Monday, February 27, 2017

Lose Weight With A Ftbit Challenge

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Fitness trackers have become an “it” thing in the workout world, and also in everyday life. I had always considered myself pretty active, so for awhile, I didn’t think I needed a device on my wrist to motivate me to take 10,000 steps a day. It wasn’t until I received a FitBit for Christmas this past year that I really decided to drink the “I need to get more steps” koolaid and wear my FitBit daily.
Once I figured out how to use the thing and started setting my step goals each week, I decided why not take it up a notch and join a challenge with my wife and a few other friends that also have the device? And wow, did I learn some things about myself and my daily and weekly active (or not-so-active sometimes) lifestyle. Here’s what I learned during the challenge.
Turns out, I had some room for improvement. It really made me aware of how much I sit at work.
Forcing myself to be cognizant about getting up and out is good for physical and mental health.

A little fun competition never hurt anyone.
When I first started wearing my fitness tracker, I thought I was super active because 9 times out of 10 I’d hit the step goal that they recommend. No big deal, right? Well, once I started doing the workweek challenges with my friends (a Monday-Friday challenge), I realized that maybe 10,000 wasn’t the best I could be doing. If I’m able to hit that number by a daily workout of some kind, and the amount of activity I’m doing during my day job and a little bit of activeness in the evenings at home, why shouldn’t I kick it up a bit and strive for a little more? Sure, there will be days that life gets in the way of being as active as I’d like, but there are most definitely days where I have the opportunity of going for an additional walk at night after dinner, instead of those extra 30 minutes of reality TV time. Everyone’s goal is personal — it should be based on your own health and lifestyle, but it really was eye-opening for my goals once I saw what other friends were able to do.
This one was a big one! Having a 9-5 type day job in the corporate world doesn’t always allow for tons of walking around. Sitting in front of the computer all day every day does not help you get many steps! I realized that before I was tracking my daily steps, I didn’t think much about the inactivity that the workday can bring. It also makes me realize how other occupations, such as nurses, people who walk from place to place all day, people who travel on a weekly/daily basis, can get more steps just by default. So now I’m much more aware of how much I’m sitting and try to use little things like getting up for trips to the water fountain to fill up my water bottle, and taking the long way when walking to get my lunch, can help add a little activity to my desk job.
Especially during the work week, and long, busy days, it would be so easy to work through lunches or use free time for sitting and relaxing, rather than getting a few extra steps in where possible. Now, after I’ve started tracking my steps and participating in these fun challenges, 
The whole point of the challenge is to be a competition, and sometimes we all need that competitive fire in us to push us to the next level. My friends all compete in a very friendly manner, but I definitely know we all secretly want to win each week. So even if it’s a competitive kick in the butt, it’s still motivating me to be more active and more healthy, during those Monday-Friday challenges, and I have my wife and friends and my fitness tracker to thank for that.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

How I Lost 35 pounds in 45 days...........

So 310 pounds is a really unhealthy weight for anyone at age 53, regardless of my height of 6'2, which has allowed me to hide the obesity for the most part. That’s about how much I weighed on January 1st of 2017, when I made a New Years Eve resolution to get down to 250 pounds. 
I ended up taking about 35 pounds off eating a low carb, and high protein diet, utilizing meal replacements to ensure I was able to consume the right amount of protein, in order to maintain a little of what muscle I had left over from my younger days.
I had tried like so many others in previous years to lose and keep the weight off, only to fall victim and fall off the self discipline wagon. I make no excuses. I screwed up.
After spending the early years of my life traveling throughout the world while proudly serving our country, I was fit, and in shape. This carried over into retirement for a while, until it finally hit me. I could no longer lose the weight as quick as I could back in my younger days, I mean the time was not there. I was running several successful businesses, raising a family, and helping others, which was not a bad thing, until I realized..."I FORGOT ABOUT MYSELF".


This is when realization just walked right up to me and smacked me dead in the kisser, and said "wake up you big dummy", you cant raise your family, and be there for them, run a business, or help others if you are not around, or six-feet under. Talk about a reality check.
I was feeling pretty disgusted with myself.  So I pulled out a younger photo of me at the age of 35 (on the left), and started talking to it, and asking that younger guy in the photo, what did he have back then, that I did not have today besides a six-pack of abs



He said to me it was commitment, dedication, and discipline. Thats when I said at the end of 2016, I would embark on a journey, "A Lifestyle Change" , one where I was committed, dedicated, and disciplined as I once was before. 
Personally for me, I had to first understand I was now 53, and my routine would be different, and no longer would I be eating barbells for breakfast. I needed a routine where I was just an ordinary fit, and healthy looking 53 year old male, who was enjoying life, family, friends, and still helping others along the way.
So for the entire month of December I researched looking for what I called the "tools". Thats what was needed to accomplish this goal. I needed a great meal replacement, and I needed something that could help me track my exercises, calories burned, and most importantly, my food intake. 

So I hopped into my car and drove to the BXTRA and purchased a Fitbit HR and downloaded the Fitbit app on my iPhone. My results so far have been pretty good, I’m down 35 pounds…although its only been a little over 45 days, I still have another 25 pounds to go, but with my new found commitment, dedication, and discipline i'm armed with the confidence needed to beat the belly fat war.
How a Fitbit HR can assist you with your weight loss journey;
  • iPhone App
  • Tracks Steps
  • Tracks Calories
  • Tracks miles traveled
  • Active Minutes
  • Digital Clock with Date
  • Sleep Tracking
  • Auto Sleep Detection
  • Silent Wake Alarm
  • Floors Climbed
  • Caller ID
When you’ve got the willpower and you keep the “WHY” you are doing it always at the forefront of your mind, these two tools can help you reach your weight loss goals.
This is NOT a Fitbit sponsored post. I am writing this post in the hopes that it might help you decide to go for your diet and fitness goals. These two tools are fantastic in getting you on your way.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Walk Your Belly Off

It is no secret that walking weight off is made possible by regular physical exercise. Besides helping you shed those unwanted pounds, walking boasts numerous health benefits that run the gamut from reducing your risk of getting cancer to increasing the strength of your bones. As such, walking is oftentimes recommended as part of weight-loss regimens. As a form of pure, physical exercise, walking is very easy to do since you need nothing except a good pair of athletic shoes to give you cushion and support. You don't need any fancy equipment or additional training before you can start. Walking is the natural way to lose weight. Take it from me. At the age of 53, I finally said enough was enough and set out placing one foot in front of the other, and within a little over a month after making a commitment  I lost over 35 pounds.
Walking as a Calorie Burner
One way that walking helps you shed those unwanted pounds in an effective manner is by helping you burn those equally unwanted calories. The whole concept of weight and, furthermore, weight gain is based on calorie intake. That means that you have to balance your calories if you at least want to maintain your weight, because weight is determined by how many calories you take in versus how many you burn off.
To lose weight, all you have to do is burn off more than you eat, or just reduce your calorie intake in the first place. To help manage my calorie intake, I utilized meal replacement protein powders The basic formula for walking off pounds is this: your weight multiplied by the distance you walk equals the energy used when walking, which is the energy used to burn off calories.
Speed of Walking
When you walk to lose weight, you are advised to begin your daily walk with a warm-up session of about 5 to 10 minutes that features an easy gait. This will inform your muscles that they need to use their fat reserves to provide the energy for the upcoming walk. During a weight-loss walk, the speed you should walk at is one called a "determined" pace. This pace is characterized by noticeable breathing, but in such a way that it does not interfere with carrying on a conversation. Also, at this pace, your heart rate should be beating at in between 60 percent to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should keep this pace--the "determined" pace--for a total of 30 minutes per daily walking workout, especially if you have conditioned yourself to make it to that duration.
Length of Walking
You are recommended to walk at the "determined" pace rate for anywhere between 30 minutes to 60 minutes at 50 percent to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. If your hectic work life or schedule n general does not permit this investment each day, then simply divide your walking workout into two or even three, daily sessions that are much shorter than the 30-minute to 60-minute recommendation. If you can really invest the time, you should slow down your 30- to 60-minute walking workout towards the end so that you can stretch it into a 90- to 120-minute workout.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

All About Water

Dwight Obey, MBA,MSAJS
Most people have no idea how much water they should be drinking, and most people live from day to day in a dehydrated state.  Even mild dehydration has shown to slow your metabolism!

Do you drink enough water?  Most adults should be drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.

Most adult bodies are made up of 50% – 70% of water.  If you don’t drink enough water, it will draw on sources from within the body and this can cause serious problems.

Is there is a difference between pure water and other beverages that contain water?   Obviously you get water by consuming fruit juice, soft drinks, coffee or tea. However, while such drinks contain water, they also may contain substances that are not healthy and actually contradict some of the positive effects of the added water.  Another problem with these beverages is that you lose your taste for water.

Why is drinking water important for weight loss?  One, it curbs hunger by making you feel full.  Additionally, it replaces sugary drinks helping you to consume less calories.  And even some studies show that water can boost your metabolism.


Set a goal to drink one extra glass of water today.  Or, get a water bottle to keep at your desk at work and make an effort to fill it a couple of times each day.  You may need to slowly increase the amount of water you drink by making small and manageable changes in your daily habits.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Dreaded Weight Loss Plateau

Dwight Obey, MBA, MSAJS
Weight-loss plateaus happen to even the most dedicated person. A plateau occurs when your metabolism changes as it grows accustomed to the new lower weight and lifestyle changes you have made. After a few months of continuous weight loss, you may find your progress stalled despite still dieting and working out. This can be incredibly frustrating.
To break through, you’ll need to decrease caloric intake even further and increase activity to start shedding pounds again. Try cutting 200 calories from your daily meal plan. But don’t put yourself below a 1,200 calories total.
Better yet, bump up your workout time by 15 or 30 minutes, or ramp up the intensity. Incorporate some more walking throughout the day by getting off public transportation one stop early. Walk instead of driving to the grocery store for a few odds and ends. Plateaus happen to everyone. You can and will move past them to reach your goals.
Losing weight and attaining better health is a learning process. It’s one that also doesn’t come overnight. Steadfast commitment is required. But this change will allow you to adopt the healthy habits needed in order to achieve your goals and maintain a healthy weight for life.

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The Melon Diet

Dwight Obey, MBA, MSAJS
According to Marie Marcus, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition director at Nourish Snacks, these types of diets appeal to people because they have a lot of structure but only require a short commitment.
“Unlike lifestyle change diets, the finite time period of the watermelon diet gives dieters a realistic, achievable goal,” she says. “We’re more likely to willingly punish ourselves if we know it’s only for a few days.”
And with watermelon as the main selling point, Marcus says, “We’re more likely to sign up for a diet if it means we get to eat something we love all day.”
Watermelon is good for you, it’s true. In addition to nutritional benefits, it provides a good deal of water.
“The watermelon diet is really more of a cleanse that relies on the fact that watermelon is over 90 percent water,” explains Marcus. “So it’s low in calories and provides some vitamins and minerals. It’s hydrating, refreshing, and can help you feel full, at least temporarily.”
Before you go stock up on watermelons, Marcus also offers some words of warning. The diet’s restrictive nature leaves people without any dietary source of protein, she explains. Because of this, she can’t recommend the diet to children, pregnant woman, or anyone with compromised immune function.
She adds that, like all flash diets, it’s not a long-term solution.
“Study after study shows that these fad-type diets don’t work in the long run,” she says. “Once the diet period is over, people fall into their old habits, regain the weight, and look for the next diet to test drive.”
For healthy dieters, some optimism: “In general, I don’t advocate for extreme, restrictive diets and cleanses like this,” Marcus says. “But if you’re generally healthy, it’s unlikely to be harmful when followed for a few days. If you have a plan for how to continue your weight loss efforts once the diet is over, and all you need is a little jumpstart, then go for it.”

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Weight Loss Patches

Dwight Obey, MBA, MSAJS
You can find many types of weight loss patches online. The makers of these patches claim that they cause rapid weight loss by boosting your metabolism or keeping your body from absorbing carbohydrates. They also claim that the patches don’t cause side effects.These patches are applied to the skin once per day. They usually contain herbal ingredients that enter the body through the skin and that are released over 24 hours
In most cases, there isn’t proof that weight loss patches are effective. This is because these products are marketed as dietary supplements in the United States. And dietary supplements don’t have to meet the same standards for effectiveness that OTC and prescription medications do. Therefore, weight loss patches don’t have rigorous testing done by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prove that they actually work.
There is little, if any, evidence showing that weight loss patches do work. Most effectiveness studies conducted by the product manufacturers have been small and do not meet typical standards for scientific studies.
In some cases, the government has had to step in. In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission sued a weight loss patch manufacturer for making false claims. The maker said that scientific research showed that their weight loss patch caused substantial weight loss and that the product’s main ingredient (Fucus vesiculosus, or sea kelp) was FDA-approved. Neither of these claims was true. As a result of the lawsuit, the maker agreed to stop making those claims.
Remember before embarking on any weight loss plan, or trying a new supplement to consult your doctor.  you can do this, because you are a WINNER!

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cholesterol, and what you should know

Dwight Obey, MBA, MSAJS
Cholesterol is a substance that your liver produces naturally. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D, and certain hormones.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance. It doesn’t dissolve in water and therefore can't travel through the blood by itself. Lipoproteins are other particles formed in the liver that help transport cholesterol through the bloodstream. There are several major forms of lipoproteins that are important to your health.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as "bad cholesterol," may build up in the arteries and lead to serious health problems like a heart attack or stroke. High-density lipoproteins (HDL), sometimes called "good cholesterol," help return the LDL cholesterol to the liver for elimination.
Your liver produces all the cholesterol that you need, but fats and cholesterol are present in many of the foods we eat nowadays. Eating too many foods that contain excessive amounts of fat increase the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. This is called having high cholesterol. High cholesterol is also called hypercholesterolemia. High cholesterol is especially dangerous when HDL cholesterol levels are too low and LDL cholesterol levels are too high.
High cholesterol typically causes no symptoms. It’s important to eat healthy and regularly monitor your cholesterol levels. When left untreated, high cholesterol can lead many health problems including a heart attack or stroke.
What Causes High Cholesterol?
  • red meat
  • liver and other organ meats
  • full fat dairy products like cheese, milk, ice cream, and butter
  • eggs (the yolk)
  • deep fried foods, like potato chips, french fries, fried chicken, and onion rings
  • peanut butter
  • some baked goods, like muffins
  • processed foods made with cocoa butter, palm oil, or coconut oil
  • chocolate
Who Is at Risk for High Cholesterol?
  • have a family history of high cholesterol
  • eat a diet containing an excessive amount of saturated fat
  • are overweight or obese
  • have diabetes, kidney disease, or hypothyroidism
What Are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol?
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed?
  • total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol: 40 mg/dL or higher
  • triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
How Is High Cholesterol Treated?
Medications
  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)
Lifestyle Changes
  • Eat a diet low in saturated and trans fats. Lean meats, such as chicken and fish that are not fried, and lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are helpful. Avoid fried or fatty foods as well as too many carbohydrates and processed sugars
  • Eat fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower your LDL cholesterol. Salmon, mackerel, and herring, for example are rich in omega-3s. Walnuts, ground flaxseeds and almonds also contain omega-3s.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Quit smoking.
Herbal and Nutritional Supplements
  • fiber
  • soy
  • oat bran (found in oatmeal and whole oats)
  • barley
  • artichoke
  • blond psyllium (found in seed husk)
  • ground flaxseed
  • garlic
  • olive seed extract
  • hawthorn
  • green tea extract

High cholesterol is usually made worse by eating too many unhealthy foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats. Examples of foods that contribute to high cholesterol include:
High cholesterol can also be genetic in many cases. This means that it’s not simply caused by food, but by the way in which your genes instruct your body to process cholesterol and fats. Genes are passed down from parents to children.
Other conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism may also contribute to high cholesterol. Smoking can also increase cholesterol problems..
Over one-third of American adults have raised levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People of all ages, ethnicities, and genders can have high cholesterol.
You may be at a higher risk of high cholesterol if you:
In most cases, high cholesterol is a silent problem that typically doesn't cause any symptoms. For most people, if they have not had regular checkups and followed their cholesterol levels, their first symptoms are events like a heart attack or a stroke. In rare cases, there are familial syndromes where the cholesterol levels are extremely high (familial hypercholesterolemia). These people have cholesterol levels of 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher.  Such people may show symptoms from high cholesterol that are due to deposits of cholesterol (xanthomas) over their tendons or under their eyelids (xanthalasmas).  While high cholesterol affects a large portion of the United States, familial hypercholesterolemia affects only about one in 500 people.
High cholesterol is very easy to diagnose with a blood test called a lipid panel. Your doctor will take a sample of blood and send it to a laboratory for analysis. Your doctor may ask that you don’t eat or drink anything (fast) for at least 12 hours prior to the test.
A lipid panel measures your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the following blood cholesterol levels as "desirable", or what you should aim for):
These recommendations are for the general, healthy public.  Cholesterol levels may be different if you already have other conditions like diabetes. Your doctor can tell you what your healthy levels should be.
Committing to exercise and a healthy diet is usually enough to decrease cholesterol levels. Sometimes medication is needed. This is especially true if LDL cholesterol levels are very high.
The most commonly prescribed medications used to treat high cholesterol are called statins. Statins work by blocking your liver from producing more cholesterol. These drugs also indirectly decrease the blood levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and some of them may also raise the level of the “good” cholesterol, HDL.
Examples of statins include:
There are also combination products that decrease both the absorption of the cholesterol you eat and also reduce the production of cholesterol in your liver. One example is a combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin (Vytorin).
Since a person's lifestyle typically worsens high cholesterol, lifestyle changes are crucial in order to lower it.  Take these steps to help lower your cholesterol.
Some foods and supplements have been suggested to help lower your cholesterol, although none have been clearly proven to do so. These include:
Certain herbs have also been suggested to be beneficial. The level of evidence supporting these claims varies. None have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of high cholesterol.  Some of these include:
Always talk to your doctor before taking any herbal or nutritional supplement. The herbal supplement may interact with other medications you take.

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