in pursuit of an athletic V-taper. Being a natural hourglass, I must accept the fact that my V-taper will be modified by curves. To try to change the very foundation of who I am is both absurd and pointless. It would lead to a life of endless, futile struggling and low self-esteem. I quit indulging in low self-esteem years ago

While I work long and hard at the iron, and other exercise, and stay within my caloric allowance every day, I am not in a struggle of futility. I have accepted my hourglass shape with appreciation that I can be both athletic and curvy at the same time. There are good points about every body type. Learn to enhance the body that you were given. Don’t ever fall into the thinking that one type is “better” than another. Unless you are a bodybuilding competitor, where a specific shape is the standard, that’s nonsense.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash researching

Do Your Weight Loss Research

Weight loss is simple. Eat less than you burn. It’s staggering when you consider the simplicity of the science involved and then note that there are infinite entities to help you do that. If a plan or program costs money other than the basic cost of whole, healthy food and a pair of good walking shoes, it’s possibly a money making plan. It may not be a weight loss plan. I know of such a company whose primary objective is merely to keep people coming back. That’s where they make their money, repeat business. If that is the business plan, then you may not lose weight and keep it off.

Another tactic is the prepackaged food programs. While we all might buy convenience foods from time to time, a steady stream of prepackaged foods is neither healthy or practical. Sooner or later you will tire of the salt and preservatives and stale, artificial quality of these meals and binge on food that tastes good. The feeling of shame and failure that accompanies “getting off of your diet” will most likely cause a downward spiral that will end in excess pounds. You very well may even gain more weight than you lost. In that case, the money that you lost will be part of the tragedy.

Fad Diets for Weight Loss

There are many fad diets that come and go. Many people think that keto is a new thing. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination! When I was 13 years old, my mother put me on what she called a “Low Carbohydrate Diet”. The idea was to eat as few carbs as possible. Believe me, I ate very few. I was also limited in calories, much unlike the keto of today. I averaged about 20-30 grams of carbs a day and about 1000 calories.

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash spiral

Twilight Zone

By the third day, my ears were ringing and I could barely hear. Maybe I could hear but it didn’t seem like I could. Nothing made any sense. I had NO energy and could barely study. Since I was in the 8th grade and expected to make good grades, that was a horrible experience. There’s the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Air Force Diet and on and on… While you will lose weight on all of these diets, I can assure you, you won’t keep it off.

At David’s Way we merely supply you with the knowledge that you need to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off. We charge nothing. There is no hidden cost. We encourage you to be the best YOU that you can be. Part of our methodology is to have a complete, fulfilling, healthy life all around. In the hectic, sometimes scary world that we live in, having a strong, healthy body, and a life that we have created with forethought, is an island of calm.

Commit To Weight Loss

So many times people misunderstand what a commitment is. It is a binding, such as in a contractual relationship. It is something that you agree to do, without waver. Oftentimes, at the commitment stage of a positive life change, the change is treated more like a suggestion. If we view weight loss merely as a suggestion or a good idea, when it seems tough, we will forget all about it. If we have determined in our heart that we will do this thing, there is no room for quibbling. Once a true commitment is made, we will find a way to execute our plan. At this stage, our motive is the most important element of implementing our plan. When it comes to weight loss, good health and mobility and being able to care for ourselves should be a strong motivation. Living independently in good health is it’s own reward.

Establish a Schedule

Goals are more easily realized when we work towards them on a regular schedule. Since I am a strength trainer, this is front and center for me. When we are building strength, programming is critical. I have to have a regular workout schedule. If I work out randomly, whenever I “feel like it”, I would never progress. Have a regular time for your meals as much as possible. Decide how many days you are going to work out and do it. Don’t look for excuses to deviate. Remember your reasons to commit. It’s okay to change the workout days within the week but make sure to exercise the number of times that you have committed to do.

Photo by Aleksandra Sapozhnikova on Unsplash yellow tabby cat Charlie

Make Your World Small

Remove hindrances to your program, whether they are people who try to undermine you, or clutter in your workout room. Get what you need to be healthy. It may be good, healthy food or shoes. Whatever it is, get it. Don’t over buy thinking that if you spend enough money, that will do the trick. It won’t. You have to use what you buy in accordance with your programming. The $2000.00 treadmill that turns into a clothes rack won’t help you at all. A $40 pair of athletic shoes that you use on the walking track will work much better!

Check-Points

There is probably nothing more important to an ongoing healthy lifestyle than periodic evaluation. I weigh, measure and compare pictures from different times to assess my progress. I have found out that I need to do that at least every three months. As I begin bodybuilding as opposed to power lifting, I will be doing that monthly. When we are committed to a lifetime of healthy choices, occasional assessment helps us to make minor or major changes when we see trends either positive or negative. Without reassessment, we can get way off track before we realize that we have a problem. If we see that a change we made at our last assessment has had positive effects, we will know to keep it up.

Never underestimate what you are capable of doing. Achievement is possible only if you first believe that you can do it. Plan your work and work your plan. You are more than capable of crushing your weight loss goals.

Commit To Lose the Weight This Time

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Obesity and Low Testosterone

Obese man pondering his Low Testosterone

Low testosterone has become a more common health issue today than in years past. The prevalence has skyrocketed in the last twenty years, along with obesity. Fellows, can you see the connection?

Guy’s, is your low testosterone levels the cause of your obesity?

Or, is it actually a result of your obesity?

The fact of the matter is, the answer to both questions could be a resounding “YES”. Correlation does not always equal causation fellows. The important take away is to do something about the condition, either way low testosterone levels have a negative impact on our lives. Those negative impacts affect more than your prowess in the sexual arena, so get over yourself. Your libido might be the least of your problems if you do not take care to maintain healthy levels of testosterone in your body.

Unhappy couple in bed. Erectile dysfunction.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone found in humans, as well as in other animals. In men, the testicles primarily make testosterone. Women’s ovaries also make testosterone, though in much smaller amounts.

The production of testosterone starts to increase significantly during puberty and begins to dip after age 30 or so.

Testosterone is most often associated with sex drive and plays a vital role in sperm production. It also affects bone and muscle mass, the way men store fat in the body, and even red blood cell production.

A man’s testosterone levels can also affect his mood. (1)

Low levels of testosterone, also called low T levels, can produce a variety of symptoms in men, including:

decreased sex drive

less energy

weight gain

feelings of depression

moodiness

low self-esteem

less body hair

thinner bones

Guy’s, as you can see, low testosterone has a negative effect on our overall health.  A sedentary lifestyle, sleep deprivation, insulin resistance, and nutrient deficiencies are common causes for low teste levels in men. It is important that we take care of our health, and we can help this through good nutrition and regular exercise. Low testosterone levels is a natural part of aging. But we do not have to just let it plummet because we want to sit on the couch to watch a game while eating chips and drinking beer on a regular basis.

Cream puffs to represent obese men

As a male, if you care anything in the world about manliness, there is nothing manly about being lazy and obese. There is nothing at all manly about not caring for your body enough to not properly nourish it through healthy foods and exercise. Trust me, if you are weak and lack stamina, everyone can tell. If bravado is your attitude, you are fooling no one with your charade. Being intellectually honest, we all know at least a few, or a good many who fit this profile. When you sit on your butt all the time eating cream puffs, a cream puff you become.

Do not waste your money on Testosterone Boosters

Today, we can find a huge plethora of testosterone boosters online, or at any retail outlets that sells nutritional supplements. If you have low teste, you need to consult your physician instead of trying to treat it yourself with supplements. Your physician can order blood labs to see if you actually need hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or not. The truth is, most of you can raise your levels with good nutrition and exercise instead of getting expensive, regular treatments.

Testosterone “boosting” supplements don’t contain actual testosterone or other hormones. Instead, they contain herbs and other substances that are supposed to increase your natural production of testosterone.

But the evidence that these products are effective is extremely limited. Just because you might experience an increase in your libido, it does not mean that you actually increased your testosterone level. Over the counter testosterone boosting products make extraordinary promises to restore your muscle mass, sexual function, and overall vitality. But proceed with caution if you’re thinking of using one. Most of the ingredients don’t actually increase testosterone levels, and some carry serious health risks.

If you are going to do anything at all that can affect your testosterone, do not be a fool and think you can do it on your own. Always consult with your physician and only do what they prescribe for you.

Weight loss and regular exercise will increase your testosterone!

Obese man after exercising

You might want a quick and simple fix to your testosterone levels, but what you need is a change of lifestyle. Good nutrition and exercise are what you need my friends. Creams, pills, and injections might do the trick for you, but so will moving your butt and good food choices. There is no quick fix, but there is a slow fix. The fix involves adjusting your diet to take in fewer calories and ramp up your exercise to burn off more calories. It’s the manly thing to do, and the time to start is now.

Foods That Kill Your Testosterone

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(1) https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-testosterone

High Protein, No Sugar Added, Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

Photo by Tobias Marks on Unsplash

Serves 9

Calories 400

Net Carbs 5 grams

(Total Carbs 51 grams

Dietary Fiber 6 grams

Sugars 5 grams

Swerve 40 grams)

Protein 9 grams

Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup whey unsweetened protein

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons butter, (room temperature), or coconut oil

1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons Swerve Granular

3 eggs

1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Raspberry Filling

2 cups raspberries

2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons Swerve Confectioners

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

3/4 cup Swerve Confectioners

Cupcakes

1-Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with liners

2-Stir together almond flour, baking powder, protein powder and salt

3-Mix the softened butter and Swerve Granular with electric mixer on medium til creamy. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla and mix til combined.

4-Add dry ingredients and mix til combined. Add almond milk and mix til combined. Remove mixer and stir a few times.

5-Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake for 17-19 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out mostly clean, not completely dry.

6-Cool for at least 5-10 minutes and gently remove from pan onto cooling rack.

Raspberry Filling

1-Combine raspberries, Swerve Confectioners and lemon juice in saucepan over medium-low heat and cool and stir until berries break down, Swerve dissolves and sauce is heated through, about 12-15 minutes.

2-Remove from heat and press sauce through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds.

3-Place back on stove at med-low heat and add xanthan gum, whisking quickly to thicken (1-2 minutes)- remove from heat and set aside to thicken.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1-Mix cream cheese until smooth.

2-Add Swerve Confectioners til smooth.

3-Add remaining ingredients and beat on high for 10 minutes.

Assembly

1-Make a hole about 1/2 of an inch long and wide.

2-Put raspberry filling in hole and cover the top with frosting. Garnish with a raspberry and lemon zest. Eat within 3 days.

Understanding Hydration

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

Spring has now arrived and many of us physical fitness buffs will be taking our activities outside where we can enjoy nature as we go at our favorite outside recreational activities. Some will go for walks, while a good many of us will go at our activity vigorously enough to raise a sweat along with our heart rates. While it is my personal opinion that outside exercise is great for everyone, we have to be quite vigilant about our level of hydration as dehydration can not only hurt us, it can kill us. ALWAYS seek medical attention if you have ANY signs or symptoms of dehydration!

Hydration might seem a boring topic, yet it is an important one as there are people who really do not understand the implications of both dehydration, nor the ill effects of over hydrating. It was through my following of Weight Watchers social media Connect where I really became aware of some of the crazy ideas which proliferate the internet, ideas which range from being mildly ill informed to down right dangerous. The mildly ill informed crowd would be the folks who make it a point to drink one to two gallons of water per day with no solid scientific evidence to back up their reasoning, it was just something they read on the internet they should do in order to lose weight easier. For most people, the worst aspect of this would be never being able to get too far away from a bathroom during the day as they will be urinating on a frequent basis. When this practice becomes harmful is if the individual drinks enough to suffer a condition called hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Water intoxication is a result of drinking an extreme amount of water in a short time which will cause the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood to drop too low. This situation is serious and can be fatal.

 A downright dangerous idea I saw perpetuated on Connect was by a very popular male “Connector” who appears to have little else to do with his day than to flex his muscles for selfie pictures which he constantly posts every day. Many people who are struggling with weight loss and are new to physical fitness hang on every word this gentleman writes on his page. This fellow who is a huge influence to a great many people once wrote about how he likes to workout while dehydrated. This is an old body builder trick for just before competition in order to make their muscles appear more “cut”, or to have a clear separation between each muscle group. While this ignorant practice might be good for him, it is beyond the pale, that he would put this word out to people who for the most part do not know better than to workout while dehydrated. I called him out on this and was blocked not long afterwards. I sure hope this individual never put out dangerous word like that ever again.

Friends, before I get further into dehydration, refer to the chart below and remember this as a rule of thumb in regards to hydration; there is no magic amount of water you need to drink each day for your health. The amount you need is going to be unique to each individual based on not only how much water is consumed, but how much water is taken in through other sources of liquid, including food. Look at the simple chart below and use that as a hydration guide. By the color of your urine, you can know if you are taking in too little or too much water. Note, the upper color is a light straw and does not represent entirely clear, like water, urine. If your urine can pass for drinking water, you have likely depleted a good amount of your body’s electrolytes and you will need to replenish them before partaking in vigorous exercise.

To get more into science of this topic, did you know that the human body is made up of about 60% water?

Adequate hydration for healthy digestion of our foods, proper breathing, and just about every basic function. When you are not taking in enough water, dehydration will happen which can lead into less than favorable side effects. Unfortunately, more than 70% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration according to doctors (1). And because it can come in the form of several different symptoms, many people fail to notice that they are dehydrated.

What is dehydration?

Your body requires adequate water intake for every function it performs. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, severe, or chronic depending on how much fluid your body is missing.

  • Dehydration is your body’s negative reaction to having a water deficiency.
  • Chronic dehydration is a condition where dehydration lasts for longer periods of time.

Again, without sufficient hydration, your body cannot perform its basic functions properly. No matter your age, dehydration can occur for several reasons. Babies and elderly people are more prone to fluid deficiencies than adolescents and adults.

Young children are most likely to experience diarrhea and vomiting which purges both electrolytes and water, which increase the chances of dehydration. Babies also do not have fully developed kidneys. This means they will retain less water than they store in their tiny little bodies.

Older adults naturally have less water in their bodies and often times will not realize they are thirsty until dehydration has already set in. Additionally, elderly people are more susceptible to dehydration if they take certain medications like diuretics.

Causes of dehydration

The causes of dehydration can vary per individual depending on certain lifestyles, genetic and environmental factors. Most people are prone to dehydration under specific circumstances such as exercising frequently, illness and exposure to heat.

Your body loses water every day just through breathing, sweating, going to the bathroom and through saliva. If you have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, you are excreting additional fluids that can worsen dehydration. People who are active, exercise frequently, and sweat a lot also have an increased risk of fluid deficiencies.

In addition, some digestive tract issues can make you more prone to diarrhea which is linked to dehydration. Some of these conditions include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gluten sensitivity

Always, make it a habit to increase your water intake when you are releasing more water than you normally would.

Signs you are dehydrated:

  • Not urinating enough, or your urine is dark yellow. A simple way to determine if you are dehydrated is by checking the frequency of your bathroom trips as well as the color of your urine. If you are not urinating frequently, and when you do it is a darker color of yellow, chances are you have moderate dehydration. The darker it is, and the less frequent you do urinate, the more likely it is you are dehydrated, period. Start drinking more water as soon as you see that your pee is a darker yellow.
  • Dry skin. Research shows that your skin contains 30% water which is responsible for elasticity and plumpness. Many people who show signs of dehydrating may sometimes appear sweaty but as you go through the stages of dehydration, from mild to severe, your skin will become drier. Your skin may also appear red and flushed if you are dehydrated. Applying moisturizing lotion can alleviate some skin problems externally, but drinking more water will help your internal bodily functions to maintain healthy, supple skin.
  • Bad breath comes from dehydration when you are prevented from creating enough saliva. And since saliva has antibacterial properties, the lack of production can cause bacteria growth in your mouth that can lead to bad breath. If you have “zoo breath” reaching for a glass of water may be more effective than a piece of gum.
  • Experiencing muscle cramps! Refer back to the idiot telling people he likes to be dehydrated when working out, and the harm this can cause people. Exercising frequently, or working in hot weather can make you dehydrated and cause muscle cramps. As your muscles work harder, they will stop functioning properly, especially in a hot environment. Excessive sweating from exercise or heat worsens dehydration and also causes you to excrete vital minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you are experiencing muscle cramps, consider bringing a sugar free electrolyte drink as well as a water bottle and sipping on both throughout your day.
  • Fever like symptoms, having the chills and other flu like symptoms is commonly associated with infection. But dehydration is another culprit to having fever. When your body does not have adequate fluid levels, it becomes difficult for your body to maintain a stable body temperature which can lead to hyperthermia and fever symptoms. If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, immediately stop all physical activity you are doing and drink more fluids as well as electrolytes while you rest.
  • Not consuming enough water may result in fatigue, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Your brain is composed of more than 70% water so it is crucial to stay hydrated for optimal brain and body functioning. Severe dehydration can come in the form of confusion and feeling like you may pass out any second. If this occurs, take a seat, slowly drink water and give your body a rest before attempting any physical activity. Ensure you consume a source of essential vitamins and minerals from water filled fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, apples and watermelon.
  • Craving sweets and sugary treats. When you are dehydrated, it is difficult for your body to release glycogen (which uses water) as your main source of energy. If you are experiencing sudden hunger cravings for something sweet or salty, there is a good chance that dehydration is making it difficult for your body to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as a fuel source. Instead of giving into this craving, drink a glass of water or two.

How to avoid dehydration and rejuvenate your body.

Here are some tips for bouncing back from dehydration and restoring your body’s proper fluid levels. ALWAYS seek medical attention if you have ANY signs or symptoms of dehydration!

  • Keep a water bottle next to you at al times. If water is constantly in front of you and readily accessible, you will most likely get in the habit of sipping throughout the day without even noticing.
  • Add flavoring to your water if you do not like the blandness of water. Consider getting a zero calorie sweetener to satisfy your thirst and taste buds.
  • Eat more vegetables. Aim for large servings of vegetables in each one of your meals. Some fruits and vegetables are made up of 90% water such as watermelon, cucumber, celery, zucchini and lettuce.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. Both increase the frequency of your bathroom trips, resulting in a higher chance of dehydration.
  • Drink unsweetened tea. If you like tea, a few cups a day can help you reach proper fluid levels while benefiting from antioxidants. Avoid sweetened tea as the added sugar can worsen dehydration.
  • Workout less during extreme heat. It is hard enough to maintain proper hydration when you are working out in an air conditioned gym. If you are experiencing chronic dehydration, consider less intense exercises while it is hot out.
  • Drink a bottle of water first thing in the morning. When you are asleep, your body is still excreting fluids. More often than not, you are slightly dehydrated after a full nights rest. Drinking at least one glass of water as soon as you wake up is a great way to restore proper fluid levels.
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise. Whether you are a beginner, or advanced in fitness, water intake should be one of your top priorities. We encourage drinking at least a glass of water three hours before exercise, sip on a bottle of water during your workout, and immediately after you finish.

Staying hydrated is key for optimal health and longevity.

Drinking enough water for optimum hydration can be a struggle for many people. Ranging from babies to older adults, dehydration can negatively impact your health at any age.

Putting conscious effort towards maintaining proper fluid levels will help you stay healthy and prevent dehydration from rearing it’s ugly head. If you are experiencing any of the tell tale signs mentioned above, consider adopting a few strategies above into your daily activity. Whether you are an athlete, construction worker, or live a sedentary lifestyle, drinking more water can help you improve your health and well being.

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How Much Water Do I Need?

(1) Claire Riley, AFPA Health, Nutrition & Fitness