Tag: weight loss

How To Get To Goal

I am a WW Lifetime Member. I was also a “turtle”, a very slow loser, when I was following that plan. I learned all the “tricks”. I have moved on to David’s Way because it is better for me and has enabled me to hone my fitness and overall health. These are the tools that I used to get to my WW goal, and a little more.

1-Realize that joining a group is not enough. You have to actually work the plan.

While this sounds ridiculous, when I first joined WW and every time I started a new “diet”, I felt like I would lose weight just because I was doing all of the superfluous stuff like buying the right books, buying the right food, buying the right workout clothes. I never truly believed that, but there is a feeling of accomplishment that comes with making that initial decision to make an effort to lose weight that creates a false euphoria. In this euphoric state it is easy to forget that we have to change our ways if we want a change. After joining any group or committing to any plan it is imperative to do the work. It’s not easy to change dietary habits that have been ingrained in us for a lifetime but the rewards are well worth it.

2-Commit to following your plan faithfully even when the scales, (or the barbell;-), don’t give you the results that you want.

We are committing to long term change, not a quick fix. Know that the plan works if and when you work the plan honestly. Our bodies respond to our actions and our actions are subject to variability. When you have done the right things enough times, long enough, you will get the results that you want.

3-Work the food plan honestly.

There is a temptation to take advantage of what seems like “too good to be true” details in some plans, WW being one of the most taken advantage of in this respect. If you don’t have to count calories and just acknowledge the points values of the 0 points foods and you overeat those foods, you will not lose weight. This is common sense. I was on an older plan and the first thing that I did was run out and buy massive amounts of fruit because we didn’t count fruit. I gained weight.

4-Apply honesty to your activity as well.

I have seen pictures of the app where a lady was awarded over 200 points for exercise. I never found a way that I could eat that many extra points on a regular basis and lose weight or maintain weight. It goes back to something that Davids says frequently, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” This is the equivalent of eating about 4-5 brownies every day. That’s how we gain weight, not lose. Be realistic. Exercise is wonderful but if you exercise merely to eat more you will be disappointed.

5-Avoid alcohol.

Yep, I said it. Most of us are fooling ourselves if we think that we can have alcoholic beverages and lose weight or maintain a healthy weight because the sugar in alcohol creates cravings. The alcohol creates a social, party state of mind where we think that we’re entitled to eat something delectable and because the alcohol stimulates the appetite and lowers inhibitions, all of a sudden everything is delectable…and lots of it. If you are serious about being your very best version of you, just don’t.

6-DON’T FAST THE DAY YOU WEIGH IN!!!

When I first started going to meetings I would go all day with out eating or drinking anything just to see that magic number on the scale. I would be so hungry, coffee deprived and dehydrated after that meeting that I would just go crazy, eating everything in sight. It would take days to compensate for that binge. Go ahead and eat and hydrate normally. Again, this is for the long haul. One weigh-in really doesn’t matter very much.

7-Plan your meals and snacks.

This way you are never caught starved and hangry, yes, HANGRY, you know, that terrible feeling when you have gone too long without eating and you’re miserable and mad at the world. Hangry sets you up for a major dietary catastrophe. You will also have the food on hand that you need and will be able to reach for healthy meals and snacks on schedule. Your body will stay satisfied and your mind will be better able to turn away from cravings and social pressure to eat too much. Be prepared.

8-Associate with like minded people.

The people that we associate with is critical to our overall health. If we hang out with people who want to eat poorly at every opportunity, we will follow their lead. More than likely, we are not going to influence them for the better. Instead, we will abandon our ideals under social pressure. Choose your comrades wisely. There is power in support groups such as David’s Way. We have common goals.

9-Be ready to upgrade.

When whatever plan you are on is not giving you the results that you want, move on. I was at my goal and had been for a couple of years when I began to notice things about my health that were disturbing. I was on three medications, had anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure and was beginning to lose muscle. At 61, these were critical issues. Muscle is necessary to good health. I asked David to help me and he graciously obliged on one condition, I would follow his plan to the letter. He told me to lose twenty pounds. I was stunned momentarily but readily agreed because I was not happy with my then state of health. I followed his idea of high protein- low carbohydrate eating and completely removed all added sugar from my diet. In no time at all, I dropped those twenty pounds. I also began lifting weights and decreasing the stress in my life. The combination has given me the best health that I have ever had. I am 5’6″ tall, weigh 140# and wear a small or medium. I have managed to keep my curves and I am very strong, quite often the strongest person in the room. I take no medications.

10-Adapt to maintain.

Realize that this is NOT a diet, it is truly a lifestyle. Study and learn all you can about how to get what you want for your health. Be pro-active. Never just accept that ill health is your destiny. Regardless of how long it takes you to see a number on a scale or do what we do at David’s Way, arrive at a desired body fat percentage, always remember that this is your CHOSEN lifestyle and treat it as such. Work it. Work it to your advantage. Dig in and make it yours. We’re here for you. ;-*

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Food Intake Versus Exercise In Weight Loss

Sometimes we search for every possible avenue to lose weight before we accept that we have a direct route, changing the way that we eat. It’s common to get active and feel justified in eating a lot because we “worked out”. The truth is, as a general rule there are about 65 calories used per mile of walking for a 120# person and 100 calories used for a 180# person. (1) So, if we take a half mile stroll around the block after eating a dinner that involved all of our calories plus all of our exercise calories then we’re still in the red. I remember when I returned to swimming, I would stop and get frozen yogurt on the way home. Bear in mind that I swam laps for 2 hours. I GAINED weight and it was not muscle. It was frozen yogurt.

According to Strasser and Fuchs of the National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, (2) a negative energy balance, or calorie deficit, of 500-700 calories per day is required to lose about 13 pounds for women and 17 pounds for men in 12 weeks. It is almost impossible to do this by exercise alone. Note the calorie expenditure for walking listed above. I worked out pretty hard tonight with strength training and various body weight exercises and only burned 347 calories. If I eat a single serving of a decadent dessert, I will not only make that burn null and void, I will have a positive energy balance and gain weight. The combination of proper nutrition and exercise will produce the best results. By slashing the calories a bit and exercising to torch a few more, we can eat enough to be satisfied and still keep a negative balance and lose weight.

The main reasons for failure to lose weight through exercise are low intensity of the exercise and calorie over compensation. (2) It takes a lot of hard work to actually get our bodies into the fat burning range and keep it there long enough to lose weight. We tend to over dramatize the intensity of our workouts in order to justify over eating and the extra calories usually come from sugar which is going to cause a release of insulin and then a lowering of our blood sugar and then hunger, so we not only have those extra calories from the treat but the extra calories from the additional food as well. No wonder we can gain weight when we try to lose through exercise alone.

We have muscles for a reason. Muscles are meant for movement and work, or lifting. Exercise is good for us as long as our doctor approves of our choice of activity. I do want to look good but I exercise for health. Without exercise, my blood pressure will rise, I can’t sleep and I can fall into depression. I don’t take any medications at 62. Exercise keeps my blood pressure in check and tires me out so that I can sleep. The release of dopamine that I get from hard exercise is a natural antidepressant and energizer. I work full time and blog and work out and take care of a single household, three dogs and a family member who needs a little extra assistance. I can’t even imagine retiring…why would I do that if I can have a better income working? Exercise keeps me strong and increases my drive to succeed. I have no intentions of sitting down and letting “nature take it’s course.” I don’t like where it goes.

Eating ENOUGH calories is critical when we’re losing weight. Otherwise, we can lose muscle and if we do, the next time that we gain weight, we will have more body fat than before. If we allow this cycle to repeat, our body composition can deteriorate into a very unhealthy, fatty state. Balance is critical. Don’t try to lose too fast. Eat well, count your calories according to your age, height, weight, gender and activity level.

When we focus on our nutrition, we tend to eat good wholesome foods because we plan ahead. We’re rarely caught in a situation where we don’t know what we’re going to eat or how to get what we need. Everything concerning our health tends to fall into place and we lose the extra weight without misery. If we focus on our nutrition for weight loss, and exercise for health, we will get the most “bang for our buck” by seeking out the best expenditure of our calories and we’ll be able to stay full and satisfied. Mindfulness is key when it comes to nutrition. By combining these two factors mindfully, we can have absolute control over the scale.

Are you ready to stop cowering when you are put on the scale at the doctor’s office? Make the decision to be in control of your nutrition and the scale will become your friend. ;-*

(1)  https://www.verywellfit.com/walking-calories-burned-by-miles-3887154

(2)  https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4864009

Benefits of Slow Weight Loss

For a lot of my life whenever I embarked on a weight loss journey the first thing that I thought was, “How long will this take?” I just couldn’t wait to finish the diet and get back to life as usual. That is the very reason that I had to keep doing it over and over. That’s the reason that I had low self esteem. That’s the reason that I made poor life choices. That’s the reason that I was speeding towards bad health when I found David’s Way. I wanted a temporary fix, a band-aid. What I found was healing.

I had a lifelong battle with my weight. At the age of four, my mother put me on the scales and gasped “Oh my goodness, Brenda! You’re FAT! You weigh FORTY POUNDS!” I was instantly immersed in shame. I remember it like it was yesterday. The sad thing is, forty pounds is the average normal weight for a four year old. My mother was anorexic. The dark shadow of that moment haunted me until I took control of my life by committing to follow David’s Way. Once I made up my mind to follow this program, I have. The power of making a decision is immeasurable. Once you’ve truly committed, you work the program and trust the process. There’s no need to get in a hurry because this is your life from now on, eating a lot of good, healthy food, working out if you like and reducing stress by eliminating the negative and cultivating the positive and just clearing the clutter in all areas of your life. Spreading ourselves too thin will always cause stress which will lead to overeating and other self destructive behaviors.

Slow weight loss as opposed to fast weight loss protects the elasticity of our skin. At the age of 62, after gaining 65 pounds at the age of 37 during a pregnancy that ended with a c-section, I do not have a single stretch mark. I have gained and lost weight many times in my life but losing was always very slow. I have always used body moisturizers and taken vitamin C, which is involved in collagen production, but those things would not have made much difference had I lost weight fast. Slow loss allows your skin time to adjust to less fat volume.

One of the most important reasons to lose slowly is learning to adapt our habits to a healthier lifestyle. If we force fast weight loss by extreme calorie restriction, we continually feel deprived, hungry and empty. As soon as we have a bad day we’ll feel entitled and stuff ourselves full. The misery of a starvation diet will be one more stressor to suffer and we will rebel with force. Once we have binged and reawakened cravings by eating sugary desserts, we will feel defeated and just give up the whole idea of getting healthy. By eating satisfying amounts of good whole foods and losing slowly, we feel good physically and never feel deprived. There is nothing to rebel against so we just keep working the program, trusting the process and learning about health and longevity.

If we lose slowly, our minds have more time to adjust to our changing bodies and lifestyle. As we work the program slowly we change much like a caterpillar inside a cocoon. There are changes taking place that cannot always be seen but they are critical and they are creating an entirely different person. As we apply ourselves to the Methodology of the program our minds gradually accept that we are truly different. When we emerge from the cocoon our wings will be strong, nurtured by time well spent becoming exactly who we are supposed to be. We will no more want to wallow in the misery of indecision than the butterfly wants to crawl on it’s belly. We will lift our eyes to the sun and fly.

The scariest reason to lose slowly is that if we lose too fast we will almost certainly lose precious muscle. Muscle is involved in mobility, circulation, respiration, digestion, urination, childbirth, vision, stability and posture. (1) It also generates heat. Take my word for it, even if you don’t want to look muscular, you need this magical tissue, as much as you can get. Everything will work better…everything.

Losing slowly trains you that this is your normal now. It’s not a temporary, miserable state. It’s the real you…the person that you’ve always wanted to be…one of “them”. It’s not easy, but let me ask you, how easy is it to be overweight? Decide. Move forward. Get on program. Repeat, for the rest of your life. Bask in your new freedom, turn your face to the sun and fly. The world awaits. ;-*

(1) https://www.healthline.com/health/functions-of-the-muscular-system#posture

Body Fat and You

It is a damn shame than in the USA we have an obesity epedemic in these modern times. With all the nutritional information in the world available in the palm of our hands through a smart phone, we can not as a nation figure out just how in the hell to lose all of these unwanted pounds. The additional burden we also face as Americans is no matter how you look at it, we as citizens are a large reason for the rise in the cost of our health care. We can blame politicians from the “other” party which we do not vote with. We can blame greedy “Big Pharma” and corporate medicine all day long. We can get pissed because every doctors visit cost so damn much every visit, but do you as an individual citizen ever just take a look in the mirror and take personal responsiility for your role in the cost of your health care? If you are obese, then surely you know it, and surely you realize that obesity will cause you significant health problems at some point. If you already have health problems as a result of your obesity, do you do anything about losing weight, or do you just hope that a pill or shot will make it all better so you can continue eating cheeseburgers and milkshakes every day for lunch? Are you proactive in your health, or are you entirely reliant on your physician to repair your ass when you break it?

Want to know what makes our obesity epedemic even worse? We are raising children who are also obese and they are having the ill health issues as many adults such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. We have so many fat and sedentary children today that the military for the first time in US history is having a difficult time meeting recruiting goals because our young Americans by and large, can not pass the basic physical requirements to even enter basic training. My fellow citizens, we owe our children much better than this.

Body Fat Deactivates Insulin and Raises Blood Glucose

Derived from The End of Diabetes by Joel Furman M.D.

  • Free fatty acids circulating in the bood have a toxic effect, inhibiting energy production from muscle tissues, which then demand more insulin.
  • Fat cells produce pigment epithelium-deprived factor, which then demands more insulin.
  • Fat cells produce retinol-binding protein, which prevents insulin from activating glucose-carrying proteins.
  • Trans fats and saturated fats can stiffen and distort membrane-located insulin receptors, interfering with efficient binding.

What does all of this mean for you? When you are significantly over weight or obese, when you carry excess fat at fifty pounds or more over your ideal body fat percentage, your body then demands huge amounts of insulin from the pancreas. Some of you really give your pancreas a workout when you require up to ten times more insulin than a normal weight individual. What do you think happens inside your body when this has gone on for ten years or better? Even worse, if you allow your child to be obese at these kinds of levels, think of how you are screwing their future health by the time they might be in their early twenties. How long can yours or your childs pancreas work this hard before it finally wears out? Face it, your pancreas is eventually going to crap out, it will lose the ability to provide insulin at the levels your obese body demands, which means less insulin will be produced at some point. With less insulin to transport glucose from the blood stream into your cells, your blood glucose levels begin to rise which means you have probably awarded yourself a good case of Type 2 Diabetes with your insatiable appetite for all that sugar and carbohydrates. Ironically, some obese folks still produce an excessive amount of insulin, however, it is not enough for them, even if that same level would be sufficient for a normal weight individual. Even if your over worked pancreas pumps out insulin which would be a good amount for a lean individual, it will not be enough to overcome the effects of the disease causing body fat. Your pancreas will eventually begin to shut down on you.

Sometimes we will know someone, maybe a friend or family member who is morbidly obese, yet does not suffer from Diabetes. Do not ever mistake this as something good as these individuals can have a large pancreas beta cell capacity, so they can produce high levels of insulin without becoming diabetic. Your ass may not be diabetic if you are morbidly obese, but, you are not in the clear. These high levels of insulin in the blood are a strong predictor of heart attack risk and a shortened life span. Obesity is going to catch up with you at some point. Whether a morbidly obese individual is diabetic or not, their high insulin levels are still damned dangerous to their lives. Know this, insulin levels are a better predictor of heart attack risk than cholesterol! It is common that people will wind up in an emergency room because of a heart attack and learn for the first time their blood sugar is elevated. These people are usually ignorant of the fact they have contracted diabetes. The first indication they had diabetes was a heart attack from years of havin a heightened insulin level. Damage was building up before the elevated glucose had become apparent to them.

Friends, it is one thing if you are an adult and do not care for yourself. However, as I have said many times over, “It is never just about you. Someone will have to bury your ass.” Now, if you are a parent, or a grand parent raising a grandchild, take a look at the children you care for. Are they of a normal weight, or rather at a healthy body fat percentage? If not, are you being proactive in doing something about it, or are you sitting them in front of the television with poptarts and soda pop to keep them quiet? If you have an obese child, do you love them enough to do something about it, or does a health initiative with said child interfere with your own unhealthy dietary habits you are not ready to change just yet? Do you care if your child becomes dependent on insulin shots, or even worse, if they keel over from a heart attack at twenty years old…

Let’s get proactive with our health and that of our childrens. Our future as a nation relies on raising healthy children to take our place in society once we pass on.