Tag Archives: fitness

Diets explained has moved!

Hey everyone,

I have recently decided to transfer the content of my fitness site (http://fitnessmadesimple.wordpress.com) and my diet/nutrition site (https://dietsexplained.wordpress.com/) to my new blog:

Health Habits

I was getting a lot of questions on topics other than diet and fitness training. With a more general health blog, I can focus on topics not specifically exercise or diet.

I hope everyone enjoys

DR

Leave a comment

Filed under exercise, fitness, health, weight loss

How to beat Emotional Eating

Are you an Emotional Eater?

Do your feelings drive your appetite and your eating behavior?

Do you eat when you are not hungry?

Do you continue to eat when you are full?…stuffed?…about to explode?

Do you ever find yourself on the couch with your hand at the bottom of a LARGE bag of chips?

Do you eat like this while you are alone?

When you are bored?

When you are stressed?

To take your mind off of your problems?

Do you feel guilty about this behavior?

YES

Then you are an Emotional Eater.

You’re not alone.

Janet Jackson and Britney Spears are celebrity examples of Emotional Eaters

So What Do I Do?

If you think that your manner of eating may constitute a threat to your health, please contact your doctor.

And here is some solid reference info:

What Do I Do Right Now?!

One tool you should look into right away is Mindful Eating.

Here are some links to mindful eating sites. TCME CAMP System Dr.Susan Albers Amazon book list

In the past few years, the practice of mindful eating has grown out of the more generalized psychiatric practice of Mindfulness Meditation, made popular by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

It finds it’s origin in Buddhist teachings. The Buddhist practice of Mindfulness can be defined as “awareness of one’s thoughts, actions or motivations”.

A similar practice is currently being espoused by Oprah’s protege, Mr. Eckhart Tolle.

TLC’s – I Can Make You Thin with Paul McKenna employed mindful eating in it’s weight loss plan.

In the 1920’s, Horace Fletcher was the diet guru of the day with his theory of Fletcherizing.

Mindful Eating – The Basics

Eat consciously. By this I mean:

  • Take a bite of food
  • Put down your implements/sandwich/glass/etc…
  • Chew your food
  • Taste your food
  • Enjoy your food
  • Repeat until you ‘think’ you are starting to feel full
  • Stop Eating
  • Eat again when you are hungry – not bored or nervous – listen for a ‘grumbly tummy’

That’s It.

my fitness site

Leave a comment

Filed under Diet - General, health, In the News

Fat-o-Phobia

We have officially gone crazy.

In Japan, employers are forcing their employees to eat fish sausages, participate in a “lifestyle reform programs,” and attend boot camps designed to reduce the incidence of metabolic disease or metabo.

Not to be upstaged, the Japanese government has introduced compulsory ‘fat checks‘ for people over 40 years of age.

It’s not just the Japanese that are panicky about obesity.

This article in The Independent brought my attention to all of the medical classifications we now have for obesity and supposedly aberrant eating behaviors.

We all know about bulimia and anorexia.

But did you know about:

and my personal favorite

  • Rumination – Like a cow, ‘bringing up’ partially digested food and then spitting it out or digesting it.

How about:

Maybe, for simplicity’s sake, we could lump all of these conditions together under one banner:

  • Obesophobia – a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of gaining weight

I am not for one second suggesting that people have legitimate mental & physical issues concerning food and their bodies.

But, why oh why, does every human peculiarity have to become a syndrome or a condition?

Why do we have to be afraid of everything?

my fitness site

1 Comment

Filed under health, In the News

News Flash! Caveman Diet Good…Your Diet Bad

Swedish scientists have just published a research paper that indicates that eating a diet rich in lean meat, vegetables, berries and nuts is effective in lowering YOUR chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Keeping in mind that it was only a three week study, and additional long term research will be required, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that the volunteers reduced body-fat, lowered their blood pressure and slashed levels of a blood-thickening agent (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) known to cause deadly clots.

The results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, support earlier scientific and real world findings that praise the health benefits of the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet.

The theory behind this way of eating is that prior to the advent of agriculture (10,000 years ago) our ancestors lived only on foods that could be speared or picked from trees and plants.

Some scientists argue the human genome has been unable to keep pace with our advances in agriculture and food preparation. The theory is that the modern human body is not genetically programmed to thrive on our modern diet. Our technology may be modern, but our bodies haven’t fully caught up and chronic ailments like obesity and type 2 diabetes are the result.

To that end, following the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet means no cereals, bread, milk, butter, cheese or sugar but plenty of lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts.

To test its effect, the Swedish researchers recruited 20 healthy volunteers and put them on caveman rations for three weeks.

Each patient was assessed for weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol at the beginning of the experiment.

They were then given a list of stone-age foods they could eat, including fresh or frozen fruit, berries or vegetables, lean meat, unsalted fish, canned tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, spices and coffee or tea without milk or sugar.

Banned foods included beans, salt, peanuts, dairy products, pasta or rice, sausages, alcohol, sugar and fruit juice.

However, they were also allowed up to two potatoes a day and a weekly treat of dried fruit, cured meats and a portion of fatty meat.

After three weeks, the volunteers were tested again.

Among the 14 who successfully completed the diet, the average weight loss was around five pounds. BMI dropped by 0.8. Systolic blood pressure fell by an average of three mmHg. And the levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 dropped by 72 per cent. Other favorable effects were the increase in antioxidants and a healthier potassium-sodium balance. One potential negative was the reduction of calcium. This effect should be addressed in further studies.

Official Scientific Conclusion:

This short-term intervention showed some favourable effects by the diet, but further studies, including control group, are needed. blah,blah,blah

My Conclusion:

Fruit, vegetables, lean meat good. Bagel-Fuls BAD

1 Comment

Filed under Diet - General, In the News

Breaking News! The government thinks you’re fat!

Jeremy Sammut of ABC News (Australia) has written an article claiming that government sponsored programs that promote public health don’t work.

While his focus is specific to the Australian experience, his claim that Australia’s government has squandered public funds on advertising campaigns may be applicable to both Europe and North America. The fact is, obesity is on the rise in the ‘developed’ world. Attempts by national or regional governments to promote a healthy lifestyle have been unsuccessful in reversing this trend towards obesity.

Sammut makes a few very interesting observations.

First, he claims that when government assumes the role of health nazi/nanny, it absolves the individual of “their primary responsibility for the unhealthy lifestyle decisions they continue to make”, and as a result, “the lifestyle disease ‘epidemic’ is blamed on a lack of government-funded entitlement to preventive primary care”.

This takes us to the second point; “the limits of government authority over individual behaviour, and the importance of personal qualities in regulating it – why nearly 40 years of health promotion has coincided with ascending rates of lifestyle disease”.

And if we are going to allow government to assume authority over our behavior, we have to question the motivations behind this program.

Quite often, “advocates of more spending on lifestyle disease prevention often draw false parallels with the success of the campaign against tobacco smoking”. This argument is specious in that smoking bans and the ‘sin’ taxes applied on tobacco products are examples of public health regulation, not health promotion.

You would think that applying this model to public exercise and nutrition would be near impossible. Smokers were a minority group and their behavior was found to be less than enchanting by a large portion of the population. Simply put, the majority ganged up on them and enacted laws that made smoking a financial and logistical pain in the butt.

How would government apply this strategy when the majority of the population does not exercise, eats junk food and has no intention of changing?

They would start with the children. Apply a little parental guilt. Ban junk food from school (already happening). Slap a sin tax on ‘junk food’. Expand that tax to include bacon, eggs, cheese, filet mignon, etc…

Wow! Big Brother wants to tax my bacon & eggs.

While that is unlikely (I hope) to happen, Sammut’s argument is that the health promotion programs advocated for by certain lobby groups, prepared by marketing companies and approved by governments have not been successful.

In Canada, advocates of the ParticipACTION program (historical info) have considered it a success due to it’s longevity and the fact that “two years after the agency had ceased to operate in 2001, almost 80% of Canadians still recognized the ParticipACTION logo and message”.

No mention of it’s positive impact on the health of Canadians. Wasn’t that the point of the program?

Nope, cheesy commercials that you can’t get out of your head. Like this ,this, this, and check out this spoof. Classic fromage.

My Two Cents

As much as I appreciate the light that Dr. Sammut has shined on this subject, I was a little disappointed by his conclusion.

“It is therefore timely to review the evidence. Because when the assumptions are questioned and the evidence examined with a clear eye, what is revealed is that there is actually slim support for the belief that preventive public health policies – be they ‘community-wide’ or ‘high-intensity’ lifestyle interventions – have in the past brought obesity and lifestyle disease under control, or that they are likely to in the future”.

Review the evidence?

Do nothing?

While I agree that most if not all governments have a great talent for throwing great big bags of money at problems that they have no hope of solving, does that mean that as a society we are doomed to accept gluttony and sloth as our birthright?

Here are two possible solutions.

In the U.K., doctors are able to write prescriptions for exercise.

Personally, while I believe that this plan is flawed due to the fact that when the government is looking to spend public dollars, there will always be bureaucrats and service providers ready and willing to overcharge and under-deliver. However, to be fair, I should mention that this program has not been in operation long enough to show whether it is successful or not.

Another possibility would be to offer tax refunds to those individuals that can prove that they are pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Instead of demonizing the couch potatoes amongst us, reward the energizer bunnies.

What do you think?

my fitness site

6 Comments

Filed under Diet - General, In the News

To diet or not to diet

The debate rages on:

In one corner, we have the current champion: The Atkins/South Beach/Abs/Fat Smash/ You on a Diet KID.

In the other corner, we have the challenger: Healthy Lifestyle

And the winner is…..

With sales of $58 billion in 2007, the diet industry kicks butt. Healthy Lifestyle butt.

But maybe 2008 is a comeback year for Healthy Lifestyle.

Here is some more research showing that a health focused lifestyle is the better way to a trim waistline.

The focus of this study was the effect that stress had upon the health of obese women in New Zealand.

They found that obese women can improve their health and prevent further weight gain by ditching their diets and learning to deal with stress.

The study encouraged women to break free of chronic dieting and make lifestyle changes, including listening to their feelings of hunger and fullness rather than focusing on weight loss.

Following a group of 225 women, the research showed that the women who lost weight by dieting often regained the weight they lost, and more, within five years.

The researchers found that “the most successful intervention involved providing intensive training in relaxation techniques while equipping the women to recognize and avoid stress-related triggers for eating.’’

“Many overweight women had a fearful and guilt-ridden relationship with food, and their eating was often emotionally triggered”.

Additionally, the research showed that this lifestyle approach resulted in “significant improvement in reducing psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and medical symptoms including headaches, fatigue and lowered blood pressure”

The study can be found in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

my fitness site

Leave a comment

Filed under Diet - General, In the News

Nutrition, Environment and Epigenetics

Take a look at the ‘About this blog‘ page: you will see that I close out my intro by saying that Genetics is Not Destiny.

I truly believe that. I have to believe that.

As a kid, I was always ‘husky’.

Through research, discipline and hard work, I was able to transform my body from fat to fit.

During the past 19 years, I have given my knowledge and perhaps more importantly, my confidence in that knowledge to the people that came to me and asked me to help them re-shape their bodies.

While most of them already knew what they had to do to become physically fit; they just couldn’t do it.

But they had seen their friends / my clients sculpt lean, strong, fit bodies out of the over-sized lumps of clay that they had previously called home.

So they came to me for the secret. Even after I told them there was no secret, and even after I had helped them transform their own bodies, most of them believed that I was responsible for their transformations.

Years of being fat and out of shape had become normal for them. They were fat. Even when they had lost the weight, there was still this little voice in the back of their heads telling them that this was just temporary. If they stopped working with me, they would re-gain their original shape.

It was their genetics.

How wrong they may have been.

Ever since Darwin‘s Survival of the Fittest theory of evolution became accepted as truth, genetics and in particular our DNA has shaped the progress of human biology.

Science searched for a genetic answer to every human ailment. It even spawned a genetic ‘gold rush’ called the Human Genome Project.

But recently, that absolute faith in genetics as fate has been shaken. So

Epigenetics.

Epigenetics looks at the impact our environment has upon our genetic coding.

How is it that one identical twin can develop cancer while the other twin does not?

Was the life-long smoking habit of one of the identical twins responsible for their diagnosis of cancer? Did the healthy lifestyle of the second twin prevent their potential diagnosis of cancer?

While the science is still new, I think down deep, we all know that how we live our lives has a strong impact on our health.

Where we live. Our friendships, or lack thereof. The air we breathe. The water we drink. The amount and type of exercise we perform. The food we eat.

Nature v.s. Nurture.

Bruce Lipton is currently the biggest ‘name’ in Epigenetics. The following two video clips serve as an introduction to Lipton and the science behind Epigenetics.

Like most scientific endeavours, epigentics seems to result in more questions being raised rather than answering the ones that we already have.

For those interested, I will report back with new & interesting research into this field of science and how it applies to health & nutrition.

Remember, genetics is not destiny

my fitness site

Leave a comment

Filed under Diet - General, In the News