Is Weight Loss this Simple?

23 03 2014

    Throughout the years working as a fitness consultant it never seized to amaze me how many people had the same fitness goal.  And I’m sure many can guess that goal.  Some I worked with were challenged with overweight problems and often sought a quick weight loss solutions to fix it.  However, most if not all fast result diet products and restrictive diet plans are not natural or safe for our organic body chemistry.  A question often asked, are all weight loss solutions that produce rapid weight loss bad for us?  My simple answer, “yes.”

Exercise While Walking Urban Trail Pathways
Exercise While Walking Urban Trail Pathways

    In general, manmade chemicals in our foods and dietary supplements are having a negative effect on wellbeing and overall health.  For example, hormone stimulants, restrictive diet plans and diet suppression products designed to lose weight fast often present the following health risks and not limited to: diabetes, cardio circulatory and immune problems, cellular and gene mutation, cancer; depression, anxiety, eating and other behavioral disorders, etc., and other illness and disease. 

    It’s almost as if we’ve evolved into a marketplace where consumers believe safe solutions for all that ails us are found in pretty packages.  And those chemical ingredients aren’t limited to our dietary and fitness enhancement fast results pills, diet foods and supplements.  Our food chain provides a plethora of chemicals found within our convenience, processed, ready-to-eat meals and fast foods. 

    But what we want and what our bodies need are entirely two different things.

    Our bodies unlike machines are organic.  And our good health is dependent upon balanced daily activity and nutrition that nourishes integrate cellular DNA, circulatory and neurological systems; organs, gland and skin, hair and nail cells and muscular-skeletal health to name a few complex physiological systems and healthy appearance attributes.  We are by far more complex than anything created by man.  And this includes how his misunderstanding in manipulation of foods, dietary products and fitness gimmicks will short cut what our metabolisms need; which effectively and ultimately impacts our health long term. 

    So what is the answer to healthy weight loss and removal of the toxins from the foods we consume daily and within our living environment?  Outside of bad eating habits, the answer to healthy longevity, weight loss and sustainment of that loss cannot be solved by a marketer’s one diet and exercise activity prescription for all.  In other words, what works for some may not work for you and the repeated habit of losing weight fast, then gaining it back is the dreaded “yo-yo” effect.  This habitual yo-yo fix inevitably destroys your fat burning metabolism and you gain more weight. 

    Instead, what marketers could provide consumers to improve permanent weight loss success has little to do with manmade products and services.  Instead marketplaces and educators would serve consumers and their children well by educating, promoting and marketing goods based on balanced nutrition, healthy lifestyle and fitness activity relative to the demographic it targets, educates and serves.  Then expectations and bad eating habits would shift to a healthier lifestyle balance. 

    What fitness, health and nutritional science and client cases have proved to me over the years… if you want to achieve and sustain a fit healthy mind-body for the long haul, it serves one well in understanding how to balance lifestyle within a 21st Century world.  

    If you expect to live an active lifestyle through your 70’s and 80’s  there are 3 basic MirrorAthlete fitness principles you can apply immediately.   And none of these principles has anything to do with processed and convenience fast foods, quick weight loss gimmicks, muscular enhancement, or vanity products or services.  Save your money! 

1st Principle – Our encompassing being (mind, body and spirit) needs to hunt and gather foods through walking activity.  Walking is natural exercise which we are genetically designed to do well.  It is needed to work and keep the organic being energized, motivated with purpose, tone, fit and sustain good body weight and overall metabolic health. 

2nd Principle – Our encompassing being needs organic wholefoods and drink from mother earth.  In a 21st Century marketplace, whole foods and certified organic farmed, processed, handling and logistics to market and foods farmed from our backyard-to-stove is as organic as one can hunt, gather and consume. Other than living a subsistence lifestyle in some remote part of the world. 

  3rd Principle – Our encompassing being needs clean air, stress free and restful environment as opposed to a continuously enclosed and stressful one.  Outdoor green space, trail and pathway activities in city, rural or remote areas absent of vehicle motor exhaust or other toxins and noise.  This is as organic of an environment as one can place themselves within an urbanized or developed place. 

    Within these 3 fit healthy principles you note there is no reference to: convenience meals, processed dietary weight loss meals, restrictive diet plans, spot fat reduction products, intensive aerobics fitness programs, low fat food products, surgical procedures, satiety formulas, hunger suppressants, hormone stimulators or any other variety of fast results weight loss short cut products or vanity services. 

    Why doesn’t MirrorAthlete promote these forms of dietary weight loss solutions and over processing of our foods?  Food processing and dietary solutions almost always has a high level of toxic chemicals in them, some are addictive and/or are nutritionally restrictive and imbalanced.  None of these things complement our organic body needs and they don’t help in changing habits and behaviors long term. 

    To apply a long term fitness strategy to lose weight safely and sustain that loss simply requires “for many” applying these 3 principled lifestyle changes. 

    Although these 3 principles may not be customized for your particular health or medical condition and/or lifestyle, or fitness goals, it does provide what your organic body needs to sustain overall good fitness and health.  As always, consult with your physician if you have not worked out for some time, or have dietary restrictions or a medical condition(s). 

  1.  If you don’t exercise with frequency, or haven’t exercised with intensity or effort in a while, I recommend you walk daily if there is no medical reason not to.  Start today if able and/or approved by your physician.  There is no magic number in miles or time.  Everyone is at different fitness and health levels and can achieve greater aerobics capacity to lose more fat and increase cardio and muscular tone.  Once you condition yourself to walk, it is ideal to do so at least 5 days/week for 15-30minutes.  The more you walk, the more fat you burn because you condition your metabolism and muscles to optimize its fat burning potential throughout the duration of the walk.  And up to two hours more after the activity stops because of exercise stimulation on the metabolism.
  2. Eat less processed and convenience foods and more whole foods.  Avoid processed ready-to-eat and dietary low fat meals.  Especially those contained within colorful and attractive packages.  This is code for “contains toxic ingredients.”  Look at food labels, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, or they don’t appear to be a natural food source, buyer beware.  All decorative convenience and even packaged whole foods baked, fresh and frozen have varying degree of chemical preservatives, additives, dyes, artificial flavors, Trans Fats and other chemicals to keep them looking colorfully fresh and smell good with long storage life.  Your challenge is to gather foods that have the least amount of these chemicals in them.
  3.  Move yourself outdoors for exercise activity as often as possible and preferably in a smog free environment.  This may require driving to a healthier environment to exercise and in worst case scenarios, moving out of an unhealthy one.  Staying indoors during work and home may also expose one to Material off-gassing (vapors) of materials especially in new facilities, retail space, homes and new cars.  As materials off-gas chemicals they emit toxic fumes into the air you breathe.  And these fumes can make you sick and may be carcinogenic.  If fresh air makeup inside a living or work space is not sufficient and it’s impacting your respiratory health, vent for appropriate fresh air makeup.  Getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water daily will help remove food and environmental toxins from the immune, circulatory and bodies filter systems and cleanse all tissue at the cellular level. 

    Lifestyle Change Prescription:  A lifestyle prescription that provides increased fitness levels and health benefits can be summarized in one paragraph.  This prescription is simple and produces safe, natural and cost effective weight loss results and healthier lifestyle experiences at any age.  

    “Plan aerobic low stress walking exercise daily to optimize the fat burning metabolism.  During low stress walking activity drink water to rehydrate within a fresh air environment.  Gather within a backpack that also includes a 2-3 litter water bladder to rehydrate while walking, a few whole food items daily.  Develop a daily walk and shop habit of gathering organic wholefood products from the local farmers markets and wholefood grocery stores.  Cook these fresh whole foods after shop and walk activities.  Then ensure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to maintain healthy fat burning metabolism.” 

    Whenever I programmed a client that included these 3 fitness principles or provided this simple lifestyle change program, success was achieved when applied with long-term commitment.  With these changes came healthy weight loss results and a more active and healthy lifestyle. 

    These principles are not derived of new knowledge.  But instead a culmination of the best life, fitness, health, physiology and nutritional science disciplines and principles, mortality and demographic statistics, consumer and watchdog agency reports and cultural epidemiological studies from areas that produced more Centurion’s per capita than anywhere else on the planet. 

    Individuals that depend on man’s solutions to solve wants, conveniences, comforts and desires are not what our organic mind and body’s need.  Instead, when habitually dependent upon these shortcuts and conveniences frequently proves to depress the mind and spirit and sicken the organic being. 

    When we habitually depend on these addictive and convenience products, I’m convinced we live a shorter, less productive and a more miserable life existence, while never learning how to live life to the fullest. 

Supporting Articles Previously Published by MirrorAthlete 

Woodard, Marc.  Wisdom from Centurions on Longevity. Hubpages. Updated 29 January 2014.  Originally Published 14 December 2009. 

Woodard, Marc.  Disease is Scientifically Linked to Genetic Engineering of Food Crops.  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  22 August 2012. 

Woodard, Marc.  10 Super Centenarians, How did They Live over 116? MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  22 August 2012. 

Woodard, Marc.  Our Food is Making Us Fat and Causing Disease.  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  15 April 2012. 

Woodard, Marc.  This Year’s Goal is Weight Loss.  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  22 December 2010. 

Woodard, Marc.  What is Sick Building Syndrome?  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  14 December 2007.

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.





Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel

24 02 2010

Geese Are Good Source of Protein, But I'd Rather Watch Than Consume These Beautiful Birds.

Doctor’s and Dieticians tell us to limit bad fats “saturated (animal products, meat, eggs, etc.) including Trans fats, which also correlates with bad LDL cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries.”  Both of these fats are associated with risk for cardiovascular heart disease.  Also diabetics are at great risk for heart attack or stroke.  However, too little saturated fat in the diet replaced by carbohydrates is causing an epidemic of obesity and many secondary health issues.  Just as many current studies now show an inverse relationship in dietary fat.  The more saturated fat in a diet, the less likely men will have an incident of stroke.  Just as post menstrual women with heart disease, a dietary habit of saturated fats had lower risk for heart disease.  It appears saturated fats are necessary in the diet.  Because with animal products, HDL’s (the good cholesterol) is received when metabolized also lowers triglycerides.  High carbohydrates intake appears to be a big part of the puzzle with regard to health problems.  It appears the body chemistry requires a certain amount of saturated fats (not manmade Tran’s fats).  Complete avoidance of animal fats does not seem to be a good ideal as far as the body chemistry is concerned.  Science can not accurately tell us the perfect diet.  But it is overwhelmingly apparent you are better off with a “low carbohydrate diet as opposed from one where you decrease animal products in the diet.

One big common denominator we did not have when I was a kid was obesity run amok.   Nor do I remember the onslaught of fast food restaurant chains we now have and energy, diet drinks, etc..  The only things we really had at that time that I can recall was a McDonald’s and Dairy Queen.  There were also no artificial sweeteners, or to think about it tons of artificial flavorings in products.  Everything was pretty natural.  Even the Swanson TV dinners, meat pot pies (frozen dinner meal) tasted pretty good in the 70’s.  And the other thing I remember as a kid, most of the dinner meals consisted mostly of meat, chicken, fish, potatoes and vegetables with lots of casseroles made out the same main staples.   We didn’t have a lot of fast food conveniences with preserved type foods.  And almost everyone around us had gardens and canned fruits and vegetables.  In today’s society everything has changed to quicker processing, fast distribution and chemical ingredients for taste.  This manmade tactic keeps profits high for corporations at the expense of our children’s health.  It is obvious, there is a big difference in the way our culture consumes food and food selection, compared to the types of food we had when I was a kid.  Be sure to read Restaurant Foods Healthy?”  If you haven’t read this article, you really need to.  Many restaurant chains serve processed everything.  “That’s why it tastes so good; you’re addicted to the food chemicals!”

Also when I was a kid, you rarely heard about heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, etc., compared to today.  And to see an obese kid, that was real rare.  Today, I see kids while I’m on my daily walks that appear to have body fat typical to those in my generation (25-45%).  I’m currently holding around 25% body fat which is considered borderline obesity.  The kids I’m talking about appear to be around 25-60%.  I’m not sure unless they change their eating habits how they’ll fare when they hit their 40’s and 50’s.  I fear our children will experience an epidemic of illness/disease pain and suffering not seen in our generation when they reach our ages.

Now when I look at food and blood chemical science; including my consumption exercise lifestyle today I note the following.  My habits have not changed much from when I was a kid.  For example, I exercise daily through various activity and still consume mostly a meat, potato, chicken, fish and vegetable diet.  However, I do consume the occasional fast food, or additional carbohydrates when pasta’s, breads, chips, soda craving strikes, but not often.  I also did not experience a lot of deserts as a kid.  I guess that’s why I don’t really crave them.  But when I do eat deserts, I do enjoy it.  Of course, when processed foods are so abundant in our food chain a little bit is going to get incorporated into any diet.  And this requires awareness, especially if one is experiencing weight loss difficulties.

Currently, I’m holding 15lbs over “My” ideal body weight with no cardiovascular or circulatory diseases, etc.  As a matter of fact, when I see my doctors’ vital statistics are always taken, “blood pressure and heart rate.”  The following represents my vital averages:  My blood pressure is typically around 122/70 and heart rate 58beats/min and my weight rarely changes unless I reduce consumption, or exercise more.  My last blood results reveal Iwas slightly higher in glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides.  I know what caused this elevation; during the last blood draw period I was simply consuming too many calories and didn’t fast the recommended period.  Even with these flaws in my consumption behavior, my blood tests didn’t send up any health warning red lights.

I attribute my good blood chemistry results to my childhood eating habits.  I eat more organic protein type food sources than carbohydrates.  My blood chemistry reflected a High HDL count (good cholesterol), Low LDL count (bad cholesterol) and low triglycerides (read  “Why you should be concerned about triglycerides“).  My eating habits are still predominately high intake of proteins (40-50%), carbohydrates (20-30%) and fats (~25%).  I know if I cut the carbohydrates in half and increased the proteins my blood chemistry weight regulatory mechanisms would lower my weight over a long period of time.  “I would lose weight slow and safe, not fast like extreme dieting.”  I know this because I’ve experimented with blood chemistry lab results and compared the results and body weight.  I’ve changed my fuel mix and exercise habits based on these results to lose and maintain stable weight.  I also use a weight scale, every other day and base my weight loss balance on how my clothes fit. Recall, exercise increases muscle mass, muscle is heavier than body fat. So weight may not change much while beginning an exercise program as muscle weight increases and fat burns off.  If you’re eating and exercising correctly, through time, you’ll lean out safely while losing body fat without breaking your metabolisms regulatory mechanisms.

Exercise is an important component to a successful weight loss program (see MAE article, How to Exercise, Increase Fitness Levels, Feb 2010).  Regardless of age, this is a fact.  The human body is designed to walk in order to accomplish all tasks necessary in life; as it was from day one.  And to quit walking by becoming a couch potato is the worst habit you or your kids could get yourself into.  If I didn’t participate in daily activity, my slower 50+ metabolism would most likely make it more challenging for me to maintain my weight regardless of how I balanced my blood chemistry through the foods I consume.   Balanced consumption and exercise activity go hand in hand.

I believe as science is finding out, I’m healthy for my age predominantly due to my animal diet preference and exercise habits from childhood; also awareness of man’s meddling with our foods for profit.  Now science confirms healthy blood results based in part on good eating habits, the way nature intended.

Reference:  What if Saturated Fat is not the ProblemLearn About Triglycerides and Levels

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.