Thursday, October 28, 2021

Low Fat Diets - How Effective Is The Low Fat Diet Plan?

Are low-fat diets effective? Personally, I would say no. While this still doesn’t give license for everyone to dust off the deep fryer, it simply means that fat doesn’t play quite so large of a role in harboring diseases as previously thought by researchers.

According to a 10 year long study of 49,000 postmenopausal women nationwide, low-fat diets had virtually no effect on the incidence of heart disease, colorectal cancer, stroke, or breast cancer as opposed to the higher fat content of a “more standard” American diet. This news has certainly come as a shock for many since the exact opposite was touted. If we, as a society, were to eat less fats than the occurrence of heart disease and various cancers would surely plummet.

What has also shocked many is that eating a high-carb, low-fat diet will not raise triglycerides, or elevate chances of developing diabetes. And even though fat has over double the calories per gram as protein or carbohydrates, eating a low-fat diet will not help those needing to lose weight.

One piece of evidence that does happen to coincide with past assertions is that this same study also illustrated the fact that diets high in saturated fat and trans-fat do greatly elevate cholesterol levels and raise one’s chances of getting heart disease. Thus, it is still my opinion that the healthiest way to eat is to find balance in your diet.

Next, it would be well advised not to eat more fats than are generally recommended by doctors and don’t eat less fats than is recommended. For active folks, a common estimate for one’s daily fat requirements should equal roughly 20% of one’s total calories.

For the heavier set, I wouldn’t cut any lower than 15%. So, if you were to eat a diet high in saturated fat, then you could potentially develop heart disease due to the elevated cholesterol levels. This is a fairly common occurrence for the strict adherents of the Atkins diet model. While they may lose some weight, they are often left with soaring blood cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, if one were to eat a strict low-fat diet then they could also be increasing their chances for heart disease due to their diet’s lack of essential fatty acids. So, it is indeed important that balance is achieved when nutrition and your health is at stake. If one becomes too lax or too restrictive, then you will be unintentionally sabotaging your heart amongst other things and that could eventually cost you your life.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind

Losing weight can be a long, ongoing process and it is too easy to "throw in the towel", so to speak.  This is primarily due to frustrations because of slow results or the seeming lack of results.  Keep your sanity in your weight loss goals - learn how to take the little strides to achieve your long term weight loss goals.

1. Make a plan

Do you have a plan?  People sometimes get confused by plans and goals. The end result goal in your case is weight loss, the plan is the means you are going to use to get there.  While you will undoubtedly have short term goals and a long term goal, they are not your plan.  A plan would consist of, for example, eating breakfast; walking a half hour per day; not eating after 8pm; eliminating pop from your daily routine; etc.  These are plans that can help you reach your goal of weight loss.  If you've tried certain things before and they didn't work because of your lack of commitment then try loosening the plan a little for something that you could easily achieve without pushing yourself too hard. If you have a plan of walking/running 1 hour a day but you think that you might give up too easily on that: shoot for 15 minutes a day & once you've made the 15 minutes try and push yourself for 15 minutes more.  You're much better off making a plan for 15 minutes of walking a day and doing it than making a plan of walking 1 hour a day and never leaving the couch.

2. Execute the plan

The greatest weight loss plan in the world will do no good if you don't use it.  That's where so many people fail is that they want to lose the weight but aren't willing to take any steps to actually meet their goals.  It's like someone saying "I want to make $5,000 this month" but doesn't have a job and never leaves the couch to look for one.  A job is no more going to show up at your door and give you $5,000 for sitting than you are going to lose weight if you continue to do nothing about it.  As was stated above, if your plan is not something you think you can commit to: loosen up your plan to something that is feasible given your lifestyle and situation.

3. See the plan through

Keep on keeping on, stay focused on your weight loss goals, and don't give up.  It is not the easiest thing getting started, but it is a proven fact that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  Keep your plan up for a few weeks and you'll be well on your way to your weight loss goals.

By simply creating a plan, working a plan and staying with it, you'll soon begin to see results with your weight loss goals.  Sometimes it only takes us seeing the start of results to get us really motivated to take the weight off.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Lifestyle Dynamic Journey Exercise Spotlight - Pec Dec/Chest Fly

 Sit on the machine with your back against the pad. Position upper arms approximately parallel and parallel with the floor.

Push levers together, squeezing your chest muscles. Return until chest muscles feel a bit stretched and repeat. Great exercise to accompany any pressing motions like bench press and incline presses, barbell or dumbbell.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Lifestyle Dynamic Journey - How to make an Asian Scallion Pancake Beef Roll

 Typically a Taiwanese food (so I am told), the scallion pancake beef roll can be consumed any time of day. I have personally ingested this majestic meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes on the same day!

The most time consuming part of making this food is cooking the meat. The beef shank has to cook for a minimum of 2 hours (unless you have a microwave pressure cooker). Using a variety of spices and flavors, the beef shank absorbs an amazing array of components resulting in a flavorful meet that is tender and delicious. Add in a scallion pancake, which is nothing but a scallion flavored roti bread type thing, and spread hoisin sauce. The end result is nothing but magical and you will ask yourself "where has this been all my life?" Its easy to make if you have the time to wait, and so worth the time. Scallion Pancake Beef Roll! Delicious. Thanks for watching and make sure to share this with friends and family who enjoy making good food at home. We do.

  • 1 whole beef shank (about 2 pounds)
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 cloves of star anise
  • 2” ginger root (sliced thin)
  • 3 stalks of green onion (green part only)
  • water to cover 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Losing Weight Is All About What You Gain


Many people have thought about losing weight over the years, but often seem to fall short of an actual attempt to do it. The reason why so many people think about it so much is because deep down, they know that having that extra poundage is not at all good for them. The problem is, just knowing that being overweight is bad is not enough to really push many people to do something about it. Much like wanting to quit smoking, knowing it is bad for you doesn't induce people to quit doing it. However, if you were to find some really good reasons to quit smoking, like your doctor told you if you don’t quit, you will lose a lung next year, that might make you act and just do it.

 Well, losing weight is just like quitting smoking, the more good reasons you have to do it, the more likely you are to act on it and make it happen. If you have something driving your motivation aside from just knowing it is bad for you, you are also more likely to maintain your weight loss goal once you reach it.

First and foremost, losing weight means getting healthier. When you lose those extra pounds you greatly reduce the risk or heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and joint stress, all conditions associated with being overweight. When you reduce these risks, it means you can have a much better chance of being around to see your children grow up and being around to enjoy your grandchildren. That alone is reason enough to get that weight down.

Another reason you might want to consider losing weight is that you will feel better. As you begin to lose some of those extra pounds, you will start to notice your energy levels increasing. Being overweight by 20 pounds is like putting a 20 pound sack of potatoes on your shoulders all day. Extra body fat is nothing more than an extra burden to carry around with you everyday, so the extra weight drains your energy. For this reason, overweight people tend to be less active and this promotes more fat to collect up on them. As this continues, they become even less active and so this becomes a vicious cycle leading to obesity. 

As a nice little side benefit, losing weight will make you look better, and who doesn’t want to look better? Each and every one of us has a vision of what we want to look like. Most people are not completely satisfied with the way they look. They will always find something they don’t like about themselves and wish they could change and for people who are overweight; this can be a great motivator to lose weight. A recent study concluded that as early as age 5, girls who had higher body weights had lower self esteem than girls with normal body weight.

When a person loses weight, what are almost always the responses of other people who know that person? You hear things like; you look good; you’ve lost weight haven’t you? And think about how you would feel when you’ve lost enough weight to be able to fit into that dress or that pair of pants you wore back in high school. Now keep in mind, looking better is a great reason to lose weight but it should not be the only one.

When you have at least a few good, valid reasons to want to lose weight, it will be a lot easier to motivate yourself to get started and stay with it. Let’s face it, your health, well being and self esteem are very good reasons to get rid of those extra pounds and keep them off for good.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Low Carb Fad Diets Revealed


With all of the conflicting studies and open interpretation of advice, it's no stunner that disorder reigns when it comes to the value and safety of low-carb diets. Whether it's Atkins, the South Beach or another low-carb set up, as many as 30 million Americans are doing a low-carb diet.

Advocates swear that the elevated quantity of carbohydrates in our diet has led to increasing problems with obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions. Critics, on the contrary, attribute obesity and associated health conditions to over-consumption of calories from any source, and shortage of physical movement. Critics also contend that the shortage of grains, fruits, and vegetables in low-carbohydrate plans may lead to deficiencies of some key nutrients, like fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, and several minerals.

Any plan, either low or high in carbohydrate, can generate substantial weight loss during the primary stages of the diet. But bear in mind, the key to prosperous dieting is in being capable to part with the weight for good. Put another way, what does the scale reveal a year after going off the diet? Let's see if we can debunk some of the mystery around low-carb diets. Further down, is a listing of some relevant points taken from latest studies.

- Differences Between Low-Carb Diets.

There are several popular diets designed to reduce carbohydrate intake. Reducing total carbohydrate in the diet means that protein and fat will represent a proportionately larger quantity of the whole caloric intake. Atkins and Protein Powder diets limit carbohydrate to a point where the body becomes ketogenic. Other low-carb diets like the Zone and Life Without Bread are less restrictive. Some, like Sugar Busters assert to remove only sugars and foods that raise blood sugar levels excessively.

- What We Know about Low-Carb Diets.

Just about all of the studies to date have been small with a broad range of research objectives. Carbohydrate, caloric consumption, diet length and participant characteristics have varied greatly. Most of the studies to date maintain two things in common: Not one of the studies had participants with a mean age above 53 and Not one of the controlled studies lasted longer than three months. Findings on older adults and long-term results are scant. Several diet studies fail to monitor the amount of exercise, and consequently caloric expenditure. This helps to explain discrepancies among studies.

The weight loss on low-carb diets is a business of caloric restriction and diet length, and not with reduced carbohydrate intake. This discovery suggests that if you desire to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories and do so over a prolonged duration. Little data exists on the long-range safety of low-carb diets. In spite of the medical community concerns, no short-term adverse effects have been established on cholesterol, glucose, insulin and blood-pressure levels amongst participants on the diets. Adverse effects may not be exposed because of the short period of the studies. Researchers have found that losing weight typically leads to an improvement in these levels anyway, and this may offset an increase caused by a high fat diet.

The extended range weight difference for low-carb and other types of diets is comparable. Most low-carb diets invoke ketosis. Some of the potential consequences are nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and confusion. During the first stages of low-carb dieting some fatigue and constipation may be encountered. Usually, these symptoms go away quickly. Ketosis may also give the breath a fruity odor, somewhat similar to nail-polish remover (acetone).

Low-carb diets do not permit the consumption of more calories than other types of diets, as has been frequently reported. A calorie is a calorie and it doesn't matter whether they originate from carbohydrates or fat. Study discrepancies are likely the effect of uncontrolled circumstances; i.e. diet participants that cheat on calorie intake, calories burned during exercise, or any number of other factors. The drop-out rate for rigorous low-carb diets is somewhat high.

What Should You Do?

There are 3 significant points I would like to re-emphasize:

- The long-range success rate for low-carb and other types of diets is comparable.

- Despite their acceptance, little data exists on the long-term efficacy and safeness of low-carbohydrate diets.

- Rigorous low-carb diets are generally not sustainable as a routine way of eating. Boredom most often overcomes willpower.

It is clear after reviewing the subject, that more, well-designed and controlled studies are required. There just isn't a lot of satisfactory information available, especially regarding long-range effects. Strict low-carb diets generate ketosis which is an unusual and potentially stressful metabolic state. Under some circumstances this may cause health related complications. The diet you choose should be a blueprint for a lifetime of better eating, not just a hasty weight loss plan to reach your goal. If you can't see yourself eating the prescribed foods longer than a few days or a week, then chances are it's not the proper diet for you. To this end, following a somewhat low fat diet with a healthy balance of fat, protein, carbohydrate and other nutrients is beneficial.

If you do resolve to follow a low-carb arrangement, bear in mind that certain dietary fats are associated with reduction of disease. Foods high in unsaturated fats that are free of trans-fatty acids such as olive oil, fish, flaxseeds, and nuts are preferred to fats from animal origins. Even promoters of the Atkins diet now say men and women on their system should curb the amount of red meat and saturated fat they eat. Atkins representatives are telling health professionals that just 20 percent of a dieter's calories should come from saturated fat (i.e. meat, cheese, butter). This switch comes as Atkins faces contention from other popular low-carb diets that call for less saturated fat, such as the South Beach diet plan.

Another alternative to "strict" low-carb dieting would be to give up some of the bad carbohydrate foods but not "throw out the baby with the bath water". In other words, foods high in processed sugar, snacks, and white bread would be avoided, but foods high in complex carbs such as fruits, potatoes and whole grains, retained.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Lifestyle Dynamic Journey - Making a simple Omelette - French Style

An omelette is a staple in breakfast meals for as long as I can remember. You see it all over diner menus and such, although usually overcooked. I am not trained in classic french techniques but I did watcht a professional once and I just practiced and practiced and practiced until mine looked like his. Now, I kinda messed this one up, but ultimately it came out ok. 3 eggs. Must be whisked together completely until there is no differentiation between yolk and whites. No reason to add milk or anything else to "fluff" it up. Its fine by itself. Make sure the heat isn't too high otherwise you will burn the eggs. Any brown spots on the eggs is a surefire way of telling that they are overdone. Practice and have fun. Will taste so good when you do it!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Lifestyle Dynamic Journey Exercise Spotlight - Selectorized Leg Extension

 Leg extension exercise is a great part of a complete leg workout.  It focuses tension on the quadriceps specifically without utilizing gluteus or hamstring muscles like in a squat or leg press.  Definitely something to keep in your tool box for leg development.  


Sit on machine with back against padded back support. Place front of lower legs under padded arm. Position knee joint at same axis as machine joint. Grasp handles to sides for support. Execution Move lever forward and upward by extending knees until legs are straight. Return lever to original position by bending knees. Repeat

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Lifestyle Dynamic Journey - Internet & Misinformation: Fitness, Health, & Nutrition

 Ever since the quarantine, social media became flooded with health and fitness influencers and so called experts. Everyone and their mother had a program to sell you to do at home with or without equipment. People posting videos about exercises that were just wrong, and others spouting such health "advice" or just nonsense that it makes you wonder how they have survived this long. I am not an expert. Definitely don't use the word "guru" ever. I have spent 25 years in this industry learning, teaching, and helping people just live better. You may or may not agree with me and my points here, and that is absolutely fine. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am right. Let's have a discussion. Never stop learning. Understand that people will only believe up to what they can perceive to be true. Nothing more. Nothing less. Thanks for getting this far.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Lifestyle Dynamic Journey - San Francisco

I took the family for a trip to scratch another city off the bucket list. This time we visited San Francisco! Seafood galore and wonderful sites to see. In order to get to all the sites we wanted to see renting a car wasn't going to be feasible as parking isn't cheap. Not to mention gas prices are a bit on the higher side in California. With that aside, we really didn't want to be responsible for a car. In comes the hop on, hop bus! These things are great. for one price you get an entire days were of driving and parking without having to worry about an actually automobile. It is a tourist thing, so they go to all the best spots. You get off the bus and visit. Every 30 minutes another bus follows the same route and picks you up when the other dropped you off. Every major city has them and I suggest you take a ride if you aren't sure where to go or how to get there.

We were able to see all the major attractions one would might want to see while visiting San Francisco. We saw (in no particular order) Chinatown Haight & Ashbury (where we feasted on Amazing Caribbean food from Cha Cha Cha and sweet ice cream from Ben & Jerry's) The Golden Gate Bridge Fisherman's Wharf The Marketplace with a farmers market inside and out. We sampled some authentic steamed buns. Not part of the bus tour, we also visited Alcatraz Island. That was a sight to see. Just amazing to see the size of the jail cells. Word of caution, if you have any issues walking, Alcatraz can be difficult to view. There is a tram that takes disabled individuals to the top and back down. Anything else on the inside you're on your own. So check out the mini video I made for you and hopefully you'll get the chance to visit. Life is a journey! So make it Dynamic!

Friday, October 1, 2021

Lifestyle Dynamic Journey Exercise Spotlight - Rear Deltoid Cable Fly

 We sometimes have a tendency to neglect the rear section of the deltoid muscles.  Most figure they will work it when doing back exercises.  While this is true, isolation movements greatly reduce the chances of overdeveloped accompanying muscles and compensations.  

Stand facing twin pulley cables positioned close together and approximately shoulder height. Grasp cable attachment in each hand. Step back away from machine so arms are extended. Stand with feet staggered. Point elbows outward with arms straight or slightly bent. Pull cable out to sides, maintaining stiff elbow position throughout exercise. Return to original position and repeat.