Tag: nutrition

Why Do I Even Care About Your Obesity? Our Children and Our Future as a Nation

Why in the hell do I care about you?

Why do I give a damn about helping you to manage your weight through good lifestyle habits of proper nutrition and physical fitness?

Because obesity is a human tragedy unfolding before our very eyes.

Every year, the percentage of people who are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese continues to unnecessarily rise. Every year our expenses for medical care continue to rise as well. We can sit around and bitch about Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Insurance and the government all day long. Yet, none of this bitching ever addresses our own personal responsibilities towards our health care expenses. If you are broke from health care expenses, you had better take a deep look inward towards how you live your life. If you have a gluttonous appetite and do no exercise, you are solely responsible for your health problems short of a few maladies.

Our lack of control over our own damn appetites is killing us.

Our lack of self control and discipline causes our obesity which is directly responsible for causing inflammation in our bodies, type 2 diabetes, heart problems, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, cancers and more. Every bit of this is preventable if we gain control over our appetites and move our asses with exercise. Movement that gets the blood flow going with an increased heart rate. Movement that burns off your glycogen stores and then fat. Movement that does not accomplish glycogen and fat burning is better than nothing at all, yet is damn near useless in helping you to live a healthier life. Counting actions such as running your vacuum cleaner as exercise is not going to win you any prizes, it will not even get you into second or third place. Nope, this kind of movement only means that you are just one step ahead of the total couch potatoe. Maybe not even that much.

Your life will always become the business of someone else when you are careless with it.

You might think your life style is no business to anyone else, but what happens when you need extended care from family, friends or health care professionals. Can you say it is still not their business how you live? If you believe you can, you are some kind of selfish. Your actions will always impact others in your life. Even when we step up to care for our loved ones with no complaints, and provide care for you out of pure selfless love, your lifestyle descisions can and will affect others. This is a truth in life you can not avoid. Even if you decide to live as a hermit and die unattended and alone in your home, someone will have to live with the mental impact of delivering your corpse to the morgue. Hopefully, you have not decomposed too far when they arrive to retrieve your body.

Obesity is dooming our children to a life of illness.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s. Nearly one in five school age children and young people (6 to 19 years old) in the United States are obese. This is unsatisfactory and unnecessary as obesity is preventable. Parents, if you are allowing your child to become obese, you are doing them no favors in life.

About 25% of children in the United States aged 2 to 8 years have a chronic health condition according to CDC. They have chronic health conditions such as obesity, asthma, behavior/learning problems, and other health conditions that can all be traced back to unhealthy and improper nutrition and lack of physical activity.

Parents, you owe your children guidance in living healthy. While they can recieve nutritious meals in school, you have a responsibility to feed them healthy foods at home. Get rid of the Pop Tarts and sugary cereals that you are feeding them for breakfast. And for heavens sake, quit feeding them from fast food drive throughs simply because you are too lazy to prepare a porper meal for them at home.

If you have the time and money to feed your kids from a fast food drive through, then you have the time and money to feed them a healthy home cooked meal. Using the reasoning that you are too tired to feed them healthy is a lame ass excuse that comes from laziness on your part. Your children deserve better out of you.

From US Library of Health and Medicine, Nation Insitute for Health:

Psychological disorders such as depression occur with increased frequency in obese children. Over weight children, followed up for 40 and 55 years were more likely to have cardiovascular and digestive diseases as compared to those who were lean.

Let this sink in to your thoughts for a few minutes. If you do not do anything to contribute to your childs good health, if you let them eat crap foods and not exercise, you are directly responsible as a parent for their current and future health problems. If reading this causes you to be angry, I really do not care because the anger can only come from you not accepting your parental responsibilites to your children. Being as your children did not ask you to bring them into the world, you must place their well being first and foremost over everything else in life.

Ponder this young lady’s sad story I found on a weight loss forum:

I am currently 348 lbs. I am 23 years old.

I have major health problems associated with my weight. I have major heart issues, my heart rate gets up into the 200’s with me just standing up. I have type 2 diabetes, I have chronic pain in my bones and muscles. I have been obese since I was a kid.

I suffered from depression and anxiety growing up. I was bullied a lot. I had suicidal thoughts when I was just 8 years old. Food was, and still is a gateway to ease the pain.

I have two beautiful children. But, I am unable to care for them on my own. I can’t enjoy my life. My days are mostly sitting around watching everyone else live. I am unable to exercise due to my heart rate. But, I was told that if I lose 45 lbs, they will do a pacemaker. I’ve seen multiple heart doctors. And all have suggested weight loss surgery.

This is a truly sad story, and it is not unusual in it’s very nature when you follow any type of weight loss/management social media forums. Read this young lady’s story again and consider how many lives are being affected here. Seriously consider what lifestyle actions could have been taken to prevent this unfolding tragedy. If you are a loving parent of a child who suffers from obesity, please love them enough so this does not become their sad life story too.

The Marshmallow Test for Instant Gratification

One Marshmallow or Two?

The American psychologist, Walter Mischel, conducted a test using four-year-old children in the 1960’s. In this test, he placed a marshmallow directly in front of the child and told them that if they could wait 15 minutes before eating it, he would give them two marshmallows. He was able to track these children for many years to study their success in life. What the Marshmallow Test revealed is that the children who could delay gratification had better lives overall. They could more easily resist temptation, have better social relationships, cope with frustration better and had higher levels of performance in all areas of their lives including higher SAT scores. (1) Is it any wonder that being unable to motivate yourself to keep going past the drive-thru and cook a wholesome meal at home does not create the life that you want?

I Don’t Feel Like It

Instant gratification is the habit of doing what feels the best right now. Don’t feel like working out? If you are prone to instant gratification, you will skip it. You will be more likely to sit in your recliner and order an extra large pizza with everything, open a six pack and turn on whatever you are binge watching at the moment. This behavior won’t get you closer to your goals. In the long run, it will cause you to abandon your health incentive because you will feel like it’s hopeless. I can’t think of a single time that I just couldn’t wait to get under that heavy barbell. There is always a sense of apprehension about it. There is a part of me that would love to do something, anything, else but I know that nothing else will ever get me the body and state of health and strength that I want so I drag myself down those stairs to the dungeon and give it everything I’ve got. I have lived the other way. There is never a feeling of satisfaction in instant gratification. As soon as one thrill is satisfied, you will always want something else that you don’t have. Unfortunately, quite often it’s a better body. That pizza and gallon of ice cream did not satisfy that deep longing to be healthy.

Pain/Pleasure

The core of instant gratification is the desire to avoid pain. When we deny ourselves something that we want in the moment for a long-term goal, we experience pain. In order to avoid that, we may give in to the temptation at hand. However, there is nothing like seeing long term goals come to pass. The hard work and blood, sweat and tears poured into the creation of a dream cries to be rewarded and when those goals begin to materialize they are so much better than those short-term goodies. I spent years on the treadmill of do-over, you know, I started a “diet” in the morning and by evening I needed a do-over because I simply would not walk away from some sugar- laden treat that called my name. Once I gave into that, the sugar made me crave all kinds of foods and plenty of them. It was not until I made the commitment to myself of quitting sugar that the habit of instant gratification was defeated in my life.

Steps To Freedom

There are proven ways to escape the trap of having to be constantly gratified like a crying infant. (2)

1-Know exactly what you want.

Once you decide this, figure out what is necessary to achieve your goal.

2-Determine your obstacles.

Don’t go around people who will deter you from your goals. If they want you to join them in unhealthy behaviors, they do not have your best interest at heart. Most likely, they want to control you, your time or your money. They are not your friends. Don’t carry food and drinks into your home that you don’t think that you can resist. Don’t say, “It’s for the kids.” “The kids” don’t need it either.

3-Develop a network of support that will truly support your health initiative.

This blog is FREE. Read this blog. We have hundreds of articles and healthy, sugar-free recipes here for you. “Search” any word or topic that you need to know about and articles or recipes will pop up. We will answer your questions through direct contact on the “Contact” button on the “Menu” or through “Comments” on each article. You are not alone. There is a “Forum” on the “Menu”. Click there and start a thread. We will also reply there.

4-Make some rules and guidelines for yourself.

If you know that you won’t work out after work then get your butt up and do it before work, with your doctor’s permission, of course. If you think that you can’t pass Krispy Kreme without stopping then reroute your trip. Set yourself up for success, not failure. You will set yourself up one way or the other. It’s up to you.

5-Give yourself positive reinforcement, or rewards.

When you have been successful at pressing past these temporary indulgences towards your ultimate goals, go ahead and get that gym membership or that equipment for your home gym. Get what you want. You have earned it. Buy those great workout shorts or those microweights that you have been wanting for so long. When you positively reinforce a behavior, it becomes a habit. Make it good habits.

Which is more important to you, a temporary soothing of your senses or a successful life?

Which is more important to you, dissolving into the ethereal swirl of confectioner’s sugar and hydrogenated oil atop the cupcake built for four, or being able to walk from your car into the store?

Which is more important to you, life or death?

Your choice.

It’s up to you.

(1) https://study.com/academy/lesson/delayed-gratification-definition-lesson-quiz.html(2) https://blog.iqmatrix.com/instant-gratification

Three Reasons You’re Not Losing Fat

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The Original Lie

Ahhh… I’ve heard the myth my whole life… “It’s easier to  lose weight in the Summer because of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.” Seriously? Do you know how many calories and grams of carbohydrates are in some fruits? I struggled with this hard truth for years, not understanding why the weight didn’t just fall off of me in the Summer. Nevermind that I could,and did, eat an entire watermelon alone in an evening. I’m not talking about the personal size watermelon. I’m talking about the size for a family.

I know people who eat massive amounts of fruit in the Summer and have this struggle all Season. There is a common misconception that fruit is “Free”. Nothing is “Free” except water. Go ahead and wrap your brain around this and you may still lose some fat this Summer.

The idea that an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies is a help to weight loss is a little ridiculous anyway because regardless of how many peaches or cups of blueberries we eat, we can still scarf down a platter of fried chicken at the family picnic. Those extra calories from all that fruit just add onto an already out of control diet. And then… It’s “just” fruit, “Free”, right? So when Aunt Pat brings out her “Prize Winning Fresh Peach Cobbler” we think that we can still have dessert, and usually do. There is a deception that we are eating “healthy” because we have eaten multiple servings of fresh fruit so surely a little cobbler can’t hurt…

But I Work Out

And then there’s the deception that all that outdoor activity will somehow magically erase a freezer of homemade ice cream. Oh, I’ve been there. That’s how I know about these things. In the Winter we’re house bound a lot. When we can get outside and start walking, hiking, cycling and swimming we think that we’ll “burn off” those extra calories and the party mentality takes over and we just go wild. Look here on the blog, immediately after the Calorie Counter Pro and you’ll see the calories burned for various activities. As David says, “You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.” No matter what fad diet “science” tries to tell you, it’s “Calories In/Calories Out” that matters. Keep up with your grams of carbohydrates also. You need good lean protein to build muscle and if you eat too many calories in carbohydrates, you won’t have enough left for protein. Personally, I like about 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Siren Song

If you drink alcohol, it’s even worse because the inhibition lowering quality of a couple of Margaritas will make the whole platter of ribs look like a single serving container. Food tastes better after a few drinks also, so it’s even harder to eat sensibly. Add the calories that you drink in the alcohol and in some cases, the huge amounts of carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, and you are toasting to your destruction. Quite often we use bits and pieces from everything from modern medical research to Biblical texts to justify drinking all Summer at every occasion and party. Justification won’t erase the calories, the carbs or the fat around your waist. Drinking “responsibly” will still make you fat.

Plan To Win

I eat a little bit of fruit in the Summer, a little, not a platter. Count your calories and your carbs and incorporate it into your daily allowance. Enjoy all that wonderful outside activity but don’t even think about using it as excuse to gorge yourself at the barbecue. Look at the activities as a seasonal tool to increase your fitness that you won’t have in the Winter. Take advantage of that instead of letting it take advantage of you. I strongly urge you to forgo alcohol. It has little to no place in an intense training program. If you insist on incorporating it into  your life, again, count your calories and carbs for the drinks and all the food that comes with it.

Win

With some planning and forethought you can have a glorious Summer and make progress on your fitness goals. Don’t listen to myths and tall tales and wishful thinking concerning these three things. Take control and be the Master of Your Fate.

Create Your Life.

Diet and Fitness Mistakes I Have Made

Making a list of diet and fitness mistakes I have made over the years might get kind of lengthy as I have made more than a few. Something I learned long ago is smart people learn from the mistakes of others, it might be said I am a slow learner. I hope you can learn a few lessons from my past mistakes, here goes:

1. I just did not care about diet and fitness at a couple of times in my life. This point is the one I want to place the most emphasis on, I did not care. Now, how about that for being not only less than intelligent, but also pretty damn selfish too? This mindset is pretty damn stupid as, at some point, an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle will jump up and pop you in the nose before you can even say ouch. You might get away with this for a period of time, but unhealthy eating and laziness will always, at some point, catch up with your ass.

I guarantee this. Without fail, your health will begin taking a dump on you at some point. For some, this may come later in life, but for many, they will become stoved up with old peoples issues and ailments far too prematurely. Look around yourself on any given day and you will see folks in their early forties who are obese, out of shape and too fucked up to be able to function at their full abilities as a human. Every day people become victims of their own poor lifestyles and then spend a good portion of time and a great deal of money on medical care which could otherwise be preventable.

Not taking care of your own health is a fucking selfish attitude that is never going to be just about you. Your poor choices will always become the business of someone else when you cannot fully take care of yourself. If you are going to be selfish about your own health, you might begin looking now for the loved one who is going to have to pick up the broken pieces behind your ass.

2. I never tracked my intake of food. When you eat with no regard to what types of food you are consuming, nor the amount of calories, your ass is going to become obese at some point. Most people can live a healthy life on 1800 to 2500 calories per day, especially if they eat whole, healthy foods that are not processed, contain added sugars and or tons of preservatives. You can very easily consume in excess of your daily needs in just one outing to a fast food restaurant. With all of the garbage foods of so called convenience of today, it is no difficult chore that people can find themselves consuming 5000 to 6000 calories per day, or even more. This is why in America we have an obesity epidemic where close to three fourths of our population is either already obese, or at a minimum, overweight. Sadly, this is also why our nation’s military is having a hard time finding quality recruits that can even meet the basic requirements to enlist. Our children are growing up obese, out of shape and suffering preventable physical ailments such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome to name just a few.

3. I over-estimated my caloric burn from exercise. This is a common problem where people greatly exaggerate their physical exertion from exercise. The thing is, many people have no clue what vigorous exercise truly is. Nor do they understand or know how to recognize the intensity of their efforts. I have seen this on a few weight loss social media sights, Weight Watchers specifically, where people will justify to themselves eating more than they need because they “exercised” at high intensity for at least an hour.

News flash; If you are overweight, or obese, it is highly unlikely that you are going to exercise at high intensity for a full hour. Really, it just is not going to happen simply because you would need to be an elite level athlete. If you were an elite level athlete, your ass would not be struggling to lose 100 pounds in the first place. This is just the truth, even if it hurts.

If you can easily carry on a conversation during your exercise, you are exercising at a low intensity. You can still carry on a conversation with ease because your heart rate is not elevated enough to burn fat. While a slow walk around the neighborhood is certainly much better than sitting your tail on the couch watching the boob tube, it is not going to justify going out for an ice cream sundae afterwards.

You want your heart rate to be at a level where you can still speak in conversation, but your words need to be labored. This is when you are at a medium intensity level. When your heart rate makes your conversation labored, you are at the fat burning aerobic zone for burning fat. This is where you need to be when doing cardiovascular exercises. Once your heart rate is in the right zone, it will take your body at least 20 minutes to burn through it’s glycogen stores before it begins burning fat for energy. You might need to work up to this, and that is perfectly fine. I would encourage you to do so. But in the meantime, do not over rate how much fat you are burning if you cannot go at it for at minimum of a half hour, and at least three times per week, four times preferably.

If you are huffing and puffing and cannot talk, you are at a high level of intensity. At this point, you have entered the anaerobic zone and need to slow down your intensity to the medium level. If you are over weight or obese, you are not going to be able to exercise at this intensity for more than a couple minutes at best. Period. I do not give a damn who you are. If you go onto your diet app and log that you exercised at a high intensity for a solid hour, you either do not understand intensity levels or you are lying to yourself in order to shovel more sugary crap down your piehole. If you do this, you are likely to never lose your weight and should take a moment to evaluate yourself, your goals and just how you are going to achieve them

4. I did not place the same emphasis on nutrition as I did my physical exercises of choice. If you enter Fitness Triad in our blog search bar, I have written an extensive article on this topic. In a nutshell, if you begin an exercise regimen, you need to feed your body with healthy foods for fuel. You need to ensure you are also consuming enough good protein in order to either maintain your lean muscle mass or to build upon it.

You need to ensure you are consuming the right amount of calories. Too many and you will find that you cannot out exercise your diet. Too few, and you will find yourself losing lean muscle mass and you could become what we refer to as skinny fat. Skinny fat is where your body might be at the so called ideal weight for your height, yet your body fat percentage is still to high for good health. Skinny fat is probably more harmful to your overall health and wellness as it could give you a false sense of security by being at your goal weight. Too high of a percentage of body fat is unhealthy no matter your weight which is why we teach and promote concentrating on body fat percentage over a random number on your bathroom scale.

Note: You can go to Calorie Counter Pro in our menu and find how many you need for your individual goal. It is free of charge to you.

5. I did not understand how important rest and recovery is to exercise specifically in weight training. Again, enter Fitness Triad in our search bar as this topic is also a part of that article. When you exercise, you cause micro-trauma to your muscle tissue which requires time to heal itself. This is how we get stronger. Another component of this equation is that your central nervous system needs a break too. This is particularly true when training with heavy weights. If you do not give your body adequate rest and recovery, you will find yourself burning out before you have reached your physical potential.

6. I did not do my due diligence in fully researching my exercise of choice from known experts. This is easier now days to do with all of the modern search engines available on the internet. It used to be that all we had for weight training was muscle magazines where Joe Wieder was selling worthless supplements and convoluted routines no one could ever fully understand, nor would they possess the personal equipment in order to even do them. Do yourself a favor and listen to those who are established professionals instead of falling into the trap of Bro Science which is usually based on utter bullshit.

7. I did not understand the importance of using an established routine or tracking my workouts in a log. If you are serious about any type of exercise, do yourself a favor and establish a routine, even if it is just running. And then log everything that you do. Sets, reps and weights for weight training. Distance, pace and time for running as examples. Tracking a routine is a form of measurement, and what gets measured gets done. It also allows you to keep track of your progress by being able to go back and read over your earlier sessions. It is also a good idea for weight trainers to log the amount of sleep you get each day, and the amount of calories and macronutrients you have consumed before hand. Your mood and or how you felt when beginning your exercise session is important too. By logging these items, you can more easily identify why your routine might be stalling out on you.

8. Getting hung up on not being the strongest, the fastest or the best in the gym. Everyone is a newbie at some point, and most gym goers know this. Do not worry about what others might think of your level of fitness when you go to the gym. Just get in there and be diligent in getting your routine completed. Your tenacity will be noticed by those who are experienced in physical fitness. And even if you do go unnoticed, who in the hell cares. Just do your own thing. Bear in mind too, that sometimes some of those you might think are all that in the gym might not know much more than you.

9. No matter your exercise of choice, learn to perfect your form and movements. If you think lifting weights is just picking up heavy stuff and setting it down, you are sadly mistaken. Take the time to perfect your form before trying to go heavy as this will mitigate your risk for injury and allow you to continue going forward for years to come. Lifing weights is as much about technique as it is about strength. Bad form and technique can hurt you bad.

If you are an aspiring runner, you need to learn it is more than just moving your feet as fast as you can for as far as you are able. Learn and perfect your stride. Build upon your pace, and how to breath. Seems simple enough, that is until you head out and cannot manage to jog around even a simple neighborhood block.

At a few weeks shy of turning 56 years old, I have made my share of mistakes in nutrition and exercise over the years. Those without blemish are usually found to be liars in my experience. Take care of your nutrition and fitness and odds are likely that your quality of life as you age is going to be leaps and bounds superior than if you neglect yourself. Too often, folks neglect themselves and find themselves sickly in their early forties, or younger, with ailments that used to not hit until at least the upper sixties or seventies. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take proper care of yourself.Anything else is simply selfishness on your part. Others will always have to pick up all of your broken pieces at some point.

Weight Loss Plateau, Getting Through It

No matter where you turn when following any of the many available weight loss social media forums, the topic of plateauing always will come up. Plateaus are a real problem for some, however, they never have to be a problem for anyone. I know that right now, there is going to be at least a few who are fuming mad after reading that last sentence, but it is a truth that almost no one ever needs to get worked up about a plateau if they are doing everything right.

If you are on medications or have a diagnosed medical condition which causes you to gain, or to have difficulty losing weight, then you may have a solid reason why this article does not apply to you so much. That being said, by being proactive you can still do better for yourself than you might believe yourself capable.

What is a weight loss plateau?

A weight loss plateau happens when the calories you burn equal the calories you eat.

When this happens, your weight loss is going to stall, but you need not get worked up about this if the stall is only for a couple of weeks. It is always possible during your weight loss plateau that you could still be losing body fat yet retaining water to the point the reading on your scale is not budging. This is the reason why at David’s Way we strongly encourage our readers to worry more about getting to a healthy body fat percentage, at a healthy rate of loss over time instead of concentrating on a set number on the scale you are attempting to achieve in a short period of time. Odds are you did not get fat overnight, which means it is unreasonable to assume you can get thin overnight. Lets get your body fat down at a healthy rate of loss which would only be about 1 pound per week.

Short plateaus where the scale number refuses to budge happens to almost everyone who is in the process of losing weight. It really should not come as a surprise to anyone when they do have a temporary stall, yet many do not, or cannot, understand why it has happened to them since they are doing everything right. When you hit a plateau, the last thing you want to do is freak out, or give up and revert back to your old unhealthy ways. If you hit a plateau, you need to simply take a moment and evaluate why it has happened and then adjust your diet and exercise regimen accordingly.

With a little knowledge of what happens within your body when you begin a diet, you can get through plateaus without stress. When you have a difficult time losing weight, the answer to this problem is usually going to be more simple than you might believe it to be. But first you need to understand how your body’s physiology works when you diet.

During the first week or two of a diet, your weight is going to drop rapidly and then it is going to slow down. This is true for everyone, it is not a problem unique only unto you. When you cut calories your body gets it’s needed energy by releasing it’s stores of glycogen. Glycogen is a type of carbohydrate found in your liver and muscles and is made up partly by water. When glycogen is burned for energy, it release it’s water which you will see in a rapid initial weight loss. If you lose ten pounds in your first two weeks of dieting, about eight of those pounds will be solely from water weight and not your body fat.

Most people who go on a diet, will lose lean muscle mass along with body fat which is why we advocate eating a high protein diet coupled with resistance training that will help you maintain your lean muscle. Your lean muscle mass is what keeps your metabolism up, it helps you to burn calories more efficiently. If you lose lean muscle mass along with body fat, you are going to cause your metabolism to slow down and therefore burn calories at a slower rate than when you were heavier. When you hit a plateau, it is time to re-evaluate your caloric intake and exercise regimen if you have not already been thinking it through before hand. Constant, and honest evaluation will keep your weight loss going in the right direction, yet maybe not as quickly as you might desire. You will either need to decrease your calories consumed or increase calories burned when you hit a true plateau, or a combination of these two factors. If you do not adjust your methods, your weight will be stuck where it is.

What to do when you do plateau.

  • Evaluate your habits. Have you changed anything? If you began your weight loss journey weighing and measuring your foods, do you still do this? A few ounces extra of a lot of foods will add up quickly over the day and week. Do you still track all that you consume? Those peanut butter and jelly sandwich crusts you trimmed off of your childs sandwich add up as does those calories you get from licking off spoons and knives when preparing foods. Do you track those tastes you take while preparing your family’s meals? Are your food portions at dinner getting larger while your exercise time is getting smaller?
  • Cut your calories a little more, yet do not ever go under 1200 per day unless you are under medical supervision. One pound of fat equals 3500 calories which means to lose one pound of body fat per week, you must cut your caloric intake by 500 calories per day. If by cutting 500 calories a day places you into a caloric range under 1200 per day, then you need to consider increasing your exercise time and intensity. If you cut your calories too far, you are setting yourself up also for intense hunger which could easily cause you to binge eat at some point during your day.
  • If you are still consuming simple carbs such as table sugar along with processed foods, quit them. Simple carbs cause your body crave more and also to become inflamed and retain fluids as do processed foods which are usually full of sodium, preservatives, unhealthy fats and simple sugars. Eat whole foods that you need to prepare yourself. You will actually find it difficult to consume all of your daily needed calories when you only consume whole, healthy foods.
  • Ensure you exercise at least four days per week for at least a half hour and at an intensity which is enough to place your heart rate into it’s aerobic fat burning zone. You do not need a fitness tracker nor a heart rate monitor to know when you are in the zone. You can know you are in the right fat burning zone when you can speak but with some difficulty. If you cannot speak during exercise, you are in the anaerobic zone and need to back off the intensity. If you speak normally, then you need to increase your intensity. Remember, it takes an average of 20 minutes in the aerobic zone to burn through glycogen stores before your body actually begins burning fat for energy.

Whatever you do, never give up on yourself in your journey to lose weight and be healthier. Plateaus are not always a bad thing as with the right resistance exercises at the right intensity, your body fat might still be going away as your lean muscle mass is increasing which means the number on your scale may not move for a few weeks at a time. I advise to never weigh yourself daily, and even if you weigh yourself weekly, you should only concentrate on the difference in weight between the first weigh in of the month and the last one of the month. Additionally, if your trousers are fitting looser around the waist, and your shirts are fitting better around your belly, then the number on the scale is pretty much irrelevant. No matter what you do, never give up on yourself, you deserve better. If you are having a difficult time with your weight loss, you can always reach out to us through our contact email in the David’s Way menu or in our blog’s comments section. We are always happy to answer all correspondence from our readers.

Connecting Your Gut to Your Brain

This piece is going to address how what we eat affects how we feel, how what we eat affects our gut health and the role this plays in our mental health. We know that an ice cream sundae on a hot summer day makes us feel better in the moment, but I’m going to get instead into how nutrients affect our mood and behavior. Our brains are complex organisms that use chemicals as neurotransmitters. These chemicals are affected by our diets, whether healthy or not, and have a direct effect on our behavioral regulation. When you do not consume a healthy diet which provides a complete variety of nutrients, you will notice this in how you feel mentally and physically. When you live on junk food, your mood is going to be affected accordingly. You are only selling yourself short when you go short on nutrients.

Connecting the brain and gut.

Our gastrointestinal tract begins at our mouths and ends down under at our rear ends. The gut is like a big port that permits certain substance in, allowing specific actions to occur, and then passing waste along. Millions of nerve cells and micro-organisms line the gut and interact with each other to influence our moods and provide other benefits. Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body. It helps to regulate our mood and social behaviors along with our appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, sexual desire and function. (1) Over 90% of our serotonin is produced in our gut either from the microbiota or through an interaction between the microbiota and nerve cells. Because serotonin influences so many regulatory functions and helps regulate our moods, maintaining a happy, healthy gut is part of eating for mood regulation. (2) Serotonin helps set the tone for our brain activity. It plays a role in our daily rhythm because it is involved in our daily functions, such as sleeping and digesting. Serotonin interacts with our endocrine system and influences the production of other neurotransmitters, such as melatonin. Serotonin is also a mood regulator which is why eating to maintain healthy serotonin levels is a part of eating for good mental health. (2)

Foods to consume for a healthy gut and a happier mood.

Tryptophan-rich foods

After ingestion and through interactions with gut microbiota, tryptophan is eventually turned into serotonin and other chemicals. Regularly consuming foods such as rice, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, salmon, and dark leafy greens will ensure you are getting enough tryptophan in your diet. (2)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Salmon also provides omega-3 fatty acids, which interact with gut microbiota to maintain a strong intestinal wall and increase the production of anti-inflammatory compounds. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in other fish, such as mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies. Chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans also contain omega-3 fatty acids, but they are ALA, which is less preferable to the EPA and DHA in fish. (2)

Polyphenol-rich foods

These foods are thought to regulate our gut microbiota by decreasing the bad organisms and increasing the good ones. Foods highest in polyphenols include cloves, star anise, cocoa powder, Mexican oregano, celery seed, dark chocolate, flaxseed meal, and chestnuts. But you can also get some by basing your diet around a variety of whole fruits and vegetables and adding in seeds and nuts. You can also drink your polyphenols in both tea and coffee. (2)

Fiber

This material in food helps keep the contents of our gut moving along. Bacteria in our gut also ferment the fiber to produce butyrate, a chemical that helps maintain brain health. A diet that includes high-fiber whole grains also helps increase our gut microbiota diversity and decreases spikes in blood sugar that can lead to irritability and unpleasant moods. Get whole grains from rye, barley, brown rice, oats, millet and popcorn. (2)

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics increase gut microbiota diversity, and prebiotics help feed existing bacteria. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and water kefir are all yeast, or bacteria containing foods that add to your gut microbiota. Keep that microbiota strong by eating prebiotic foods such as chicory root, raw dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, spinach, bananas, and soybeans. (2)

Consuming a diet rich in whole foods that contain fiber, tryptophan, polyphenols, and both pre and probiotics help to keep your gut in good condition. A strong healthy gut means you will also have more regular moods. If you noticed in all of these foods we need to have in our diets, you did not see anything such as candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, pizza, or anything that contains simple carbs or refined sugar. None of these were processed foods either. All the foods listed are either whole foods or ingredients you might add to dishes made from these whole foods.

We promote dropping simple carbs, or refined sugars, from your diet along with processed foods. By switching to only whole healthy foods, you will feel better physically and mentally as your blood sugar and insulin levels will be steady with no spikes or dips. By eating healthy, you will notice that you are also feeling less stress and this in itself will help to make your weight loss journey easier to achieve your goals. Everything we consume can, and will affect how we feel and our moods, whether in a good or bad way. The choice is yours to make, only you can decide how you want to feel. Choose wisely my friends, choose wisely.

(1) Medical News Today

(2) AFPA Kate Tendall M.S.

16:8 Intermittent Fasting

All who have followed my blog for any length of time know that I am a fan of 16:8 Intermittent Fasting (IF). But since I have not written on this topic too much lately, I felt it would be a good idea to address it for our new readers, and and as a refresher for our long time readers.

For healthy weight loss and management, I love intermittent fasting on the 16:8 protocol, which is 16 hours of fasting with an 8 hour window to eat all that you are going to eat for the day. With all the hype about Intermittent Fasting, you would think it was some kind of new fad, yet the reality is, it is nothing more than how my generation used to always eat. You had breakfast, lunch and dinner and once the dishes were done, you stood the risk of catching hell from your mother if you were caught eating again. Many of us grew up hearing “Eat all you want, just make sure you eat all you take” along with “If you are hungry again, you should have ate more at dinner”. Do those phrases sound familiar to any of you? To our younger readers, there actually was a day when being overweight or obese was not the norm. There was a day when we did not mindlessly eat at all hours of the day. For those who look at the term Intermittent Fasting and assume this is a fad, or something new which might not actually be healthy, go ask a senior citizen how they grew up eating and ask, if back in the day in America, if we were a nation of unhealthy fatty’s or not.

Why I promote Intermittent Fasting

(Note: If you are an insulin dependent diabetic, please discuss intermittent fasting with your physician before trrying this as your dietary needs are stricter than those who are not)

Intermittent fasting is nothing new, it used to just be a natural part of our lifestyles in America. For my generation and older, this is how our mothers and grandmothers fed us. Intermittent fasting on the 16:8 protocol is not anything new, does not require a special diet, nor does it cost you a single penny as some of the popular diet plans will. If you want to lose weight in a healthy manner, and have a lean body, simply eat a healthy diet, do not graze your refrigerator at any and all hours, and ensure you do not eat more calories than your basal metabolic rate requires. If you want to make this easier on yourself, quit eating added sugar and simple carbs which drive cravings for unhealthy foods. If you adopt high protein, low carb dietary habits, you will be satiated much easier, the cravings will leave you, and hunger will become a minor annoyance instead of something that you might feel needs to be addressed right away. When you get cravings, or the feeling of being “hangry”, this is simply nothing more than your carb addiction rearing it’s ugly head to be fed, no different than a junky looking for dope or an alcoholic feeling the need to tip a bottle of booze.

I find IF combined with healthy dietary habits to be an easy and healthy way to lose or manage weight which anyone can accomplish. That is, easy for anyone who is serious about losing weight and has made the personal choice to actually go all in and just do it. Please, do not tell me you are serious about weight loss if you are going to refuse to give up your low nutrition, empty calorie dense junk foods. That which got you to the point of obesity in the first place. You may actually believe you are serious, but by trying to keep eating that which got you fat is not what I would consider going all in to get lean and healthy. If you want to continue eating cookies and cakes on a regualr basis, you are not serious about being healthy in any way, shape or fashion. Period. This type of thinking is a major flaw I find in Weight Watchers, where they tell their members they can eat anything they want and still lose weight. I have two thoughts on this; First, if you had no control over junk food in the past, you are not likely to just gain permenent control over it simply by joining a weight loss group. Second, while I have no proof, I cannot help but to feel that Weight Watchers and groups like this, who advocate still eating your unhealthy junk, are doing you, the consumer, a great disservice. They know that by telling you that you can do this, you are nothing more than a perpetual income stream to their business. Don’t believe me? Follow their social media and you will see this struggle every day where people are following the plan yet cannot lose their weight.

What makes IF effective is the food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, sugars and refined grains are quickly broken down into sugar that our cells use for energy. If we do not use all this energy, we store it in our body as fat. Sugar enters our body’s fat cells through insulin, and will keep it there. An over abundance, obviously causes obesity. Between meals, as long as we are not shoveling food down our throats, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can release their stored sugar to be used as energy. We lose weight when we let our insulin levels subside. (1)

This does not happen when we are constantly snacking on low nutrition high claorie foods, does it?

The idea of IF is to allow your insulin level to go down long enough to burn off our fat. Or in other words, we go into ketosis which means our bodies are burning fat for energy instead of glycogen. Intermittent fasting will help you to easily lose weight in a healthy manner without ever feeling overly hungry if you eat whole, healthy foods with no added sugars or processed foods.

Another thing that makes IF easy is a good portion of your fasting hours can, and should be, at night when you are asleep. Hopefully, you will get 7 to 8 hours sleep during the night. If your last meal of the day is at 6:00pm, then you will not eat again until 10:00am the next morning. This should be simple for anyone who usually skips breakfast anyhow. And keep in mind that without sugar cravings, once you quit sugar, your hunger at the end of your fast will not feel overwhelming as it would if you continue eating refined sugar and simple carbs.

Changes that occur in your body during intermittent fasting (2):

  • Blood insuling levels drop which causes your body to burn fat.
  • Human growth levels increase which facilitates fat burning and development of lean muscle mass.
  • During IF, important cellular repair takes place such as the removal of waste material from our cells.
  • There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease.
  • IF can reduce insulin resistance and lowers your blood sugar which lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has spread significantly along with our epedemic of obesity.
  • IF reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to early aging and many chronic diseases including cancer.
  • IF is beneficial for heart health by helping to improve blood pressure, lowering total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and reducing inflammatory markers.
  • IF improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health by increasing levels of a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor. A deficiency of this hormone has been shown to cause depression and various other brain problems.

Of course with the desire for instant gratification now days, here are a few other results you can expect almost right away with Intermittent Fasting. Your energy levels will stabilize throughout the day, you will feel less need for naps in the afternoon. You will notice a quick initial weight loss and your clothing will feel looser as there will be an almost instant shedding of excess fluid retention. If you go all in with your commitment by quitting sugar and processed foods, your cravings are going to rapidly diminsh which will make it easier for you to continue on your weight loss journey. You will feel better physically and mentally which is going to greatly help your self esteem and confidence in being able to continue going forward. If you do not believe me, or have been curious about giving IF a try, then commit today to doing it. Intermittent Fasting does not cost you a penny and other than cleaning up your diet, there are no special dietary considerations such as special foods. You will find that by quitting added sugar and processed foods, it often becomes quite difficult to consume all of the calories your body requires based on your basal metabolic rate. By going to our main blog menu, you can find your daily caloric needs by simply entering your information into our Calorie Counter Pro. Give intermittent fasting an honest try and let us know how well you benefit. If you have further questions about IF, please contact us through email. You can go to our blog menu to do this. I promise that either Brenda Sue, myself or the both of us will get back to you with answers to your questions.

God bless and thank you for reading.

(1) Harvard Health

(2) Healthline.com

Setting Goals

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I have set different  goals at different  times in my life. When I was in my teens and early adulthood I just wanted to be really thin. As I matured mentally and learned more about health, I changed that goal. I developed a strong desire to be strong and to look like it. I began to want noticeable definition and in recent years I developed  a desire to have noticeable deltoids, specifically deltoids. As we achieve our goals, we need to reassess our methodology and our thinking to determine  what we really want. If we are clear in our desires, our goals will be crystal clear. We will work harder to achieve those goals and they will become a reality. Now, with noticeable deltoids, my latest craze is to deadlift and squat 200 pounds. I’m in hot pursuit of that goal. It’s  hard for me and if I don’t define that goal and push in that direction, it won’t happen.

As I began to make progress over the past year, I have made changes along the way depending on how my body has responded to my current program. I have recently  returned to Intermittent  Fasting to continue to sculpt and strengthen. When I eat all my calories in an 8 hour window I’m fully fueled to lift at the end of that period. The sixteen hours that I’m not eating allows my body time to eliminate excess fluid and sodium and I begin to look a little more defined. I also burn through the calories that I’ve eaten with nothing to store so I wind up a little lighter on the scale and looking a little more lean.

When we assess our progress towards goals we get to know our bodies and develop lifelong skills for managing our health. We learn how to measure our success and make the necessary changes in  order to continue to make progress. Self assessment is a strong motivational tool. We must be willing to make changes that are appropriate to meet our goals. As we get closer to those goals, our work may get harder so we must be realistic in our goal setting without setting the standard too low. If our goal is just a little high, we will push harder. If it’s too high, we will get discouraged. Push yourself and be realistic.

In order to have continued success we must take responsibility for our success or failure. If we fall short it’s something  we did, not anyone else. However, when we meet a goal, it’s  because we have been faithful to our program. Whatever happens, own it. Be responsible. You are the only one who can change any part of your world. Take responsibility and make the changes that you need to make to reach your goals.

Develop a growth mindset. People with  this trait believe that body characteristics  and health issues are not fixed. They believe  that they can be changed through effort and persistence. They have a desire to improve and actively seek out learning opportunities. The blog here is a great learning opportunity, stay with us! These growth minded people push themselves and develop effective learning strategies in order to continue to make progress towards their goals.

People who achieve their goals willingly take on challenges and think about strategies that worked for them in the past. With time they learn how to apply those strategies to the challenge at hand which results in increased strength and resiliency. Resiliency is mandatory in a lifetime journey to optimum health because life happens. Every day is not ideal to reaching our goals. Developing resiliency is necessary.

Never be content to stay the same. If we are not pushing to go higher, we will fall down. I was at a comfortable goal as defined by the major weight loss company that I worked for at the time and over about 1 year I began to lose strength and muscle simply by thinking that where I was in my fitness was “good enough”. It was not good enough and after a year of thinking that it was, I began to lose even that. Thank God I found David’s Way  and bumped up my program. It has completely  changed my life. There is no “good enough”.

There are goals to reach and seemingly impossible achievements to attain. Get on board. We will be with you every step of the way.

 

 

Some Favorite Things

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Through the years I have tried and tossed many foods, supplements and exercise gadgets. These are just a few of some that I really like. This is in no way an endorsement, simply a statement of my opinion.

I like Eggland’s Best Eggs simply for taste and consistency. They contain 125 mg. of Omega-3 compared to 49 mg. found in other eggs. They also contain 63 mg. of DHA compared to the 29 mg. that most eggs have. They have 60mg ALA compared to 18mg in other eggs and a bit less fat and sodium. They have 6mg of Vitamin D compared to 1mg in other eggs.

I eat coconut oil. I like it in a protein shake because it adds a creamy thickness and velvety feel and boosts my caloric intake. It also gives my skin a nice sheen. I have started and stopped it a few times and I can see a difference in my skin. It increases satiety because it is a saturated fat. When I use it, I stay satisfied after my shake about 3 hours as opposed to 1.5 hours. I like Lou Anna brand because it’s cheap and readily available at every Walmart I’ve ever shopped. There’s no need to pay more for the same product. I use the liquid for my shakes.

I like triple washed, ready to eat Garden of Life romaine lettuce from Walmart. It’s better than that bagged stuff that tastes old and has a higher incidence of food poisoning associated with it. It’s crisp and fast to make a salad or dress up a sandwich and is never gritty. I eat more veggies when I have it. It’s very low in calories and carbohydrates. I love it. It has 1 gram of net carbs and 15 calories per serving.

I have two words for you, “Minced Garlic”. I love convenience but garlic powder will never darken my door again. Thank you, David.

I like Body Fortress Super Advanced Isolate Protein when I can’t get my regular soy protein. It tastes great and doesn’t cause the GI distress that some milk based proteins can cause in some people. The Chocolate rocks but the Vanilla Cream is a sweet treat that brings back memories of vanilla soft serve.

One of my very favorite things is GNC Superfoods Soy Protein. I love soy for the estrogen like compounds. I don’t think that most men would want to use it but it helps me keep my curves. It has 60 calories per scoop with 13 grams of protein and 0 carbs. It is unflavored so it’s very versatile. Sometimes I add dark cocoa and cinnamon and other times I may add peanut butter powder or Crystal Light to make a fruit flavored shake that satisfies. I always use two scoops.

I also love Saigon Cinnamon! This is a new treat that David told me about. It’s hotter and sweeter than regular cinnamon and transforms everything you ever thought you knew about cinnamon. Suddenly, cinnamon will be your favorite flavor.

Again, this is strictly my opinion, I am not endorsing these products. I like the “Pure Fitness Multi Purpose Doorway Pull-Up Bar” as opposed to the permanently mounted bar. It doesn’t commandeer a door because you put it up only when you need it and I like the angles on it. It has helped me do pull-ups.

Choose products that you enjoy and you will be more successful with your healthy lifestyle. Remember, you are worth it.

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Stay On Track

The question of how to stay on track when life gets crazy has been posed. The truthful answer is simply, keep doing the same thing that got you to where you are when you asked that question. I have worked for a major weight loss company and many times I observed a well known phenomena within that group. When many people lose about 100 pounds, they begin to lose their focus and struggle with continuing to lose. Quite often, they begin to gain weight. I counseled these people and others and there were certain behaviors common to these 100 pound winners that caused them to lose ground and begin to gain weight.

They look forward to that 100 pounds with gusto for about a year, sometimes longer. Everything in their lives is centered around reaching this fantastic, seemingly impossible goal. They approach each day with new enthusiasm and aggressively seek out any information that may be of assistance on their mission. They will lose, and occasionally gain, until one day, they step on the scale and BAM! in what seems like a moment, that magic number has been realized. WOW! 100 pounds!

Almost without fail, the first thing that most people do is reward themselves with food. They usually eat something sugar laden to celebrate when they haven’t eaten anything like that in a long, long time. Sugar is known to be addictive because it triggers a dopamine release in the brain. Because they have managed to lose 100 pounds, they think that they “know how it’s done” and don’t worry when they’re still stopping for cupcakes 3-4 days later.

Instead of spending time researching healthy recipes and exercise, they are thinking about what and how much they can afford to eat here at this major milestone. The next thing they know, that 1-3 pounds that didn’t worry them 4 days into their “celebration”, has turned into 20.

The normal stress of daily life continues to press on them and now their brain is trained to reach for sugar for stress relief instead of working out. Depression is soon to follow and we all know about the neverending binge cycle of trying to alleviate depression while adding pounds and deepening the depression.

While this simply looks like a chain of bad choices, what’s actually happening is that they have abandoned the program that got them 100 pounds down. David always says to “Trust the process.” If we do, we will adhere to that program. If you have lost 100 pounds, you should have withdrawn from sugar. Why on Earth would you introduce that deceptive substance back into your life? If you have not withdrawn from it, this is a good time to push a little harder and do just that. You will see results quickly.

When life gets crazy and presses on you, press back harder. Remember what got you to where you are and do it again. Continue to research healthy living and ways to exercise, with your doctor’s permission. When life gets crazy, you have to be the sanest person in the house and sometimes the only sane person in the house. If you want to continue on your journey to health and wellness, you’ve got to dig in deeper than ever. When life gets crazy, you have to be the stabilizer. You have to force the issue. Create calm with routines and regimens to support your health initiatives.

There are seven well known methods to increase your motivation. [1]

1-Set goals. If you have achieved a major milestone, quickly recalculate and set new ones. Don’t sit on your laurels. Get up and go again with new goals and energy.

2-Make it fun. Remember your enthusiasm at the beginning of your pprogram? Do something g similar. Surf the net for recipes. Read David’s Way. We have everything you need! Use the Calorie Counter Pro. Read the Home Page for ideas about how to use the blog and do it all. With my doctor’s approval, find a way to exercise. Exercise always boosts your mood and is a good way to replace a bad addiction with a good one because the various types of exercise boost different brain chemicals. Read “Do What’s Necessary ” for a quick rundown on how different types boost different neurotransmitters.

3-Once cleared by your doctor, make activity part of your daily routine. Schedule workouts just like any other important activity. Give exercise priority.

4-Write down your goals or use a digital platform to keep records. Track every bite of food, record your workouts. “What gets measured, gets done.” (David) Keeping records is a form of measurement.

5-Find other people who are interested in being healthy. That’s what this blog is all about. It’s a community of like minded people all working towards the common goal of good health. We have a forum.

6-Reward yourself with non-food rewards. A new pair of athletic shoes, new equipment or workout clothes will give you a boost to continue.

7-Be flexible. No one is 100% all the time so when you miss the mark a bit just get back on track as soon as possible. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings. Falling down doesn’t matter. Getting back up is what counts.

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20047624