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Ok, I'm Walking More and Hitting the Gym, But Still Not Dropping The Weight, What's Wrong?

Is this you?  I know, I know, you've probably read or have seen posts about this a lot, but you'd be surprised how often this topic comes up, in the gym, the office, even the grocery store.  Some people use the simple formula of just eating less and getting themselves more active. Now that's a good equation, and I follow that all of the time. But you have some people, and unfortunately, there are quite a number of them that think "More is Better" and they tend to swing too much to the far end of the pendulum and really cut back on their food intake thinking that they will drop more weight, faster.  Well, they soon find that even though they have continuous hunger pains, the weight seems to have stopped dropping off.  Then they think they need to cut back on their calorie intake even more. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

These people are not only stuck in park, but there are other unforeseen consequences as well.  Your body enters what is commonly referred to as the "starvation mode" when you don't eat enough to sustain your bodies regular processes, which can cause slower than expected weight loss and plateaus.

For simplicity sake, we can explain it easier this way. Your body uses a certain amount of energy each day. We get all the energy we need from food. When we take in either more or less energy (food) than the body uses each day, our weight changes (increases or decreases). For example, an average man needs about 2,500 calories per day to maintain his weight (women need a lower amount). If he were to eat 3,000 calories in a day, the body would have to deal with a calorie surplus (too much energy) of 500 calories (the body would need to find something to do with the extra 500 calories coming in from the diet). The way the body deals with a surplus is by storing that extra energy as fat causing weight gain.

 If that same man were to eat 2,000 calories in a day, the body would now have to deal with a calorie deficit (not enough energy) of 500 calories (the body would need to find non-food sources to make up for the shortfall of 500 calories coming in from your diet). The body deals with a calorie deficit by drawing on fat stores for energy causing weight loss.  That is why there needs to be a balance of how much you need to eat when you are trying to lose weight, and it is also necessary to eat the "Right Combination" of food groups, fats, good carbs, and lean protein!  And yes, that will be a topic for another day!

This "starvation mode" kicks in when your calorie intake drops too drastically. If your body needs 2,500 calories per day (to maintain weight) and you start eating 1,000 calories per day, you would expect your calorie deficit to be 1,500 calories leading to substantial weight loss. The problem is that if you cut your calorie intake to 1,500 below what you burn, your metabolism would slow (starvation mode) and burn a lot less than 2,500 calories. Your calorie deficit would turn out to be a lot smaller than 1,500 calories. 

Remember the amount of food you eat affects your metabolism. Our bodies have a built-in protection from prolonged periods of reduced calorie intake, if taken to the extreme, (starvation). Today it easy to acquire food such as in a grocery store, vending machines, and fast food restaurants. Today food, luckily in the US. is widely available. Back when our ancestors used to hunt and gather food, they would go long periods of time with little energy intake,(food). To help us survive, our metabolism would slow down in order to conserve the little energy we had left. This can be compared to driving slower when you're almost out of gas and are unsure of the distance to the next gas station.  

 If you want to lose weight, the right way, all you need to do is bring the level of your food intake under your level of energy use, but NOT drastically. Consistently eating less calories than your body burns will force your body to draw upon fat stores for energy causing weight loss. You have two opportunities to influence this energy balance equation: food and energy use.

In addition to eating less, you can also expend more energy (exercise) which will widen the gap between how many calories you burn and eat. This balanced approach of eating less AND moving more will yield the best, healthiest and longest lasting result. Problems arise with weight loss strategies when dieters rely too much on cutting calories rather than also exercising more.

A key factor that helps determine how your body burns your fuel,(food) is called your metabolism

Your metabolism can be described as the sum of all the energy needed in the body. Your body needs the energy to digest & absorb food, support the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and other organs, repair damaged tissue, move your blood around, by having your heart pumping and you're moving around (physical activity). Even without exercise, your body still has a need for energy to simply keep you alive. Your metabolism or daily energy needs are not set in stone. Instead, your metabolism is fluid and can speed up or slow down based on inputs such as the amount of food eaten and exercise performed.

Cutting your calorie intake drastically is a bad weight loss strategy for a number of reasons. The main reason is that cutting calories drastically is not sustainable. The changes you need to make to cut 1,000 or more calories from your daily intake is too much for you to handle. Taking this path might last a few days or even a few weeks but eventually, your diet will prove too much and the changes you have made will lead to a failed diet. Once you go back to your old ways, the weight will come right back on. Remember hearing the term sea-saw dieting, this is it.

Another reason that a drastic calorie cut is a bad idea is nutrient intake. Your body needs a certain amount of vitamins and minerals each day to support normal bodily functions including energy metabolism, immune functions, and tissue repair. The typical American diet is already deficient in many nutrients. Reason being, most of our foods that we eat in the old US of A, are processed. This means they've been white-washed. Or cleaned up for us to eat. This has been done over the years by companies, and even farmers who use different treatments to first the soil, then in the processing, packaging the food so that it lasts longer on the grocery shelves or in the meat cases. Because of this, we are getting less, raw nutrients with our food.  Eating less, on a crash diet, will further decrease your intake which can lead to some inconvenient if not serious health issues. Slower, more sustainable weight loss options that include exercise will lead to healthier and more long lasting results.

Losing weight by moderately cutting your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity will yield the best results. Moderately cutting your calorie intake will not have the same negative consequences (starvation mode) involved in drastically cutting your calories. While cutting calories can negatively impact your metabolism, increasing your physical activity level can do the opposite.

Exercising burns calories because moving requires energy. The more you move, the more calories you burn. In addition to the calories you burn while exercising, your metabolism is also increased for 24-48 hours after you stop exercising. Physical activity speeds up your metabolism even after you stop exercising due to the recovery phase of the exercise. The recovery phase of exercise involves repairing damage sustained to the muscle fibers while working out and replenishing energy stores used up during exercise. All of this burns calories.

So, the key word here is "Balance", it seems a little funny doesn't it, that word "Balance", If we really think about it, having a balance in our lives can solve almost all of our problems. From keeping your work stress in "Balance" to balancing your time so you spend enough of it with your family.  Keeping your eating, and physical activity in balance with one another will create the right combination to make sure that you Will lose weight, the right way!

 

 

 

 

Read more

Is this you?  I know, I know, you've probably read or have seen posts about this a lot, but you'd be surprised how often this topic comes up, in the gym, the office, even the grocery store.  Some people use the simple formula of just eating less and getting themselves more active. Now that's a good equation, and I follow that all of the time. But you have some people, and unfortunately, there are quite a number of them that think "More is Better" and they tend to swing too much to the far end of the pendulum and really cut back on their food intake thinking that they will drop more weight, faster.  Well, they soon find that even though they have continuous hunger pains, the weight seems to have stopped dropping off.  Then they think they need to cut back on their calorie intake even more. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

These people are not only stuck in park, but there are other unforeseen consequences as well.  Your body enters what is commonly referred to as the "starvation mode" when you don't eat enough to sustain your bodies regular processes, which can cause slower than expected weight loss and plateaus.

For simplicity sake, we can explain it easier this way. Your body uses a certain amount of energy each day. We get all the energy we need from food. When we take in either more or less energy (food) than the body uses each day, our weight changes (increases or decreases). For example, an average man needs about 2,500 calories per day to maintain his weight (women need a lower amount). If he were to eat 3,000 calories in a day, the body would have to deal with a calorie surplus (too much energy) of 500 calories (the body would need to find something to do with the extra 500 calories coming in from the diet). The way the body deals with a surplus is by storing that extra energy as fat causing weight gain.

 If that same man were to eat 2,000 calories in a day, the body would now have to deal with a calorie deficit (not enough energy) of 500 calories (the body would need to find non-food sources to make up for the shortfall of 500 calories coming in from your diet). The body deals with a calorie deficit by drawing on fat stores for energy causing weight loss.  That is why there needs to be a balance of how much you need to eat when you are trying to lose weight, and it is also necessary to eat the "Right Combination" of food groups, fats, good carbs, and lean protein!  And yes, that will be a topic for another day!

This "starvation mode" kicks in when your calorie intake drops too drastically. If your body needs 2,500 calories per day (to maintain weight) and you start eating 1,000 calories per day, you would expect your calorie deficit to be 1,500 calories leading to substantial weight loss. The problem is that if you cut your calorie intake to 1,500 below what you burn, your metabolism would slow (starvation mode) and burn a lot less than 2,500 calories. Your calorie deficit would turn out to be a lot smaller than 1,500 calories. 

Remember the amount of food you eat affects your metabolism. Our bodies have a built-in protection from prolonged periods of reduced calorie intake, if taken to the extreme, (starvation). Today it easy to acquire food such as in a grocery store, vending machines, and fast food restaurants. Today food, luckily in the US. is widely available. Back when our ancestors used to hunt and gather food, they would go long periods of time with little energy intake,(food). To help us survive, our metabolism would slow down in order to conserve the little energy we had left. This can be compared to driving slower when you're almost out of gas and are unsure of the distance to the next gas station.  

 If you want to lose weight, the right way, all you need to do is bring the level of your food intake under your level of energy use, but NOT drastically. Consistently eating less calories than your body burns will force your body to draw upon fat stores for energy causing weight loss. You have two opportunities to influence this energy balance equation: food and energy use.

In addition to eating less, you can also expend more energy (exercise) which will widen the gap between how many calories you burn and eat. This balanced approach of eating less AND moving more will yield the best, healthiest and longest lasting result. Problems arise with weight loss strategies when dieters rely too much on cutting calories rather than also exercising more.

A key factor that helps determine how your body burns your fuel,(food) is called your metabolism

Your metabolism can be described as the sum of all the energy needed in the body. Your body needs the energy to digest & absorb food, support the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and other organs, repair damaged tissue, move your blood around, by having your heart pumping and you're moving around (physical activity). Even without exercise, your body still has a need for energy to simply keep you alive. Your metabolism or daily energy needs are not set in stone. Instead, your metabolism is fluid and can speed up or slow down based on inputs such as the amount of food eaten and exercise performed.

Cutting your calorie intake drastically is a bad weight loss strategy for a number of reasons. The main reason is that cutting calories drastically is not sustainable. The changes you need to make to cut 1,000 or more calories from your daily intake is too much for you to handle. Taking this path might last a few days or even a few weeks but eventually, your diet will prove too much and the changes you have made will lead to a failed diet. Once you go back to your old ways, the weight will come right back on. Remember hearing the term sea-saw dieting, this is it.

Another reason that a drastic calorie cut is a bad idea is nutrient intake. Your body needs a certain amount of vitamins and minerals each day to support normal bodily functions including energy metabolism, immune functions, and tissue repair. The typical American diet is already deficient in many nutrients. Reason being, most of our foods that we eat in the old US of A, are processed. This means they've been white-washed. Or cleaned up for us to eat. This has been done over the years by companies, and even farmers who use different treatments to first the soil, then in the processing, packaging the food so that it lasts longer on the grocery shelves or in the meat cases. Because of this, we are getting less, raw nutrients with our food.  Eating less, on a crash diet, will further decrease your intake which can lead to some inconvenient if not serious health issues. Slower, more sustainable weight loss options that include exercise will lead to healthier and more long lasting results.

Losing weight by moderately cutting your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity will yield the best results. Moderately cutting your calorie intake will not have the same negative consequences (starvation mode) involved in drastically cutting your calories. While cutting calories can negatively impact your metabolism, increasing your physical activity level can do the opposite.

Exercising burns calories because moving requires energy. The more you move, the more calories you burn. In addition to the calories you burn while exercising, your metabolism is also increased for 24-48 hours after you stop exercising. Physical activity speeds up your metabolism even after you stop exercising due to the recovery phase of the exercise. The recovery phase of exercise involves repairing damage sustained to the muscle fibers while working out and replenishing energy stores used up during exercise. All of this burns calories.

So, the key word here is "Balance", it seems a little funny doesn't it, that word "Balance", If we really think about it, having a balance in our lives can solve almost all of our problems. From keeping your work stress in "Balance" to balancing your time so you spend enough of it with your family.  Keeping your eating, and physical activity in balance with one another will create the right combination to make sure that you Will lose weight, the right way!

 

 

 

 

Read more

Happy With Your Health Care Premiums? See How Walking Can Help Reduce Costs, Especially If You’re A Diabetic.

We’ve all heard over the past few years how walking can improve your life, help you get healthy and not only live a more active life but live longer as well. Now we have proof that this is, in fact, the truth and some health insurance companies are now saying that by participating in a “Walking Based Exercise” monitored by using a Pedometer and or activity watch to record your data you can actually help to lower the overall costs of health care premiums. See below excerpts from a paper that has been presented just this past March 31st. 2017 at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting in San Diego.

"Walking is one of the best types of 'medicine' we have to help prevent diabetes, or reduce its severity and potential complications—such as heart attack and stroke—if you already have it," says JoAnn Manson, MD, Dr.PH, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Women who did at least 30 minutes daily of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, slashed their risk of diabetes by 30%, according to results from the Harvard Nurses' Health Study. (This is your body on walking.) Even a single 90-minute session of aerobic exercise improved blood sugar control in at-risk women, according to research from the University of Michigan.

Walking also shrinks the dangerous abdominal fat that raises your risk of diabetes. Excess fat around your abdomen causes inflammation in cells, making them even more resistant to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar; this increases your odds of developing the disease. A Canadian study found that women who walked briskly for about an hour a day decreased their belly fat by 20% after 14 weeks—without changing their eating habits. However, this is already taking into consideration that those who have already been diagnosed with either pre- or type 2 diabetes are following their dietary plans, laid out by either their doctor or nutritionist.

The study, by researchers from the University of Michigan’s Department of Family Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Center for Clinical Management Research, found an association between participation in a walking program and a reduction in out-of-pocket health care expenses for people with diabetes. This study will be presented to the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting in San Diego during a paper session (titled “Can a Pedometer-Based Walking Program Lower Health Care Costs among Adults with Type 2 Diabetes?”).

One of the key factors that this study cemented is that using a pedometer to keep track of the distance a person walks helps to keep them motivated. It also provides a barometer of how active they are over the course of a month. It is our nature to want to be challenged and by keeping track of your steps on a daily basis you can program your brain to want to keep surpassing your current step-count. This is even more beneficial to people that suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Walking programs using pedometers help people become more physically active by getting more steps each day. These types of programs improve daily physical activity among people with diabetes. “In general, people with diabetes face higher health care costs than people without diabetes, since diabetes management includes medical costs from daily blood sugar monitoring equipment to regular vision and foot assessments,” said Mona AuYoung.

Considering the trend in rising health care costs, the research team assessed the impact of a walking program on health care costs for people with diabetes. The research team examined step count data for 7,594 Blue Cross Blue Care Network (BCN) enrollees who participated in a walking program they called “Walkingspree” back in 2010. Participants were eligible to join Walkingspree if their BMI was in the obese category. Individuals could potentially save an estimated 20% of their out-of-pocket expenses by uploading their step counts at least once every 30 days to the Walkingspree website and averaging at least 5,000 daily steps every three months. If they did not meet this requirement, they could not stay in the program and their deductible would increase to $5000. The researchers were able to compare the change in total annual health care costs for the year before and after starting the program.
Key research findings included: Every additional 100 daily steps taken by participants was related to an average individual savings of $9.07.
On average, individuals without diabetes experienced greater total cost reductions compared to those with diabetes or diabetes with complications.
Among individuals who averaged at least 5,000 daily steps, the average expected total change in annual health care costs was $872.67 for people with diabetes and $2491.88 for people with diabetes with complications. Although there is an expected increase in health care costs for the average person with diabetes, this increase is relatively smaller for those who averaged more daily steps.
Even though people with diabetes have greater health care costs, increasing daily steps may help slow the rate of costs increases over time. The key motivator, besides getting yourself in better health for you, your family and your wallet is tracking your steps and logging your activity and progress. A good way to do this is with an accurate, reliable Pedometer or  Activity Monitor.  One that keeps your data for you for at least a month that you can then record to keep track and surpass you last monthly goals!

A walking exercise program has been found to improve blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, and blood pressure and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Yet, most people with diabetes do not engage in regular exercise, based on studied poll reports provided by polled physicians and nutritionists who deal with diabetic patients.

Type 2 Diabetes, is a chronic disease and must be managed for life. Regular exercise and healthy nutritional patterns are the basis for the treatment. The team of scientists analyzed published recommendations and guidelines for exercise prescriptions for people with type 2 diabetes for the study. Think of it though, if you seriously engage in a regular regimen of walking along with following your nutritionist’s advice on the good foods to eat and the bad to either eliminate or cut back on, YOU can possibly alter the needs to take specific medications that would otherwise keep your blood sugar in check.

So, if you do suffer from type 2 diabetes, take ownership of your life and get out there walking. This way you can not only improve your health but also keep some shekels, in your wallet where they belong, instead of paying out more in health premiums.



Read more

We’ve all heard over the past few years how walking can improve your life, help you get healthy and not only live a more active life but live longer as well. Now we have proof that this is, in fact, the truth and some health insurance companies are now saying that by participating in a “Walking Based Exercise” monitored by using a Pedometer and or activity watch to record your data you can actually help to lower the overall costs of health care premiums. See below excerpts from a paper that has been presented just this past March 31st. 2017 at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting in San Diego.

"Walking is one of the best types of 'medicine' we have to help prevent diabetes, or reduce its severity and potential complications—such as heart attack and stroke—if you already have it," says JoAnn Manson, MD, Dr.PH, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Women who did at least 30 minutes daily of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, slashed their risk of diabetes by 30%, according to results from the Harvard Nurses' Health Study. (This is your body on walking.) Even a single 90-minute session of aerobic exercise improved blood sugar control in at-risk women, according to research from the University of Michigan.

Walking also shrinks the dangerous abdominal fat that raises your risk of diabetes. Excess fat around your abdomen causes inflammation in cells, making them even more resistant to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar; this increases your odds of developing the disease. A Canadian study found that women who walked briskly for about an hour a day decreased their belly fat by 20% after 14 weeks—without changing their eating habits. However, this is already taking into consideration that those who have already been diagnosed with either pre- or type 2 diabetes are following their dietary plans, laid out by either their doctor or nutritionist.

The study, by researchers from the University of Michigan’s Department of Family Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Center for Clinical Management Research, found an association between participation in a walking program and a reduction in out-of-pocket health care expenses for people with diabetes. This study will be presented to the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting in San Diego during a paper session (titled “Can a Pedometer-Based Walking Program Lower Health Care Costs among Adults with Type 2 Diabetes?”).

One of the key factors that this study cemented is that using a pedometer to keep track of the distance a person walks helps to keep them motivated. It also provides a barometer of how active they are over the course of a month. It is our nature to want to be challenged and by keeping track of your steps on a daily basis you can program your brain to want to keep surpassing your current step-count. This is even more beneficial to people that suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Walking programs using pedometers help people become more physically active by getting more steps each day. These types of programs improve daily physical activity among people with diabetes. “In general, people with diabetes face higher health care costs than people without diabetes, since diabetes management includes medical costs from daily blood sugar monitoring equipment to regular vision and foot assessments,” said Mona AuYoung.

Considering the trend in rising health care costs, the research team assessed the impact of a walking program on health care costs for people with diabetes. The research team examined step count data for 7,594 Blue Cross Blue Care Network (BCN) enrollees who participated in a walking program they called “Walkingspree” back in 2010. Participants were eligible to join Walkingspree if their BMI was in the obese category. Individuals could potentially save an estimated 20% of their out-of-pocket expenses by uploading their step counts at least once every 30 days to the Walkingspree website and averaging at least 5,000 daily steps every three months. If they did not meet this requirement, they could not stay in the program and their deductible would increase to $5000. The researchers were able to compare the change in total annual health care costs for the year before and after starting the program.
Key research findings included: Every additional 100 daily steps taken by participants was related to an average individual savings of $9.07.
On average, individuals without diabetes experienced greater total cost reductions compared to those with diabetes or diabetes with complications.
Among individuals who averaged at least 5,000 daily steps, the average expected total change in annual health care costs was $872.67 for people with diabetes and $2491.88 for people with diabetes with complications. Although there is an expected increase in health care costs for the average person with diabetes, this increase is relatively smaller for those who averaged more daily steps.
Even though people with diabetes have greater health care costs, increasing daily steps may help slow the rate of costs increases over time. The key motivator, besides getting yourself in better health for you, your family and your wallet is tracking your steps and logging your activity and progress. A good way to do this is with an accurate, reliable Pedometer or  Activity Monitor.  One that keeps your data for you for at least a month that you can then record to keep track and surpass you last monthly goals!

A walking exercise program has been found to improve blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, and blood pressure and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Yet, most people with diabetes do not engage in regular exercise, based on studied poll reports provided by polled physicians and nutritionists who deal with diabetic patients.

Type 2 Diabetes, is a chronic disease and must be managed for life. Regular exercise and healthy nutritional patterns are the basis for the treatment. The team of scientists analyzed published recommendations and guidelines for exercise prescriptions for people with type 2 diabetes for the study. Think of it though, if you seriously engage in a regular regimen of walking along with following your nutritionist’s advice on the good foods to eat and the bad to either eliminate or cut back on, YOU can possibly alter the needs to take specific medications that would otherwise keep your blood sugar in check.

So, if you do suffer from type 2 diabetes, take ownership of your life and get out there walking. This way you can not only improve your health but also keep some shekels, in your wallet where they belong, instead of paying out more in health premiums.



Read more