Monday, September 21, 2015

Your Health Is In Your Hands

There are many things in life that we do not have control over.  Circumstances beyond our control can cause stress, heartache, financial setback, loss, and many other things.  You can have the best intentions and put forth the best effort and still not reach a desired outcome.  The difference with health and physical appearance is that those same efforts can lead to a desirable result if the work, discipline and consistency is applied.  

Health issues regardless of what caused them can make achieving optimal health and pleasure with physical appearance challenging.  This blog is not speaking to a person under those circumstances.  If you are in relatively good health and do not have surmountable physical challenges the only thing standing in the way is you!

According to Women’s Marketing, the next trillion dollar industry globally is the Health & Wellness market space.  It is dominated mostly by beauty and anti-aging product sales at $679 billion, followed by fitness and mind + body exercise ($390 billion) and health eating, nutrition and weight loss sales ($277 billion).  It is great to see our society become more health conscious, but they are many still struggling.

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Stop blaming work, being busy, children, access to a gym, or anything else you contribute to getting in your way.  I feel confident saying that because I’ve witnessed and worked with people and wondered how do they do it?  With all the demands on their life they still find a way.  The reason they are able to do that is because they decided to make their health a priority without compromising their responsibilities and other goals.  

In the age of social media people share many aspects of their lives.  That goes for fitness enthusiasts as well.  There are great stories of transformations, what you don’t see is the work and discipline.  One key difference between discipline and consistency is our will or desire. It is easy to be consistent with something you have a great desire for.  If you love to read books, it takes little effort to set time aside to read. Discipline requires consistency but discipline is more than being consistent. Discipline is a bending and training of our wills and desires through doing things that aren’t already second nature.   Until you adopt a healthy lifestyle for an extended period time and can appreciate the results, it won’t become second nature.

Do you look in the mirror with displeasure?  Is your doctor telling you to improve your diet and be more active?  Is the continuous frustration stopping you from getting motivated?  You can’t get it all one day, but what you can do is start the process.  Have a vision of your health and wellness goals. Everything you eat and activity or inactivity will bring you closer to that goal or will leave you stagnant or cause a setback.  If you do not know where to start, seek a professional to help establish a plan.  How you can fit exercise into your schedule.  How to meal prep so you have healthy foods accessible that fit into your budget.  It can be done, the question is are you willing to do what it takes?

Next week I will give practical tools to meal prep and exercise regardless of schedule or gym access.

Jamaal Piper
Health and Wellness Consultant

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

In Order To Lose Weight You Need To Eat!

We live in a society with unhealthy food choices at our disposal.   According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.  The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008, the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
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What causes weight gain and lack of progress for those who are eating healthy foods and exercising consistently is a lack of calories and appropriate macronutrients.  I have had experiences with clients and friends and family who ask for advice who are diligent, but when we discuss their nutrition the problem is not overeating, it becomes evident that there is a lack of calories and nutrients in their diet.

When someone restricts their caloric intake for an extended period of time, malnutrition can occur.   An increase in activity will equate to an increased appetite.  What you eat and how much is the key. Not only is severely restricting calories not sustainable -- you're bound to fall off the wagon and return to your old eating habits -- but it also causes your body to destroy muscle tissue.   

For example, if you’re consuming less than 1,000 calories a day, a piece of fruit for breakfast, and having have a salad for lunch with some lean meat, and a small dinner that is not a sufficient amount of food.

There is some debate as to how large of a calorie deficit one should have in a fat loss program. In theory a 500 daily calorie deficit equals 1 pound of fat loss per week, and a 1,000 calorie deficit equals 2 pounds of fat loss per week.

The Huffington Post reported a study that young female athletes are not consuming enough calories.  According to the National Eating Disorder Association, one-third of female athletes "reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk for anorexia nervosa," and adolescent girls are at the most risk for facing long-term consequences because of the biological changes and growth spurts going on during their teen years. 

Excessive carbohydrate consumption can cause wild blood sugar swings, you might be surprised to learn that inadequate calorie consumption can cause just as many issues with blood sugar control. The most common issue that comes from chronic under-eating is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

Attempting to lose weight does not mean stop eating.  If you are in the habit of skipping meals, or not eating nearly enough, understand eating more of the right foods helps increase your metabolism. The key is to find balance between exercising and healthy eating, while tracking your food and exercise progress to see what works for you and make the necessary adjustments.  

Jamaal Piper
Health and Wellness Consultant/Certified Personal Trainer