Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain Connection

21 04 2014

 

Seek adventures in life.  This will motivate you to stay active.

Seek adventures in life. This will motivate you to stay active.

How many of you have a tendency to stay up late and then eat too much before bed time?  Or do you lack a good night’s sleep because of daily stress, anxiety or snoring while you sleep?  Do you wake up with little energy and then eat too much throughout the day?  Believe it or not there is a connection between these causes of your sleepless nights and weight gain.

Most are unaware when we lack a good night’s sleep we are then sleep deprived and our body is chemically stimulated internally and then activated to gain weight.  Much of this cause and effect has to do with one or more behavioral habits, environmental stressors and/or medical disorder that cause us to lose sleep.  And when we lose sleep our internal body’s hormonal and metabolic conditions shift to crave more food.

Let’s first address staying up late at night and eating too much before bed.  At night when you don’t sleep “for whatever reason” your body continues to burn energy and you feel hungry.  Instead of sleeping, you’re prone to eat more.  And this is the worse time to eat when the body’s metabolism is at its lowest metabolic burn rate.  Staying up late and watching Television and eating fattening food snacks are behavioral habits that don’t help in maintaining healthy body weight.

However, if the reason you do this is because of a bad habit of watching late night TV, the good news is this habit can be changed.  The not so good news is… if this habit is caused from chronic stress, anxiety and/or depression; behavioral therapy and/or medical treatment may be needed to address a primary medical condition prior to changing a secondary bad food habit used as a comfort crutch.

When you stay up late or don’t get enough sleep and if this trend continues, you’re going to feel low motivation to work, exercise, or even work on relationships, etc.  But a worse effect often results from sleep deprivation, i.e., food cravings that cause us to eat more than we would otherwise.  This is likely the result of hormonal and metabolic imbalances caused from sleep deprivation that attempt to resolve the body of feeling bad, or experiencing low energy levels.  And this feeling is typically coupled to a varying degree; a depressed mind-body [known as psychosomatic relationship].  Sleep deprived individuals are often unaware of these internal mechanisms and how they internally activate to provide the body a feeling of normalcy.

“The lack of sleep also changes the balance of hormones in your body, especially ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin spurs you to eat, and leptin tells you when to stop. When you are sleep-deprived, your body creates more ghrelin and less leptin; this leads to more eating, additional calories, and extra weight gain (Brooks 2014).”  “In fact, have you ever experienced a sleepless night followed by a day when no matter what you ate you never felt full or satisfied?  If so, then you have experienced the workings of leptin and ghrelin (Bouchez 2014).”

Also when tired you’re more prone to feel stressors and anxiety associated with the daily grind.  Why?  Because you lack the energy to mentally and physically shield yourself of their effects within your internal environment.  And when the body feels overwhelmed and depressed, then the mind and spirit is also less able to cope these stressors.

Sleeping disorders and behavioral habits can cause acute and chronic depression.  “People with insomnia often wake repeatedly during the night and don’t feel rested in the morning.  Insomnia can cause or worsen fatigue, already a symptom of depression.  ‘Sleep is clearly linked with mental health and insomnia is considered a hallmark of depression (Tracey 2014).”

Your weight gain nemesis may be directly related to any number of internal or external environmental conditions, or stressors that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.  Then you may feel depressed and eat for comfort; or your body tells you it’s time to eat even when not hungry. Or by simply not getting enough sleep the fat cell is unable to release its stored energy.

    “For years researchers have known that adults who sleep less than five or six hours a night are at higher risk of being overweight. Among children, sleeping less than 10 hours a night is associated with weight gain.  ‘Now a fascinating new study suggests that the link may be even more insidious than previously thought.  Losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row can lead to almost immediate weight gain (Parker-Pope 2013).” 

    “Perhaps the largest study to track the effects of sleep habits on weight gain over a period of time was presented by the American Thoracic Society International Conference in 2006. The study that included nearly 70,000 middle aged women specifically pointed out those women who sleep 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than women who sleep 7 hours per night (Menopot 2014).”

It’s interesting to note within the fat cell itself, there is a physiological responses to metabolic hormonal imbalances caused by a poor night’s sleep.  In other words studies show us the longer one goes without sleep causes fat cells to malfunction by preventing its release of stored energy.  And for those that experience too many sleepless nights the risk of diabetes, circulatory and cardio health risk increases with weight gain.

“To investigate, Matthew Brady at the University of Chicago and his colleagues tested fat cells taken from the bellies of seven adults after four nights of sleeping up to 8 and a half hours, and then again after four nights on a measly 4 and a half hours.  The team found that after sleep deprivation fat cells from the same person were on average 30 per cent less responsive to insulin – a hormone that makes muscle, liver and fat cells take up glucose after a meal.”

“High blood glucose levels are linked to diabetes. Fat cells also normally release the appetite-regulating hormone leptin [tells you when to stop eating]. Brady suggests that if sleep-deprived cells are generally malfunctioning, this mechanism may also be disrupted, affecting weight gain (Hamzelou 2012).”

There are many reasons one may not get a good night’s sleep.  We’ve briefly touched on insomnia, behavioral habits and suggested environment stressors that keep us from getting a good night’s sleep.  But there are also medical conditions like sleep apnea, chronic depression and other medical disorders patients need help with in order to get a good night’s sleep, maintain healthy body weight and overall good health.

“It appears individuals can learn to change habits and behaviors through a natural process of removing an identified anxiety-stress stimulus.  Once the anxiety or stress trigger mechanism has been removed; anxiety and depression symptoms may be alleviated for many and go away never to return (Woodard 2010).”

Outside of environmental stressors and bad habits, there is a serious medical condition known as sleep apnea that causes many to lose sleep because of excessive snoring.  But it must be pointed out those who snore don’t necessarily have sleep apnea.  Which will become apparent after review of the summarized sleep study below.

Sleep apnea occurs during sleep and when muscle tissue is relaxed at the back of the throat in a way that partially occludes a clear airway.  In some cases, as more weighted tissue is involved around the throat area the structural airway integrity buckles and partially blocks it of free air passage.  This buckling can be thought of as a breach of the airway and in a way that causes excessive snoring.

There is also a neurological condition that is not a mechanical breach or related to an overweight condition.  Instead sleep apnea can occur due to the CNS (Central Nervous System) signaling the brain to stop breathing intermittently during sleep.  This type of breathing interruption is less understood but can be treated in the same way as a mechanical blockage using CPAP (Positive Airway Pressure) or dental device that keeps airway open.  Also both medical conditions of sleep apnea “mechanical and neurological” can also occur simultaneously.  In any event, dependent on medical diagnosis can be medically treated and/or surgically corrected to varying degrees of a successful outcome.

Those with sleep apnea repeatedly wake up because of snoring and occluded airway and May, or may not be consciously aware of doing so. But in almost all cases, those with untreated sleep apnea rarely feel they’ve had a good night’s sleep, feel unrested when they awake and are typically tired throughout the day.

Sleep apnea is serious business because respiratory failure and other health risk have led to death.  If you or spouse have a serious snoring problem, or stop breathing intermittently during sleep, or can’t sleep for whatever reason… see your physician and request a sleep study test.

Sleep Study Tests Show the Following Results:  While asleep, those with sleep apnea unknowingly experience episodes where they stop breathing.  This can occur 5-50 times per hour and up to 300 times during regular sleep.  But if the “non-breathing” episodes only last seconds or less, this does not appear to have a significant health risk to the body.  But if one is sleeping and averages 30 “non-breathing” episodes per hourly average where breathing stops up to 10 second intervals minimum between breaths, this is where serious health risk increases and incremental/accumulative damage to the heart occurs.  While loved one(s) and friends assume you simply have a bad, loud obnoxious snore, this could in fact be an indicator of something far worse than irritating those around you.  And also be aware, just because you snore does not mean you have sleep apnea.  Only a sleep study test can prove this for sure (Woodard 2010).

When we snore and wake up repeatedly, or get little sleep for whatever reason we lack in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.  While under REM our skeletal muscles are deeply relaxed and we dream and our food intake throughout the day is better regulated because our hormones and metabolism is refreshed, energized and balanced optimally.

It is especially important if you suffer from stress, anxiety, obesity, respiratory, or other disorder that causes you to lose sleep, seek medical treatment.  Treatment may include anti-anxiety, depression and/or behavioral therapy with, or without hormonal or prescription drug treatment.  If overweight you may also be tested for diabetes, heart and circulatory health, etc. Tests and treatment recommendations may also include sleep study test, CPAP (Positive Airway Pressure) or other device treatment, surgery to alleviate sleep disorder condition, etc.

Regardless of what prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep it is possible to target the problem of your sleep deprivation for sake of your health and overall wellbeing.

Developing or resolving good sleep habits and patterns will support healthy body weight, reduce daily stress and anxiety levels; and will provide the feel good energy to live the lifestyle you need, want and deserve.

Works Cited and Article Resources,

Bouchez, Colette. “The Dream Diet: Losing Weight While You Sleep.” Review. Web log post. WebMD. WebMD, LLC., 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Brooks, Dominique W., MD, MBA. “Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain.” LoveToKnow. LoveToKnow Corp., 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Hamzelou, Jessica. “‘Tired’ Fat Cells Might Trigger Obesity.” NewScientist. Reed Business Information Ltd., 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.

Menopot. “Insomnia and Weight Gain.” Insomnia and Weight Gain. Menopot, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Parker-Pope, Tara. “Lost Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Tracy, Natasha. “Depression and Sleep Disorders.” HealthyPlace. HealthyPlace, 8 Sept. 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Woodard, Marc T. “Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.” Web log post. MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets. MirrorAthlete Inc., 24 Nov. 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Woodard, Marc T. “Sleep Apnea an Insidious Angel of Death.” Web log post. MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets. MirrorAthlete Inc., 23 July 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, MSC Officer, ANG Ret. 2014 Copyright.  All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





Mirror Athlete’s “Fitness Secrets” First Book Publication Nears

24 08 2013

Read Mirror Athlete’s Book Publishing Story: Soon to be Published Fitness Book – Takes Business to the Next Level.

Always thinking, how can we each do our part for a better tomorrow.

Always thinking, how can we each do our part for a better tomorrow.

The principled fitness techniques and context in this book are unlike any other fitness and health book you’ve read.

I understand many obese and out of shape individuals are looking for weight loss and fitness shortcuts that promise quick results. You don’t have to go that unsafe route. We connect the dots for you in an easy to follow format, because we know the marketplace will not provide all these fitness truths and for good reason.

If you are tired of paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for fitness products and services that don’t work, look no further.

With decades of fitness consulting client experiences, Mirror Athlete exposes the hard to find truths about the best kept natural fitness and diet weight loss secrets industries hope you don’t discover.

I’ll personally show you how to apply these principled fitness solutions and how you can customize your own natural weight loss and exercise program. One that is painless, healthy and one you’ll stick to for life.

It is the mind, body and spirit techniques that are the crux to long lasting quality of life experiences.

Through these personal and client examples a powerful principled fitness philosophy evolved with interesting stories. A philosophy based on science that can be applied by anyone.

Find out why our food, pharmaceutical and fitness industries and yes our government don’t want this information shared on a national platform! And how you can help change our health care reform policies simply by applying these principled fitness philosophy into your life.

A more fit and lean America is also the solution to our children’s obesity problems sweeping the nation.

On a deeper level, by keeping these fitness secrets from our children’s educational institutions, we cripple our children’s future and security: National deficit, health care resources, growing government and so much more!

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard





After Holiday Weight Gain Blues

23 01 2010

The End of Old Habits Are Near. Let Life Begin

Another year has gone by with all the Holiday décor and cheer with it.  I understand some of you had a tough time with the food choices and amount that you consumed.  And with this being said, should I dare say some of you are not only bummed out after you stepped on the scales, you are blue with depression.  This I understand and can definitely empathize.  The way I see it, you can continue to feed those screaming fat cells telling your stomach and brain it needs more, or you can deny them.  I know, easier said than done.  Cutting back after consuming all those rich foods will be the hardest thing you’ll do to get control of your weight for the New Year.  I also understand with the passing of the old year and in with the new, maybe last year’s resolutions to lose weight didn’t work out so well.  I’ve got to tell you; “don’t be so hard on yourself.”  There are many reasons weight gain occurs and I would never tell you I know what you are going through.    So many of us, when we get stressed, or traumatic change occurs in our lives, causes much long-term depression as well as over consumption of food.  Many at some point in time are at great risk of this prolonged weight gain habit being triggered during the Holiday season.  Because with the Holiday’s many emotions are triggered that can also set the stage leading to depression. 

Unfortunately too many of us deal with depression by consuming too much comfort food and drink.  After the consumption of too much rich food we get upset, frustrated and finally depressed about our weight because we don’t know why we can’t control this habit.  There is also an illness-disease cause and effect relationship that complicates controlling weight once we become obese.  At this point the mind-body “can” becomes susceptible to greater illness-disease risk.  For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), congenital heart disease, fibromyalgia, phantom pain, etc.  Over eating for many years will cause much discourse and depression in one’s life which complicates weight management, mood, and pain picture, relationships we have with people and life goals. 

Although I’ve written many articles revolving around depression, fitness and pain management, I have not written an article with regard to food habit & depression relationship triggers.   In general, stressful life events cannot be avoided in life but can be minimized by understanding the stress triggers and food consumption patterns.”  Regardless of season, or any day for that matter, you must learn to change behavior and habits to take control of your weight goals and develop better stress coping skills.  These skills can be greatly improved through healthy food consumption, relationship associations (behavioral food trigger habits), activity and exercise.  Learn to realize the stress triggers and substitute healthy food and activity as a stress reducer, i.e., walk-window shop, read a good book, call a friend, eat organic, or Mediterranean diet etc.  Whatever you do, don’t go to the fridge or quick mart and have a binge session.  This habit is very hard to stop.  Seek professional help if depression lasts longer than 14 days or frequently returns and/or if you become obese as a result of your habits and can’t stop them. 

Holiday’s and weight gain relationship is something I understand and have worked to avoid during this eventful time of period.  And I know the screaming fat cells will get over themselves once one gets back to a normal routine after the festivities pass.  But all too often, it is too easy to continue the party into the New Year, or look to celebrate every weekend.  Don’t fall into this trap.  To carry this habit into one year and then the next is really unhealthy and depressing as I know you may be aware. 

Alright, I know I said “don’t be so hard on yourself,” and “I would never tell you I know what you are going through…”  However, there is a difference with cheerful event weight gain and short-term depression versus long-term weight gain and depression.  One is short lived and the other is not!  For a few, I would say your weight gain unfortunately may be due to a metabolic defect of the thyroid, or pancreas for example, in which case you require a physician’s treatment.  Any long-term weight gain that has become an unhealthy condition putting you at risk for more illness, disease, depression and pain requires a physician consultation and treatment!  However, there is no reason not to pursue changing your life style to fit habits that incorporate specialized medical treatment and advisement from your physician. 

I now present 8 prominent weight gain blues and depression habits people get themselves into and don’t necessarily know how to resolve the weight gain quagmire throughout the year.  Below I have listed eight hard to break weight gain problematic habits that need to be realized before successful long-lasting health benefits occur.  It is the hope that by exposing habit/behavior relationships, one can change these unhealthy habits into healthy habits that are enjoyable.  

 8 Prominent Weight Gain Blues Behavioral/Habits that Require Change,

  1.  Holiday Cheer Weight Gain – What can I say about Holiday Cheer Weight Gain that I haven’t mentioned in my previous writings.  Have a Holiday battle meal plan before you set down at the table.  Read the following article, “Holiday Weight Management Tips.”
  2.  Last Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Failed – You know why you failed your weight loss program from previous years.  You did not resolve, or change your behavioral eating, drinking, or fitness habits.  To do so is still too painful for you for whatever the reason.  As I stated, “I will not pretend to know what you are going through…”  Until you can resolve and/or get serious about your weight loss/depression, or seek professional help, my fitness tips will fall on deaf ears.
  3.  Pain factor – All pain is directly related to illness, disease and/or injury.  And with pain comes more sedentary type activity.  It is for this reason, it is more important than ever you work with your primary physician and pain management specialists to find activities that you can do safely.  Also visit mirror athlete chronic pain center for other tips and recommendations.  All pain disorders are different and require customized fitness specialization in order to work around and prevent pain trigger aggravations, or worsen pain disorders.  It is for this reason you become proactive to find a fitness activity that you can participate in daily while pain managing with your physicians.
  4.  Stressful life events and comfort food – For many the trigger to eat comfort foods stems from everyday stress factors such as:  Work, bills, health, relationship, family issues, etc., the list goes on.  Stressful daily events can culminate into major depression and poor eating habits (these two things often go hand in hand).  This is a duel health hazard (impacts mental/physical) that effects millions of Americans causing the national obesity and ill-health mental crisis for our children as well.  We get so stressed out over our fast paced lives we can’t foresee how we could ever squeeze time in the day to maintain our overall fitness and healthy eating habits.  Then you tell yourself, I’ll take care of it later.  You must find time before, or after the day’s end to participate in a healthy fitness activity to thwart off daily stress and increase overall fitness levels.  Good diet and activity practices are important for the entire family where healthy habits is essential to establish early on in life and critical for good health “especially” as we age.    For example, my daily fitness activity is walking.  I also mix up the fitness activities with swimming at the local fitness center, light weights and other aerobic equipment.  My fitness habit is mid-day; although it was 5:30am and 12:00pm for many of my working years.  This habit for me reduced stress depression, built self-esteem, controlled my weight, and alleviated pain disorders while keeping the body fit.  I know AM routine seems tough at first, but become an addictive habit if you give it a try for a couple of weeks.  For most, I don’t recommend an after workout fitness habit unless it’s walking.  The stressful day will make the fitness habit seem like pulling teeth for which one will not adhere for a long period of time.  For instance, walking provides much less stressful and more relaxing with your spouse, kids, dogs in hand, etc., where stressful issues can be discussed into reasonable solutions and making better relationships.  I highly recommend mixing it up with after work walks and every other day morning fitness activity.  Look for weekend activities with family, e.g., hiking, camping, boating, walking the beach, visit historical places, etc. I promise you’ll get healthier while improving family relationships.
  5.  Carry the party into New Year – Some carry the end of year festivities into the New Year.  This behavior can last for months.  For many through the entire New Year.  The festive mood appears to keep your depression at bay while keeping you preoccupied with comfort eating, drinks and cheer with friends.  The basketball and baseball season is loaded with reason for bi-weekly celebration.  “First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and must break this bad habit!”  It is not bad to watch sports, of course this may vary in opinion with your significant other as time is spent on viewing other than bonding.”  However, to continue the party festivities for weeks and months in over consumption indulgence will only drag on the inevitable weight gain and depression blues that accompanies this jovial behavior after the party. Although jovial is enjoyable and relaxing, too much of anything can be a bad recipe for disaster.  As we age and continue this type of lifestyle behavior, weight will pack on and become harder to lose creating many health risks.  If you’re hanging onto this habit and want to change, incorporate a plan to change using my recommendations here, or review anyone of my articles to assist in your weight management control and lifestyle change goals.
  6.  Fast foods after the Holiday’s rush continues. Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holiday rush.  Here lies a crux for the American obesity problems.  During the Holiday’s everyone is in a rush to get the shopping done for gifts, Holiday meals and travel.  During this time there is a huge spike in fast foods and alcohol.  This is greatly reflected through our stock markets and retail purchases.  Yes, business booms almost in every sector of the economy, especially, retail, fast foods and spirits.  Let’s focus on fast foods.  Fast foods are convenient, chemically addictive and bad for your health in the long run.  Both fast food and drink easily bind one into an addictive habit that is hard to break if continued too long.  I’ve watched too many people throughout my life not understand the addiction, weight gain and ill health results from fast foods.  Most that continue the fast food habit don’t even realize this is creating their weight gain problem.  All too often after obesity strikes so does illness and disease.  If you are eating out more than once per week, this could very well be your weight gain problem.  I know, you’re thinking, what if I just give up the fast food places and eat out at restaurants?  While this is a better concept, you don’t know how much of the meals are preprocessed and then served, even in fine dining establishments.  Also, when you eat out most tend to eat more.  Instead of eating out, develop a healthy active habit of shopping for more organic type foods and preparing your own meals.  I highly recommend you read my article, “Restaurant Foods Healthy?
  7.  Love of Baking – I know, some of you carry your new found baking creativity and consumption habits into the New Year.  Although there is nothing wrong with healthy food baking habits, the pitfall is when you love everything you bake just a little too much.  I know the kids love your baking treats and it’s hard not to make cookies, cakes and pies after the Holidays.  Remember moderation with deserts.  Too much sugar, fats and salts are not good for anyone, even kids with fast metabolisms.  If you’re having a tough time with moderation of baking because of whatever is tugging at your apron, try changing up the desert menu a little.  Try to be creative with other types of deserts if the sweet tooth bug just won’t stop.  Try fruits-veggie tray, jello, pudding, etc.  Mix it up and break away from the continuous baking habit.  If you continue baking from one New Year into the next because you are the one that lacks the will power to balance this activity, I highly recommend you read the following article if you want to take back your weight control goals, “Will Power Weight Loss Secrets.”
  8.  Empty Nester’s Bake for an Army – Regardless of season, there are many empty nest couples that continue baking for their entire family after the children have left home.  There are many things tied into this habit which makes this pattern particularly tough to break, especially for those that want to take control of their weight.  And this is an especially tough feat if one wants to change the habit and the husband for example demands dinner meals that require traditional family recipes.  This is a tough to break psyche-food habit relationships for many empty nest couples.  For example, check out some of the tough relational habits after years of lifestyle practice:  Family dinners and social event food comforts; recipe serving portions equate to taste; favorite dishes tied to child personality, family traditions.  You continue to cook huge portions, eat bigger portions and/or store more.   The activity habit of hording food through continuous shopping may be a stress reliever as a form of social & physical activity.  You store excess foods in preparation for when family members visit.  You continue to invite your children and their children over for frequent mid-week and weekend meals.  You celebrate annual Holiday events to include sports playoffs with big meals whether family is there or not.  I could go on and on with this, but I think you get the picture.  Many empty nesters lived for their children where their food storing, preparation, celebration and eating habits were based on full house functionality.  As I stated, this is a tough habit to break but can be done.  If you fall into this category, you first must realize what you are doing and work to change this habit if weight loss and thwarting the blues and weight loss is your goal.  If you feel the need to change your traditional cooking habits into a healthy activity with your significant other…  Learn to cook Mediterranean type recipes, etc., and get exercise by walking to the local market to get the ingredients.  You will also have to learn to mix in your families favorite dish recipes, but modified to servings of two, three, four…   Also, make a huge effort to get in daily walks whether it’s coupled with a healthy walk meal shopping effort.  The idea is to get more activity and eat a healthier diet in proper proportions.  Walk to your local library, and pick up a healthy recipe books and/or look to take a Mediterranean, or low calorie healthy cooking class.  Consider previous MAE articles and apply this information to your lifestyle.  Visit Mirror Athlete’s health repository for other healthy habit weight loss and management tips and recommendations files under weight, holiday, depression and diet.

 After the Holiday’s it can be easy to get into a pattern of never ending “feel good binge eating habits” for whatever the reason and carried into the next New Year.  Just as any one, or combinations of reasons above apply to your particular weight gain and depression blues scenario through each passing year.  You cannot continue to mask your depression blues through food, year after year because your food habit controls your will power to change.  Once you begin to eat healthy and exercise, your fitness levels improve dramatically.  You’ll have the energy to walk and/or become involved in healthier hobby-exercise activities.  And with this habit change the depression blues will become infrequent to rare. 

 I would just like to end this article by providing a valuable bit of insight.  Too many people don’t understand this food habit relationship and the ill-effects it has on quality living.  The same is also true of natural addictive brain chemical stimulation through a more active life style and the effect it plays on weight loss and mood.  And with this being said, it is sad to say, all too many are now prescribed anti-depression pills to boost serotonin levels in the brain to make us feel better on a daily basis.  This does absolutely, or very little to promote increased activity, changing daily habits and weight management.  There is also known “secondary health risks” that “can/do” occur through long-term use of psychotropic prescriptions.  Instead, it would be wise to consider the natural alternatives in combating obesity and depression through increased activity which will naturally boost serotonin levels for healthy body, mind and soul.  If you now use psychotropic prescriptions to combat depression and it’s further complicating your health goals, please read the following article, “Activate Addictive Healthy Chemicals.”   Do not stop your medication; simply consider incorporating exercise and eating healthier while you work with your doctor.  You may be able to get off the medication, or reduce the dosage dependency, thereby decreasing other serious health risks. 

 Write us about your weight loss success and removing depression from your life.    We’ll publish your New Year’s resolution success story and identify your post with a first name and state you reside in.  Or make a comment in the posting log where this linked article resides in our healthrepository.  Simply email us with how you changed your habits to lose weight and/or thwart the blues and we’ll post for you under this article.  May this year be your year for weight loss success and defeating depression.  Good health to you and your family! 

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Will Power to Control Compensation Weight Gain Effect

24 11 2009
Walk and See all Around You.

Walk and See all Around You.

Your body’s health and appearance is dependent on many lifestyle habits and behaviors especially as you age.  With regard to diet and exercise, food intake and calorie burn through physical activity inevitably becomes a compensation-Will Power challenge.  Mind over body then becomes much more of a will power issue not to consume the “wrong types and quantities” of foods after an exercise, or activity event.  This issue will attempt to defeat your will power to stay on body weight target.  Compensation effect simply means if your body burns calories it will also want to replace them by telling the hunger center in the brain to eat more.  Your brain begins to beg you to stop the screaming fat cells from causing you agony and to satisfy them.  Scary little guys these fat cell monsters!

I’ve known for some time that exercise alone would not be the sole factor in body weight maintenance, or weight loss.  When I was working on my Exercise Science undergraduate degree, one thing I did learn is in order to maintain healthy body equilibrium especially as we age, requires a “customized” multidisciplinary healthy life program.  This program consists of exercise-activity, nutrition and healthy living lifestyle to meet body fitness requirements.  This multi-discipline approach is necessary for successful weight loss and body weight regulation at any age.  My take on exercise products sold on TV as I’ve stated in previous articles…  They won’t provide you a significant weight loss result, and especially without proper nutrition and healthy living habits.  If you’re serious about losing weight, don’t waste your money on exercise TV product gimmicks.  Instead, consider buying a gym membership and apply aerobic activity using various types of aerobic equipment to accomplish body weight goals. 

For those of you without much experience in a gym, look to purchase a few 1:1 fitness trainer sessions for weight loss programming and/or need motivation, etc.  Look for local fitness center promotion specials to run end of year and spring.  Also, learn to become a smart nutrition and healthy eating habit consumer by doing your own healthy weight management nutrition research.  For example, use the Internet and research under fit/healthy” weight loss tips and recommendations.  Also consider visiting your local book store/library, or take a community college nutrition/health fitness course, etc.  Consider purchasing fitness training books and videos geared around weight loss activities using aerobic bike, bike, walking, swimming, treadmill, etc., if the gym is not for you.  Or if dollars are tight, simply start a daily walking program.

When I mention TV exercise gimmicks they are exercise equipment that are non aerobic in nature and specifically work on body toning, not fat burning! For example, abs, hip-buttocks-chin specific exercise equipment.  Also I know you all know my favorite aerobic activity is walking and it always will be.  Walking in my opinion is the best cardiovascular, fat burning, low stress-fun, and low impact exercise available to all that can walk!  Healthy centurions have this one lifelong habit activity in common.  This is one of the least stressful aerobic fat burning activities and burns the greatest amount of fat per time spent on activity (swimming included).  It is my experience that walking causes the least amount of hunger pain if it is not done with high intensity (speed walking).  This is because the body will shift to greater fat burning as a fuel source preference during low intensity large muscle activity (legs).  The hunger center in the brain won’t know the difference when the body’s glucose-glycogen fuel source shifts more to a “stored-released” triglyceride fat burning process.

I walk almost every day, own some fitness equipment and have a fitness center membership.  I’ve found fitness activity variety keeps boredom abbey by breaking up my daily routines.  This helps immensely with my daily motivation to stay on healthy body weight target.  To walk, it doesn’t cost anything but time and good foot ware that should include excellent sole inserts.  See our chronic pain center and click on the posture, or foot image to get more information on “Posture Control Insoles.”  Gym memberships are nice because the sky is the limit on aerobic equipment choices.  If interested in fitness memberships look for one that has a swimming pool within the facility.   You can truly customize a fitness training weight loss program that’s right for any age at reasonable rates.

Always keep in mind the compensation effect.  If you exercise, regardless of activity you’ll always feel hungry approximately 1 hour after activity.  This is because most work done in the gym tends to become quick pace through daily conditioning.  Think about it.  You want to finish getting on to the home relaxation phase of your day, so you push your body to get out of the gym.  In essence you begin to exercise at a greater intensity rate which more closely resembles cardiovascular and anaerobic activity that will burn greater quantities of quick fuel sources; cretin phosphate, glucose-glycogen making you hungrier faster.  However, if your routine is mostly aerobic you’ll burn body fat and more of it at lower aerobic intensity rates.

In knowing that daily aerobic conditioning will naturally spur higher work training intensities, you can be prepared for hunger pains if you begin pushing yourself at this level.   In order to gage the best fat burning intensity and reduce severe hunger pains… Don’t train at intensities that make you out of breath, or make it hard to carry on a conversation.  Also if you’re THR (Target Heart Rate) zone peaks into a high intensity cardiovascular training zone for your age; understand you are not maximizing your body’s fat burning potential.  Ask your fitness trainer about THR, or simply research this term on the Internet to best understand and manage fat burning potential through aerobic activity.

I do have a solution to help you out in the hunger department as you will want to be adequately armed before the hunger pains hit regardless of your THR training intensity.  I’ve found, especially after the work out “the calorie burn compensation effect to replace the spent calories does impact us all at various levels of hunger pain.  The goal is to fool the brain with low calorie nutritious fillers that will curve appetite and strengthen will power to avoid pounding down fats and empty calories to satisfy the screaming fat cells. 

Whether the aerobic exercise is walking, biking, swimming, repetitive low resistance circuit training, etc., I know I’ll always be hungry after 90 minutes because my body is conditioned to work out more intensely during activity.  So if you can’t get your hands on fruit or vegetables, you can get water down your gullet.  Although water won’t fully satisfy the fat cell compensation screaming in your mind, a pint of water will stop this hunger feeling rather fast as the bloated stomach technique will temporarily fool the brain.  Besides, water is good for you… Let’s not forget this.  I know it’s boring.  I know you’d prefer an electrolyte drink.  Don’t do this often in the gym as electrolyte drinks have enough calories in them to compensate back to your body what you just burnt.  However, electrolyte drinks are great for high intensity aerobic-training endurance events where sodium and potassium levels in the blood can be reduced significantly and require replacement.  In these types of high intensity cardiovascular activities fat burning is not the fitness goal.

One thing I’m sure many of you may not know.  Many times when your brain tells you it’s hungry, it’s not, and your body is really thirsty.  So give the water gulping session serious consideration frequently while you work out.  This will help.  This water gut blot sensation will provide a feeling of fullness relieving hunger sensations while rehydrating the body.

However, beware; water is easily absorbed through the stomach and intestinal lining.  So this is a temporary fill to fool your mind’s hunger pains and rehydrate the body.  It’s not the cure all solution to defeat the calorie compensation effect that will ultimately result once the body is adequately worked and watered down.  Water in the stomach to fool your brain is like putting water in a strainer that’s lined with cheese cloth.  In other words, you don’t have much time before your brain tells you you’re hungry once the water quickly absorbs into the body.   You have approximately 10-15minutes max before your fat cells say “FEED ME, once the body is adequately hydrated!”  If you give in to the jelly donut, or pepperoni pizza, compensation effect wins over “will power and body weight discipline.”

Will you have the discipline and will power to fight off gorging yourself with the wrong foods, especially on a weekend?  Ah, here’s the question.  I highly recommend you find a nutritious food bar, or shake that’s high in protein and fiber to hold you over between meals.  This is like eating many mini-meals between the main meals.  You’ll find your body won’t be screaming from shear hunger, while reducing total daily calories and body weight.  There are many products to choose from… But you’ll want the fiber and protein because these low calorie high nutrient combinations will fool your brain for longer periods of time.  Good quality food bars, fruits and veggies work great after workouts and curving hunger in between meals.

I’ve also found that by taking a water bottle with me filled with a couple scoops of fiber source drink is a good emergency fix to satisfy a hunger attack when my compensation metabolism tells me I’m starving.  The beauty with this fix, you can carry the fiber powder around in the bottle forever until you add water.  When you have a hunger attack and you can’t wait to make that family dinner, fill the bottle with water, shake and chug that fiber drink.  Yummy!  “Well yummy is debatable, I did that for effect.”

Really, there are good fiber drinks out there in all flavors.  Look for fiber drinks that pack at least 3-5grams per serving.  Once you use your emergency compensation stomach fill solution to satisfy brain hunger, be sure to reload the bottle prior to the next fitness training session.  It is very frustrating to look in your gym bag, or back pack to find an empty fiber, or protein powder bottle.  I can’t tell you how many times I went for the quick food solution that was not there.  Instead I broke down and loaded up with a saturated fat attack, heart stopping gut buster.  My lack of will power won that day.  More the reason to stock an arsenal of various powder drinks in ready premix bottles and power bars at the ready.  I like to use old water bottles instead of tossing them after I drink the water.   I take 3-4 of them, load two with electrolyte and 2 with fiber-protein powders where they stay in dry storage (in the capped bottle)  until I need them.  I usually keep them in my car, or gym bag.  Just add water, shake and drink.

Also visit your libraries and read, or purchase books on how to improve will power while modifying behavioral habits towards food cravings.  To be aware of the mind over body compensation fact will help you recognize you’ll need to find other low calorie diet substitutes and behavioral strategies that will stave off hunger cravings during and after your aerobic training sessions.  Also drink more water in a day, eat more frequently throughout the day in smaller portions, get more fiber in your diet and don’t eat in front of the TV, “only at the dinner table!”  Finding what works for you and sticking to it is a big part of fitness and weight-diet management success. By applying the techniques in which I speak will allow you proper preplanning prior to aerobic fitness training and weight management success.  You’ll also better understand will power compensation effect while reducing body weight in a healthy habit approach.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





Recognize Personality Disorders

23 07 2009

Personality disorders (PD) are long-term chronic patterns of erratic behavior that most likely will require a lifetime of care.  Common behavioral attributes of PD:  Relationships tend to swing viciously from love to hate; avoid real, or imaged abandonment and view themselves as victims taking very little responsibility for their problems, or themselves.  PD is very susceptible to self harm through drug and alcohol abuse which tends to complicate the disorders exponentially.  Studies show a PD connection to child abuse and neglect; but need not be abused to develop PD.  Personalities of children growing into adulthood diagnosed with personality disorder display antisocial, obsessive, detached, hostile or needy behaviors.  Symptoms:  Crisis is handled through wrist cutting, over dosing, inappropriate anger, binge eating, shoplifting, impulse spending, substance abuse, sexual relationships, unable to be alone, emptiness and boredom.  Recognize PD and seek mental health.

There are currently ten classified Personality Disorder (PD) types within 3 clusters:  1)  Obsessive-Compulsive (OCPD) “Focused on order and perfection, lack flexibility which interferes with getting things done; Avoidant (APD) social anxiety, self-conscious, social avoidance, rejection hypersensitive; Dependent (DPD) neediness, cling to others, fear of rejection, or suicidal with disintegrating relationships.  2) Histrionic (HPD) melodramatic and over the top, constant emotional storms, seek attention and approval, negative attention is better than no attention; Narcissistic (NPD) feel need to be center of attention, lack empathy, egocentric behavior, feel entitled, misperceive others speech and actions, negative personal interactions; Borderline (BPD) inability to regulate emotion, abrupt mood changes, impulsivity, unpredictable outbursts, highly sensitive to rejection, fear of abandonment, suicide threats and attempts; and Antisocial (APD, or ASPD) manipulative behaviors, lack of empathy, or conscious, adept at cold-calculating manipulation, self-gratification not caring of others.  3) Schizotypal – Odd thought, perception and belief, eccentric looking with speech that is difficult to follow and can become disabling if the disorder becomes persistent; and Schizoid – Detached from social relationships, week social skills, loners (do not wish to be socially outgoing).

References,

1) Moore DP, Jefferson JW. Borderline personality disorder. In: Moore DP, Jefferson JW, eds. Handbook of Medical Psychiatry.  2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2004: chap 138. 

2)  Montandon M, Feldman MD. Borderline personality disorder. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2008: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. 

World Wide Web References:
3)  (http://personalitydisorders.suite101.com/article.cfm/what is a personality disorder)
4)  http://assets.aarp.org/external_sites/adam/html/1/000935.html?CMP=KNC-360i-YAHOO-HEA&HBX_OU=51&HBX_PK=borderline_personality_disorderPD has a poor outlook because people that go through treatment often do not comply with treatment.  Recommendation:  On-going Group and one-on-one therapy and medication.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





Signs & Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

19 05 2009

Testicular cancer statistically affects men between the ages of 20-39 and mostly white males.  Those with abnormal testicles, such as undescended  (cryptorchidism); or have a family history of testicular cancer are more at risk to get the same disease.  Testicular cancer is highly treatable even if spreading beyond the groin area.  There is 1 of 7 treatments, or combinations of such that may be applied to mitigate this form of cancer.  Although successful treatment is available it must be emphasized; the sooner you recognize the signs symptoms seek immediate treatment for best mitigation results of a potentially fatal form of cancer.    Signs and Symptoms:  Fatigue and not feeling well.   You may experience enlargement of breast and associated tenderness.  Testicle and scrotum may be sensitive to touch/movement with pain.  There may be a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum and/or enlargement in either testicle.   Be aware of rapid fluid collection in the scrotum, lumps on the testicles and/or dull aches in the groin, or abdomen areas.  Testicular cancer is rare with unknown causes and typically affects only one testicle.
 
Treatment options: Radiation and chemotherapy are often used to kill the cancer.  Immediate surgery is common practice to remove a cancerous testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy) once diagnosis is confirmed.   A saline-filled testicle can be inserted if a prosthetic is desired.   If a patient has one testicle, a biopsy may first be performed for other possible treatment courses.  Ultra sound is used to differentiate between fluid or solid lumps, inside or outside of testicles.  Blood tests verify the presence of elevated cancerous tumor markers.   Computerized tomography (CT) takes X-ray images of abdomen which can identify abdominal, or lymph nodes cancer.   X-rays of chest are used to see if cancer has spread to chest.  These tests can reveal malignancy type, progression, stage or tell you if your testicular signs and symptoms are benign. 
 

Recommendations
-Examine testicles 1/month.  Feel for lumps -Gently palpate and roll testicles after hot shower.
-Contact your physician if any of these signs and symptoms last longer than 2 weeks.
-If subjected to radiation and chemotherapy consider sperm banking before therapy.
-Ask about clinical trials if conventional methods don’t work (such as stem cell transplant).
– Eat a healthy diet (plenty of fruits-vegetables).  Reduce stress, get plenty of rest.  Stop smoking.
– With your doctor’s approval – Exercise with low impact aerobics, no less than 2xweek.
– Connect with cancer survivor groups and stay connected with family and friends for support.
– Contact National Cancer Institute (800-422-6237); American Cancer Society (800-277-2345).


 Issue: “Bout With Gout Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 





Recognize and Treat Bipolar Symptoms

23 04 2009

Bipolar Disorder affects approximately 6 million people in the United States. Those diagnosed with this disorder experience “extreme” highs and lows.  A bipolar high is characterized and may include the following signs and symptoms:  Extreme optimism, euphoria, spending sprees, inflated self-esteem, aggressive behavior, poor sleep patterns, easily distracted, poor concentration, drug abuse, risky behavior, agitation, racing thoughts, rapid speech, increased sexual drive.  While the lows may/may not be characterized by the following symptoms:   Guilt, sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, appetite problems, suicidal thoughts or behavior, sleep problems, irritability, sleep problems, lose interests in daily activities, chronic pain without known cause.  The following terminology with this diagnosis may be used, such as, “manic-depressive psychosis,” characterized by excessive happiness and/or melancholic feelings of dejection or deep depression (melancholy).  Bipolar episodes become more frequent with age and can display both mania and depression simultaneously in what is called “mixed state.”  The term psychosis means complete or partial withdrawal from reality with, or without organic damage to the brain.

There are varying degrees, or types of Bipolar Disorders.  Studies show that the characteristic disorders become more prominent and frequent between the ages of 25-40.  Children and teens with the disorder are usually explained away as infrequent characteristics of growing pains, or maturity issues.  Left untreated the disorder benefactor can create much disruption of family, finances, job loss, marital problems, inability to function in society; also leading many victims to suicide.  Those that tend to self treat do so with alcohol and other drugs where addiction complicates matters.  The primary prescription for Bipolar disorder is through pharmacological intervention medications.  Mania and depression is primarily treated through Lithium (common mood stabilizer).  If Lithium is rejected then anticonvulsants are used.   Episodes of mania or manic behavior are also treated with antipsychotics or Benzodiazepines, thereafter mood stabilizers are used.  Other common medications: Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Klonopin.

Recommendations,

If you are 21 to 65 years of age and suffer from Bipolar disorder visit Allsup http://www.allsup.com for a free evaluation and disability info, or call 800-279-4357.  Also visit http://www.psychcentral.com, or call 978-992-0008 for more disability and mental health information. I’m not an advocate for either site; I simply have identified two key resources that will steer you in the right direction for help.  These sites offer information on how to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Long-Term Disability (LTD), Medicare benefits and so much more.  They’ve helped thousands of people with bipolar disorders to get back on their feet to include income while working towards independent living.

Issue:“Testicular Cancer  Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.