Tag: weight loss

Greek Yogurt For a Flat Tummy

I used to hate the taste of yogurt. My mind was made up that there was no way there would ever be any type or flavor I could find that I might enjoy. I could not see myself getting past that yucky tang that comes with the taste of yogurt, that taste of sour milk repulsed me. I foolishly believed all yogurts were made equal, equally yucky that is…

But, I was totally wrong in my belief!

Today, plain, full fat Greek Yogurt is something I eat each and every day. 

About five or six years ago, my youngest daughter Molly told me how much better Greek yogurt tasted than regular yogurt. She talked me into trying Oiko’s brand Key Lime flavored Greek yogurt and I became hooked that day. Except there was one problem…

All key lime flavored Greek yogurts I could ever find were low fat versions, and after a while, I began tasting that tangy sour milk taste coming through. I tried other flavors of Greek yogurts but could not find any that had a flavor I could enjoy, and I was really burnt out on the key lime after about a year of eating it. This was all when I was eating an excessive amount of calories to fuel my power lifting regimen and did not care about sugar content which all the Greek yogurts in my local stores have as an ingredient.

Once I cut sugar entirely out of my diet, there seemed to be nothing I could eat in the way of Greek yogurts anymore. That is until my wonderful co-author Brenda Sue suggested I give plain, full fat Greek yogurt a try. I got to say, at first this sounded horrible to me. I could not see myself eating any plain Greek yogurt, but then she turned me on to several different ways to flavor it my own way, and best of all, do it without any added sugar at all.

Let me tell you, plain, full fat Greek yogurt is a creamy and versatile treat. I use sugar free Crystal Light to flavor it anyway I want. I also use powdered peanut butter, Saigon cinnamon, nuts and seeds to add further dimensions of texture and flavor to it as well. I love this stuff, and eat it every day now.

And best of all, this treat is about as healthy and good for cutting body fat as they come.

Greek yogurt makers add an extra step to their process so that excess water, lactose, and minerals drain out. What’s left is a creamy, rich yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that has many health benefits. A cup of it can help you meet the recommended dietary guideline of three daily servings of dairy products. People who have lactose intolerance may also find Greek yogurt easier to digest because of the bacterial breakdown of the milk’s sugars. An average serving, depending on the brand, can have 12 to 17.3 grams of protein!

Yogurt has a much higher amount of protein than milk.

Your body uses protein to build:

bones

muscles

cartilage

skin

hair

blood

Protein is also one of the three nutrients that provide energy. It also transfers substances, such as oxygen, across cell membranes. Getting the right amount of protein for yourself is important for your immune system, nerves, and fluid balance.

You’ll need more protein to maintain muscle mass as you age. For the average adult , 65 years old or older, the amount of protein needed increases to between 1 and 1.2 grams per kilogram a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. For those who are active in sports or weight training, you will need up to 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of body weight.

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, especially if you need to avoid meat. If you enjoy chia seeds, add 2 tablespoons of them for a protein and fiber boost. Probiotics keep you regular and happy

Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics.

Many people find that dairy is positively correlated with inflammatory responses or processes, however, that’s not the case not when it comes to Greek yogurt. Research has actually been shown to prove that Greek yogurt that contains probiotic strains of Lactobacillus actually promotes the formation of a desirable anti-inflammatory environment in the blood system. The effects of probiotics may be a consequence of the body working against potentially pathogenic/pro-inflammatory endogenous microbiota in the digestive system. A healthy tummy means a healthy body in a lot more ways than one.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help boost your immune system and decreases stomach issues, such as diarrhea and pain.

These healthy bacteria normally live in your intestines,  having good microorganisms in your intestines helps keep you healthy. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria from probiotics, too much bad bacteria can build up and cause damage to our immune systems.

And just as stress and emotions can trigger stomach issues, your gut can send signals the other way around, too. One study found that probiotics could also affect the brain,  and that probiotic supplements can reduce an individuals tendency for distress and thoughts about sadness, including thoughts about hurting others or themselves.

Calcium is key to keeping healthy

Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it’s high in calcium. Calcium is key to building strong muscles and helping your vital organs function. Your body also doesn’t produce calcium on its own. Without enough calcium, children may not grow as tall as possible and adults can be at risk for osteoporosis.

A serving of Greek yogurt has 18.7 percent of your daily value for calcium.

Greek yogurt is an excellent option for older adults who want to maintain their bone health. It’s also ideal because it’s convenient and easy to eat, especially for those who have trouble chewing.

Greek yogurt is a great source of  vitamin B-12

Your body needs vitamin B-12 for red blood cells to form, brain functions, and DNA synthesis. Many might choose to supplement vitamin B-12 into their diet, but Greek yogurt offers a powerful, natural alternative. One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 21.3 percent of your daily value. People who are vegetarian usually lack vitamin B-12 because the vitamin is naturally found in animal products, such as fish, meat, and eggs. Greek yogurt is an excellent, meat-free way to add more to your diet.

Potassium balances out sodium

One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 6.8 percent of your daily potassium intake value.

Potassium helps lower blood pressure and balance out the sodium levels in your body. If you have high sodium levels or a diet high in sodium, you may want to eat foods high in potassium so that your body can pass the excess sodium when you go to the bathroom.

Keeping your waist in check

Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of iodine. Your body doesn’t naturally make iodine, so it’s important to get enough through the foods you eat. Iodine is important for proper thyroid function, and the thyroid is essential for healthy metabolism.

People today tend to be iodine deficient, which can cause serious problems, including rapid fluctuations in weight. For people with weight problems, increasing iodine levels in their diet increases the thyroid’s activity and, in turn, increases their metabolism promoting weight loss.

Another major benefit of Greek yogurt is the fact that it’s easy to prepare and relatively portable. It’s one of the fastest ways to add more protein to your diet without having to spend hours preparing and cooking protein dishes. Adding a few servings of Greek yogurt to your smoothies instantly gives them a huge protein boost. There are probably thousands of smoothie recipes that utilize Greek yogurt and most of them take just minutes to prepare, making Greek yogurt one of the best weight loss foods in terms of convenience. That makes a major difference because a lot of packaged foods and processed foods become popular because they are simply convenient. If you can come up with several recipes that are easy to make and don’t take a lot of time to prepare then you’ll be less likely to want to snack on junk foods between meals.

Shattered Body Image

If you are one who plays the lottery, odds are pretty good that you do not come from wealth. The lottery is actually a voluntary tax on the poor as the allure of instant riches is terribly powerful for those who have never had long term financial comfort. It is ever so easy to think about having the same problems as rich people. Problems such as deciding which 5 star restaurant to eat at tonight, where to vacation, what luxury car to buy next, and what kind of bling are you going to impress your family and friends with tomorrow. But the problem for most lottery winners is 70 percent of lottery winners end up bankrupt in just a few years after receiving a large financial windfall. Runaway spending, toxic investments and poor accounting can burn through a lucrative windfall in next to no time. From rags to riches then back to rags again.

This problem of rags to riches, and then back to rags is largely because when poor people are presented with large windfalls of cash, they do not live their lives in the same manner as rich people who have always had financial security. The bottom line is, if you want to live like the rich, you have to live with the same mind set that rich people live with.

And this is the truth for those who think they want a fit and trim body too!

You cannot achieve a fit and trim body with the same mindset as you have as one with a weight problem!

Your thinking has to change.

Your way of life has to change.

You have to commit to a change of lifestyle!

With anything less, you are doomed to failure every time you attempt to lose weight.

If we are going to be honest, we have to admit that those who have been obese for several years have the same type of problem as those who have been poor for most of their lives. It is easy to dream about being the opposite of what you may be, but dreaming is not going to bring you a lifetime of success without careful planning and commitment for change. You have to prepare yourself for a change to your social norms. You have to learn to say “NO” to your family and friends.  You have to have the courage to accept that others are not going to be quite as accepting of the new you as they were of the old you. Misery loves company and you find family and friends to be like the proverbial crabs who only try to pull you back down into the bucket with them.

You have to give yourself time to adapt to the new you!

We know from personal experience and interaction with our readers and clients that rapid weight loss makes it tough to even get your mind wrapped around your new appearance. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we encourage our readers and clients to not attempt to lose more than one to two pounds maximum per week. Your goal should be to think about your plan as a lifestyle, not a diet. A diet is usually temporary in nature, something you go on and then go off of. There is no start and end date to living a healthy, fit and trim life. If you lose weight very quickly, there can be psychological consequences. When you do not give yourself time to settle into your new body shape and weight, it can lead to things like body dysmorphia, anorexia, or bulimia.

Many folks start a diet with an ‘if X, then Y’ mentality. As in, ‘if I lose weight, then I’ll be happy. Or then I’ll find love.”

So, after weight loss, when those things haven’t materialized, it can exaggerate preexisting mental health conditions or further promote body image issues.

There should be a lot of thought and consideration that goes into your weight loss approach. It’s more than just picking up and jumping into the latest fad. You’ll be kinder to yourself if you choose a slower, more progressive route for weight loss.

Never compare yourself to others!

Comparison is the thief of joy.

A person should try and focus on themselves (internally) without comparing themselves to others. For an obese person, dramatic weight loss is primarily about getting to a healthy physical state, and should not lean towards a superficial outcome (which often leads to a perpetual state of disappointment).

A problem for men, is we often see super lean and muscular guys and want to look like these hulks too. The problem is, what we see is often not real. For example, when an actor gets super cut for a movie role, there is more at play than just diet and exercise. Often times, they are also on the performance enhancing drug Trenbolone in order to get super lean and muscular.  Trenbolone builds muscle staggeringly fast—even faster than testosterone. It also increases fat burning and strength even more than regular testosterone which is why Hollywood actors like to use it in order to quickly get ready for movie roles. Guys, we cannot get like this naturally, therefore it is foolish to hold this body style up as the standard which you might want to achieve.

Pictured above is a popular Instagram model who has openly advocated for rib removal in order to create a more slender and feminine body.

Yes, you read that right.

She advocates rib removal surgery!

Anterior rib removal is to reduce subcostal protrusions and vertically lengthen the torso.

This is often desired in male to female transgender patients. It is frequently combined with posterior rib removal for waistline narrowing.

The point is not to belittle a transgender individual, the point is you often might not actually know who or what you are wanting to emulate when you are beginning a new lifestyle for health and fitness. That sexy woman you see in the Instagram pictures might actually be a creation of surgical procedures that you will never be capable of becoming. We teach that the best approach for all to take is one where you just be the absolute best that you can be and not hold yourself up to the standards of people you see in various media outlets.

Be realistic in what you want to become!

If you set yourself up with unrealistic expectations, then you are going to fail miserably. First and foremost, your goals and objectives have to be realistic and achievable. With losing weight and creating a healthy body, you have to get your mind wrapped around not only your new looks, but what is going to come with it during your journey to get there.

For example, you might think you want rapid weight loss, but are you prepared for all the loose skin that can come with it?

No matter your personal motivation for weight loss, the benefits of being at a healthy weight are indisputable. But some unexpected changes and challenges rear their ugly heads when you are losing, or have already lost, a significant amount of weight.For many, the psychological adjustments of dramatic weight loss are an intensely emotional experience, and a very personal one at that. Many find themselves thinking;

I wish someone had told me that about losing so much weight.

Realising that losing weight doesn’t necessarily equal happiness: A person may not feel as happy or content as they may have expected. This can come as a shock following dramatic weight loss if a person is not yet mentally prepared for it

Losing weight can make a person feel vulnerable: For an obese person, a larger frame may have provided a degree of emotional protection and a sense that they could ‘hide’ their true selves. Psychologically, it enables a person to feel as though others cannot truly see who they really are. Losing this ‘fleshy protective barrier’ can leave a person feeling somewhat ‘exposed’.

Losing weight casts a spotlight on a person: Adding to feelings of vulnerability, dramatic weight loss can bring about a certain amount of attention from others which may not be all that welcome. Although comments received about the change in physical appearance may be glowing and show approval of the accomplishment, it can make a person feel all the more exposed and vulnerable. Losing such a lot of weight is quite an adjustment, on multiple levels, for the person concerned. Coping with the attention of others in a way that isn’t as familiar at the same time can be challenging, and can sometimes feel a little ‘too personal’ for others to be acknowledging. It can also become emotionally problematic for some people when all of the attention dies down and passing comments no longer happen.

Losing a lot of weight can lead to feelings of anger: When others notice such a dramatic physical change, it can spark a little annoyance or anger. Not all positive remarks will necessarily be flattering. It may be difficult for a person to want to acknowledge the approval of others who never gave them the time of day before, and who are now expressing positive comments or asking how the weight loss was achieved. In learning to cope emotionally with physical changes (outside appearance), it can make a person feel that others are shallow and superficial if they’re only now treating a person positively after they have lost weight. Some people have also experienced negative remarks, commenting that they no longer look ‘healthy’. Counselling can also help a person to understand that others may have trouble getting used to a physically ‘new person’ or assist in dealing with jealousy.

Dramatic weight loss can affect relationships: For those already in relationships, tension can occur if a person’s partner is also overweight or obese. A person going through such a dramatic change may wish the same for their partner which can create obstacles and challenges within the relationship. On the opposite end of things, a partner may experience problems with self-esteem, feel threatened, or worry that temptation to be with another may force the relationship apart. A change in lifestyle habits can also create tension between a couple who used to share certain things together, such as meals or time spent not being active.

Losing a lot of weight can cause intense fear and anxiety: Along with or instead of a sense of accomplishment, a person may become fearful about putting any amount of weight back on once the ultimate goal has been reached. This fear may lead to anxiety and stress over every morsel that is eaten, or cause a person to deprive themselves of food that would give them satisfaction or enjoyment. The pressure to maintain weight loss can become overwhelming if not dealt with appropriately. In extreme cases, constant obsession and restriction can lead to eating disorders if a person is not careful. With the right support on hand a person can learn self-control without feeling that one food related indulgence will place them right back to where they started. (1)

Losing weight and living a healthy life after one of poor health and obesity is a process. You are more than a number on a scale, and you have to understand this, otherwise, you will be seeing yourself in a shattered mirror.

 

(1) MyMed.com

What Is a Calorie and Why Should You Care?

Calories, what they are and why we should care.

We might hear this term every day of our lives, yet how many of you ever stop and think about what exactly a calorie might be?

We know that our food and drink contains calories.

We know too many will cause us to get fat.

We know that some will insist we need to count our calories while others believe this minor task bears no importance.

Yet, how many of us actually know what a calorie is and why they are important to us?

A calorie is a unit of energy. Historically, scientists have defined “calorie” to mean a unit of energy or heat that could come from a variety of sources, such as coal or gas. In a nutritional sense, all types of food — whether they are fats, proteins, carbohydrates or sugars — are important sources of calories, which people need to live and function.

“Our brains, our muscles,  to include every cell in our bodies, require energy to function in an optimal state.  For good health and well being, we must nourish our bodies and brain with good nutrition. If we don’t get enough proper nutrients that calories provide, there are negative consequences. These negative consequences include losing lean muscle mass, not being able to concentrate or even having the energy we need on a day-to-day basis to get us through life.

The physics of a calorie.

According to an article in the Journal of Nutrition, titled “History of the Calorie in Nutrition,” in 1863, a calorie was defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water from 0 to 1 degree Celsius. In 1925, calories became scientifically defined in terms of joules, which are units typically used by physicists to describe the amount of work needed to force one newton through one meter. This is why you sometimes see calories being called kilojoules, especially in Europe and Australia. One calorie equals 4.18 joules; 1 joule equals 0.000239006 of a calorie.

The amount of heat needed to make a calorie differs at different temperatures, so scientists decided to create different types of calories according to their water temperature. Different temperatures yield different types of calories, such as the small calorie, also called the gram calorie or the 15-degree calorie. This calorie refers to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water from 14.5 to 15.5 degrees Celsius. 

A calorie in nutrition is actually 1,000 of these small calories. Some researchers use the term kilocalories to refer to the nutritional unit of 1,000 small calories. These units of 1,000 small calories are also sometimes called large calories, dietary calories, nutritional calories, food calories and Calories with a capital C. 

Therefore, what Americans see on food labels are actually kilocalories, or kilojoules. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that one medium-size apple contains 95 calories, it actually contains 95 kilocalories.  

Different types of macro-nutrients have standard amounts of calories. One gram of protein has 4 calories. One gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories. One gram of fat has 9 calories, according to the McKinley Health Center.  (1)

Do we really need to track our caloric intake?

If you care about your weight, you damn sure better be tracking your caloric intake in some manner, even if in your head.

That being said, I would only advise a mental tracking to one who is not overweight or obese.

But my weight loss group I joined does not require me to track calories, and neither does my Keto plan!

There are a couple of issues to address here:

If you are paying to belong to a weight loss group who tells you that you do not need to track calories, you might want to consider what their true agenda might be. Do they care about me losing weight, or can I be manipulated into being a perpetual income stream for them?

Tracking and measuring is a form of accountability.

You need to be accountable to yourself for your weight and health.

Odds are pretty high that if you are over weight, or obese, you have never been truly accountable for any length of time when it comes to your nutritional habits. I’m sorry if that hurt, but I have been there too and know this from personal experience.

How do I lose weight on Keto and some of the other popular diets or eating plans?

Whether or not some people want to accept this as a universal truth, the “calories in versus calories out” model is based on the reality that for you to maintain a stable weight, the number of calories you eat needs to match the number you expend.

“Calories in” refers to the calories you get from the foods you eat, while “calories out” is the number of calories you burn.

There are three main bodily processes that burn calories:

  • Basic metabolism. Your body uses most of the calories you get from food to sustain basic functions, such as your heartbeat. This is commonly referred to as your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  • Digestion. Around 10–15% of the calories you eat is used to power digestion. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) and varies based on the foods you eat.
  • Physical activity. The leftover calories you get from your diet are meant to fuel your physical activity, including workouts and everyday tasks like walking, reading, and washing dishes. (2)

When the number of calories you take in from food matches the number of calories you burn to sustain your metabolism, digestion, and physical activity, your weight will remain stable.

Thus, the “calories in versus calories out” model is strictly true.  I do not care what your weight loss group has told you as you hand over your monthly dues money, your body requires a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. It is a simple fact of life that from a biological perspective, you must consume fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. There’s no way around it, you are not a special snowflake this fact does not apply to. When I was still a young boy in school it was taught to us that once your body’s energy needs are met, extra calories are stored for future use in your muscles as glycogen, but most as fat. Thus, eating more calories than you burn will cause you to gain weight, whereas eating fewer than you need will cause weight loss.

But, but I read a study that said…

Yes, there are some studies you might find that make it appear as if what you eat matters more than how much you eat, implying that the calorie content of your diet is irrelevant for weight loss. However, these studies are based on a few incorrect assumptions. You have to be careful of what you read as some  these studies only report the total amount of weight lost, without mentioning whether the weight loss came from muscle, fat, or water losses. Additionally, some of these different studies and diets affect muscle and water losses differently, which can make it seem as if they are more effective for fat loss when this isn’t truly the case.

Have you ever considered why Keto appears to work good for people?

A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbs. As carbs are reduced and fat is increased, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Then the body starts turning fats into ketones, which are molecules that can supply energy for the brain. It is a scientific truth that after a few days or weeks on Keto, the body and brain become very efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs. The ketogenic diet also lowers insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, are two of the main reasons this diet has so many health benefits. But, what is often left out of Keto discussions is the fact you have become full, your body is satiated from the foods you have consumed before you have reached the caloric needs to maintain or gain weight. It works because you are at a caloric deficit.

When trying to lose weight, it’s critical to create a calorie deficit no matter your plan or method.

If you switch to a ketogenic diet and just randomly eat anything Keto friendly you desire while not watching your calorie intake, you are quite unlikely to drop pounds. Because many Keto-friendly foods, including avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy and nuts, are high in calories, it’s important not to overdo it. Most people feel more satisfied after eating ketogenic meals and snacks due to the filling effects of fat and protein. However, it’s still entirely possible to consume too many calories on a ketogenic diet by eating portions that are too large or by snacking on high-calorie foods throughout the day. Paying attention to portion size, increasing physical activity and snacking in moderation between meals can help create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.

Ever wonder why you occasionally see fat Vegans?

Vegan Overeating is Still Overeating

Simply put, weight loss success is achieved only when your choices reflect an overall decrease in calories going in and a corresponding increase in calories out. Factors that contribute to weight loss on a Vegan diet are significantly associated with weight loss included decreased dessert, sugar-sweetened drink, and fried food consumption and less eating out at restaurants. Or simply put, a caloric deficit.

Candy corn is just as vegan as an apple but from a nutrient standpoint they are far from equal.  The same goes for vegan baked goods, potato chips, deep-fried foods, etc.  Vegan foods high in fat, sugar and calories are just as unhealthy as their animal counterparts so don’t be fooled into thinking  “it’s vegetarian so I can eat as much as I want”.

No matter who you are, or what you might believe, weight loss always results from a caloric deficit. This is true regardless of whether your calories come from carbs, fat, or protein. Of course there are factors such as hormonal imbalances which can interfere with you being able to maintain a body at a healthy weight, however, these problems can most often be prevented from occurring in the first place through proper nutrition.

Educate yourself!

Be accountable to yourself!

Commit yourself to being the best you can be!

Be healthy and well!

 

 

(1) LiveScience.com

(2) HealthLine.com

Fat Loss Versus Weight Loss

One of the things we see as a huge problem in the weight loss industry is the focus is almost always placed exclusively  on weight loss alone. You can join one of the largest weight loss groups in the country, pay your monthly fees and still not find true success in achieving a healthy body, specifically because they only concentrate on helping you in getting to a goal weight instead of a goal body fat percentage. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we want you to concentrate on achieving a healthy body fat level over reaching a random weight. You might reach your goal weight when following any of the popular programs, yet still have an entirely too high percentage of body fat. What you weigh is meaningless when you are what we refer to as being “skinny fat”. Being skinny fat is when by outward appearances you are at an ideal body weight, yet you are still soft and pudgy from still carrying too much fat. In fact, being skinny fat is worse than just being obese simply because most skinny fat people do not recognize they have a problem.  After all, if you are over the age of thirty and weigh what you did as a senior in high school, all is well, right?

Not necessarily!

Here in lies a humongous problem, nutrition is similar to religion in that it is visceral. People can get too caught up in what feels good over using intelligence and common sense. It feels good to lose weight, and many take it as a matter of faith that a pound lost is a pound lost, while not caring where the pound lost came from. They do not care, or do not understand, there is a huge difference in a pound of water being lost over a pound of actual fat being lost. All they want to see is the number on their scale dropping which makes them feel good. These people will always find themselves let down when that pound of water weight is replaced as soon as they begin consuming and retaining fluids. Water weight loss is meaningless when it comes to what is important. What is important is losing your body fat to a healthy level for your body.

To get at a healthy level of body fat and remain there, we need to first understand something. Obesity is not just a matter of simple weight gain.

Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat!

If you want your weight loss to mean anything, then you must understand that your priority must be focused on achieving a healthy level of body fat over a random weight number that just “seems” to be right. Some of the major weight loss groups will help you to get to a weight that places you in a healthy range within the Body Mass Index scale, yet you might still be “skinny fat” and unhealthy. To be healthy, you have to concentrate on losing body fat, not just weight.

Through interactions with our own followers at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, and through the study of several weight loss programs, it is astounding that there are so many people who have little grasp of what makes up their weight and what to do about it. Your body weight is comprised of more than one factor; water content, fat content, muscle content and your structural components  such as bones, tendons and ligaments. If you want to simplify this, look at your body as two parts, pure body fat and lean body mass for the rest.

If you are trying to figure out your ideal weight, quit looking for a mystical number you believe is going to make you look and feel good about yourself. Concentrate on getting to and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. You can refer to our Pictorial Body Fat Estimator  here to see where you need to be. Fifteen percent is a good goal for men, while twenty two percent is a good percentage for women.

In today’s America, the average man has 23% or higher levels of body fat, while the average woman’s body fat is 32% or higher. This means the average male is 53% fatter than he should be while the average woman is 50% fatter than what is healthy. Somewhere along the way, we Americans have become some of the fattest people on the face of the earth.  And why would this be?

This is simply because too many people, including so-called experts, have no true understanding of the relationship between diet and fat loss!

How to Get to Your Best Weight Once and for All

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You Have “The Power”

 I know what it is to let year after year pass with all good intentions of finally, once and for all, learning to control my weight. I know what it’s like to never have anything to wear that I actually want to wear. I know what it’s like to dread swimsuit season, yet again, and live in jeans all summer, sweltering away because I felt self-conscious in summer clothes. Your life does not have to be this way. The power to change is in your hands.

Decisions, Decisions

The first thing that you have to decide is what do you truly want? This has to be a definitive decision. Because most of us live in a place where food is abundant and we can get it, this decision will be your rudder in the storms of life. Once you have made this decision, navigation is easier. You will ask yourself the question, “Does this comply with my goals?” whenever you encounter a nutritional/fitness challenge. I am frequently bombarded with nutrition bombs at work by well-meaning people who “gift” us with food, all kinds of food. I don’t have to consider whether or not I will eat 99% of that food because at least 99% simply does not meet the nutritional standards that I have set for myself. This decision will be your pivot point. Make it realistic and stick to your guns. Never allow people who are unhealthy and have unhealthy habits to sway you once this decision is made.

Be Ready

One problem that I always encountered before learning to eat David’s Way, is that I would “go on a diet” and be full of hope, promise and a giddy euphoria. I mean, after all, this was IT. I was going to get skinny! There! I decided…then, mealtime came. For some reason, we think that if we just say it, it will happen. You know, a sort of “build it and they will come” mentality. I once worked for a major weight loss company and I saw this every, single meeting and event. People would come in and buy a membership, buy the cookbooks, buy a kitchen gadget or two and God knows what else they would buy, sometimes spending a massive amount of money…and be pleased as punch that FINALLY, they were going to lose weight! The next week, and sometimes the next…, they would come to my table angry or sad, unable to understand why the scale was not cooperating. They would say, “But, I bought all this stuff!” as if buying the stuff would somehow make weight loss easy. It’s not easy. If you are addicted to sugar and refined carbs, you may experience terrible feelings of loss and depression when you give them up. I did. It was hard. I cried. I lay awake at night. Human beings are creatures of habit and when we have been medicating ourselves with excessive carbohydrates that increase serotonin, we miss those damnable molecules when we walk away. Just expect a measure of hardship going in. Get your big girl/boy panties on and grin and bear it. You can’t sport a 6-pack while guzzling a 6-pack and a pizza. That only happens in beer commercials. If you want a trim, toned body, you have to put in some work.

SLOW DOWN

I have mentioned the conversation that David and I had when I first began weight training and eating correctly. I asked the same dumb question that I always ask whenever I began a weight loss program, “How long will it take?” I wanted to get ripped FAST! While I knew that I could not build the muscle that I wanted overnight nor lose the extra body fat that was left over from my employer’s program, I still wanted a quick fix. David’s wise advice, “The rest of your life.” was exactly what I needed to hear. It made me focus on the task at hand and quickly dismiss all of those whims that we can have about just tolerating a program for a while to achieve our goals. I instantly realized that the goals that I had in mind were far-reaching and hugely demanding. I realized that the sensation of “holding my breath til I get there” that is so common in most weight loss programs, was not going to get it anymore. If our goal is to truly be the best that we can be, then shouldn’t it take the rest of our lives? We can’t be our best unless we perform at our optimum day in and day out. There will be blips on the radar. There will be tragedies and sickness and stress and all of the ups and downs that are a part of life. There will be birthday parties and vacations and Holidays. Your rudder will allow you to navigate these normal parts of daily life with finesse. Your goal is to make it to a safe harbor, a place where good nutrition and good fitness habits have designed and honed the body that you want to live in for the rest of your life. There is no rush. The harbor is not going anywhere. Just head that way. Repeat. Know that giving up is not an option and that knowledge will help you stay on course. You will get there if you never give up.

Ever Learning

Always search for more information to help you along your way. We have over 800 articles, recipes and product reviews here at David’s Way. We have the Calorie Counter Pro to help you determine your caloric needs. We highly recommend attempting to lose no more than one pound per week and always only with your doctor’s permission. We have the Body Fat Pictorial Estimator  that can help you determine about how much body fat you may be carrying. Everything on this website is free, take advantage. Our goal is to help educate the world about the dangers of obesity and self-neglect/abuse. We hope to play a part in making people more responsible for their well-being. That is our mission.

Plan to Succeed

1-The long range effectiveness of strategic planning is usually related to the practicality of the plan. (1) Keep it simple. Decide on you number of calories, track them, eat them. Don’t over-complicate your nutrition. It’s fine to try some new recipes, we have a lot of great ones, but don’t throw out all the ordinary, healthy food in your house and go buy all “diet food”. That’s too complicated. Incorporate a few workable, healthy changes at a time.

2-Look ahead. Know that as you accomplish specific goals, your goals will change. Have an idea of where you are going and as you meet each new milestone, check it off and move ahead. When I first began lifting, I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought a kettlebell. I worked hard and soon I asked David if he thought that I could use a barbell. He said yes. I bought a Beginner’s Set. I used that standard barbell until I needed more weight and then got an Olympic bar and a power rack for safety. I met small goals and moved up. If I had made the investment of the equipment that I have now at the beginning, I wouldn’t have known what to do with it. I couldn’t have used the Olympic bar. It would have been easy to get discouraged at that rate. Since then I have added a few other pieces of equipment that have made my workouts more effective but I had to grow into these changes. Plan your path and work hard.

3-Be clear about your goals. Clarify your goals with yourself, your family, your physician and your nutritionist or trainer. If people don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, they can’t help you. If you don’t know then you won’t accomplish anything. Attaining a good body fat ratio is admirable and recommended but if you work like that is your only goal then that is all you will ever get. I want a bit more and I create my entire life to accomplish those goals.

4-Remember that being healthy is not usually complicated for most people. Eat right, get some exercise and rest. See your doctor for specific recommendations. Don’t make this harder than it has to be. This is the main reason that we tell you to avoid added sugars and simple carbs. It’s a very simple thing that has a profound potential to make positive changes in your health. Refined, added sugars are a source of empty calories that provide you with no benefits so why waste your calories on poor nutrition. Don’t overthink healthy. Our bodies want to be healthy. Quit overloading them with garbage and seek out nutritionally dense foods that build and nurture your body for a lifetime of good health.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790676/

How Long Will This Take?

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The Question

Almost every person that launches a program to lose body fat and get fit has the same initial question, “How long will this take?” This in itself sets us up for failure because the unspoken truth here is simply that we want to get this work over with so that we can go back to that to which we are accustomed and that’s what caused our problem.

Instant World

Everything in our environment is geared to instant gratification, drive-thru food, grocery delivery, cell phones that make us constantly available and always in touch and instant credit compete for space in our brain to teach us over and over that we don’t have to wait for anything. Guess again. Our bodies are complex organisms of over 37 trillion cells. Any change that is going to affect our overall body size and shape has got a lot of material to manipulate. To effect a sudden change in an organism this size requires something more traumatic than most of us want to experience. That’s why so many people either quit before they reach a satisfactory goal or even worse, resort to drugs and surgery to attain their desired results.

Compensation

A hormone called leptin inhibits hunger. Rapid weight loss disturbs the leptin balance and leaves us with insufficient levels to quell hunger. This causes us to eat more and makes weight loss almost impossible. To keep the hormones that regulate hunger and metabolism in balance simply go to the Calorie Counter Pro on the Menu here at David’s Way and input your information, which is always private, we can see nothing except whatever name you enter, and receive your free instructions concerning the desirable number of calories to lose 1 pound per week. Stick to one pound for the best results. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your ultimate body be built quickly. Great architecture takes time.

All “Weight” Is Not Equal

When we lose weight too quickly we will lose lean muscle. It happens because our bodies are desperate for energy and muscle is a quick and easy resource to mine for fuel.  It’s important to eat enough to support our basal metabolism and also to fuel our workouts. Nothing is less attractive than a muscle depleted, “skinny-fat” body that has been formed through years of binge eating alternating with fad dieting. You know the look, a thick waistline and skinny arms and legs, it’s not attractive.

Brain Fog

There’s a trend to abandon carbohydrates almost entirely to promote rapid weight loss. Without adequate carbohydrate intake, our brains cannot function properly and we can’t learn new things. We also have trouble using the information that we already have. Carbohydrates are the brain’s main fuel source. I never decrease my carbs below 100 grams. I need focus to fuel my workouts and that means carbs. Balance is the key to safe weight loss. Without focus we can’t get the full benefit from our exercise program because our form will falter and without proper form we are wasting our time.

Relax Already

Read David’s Way and get involved here on the blog. You can start a topic of discussion on the “Forum”, contact us through the “Contact” button for support, get your personalized program through the Calorie Counter  Pro and experiment with hundreds of healthy, sugar free, diabetic friendly recipes. It’s all FREE. There is no charge. There is no rush. David’s Way is a lifestyle, not a diet. Simplify your life by “making your world small” (David) and focus on getting healthy. We’ll be here.

 

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

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Before I decided to get real about health and fitness, I asked this question many times.  Having worked for a major weight loss company, I have also been asked this question many times. The answer is always the same. We are not being entirely  accountable. When we get serious about our health we will stop trying to cheat the system because we simply want results. Until we get honest about our habits we will not see them.

The most common error that we make is not tracking every bite that goes in our mouths. We advocate counting calories because too many calories will cause weight gain  and make you unable to lose. Other factors that create other methods of accountability are irrelevant if your calorie count is too high. Count them and be truthful. There is a Calorie Counter  Pro  here on the blog that will tell you how many calories that you need to eat. It’s  a free tool. Look in the Menu and you will find it.

If I eat too many carbohydrates my weight loss slows. Protein stokes the metabolic furnace and if we spend too many calories on carbs, we don’t  have enough left for adequate protein. Read David’s  recent article on Protein  Supplements  to understand  more about how important protein is in your journey to health and fitness.

Eating added sugar will sabotage your weight loss efforts by causing cravings of all sorts. Have you ever eaten something  sweet and the next thing you know, you want pizza? Or maybe a beer? Maybe both? Because sugar  is a simple carbohydrate it triggers the release of serotonin. Serotonin is made from protein but a carbohydrate is required to get it into the brain. That’s  why sugar is addictive. Serotonin  is a feel good neurotransmitter  and anything that gives us a shot of that has potential for addiction. When we eat sugar we crave more and more which translates to more calories.  Since there is sugar in all simple carbs, like pizza crust, and there is sugar in alcohol, all of a sudden we have massive uncontrolled cravings. Just don’t eat the stuff. It will sabotage you every time. Besides  causing cravings, it replaces nutritious food and soon your entire health initiative falls apart.

Sometimes  we eat too many healthy foods. I love coconut  oil. The problem is, if I eat three Tablespoons  a day, which I have been known  to  do, too many of my calories are spent on fat. Then I don’t have enough for that all important protein. I am a weight trainer. I want all the muscle that I can get and skimping on protein is not the way to get it. I have had to reduce my coconut oil to 1 Tablespoon  a day and increase my protein because I have goals, and I will achieve them.

Other healthy foods that people overeat are granola, other cereals, avocados and nuts. I have to buy individual packages of nuts or portion them out into small bags as soon as they come into my home.

A lot of people  don’t  think about the calories that they drink. I live in the South and sometimes I can’t  believe the amount of sugar sweetened  tea that people here drink. If you are going around all day with a sugar sweetened drink, you are never going to be as  fit or healthy as you could be. You may lose some weight for a while and work out but you will never be your best. Drink water or try something like Crstal Light in your water. It’s tastes great. If you don’t  like the aspartame in it, then find something similar with a sweetener that you like. There are many products like this available. You might make your own lemonade with Swerve, a natural  0 calorie sweetener, and lemon juice. It’s all natural, tasty and it won’t  give you cravings.

While some people believe  that they can out exercise a bad diet, that is not true. If you are trying to eat too much and then work it off, you will not be able to do that in the long run. While some doctor approved exercise is good to stimulate your metabolism  and improve your overall fitness,it won’t  make you lose weight if you are eating  too much.

Be accountable and truthful about your caloric intake, be active and repeat. As David says, “Trust the  process and be patient. Results will come.”

 

 

 

3 Card Monte of Weight Loss

Are you familiar with the card game 3 Card Monte? It is a common gaming scheme to separate a fool from his money. It is always without fail, a set up. A mark happens upon the game and watches as other players both win and lose. The mark will watch the other players lose track of the money card as the dealer shuffles it around with the other two cards and then becomes confident he can win at this game. He may win a couple rounds just to be sucked back in for more easy money. This is the moment a fool comes to the understanding that you should never try to out hustle a hustler at his own game. When something seems too good to be true, you can bet your ass, it is indeed too good to be true, which leads me to the meat of this article ;

The above picture was the first thing I saw on my morning news feed today. Can we say a fool, or maybe more accurately one who is desparate, will fall for this and part ways with their money?

Hustlers on every corner…

These hustlers would disappear if folks put in the hard work and discipline required to achieve and maintain a healthy body fat percentage instead of always looking for the easy way to “hack” their weight loss for rapid results.

What the hell is this diet, and where in the world did it come from? I am a retired military veteran of US Navy and Army military service. In my many years of service which began in 1981 and spanned through my retirement in 2010, I have never heard of such malarkey, yet there are people who believe if this bullshit is good enough for the military it will be good for them. Let me tell you something about being a “fatboy” in the military, if you are senior enough to live off base, then your way of eating and exercise is entirely upon you to do on your own. There is no diet plan for you. If you are a junor troop living in the barracks or aboard ship, at best, you are just not going to be allowed desserts in the chow hall, and you are going to exercise your ass off until you lose the fat. There is no special “Military Diet”, period. Never believe there is a special military diet you can buy. The only caveat to this is if you are in a military fat loss program, you are going to eat health, nutritionally well rounded meals that are not super low calorie. Rapid weight loss is not healthy and the military does not need, nor want, unhealthy troops.

Friends, if you are suffering an obesity problem, this did not happen to you over night. If you want to be at a healthy weight, you are not going to lose all of that extra body fat over night either. There are many lose weight quick schemes out there preying upon your desparation, waiting to extract as much of your hard earned money as they possibly can, and not caring a bit about you as a person. If you lose ten pounds in a week, about eight or nine of those pounds are going to be nothing more than water retention weight. You are not going to lose ten pounds of body fat in a week while keeping hold of your health. This is not going to happen, no matter how slick the packaging the newest fad program may come in. You can take this to the bank.

If you were to lose ten pounds of body fat per week, over the period of a couple of weeks, you might might as well have remained fat as you are likely to wreck your health. And if you think you are going to look good from a rapid weight loss, guess again. Rapid weght loss leads to folds of unsightly excess skin which is still not going to enable you to wear a bathing suit this summer. In fact, many people have to resort to expensive medical procedures in operating rooms to have this excessive skin surgically removed from their bodies.

There are as many weight loss plans available to you as there are huslters on the street. There are some great plans, yet the amount of plans preying on you are infinite in number. Even some of the popular weight loss plans where people do experience success and good health can string along their members as a perpetual income stream. They do this by telling you that you can still enjoy all of the same foods which got you to your obesity problem in the first place. If we are being honest with ourselves, if you had no control before, what makes you believe you can possibly have control now if you are not actually changing your nutritional habits. If you believe this, I might just have a card game for you…

At David’s Way we will never charge you for the information we put out in our articles. We do not want anyone to be a perpetual income stream for us. We truly want to help others with our work, this is a labor of love, a means of giving back. Nothing more, nothing less…

Tips To Avoid Belly Bulge

Ah, it’s that time of year…swimsuit season. While some of us are a bit obsessed with our abs year round, almost everyone thinks about their bellies come Springtime.

Through the years I have learned about a few things that make a difference in my belly.

1- Carbonation, just don’t! While those aluminum cans and plastic bottles won’t expand when those fizzy bubbles start wafting up, your gut will. Leave this stuff on the shelf.

2-Excess salt-It will make you retain fluid everywhere and that includes your belly. Whatever your belly looks like, it will look bigger if you retain fluid.

3-Sugar- Our body dilutes sugar in our blood to achieve an optimum level, so sugar causes fluid retention while our body struggles to metabolize this concentrated simple carbohydrate.

4-Excess carbohydrates- Carbohydrates break down into sugar so excess carbs will cause excess fluid just like eating sugar. For every gram of ingested carbohydrates our bodies retain three grams of water! Excess calories from carbohydrates, just like all excess calories, are also stored as fat. Do you really want a layer of fat over your abs?

5- All excess calories- They are stored as fat.

6-Alcohol- This toxic substance is a source of simple sugars and large amounts of calories. As the liver tries to neutralize the toxin, it will deposit the products of metabolism nearby in your abdomen and the excess calories are stored as fat.

7-Slow digestive system-If you do not have regular bowel movements, your belly will bloat. Stay regular with adequate fiber and water and activity.

8-Inadequate activity- Getting regular exercise, with your doctors approval, will increase your metabolism. You will burn some of those excess calories!

9-Hormones, specifically cortisol- Cortisol is secreted during stress. Make your world small. Remove as many negative influences from your life as you possibly can.

10-Sleep-Adequate sleep resets our cortisol levels and optimizes hormonal function. Get some zzz’s!

Tips to Beat Bloating

It’s been said that a flat belly is the evidence of fitness. That is entirely possible. Being lean and defined will definitely show up in the belly. It’s a good feeling to look down and like the shape of your abdomen. It’s also disheartening when you have worked hard to look great, but your abdomen is distended, and you feel miserable. Listed below are some tips from AFPA, the American Fitness Professionals & Associates, to stop bloating so that you can more easily enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Common Causes of Bloating

1-Swallowing too much air while drinking or chewing gum.

2-Eating too much or too quickly

3-Abdominal adhesions due to surgery

4-Bacteria that produce gas when they break down food in your digestive system

5-Intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Leaky Gut Syndrome and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth

6-Undiagnosed stomach infections

7-Fluid retention due to a high-salt diet, diabetes or kidney failure

8-PMS or pregnancy

9-A regular smoking habit

10-Gallstones or liver disease

11-A diet high in fibrous foods (especially if it’s a new change)

12-Consuming carbonated beverages

Possible Remedies

1-Eat smaller portions for every meal and chew your food thoroughly

2-Rule out food allergies and intolerances

3-Follow a diet that is low in carbohydrates and allows 0 grams of added sugar. The body holds onto water to dilute sugar and sugar also causes inflammation which causes fluid retention.

4-Avoid carbonated beverages

5-Follow a diet that is high in soluble fiber

6-Eat probiotic rich foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut

7-Avoid salty foods and added salt at the table

8-Don’t chew gum

9-Keep a food diary so you can look back and see what you have eaten when you’re bloated.

Sometimes chronic bloating can be a sign of numerous health conditions. If these tips don’t help your bloating, see your doctor. If your bloating is paired with symptoms like unexplained weight loss, a build up of fluid in the abdomen, blood in your stools or severe abdominal pain, go to the doctor very soon. Pay attention to your body, it’s the only place that you have to live. 😉