Resolution 2017: I Will Stop Exercising to Lose Weight! 

You must change your thinking about exercise and its proper place in your plan for health and fitness if you are to succeed. 

Do not stop exercising in the coming year (and beyond), but temper your expectations about what exercise can accomplish towards your weight loss goals. 

Exercise should not be your primary method of losing weight. 

It should not be your primary method of losing weight. 

The reason you will be utilizing an exercise program in 2017, and for the rest of your life, is to strengthen your body systems: cardiovascular/respiratory, muscular, skeletal, and cerebral. 

There is no substitute for exercise in achieving these health sustaining results. None! No pill, no diet drink, no prescription, nothing. 

You must continue to exert physical effort consistently. And if you do… 

You can still be strong in your sixties and beyond, simply by being consistent. At sixty five, I enjoy strength and mobility that most have lost long ago from neglect. I was never a star athlete; never the fastest, never the strongest. I simply have exercised purposely and conservatively all my life. 

If you want to be different when 2017 is done, you must make different lifestyle choices now and continuing forward. 

It certainly will not be quick and it certainly will not be easy.   

WHERE IT STARTS AND ENDS :

Weight management is first and foremost the control of the quality and quantity of food you consume. 

If you intend to change your level of health and fitness, this must be your mantra. There is no shortcut. 

Here’s Why:

You don’t have enough time or energy to exercise off extra calories consumed throughout the day. 

An average size cookie can be 150 calories. How easy is it to consume a few chocolate chip cookies after a meal that already contains more energy than you can burn before the next meal? You would need to walk more than three miles to use the energy supplied just from the cookies. 

The best and most vigorous exercise program is no match for a diet that chronically consumes excess calories. 

We are all genetically and psychologically different. What seems easy to me could be very difficult for someone else. 

There very well may be biological differences regarding the feeling of fullness that results from consuming adequate quantities of food. However, individual differences generally fall with the extremes on either side being a very small component of the population.

You can gain a tremendous advantage if you begin to focus on this feeling of fullness. Learn and practice mindfulness about both your motivation for eating and the process itself! If you can come to the point of getting away from the table when you first feel a sense of being satisfied (not full),  you will never be seeking weight loss answers again. Your body weight will normalize even without exercise! 

During an extended period of no exercise (due to injury), I developed this habit. Little by little, eating with a heightened sense of awareness, and commitment to a goal, the journey progressed. 

For the majority of us who fall into the ‘normal’  category regarding our biological responses to food and consumption, constructive changes are within our power to choose.

Not necessarily easy, but possible, nonetheless.

Since our response to eating is the issue, you must focus your awareness on the process; especially eating quality, nutritious food at a slower pace–intent on stopping before fullness. If good health is important to you, food must be viewed as your vital tool for proper nutrition. If your mealtime is anticipated as primarily a gut-filling endeavor, the odds are greatly against you. Change your thinking, change your behavior. 

 Look for foods that supply the protein, vitamins and minerals that are necessary to nourish your body. I promise that if you make the effort to consume healthy foods, your tastes and cravings will change. But it won’t happen quickly. And you must be consistent with your new food choices. 

I love chocolate. When I first tasted chocolate that was high in cocoa and low in sugar, the taste was bitter. Now it’s impossible for me to enjoy the sugar packed chocolate of a typical candy bar. All sugars should be understood as simple energy sources–those most readily converted to glucuse: the fuel your body recognizes. The sugars in fruits should be treated with the same caution. Just because they are part of the sweet taste of orange juice does not allow you to consume them recklessly.

 Your nutritional awareness will extend to understanding the pervasive presence of high fructose corn syrup–even in the bread you consume. Do these things matter? Yes, these are the details that separate the serious from ‘lose weight fast’ junkies.

Start drinking water with your meals (and in between). The amount of calories consumed in the form of drinks throughout the day is significant.  

This type of change is fundamental to your success. You can do it. 

Understand the mission: changing your lifestyle–small successful and consistent steps are much more important than grandiose changes that are likely doomed to failure.

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven 

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0

Uncle Harry Lost 37 Pounds Fast on The Amazing Acorn Diet!

Did I get your attention? I hope so…because there is no uncle Harry and there is no Acorn Diet.

Uncle Harry cited above in the title is anecdotal evidence. Someone’s story is supposed to prove validity. I don’t mean to be rude here, but maybe it took Uncle Harry six months to lose 37 pounds, not two weeks. Maybe Uncle Harry’s picture of ‘before and after’ isn’t actually what it appears to be. Maybe uncle Harry was doing something along with the Acorn Diet that they are not telling us about. Get the picture? These ‘Uncle Harry’ stories abound in articles and advertisements that are trying to get you to buy. They work.

They are generally void of any way for you to determine their validity.

People buy anyway.

On the net (and in print), anecdotal (Uncle Harry) evidence will always confront us. It’s best not to base your decisions on this type of hearsay information. The reality is that even some recognized experts, who wield powerful influence, can lead us astray.

Credentials Are Nice, But Don’t Guarantee Validity

A number of years ago, one of the most prominent scientists in the world (Nobel Prize in chemistry, among numerous other awards), Dr. Linus Pauling, made a strong and compelling case for mega dosing vitamin C. Credentials and accomplishments don’t get any better than his. Vitamin C, based on his research, was a powerful anti-cancer substance when taken in large doses. At that time, that was all I needed to know– Linus Pauling? ….vitamin C? ….no brainer! I jumped on this. I was downing C tablets the size of horse pills.

After years of clinical tests and trials, I am not aware of any conclusive clinical evidence that has proven mega doses of vitamin C to be effective as a cure for cancer.

What’s the consumer of health and fitness information to do?

For this, I will suggest the admonition spoken in the boxing ring before the bout begins, “Protect yourself at all times!”

Keeping It Real,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Exercise Illusion: It’s Not About Burning Fat!

The amount of time, money, effort and disappointment that go toward attempting to ‘burn fat’ must be enormous. Perhaps if generators were attached to all the treadmills, stationary bikes and rowing machines, we could make a fair contribution to clean energy production.

I have chosen to make exercise an important part of my lifestyle because I enjoy it and the health benefits are irreplaceable; incapable of being achieved as well by any other means.

As an added benefit, the more energy you expend physically, the more calories you burn, right? So you keep chasing ‘The Ultimate Fat Burner’ workout, thinking that you simply haven’t found it yet.

That notion, I’m sure, factors mightily in the billions of dollars generated selling the prospect of a beautiful body.

Diet and exercise are always mentioned together when it comes to losing weight. One does compliment and enhance the effectiveness of the other; but diet is, by far, the most important component of weight loss and maintenance.

If your goal is to lose weight and the major focus is not on the quantity of food you are eating, your efforts are directed at lesser effective issues.

Multiple times weekly an important component of my exercise routine centers on cardiovascular/respiratory fitness. Using the stair step machine, I elevate my heart rate and respiratory tempo to the desired levels for twenty minutes. This type of exercise rejuvenates the body at the cellular level. That’s my purpose with this activity.

A side benefit is that it takes about 200 extra calories during the session to achieve my goal.

ONLY 200 calories?

Obviously, it makes much more sense to avoid the two cookies for desert that I can consume in about 30 seconds if my goal is to reduce calories.

If you don’t catch the significance; or you’re simply not willing to change your eating habits, you will always be on the unfortunate side of the equation.

There is not enough time in the day to work off calories that can be so quickly consumed in excess if you’re careless.

Focus On the Basics,

Steven
UPDATE: http://www.m.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20160128/exercise-diet-calories-weight?src=RSS_PUBLIC
UPDATE 3/14/16 Must have read my blog… http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/exercise-in-futility/471492/
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Cholesterol: The Hero of Brain Health!

A Summary Look At ‘Grain Brain’ by Dr. David Perlmutter (All quoted material is from his work)

Cholesterol, for as long as I can remember, has been villainized. It has been indicted to such a degree that it has been recommended by the medical establishment that all Seniors, even without excessive cholesterol, should be drugged with Statins to guard against the potential of cholesterol complications! The ramifications of such a recommendation are mind-boggling; but hold that thought.

The reality is that cholesterol is a critical component of numerous important functions in the body. But its role in brain chemistry is particularly vital to appreciate, especially in light of this pervasive Statin controversy.

Function in the Brain

“Cholesterol is a critical brain nutrient essential for the function of neurons and it plays a fundamental role as a building block of the cell membrane.”

“Cholesterol is looked upon as an essential fuel for the neurons.”

Another misunderstood, yet indispensable element in brain health function, is commonly referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’. It is not actually a cholesterol molecule, however. The role of this low density lipoprotein is to transport cholesterol to the neurons. “When cholesterol levels are low, the brain simply doesn’t work well.”

The Cholesterol Component

“The brain holds only two percent of the body’s mass, but contains twenty five percent of the total cholesterol, which supports brain function and development. One fifth of the brain, by weight, is cholesterol.”

“We’ve actually determined that the ability to grow new synapses in the brain depends on the availability of cholesterol.”

“Cholesterol in the brain serves as a powerful antioxidant.” Because deterioration of the brain is, in part, a function of inflammation–an oxidative process– this antioxidant characteristic adds to its importance in brain health!

The Heart Disease Connection

You’re wondering, now, about its role in coronary artery disease, right? This quote summarizes the data and studies presented in the book–a fascinating historical look, as well, regarding how we came to accept dietary guidelines so popular today.

“Reviews of multiple large studies have routinely failed to find correlation between cholesterol levels and heart disease.”

According to Dr. Perlmutter, this phenomenon has more to do with oxidized LDL; a result of sugar molecules attaching themselves to and changing the shape of these life-giving transporters. Consumption of carbohydrates is directly related to the levels of sugar in the blood. Get the connection?

Back to Statins

This point will be briefly made, but it is a monumental one: Statins work by decreasing the output of cholesterol formed by the liver. Evidence suggests that Statins also effect the functioning of cholesterol in the brain, as well.

If you are taking Statins, I urge you to become as educated as possible about the issue. I am not qualified to dispute or corroborate the evidence presented by Dr. Perlmutter. My hope is that the scientific community, without bias, will move us forward to find the answers that truly are in our best interests.

To Your Health and Wellness,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Your Attitude Towards Food: Try Mindfulness On A Mission!

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Having just read that half of the household pets in the United States are obese, (seriously: http://tpt.to/a53qK8t), it’s time to step back and reflect on where we are and what we’re doing.

We’ve already dangerously shifted our attitudes about obesity in our children (see my comment and link to article here: http://wp.me/p45KYd-JR). Now the same behaviors are effecting our pets!

Food As Nourishment

Food will always be a major source of temptation for us; not only because of our wonderful sense of taste, but because of its function in major social settings, as well. I have memories of special meals from decades ago–the perfect combination of fantastic food, beautiful atmosphere, and special people. It will always be that way.

Appreciating food first as our source of sustenance and life can, for some, influence eating behavior. If you use this focus purposefully–to consciously stop eating before experiencing the feeling of fullness in your stomach–you can gain control of this powerful urge. It is not easy and it involves living for short intervals of time with a slight feeling of hunger. Slowing down and experiencing the moment can reduce the habit of racing towards the ‘fullness finish line’ and turning a positive experience into one of physical discomfort and a feeling of defeat. An interesting article, ‘How Mindfulness Can Change The Way The Brain Works’ certainly has relevance here: http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/mindfulness-in-the-news/article/424657

Use mindfulness as a tool to focus your resolve like a laser in order to change your behavior. Adding a strong emotional component to your thoughts strengthens your purpose–like an athlete preparing for an event. You do have the power!

Lacking this specific goal, you’re likely to eat to the point of fullness, which pretty much guarantees that you’ve consumed more calories than the body can utilize. It doesn’t matter what metabolism-boosting foods you think you’re eating, if you’re over-consuming calories, you’re packing on pounds.

There will always be fast and easy ways marketed that offer false hope. Your body didn’t add that extra weight quickly, and neither will it metabolize it for energy quickly. By the way… nothing melts fat away.

For further encouragement, please see my prior post: ‘Refuse It, So You Don’t Have To Lose It!’

http://theseniorhealthandfitnessblog.com/2014/04/25/refuse-it-so-you-dont-have-to-lose-it/

Also of interest: ‘8 Things You Should Never Say To Yourself About Food’ :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/25/food-self-judgment_n_6517110.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Eating With Mindfulness,

Steven
(Research Update 3/9/16: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160309082810.htm)
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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A Healthy Lifestyle Makes Crash Diets Obsolete.

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As I’m writing this post, the next new twist on food consumption is already being developed somewhere. It will have an inspiring title and get the attention of the crowds like a wardrobe malfunction at the Oscars.

But is all this really necessary?

Only if your interest is bottom line dollars!

I know, that’s a harshly indicting statement, but you’ve noticed that there’s nothing for sale here, so we can speak honestly – – like true friends.

The only thing that you’re going to sell regarding the healthy lifestyle is a compilation of the evidence on what it really is. (You can actually get that for free, as well, you just need to figure out who’s being real)

Did I forget supplements and detox programs? Forgive me for not mentioning metabolism-boosting eating schedules, etc.

I didn’t really forget all those… they’re just not important to your longevity.

The ground-breaking research which was done resulted in a book about ‘Blue Zones’ describing nine common characteristics shared by the societies enjoying the greatest longevity on the planet.

It would be easy for me to list them for you here, but I won’t. If you dig deeper and understand directly from the author’s words what’s significant, it’s much more likely to change your life than a simple list on a blog. And certainly the author deserves to be rewarded for his labors.

Lifestyles Not Nonsense,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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“It’s About You… It’s About Time!”

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“Refuse It, So You Don’t Have To Lose It!”

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When you can do this, it’s liberating.

No more diets.

Weight normalizes even without excessive exercise.

Not taking in extra calories is a thousand times more efficient than ingesting calories and then working to metabolize fat.

You don’t have enough time in the day to exercise long enough to burn off an extra 1200 calories eaten during the day.

That amount is not unreasonable if you overdid it a little each meal.

Nothing to buy.

No bad side effects.

Major increase in self esteem, with good health on the side.

Got a better idea?

To Your Health and Wellness,

Steven

A Diet Practice From ‘Blue Zone’ Okinawans:
http://wp.me/p45KYd-qG

Update: Weight Loss Products #1 in Fraud
http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/over-counter-products/article/weight-loss-products-top-fraud
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Would you like to see the latest important senior health and fitness news, focused on our interests, with just one click?

See what I’ve created just for you…hit the Pinterest Bar below to to see today’s breaking Senior Health News Updates …Your only source for senior health news in one place! In between blogs, this is where you’ll find me: bringing it to you! Try it with your morning coffee.

“It’s About You… It’s About Time!”

http://www.pinterest.com/stevensiemons/the-senior-health-news-board/