Enjoy Holiday Meals Without Weight Gain or Guilt

17 12 2016

Santa’s on his way

Updated, 17 December 2016 Marc Woodard

I can’t believe how fast the end of year Holidays roll upon us.  And for some it can be a stressful time.  Especially if you have a hard time managing body weight.

I have an 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan that may alleviate fears of eating your favorite traditional Holiday meals and without gaining weight.

These tips can help many resist the temptation to overeat during this time of year.  I’m sharing a “no weight gain strategy.”  This strategy has helped past clients stay on weight loss target.  Admittedly most didn’t lose weight… however most didn’t gain any either.  And some even shed a few pounds by applying all 8 tips below.

Back History on the 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan – I was asked during a client consult if I could create a work around food strategy.  One that allowed someone to eat favorite foods during the Holidays without derailing a current weight loss plan.

Of course I told the young lady there’s always a risk of falling back into a bad food habit when overeating hyper-palatable foods.  But for this individual it was worth the risk to modify the current diet plan.  That is to enjoy a traditional Christmas meal with family and not fear losing control over foods and body weight.  Prior to this request she had avoided all Holiday meals in fear of weight gain.  And now doesn’t want to avoid them any more.  After applying the 8 tip program she acknowledged the following results.  There was no weight gain and she continued to stay on weight loss target for the following Year.

For some, it’s almost as if we have to harden the body for the rigors of war because of all the food temptations in front of us.  The smells and tastes are enough to drive anyone crazy and want to go on a food binge.

The worse part of consuming too many calories in a day, as we age our body’s metabolisms become less efficient at processing the excess.  Instead the metabolism gets very efficient at storing body fat weight.  It is also true during the Holidays most have a tendency to over indulge and then continue this pattern the following Year.

I also understand some of you have had tremendous success in melting the pounds away last year as you stuck to your new year’s weight loss resolution commitment.

Congratulation to you!

For those still struggling to lose weight don’t give up!  I’m sharing the same client tips I know can work for you.  And quite possibly may be habit changing enough to incorporate into your current weight loss program.

However the tips alone may not be enough to meet your ultimate weight loss goal.  Whereas ill-health conditions warrant medical doctor advisement prior to changing a daily routine.  The point being these food strategy tips will not help if you are in poor health, have substance abuse problems, personality disorder, e.g., obsessive compulsive tendencies, etc., and/or carry excessive body weight and grossly obese.  Moving on…

IMG_0186

A Time to Celebrate With Family

I’m no different than anyone else with regard to foods during the Holidays.   I’m greatly tempted to eat more than I need.  However, awareness of our food habit weaknesses combined with a food plan strategy is the best deterrent to minimize an uptick in body fat weight during the Holiday season.

The fact is as you age the body simply doesn’t require the excess calories it once needed during the developmental and active adult years.  This does not mean you have to give up all your favorite foods.   For the most part you can consume a selection of your choosing.  Your only real requirements are to follow the satiety suggestions below, reduce over processed food consumption and don’t eat or drink your calories after 8pm.  And participate in some form of low stress aerobic exercise activity daily [i.e., walking, biking, hiking, jogging, dancing, yard work, rowing, cross country ski, swimming, etc.].

Since everyone’s metabolism is different due to age, sex, health and medical condition, genetics, etc.,  I can’t predict or provide a one fit “hold the body weight line” solution that will work for everyone.  Especially when I know the program below was designed and worked for a few client types that wanted to indulge during the Holidays without experiencing weight gain.

However I do know these tips are worth sharing because they can be advantageous for you.  Especially if your the type of individual that has the will power to continue a healthy habit food course after partaking in an infrequent celebration or Holiday meal.

Can this 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan strategy work long term?  Yes I believe it can for certain individuals.  But determining each individuals commitment to a successful weight loss goal and plan is best accomplished through 1:1 consulting services where information sharing is a two-way street and the program is relative to individual needs and wants.

For those of you that are disciplined enough to pace yourself and turn off the feeding frenzy… My hats off to you!  You have will power most of us can only dream about.  For others, to help reduce calorie consumption during the Holidays my 8 Tip Holiday Meal Plan may be of consequence.

Best Time Ever

Best Time Ever

If you take this 8 Tip Holiday Meal Plan to heart and apply parts of it or the whole, it can work short and possibly long term.

Tip#1Never!  I repeat Never!  Go to your mother, mother-in-laws, or Grandmothers home for Holiday meals hungry!

The habit of starving ourselves in preparedness for the Holiday meal seems to be ingrained within the American spirit and culture.  I know my family like so many others during the Holidays have repeated this ritual.  It’s no wonder we can’t stop ourselves.  Before you know it, we’re all lying around like beached whales on a lido deck with “Hot… Hot… Hot,” playing in the background.  So, it stands to reason, you must eat a normal meal not less than 2-3 hours before you go over for a Holiday meal.

The way our digestion system processes food after a meal, the stomach will not be empty for the next 4-6 hours depending on metabolism.  This digestive function varies with each one of us.

I don’t suggest being selective when choosing Holiday foods.  Just serve the foods you want to eat and don’t over load your plate.  The point is when you get to the table you won’t be as hungry or want to eat as much.

Tip#2Never!  I repeat Never!  Drink alcohol prior to going into the meal.

Tasty Beer Cheer.

You don’t drink and drive do you?  Well, what makes you think you could drink and consume without injury to your body prior to sitting for the meal?  Although I’m being facetious, I’m also serious in the way I want to make my point.  Alcohol is a depressant, pain killer, relaxant, taste intensifier and social inhibitor.  The point is easy to understand here, eat and drink like Vikings… No pain equates to much inhibited calorie gain!

Limit yourself to two 8oz glasses of cheer after the meal (your choice).  Remember alcohol also contains calories that add up fast.

Tip#3Drink plenty of water throughout the day when attending Holiday meals.

Water is a natural solvent, absorbs well in the stomach and intestinal lining assisting the body’s digestive system to process food intake more efficiently and that means less calories stored as fat.  Plus, water will make you feel full faster and has no calories.

Tip#4Do not stay at the dinner table after eating.

This is where most of us fall prey to over eating indulgences.  It is very difficult to resist picking at the Holiday turkey, cranberry, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies, olives, sipping on Champaign…  “Ohhhhhh the dressing and gravy… Give me a break!  I’m dying here.  I think I just made myself hungry.”

See how hard this is and I’m supposed to be giving you advice.  Look, I never said I wasn’t human, or this would be easy.  More so the reason to have a pre-meal battle plan strategy that moves one away from the table and out of the kitchen after the meal.

Tip 5#Take your first serving.  After you consume it wait 20 minutes before you think about seconds.

Take at least 20 minutes and enjoy the meal.  “Seconds is not recommended.”  This will be the hardest part of the meal plan.   It takes your brain approximately this much time to register whether you’ve eaten enough or not.

Focus on satiety not a feeling of fullness.  But if you do decide you can’t resist a second helping focus on a favorite serving that doesn’t take up more than 1/2 the plate diameter.  And no piling food on the plate.   Focus on 50% less than what you’d normally put on the plate for 1st’s and 2nd’s.

Tip#6Never!  I repeat Never!  Eat dessert after you’ve eaten your meal.

This will only add insult to injury.  Your body simply is not designed to handle this mass blood sugar spike without consequence, especially if you’ve achieved satiety after eating the main meal.  Wait 1 hour to see how your body processes the feeling of what you ate.  If you experience a feeling of satiety and not overfull after a period of time then do enjoy some dessert.  While eating dessert take your time to gage feeling of gut comfort. But if you begin to experience the feeling of near full, back off and leave the remaining portion of dessert.

Tip#7 Never!  I repeat never!  Take home left over’s.

This can set you up for failure early on into the New Year.  Simply by continuing to eat these foods addicts some to a similar eating pattern for months.  And thereafter another 10 pounds can be added quickly.

Walk where ever you find yourselves during the Holidays.

Tip#8Don’t quit your exercise program during the Holidays.

This is very important!  When you consume excess calories on “any day,” you will need to mobilize the body to remove the unspent fat fuel.  I highly recommend a daily walking program, or other Low-Impact aerobic activity at least 30 minutes daily.

You’ve now learned how it’s possible to embrace Holiday foods that don’t compromise the meal experience or add guilt.  And best of all when applied with conviction you won’t gain weight.  You may be surprised and even lose a little.

Marc Woodard wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  If fortunate enough to get covered in the white stuff, walk around in it. It’s a fantastic exercise activity experience.

Have a wonderful Holiday season with family and friends and don’t let your food fears and weight loss plans prevent a great meal experience with loved ones.

Plan, prepare and participate in the spirit of the Holidays without fear of being around the foods you love to eat.  You’ll be glad you did.

MirrorAthlete wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Author: 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.

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Diabetes Dietary GI (Glycemic Index) and Weight Loss

23 10 2016
Healthy body weight keeps us fit, increases mobility endurance to see more of the world around us.

Author:  Marc Woodard,  “Healthy body weight increases mobility and endurance to see more of the world around us.  Natural whole foods are a big part of this equation.”

Last Updated:  23 October 2016

A good way to manage diabetes and weight loss is to understand the connection between carbohydrates and effects on blood sugar levels.  Learn how to apply the Glycemic Index (GI), choose healthier foods and maintain blood sugar at safe levels while losing weight.

This is an index that ranks carbohydrate foods on a scale of 0-100.  Zero being foods low in absorbable blood sugar and 100 the highest absorbable sugars from foods.

The higher the GI value of foods the higher the blood glucose level in the body.  When blood sugar levels increase from foods consumed the body produces more insulin to store it until the energy fuel is needed to get work done.  When blood glucos levels are sustained over ~105-110 for a period of time it often results in unwanted weight gain and for others disease.  The food groups listed below are determined by many in the health and dietary profession as healthier food choices for diabetics.  Because they are low absorbable sugar foods they are slower to digest and absorbed into the blood.  This helps to lower and maintain blood sugar levels.

I wrote a previous article “Diabetes a Serious Disease.” Click on the link to learn more on topic.  In short, diabetes is defined and diagnosed as type 1 or 2.  Whereas insulin function is critical to maintain blood sugar levels and metabolic receptors use it to nourish and fuel body movement.  When either of these systems break or become less efficient at utilizing blood sugar then risk of disease, or aggravation or worsening of pre-existing ill-health condition may occur.

Once diagnosed as a diabetic it is wise to consume lower absorbable carbohydrate foods.  This choice will help to mitigate damage to nerves,  blood vessels and alleviate diabetic nerve pain.  While reducing excess body fat known to contribute to cardiovascular and circulatory disease.

It is the complex carbohydrates “e.g., whole foods multi-grains and fibrous fruits and vegetables” that also delay hunger pains and support weight loss while alleviating diabetic symptoms.

However don’t be fooled in believing low glycemic foods alone will fully address overweight problems.   Although simple and complex carbohydrates are necessary in the diet, it is the quantity, or total calories consumed in a day that cause body weight to increase.   Eating too much of anything, including healthy foods while living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to any number of health problems.  Not addressed in this article are other factors that may contribute, or lead to diabetes and obesity.  Such as hormonal, immunological and genetic factors.  Maintaining a healthy diet is part of the health equation, but only a medical specialist can determine through diagnosis if other treatment or prescription is necessary to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals.

Below I provide a popular listing of low sugar foods good for overall health and weight management.  The American Diabetes and American Dietetic Associations have not yet adapted the GI concept.  It appears this has more to do with lack of empirical evidence required of each food listed and resulting degree of benefit to a diabetic patient.

If you suspect your diabetic or have long term overweight or obesity challenges, I highly recommend you request a referral of your primary care physician to see an endocrinologist, diabetic or metabolic specialist.  Then request relative laboratory tests to ensure your blood sugars and metabolism are functioning at safe levels.   Also, discuss managing your diet through healthier food choice by using the Glycemic Food Index (GI) as a safe guide to identify low absorbable sugar foods.  Prior to physician visit select the foods you prefer from the index.  Then consult with the doctor in determining if those choices are right for you.  For a full GI listing ask your doctor, use an Internet search engine, or visit your local book store.  Below represents the short lists.

Lower Glycemic Food Index (GI).   Sugar alcohols (Sorbitol, Maltitol) Soy drinks, milk, yoghurt, Sweet potatoes, yams, vegetables, Fruits – plums, pears, peaches, grapes, grapefruit, cherries, bananas, apples, avocados, fresh juices.  Dried beans, peas, lentils.  Spaghetti, pasta, Basmati rice, Whole grain breads and pita Nuts and seeds.

Higher Glycemic Food Index (GI) Quicker Acting Carbohydrates Ice cream (low-fat), frozen yogurt.  White bread, doughnuts, croissants, rice cakes, bagels.  White potatoes, corn, white rice.  Low fiber cereals – Cornflakes, RiceKrispies, Fruit loops, etc.  Pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, ripe bananas.  Soda, sugar sweetened sports and energy drinks.  Candy, sugar.

Since I’m not one to follow the letter of the dietary law, I do eat some high absorbable sugar foods in moderation.  But mostly I consume foods listed in the lower GI.  It’s not because I’m a diabetic, I just prefer those foods.  If you get into the habit of choosing healthier foods, after about 2 weeks you’ll begin to naturally crave them.

It is the hyper-palatable, or over sweetened processed foods by food engineers and unhealthy alcohol and mixed drink habits that addict us to the high absorbable sugar products.   Breaking the simple carbohydrate  food habit by learning how to moderate it in the diet is a challenge for some.  For others, not so much.  Give a healthier food choice a try and see if you can begin a new and healthier dietary habit.  If it works for you, you’ll feel better, have more energy, lose weight without hunger pains and mobility and fitness levels will increase.  And just maybe you’ll be less dependent on some medications and want to do more daily exercise.

As a side note…  never forego taking prescribed medications even if you improve diet and have significant weight loss and relief of diabetic symptoms .  Follow all doctor treatment and prescription advise.   Only a doctor can determine if removal of certain meds is right for you.

Take the low glycemic diet challenge and explore the world one step at a time. "You Can Do It!"

Take the low glycemic food diet challenge.  Explore the world one step at a time. “You Can Do It!”

If you’d like to prepare healthier foods for your family, check out our book store at the home site to find recipe books, specialized diets and cook books, etc.  These books & magazines provide a plethora of different ideas on how you can prepare tastey foods for those with diabetes, or those looking to get more fit and lose weight.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2016 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Inc.,  Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.





Back Pain Relief Wisdom

24 01 2016
Don't let back pain prevent you from places you want to be.

Don’t let back pain prevent you from exploration and activities you enjoy.

Last Updated:  24 Jan 2016

The most common muscular skeletal weight bearing pain typically occur within the lower back for many.  Whereas soft tissue and bone, or musculoskeletal tissue becomes compromised.  Which include nerves, cartilage, disc, ligaments and tendons where localized swelling, soreness and aggravating and radiating pain occur.

Human studies and statistics have shown low back pain will account for more sick leave and disability time than any other single medical condition.  Nearly 80% of all adults will experience back pain some time in their lives.  It is for this reason it is important to understand how to take preventative and corrective measures to avoid, alleviate and timely treat weight bearing joint pain.  Also recognize the difference between common causes of back pain, severity of condition and treatment course options.

Weight bearing and repetitive physical work pain is often medically defined as an acute or chronic pain condition that may be caused by injury, postural imbalance, repeated physical activity and diagnosed as a strain or sprain, or compression injury, or Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).  A Repetitive Strain Injury is also known as Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD).  Which has a compromised muscle-tendon relationship.  Some cause examples of these pain disorders may be a result of the following activities: administrative work, gardening, biking, walking, jogging, running, sports, commercial painting, plumbing, electrical and other laborious work etc.

“There are also chronic nerve compression injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome. In these cases, the spaces through which the nerves run are narrowed due to inflammation or fluids putting pressure on the nerves (Kriskarr 2012).”

Of course there are many pathological musculoskeletal compromise possibilities which could cause weight bearing or low back pain in vertebra joints.  Some of the more familiar diseases of the back are: degenerative discs [wear & tear on between vertebra space], herniated discs, [swollen, and irritated “overblown” discs], spinal stenosis [narrowing of vertebrae canal presenting sciatica radiating numbness and pain down the leg].

Off Road Trail Hiking Exercise.

Remove back pain and experience off road trail hikes, enjoy nature and get more daily exercise.

Regardless, our focus is not to play doctor or learn all the possible causes of back pain.  But instead to understand how to recognize and prevent unnecessary pain through prevention and seek corrective medical treatment when needed.

Poor ergonomic posture or laborious repetitive work or sedentary lifestyle combined with weight gain almost always put undue stress immediately on the low back.  And when poor work and activity posture, footwear and overweight conditions are not addressed, it’s just a matter of time before weight bearing joints begin to ache, strain and become painful.  If left uncorrected that pain will worsen, slow you down and increase risk of injury and put you out of commission.

The biggest difference between strains vs. “sprain” is the severity of injury and healing time.  For instance sprains are typically long-term injuries which may or may not require surgery and almost always require physical therapy and rest to alleviate the compromised soft tissue condition.

Most of us are familiar, or have experienced a strained [overstretched] or sprained tendon, ligament or muscle.  Sprains are often verified and substantiated using MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) equipment to determine exact locality, severity and corrective treatment for tissue damage.  The technology can see the degree of partial or full tear of soft tissue sprain often associated with significant swelling and bruising of injury site.  Whereas x-ray typically cannot and is mostly used to confirm broken and fractured bone and observe bone density health.

Many who experience weight bearing pain of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, back or neck don’t make the pain origin or cause connection.  That pain cause is often the result of musculoskeletal postural misalignment.  Whereas misalignment of musculoskeletal weighted posture starting at the feet cause imbalance and joint instability while walking, working and during exercise activity.  And this condition often results in multiple radiating joint pain areas up the body’s trunk and can cause a painful limp.

Like pain free body posture, A tree is only as healthy as the foundation.

Like pain free body posture without compromised food mechanics… a tree is only as healthy as the root foundation system.

The sole of the foot is like a tree root system.  For instance, when the soil erodes from one side of a soil bank, the tree may begin to lean due to a breach of ground foundation stability.  Then the roots on the opposite side grow and strengthen and absorb the stress to keep the tree growing upright.

Through time the trunk grows slightly offset to relieve stress on the compromised root system, but may cause the mid-line tree trunk to crack or snap during a heavy wind storm.  Similar to upright walking posture, if walking with a painful lower back caused by a compromised foot foundation, if left uncorrected this condition will have an effect on an number of distal weight bearing joints [foot-to-knee-hip-back pain].      Whereas poor foot mechanics like the compromised tree root system make it likely to cause multiple joint pain and injury possibilities.

However it is possible with corrective insoles and supportive footwear to realign and balance body posture and completely alleviate stress and pain of other affected joints, even the neck and shoulders.  In this case the corrective lift at the insole, or bottom of foot may realign the low back and neck vertebrae simultaneously while removing a painful limp caused by sciatica for example.

If any type of acute joint pain condition appears more frequent and severe…. “Pay Attention!”  It is important to remember weight bearing pain is often a result of unconditioned physical body, sedentary lifestyle, overweight condition and improper footwear, or disease.  The good news is it can be corrected if timely action is taken.  Like a tire realignment, corrected foot mechanics can achieve the pain free goal.

Recommendations to treat weight bearing pain before it becomes chronic

  1. If experiencing acute weight bearing pain:  a) “Apply Ice right away.  Ice reduces inflammation and pain.  Be careful not to use ice for more than 15-20 minutes, every 2 hours.  Even though heat is used to ease tension & soreness, heat might cause more swelling in the first 2-3 days.  b) “Place the ice on the painful area in a fanny pack while you are up and moving around.  Apply ice consistently as long as you have swelling and pain.”  c) “If you have diabetes or circulatory problems, limit applying ice and heat to 8-10 minutes.”  d) “Take medication as directed.  Common medications are acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (such as Motrin) and naproxen sodium (such as Aleve).  In some cases, prescription pain medications may help.  It may take 10 to 14 days of taking it as prescribed to be fully effective.” 

Reference:  (Kaiser Permanente Brochure Recommendations, Items 1, a-d) 

Note: If you experience any abnormal pain seek medical advisement, diagnosis and treatment from your doctor immediately.

  1. Maintain Ideal Body Weight.  Simply enter into any Internet search engine, BMI (Body Mass Index) use free calculator, enter your height and weight.  This will give you an ideal of whether or not you’re underweight, normal or overweight for your current body mass stature.  If too heavy over normal body weight for height, you’re at increased risk for weight bearing pain.  Most specifically:  foot, ankle, knee, hip, back.

    IMG_1061

    Exercise comes in all fun forms and exciting playtime activities.

  2. Perform daily aerobic exercise to burn fat (e.g., bike, walk, aerobic dance exercise not less than 3/week @ 20-30min/day).  When heart rate is increased for extended periods of exercise, the body’s metabolism during aerobic activity burns more of the preferred fuel source from body fat.
  3. Balanced nutrition:  consume more fiber, drink more water and decrease total calorie intake daily.  Remove high processed fat and sugar foods and drinks.  Focus more on shopping and consuming fresh whole foods more in line with Mediterranean diet which contains plenty of fish, fruits and vegetables.  Avoid fried foods if possible.

    Catch it yourself it does a body good.

  4. If your feet are in pain, the likelihood of sustaining daily aerobic exercise activity is greatly reduced.  Seek a referral from your Primary Physician to get a diagnosis and treatment from podiatrist (foot specialist).  See if your foot posture is the cause of your weight bearing pain.
  5. Realize:  a) In order to perform daily aerobic exercise activity will likely require good insoles and footwear to offset pain and lose weight.  b) Don’t pay $300-$1500/year for custom molded insoles out-of-pocket from your podiatrist if you don’t have to.  First try inexpensive insoles at a local pharmacy center if your health care situation is limited in services, deductions and co-pays are high.  Simply stand on a free foot analysis machine and receive corrective insole inventory selection based on the postural hot spot(s) imbalance foot imprint.  And if the insoles remove pain it is well worth the effort and cost.  However, do see your doctor to positively determine pain cause and origin.  If you do get a referral to podiatrist, decide if you want to try the inexpensive insoles before paying the cost of customized insoles, especially if you have to pay over $50.00.
  6. Do you need surgery or other treatment? Ask your doctor about Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS).  “Electrical nerve stimulation is a procedure that uses an electrical current to treat chronic pain. Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) and spinal cord stimulation (SCS) are two types of electrical nerve stimulation. In either case a small pulse generator sends electrical stimuli that interfere nerve impulses to alleviate the pain (WebMD 2014). Reports show SCS use results in: 84% reported that their quality of life was improved or greatly improved, 77% had good or excellent pain relief, and 82% decreased their use of pain medications (St. Jude Medical 2016).

    Seek adventure, explore, get excited about life and move the body.

    Seek adventure, explore, get excited about life while moving and exercising the body.

  7. “Tens Therapy” electro muscular-stimulation can provide significant relief.  Ask your doctor about obtaining a Tens unit through health care coverage, or if covered to receive electro muscular-stimulation physical therapy sessions.  “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy sometimes used to treat localized or regional pain. During TENS therapy, electrodes deliver electrical impulses to nearby nerve pathways — which can help control or relieve some types of pain. TENS is often used to treat osteoarthritis and chronic and postoperative pain (Thompson 2014).”
  8. Tens units can also be purchased on-line, or provided by HMO.
  9. Acupuncture – “May also reduce chances of chronic back pain from occurring.  “One of the largest studies to date on acupuncture and chronic pain — a meta-analysis of 29 well-conducted studies involving nearly 18,000 patients and published in October 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine — found that acupuncture is effective for treating chronic pain and therefore is a reasonable referral option (Palermo 2015).”

If acute back, or any joint pain seems abnormal or Intolerable, or you’ve recently experienced an injury consult your physician immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Citations:

Kriskarr. “What Is a Compression Injury?” VACUPRACTOR. Vacupractor, 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

Thompson, Jeffrey, M.D. “TENS Therapy: An Option for Fibromyalgia Treatment?” – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

Palermo, By Elizabeth. “What Is Acupuncture?” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 05 Mar. 2015. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

St. Jude Medical. “Power Over Your Pain.” Spinal Cord Stimulation: A Proven Therapy for Pain. St. Jude Medical, Inc., 2016. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

WebMD. “Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Pain.” WebMD. WebMD, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

Author: 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.

 





A Permanent Solution to Control Body Weight

24 01 2015

Many dieters attempt to expedite weight loss results through fad diets promising to melt off the pounds in a short period of time.  None of them can keep the weight off long term because of their limited and restrictive nutrient imbalances, or deficits.  IMG_20130405_175303

In all the years of working in the field of health and fitness, with a clear understanding of the human metabolism, I’ve never seen a “quick” manmade weight loss program that worked long-term.  Instead, I’ve only seen them cause agony and heart ache in the long run for those desperate to control weight.

Do I believe there’s weight loss programs that work long term? Yes I do, but they’re not from products in a bottle, or pre-packed ready-to-eat meals.IMG_20130405_174905

The only sure fire and permanent healthy weight loss solution involves changing bad eating, food choice and sedentary habits.  Healthy behavioral habits which include balanced whole foods when combined with daily exercise activity support natural weight loss while achieving desired body weight and maintaining it long term.

The only exception to this rule is genetics and disease.  If body weight, or acute and chronic health conditions is causing problems seek medical treatment immediately. IMG_20130405_174646

In other words, it takes time to lose body fat naturally and keep it off permanently.  The metabolism does not respond well to frequent and rapid changes.  As a matter of fact when rapid weight loss occurs frequently, this yo-yo effect can break the metabolic fat burning function and reset it to gain weight permanently and cause disease.

Avoid the “I want it now” consumer mindset because that behavior will ultimately set you up for weight loss failure.  You’ve heard of patience is a virtue right?  In this case, the body’s metabolic function is depending on your ability to manage caloric energy exchange with some precision.  If you eat balanced whole food meals [3 squares a day], cut out the processed baked and fried garbage, drink plenty of water, then your well on your way to healthy weight loss without experiencing constant hunger and out of control weight gain.

Read more on how to naturally and permanently lose weight.

New Year Resolution Guarantees Weight Loss Success

OR

Monitor Fitness Progress without Cost of Trainer

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ANG MSC, CPT, RET.  2015 MirrorAthlete® Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete.com Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





Enjoy Holiday Meals Without Weight Gain or Guilt

21 12 2014

It’s that time of year again. What will be your New Years Resolution?

I can’t believe how fast the end of year Holidays roll upon us.  And for some it can be a stressful time.  Especially if you have a hard time managing body weight.

I have some food management and modified behavioral habit tips that may help alleviate fears of eating your traditional Holiday meals without gaining weight.

These tips may help you resist the temptation to overeat foods craved at this time of year.  I’m sharing a “no weight gain strategy” I’ve provided past clients and have helped to keep weight off within a 48 hour window of time and longer.  Although most didn’t lose weight… they didn’t gain any either.

It was through a diet consulting session a client asked if I could create a work around food strategy so they could eat their favorite foods during the Holidays.  And without derailing a weight loss diet plan.  Of course I told them there’s always a risk of falling back into a bad food habit when you eat rich foods.  But for this individual it was worth the risk to enjoy a good Christmas meal with family and not fear losing control over foods and body weight.

For some, it’s almost as if we have to harden the body for the rigors of war because of all the tempting food nemesis in front of us.  The smells and tastes are enough to drive anyone crazy and want to go on a food binge.

The worse part of consuming too many calories in a day, as we age our body’s metabolisms become less efficient at processing to remove the excess food fuel from it.  Instead, our metabolisms get very efficient at storing body fat weight.  It is also true during the Holidays we all have a tendency to over indulge and then continue this pattern through the New Year.

We all know excess body fat has a direct correlation to poor health conditions and disease.  Some of the better know diseases directly related to obesity for example are diabetes, atherosclerosis, congenital heart failure, weight bearing joint pain, etc.

I also understand some of you have had tremendous success in melting the pounds away last year as you stuck to your new year’s weight loss resolution commitment.

Congratulation to you!

For those still struggling to lose weight don’t give up!  I’ll provide the same client tips to help you modify food habits in a way to enjoy a tasty meal in good company without fear of weight gain.  And quite possibly this may be a habit changing plan to supplement  your continued weight loss effort during the New Year.

But the tips alone may not be enough to meet your ultimate weight loss goal.  Since weight loss, health condition, medical history and fitness levels are all interrelated it is advised you seek a medical doctors consultation if you have a serious obesity or health problem.  These food strategy tips will not help if you are in poor health, have substance abuse problems, obsessive compulsive tendencies and/or carry excessive body weight.

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A Time to Celebrate With Family

I’m no different than you with regard to all the tempting foods during the Holidays, I’m greatly tempted to eat more than I need.  However, awareness of our food habit weaknesses combined with a food management strategy is the best deterrent to minimize an uptick in body fat weight you don’t want.

There are many reasons one may over consume foods daily [stressful environment,  compulsive behaviors, bad relationships and depression to name a few].    However when over consumption occurs frequently, the body tends to accept this habit as the norm.  Hence a new habit of overeating is formed and weight gain is inevitable for most of us.

The fact is as you age the body simply doesn’t require the excess calories it once needed during the developmental years.  This does not mean you have to give up all your favorite foods.   For the most part you can consume a selection of your choosing.  Your only real requirement is to cut out excessive calories and participate in some form of low stress aerobic exercise daily [i.e., walking, biking, hiking, jogging, dancing, yard work, rowing, cross country ski, swimming, etc.].

Since everyone’s metabolism is different due to age, sex, medical conditions, genetics, etc.,  I can’t predict or provide a one fit “hold the weight” solution that will work for everyone for a few days.  Especially when I know the program was designed and worked for a few client types that wanted to indulge during the Holidays without experiencing weight gain.  But since I know these tips can work through short-term modification of food behavior and habit it’s worth sharing because it can work for you.  Especially if your the type that has enough “will power” to apply a short term off-the-wagon dietary strategy to self control within the 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan guidelines below.

Can this food tips strategy work long term?  Yes I believe it can for certain individuals.  But determining each individuals fitness and weight loss goal nuances, habits and behaviors within environment etc., is best accomplished through 1:1 professional consulting services that make these connections and provide relatable  information  that resonate with clients.   Personalized fitness programming with a safe weight loss long-term strategy has the best chance to succeed when unique lifestyles are analyzed and prescribed relative to the individual.

For those of you that are disciplined enough to pace yourself and turn off the feeding frenzy… My hats off to you!  You have will power that most of us can only dream about.  For others, to help reduce calorie consumption during the Holidays, My 8 tip Holiday Meal Plan plan may be of some assistance.

Best Time Ever

Best Time Ever

Now, let’s get to the meat of what you’ve been waiting for. Here are the tips clients and I have used to minimize weight gain during the Holidays.  If you take this 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan to heart and apply it, it can work for you short and possibly long term.

Tip#1Never!  I repeat Never!  Go to your mother, mother-in-laws, or Grandmothers home for Holiday meals hungry!

The habit of starving ourselves in preparedness for the Holiday meal feeding frenzy seems to be ingrained within the American culture.  I know my family, like so many others during the Holidays have repeated this ritual.  It’s no wonder we can’t stop ourselves, before you know it, we’re all lying around like beached whales on a lido deck with “Hot… Hot… Hot,” playing in the background.   So, it stands to reason, you must eat a normal meal not less than 2-3 hours before you go over for a Holiday meal.

The way our digestion system processes food your stomach will not be empty for the next 4-6 hours after each meal depending on metabolism.  This digestive function varies within each one of us.   I don’t suggest being selective when choosing Holiday foods.  Just serve the foods you want to eat and don’t over load your plate.  The point is when you get to the table, you won’t be as hungry and you just won’t want to eat as much.

Tip#2Never!  I repeat Never!  Drink alcohol prior to going into the meal.

You don’t drink and drive do you?  Well, what makes you think you could drink and consume without injury to your body?  Although I’m being facetious, I’m also serious in the way I want to make my point.  Alcohol is a depressant, pain killer, relaxant, taste intensifier and social inhibitor.  The point made of over consumption is easy to understand here, eat and drink like Vikings… No pain… Much calorie gain!

Limit yourself to two 8oz glasses of cheer after the meal (your choice).  Remember alcohol also contains calories that add up fast.

Tip#3Drink plenty of water throughout the day when attending Holiday meals.

Water is a natural solvent, absorbs well in the stomach and intestinal lining assisting the body’s digestive system to process food intake more efficiently.  Plus, water will make you feel fuller faster.

Tip#4Do not stay at the dinner table after eating for further conversation.

This is where most of us fall prey to over eating indulgences.  It is very difficult to resist picking at the Holiday turkey, cranberry, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies, olives, sipping on Champaign…  “Ohhhhhh the dressing and gravy… Give me a break!  I’m dying here; I think I just made myself hungry.”

See how hard this is and I’m supposed to be giving you advice.  Look, I never said I wasn’t human, or this would be easy.  More so the reason to have a pre-meal battle strategy that advises one to move away from the table and out of the kitchen after the meal.

Tip 5#Take your first serving, after you consume this wait 20 minutes before you think about seconds.

Take at least 20 minutes and enjoy the meal before you even think about seconds.

“Seconds is not recommended.”  This will be the hardest part of the meal plan.   It takes your brain approximately 20 minutes to register whether you’ve eaten enough or not.  Focus on satiety not a feeling of fullness.  But if you do decide you can’t resist a second helping focus on a favorite serving that doesn’t take up more than 1/4 the plate diameter.  And no piling on.

Tip#6Never!  I repeat Never!  Eat desert after you’ve eaten your meal.

This will only add insult to injury.  Your body simply is not designed to handle this mass assault without consequences, especially if you’ve achieved fullness after eating the main meal.  Wait 1 hour to see how your body processes the feeling of fullness.  If you experience a feeling of satiety after a period of time then do enjoy some dessert.  But if you begin to experience fullness again back off.

Tip#7 Never!  I repeat never!  Take home left over’s.

This can set you up for failure early on into the New Year.  Simply by continuing to eat these foods stimulates and addicts some to a continued and similar eating patterns for months.  And thereafter another 10 pounds is added to body weight.

Tip#8Don’t quit your exercise program during the Holiday season.

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Marc prepares for the Holiday festivities with family. A time of Year to reflect and be thankful for all we have.

This is very important!  When you consume excess calories on “any day,” you will need to assist the body in removing the unspent food fuel.   I highly recommend a daily walking program, or other Low-Impact aerobic activity at least 30 minutes daily.

Hopefully, I’ve provided a few tips you can relate to and apply this Holiday season.  You’ve now learned how it’s possible to embrace Holiday foods without guilt and doesn’t’ compromise taste buds or the social meal experience with family.  And best of all, if taken seriously and applied correctly, you won’t gain any weight.

Many can enjoy tasty meals during the Holidays without gaining weight when a reasonable food consumption plan is known in advance to help modify traditional Holiday food habits.

Please have a wonderful Holiday season with family and friends and don’t let your food fears and weight loss diet plans compromise having a great meal experience with loved ones.  Plan, prepare and participate in the spirit of the Holidays, you’ll be glad you did.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ANG, MSC CPT RET.  2014 MirrorAthlete® Copyright,  All rights reserved.  Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.





New Year Resolution Guarantees Weight Loss Success

20 12 2014
Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Is this the secret to safe weight loss?  The answers may surprise you.

After all the Holiday festivities, one has to wonder what fitness and/or health resolution will be made this year and stuck too?

It seems as we age and for many of us, increased body is added each year.  And with that being said, we continually resolve to improve our eating and exercise habits and quit unhealthy vices.

We tell ourselves we’re going to get serious this time and get fit while losing weight.  I realize we all have good resolution intentions.  However, for most this is easier said than done.

If you lack will power to change bad habits long term, the results on the organic brain/body will experience more pain and suffering than necessary in the long run.  If one is not concerned about such things then risk of disease and shorten life span may ensue if positive change does not occur.

If your serious about healthy change and willing to follow a fitness plan that’s right for you, “you can” improve quality of life experiences in a more fit body.  But you must keep the following perspective in mind.  It took years to become unfit and unhealthy.  It may take some time to turn around an unfit condition.  The good news is this change can be done in a reasonable time with little effort, once the body chemical activation secret is understood.

Yah I know, easier said than done for some of you.  Because some believe “I can’t change, or I’m too old, or I’m going to die eventually, so what the hell.”  You say these things not because you don’t believe change is possible.  But it’s easier to talk yourself out of change for lack of knowing what dietary and exercise actions may actually work for you

What would you say if I could provide you valuable insight on how to improve health, lose weight safely, increase fitness levels and increase longevity odds at no cost and modest will power?

And this knowledge simply involved understanding how to activate addictive body chemicals produced by your own body. Thereby increasing will power to continue a fitness plan and achieve your desired fitness result?  Would you be interested in this insight?  Most would say yes, what’s the catch?

No Catch.

What, you thought I was talking about a magic pill or have some other hidden agenda?

Nope.

No need for pills or gimmicks, your body produces these powerful chemicals once you know how to activate them daily.  And I’m going to give you this known scientific information at no cost.  And believe me the marketers don’t want you to have this information, why?  Because they lose fitness and nutrition sales revenues.

If your looking to select a fitness or diet plan, don’t get duked into one that guarantees quick results!   Man-made products produced from unnatural chemical additives compromise the mind and body at the cellular level.  Also fad and fitness diet-exercise plans not relative to your lifestyle will only work short term, or not at all.

These “quick fix” fast weight loss and fitness fad concoctions are wrong for most of us long term.  Especially if one becomes dependent on them.  Thereafter has potential, if nothing else changes to cause more harm than good in the long run.

Now click on the following link and learn how to activate those powerful body chemicals naturally, lose weight safely and improve health and fitness levels long term.

Click: on Link:  “Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals.”

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ANG MSC CPT Ret. 2014 MirrorAthlete® Copyright, All rights reserved. Visit MirrorAthlete® home site and sign up for free monthly newsletter.





Scientific Studies Show Exercise Causes Weight Gain

20 08 2014

 

Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Original Publication:  Oct 24 2009.  Revised 20 Aug 2014

Although your favorite fitness guru or celebrity may be the picture of health and you want to look just like them…  Keep this in mind, they make a lot of money selling fitness products and services that may actually cause you to gain weight rather than lose it.  Which may be just the opposite of the fitness results you hope to achieve.

Regardless of exercise equipment and dietary products that guarantees weight loss… The odds are not in your favor for long term weight loss success and you may actually gain weight.  Unless you have a customized fitness program developed specifically for you, or you use a program designed for someone else, weight gain may be the result as opposed to loss.

Relative and customized fitness program development should include and address individual lifestyle and environmental factors:  e.g., culture, behaviors and habits, medical condition(s), genetics, motivation, energy levels, body type and fitness goals.  For example, body fat, lean muscle mass, strength, cardio and muscular endurance and flexibility.

If your not sure how to custom design a fitness program might I suggest securing a professional fitness trainer or consultant for 1:1 fitness sessions that include assessments and development of a relative exercise program to get you on track.  The encompassing being requires task specific exercise and diet relative to individual mind, body and spirit needs and wants.   In the long run this strategy will pay off because you can optimize your efforts and results.

Now science supports the fact that exercise can add on the pounds if other considerations are not modified within lifestyle and environment as we age. Let’s look at a significant study that specifically addresses the compensation effect on body after exercise and what this really means for your weight management program.

“45 million Americans now belong to health clubs, up from 23 million in 1993. We spend some $19 billion a year on gym memberships. One major study illustrates – The Minnesota Heart Survey found more of us say we exercise. From 1980 to 2000, 47% of respondents exercised regularly and then these figures increased to 57%, ending the 20 year survey. Even with 45 million people today using fitness centers obesity figures increased during this period. The Federal government’s definition of obesity classifies 1/3 of all Americans as obese. Those that participated in the survey admitted after they exercise, their hungrier and eat more. This is not to discount the notion that those who may not participate in gym activities may weigh more otherwise.”

“In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,” says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University, a prominent exercise researcher. Although exercise does burn calories, it also makes us hungrier. “Exercise, in other words, isn’t necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder.” “The compensation Problem – The PLoS (Public Library of Science) published a remarkable study supervised by a colleague of Ravussin’s Dr. Timothy Church. Four groups totaling 464 overweight women who didn’t regularly exercise were selected for this study. Women in 3 of the groups worked with a personal trainer for 6 months; Group 1 exercised – 72 minutes/wk, Group 2 exercised- 136 minutes/wk and Group 3 exercised – 194 minutes/week. Although the study did not specify the exercise routines, one gets the notion exercises were balanced between aerobic and anaerobic activity with a personal assigned trainer.”

“The women in the 4th cluster did not change their lifestyle activities, but did fill out a monthly health questionnaire. The results were surprising. All groups of women lost weight, even the control group. It is most likely the control group through the use of monthly questionnaires learned more about their health and thereby modified their diets by eating fewer donuts, muffins, Starbucks coffee, for example. Some of the women in each group actually gained weight, some up to 10 pounds. Church calls this the compensation effect. Whether exercise made them hungry, or they wanted to reward themselves… Most of the women who exercised ate more than they did before they started the experiment!”

“This is an important study because our government’s medical organizations since the 60’s tell us to exercise if we want weight loss. Including in 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association issued new guidelines stating that “to lose weight…60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. That recommendation covers most days of the week.”

“It’s true that within the study most participants were able to trim their waistline by only about an inch. The other interesting aspect, even so, they lost no more overall body fat than the control group. Church asks the control group other questions to further understand this phenomenon. He finds within each group the women are rewarding themselves with Starbucks coffee and muffins for example. Well, after you add these calories to calories burnt, you get a wash in weight loss benefits.” Another good example, a bottle of Gatorade electrolyte drink, 20oz bottle has 130 calories. You can drink this in a matter of seconds if you’re really thirsty. If your aerobics activity is treadmill walking for 15 minutes this is probably a wash from net calorie expenditure.”

“Steven Gortmaker, heads Harvard’s Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity, he studies child obesity. Since its proven exercise makes you hungry, one must ask a question regarding our kids and fast food places. He is suspicious of playgrounds at fast-food restaurants. The contention is, if a kid plays 30 minutes, it may be enough to stimulate hunger where the child instead of consuming 500 calories, instead consumes 1000.”  ‘In 30 minutes of play, for example, the child may have only expended 200 calories to play, creating a net 800 calorie gain!”

“Church states, we all need to move toward proper weight control, but stressing and depleting the body’s muscles in short bursts using stressful exercise is not necessarily the best way to loss body weight. Also the brain may feel greater entitlement to eat fast foods after we’ve exerted most of our high intensity energy at the gym. Instead, energy would have been better served by increasing daily activities like walking, healthy food shopping, preparing wholesome meals, gardening, a balanced mix using gym activities, walking, biking, etc.”

[Quote excerpts posted above, Published by Time Magazine, August 17, 2009, “Why Exercise Won’t Make you Thin,” by John Cloud. Posts have been modified by the author within quotes to quickly make points in support of this article.]

Science tells us anaerobic activity typical during strenuous weight lifting activities increases muscle mass which is heavier by volume than fat. Muscle mass increases will tip the scales heavier when muscle bulking and anaerobic out pace aerobic exercise and you’ll burn less body fat.

Optimizing weight loss and toning the body requires a customized fitness training program with a focus on aerobic activity.  Where low-medium intensity aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, biking and hiking burn more body fat as the preferred fuel.

Regardless of the exercise program,

Any muscle groups worked daily at any intensity of effort will tell the mind the body is hungry. The will power to ignore the brains signal to over nourish the working muscles after glucose and muscle glycogen are used, or depleted is a great mind over matter challenge at any age before and during meal times.  Having a preplanned and balanced diet in place prior to starting an exercise program is important when looking to increase muscle mass and/or decreasing body fat.  Otherwise food rewards and convenience snake foods may become your weight gain nemesis.

One thing I can assure you… To not remain active with some form of activity exercise as you age, opposed to becoming a couch potato is a grave mistake!  Regardless of how many calories you burn/don’t burn or weight you gain/lose during exercise… to not move the body enough throughout the day can only cause the body circulatory problems, weight bearing injuries and pain and additional unhealthy body weight and other illness and disease.

If you’d like to dial in on the weight loss or muscle development potential contact a certified fitness trainer to help you optimize your results and meet expectations.  Especially if your not satisfied with your current fitness program and results.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2014 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Corp. Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.