Banish Obesity for Good with These Simple Wellness Tips

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Check out this informative article by Dana Brown of Health Conditions which is chock-full of effective and easy wellness tips.

– By Dana Brown

Obesity is a lifestyle disease that plagues over 1 in 3 Americans. This causes preventable illnesses and health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, gallstones, high blood pressure, and joint weakness. Many people suffering from obesity have tried to lose weight through fad diets and trendy fitness routines only to fall back on old habits. Instead, maintain health for the long term by making wellness-focused changes to your lifestyle.

Find the Best Workout Routine for You

Starting a workout routine can be very hard if you’re struggling with obesity. Verywell Fit emphasizes the importance of finding a workout catered to you instead of joining random fitness programs because you don’t know what else to do. Find a workout that you can enjoy and stick to. Some of the best workouts for obese adults include walking, group exercise classes, and strength training. If any exercise causes pain, try something else. For example, aqua jogging is a good alternative to walking if you have pain in your joints.

Develop a Balanced Diet Plan

Avoiding empty calories is more important than cutting your calorie intake when it comes to losing weight. This means staying away from sugary foods and those containing unhealthy fats. Instead, aim to get a balance of nutrients from each meal you eat. The majority of your calories should come from fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein. These foods will provide your organs with the nutrients they need to help you fight disease and daily fatigue.

Make Time to Get Restorative Rest

Not getting enough sleep can be a barrier standing between you and your weight loss goals. Studies show that sleeping habits can disrupt the efficacy of weight-reduction programs. When we lack sleep, our bodies are stimulated to increase our appetite unnaturally. Sleep disruption also affects the body’s ability to control blood sugar and cortisol levels. Try to get more than 7 hours of sleep per night to increase your likelihood of successful weight loss.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Making improvements to your overall wellness includes addressing any mental health issues that you may have. Many studies have found a link between obesity and mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. According to experts, people tend to use food to self-medicate their emotions. Mental health issues also lead to a decrease in physical activity, which is a common cause of onset obesity. So, it’s important to cut out stress from your life and get help if you’re suffering from a mental disorder.

Ditch the Scale

What if you didn’t have to step on a scale to check your progress? According to Livestrong, avoiding the scale can be a healthier way to measure weight-loss. Scales give us an inaccurate representation of our fitness. They don’t tell us where we’re carrying excess weight or how healthy our bodies actually are. Plus, the numbers on the scale can be disheartening when they’re higher than we expect. Instead, track your progress in other ways.

First, it’s easy to tell you’re losing weight when clothes start fitting better or become baggier. You should take note of compliments made by friends and family, since changes to your body will be more obvious to other people than to you. You’ll also notice significant changes in your energy levels and how your body feels. For example, you’ll feel stronger, be able to walk farther, and feel less pain. You may also notice reduced stress and better quality sleep. These are all signs that you’re progressing on your weight loss journey.

Dealing with obesity through wellness-centered actions will help you get to the root of the problem. By changing up your lifestyle for one that’s healthier and focused on caring for your mind, you can finally keep those pounds off for good. Eventually, these actions will become healthy habits that will keep you feeling good for years to come.

Are Diet Sodas Really That Bad?

no-diet-soda

Diet soda is often consumed by people who either want to lose weight, or maintain a normal weight. The ironic thing is that diet sodas actually increase a person’s chances of becoming overweight, by tricking the body into thinking it’s actually consuming sugar, which increases food cravings. A study conducted at the University of Texas discovered that consumption of two or more cans of diet soda daily caused increased waistline girth in subjects studied.

The main reason why diet sodas have damaging effects on the body is because they contain artificial sweeteners. The vast majority of diet sodas on the market contain either aspartame or sucralose. Aspartame has been linked to cognitive decline, mood swings, depression, dizziness and migraines, while sucralose has a negative impact on insulin sensitivity and gut health.

Even just drinking one can of diet soda each day can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome (diabetes, heart disease, and risk for stroke) by close to 40 percent. Diet soda also impairs kidney function. A Harvard study followed 3,000 female subjects who drank diet sodas, and found that those who drank more than two sodas each day had impaired kidney function.

As if that wasn’t enough, diet sodas cause damage at the cellular level, as well as erode tooth enamel. This is due to the very acidic nature of diet soda, which has a pH of 3.2. Chemicals such as sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate are added to inhibit the acidic quality of the soft drink, but these chemicals cause damage in mitochondrial DNA in our cells, and have been linked to numerous allergies and asthma in some subjects.

Lastly, most cans which house diet sodas are coated with bisphenol-A (BPA), which has a strong correlation with development of heart disease and reproductive issues.

If you absolutely can’t give up diet sodas entirely, wean yourself off of them gradually. After you have kicked the daily diet soda habit, you can incorporate a diet soda called Zevia, which does not contain aspartame or sucralose, into your diet.

How Weekend Drinking Binges Make You Fat (Repost)

One of the reasons why people tend to look forward to the weekend so much, besides being away from work, is the ritualistic imbibing of alcohol and consumption of rich foods which many tend to engage in. I have clients who will follow a sensible and healthy meal plan during the week, only to abandon all self-control, put on party hats and eat and drink during the entire weekend.

I will explain to you why this practice is a sure way to keep you from attaining your fitness goals. When you drink large amounts of alcohol, say 3 drinks or more, your body gets a sudden influx of alcohol which puts your body’s metabolism of nutrients to a grinding halt. Why? Because the body cannot store alcohol and must use it immediately as a fuel source. What happens with nutrients is that they are converted to fat and then stored in fat tissue for later use, so alcohol essentially prevents the body from utilizing fat. High consumption of alcohol also impairs the cerebral function (specifically the prefrontal cortex), flattening inhibitions and increasing the appetite. That is why you will often crave greasy foods when you drink, because the body turns to rich foods to replenish nutrients. The combination of increased appetite and behavioral changes are enough to get you to eat a calorie laden, fatty meal which is then stored as fat.

I enjoy the occasional cocktail and as a result will never tell people to avoid drinking altogether. However, I have several recommendations which will minimize the fat deposition which alcohol consumption triggers.

1. Always eat a meal with PROTEIN, FIBER and HEALTHY FAT before you begin drinking to offset the surge in blood sugar which occurs with alcohol consumption and to slow the absorption of alcohol once it is introduced to the gut.

2. Drink two glasses of water for every drink of alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it will dry you out. Because of this, it is important to maintain a high level of hydration to offset the diuretic effect.

3. Limit consumption to 1 or 2 drinks in an evening. This will keep calorie consumption down.people at party

My Cat Needs A Body Transformation

For the first time in the thirty years that I have had cats, I share my home and my heart with an obese cat. My six year old European Burmese Kazu is of small stature, and her normal weight should be somewhere around nine pounds. She was nine pounds until just under a year ago, when her weight began creeping up. I noticed instead of walking down the stairs like she used to do, she hopped down the stairs, mainly as a result of her increasing belly girth and her short legs, both of which interfered with normal transit.

8.18.15 Kazu

One day in May, my roommate remarked that Kazu was rather stout, then began asking questions about her. Since my roommate was new to the household, she could clearly see that my cat was overweight. Was she constipated? Well, yes, Kazu has had bouts of constipation since kittenhood. Did Kazu drink enough water? Yes, I think she does. Does Kazu overeat? Honestly, I really don’t think so. Kazu doesn’t usually beg for food, and she normally doesn’t like moist cat food or people food. Out of concern for my little girl, I took her to the vet, who told me that my cat was fat and that there was nothing I could do about it. I then got a second opinion which was the same. I then addressed the constipation issue by trying glycerin suppositories, but there wasn’t much of a change in Kazu’s bowel habits, and neither of us enjoyed the process.

By early August, Kazu’s weight shot up to twelve pounds, which prompted me to take her to a third vet. Thankfully, that vet (Dr. Lavely at Limehouse Veterinary) was willing to take the time to chat at length about the problems which I had regarding switching the household to scheduled feeding times (erratic schedule, often not home, greedy male cat who eats everything, Kazu’s finicky palate). It’s been about a week since we visited Dr. Lavely, and the feeding has definitely been very erratic, which is why I still have dry food out at all times for the cats to eat. I keep trying to give Kazu people food and moist cat food, but her response is inconsistent. On some days, she readily accepts the food I put out for her, while on other days, she barely even sniffs the food before walking away. I am hoping that Kazu begins to accept the offerings I give her, because that is the only way she will lose weight. I even bought a very expensive moist cat food which has human grade ingredients in hopes that she transitions over to moist food. My goal is to get her to lose three pounds in a healthy way over the next year. Kazu is relatively active and plays with her siblings frequently. She also plays toys and is the only cat out of the three who knows how to play fetch and even initiates games of fetch on a regular basis.

I guess Kazu is my first feline body transformation client!

Menopausal Weight Gain

spare trunk woman
Menopause can really break a woman’s spirit, for countless reasons. Her ability to reproduce comes to a screeching halt, her nether regions may start to resemble an arid climate, hot flashes may make her feel like she is spontaneously combusting, and she may have mood swings that would make the Tazmanian Devil look like a calm little bugger in comparison. But it’s the weight gain which often upsets menopausal women the most. Menopausal women will notice that if they drop their caloric intake, weight won’t drop at all, even though it may have easily melted off in the past.

That’s because the plummeting levels of progesterone and estrogen also adversely affect a woman’s ability to mobilize fat. Cortisol levels can go unchecked as a result of the low levels of progesterone and estrogen, and any extra calories will end up getting stored as fat. If a menopausal woman is at a caloric deficit, the switch flips in favor of burning muscle instead of turning to the storage fat she so desperately wants to incinerate. This is especially true for the adipose (fat) tissue around the midsection, because cortisol is notorious for padding that area with extra fat, resulting in an ever expanding belly. Another unfortunate consequence of cortisol is that levels will rise dramatically with prolonged intense exercise. The key is to have more abbreviated, yet still intense, exercise sessions so that the cortisol release is also accompanied by a boost in HGH and testosterone, thus conferring a protective effect on muscle.

Basically, the WORST thing you can do if you are in the midst of menopausal hell and struggling with weight gain is to engage in lengthy gym sessions. That might work for a 20 year old, but it can be devastating for a 50 year old. If you are a gym rat like me, you can still train up to six days per week (that’s how frequently I train), but keep your sessions intense but relatively short, between 30 to 60 minutes. If you train beyond that time window, the excess cortisol release will only trigger your body to cling to fat.

Menopausal women also experience an increase in carbohydrate sensitivity, which means that carbohydrate-rich meals which they used to be able to consume in their younger years without much consequence will suddenly wreak havoc on that waistline. The extra carbs settle in for a long and uninvited stay in the midsection and end up making women miserable. Because of this, dietary shifts need to be implemented in which the intake of starches and grains is dramatically reduced, while the consumption of more lean protein and green vegetables is increased. I also strongly recommend supplementing the diet with digestive enzymes and probiotics to optimize gut health and digestion of different foods.

How Weekend Drinking Binges Make You Fat

young-people-in-club-or-bar-drinking-beer-out-of-a-beer-bottle-and-have-funOne of the reasons why people tend to look forward to the weekend so much, besides being away from work, is the ritualistic imbibing of alcohol and consumption of rich foods which many tend to engage in. I have clients who will follow a sensible and healthy meal plan during the week, only to abandon all self-control, put on party hats and eat and drink during the entire weekend.

I will explain to you why this practice is a sure way to keep you from attaining your fitness goals. When you drink large amounts of alcohol, say 3 drinks or more, your body gets a sudden influx of alcohol which puts your body’s metabolism of nutrients to a grinding halt. Why? Because the body cannot store alcohol and must use it immediately as a fuel source. What happens with nutrients is that they are converted to fat and then stored in fat tissue for later use, so alcohol essentially prevents the body from utilizing fat. High consumption of alcohol also impairs the cerebral function (specifically the prefrontal cortex), flattening inhibitions and increasing the appetite. That is why you will often crave greasy foods when you drink, because the body turns to rich foods to replenish nutrients. The combination of increased appetite and behavioral changes are enough to get you to eat a calorie laden, fatty meal which is then stored as fat.

I enjoy the occasional cocktail and as a result will never tell people to avoid drinking altogether. However, I have several recommendations which will minimize the fat deposition which alcohol consumption triggers.

1. Always eat a meal with PROTEIN, FIBER and HEALTHY FAT before you begin drinking to offset the surge in blood sugar which occurs with alcohol connsumption andto slow the absorption of alcohol once it is introduced to the gut.

2. Drink two glasses of water for every drink of alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it will dry you out. Because of this, it is important to maintain a high level of hydration to offset the diuretic effect.

3. Limit consumption to 1 or 2 drinks in an evening. This will keep calorie consumption down.