Tag: health

Best Exercises for Six Pack Abs!

Summer time beach weather is coming soon, and with it, many will be wanting to look their best in swimwear. While a lot of people desire well defined abdominal muscles, the “Six Pack”, most appear to be sporting a keg under their shirts instead.

I frequently get asked what are the best exercises for developing abdominal muscles. My response will typically be to ask them whether they want strong abs, or well defined abs. Of course, most who inquire want to have well defined abdominal muscles. I perform some type of ab work with every workout I do, but I do have my two favorite which I will get to last. These two are the most effective way to achieve good visible abdominal muscles and trump all others, but first:

Beginning Abs Workout

I would tell you to do all the exercises in the illustration above, with the understanding that the rep counts are going to increase until you can do 50 reps of each.

Are you going to be committed?

Are you willing to work through the pain?

If you are not committed and willing to suffer a little bit when first beginning, then I might be inclined to tell you to get back to doing nothing. But, as I said, these are not my favorite exercises, nor are they the only way forward to achieving that “Six Pack”.

Ab exercises for the more advanced.

Assuming you have become more capable with your ab work, the exercises pictured above are great for those abdominal muscles too. But still, these exercises in and of themselves are not enough for you to be able to display a nice midriff during the summer beach wear weather.

Let’s get real about this, male or female, if you want to have well defined abs, you can do all the ab work in the world, and it will mean jack squat nothing if you are not willing to do more strength and conditioning work, especially for your core.  And, you must get your nutrition under control. If you are not committed to strengthening your entire body and eating a nutritionally sound diet, then you might as well continue eating powdered sugar donuts while washing them down with your favorite soda pop. Developing visible abs takes work on many fronts that requires full commitment. If you are paunchy now, and unwilling to do what is necessary, then get over ever having a good swimsuit body and resign yourself to remaining out of shape.

My favorite work for my abs!

I do a little something for my abs every single day of the week, that you can do too.

That is if you will commit to it.

With my weight training workouts, I love to do:

sit ups,

hanging leg raises with a twist for obliques,

screw drivers,

dead lifts,

squats

I do each of those exercises regular with a good mix of exercises from the illustrations, but my favorite and most important exercises are “Push Aways” and “Fork Put Downs”.

The most effective thing you and I can do for visible, well defined abs is the “Fork Put Down” followed immediately by the “Push Away” of our plates when full from nutritionally sound foods. If you want your abdominal muscles to be well defined, you have to get your body fat percentage low enough for them to become visible. If you fail to do so, all you will achieve through that extra ab work will be that your belly will only become larger since larger ab muscles will only serve to push out that layer of fat which has them hidden away.

Quit eating or at least cut back on your consumption of refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

 This can and will help you lose extra fat and to expose your abs.  When you consume refined carbs, it cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to increased hunger and food intake. Swap out refined carbs from foods like pastries, pastas and processed foods and instead enjoy whole grains such as brown rice, barley, bulgur and couscous to help support satiety and burn belly fat. Eating plenty of whole grains, helps to reduce waist circumference and lower body weight.

Stop eating processed foods.

Heavily processed foods like chips, cookies, crackers and convenience foods are typically high in calories, carbs, fat and sodium. These terrible foods of convenience are typically low in key nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. By dropping these unhealthy foods from your diet and swapping them for whole foods you will increase weight loss, reduce belly fat and help yourself achieve a set of six-pack abs. It takes more energy to digest whole foods rich in protein and fiber, which can burn more calories and keep your metabolism up. The  healthy nutrients in whole foods, like protein and fiber, also keep you feeling satiated longer which curbs cravings and aids in weight loss. Simply put, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are all nutritious alternatives to prepackaged convenience items like frozen meals, baked goods and salty snacks.

Add more high-fiber foods into your diet.

This is one of the simplest methods for increasing weight loss and achieving six-pack abs. Soluble fiber moves through the gastrointestinal tract undigested and can help slow the emptying of the stomach which makes you feel satiated longer. One study found that increasing fiber intake by 14 grams per day was linked to a 10% decrease in caloric intake and 4.2 pounds of weight loss. Another study showed that for each 10-gram increase of soluble fiber taken daily, participants lost 3.7% of belly fat over five years without making any other modifications in terms of diet or exercise. You can alter your diet to help burn body fat simply by adding fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds for sources of healthy, high fiber foods.

Having visible abs takes commitment.

As you can see, there is much more to getting six-pack abs than simply doing a few crunches or planks each day. If you want your abs to be visible as a “Six Pack” instead of as a “Keg”, it requires a commitment to following a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle to help achieve your goals.Your overall goal should be one of achieving and maintaining good health over vanity of how you appear in swimwear. No matter your age, by making a few simple switches in your nutrition and daily routine,  you can get  a set of six-pack abs and improve your health at the same time.

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Re-Evaluating Health During COVID-19

All around the world today we are living in a truly bizarre time with COVID-19. We have stay at home orders and quarantines in place for the sick. Our grocery store shelves are empty of cleaning supplies, toilet paper and boxed foods, yet good healthy whole foods are still available in abundance. I have now seen multiple news stories where people wear rubber gloves when out shopping, only to discard them on the ground outside instead of in trash receptacles where they belong. People are living in fear of this cold virus pandemic as if there has never been deadly pandemics before which have killed far more people than the current COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been nine serious pandemics over the last one hundred years with the HIV/AIDS pandemic still ongoing.  Seven of these have occurred over the last fifty years. This pandemic is not the first, nor will it be the last. I wish I knew a way to get people to quit living in fear of the unknown factors behind this virus and be more positive about what we do know. What we do know is that world wide there have been about 132 million cases diagnosed, almost a quarter million people fully recovered and a death rate of just under 60 thousand for a mortality rate of under 1 percent.

Yes, this virus is highly contagious. We do need to be cautious!

But no, we do not need to live our lives in fear. Most people only display minor symptoms. Do yourself a favor and quit watching 24/7 news all day as you sit in the confines of your home. Tune out those on social media who do nothing but help spread bad information and blame. There are far too many armchair quarterbacks calling plays in this pandemic who are not armed with medical knowledge. Beware the politicians who are taking advantage of the current events solely for political gain.

What we do know about COVID-19

People who have chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease and heart disease, face an increased chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19 and put into intensive care, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is consistent with reports from China and Italy. The CDC analyzed more than 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country in which health officials had a written record about the presence or absence of any underlying medical condition. The preexisting conditions covered in the records include heart and lung diseases, diabetes, chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease, immunocompromised conditions, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental or intellectual disability, pregnancy, current or former smoker status, and “other chronic disease.” Almost every one of these maladies can be avoided through good nutrition and exercise which keeps you fit, trim, and healthy. Of the 7,160 patients whose chronic illness status was known through health records, 184 died, and 173 of them had an underlying condition, the CDC said. None of the deaths were among people under age 19.

With the entire world in a state of worry around COVID-19, it’s not surprising that people with pre-existing conditions — like obesity — are more afraid than people who are in good health. If that’s you, your fear is of course natural and understandable. The virus swiftly took over the globe, leaving researchers scrambling to understand how it works, who is most at risk, and how to control its spread. It is a virus that is new to the world’s health care professionals.

As this COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, you should consider how being overweight or obese might affect you if you were to contract this virus.

According to the World Obesity Federation, “Obesity-related conditions seem to worsen the effect of COVID-19; indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that people with heart disease and diabetes are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications.” This is because on the physiological level, there is a plethora of reasons why excess fat is risky for your well being.  Even patients who are metabolically healthy despite being  obese need to be concerned because of the excess adiposity based upon angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). What this means to you is the ACE2 enzyme binds well to viruses, like severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The risk of serious illness increases even more if you have multiple  illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, or heart failure. Again, each of these are within your control if you choose to live a healthy life. These ailments usually accompany, or are a direct result of excess body fat in the form of obesity. So please, before you jump on social media and begin pointing the finger of blame on others who you believe are not doing enough to protect your safety and well being, just stop already.

Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself what more can you do for yourself.

No one forces you to eat an unhealthy diet. You do this on your own. I’m pretty sure no one else is putting that fork and spoon in your mouth for you.

Except in the case of severe disability, most everyone can perform some kind of exercise.

No one forces you to consume alcohol, nor to smoke cigarettes.

You, and you alone are primarily responsible for your health. Your doctor might give you treatments and cures, but at the end of the day, your health is on you!

As you practice social distancing while sitting in your home,  please re-evaluate how you live your life. This pandemic is not our first, nor will it be our last. There could be another come along in the future that is much worse than this one.

Junkies, Addicted to that Sugar

Addiction, what a wonderfully glorious, life ruining malady to suffer from. It is ever so easy to get used to that feel good rush that comes from hitting that glass pipe of methamphetamine. It makes you feel as if you can conquer the world while destroying everything about your life with a swiftness. Or, you might love the instant euphoria that comes when pushing heroin through a needle into your vein, that peaceful easy feeling is tough to beat even when you know the great harm which comes with the territory. The most common feel good substance you can find yourself addicted to as well, might be found in your kitchen cabinet for you and your family’s enjoyment. That addictive substance is sugar!

Many signs of addiction are easy to recognize, people neglect personal responsibilities, exhaust financial resources, and sometimes engage in criminal conduct to support their habits. But then, there are many addicts among us each day that may not show any signs at all. I had a brother in law years ago who was addicted to amphetamines and cocaine. He was successful in the banking industry despite  his addiction leading him to preloading two syringes each morning before work in order to have a mid-morning and afternoon hit before going home in the early evening. You would have never guessed that despite the super clean cut appearance, he had illegal drugs tucked away in his suit pocket.

We might think that addiction will never happen to us, we like to believe we are too smart to allow this to ever happen. I never saw myself as an opiate addict until I found myself trying to get off prescription pain meds following my spinal injury ten years ago. You might be thinking none of this has anything to do with you since you might not indulge in any of the obvious addictive vices life has to offer. If you are overweight and out of shape, you need to reconsider. Chances are, you are addicted to simple carbs and sugar and are as much a junkie as any drug addict or alcoholic. If this offends you then consider these questions:

  • Do you ever find yourself craving sugary foods?
  • Has your appetite for sugary foods caused problems for yourself and your family? Problems which have come from the impact sugar has had on your health? Metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more?
  • Do you dress to highlight features of your body? Or do you wear clothing that distracts from unwanted bulges and rolls that embarrass you?
  • Have you ever hid how much you actually eat from family and friends?
  • Have you ever been ashamed of how your appetite has impacted your health and appearance?
  • Do you know that you need to lose weight and improve your health but feel unable to give up your junk foods?
  • Are you embarrassed by the number that appears when you stand on your bathroom scale?

Face it, it is highly unlikely you ever craved brussel sprouts or lettuce like you have simple carbohydrates and sugar. Sugar is often used to make foods more appealing, which leads to habituation and even in some cases addiction, thereby uniquely contributing to the obesity epidemic our society is experiencing. As with street drugs, the dopaminergic system gets involved in reward with the consumption of highly palatable foods. Recent research suggests that highly processed foods are addictive and the hedonic mechanisms (pleasure-seeking pathways) plays a critical role in obesity.

Have you ever noticed that decadent pleasure which comes from biting into a sweet treat?

Of course you have, who are you kidding…

Are you a junkie addicted to sugar?

The American Psychiatric Association has defined addiction as “a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence.”

In today’s world, there is nowhere you can turn without the sight of people with a variety of weight problems ranging from minor to severe. Because sugar is in so many foods we eat, and on the shelves of every grocery store across the nation, we think of it as a harmless substance even though common sense says otherwise.  Cocaine used to be in Coca Cola and was thought of as harmless. At one time, even heroin was easily obtained for cold symptoms. Most recently, synthetic THC products could be found for sale in gas stations and convenience shops. Because it was legal, many young people thought it was harmless. Many learned the hard way that just because a product is legal, this does not mean it will not cause your body harm. Sugar has been linked to an increased risk of a number of medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar also zaps your energy, increases your risk of depression, and contributes to poor dental health — just to name a few.

By cutting sugar, you can reduce your health risks and may feel better than you ever thought was possible. Follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. We have over 750 articles and healthy recipes to help you kick your sugar addiction. Subscription is free and easy. By subscribing you can receive each new article straight to your email inbox.

Be well!

Invest In Yourself, Exercise!

I cannot fathom the reasoning that goes into ones thought process when they state they do not do healthy. I have heard this enough over the years I actually wrote an article about it which I titled,  I Don’t Do Healthy and Other Dumb Quotes.

Honestly, I have a difficult time getting past such an absurd mindset. Yet I know it is not uncommon. The mind set delves further into the absurd when it is coming from who is obese and suffering from many self inflicted ailments that require constant medical attention. Not that I have, or will ask this, but sometimes it makes me wonder if they are really this dumb, or just want me to believe they are. After all,  who are they hurting with their obstinence?

Who they are hurting might just be you if you are the one who will be picking up all the shattered and broken pieces of their lives one day.

 Is it really too much effort to take care of yourself before your body decides to fight back with ailments and or disease?

It does not take rocket science to know and fully understand that exercise is good for our bodies. Even if you suffer from DOM’s (delayed onset muscle soreness) for your first few days of an exercise regimen, your body is liking that it is being worked as it was meant to be. Too many lay about licking their wounds, wanting a doctor to just prescribe them something to stop the sickness, the aches and pains, and the early aging. Yet, you have the power within yourself to put a stop to most of this without ever stepping foot in a doctors office.

It is proven science that as we age, exercise will help mitigate the frailty and diseases that come from a sedentary lifestyle. The more fit your body, the longer you will live a quality life. If you want to live a life of laying about the house eating cookies and cakes while binge watching your favorite program on the television, then you will likely die younger than you need to, while being a miserable individual in your final years on earth. It really is as simple a concept as this, and no one can scientifically argue against the benefits of physical exercise.

Invest in yourself!

Make an inexpensive investment into your future that will pay big dividends for quality of life as you age. Begin investing when you are young, and before you get too far out of shape. Even if you are obese and out of shape, get your butt up off the couch and move it with a purpose. Once you begin getting into better shape, you will live a more active life that will make you feel and look younger. Exercise is going to make daily life functions much easier and simpler. There will not have to be any thinking about how hard it will be to climb the steps in your home. You will have an easier time carrying in your groceries. Best of all, you will be able to live a fuller life where you can actually enjoy doing outside activities with your grandchildren. And you will be able to do these things without gasping for air every few minutes or having to constantly sit down to rest.  By exercising at enough aerobic intensity to get your heart rate elevated, by strength training and stretching, you are going to improve your functional fitness, which is going to improve your life for you and your loved ones. You will no longer rain on your kids, or grandchildren’s parades anymore by sitting out every activity they might want you to be involved with them in.

Immediate payoff

Good exercise can and will give you a boost in energy. If you are lethargic in the afternoons, you can easily turn this around with a brisk walk and simple stretching. This will aid in getting your more blood pumping to your brain. At night, you will find that sleep will improve and come easier than it did when you were fat and out of shape. Your body will have true fatigue and your stress levels will have fallen as a result of a good bout of vigorous exercise. This is good since as we age, our periods of deep sleep will often shorten, which translates into less restful sleep.

Being as physical exercise essentially resets the brain, you will find that you have become a calmer individual than you might have been before. Exercise reduces our stress levels immensely. It helps to keep our blood pressure lower during stressful situations. If you are a couch potato, your blood pressure will rise quicker and higher than a normal weight, fit individual. This benefit is one of great quality as it allows you to remain better focused on the difficult tasks life often hands to us.

Exercise helps with chronic pain and helps relieve menopausal hot flashes. After a few short weeks with an exercise regimen you notice that your self esteem has improved as you achieve your new fitness goals, and of course, as you begin to feel healthier. you will find that an active life style will work wonders with your mood as it is known to release endorphins, or the feel good brain chemicals in your brain. Have you ever heard of runners high? I can tell you it is absolutely real, and it damn sure feels good.

Getting your heart healthy.

Any type of exercise is going to be better for your heart health than sitting on your couch all day doing nothing of substance. By getting your body moving with some intensity, you will strengthen your heart, which is absolutely going to make you feel better. Your heart will beat with less effort and your arterial walls will be more supple, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Moderate exercise that burns 1200 to 1600 calories per week will improve your cholesterol profile by raising your HDL (good cholesterol) and preventing the oxidation of your LDL (bad cholesterol) which if left unchecked, will cause your LDL to stick to the walls of your arteries.

This is a topic I love! The American Heart Association has come to the conclusion that lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Strength training lowers your cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, and improves your overall cardiovascular fitness. Your glucose metabolism becomes more efficient, which lowers your risk of diabetes and your ratio of muscle to fat will be increased which means your metabolism will be more efficient at burning off body fat. The importance of having a low bod fat to lean muscle percentage is the fact lean muscle burns more calories than your body fat ever will, and it does this even when you are sitting down resting. When people ask me if I do much cardio, I always tell them that weight training done right, is cardio.

Greater lung capacity.

After the age of 25, there is a 1% decline in lung capacity that occurs every year unless you do something about it with aerobic activity. This lung capacity, known as your VO-2, will typically increase by 6 to 20% with aerobic conditioning, and can go as high as a 50% increase. When you can breath better, you live better. Only a fool would argue this. As your lung capacity improves, oxygen enters your lungs more efficiently and the carbon dioxide waste, leaves more rapidly. By increasing your lung volume, you are increasing the quality of your life. You will be able to function without getting winded so easily.

Benefits, head to toes.

You do not need any expensive gym memberships or high tech fitness gadgets to get yourself into good physical condition. All you need is your doctors clearance and a will to get yourself active. By simply walking 30 minutes per day, you will begin reaping many benefits to your body and soul.  From arthritis to weight gain, good vigorous exercise will help mitigate many medical issues in your life. The investment in a pair of sneakers and a comfortable outfit to exercise in is far cheaper than unnecessary medical bills brought about by an unhealthy diet and sedentary life. Strong muscles in your thighs will help reduce the risk of arthritis in your knees. Women can reduce their risk of diabetes by half.

It is a well established fact that exercise boosts your body’s immune system function. And you do not have to work out every day to enjoy the many health benefits. I have read of a study where it was found that people who exercised moderately for 30 minutes, only 6 times per month outlived those with a sedentary lifestyle by a 43% margin. When it comes to quality of life and longevity, staying physically fit is the best investment you can make in yourself.

Invest into your own future wisely. You will have no regrets.

Weight Matters

Common Fallacy

There is a school of thought nowadays that the amount of fat that we carry on our bodies should not or does not matter. Quite often I am asked “How can I lose weight?” When the first thing that I tell them is “Quit eating sugar.” almost without fail, the response that I hear is, “…but, that’s so hard! It’s so good!” Yes, it’s hard, for about ten days, but it’s not nearly as hard as the complications of carrying the excess weight. That will last much longer. That will last for the rest of your life.

The Risks
Adult Onset Diabetes is a direct result of what you eat. Many bone and joint problems are preventable simply by controlling your weight. Excessive tissue in the face and neck can cause sleep apnea and sleep apnea can cause atrial fibrillation and atrial fibrillation can cause a stroke. Extra fat cells can contribute to cancer. None of these options appeal to me, how about you? Self esteem plummets as the number on the scale rises and anxiety, depression and the complications of those are sometimes more than you expect. Anxiety raises your blood pressure which raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The Difference
I never pretend that weight control is easy. I do, however adamantly promote the fact that to live well, it is absolutely necessary. I have weighed much more than I do now and worn a size 22. I am 5’6″ tall. Believe me, life is much better at 135 pounds and a size 8. I have energy to burn and normal blood pressure. I work hard, have no chronic pain, no blood sugar problems whatsoever and I am treated much better by almost everybody. As a “fat chick” I was treated like I was stupid by a lot of people and my low self esteem kept me from pursuing goals that I have now achieved.

Make a Decision

I had to make a commitment. I had to decide, once and for all that I would be healthy. In previous attempts at weight loss I went at it like maybe it would happen, maybe I would be successful. This time, I just decided to do it. I decided that I would do whatever necessary to have the life that I want, nothing, not even me, would get in my way. Commit.

Realistic Goals

I also set goals that were realistic. So often we want to lose a huge amount of weight in a short time. You may find a way to do that but you will never live with it. Creating a lifestyle of health and self care is the only thing that works in the long run. Here at David’s Way we help you live well. We encourage you to eat moderate amounts of good whole foods, keeping your carbohydrate intake low, but healthy, and getting lots of good protein. We advise setting a goal of one pound per week weight loss. That way your healthy changes become a healthy lifestyle, not a crazy fad diet. Leave off the simple carbs altogether and eat complex carbs for your carbohydrate intake. Do something that you can live with for the rest of your life. David’s Way is very user friendly. Set common sense goals and you will be encouraged when you reach them.

What’s Important to You?

Your motivation is critical. My motivation is a determination to be unusually strong and healthy, so strong that every muscle is defined. It’s fine to be motivated by wanting to look good in a bikini. I certainly want that, but your motivation needs to be very important and compelling. Dig down deeply and find something that burns in your soul that will make you accountable to yourself.

Work Out

While abs are made in the kitchen and you can never outrun a bad diet, you will benefit greatly from getting active, with your doctor’s permission. Find an activity that you enjoy and commit to doing it at least four times per week. Quite often we say we’re going to exercise and average about 1-2 times per week. That won’t do much for you. Get serious and see results.

Make It Forever

I also committed for a lifestyle, not a “diet”. Don’t think that you’re going to “do it and get it over with”. That won’t work. When David first began training me, I asked him, “How long will this take?” His answer was, “The rest of your life.” He was right.

Out Exercise a Bad Diet? You’re Funny

Congratulations, after a living a considerable time of being over weight and out of shape you made the wise decision at the beginning of spring to do something productive about it. You did your due diligence with homework and found a great weight loss plan as well as an intensive exercise program to compliment the new diet. You absolutely rocked this new lifestyle and lost about 10 pounds in the first couple of weeks. Then you started becoming somewhat discouraged as the weekly weight loss began to slow down to only a pound or two a week. This rapid deceleration lasted for a couple of months before the losses really slowed to a turtle’s pace of only a pound or so a month. if even that much. Now, it is the end of summer, the kids are back in school, you exercise yourself to near death and the weight is stuck exactly where it was at the first week of June. It is at this point where you are totally exasperated and ready to just throw in the towel because you believe you did everything right, therefore you must be one who is genetically doomed to a life of obesity. What went wrong?

Plenty went wrong.

You did not know what it is that you did not know about successful weight loss and weight management.

The above scenario is one we have encountered many times from our clients and our readers who have contacted us for advice. It is a scenario that gets played out all across the globe among many of those who have decided to get their bodies down to a healthy weight while increasing their physical fitness. If this scenario fits you, it is not all of your fault being as there is so much conflicting information out there in regards to diet and physical fitness. Besides a huge plethora of information telling us “just do this, and don’t do that” from well meaning individuals, there is also an abundance of scam businesses putting out information that only serves to keep you coming back to them as a perpetual income stream. It is enough to make your head spin, we understand this. At David’s Way, our blog information will always be free for your use in order to get fit and healthy.

Note: we are in work now towards publishing e-books which will be sold in order to offset our overhead expenses for the blog. The blog will always be free to you, as our purpose is to help others first and foremost. Anything else, is and always will be, secondary.

Now, lets address why you are not losing weight despite your best efforts. Barring the possibility of any health or medical issues, I am going to first take a look at your dietary habits before addressing your exercise regimen.

DIET

  • Do you know how many calories per day your body requires for healthy weight loss?
    1. If you do not know how many calories per day your body requires, you need to find this out before proceeding any further.
    2. You can simply consult our Calorie Counter Pro right in our blog menu to find this information out. This is 100% private. No one, not even we at David’s Way will know your information. We respect the privacy of all and are HIPAA compliant.
  • Do you know how many calories per day you are consuming? Do you measure and track your daily intake in order to ensure you are eating the amount of calories per day your body needs?
    1. No matter what other weight loss sites and business might tell you, you had better be tracking your intake of food in some manner or another. If you do not track how much you consume, it is quite possible you are eating too much for your level of activity. Any that tell you that tracking is not necessary are likely going to keep you around for perpetual income.
    2. As much as you do not want to over eat when trying to lose weight, conversely, you do not want to under eat .
      • Under eating will cause your body to go into starvation mode which will both slow down your metabolism and cause you to lose lean muscle mass.
  • Do you keep track of the macro-nutrients you consume? Do you know how much protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats your body requires for good health?
    1. At David’s Way, for weight loss we recommend a diet high in a variety of proteins, lower in complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
      • By keeping your protein intake higher, you will feel satiated much longer than when you fill up on carbs.
      • Be sure that your consume a variety of protein sources to ensure you are getting a full profile of the 9 essential amino acids required by your body to repair and replace cells and muscle tissues.
      • We have different protein needs depending on the level and intensity of our physical fitness regimens. For instance as a strength trainer and endurance hiker, I consume at least 1 to 1.2 grams of protein for each pound of my body weight each day. For women who are strength trainers, I recommend .8 to 1 gram of protein per day. Those who are not involved in high intensity physical fitness regimens do not need this much. In fact, the recommendation for women is .62 grams per kilogram of body weight and .8 grams per kilogram for men. A 130 pound woman who is not very active might only need 37 grams of protein per day for good health, but a higher total is going to help her to remain satiated better between meals. Especially if she is also consuming healthy fats to go along with the protein. Fat also helps to keep you satiated longer.
      • Note: A big deal is made by some in regards to excessive protein turning to fat within the body. This is true. However, if you are tracking what you consume, this is not a concern as the same can be said for excessive carbohydrates. The point is to track and know how much you are eating and to not exceed the number of calories your body requires in a day. One gram of protein and one gram of carbohydrates both provide 4 calories to your body. I weigh 170 pounds and consume 2500 calories per day in order to maintain my weight. If I consume 1 gram of protein per each pound of my body weight, this equals 680 of my allotted 2500 calories for 27 percent. Even on my heavy lifting days when I might consume 200 grams of protein, this is still only 32 percent of my total calories coming from protein. With the hunger that comes from a heavy weight training session or a long distance hike, it is much easier to keep my calories under control with protein rather than carbohydrates. By tracking my total intake of calories and macro-nutrients I can properly fuel my body without taking it to an excess. This allows me to maintain my body fat percentage at 9 percent at 56 years old.
  • If you are still consuming added sugar, simple carbohydrates without a fiber content, and processed foods, just stop it now. These foods will always keep you hungry as they have a direct impact on spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels. These foods will always keep you craving more.
    1. If you never had control over cravings for simple carbohydrates in the past, you are not likely to have control over them in the present, nor the future.  Simple carbs added together with exercise only means you are likely to end up craving more carbs.
    2. Who am I to tell you to not eat sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods when other weight loss business such as Weight Watchers specifically says you can still eat them?  Consider this, I am not charging you anything for my advice. Others such as Weight Watchers will charge you a monthly membership fee while they know that my advice is the truth. Yet, by telling a sugar addict they can continue eating sugar laden foods, they know that you will be a perpetual income stream to them. I make nothing off of your readership while they make anywhere from $20 to $40 per month off of each of their 100,000 plus members. With this kind of revenue, you can bank on the fact they have nutritionists and scientists under their employment that also know the truth about simple sugars and their role in keeping you over weight or obese.
  • Ensure that your diet is well rounded between a variety of protein sources, vegetables and fruits. Ensure that your dietary habits provide with the protein and a full amino acid profile as well as the vitamins and minerals you need for good health and vitality.
  • Last word on diet, although there is more which could be said. Let’s assume that everything about your diet is spot on point. You are tracking your calories and macro-nutrients. Your diet is nutritionally well rounded and you still can not lose weight no matter how much you exercise. My question to you is:
    1. Have you adjusted your caloric intake with your actual needs since beginning your weight loss journey?
    2. Are you aware that you have to adjust your caloric needs downward as you lose weight, even if you exercise?
      • If you are a 250 pound female who stands 5′ 2″ and want to lose 120 pounds down to 130 pounds, your caloric needs are going to drop as your weight does. In fact, the calories it will take for a 250 pound woman to begin losing weight at a rate of 1 pound per week will equalize to where that same amount of calories will be what it takes for her to maintain her weight at 165 pounds if she went from being sedentary to moderately active over the course of her weight loss. Therefore, if you do not periodically adjust, you will plateau. This is why almost everyone who goes on a weight loss journey eventually stalls out with 30 pounds or less to go in order to meet their goal weight.

Exercise

Many people will underrate how much food they consume each day and overrate the intensity level of their exercise. Some will overrate their intensity because they simply do not know any better, and then some will do this in order to justify eating their sweet treats or whatever extra it is they feel they cannot live without. I have seen one instance on a weight loss social media site where an individual was tracking their calories burned for their basal metabolic rate as a part of their calories burned from exercise too. This kind of thinking is ignorance at best and pretty dumb at the worse. Another example is the ones who now count their daily house cleaning as exercise in order to increase their calorie allowance for the day. News flash: if those calories burned did not help you when you last month before you began your weight loss program, they are not sufficient enough to help you now.

  • It takes 20 minutes at an aerobic level heart rate to burn through your body’s glycogen stores before you even begin to burn an ounce of fat.
  • If your heart rate is not getting elevated to where it causes your breathing to become a little bit labored, you are at too low of an intensity to do your body much good. True, you are lapping the couch potato, but not by much.
  • If you take your heart rate to the anaerobic level for a couple minutes of true high intensity, do not count your entire session as high intensity simply because, at a high intensity, you cannot hardly breath. If you cannot breath, you are not going to last more than a couple minutes at best. If you think you cannot breath, yet are able to keep moving at this intensity, you are still in a moderate intensity. Maybe you have not figured out what a true high intensity exercise is yet.
  • If you use a tracking app for your calories and exercise, be honest as dishonesty only serves to hurt you.
  • Your problem can also come from simply over doing it and not getting enough rest and recovery. Always remember that nutrition, rest and recovery are equally important to an exercise regimen as the actual exercise.

I know there are more points that can be made on this topic. If you care to elaborate on one, or address something not mentioned, please feel free to comment and or ask questions. We are always happy to correspond with our readers whether in our comments or through private contact through the blog menu. We hear from privately from readers pretty regular. Also, please feel free to make comments on our forum or create a topic of your own. We would truly like to see our forum begin to grow. Thanks and God bless.

Childhood Obesity, Do Something About It!

All who have followed this blog know that I am not even remotely apologetic in my attitude regarding our responsibility to ensuring our children do not become obese. Whether they realize it or not, our children look towards us to lead them down the path towards a well nurtured and healthy life. When we allow our children to eat themselves into obesity while living a sedentary life sitting in front of a television, this is negligence at best, abuse at the worse. You, the parent and responsible adult in their life, must be the example your children want to emulate in life. If you are fit and healthy, your children are more likely to be fit and healthy. If you are obese, lazy and out of shape, do I need to say more?

Did that last line offend you? You might check your parenting if it did.

How big a problem is childhood obesity?

From the (CDC) Center for DIsease Control and Prevention

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. Obesity prevalence among children and adolescents is still too high.

For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years:

  • The prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents.
  • Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
  • Hispanics (25.8%) and non-Hispanic blacks (22.0%) had higher obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic whites (14.1%).
  • Non-Hispanic Asians (11.0%) had lower obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.

Nearly one in five American children have a problem with being either obese or overweight. This number is far too high!

Complications your obese child will face in life!

From Mayo Clinic:

Childhood obesity can have complications for your child’s physical, social and emotional well-being.

Physical complications

  • Type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition affects the way your child’s body uses sugar (glucose). Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome. This cluster of conditions can put your child at risk of heart disease, diabetes or other health problems. Conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and excess abdominal fat.
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure. A poor diet can cause your child to develop one or both of these conditions. These factors can contribute to the buildup of plaques in the arteries, which can cause arteries to narrow and harden, possibly leading to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • Asthma. Children who are overweight or obese might be more likely to have asthma.
  • Sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a child’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disorder, which usually causes no symptoms, causes fatty deposits to build up in the liver. NAFLD can lead to scarring and liver damage.
  • Bone fractures. Obese children are more likely to break bones than are children of normal weight.

Social and emotional complications

  • Low self-esteem and being bullied. Children often tease or bully their overweight peers, who suffer a loss of self-esteem and an increased risk of depression as a result.
  • Behavior and learning problems. Overweight children tend to have more anxiety and poorer social skills than normal-weight children do. These problems might lead children who are overweight either to act out and disrupt their classrooms or to withdraw socially.
  • Depression. Low self-esteem can create overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, which can lead to depression in some children who are overweight.

Now that you have read that troubling list of complications your innocent child will encounter through a life of obesity, look upon that sweet child and think about your role in preventing them from experiencing an unnecessary struggle. You know you do not want their lives to be cut short because of obesity. I cannot imagine anyone wants a bad life for their child, but if you allow them to be sedentary and feed them an unhealthy diet, you are responsible for their future misery.

You are the responsible party for your child’s health and well being!

Many factors — usually working in combination — increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight. From Mayo Clinic

  • Diet. Regularly eating high-calorie foods, such as fast foods, baked goods and vending machine snacks, can cause your child to gain weight. Candy and desserts also can cause weight gain, and more and more evidence points to sugary drinks, including fruit juices, as culprits in obesity in some people.
  • Lack of exercise. Children who don’t exercise much are more likely to gain weight because they don’t burn as many calories. Too much time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching television or playing video games, also contributes to the problem.
  • Family factors. If your child comes from a family of overweight people, he or she may be more likely to put on weight. This is especially true in an environment where high-calorie foods are always available and physical activity isn’t encouraged.
  • Psychological factors. Personal, parental and family stress can increase a child’s risk of obesity. Some children overeat to cope with problems or to deal with emotions, such as stress, or to fight boredom. Their parents might have similar tendencies.

Diet and family factors. You are the responsible adult who does the grocery shopping. You control what your children consume every day at home. You have a choice when you go to your local grocery store to either fill your cart with healthy food choices to feed your children, or you can load that cart with highly processed sugar and unhealthy fat laden junk foods. You are the one who allows them to sit on their butts in front of a television or other electronic device all day while getting very little to no exercise at all. You are the one who should see a problem when your child becomes over weight and you are the one who must do something about it. Your child did not ask to be brought into the world. No, it was your choice to bring them into the world, therefore it will always be your responsibility to take proper care to ensure your child is healthy and well, even if it is an inconvenience to the manner in which you might want to live your life.

Whether your child is at risk of becoming overweight or is currently at a healthy weight, you can take measures to get or keep things on the right track.

  • Limit your child’s consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or avoid them all together. There is no reason for your child to drink sugar sweetened drinks every day. Many children grow up drinking soda pops all day instead of water. I have a nephew who grew up like this and he now requires dialysis for kidney failure because of this foolishness. His kidneys are shot because he grew up drinking Coke all day, every day. His mother is responsible for this as she let this habit begin in his early childhood.
  • Provide plenty of fruits and vegetables. Some children are going to be picky eaters. Lord knows I was picky as a child, yet my mother never gave up. What ever you do, you must ensure that your child is getting enough their needed macro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to live a healthy life. You know there is nothing nutritional about feeding your children sugar sweetened cereals and pop tarts. You know that soda pop and cookies are not nutritionally sound. You should know that while macaroni and cheese with hot dogs might be alright to serve your child occasionally for lunch, it is not nutritionally sound to feed them like this every day.
  • Eat meals as a family as often as possible. One of the healthiest things you can do as a family is to have dinner together at the dining room or kitchen table away from all other distractions such as television and other electronic devices. This is a great time to talk to your children and learn what is going on in their young lives. Your children need this kind of emotional support from you. You need this time to know what is happening in their young minds. You cannot get this when you allow them to play video games all day as an escape. If you are not interacting with your child, you might find yourself totally blindsided by their suicide one day.
  • Children and teens who are depressed have a higher risk of suicide. Symptoms of depression sometimes are obvious, such as appearing sad, hopeless, bored, overwhelmed, anxious, or irritable all the time. But some kids are good at hiding their feelings or don’t know how to share them. Since as many as 1 in every 5 teens experience depression at some point during adolescence, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all children over age 12 be screened for depression at their yearly checkups.
  • In addition to depression, mood disorders, eating disorders and other psychiatric conditions can increase the risk of suicide with your child. A sedentary lifestyle combined with obesity and poor nutritional habits greatly affects your child’s mood and how they view their own self worth. As a parent, you are responsible to help them sort all of this out before they decide to just end their own life before it has even begun.
  • Limit eating out, especially at fast-food restaurants, and when you do eat out, teach your child how to make healthier choices. Go to our Recipe Category for an abundance of healthy recipes that are easy on a family budget, and that are also as healthy as they are easy to prepare. Fast food drive through’s might be alright on occasion as a treat, but it truly is cheaper and quicker to feed your family nutritious meals at home.
  • Adjust portion sizes appropriately for age. You know, if your child is 5, they do not need a portion your 15 year old will want to consume. If you have teens in the house, you can still control the portion sizes by the amount of food that you prepare. Even if they raise hell with you, you are the parent. Stand your ground and manage your home instead of letting your child rule it as is so common now days.
  • Limit TV and other “screen time” to less than 2 hours a day for children older than 2, and don’t allow television for children younger than 2. If your child is not old enough to work a part time job to buy a television or electronic device for themselves, you have the control. You do not need to buy them their own television so they can sit and lounge about in front of it anytime they please. You set the rules of the house!
  • Be sure your child gets enough sleep.

Get your child outside and teach them to use their imagination!

I am a firm believer that one of the best things a parent can do for their child is to get them outside and teach them about nature. Take them out on a good hiking trail and have some fun with them by exercising your imagination as well.

Explore a trail and turn it into a great adventure they will want to do again. A make shift bridge could be crossing a roaring river. The woods could be anywhere in the world you want it to be. You can teach your children about the different plants and animal life you might encounter such as deer, raccoons and opossums. Those animal tracks you in the mud might be from a large wild cat you are trying to avoid. They can be anything you want them to be.

You could pack healthy snacks for your hike along with a pair of binoculars for bird watching. You can lay out your food and enjoy your snack while sitting on a large rock and observing the “dangers” or adventures you might encounter over the next hill. Let your imagination run wild with your child’s while out on a hiking trail. You can teach your child about edible plants you might find while pointing out those that are highly toxic such as Death Caps and any that are red on the cap. You never know where a wicked witch or evil troll might be lurking out in those woods when you use your imagination with the children.


There are many lessons of life you can impart onto your child while out in the woods. You can speak of the hard lessons of life we must all come to learn at some point which will only serve to make them be well adjusted adults. And you can, and must, also teach them to seek out the beauty that is the gift of life. Every where we may venture, there can be found something of beauty to behold. Get your children excited about life and all that it has to offer. Get them excited about outdoors activities that capture the imagination. As a parent, you are responsible for giving your child as great a life as you possibly can.

Let’s keep our children healthy, it is not an impossible task if only you will.

Eating Out Successfully

The Best Intentions
How many times have you started out for the evening with the intention of staying on your program only to succumb to the party atmosphere in the restaurant and order too much food? Almost everyone has dealt with this. It’s not just you. Why do we allow other people to make or break our health for us? Those choices that you make on the spur of the moment in social situations are critical..
Why?
In 15 studies that were reviewed in 2013 it was indicated that we tend to behave in the manner that we believe to be acceptable or normal. If we associate with unhealthy people who possess unhealthy habits, we will pick up those poor habits. Strangely enough, the behavior continues when we are alone, not only with those people. While we are not going to abandon Aunt Sally whose trying to push her latest bakery concoction on us, we can avoid some people and situations that are bad for us. I once had a “frienemy” who openly stated that she could not tolerate me being smaller than her and left home-baked goodies on my doorstep frequently. I did gain weight, but when I realized what was happening, I lost the weight along with about 250 pounds of ugly fat, the “frienemy”.
Feel-Good Neuros
Many of foods that we tend to binge on are high carbohydrate and tend to boost our serotonin which is a party neurotransmitter. Many anti-depressants build serotonin, so when we binge on these foods, we are self-medicating.
Sugar lights up dopamine receptors all over the brain so when we have finished the high carb pizza and pasta and go for the chocolate cake that was meant for the table to share… we are boosting serotonin and dopamine. These foods are activating the same circuits as cocaine. They are addictive, and we crave them almost all the time if we make a habit of eating them. When one rush wears off, we will look for the hit again. When we continue this behavior, our health will suffer from excess carbohydrate, sodium, sugar and overall caloric intake.
1- How to Navigate Social Situations
When we eat out, we need to set the pace of the evening. Don’t let others who have bad habits take control. It’s all about choices. Make good ones.
1- PLAN I found out years ago that I could make much better choices if I was not blind-sided by the Menu. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to Google a restaurant and peruse the Menu beforehand. You will not be affected by the choices of those around you. Decide what you will order and as soon as the waiter shows up at your table, tell him that you know what you want and order. You have set the mood for the meal uninfluenced by the poor choices of those around you.

2- ORDER BETTER While you may not be able to prevent the bread basket or the tortilla chips from coming to the table, you can order your own healthy appetizer. Order some fresh veggies, such as celery sticks to go with a healthy dip choice. While others are stuffing their faces with high-carb bread and tortilla chips, you can be filling up on healthy foods.
3-AVOID cream based soups, creamy dressings, au gratin, crispy, battered, golden (it usually means fried), tempura, smothered, fritters, crunchy and en croute. En croute is wrapped in pastry!
4- TAKE CONTROL When you order, tell the waiter to bring half of your entree to the table and put half of it in a go-box or just order off of the appetizer menu if you can order small quantities.
5-SNACK The absolute worst thing that you can do is go all day without eating so that you can eat a lot when you go out. I have known many people who do this. This applies to eating with relatives at their homes or yours. Always eat well during the day and have a healthy snack before you go.
6-AVOID “ALL YOU CAN EAT” This is a no-brainer. You know better.
7- DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES Drink water. Avoid alcohol if at all possible. If you are determined to drink alcohol, order small without added sugar based mixers. Don’t drink “sweet tea”. I’m from the South and I witness this abomination frequently. Just don’t.
8- FOCUS If you have a favorite dish that you just can’t do without, have it. Have ONLY that, no bread basket, no tortilla chips, no alcohol, no dessert. Get what you came for, eat it and enjoy. Just because you are not eating at home, you don’t have a license to eat everything in the house. Get one thing that you love and focus on that.
Recovery
So, what do you do if you go overboard despite your best intentions? Remember, it’s one meal. Take it in stride and go on. Before you go to bed , be sure to hydrate with water. Be as active as you possibly can be for the rest of the day and the next day. Avoid anymore excess carbs and sugar and excess sodium. In a day or so, you can mitigate the effects of one meal if you get back on your program quickly
Consider Your Associates
While we are not likely to ditch family, there are some people in our lives that are toxic. Surround yourself with health-minded individuals who will inspire you and help you live a healthy lifestyle. Check in with us at David’s Way frequently. We post almost daily and have great tools here to help you along your way. If you have not downloaded the Calorie Counter, do so today. We are always available to answer questions and encourage comments. We will both get back to you and you have the unique advantage of a male and a female perspective here at David’s Way.

Healthy Weigh In Habits

Brenda Sue and I have addressed a recurring issue with several of our online clients that I am not sure will ever be resolved. The issue is one of daily weight checking. If there is something that will quickly derail one who is on a weight loss journey, it is erratic weighing once or even several times in a single day. With some, it’s almost like they might hop onto their bathroom scale after every time they open and close their refrigerator door. This behavior is part of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is not going to go away simply because we tell our clients they should only weigh themselves once per week at best.

These obsessions and compulsions are unwanted and disruptive to daily life. OCD can be associated with eating disorders, anxiety disorders or depression, reports the National Institute of Mental Health. OCD has complex ties to eating behavior and weight loss, and may be associated with weight gain, difficulties losing weight or unhealthy weight loss. (1)

Friends, our aim is to help others in achieving a healthy body fat percentage in the most least stressful manner possible. We understand the compulsions as we have been there ourselves too. We understand what it means to ensure that you have emptied your bladder and bowels before stepping onto the bathroom scales. As with many of you, at times we have also found ourselves trying to step onto the scales as gingerly as possible in order to maybe not weigh heavier than we feel we should, and this after scooting the scale around the floor to that perfect weigh in spot. Admit it or not, we know there are a few of you reading this who are in full understanding of the last couple lines. We know the disappointment that comes when thinking weight loss for the week was a sure thing, only to have those thoughts crushed when we seen a heavier reading than from our last weigh in. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that between Brenda Sue and myself, there is nothing you can tell us that you have done that we have not also done in a lame attempt to cheat the scale. To weigh the least amount possible on weigh in day, people will do the craziest stunts to beat our brutal nemesis, the bathroom scale.

Daily Weighing is not helpful for many if not most!

How many of you step onto your bathroom scale every morning and then base the rest of your day on the numbers you read? How many times has your attitude towards life and all in between gone to hell simply because of the morning scale reading? You know this is not helpful or healthy, yet many will continue to keep up the insanity of daily weighing no matter what we advise. I can tell you how salt and other additives will increase your water retention and you will still be upset over your temporary weight gain. I can tell you that your worries need to be placed on body fat percentage over water retention weight, and yet the number on the scale will still ruin your day, even when you full well know the reason it might be higher than you expected. I do not advocate daily weighing, and believe that for some, even weekly weigh in’s are too much for those who are going to let the scale number rule their day.

Over the long term, it’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week. Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity. (2)

If you really must weigh daily:

Neither your body or your bathroom scales are finely tuned machines that never need adjustments. We know there are many factors that can cause our body’s to fluctuate in weight simply as a result of water retention, therefore our weight can yo yo up and down by several pounds each and every day. If our scales were known to be perfectly calibrated every time we stepped on them, we would never be scooting it around the floor, nor would we try to minimize our weight by the way we step onto it, would we? Nope, if we knew we could never manipulate that scale number we would never practice the “Scale Ballet” every time we weigh ourselves.

If you have done the “Scale Ballet”, you are not alone…

If you are going to weigh yourself regular, it is worth your time and money to actually invest in a good quality digital scale and then ensure it always has fresh batteries or a good charge. If your body weight is important to you, then it should be important enough that you buy quality scales whether digital or mechanical. Do not sell yourself short by going cheap since cheap scales are less likely to be reliable in their calibration. If your scales are only 1% off on their reading this can mean a 1.5 pound error if you weigh 150 pounds. Now, if you weigh in excess of 200 pounds, do the math and you will see that your reading could be off by 2 pounds or more. Good quality scales are a must!

Never let yourself get upset over what could be a faulty reading of your weight!

Now, lets assume you have purchased a good bathroom scale and still want to weigh yourself daily. While I do not advise you to weigh every day, I still want you to weigh yourself weekly or bi-weekly in order to keep a measure of your progress. I want you to keep track of your progress without getting down and out about it when the number is too high, nor do I want you to get too excited over your weigh in when the weight drop is too high.

Remember, your body weight can fluctuate greatly solely as a result of water retention.

  • If you simply must weigh yourself every day, get yourself a pen and a note pad to keep somewhere close to your scale.
  • Be consistent in weighing at the same time of the day and in the same or like clothing. Your clothing can add a couple pounds.
  • If you go to the bathroom and never have anything to eat or drink before weighing, then stick to this every day. Do not eat and drink breakfast and then step onto your scales before voiding your bowels and bladder. This one should be obvious.
  • Step onto your scale only once, write down your weight in your note pad and move on with your day no matter what the number said.
  • At the end of the week when you take your last daily weigh in for the week, write this number down and then figure your weeks average. For example. add the weight from each day together, then divide by the number 7 for your weekly average weight. 151+154+152+150+152+153+152=1064 1064/7=152 pounds weekly average weight.
  • The numbers during the week can fluctuate, it is the weekly average that you need worry about when you average them out for the entire month. A healthy weight loss is only 1 to 2 pounds maximum per week. If you average 1 to 2 pounds per week at the end of a month, you are on track for healthy weight loss. Daily numbers mean little to nothing if not used in a proper context. No matter the daily scale readings, if your first week average is 151 pounds and your second week average is 149 pounds, then your weight loss for the week is 2 pounds even if you had a minor gain during the week.

For successful weight loss/management, know yourself!

Know your goal!

You need to set a realistic goal for yourself. If you are 50 years old, you might not set a goal to once again be able to wear your cheer leading outfit from 9th grade. Not even if you get your weight close to where it was way back when. At David’s Way, we recommend not setting a goal weight, but setting a goal for body fat percentage instead. By setting a body fat percentage as a goal instead of a random scale number, it takes a lot of the stress out of weight management because your weight can fluctuate a few pounds and have no ill bearing on your overall body fat percentage. Whether you set a goal of a certain weight or body fat percentage, you need to be realistic about your body build, lifestyle and health needs.

Know your triggers!

There are certain foods and circumstances that will cause your weight to fluctuate or that will cause you to want to over eat. We always recommend that you go sugar and processed foods free, but we also understand there are times where this might be impossible for you. Brenda Sue and I have written extensively about the inflammatory effects of sugar in your body and how it affects your weight and health.

If you are out with friends in a restaurant and the wait staff asks if anyone is ready for dessert, ask for a cup of coffee and enjoy it while your friend indulges in their pie. You can still enjoy their company, and they can still enjoy yours. Make it a point to fill up on salad and vegetables with your meal and drink plenty of water to ward off the temptations of a sweet dessert treat. If you give in and have a dessert, try sharing it with your friend and let them eat the bulk of it. Then tomorrow, shrug it off and move on with your day. You might crave the sugar if you have been sugar free, but that craving will pass.

If you had restaurant food today, you can expect a weight gain tomorrow because the sodium and MSG chefs use will cause you to retain fluids. These circumstances where you have to eat out are going to happen whether you are out socially with friends, on vacation with family or on a business trip where you cannot cook for yourself. Do not freak out over the temporary weight gain and get back on track as soon as you can. It does not have to be the end of the world, and if you understand what triggers weight gain for you and what to do about these triggers, this in itself will greatly reduce the stress which comes when trying to lose weight. Stress reduction is something we have also addressed as at David’s Way, we treat the problem of obesity from a whole body, holistic approach where we know that simple loss of weight is not enough to make you successful at getting at, and then remaining at a healthy body fat percentage.

Ladies, most menstruating and premenstrual women might find their body weight rising by 3 to 5 pounds, even though their daily intake of food has not changed. (3) Do yourself a favor and do not get worked up by what nature is doing temporarily with your body. You know this is going to happen and must simply plan your lifestyle in order to deal with it instead of letting it control you. For more information read this article by Brenda Sue, Dirty Little Secret.

Keep adjusting!

At David’s Way, we encourage you to track your caloric intake in order to lose weight. We do not want you to over eat, conversely, we certainly do not want you to under eat which can have a negative effect on your metabolism and health. You will find that once you have lost a certain amount of weight, you will likely plateau. Do not get frustrated, adjust your caloric intake and get your weight loss moving again. You can go to our Calorie Counter Pro to find out how many calories a day you need to manage your weight.

Now for a key point!

Once you have lost weight, you have to adjust your caloric intake as what it takes to lose weight at 250 pounds is different than what it takes to lose weight at 160 pounds. Our clients seem to always get stuck on that last 10 to 20 pounds unless we remind them of this. For instance: if you are a 40 year old, 250 pound female who stands 5 feet 2 inches, and is sedentary or exercises very little, you will need 1609 calories per day in order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week. (This is easy when you do not eat sugar or processed foods, and only consume whole foods)

Lets say you are now 41 years old, and currently weigh 160 pounds, and you still get little to no exercise. You would now require 1613 calories per day to maintain this current weight. As you can see, this number is little different than the number it took for you to drop weight. If you never changed anything, the reason you have stalled is because you never re-figured your caloric needs. Your body has different requirements for how much you weigh. As you manage your body fat levels, you must always evaluate your needs. This is true for men and women of all ages.

No matter what happens during your weight loss journey, always remain focused on your goal. There are times when this is going to be difficult for all of us. If you slip up, do not cast judgement upon yourself, understand that life happens. Bad circumstances and tragedies befall us all. Even if you slip, make it a point to not get yourself permanently derailed. Be committed to your own good health and well being and make yourself a priority. Make healthy living your lifestyle. Instead of letting others pull you back down, reach out a helping hand and give others a hand up. Continue reading our work at David’s Way, it will always be free to you. Share what you have found here with family and friends who you think will also benefit from our labor of love. Comments and questions are always welcome here.

(1) Livestrong.Org, Jon Williams

(2) MayoClinic.org

(3) Carbohydrate Addicts Lifespan Program, Heller

Loaded Gun, Ready Triggers

Even if you do not believe in God, you can still enrich your life through the principles of the Serenity prayer. Sadly, a lot people only think of the Serenity Prayer as something said by recovering alcoholics and junkies in their recovery meetings, or when trying to remain clean and sober. I personally try to use this principle in all that I encounter in life. Including control over my appetite and emotions. Like many people in western society, I too have had my own past issues with maintaining a healthy body fat percentage and control over food cravings. I know that Brenda Sue has too. All that we address in our writing has come about from our own unique life experiences, we are not types who will go on and on about what needs to be done about weight management while having never experienced what you are going through too.

Choices!

Friends, if you have been following me long enough, you know that I always place an emphasis on personal responsibility and choosing to do what is right for your health and wellness. When you take personal responsibility for yourself, you quickly learn there are some things you can change for your benefit, and there are some that you cannot. This is a simple fact of life for every single one of us. None of us are special in this regard, some of us just learn to navigate our way around obstacles in life. How this applies to weight management is the mistake many of you make in trying to lose weight is repeatedly attempt to change the things in which you cannot change, and you fail to change those things in which you can. In private communications with our clients, Brenda Sue and I see this insanity just about daily.

Loaded Guns

The big mistake that most people make in trying lose weight is they try to use will power over their cravings. You are not a special snowflake, and the failure of will power is not unique to you alone! If you think will power alone is enough to get through cravings that keep you obese, you are most certainly going to fail!

When in weight loss mode, most people believe they need to learn to overcome their weaknesses by strengthening their will power. While I agree people need to work on strengthening their will power, this in itself is not enough to over ride your cravings for food, nor does your will power do anything about decreasing your body’s ability to store fat. Intense and recurring carbohydrate cravings, as well as the body’s heightened ability to store fat, come from a physical cause.

Cravings and fat storage come from a physical cause!

This physical cause is a direct result of an excess of insulin in your body. Therefore, will power does not come into play in decreasing your cravings for high carbohydrate foods, loaded with bad fats and sodium. Will power does not change the physical workings of your body. While you may over ride your cravings for a short period, if you do not do anything about controlling insulin production in your body, your will power is bound to fail you. Your will power is no where near as strong as the powerful effects insulin has in your system.

Commonly, when people fail at their diets and weight loss because they thought it was a matter of willpower and self control over all else, they are only partially correct. Instead of evaluating why they failed and what they could have done in order instead, they will place the blame on their lack of willpower, or accept blame from others, and then they will simply give up.

An evaluation of self is in fact needed to understand why we fail at weight loss and successful management, but the evaluation must come from a base of knowledge. Without a good understanding of the reason why you fail at weight loss you are bound to begin the cycle of yo-yo dieting all over again. At David’s Way, we have placed a great amount of time into the study of why 98% of people fail at diets, and it is always obvious their futile battles are lost because they either lack the knowledge of how their body works, or they refuse to acknowledge their need to come at weight management from a better, more informed perspective.

Ready Triggers

You must accept what you can and cannot do about your body and the manner in which it handles your intake of food. Know that you are not helpless in this struggle!

Those of us who are addicted to carbohydrates are little different than alcoholics. We cannot change our body’s predisposition to release too much insulin. You might think of your predisposition as a loaded gun that comes literally from the genes you inherited from your parents. However, this genetic message is only a predisposition, or a loaded weapon just waiting on you to be the one who pulls the trigger.  It will not go off unless, or until you personally pull the trigger for it to do so. This is something you indeed have control over. While you are predisposed to release too much insulin, you can control that in which you eat. You can make the choice to quit eating added sugars entirely in order to not pull the trigger on your cravings. You can prevent your blood sugar and insulin spikes by not eating sugar. If you are carbohydrate addicted, you  have to change the way you eat. It may be difficult for the first couple of weeks, but it is not impossible. You have to take the same approach to your carbohydrate addiction the same as one who quits drinking, the same as one who quits smoking. You just have to quit, and not believe that you can ever have control over the substance you never had control over in the first place.

Get your finger off the trigger, damn it!

The biggest way you can derail yourself is by frequently consuming carbohydrate rich foods. Specifically, simple carbs! You have to understand that if you are predisposed to carb addiction, this is for life, just the same as alcoholism.

If you are born with this unfortunate predisposition, the more often you eat carbohydrate rich foods such as starches, snack foods, or sweets (including fruit juices) the more intense your insulin response will be. When you eat carbohydrate rich foods all day as many people with weight issues are prone to do, the high level of insulin will only serve to make you crave more and  more of them. This is a physical response, and is not one of a weak willed individual.

As you continue to eat these carbohydrate rich foods on a frequent basis, your muscles and organs will start to become insulin resistant. This is simple biology, you cannot change this. As you become insulin resistant, both the insulin and the blood sugar it escorts, will be steered away from the muscles and organs that require them, and will subsequently be stored away in your body fat.

In the first stages of insulin resistance, your body’s tendency is going to be weight gain. However, over time, even your fat cells will become insulin resistant which means the insulin and blood sugar remain trapped in your blood stream which will eventually lead to type 2 diabetes if you do not already have it. When you continue to eat carbohydrate rich foods, you are causing your body harm as this vicious cycle will continue repeating itself.

In many people who have been over weight or obese their entire lives, or those who find triggers such as pregnancy, stress, stopping smoking, and medications, will make them crave simple carbohydrates and gain weight easily. For others, we will see that although they might have been a normal weight in their younger years, the simple act of growing older changes their metabolism, which causes their bodies to become more insulin resistant. The damage that can occur from insulin and blood sugar being channeled into fat cells can be greatly mitigated by a low carb, high protein diet combined with vigorous exercise as we promote at David’s Way.

As a carbohydrate addiction progresses, the body releases more and more insulin in a valiant attempt to push through the resistance and force the insulin and blood sugar into the muscles and organs where they are much needed. When you continue to consume added sugar and excess carbohydrates, this extra insulin will lead to more severe carbohydrate cravings, or that feeling of being “hangry”. This is why we say to stop eating added sugars in all foods and to only eat whole foods that you have to prepare yourself. You cannot prevent your body from trying to protect itself from too many “insulin insults”, you cannot stop your body from becoming insulin resistant when you continue to eat too many carbs. This is why your willpower means little if you do not approach healthy eating with the right mindset and armed with knowledge.

Lets take an intelligent approach to our dietary habits.

Of course we still need carbohydrates in our daily diets, especially complex carbs that come from many vegetable sources and even simple carbs from whole fruits. The important point to remember is that when we do consume our carbohydrates, we do not use added sugars, and that we maintain a correct balance of protein and fiber in order to not set off and insulin imbalance which will set off our cravings for more carbs. You can maintain your blood sugar and insulin levels simply by enjoying well balanced meals that provide all the macro and micro-nutrients your body requires for good health. You have to know that all carbohydrate rich foods, including starches, snack foods, and sweet treats and drinks, and even some starchy vegetables when eaten frequently and without balance, can trigger your genetic loaded gun that makes it difficult for you to remain slim and healthy.

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