Week Recap

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This week I had a great time going over dietary choices with you!  We talked about calorie control, the basal metabolic rate, eating clean, health disorders, and macro-nutrients.  I had a great time doing it too!

With all of this information, it would be silly if I didn’t walk the walk as much as I talk the talk.  As I said in my last post, it’s better to be like Jimmy(who likes eating healthy) than Carl(who eats loads of crap).  I am doing my best every day to eat as well as I say you should, and I hope we can all grow stronger together and help each other make better choices.

I also wanted to mention a few ideas that were presented to me via the comments this past week:

  1. One of you mentioned doing karate and MMA.  You told me it would be a great way to do my cardio.  Thank you for the suggestion!  I really think that sounds like a great idea and I’ve actually been considering it lately.  A few guys I know from a town about 20 minutes away attend a gym that’s very highly rated for its Mixed Martial Arts.  I know I’m not going to be like Chuck Norris in a couple of weeks, but I’d love to learn some self defense and enjoy the sport(..and learn how to kick heads…Just kidding )
  2. I was told to try a vegan diet.  I’ve also thought about that lately.  I think vegan-ism is becoming more popular because of people like Vegan Gains on YouTube.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all!  He seems to be a bit of a sociopath, but other that he gives a great message and raises awareness of animal cruelty.  The animal cruelty aspect alone is a great point for many who have forsaken animal products, but the dietary effects seem to be great also!  I can see how eating a plant-based diet would lower bad cholesterol, decrease cancer risk, and alkalize blood.  However, I honestly haven’t done a ton of research on this diet.  I am mostly stating hearsay, but I do really like what I’m hearing and you may see a post about it from me in the future!

In conclusion, I really like all of the feedback I get from you and I love having the conversations with you.  I hope to continue making progressively healthier choices, and I want to refocus my attention on Crohn’s Disease and auto-immune disorders.

I did, after all, start this blog in response to remission from my Crohn’s Disease.  I want to help others who are suffering with auto-immune disorders and raise awareness.  If you’d like to help with that, send me an email or reblog some of my posts.

All of that being said, I think Crohn’s Disease has a huge link to diet along with other auto-immune disorders.  My assumption is strengthened with personal experience.  I did the Paleo Diet and I know it is completely anti vegan but both diets are great for banishing processed foods.  Cut out the processed foods = healthier life.  Thanks for reading and feel free to join the conversation!

Not All Calories Are Created Equal

You want to get lean?

That’s great!  You are a part of a great club of people who all want to better themselves, and making the decision to start trying is the biggest step to take in your fitness journey.

If you’ve been following this blog for long, then you know that I’ve been writing up a series on health, wellness, and nutrition this week.

In my first post, I talked about how I wanted to find a Subjective Diet Format (SDF), a diet tailored for me specifically.  I factored in my weight, my current eating habits, the amount of ambition I have along with my goals, and my Crohn’s Disease(to read that post, click here).

In my second post, I talked about finding the amount of calories you should be eating by using your Basal Metabolic Rate.  I left a link to a Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator, but you could also find one with a quick Google search.  To read that post, click here.

In the last post, I talked about the obvious but oftentimes overlooked..

Eating clean!  The best first step you can make is not cutting your calories or upping the cardio, although those things are both important.  The best first step is cleaning up your eating choices so that you know, despite any extra pounds, that you have a healthier body.  To read that post, click here.

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image courtesy of SimpleReminders.com

..and today’s post naturally picks up where yesterday’s post left off.

I want to drive home a point!  Not all calories are created equal.  Let’s compare Carl to Jimmy:

Carl eats two pounds of macaroni and cheese, and a pound of boneless chicken chunks from Walmart’s deli.  This adds up to about 3,000 calories!  For an active male who works out, this is probably within his basal metabolic rate.  For the sake of this post, let’s say Carl DOES in fact work out.  Carl is possibly eating under his active Basal Metabolic Rate and will lose weight….but is he as healthy as Jimmy?

Jimmy eats five meals.  These five meals are each an eight ounce chicken breast with a serving of broccoli, a serving of green beans, a serving of carrots, and a serving of fruit.  Jimmy MAY indulge once in a while with a starchy white potato.  Overall, Jimmy may be consuming close to the same amount of calories as Carl but I would bet his left arm his diet is going to make him a LOT healthier.  Before you ask…NO, I would not bet my own left arm even if I’m guaranteed a win!  Screw that!

..but my point is this!  Carl’s meal had literally no vegetables and was full of fat and carbs.  He easily got his protein requirement but he didn’t get crap for heart health.

It is important to track protein, carbs, and fat!  However, there’s also factors that most people overlook like sodium and cholesterol.  According to the National Institute of Health, cholesterol plays a MAJOR role in heart disease.  In layman’s terms, lower your bad LDL cholestrol and increase your good HDL cholestrol.  You can do this by avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat and eating more unsaturated fat through walnuts and almonds.

In conclusion to this week’s discussion on diet, I say “BE LIKE JIMMY!  AND DON’T LISTEN TO CARL’S NUTRITIONAL ADVICE!”  I would yell that on every rooftop in town if I thought….you know…people wouldn’t think I’m crazy.

While we know that Carl and Jimmy will both lose weight by eating less calories, we should all agree that Jimmy has the better strategy.  So be like Jimmy, or vegan-paleo-pescatarian Jimmy, and eat healthy.  Not only will you look great, but your body will thank you!

Drink Away That Extra Tummy Fat And Fight Illness

Today, I had a question from one of my readers and I would like to respond to that question in today’s post without placing their name out there.  I understand how embarrassing some medical conditions can be and if you want your name linked somewhere in this post, simply let me know in the comments below.  Otherwise, I’m simply going to address the question and I hope this is of some service to you.

The question is this(paraphrased, of course):

“I have a heart problem, epilepsy, and diabetes insipidus(water diabetes).  How do I live with these conditions while reducing my tummy?”

First off!

I am assuming you mean you want to get a flat stomach or be somewhat close to having abs?  If not having abs?  This means we have to have a low body fat %.  The body fat percentage must be around 12-14% for a female to have that flat stomach look you are going for; for a male, that would be around 10%.  For the general consensus of people, this must be achieved through three factors(a balance of all three):

Diet:

Your diet must be on point!  You have to play around with your macro-nutrients and calories and see what works best for you.  Without diving too deep on the calories, a web search will reveal that you may need to stick to a 2,000 calorie/day diet for maintaining your weight.  If you are rather heavy, you may lose weight at 2,000 calories/day.  However, for the average woman and someone who is already fairly lean this will simply maintain.  I’d recommend eating about 1700-1800 calories a day.  You can use a fitness app to track these calories or log them online, or on paper.

A general rule of thumb is that your calories should be a 40/40/20 split between protein, carbohydrates, and fats.  Now, remember that protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram while fat has 9.  This means that at a daily caloric intake of 1800 you should be eating about 180 grams of carbohydrates, 180 grams of protein, and 40 grams of fat.  If you don’t agree with the ratio I’ve made, you can get a different result by plugging your weight and “weight loss” into just about any of the nutritional apps.

Resistance Training:

Resistance training is important because it improves the overall strength and endurance of your body.  Also, it is well known that muscle burns more calories than fat for maintenance.

So, simply incorporate a well balanced training routine into your plan for getting that smaller waist and you should start seeing better results.  A good split would be legs one day, chest on another, arms another day, and back/shoulders your last day every week.  If you haven’t lifted at all you will see some good results in less than six months.

Cardio:

You actually mentioned that you’ve been doing some cardio so I would stick to that, and I actually wouldn’t recommend you do much more of it.  You seem to be doing quite a lot already.  I’d say that if you feel comfortable doing what you have done so far, keep it up.  If you don’t see impressive results from the cardio, at least you are doing something to keep busy and it may have better results mixed in with the resistance training.

Now, to address the illnesses!

Everyone is going to have their own challenges in life and I am glad you came here to seek help on your personal dilemma of losing weight while dealing with such a myriad of sicknesses.  The first thing I want to say is good for you!  I am extremely happy for you in the sense that you are fighting the struggles in your own life and trying to do great things with your body despite the problems you are having.  That is really inspiring.

I’m assuming you’ve been living with these illnesses for a while so you should know some of your limits with the heart problems.  I’d say that you are doing great with the cardio, and when you add the weight training, be sure to take it slow since lifting will temporarily increase your blood pressure.  Go slow, and know your limits.  Now as far as the diabetes goes, I see that as something you may not be able to cure but you will be able to treat it with a good diet and lots of fluid.

I did a little bit of research on water diabetes and to my knowledge it makes you have to use the restroom a lot due to the body not producing enough ADH(antidiuretic hormone).  Here is a information I am directly quoting from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases(NIDDK):

  • Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a rare disease that causes frequent urination and excessive thirst.
  • DI is not related to diabetes mellitus (DM).
  • Central DI is caused by damage to the pituitary gland and is treated with a synthetic hormone called desmopressin, which prevents water excretion.
  • Nephrogenic DI is caused by drugs or kidney disease and is treated with hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), indomethacin, or a combination of HCTZ and amiloride.
  • Scientists have not yet discovered an effective treatment for dipsogenic DI, which is caused by a defect in the thirst mechanism.
  • Most forms of gestational DI can be treated with desmopressin.
  • A doctor must determine which type of DI is involved before proper treatment can begin.

Due to the nature of this illness, I suggest that you drink more water.  I don’t know how much you are drinking currently, but some research has shown that the majority of people are dehydrated.  I just read an article saying that a survey done on 3,003 Americans showed that 75% of those studied were chronically dehydrated.  This may be, in part, due to high sodium diets and even the weather.  However, with your condition coupled with a statistic like that I would say a safe bet is to drink more water.

Also, on the topic of water, there have been many studies showing evidence that drinking a lot of cold water can increase your metabolism by 30%.  Think of the fact that your water diabetes makes it very easy to become dehydrated, along with the fact that many Americans are dehydrated, and the likelihood that drinking water can raise your metabolism.

I would say that you should possibly try drinking 2.5 to 3.0 liters a day.  Possibly more, depending on how severe your water diabetes is..

In conclusion!

I recommend to you the classic advice of diet, weight training, and cardio!  But I also invite you to start tracking your water intake!  Make sure you are drinking plenty of cold water and let me know if this helps.

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