After Holiday Weight Gain Blues

22 01 2019

Travel and Food Go Together – Pacing oneself is the challenge.

Last updated 22 Jan 19, by Marc Woodard

Another year has gone by with all the Holiday decor and cheer with it. I understand some of you had a tough time with the food choices and amount that you consumed; and last year’s weight loss resolution didn’t work out so well.

With that being said, should I dare say some of you are not only bummed out after you stepped on the scale, you have the weight gain blues.

There are many reasons weight gain occurs. I would never tell you I know exactly what you are going through. However I do know, out-of-control weight gain is often attached to an emotional lifestyle change. And those changes often trigger over consumption of food and drink – especially during and after the Holiday season, or vacations. And this can lead to acute-to-chronic depression for many.

There is also an illness-disease relationship associated with unhealthy body weight – especially once we become obese. At this point the mind-body becomes susceptible to greater health risk. For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), congenital heart disease, fibromyalgia-phantom pain, etc. A daily habit of over eating may also increase other bad habits, i.e., smoking, drinking, illicit drug or unnecessary pharmaceutical use.

In general, stressful life events cannot be avoided. But can be stress-minimized through understanding the environmental triggers causing them. Regardless of season, or any day for that matter… you must learn how to target and identify the physical, mental and/or social triggers causing the emotional stress keeping you overweight and unfit and do something about it.

Unfortunately for some – the over weight condition may be the result of a genetic or metabolic factor, Which may have less to do with lifestyle habits and behavior – but more to do with an inefficient calorie burning furnace. Any long-term weight gain that threatens health should seek medical attention immediately from a physician.

Recreational Activity Does a Body Good.

Below I’ve listed a few behavioral habit forming relationships that can be changed before and after any holiday season or vacation to help reduce body fat weight gain and achieve the weight loss goal.

8 Lifestyle Changes You can Make to Achieve Your New Years Resolution Weight Loss Goal.

  1. Holiday Cheer Weight Gain – What can I say about Holiday Cheer 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, “10 Step Basic Weight Loss 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 eating, drinking, or exercise habits. To do so is still too painful for whatever the reason. Until you resolve and/or get serious about your weight loss goal, or seek professional help, regardless of who provides you weight loss tips, services or program… you’ll likely continue to struggle with body weight.
  3.  Pain factor – All pain is directly related to illness, disease and/or injury. And with pain comes more sedentary habits. It is for this reason, it is more important than ever you work with your primary physician and pain management specialists to find treatment and activity that’s right for you. If you have mental and physical pain that’s not been diagnosed – seek advisement and referrals from your primary care physician.
  4.  Stressful life events cause excess calorie consumption– For many the habit of eating more calories than needed may come from everyday stresses caused by work or home environment, or bad relationship with spouse, friend or family member. Or the stress could be caused by some other non-diagnosed physical and mental pain from childhood. Stress events can culminate and increase a depression mood that causes one to eat more in an attempt to feel better. Once you target the cause of your stress induced bad habit and/or behavior and remove it… it’s more likely you’ll succeed in a safe weight program over a set period of time.
  5.  Carry the party into New Year – Some carry the end of year festivities into the new year. This behavior can last for months, or the entire year. This continued habit will not help you lose weight or remove the depression umbrella. “First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and must break this unhealthy habit.” As one ages and the habit continues – health risk increases.
  6.  Fast foods after the Holiday’s. Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holidays. Here lies a crux for much of the American obesity problem. During this time of year there is a huge spike in fast foods and alcohol sales. Yes, business booms almost in every sector of the economy. Fast foods are convenient, chemically addictive and bad for health in the long run. 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 those meals are processed with unhealthy garbage causing your weight gain. Also when you eat out – most tend to eat more. Instead develop a healthy whole foods shopping habit and limit yourself to 1 fast food meal a week. I highly recommend you read, “Restaurant and Grocery Foods Healthy?
  7.  Love of Baking – I know, some of you carry your new found baking habits into the new year. Although there is nothing wrong with cooking your own food, the pitfall is when you love everything you bake just a little too much. I know the kids love your home made cookies, cakes and pies. Remember moderation with deserts. Too much sugar, fat and salt is not good for anyone, even children with fast metabolisms. If you’re having a tough time changing up your baking habit – try becoming a little more creative by offering different types of deserts… fresh fruits, jello, pudding, etc. Mix it up and break away from the continuous high fat baking habit.
  8.  Empty Nester’s Bake for an Army – Regardless of season, there are many who continue to cook for an entire family after the children have left home. There are many things tied into this habit. This is a tough habit to change – especially if the spouse demands traditional family recipes. If you continue to cook this way, you’ll not reduce food portions – it will be more challenging to meet your weight loss goal.

Once you target the cause of your weight gain nemesis and make healthier lifestyle choices that include daily exercise activities – your fitness levels and health will improve dramatically, while achieving your weight loss resolution once and for all.

Good health to you and your family!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET2019 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Bacterial Gut Disease Connected to Engineered Crop Foods

24 03 2016

Last Update:  25 May 2016

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As one day sets a new one begins. How will you begin a healthy lifestyle plan?

Did you know that your digestive system is at risk of illness, disease and autoimmune disorders when your bacterial colonies are out of balance?

When the good bacteria are overridden by the bad ones, they override the good and begin to produce toxins and destroy tissue by feeding on it. The good bacteria is also known as probiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in the gut and intestines and act to crowd out unfavorable pathogens, such as yeasts and toxic bacteria that may otherwise cause ill-health. Probiotics are naturally found in the body. You can also find them in foods and supplements.

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Good eats are okay for infrequent indulgences. But to do so daily will reap havoc on the intestinal gut system.

“Our lower intestine requires at least 85% of friendly bacterial colonies to fight off micro-organisms like E. coli and salmonella.” “Poor eating habits, chlorinated drinking water, stress, use of antibiotics, medical treatments can destroy the gastrointestinal micro flora and allow harmful bacteria to multiply. Thus, make the body susceptible to yeast and bacterial infection and other disorders including gas, cramping, or diarrhea (Gupta 2009).” Our colon can maintain health with a 15% balance of bad bacteria. However most people have these percentages reversed.

Within developing countries resistive bacteria to anti-biotics appears to be evolving through engineered foods. Big agriculture now produces most of our food crops and livestock feed from GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seed. And those seeds are DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) engineered to produce crops that kill pests and thrive through a deluge of chemical spray that otherwise kill everything else around it.

IMG_20111229_163438Today most commercial crop seeds are genetically engineered and farmed in a lab. Whereas the DNA has been modified to produce perfect fruit and vegetables with little sign of imperfection. And at some molecular and insidious level appear to be incompatible with our DNA and gut bacterial balance. The focus here is to examine how GMO foods may have an overall negative effect on bacterial gut and intestinal health. And how our bodies are less resistive to bad bacteria causing ill-health problems.

It is important to understand how GMO food and anti-biotic treatment relates to gut and intestinal health.

When our immune systems become weak, or ravaged with infection often patients use, or request anti-biotics for the wrong pathogenic problem. Or patients save them from a previous prescription to self-treat without doctor approval. In these cases the patient doesn’t understand how improper use of antibiotics may harm them.

For example, if you have a virus i.e., cold, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, and other sinus and ear infection, we often request anti-biotic medicine from a doctor. But treating a virus with an anti-biotic may cause more harm than good.  Overuse of the drug is known to cause a resistance to them; thereby rendering an ineffective fight against infection.

Talk to your doctor about the differences between virus vs. bacterial illness and disease and proper drug treatment options. The point here, don’t take anti-biotics unless you need them.

Some of the foods you consume have modified DNA resistant bacterial organisms that appear to cause resistance to anti-biotic drugs. And when taking antibiotics unnecessarily increases bacterial bug resistance to the medication. And if you ever need a lifesaving anti-biotic, that super bug may be immune to it.

Epidemiological medical evidence shows increasing evidence of resistance to antibiotic treatment in developed countries. The common cause denominator? Big-Ag within developed countries use GMO crop seeds sprayed with thousands of tons of insecticides and herbicides annually which are absorbed into the crops.  Then sold within the marketplace. “Virtually every processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the 100% USDA “Certified Organic” label is likely to contain at least one GE [Genetically Engineered] component. If it does not say “100% USDA Organic” on the label, for example, if it says just “organic” or “made with Organic,” it is highly likely it contains GMO product (Haug 2011).  IMG_20130405_175235

GMO seeds produce large crop yields, including crops not fit for human consumption but used to feed livestock and 3rd world countries. The livestock grass, corn and grain feed are also chemically treated and absorbed into livestock through consumption and passed into humans that consume them. These GE foods appear to have an accumulative ill-health effect on the gut and intestinal health, aside from causing immune systems to become resistant to anti-biotics.

Also there is another potential risk associated with GMO crops. Whereas national crop seed shortages could occur if they fail to kill a highly resistive super bug or weed regardless of chemical application used. Nature has a funny way of surviving against all odds. This in genetics is known as survival of the fittest. And super bugs appear to be winning over man’s attempt to keep them at bay.

There are already signs this is occurring. There’s a lot of data that illustrates how it takes significantly more chemicals to kill the super weeds and bugs today because of crop seed DNA genetic manipulation where chemical application is used to boost seed resistance against evolving super bugs and weeds.

If something doesn’t change within our farming practices we may become dependent on other countries to feed us.  Although this may sound far-fetched, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.  How would this be possible? Let’s break down the GMO and anti-biotic resistive gene concept to better understand how a failure of crop yield could cause a disastrous global food bank shortage and health pandemic.

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A super weed is no match for a North Western nutria.

Aside from super bugs and weeds that become resistive to chemical sprays and genetically engineered seeds that fail to be chemically resistant; there is concern over global, or transatlantic plant manipulation and the antibiotic resistive cause and effect on human health. “Antibiotic resistance genes are frequently used at several stages in the creation of genetically engineered plants… ‘Concern has been raised about the possibility that antibiotic resistance genes used to make transgenic plants [or Genetically Modified Plants] could be transferred to microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tracts of humans or other animals that eat them, and therefore might contribute to the already serious problem of antibiotic resistant pathogens (CASA 2016).” Most specifically on a national and/or global scale.

What is the relationship between GMO foods, bacterial balance in the body and illness and disease? “Antibiotic resistance genes from GM foods are taken up by bacteria in the gut during digestion. If bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes were ever to cause infection, it would be very difficult for doctors to treat. Until now, however, there is no real proof that the antibiotic resistance genes in GM plants pose a threat. Regardless, as a precautionary measure, some experts say that antibiotic resistance genes should not be used (GMO-Compass 2006).”

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There are reasons why organic farming plots are increasing within city urban and suburban areas.

Recall GMO seeds DNA has been changed to kill insects and survive a deluge of chemical sprays designed to kill weeds, molds and other bad microorganisms detrimental to healthy crop yields. Therefor it makes sense a GM-seed-to-crop food makes it possible for us to become host to a super bug, then untreatable disease becomes more likely. Whereas a medical condition may not be any match against a flesh eating bacteria.

Many believe this has already occurred in the form of any number of bacterial organisms resistive to antibiotic treatment with the potential to cause life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. MRSA appears to be such a bacteria. “During the past four decades, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, has evolved from a controllable nuisance into a serious public health concern. MRSA is largely a hospital-acquired infection, in fact, one of the most common. Recently, however, new strains have emerged in the community that are capable of causing severe infections in otherwise healthy people (NIH 2016).”

If you want to know more information on topic simply type into any search engine MRSA, GMO and intestinal bacteria and disease.

To improve bacterial balance within the body the best bacteria to consume is high in flora from raw vegetables and fruits and now in supplementalIMG_20130405_175303 probiotic formulation. “Some probiotic foods date back to ancient times, such as fermented foods and cultured milk products. Interest in probiotics in general has been growing; Americans’ spending on probiotic supplements, for example, nearly tripled from 1994 to 2003 (MedicineNet.com 2016).”

Research continues to explore and find encouraging evidence from specific probiotic formulations that suppress unfriendly bacterial bugs and build healthy gut bug balance. For instance, “In November 2005, a conference that was co-funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and convened by the American Society for Microbiology explored this topic.

According to the conference report, some uses of probiotics for which there is encouraging evidence from studies show how specialized probiotic formulation alleviates the following symptoms: To treat diarrhea (this is the strongest area of evidence, especially for diarrhea from rotavirus). To prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract or female genital tract. To reduce recurrence of bladder cancer. To shorten how long an intestinal infection lasts that is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile. Prevent and manage atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children, etc. (MedicineNet.com 2016).”

Other symptoms supplemental probiotics may help relieve: constipation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), bloat, gas, stomach ulcers, tooth decay, periodontal disease, vaginal infections, skin and respiratory infections that children acquire in daycare, diverticulitis & colitis, etc.  They can also ease chronic yeast infections and enhance immunity through improved digestive absorption function and thereby provide essential nutrients to the body.  Improve lactose intolerance, alleviate flatulence, rejuvenate healthy radiant skin, nails and hair, etc.

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Organic flora provides everything needed to keep us healthy.

When a healthy balance of intestinal micro flora, or probiotics is maintained within the body the bad bacteria (or pathogens) are in proper balance and typically improve overall body health. Talk to your naturopath or doctor about the right probiotic formulation to alleviate ill-health symptoms.

Probiotics are also widely used to alleviate Candida [a yeast species] symptoms where formulations vary for a specific application. “Candida syndrome occurs when the normal population of intestinal yeast suddenly explodes. Overgrowth of one species of yeast called Candida Albicans supposedly causes candida syndrome, which is characterized by chronic fatigue, weight gain, a white coating on the tongue and joint pain.

Taking probiotics such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei GG and bifidobacteria creates a hostile environment for candida yeast, returning your gut yeast population to normal levels (Adams 2013).

Research and medical data shows a complex and complicated connection relative to gut-intestinal health, anti-biotic resistance and pre-probiotic treatment [discussed below], engineered food crops and illness and disease.  But there is no doubt there is a connection.

The following recommendations should help to provide a healthy bacterial balance within the gut and intestines as a preventative health strategy to alleviate what ails you. It is recommended you consult with your physician prior to applying any of the “How to-s…” listed below.

How to Improve Good Bacterial Gut and Intestine Health

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No doubt about it “Pickles” is going to get some good organic eats.

1. Increase flori balance through probiotic supplementation to include a daily vitamin and mineral (V/M).  Especially if diet alone can’t be radically changed to a healthier one.  In this way you’ll ensure anti-oxidant benefits while maintaining a healthy balance of probiotics to decrease and manage bad bacteria colonies. The best anti-biotic flori products seem to be in capsules, tablets, or powders.

These three supplements: V/M’s, antioxidants and probiotics work in harmony to provide improved nutrient absorption, immune system function and intestinal gut health. You’ll then begin to look and feel better immediately once started. Of course ask your physician which products they’d recommend is right for you.

2. Ask your doctor about a prebiotic which is different than a probiotic. Choosing or guessing which probiotic may be right may not be the 100% solution to alleviate what ails you. That is “the prebiotic is a specialized plant fiber that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. While probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria that’s already there. They help your good bacteria grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio. This ratio has been shown to have a direct correlation to your health and overall wellbeing, from your stomach to your brain (Prebiotin 2016).”

3. If your drinking water is heavily chlorinated, filter it or buy bottled water. Chlorine kills good bacteria.

4. Improve your eating habits to receive optimum nutrients and consume less processed foods.  Avoid “overconsumption of yeast-feeding foods such as simple carbohydrates, sugars, peanuts, and alcohol and milk products can encourage Candida growth (Adams 2009).

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Walk and talk with company you enjoy.

5. Reduce daily stress through yoga, meditation and low aerobics exercise [walk, bike, low intensity aerobics dance, etc.].

6. Avoid, or lesson dependency of antibiotics as medical treatment when possible or not needed when you have a virus. Antibiotics not only kill the bad bugs, they also take a heavy toll on the good ones. Ask your doctor for natural alternative pre-probiotic supplements and applicable medications.

7. Purchase 100% USDA organic foods when possible. Read labels and don’t purchase foods you suspect contain GMO products.

8. Consume more yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, soy beverages, and garlic.

References,

Adams, Lawrence. “Best Probiotics for Treating Candida.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 29 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Adams, Mike. “Using Probiotics to Prevent or Eliminate Candida.” Natural News. The Natural News Network, 28 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

CASA (Center for Advising Student Achievement. “Transgenic Crops: An Introduction and Resource Guide.” Transgenic Crops: An Introduction and Resource Guide. Health Professions Advising Colorado State University, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

GMO Compass. “Antibiotic Resistance Genes: A Threat?” Antibiotic Resistance Genes: A Threat? GMO Compass, 12 Dec. 2006. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Gupta, Rupali. “Probiotics-small Bacteria Huge Health Benefits.” Healthy Living. Healthy Living, 30 July 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Haug, Catherine. “How GMOs Destroy Life, Soil and Your Gut Probiotics.” Essential Stuff Blog. The Essential List, 11 Dec. 2011. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

MedicineNet.com. “Probiotics.” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

NIH. “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. NIH, 22 June 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Prebiotin. “What Is a Prebiotic vs Probiotic | Prebiotics and Probiotics.” Prebiotin. Jackson GI Medical, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.