Staying Active Over 40 Is Key – Overweight Muscular vs. Underweight Low Muscle Mass

Is My Weight Gain Caused by Slowed Metabolism While Aging?

Metabolism is the process through which your body converts food into energy. Even when at rest, you need some energy to aid in breathing, repairing cells, and circulating blood.

You’ve probably heard that when you hit 40, it’s downhill for your weight. The inexplicable force on the metabolism rate begins to grind slower each year from 30 years onwards. Is slowed metabolism the cause of weight gain at old age?

Here’s what you should know: studies show that the rate of metabolism slowdown in older age is rather minimal. Additionally, weight gain in midlife is not due to slower metabolism. The reality is that, as we age, we get less active.

Regardless of whether you have a slow or fast metabolic rate, our bodies are synchronized to store excess energy in fat cells. Taking in more calories with reduced body activity (older people are lesser active) expands your body for weight gain.

Generally, you don’t have any control over your body’s metabolism. However, to keep a healthy weight, you should reduce and control your calorie intake. Additionally, you need to be more active. Engage in regular physical activity to burn your calories. In fact, people with fast metabolism are more active.

Metabolic Adaptation: The Undiagnosed Epidemic

The weight loss formula is simple: burn calories as much as you can consume, and you will probably drop pounds in no time. Metabolism is the energy-producing force that runs faster than Usain Bolt!

Metabolic adaptation is the slowing of the metabolism rate despite several efforts exerted for one to lose weight. This slowing of metabolism causes people to regain weight if they fail to keep up with high levels of exercise and restrictions of major calorie intake.

Metabolic adaptation is a biological response process to starvation. For example, in the availability of plentiful food, the body doesn’t see it necessary to store calories in the form of fat. However, in times of famine, the body’s metabolism process uses the minimum number of calories to maintain the biological homeostasis. The rest is stored as fat for later use to avoid starvation.

Ultimately, metabolic adaptation is one part of dieting and metabolism. Weight loss or weight gain depend on the collection of metabolic adaptation traits.

The takeaway: your body metabolism will adapt to weight loss; however, that doesn’t mean that you will gain it all back or stop shedding pounds. Getting enough sleep, upgrading cardio workouts, and managing stress will help you in overcoming metabolic adaptation.

Overweight and Muscular Rather Than Thin and With Low Muscle Mass

“There are two certainties in life: taxes and death.” However, people should also add loss of muscle mass to that list.

Don’t get worried about sarcopenia. It’s an age-related muscle loss condition, a natural part of aging. Remember that you should rather become overweight and muscular than thin and low in muscle weight.

The reason being, low muscle weight means that you’ve less mobility and greater weakness. These two results of low muscle weight increase your risk of falls and fractures. Research by the American Society showed that people with sarcopenia are 2.3 times more prone to low-trauma fractures from a slight fall (broken hip, leg, arm, collarbone or wrist).

However, losing your muscle mass doesn’t mean that it’s all gone forever. You can still increase your muscle mass despite the aging consequences. It takes work, planning and dedication to rebuild the muscles and maintain them.

To lose weight and also maintain your muscles mass at the same time, you need the right type of exercise and the appropriate diet. Muscle mass is the biggest contributor to resting metabolism. It helps in burning more calories than fat.

Being underweight presents more health concerns as you age than being overweight with muscle suprisingly!

Let’s Talk Stretching And Post Workout

How To Know If You Are Stretching Wrong?

You’re stretching, which is excellent, but are you doing it correctly? Peek below to learn how to do it and if you’re stretching wrong.

Common Ways You May Be Stretching Wrong

-You Might Be Only Stretching Post-Workout.

Many people stretch at the end of their workout but forget to do it at the beginning. You shouldn’t only limit stretching exercises to after weights or a run. Do it beforehand to loosen your muscles and increase your range of motion.

-You Don’t Warm Up First.

Jumping (literally) into the pre-workout stretches without a proper warm-up can set you up for more pain than gain. Before you get into your mini stretch set, always include a warm-up.

-You’re doing the Wrong Type of Stretch

Doing the wrong stretch at the wrong time can result in injury during either your stretch or workout.

-You Hold Your Stretches Too Long (Or Not Long Enough).

Not holding a stretch long enough can render it ineffective, but too long can actually make you stiffer, putting you at risk of injury. The safest bet is 30 seconds per stretch, which will work to lengthen your tissue and muscle fibers.

Recap: Warm-up and do dynamic stretching before your workout, and prepare your mind and body for the exercise ahead. After you’ve finished and cooled down, implement some static or moving stretching to jump-start muscle recovery. Doing both will do you big favors by making you less stiff and prone to injury. Ready, set, stretch!

Afterburn effect

The afterburn effect is also known as the oxygen debt. Its scientific name is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  By definition, the afterburn effect is the amount of oxygen required to bring the body functions back to a resting state.

During intense exercises projected to burn body calories and keep the body fit, the metabolic rate increases. After the exercise, your metabolism rate doesn’t go back to resting phase immediately, however, it remains elevated for some time. This in turn causes an increase in calorie burn, even after you’ve done some stretching, showered and eaten post-workout snacks.

To be specific, the additional energy expenditure occurring after the workout is called afterburn effect.

Its important to be mindful of this and make sure you supplement yourself after a workout. Consuming too little will lead to cravings to overeat later in the day due to your body burning more calories then normal. 20 grams of protein with one serving of carbs is recommended after a workout.

When and how does the afterburn effect occur?

Increased physical activity makes the muscles increase demand for oxygen that oxidizes the carbohydrates and the fats, producing some significant energy required for movement.

Oxygen debt occurs during an intense exercise, the body will require more oxygen than breathing could provide. The gap in demand for oxygen by the muscles and the actual available oxygen delivered stimulates the afterburn effect.

The advantage of the afterburn effect is that this fascinating activity by the body burns extra calories in your body the right way. How to do this? Train hard and intensely (not forgetting proper technique obviously), and incorporate high intensity aerobic exercise and/or HIIT into your program.

Fitness Is A Lifestyle! Key Facts To Make It A Sustainable One!

For many fitness is a struggle and a subject of difficulty. Its not easy figuring out how to build a healthy body and I can honestly say I struggled for over a decade to figure out the true meaning of what it means to work towards your fitness. My Fitness journey started when I was 17 and I was convinced that drinking slim fast was actually going to make me lose weight and get me the strong body that I or anyone else desires. However after dropping 100lbs to 220lbs by the time I was 20, I realized over the years into my 20’s that fitness isn’t just something you do for a certain point in your life and stop all together. Its a lifestyle that needs to be adopted. As a result of not understanding this at first, my weight fluctuated between 240 to 260lbs for some years in my 20’s. I stopped working out at some points and then kept coming back to it. As I mentioned in another blog post, I had a perception in my early 20’s that just going to the gym and doing cardio was working out. So while I worked out here and there, I wasn’t working out as passionate as I am now which affected my weight. I didn’t consider fitness an important lifestyle in my 20’s and that is the reason I never got my body and muscle toned the way I wanted. I was missing a key part of working out and I want to share some key facts that can help set your mind in the right direction for success.

The Key to Lasting Change/Results

Focusing on and being consistent with healthy habits is the absolute best action you can take, right now, to attain the results you’re after and achieve lasting change. Simple yet specific dietary and physical activity habits like drinking enough water each day, including colorful vegetables on your plates each day or getting in at least 10,000 steps, are all great places to start. You don’t have to do them all at once, either. Pick one or two healthy habits to work on for a few weeks; make it so easy at first that you physically can’t fail. You’ll distract yourself from the constant worrying about the scale, and when you focus on these things, lasting and meaningful change will follow. Consistency is found in those small, repetitive, seemingly unimportant decisions you make each and every day. Slow it down, stop putting so much pressure on yourself and make the decisions that allow you to feel your best. Whether that means losing weight, getting stronger or faster, or simply trying to make better dietary choices for yourself each day, your success on this journey will depend on your consistency over the long-haul.

How to deal with setbacks?

In the world of health and fitness, setbacks happen to everyone. The most important thing is how you choose to deal with and respond to those setbacks. Real progress is made when you accept that health and fitness isn’t linear and that perfection isn’t possible. Accept responsibility for your actions, take a deep breath, and vow to get back on track. Nothing is as black and white as we make it seem, and you are not good or bad if you made poor food choices or skipped a workout. Acknowledge your shortcomings and take the time to figure out how you might avoid a particular setback in the future. Have a plan: create a workout schedule, make time in your week to shop for and prep whole and healthy meals ahead of time, set aside time in your workday to get in some extra steps, movement or stretching– whatever it may be. Make the commitment to yourself to keep moving forward and not let setbacks be the reason you give up on your health and fitness journey.

Why You Can’t Fail (Cause It’s a Learning Experience, Everything You Do Gets You a Little Closer to Your Goal)

Overcome the fear of failure: you CAN’T fail! We all learn from our errors, and no one is perfect enough not to commit any mistakes. Learning from failures is important. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be your own failures; learn also from the mistakes and errors of the people who went before you.

You should be proud of your mistakes. Don’t feel horrible because of mere errors. Mistakes help us gain knowledge in our fields. Any successful individual will tell you for free that without some failures along the way, the journey wouldn’t be what it is today.

Here are some of the reasons why failures and everything you do will get you closer to your goal:

·         Failures trigger creativity and enable us to think outside the box.

·         Mistakes and errors make us resilient; we can understand the adversity of overcoming challenges.

·         Failure teaches us humanity; we are all humans and mistakes are inevitable.

·         Every failure provides references; we are always better each day when we try something

·         Failure offers us new ideas; they push our limits in addition to offering new things that inspire us

Ultimately, everything we do should add courage. Failure makes us wiser. Thomas Edison said that, “I’ve not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Mistakes are true references!

And as John Powell said, “The only real mistake is one we learn nothing from.”

Salt, Carbs, Fibers Info And Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Salt – Should I avoid it?

Salt is commonly thought of as something to avoid entirely, as too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. And while it is true that an excess of salt in the diet increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart failure, it turns out that salt is actually necessary for the human body for a myriad of reasons. You need salt to maintain a healthy blood pressure, a proper balance of fluids in the blood and optimum muscle and nerve function. That being said, most of us already get plenty of salt in our diets that we needn’t be worried about adding more. Additionally, when it comes to the nutritional value of salt, both sea salt and pink himalayan salt are commonly seen as the healthier alternative to plain old table salt, but that just isn’t the case. Although salts do vary somewhat in their mineral content, pink himalayan salt and sea salt are both nutritionally very similar to table salt in how much sodium they contain. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your salt intake, but no, you don’t need to avoid it altogether.

Do Carbs Make Me Fat and Ill?

No, you don’t have to eliminate carbs from your diet entirely in order to lose weight, no matter what your friend doing the Keto diet tells you. We need carbohydrates to function at our best in the long-term. Here’s the catch, though: refined carbs like white bread and pasta have literally been stripped of all their nutritious elements. So not only do these types of carbs spike your blood sugar, but they are linked to inflammation in the body, and they really aren’t adding any value to your diet either. So, choose your carbs wisely! Instead of refined carbs, opt for high-quality carbohydrates like quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes, bananas or legumes and skip the processed grains and sugars. And remember: any food can cause weight gain if you eat too much.

Types of Fiber and Where to Get Them, Benefits

Nutrition and healthy eating needs more fibers. You’ve probably heard this before. However, do you know why fiber is essential for your health, and which one in particular?

Dietary fiber is a roughage or bulk that includes parts of the plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb. Fiber is not digested.

Fibers are commonly classified into the following.

Soluble fiber: This kind of fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like material. It lowers the blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber is found in peas, apples, oats, citrus fruits, barely, psyllium and carrots.

Insoluble fiber: This category of fiber promotes movement of food materials through the digestive tract. It increases the stool bulk. It is of great benefit to those struggling with constipation or the irregular stools. Wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, beans, vegetables and nuts are good sources of insoluble fiber.

Benefits of High-Fiber Diet

Dietary fiber:

·         Normalizes the bowel movements making it easier to pass stool as well as decrease the chances of constipation.

·         Helps in maintaining the bowel health; the high-fiber diet lowers the risk of developing small pouches in the colon and hemorrhoids

·         Lowers the cholesterol levels.

·         Controls the blood sugar levels

·         Helps in achieving the desired weight

·         Lengthens one’s life; it reduces the chance of cardiovascular disease and all cancers.

“Eating Healthy Is Sooo Expensive” (Or Is It?)

Many people believe that eating healthy is so expensive, but that is not the case: eating healthy might cost you money but eating unhealthy can cost you your life!

Eating healthy is possible if you are on a budget. Eating healthy can be cheaper sometimes, so choose wisely the foods you are eating. There are many nutritious foods and they can be stocked easily on a flexible budget.

The following tips will enable you to get your grocery on a low bill while your family enjoys a healthier diet.

·         Pay attention to portion sizes and compare your options: a bag of apples cost less than a big bag of chips, a bag of apples can last for more than one week, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

·         Plan before purchase:  avoid impulse purchase; plan your meals before shopping.

·         Buy cheaper proteins: protein products are the most expensive food in the shopping list, so choose the cheapest ones.

·         Buy in season: know what is in season; the cost will be lower and the vegetables will be fresher.

Finally, remember that however more expensive the product is, you cannot equalize it with your health. Choosing healthier food is not a luxury no matter your budget.

Post 3.5 Mile Saturday Morning Run – Being Okay About Cheating On Your Diet

This morning I decided to take a 3.5 Mile Run and take responsibility for cheating on my diet; drinking beer and eating pizza last night. I go over why its okay to cheat on your diet once in awhile. It actually helps you continue do well on your diet because by cheating and giving in to cheating, you give yourself a treat and then the next day you get back onto it. I see a lot of people get to hard on themselves about cheating on their diet and then being hard on themselves by telling themselves “I fell off my diet.” This mindset sets you up to bulldoze your self confidence and ruin your self esteem which results in you not continuing to do well on a diet. That’s why its important to let yourself “Be Okay” about cheating on your diet once in awhile. Then promise yourself the next day to get back on it.

Happy Saturday morning everyone!

My Advice To Those Beginning Or Want to Continue Their Fitness

My page is all about bringing you no B.S. content. So I’m going to give it to you straight. Getting started in your fitness journey and getting into a routine is the toughest part of the journey.  Your confidence in your ability to start and continue a fitness program probably is swaying a bit right from the start.  Your mind is probably even telling you the negatives of keeping up with working out or exercising. There is probably lots of doubt that you can’t even lose weight, especially if you’ve tried before and didn’t see results. I know these feelings well because I’ve been there. I’ve restarted my fitness journey a lot in the last 17 years since I started working out and losing weight from being over 300lbs. Like I mentioned in my other blog, I used to get tired just from climbing a flight of stairs or walking 5 blocks on a flat street being a high school student. Getting started is hard and then once you do start and actually get on a roll in working out consistently you then need to maintain that consistency. So how do I maintain my consistency in working out?  The simple answer is I’ve found my ‘why’ and I haven’t just found one ‘why’. I’ve found many reasons at this point now to workout and keep up my fitness long term.

First off Its okay to be scared. It’s okay to be intimidated to get started in fitness.  You’re not a weak person for feeling like this.  Fitness is not easy and is really intimidating if you are not sure of what to do. Trust me. We are wired to want to put effort into something and get results. No one likes to waste their time. I still get intimidated before I go running some days despite running now for years.  It’s a mental battle pushing yourself to go workout whether you have been working out like me for 17 years or whether you’re just thinking about to get started. This is why its important to figure out your ‘why.’ Its important to figure out the reason you’re going to exert so much physical and mental effort in fitness before you do it. Making a list of goals is helpful, but could also have a backwards effect. The goals you set may not be something realistic and if you don’t reach these goals you will beat yourself up about it later on. This will result in you losing motivation to keep working out and staying on your fitness. I can’t tell you how many times I did this in my 20’s. Too many times to even remember. So while goal setting is one tactic, its not as sustainable as figuring out your primary reasons and ‘why’s.’

It all starts with taking a leap of faith. You have to choose to believe you can do it. You have to tell yourself with full confidence that you are a bad ass and you can do anything you start. There honestly is no room to doubt yourself when you start or continue your fitness because once you do start doubting, your motivation works against you from that point on.  Even the smallest shred of doubt will result in you burning out in whatever workout plan you are doing for yourself.  You need to be a warrior of positivity and slash through all the negativity or procrastinating thoughts that are pushing back on your fitness and you. Fitness is a mental battle pitting you vs. you. Its a game of facing your fears and figuring out a way to push past them. So lets go over some of my reasons why you should start your fitness today and work towards making it a lifestyle.

  1. Working out and staying fit allows you to live life with more energy and feeling happy about how you feel.
  2. Feeling stronger and the way your body looks gives you so much mental confidence for everyday life.
  3. As a parent I know I’m not getting younger and that my kids are getting older and more energetic at the ages they’re at. I want to keep up with my kids energy levels while also having the energy to take on adulting in life. We all know adulting alone takes a lot of energy out of us.
  4. Living a healthy and fit lifestyle increases your chances of living a longer life and warding off health complications later on in life.
  5. Working on fitness every week gives you the opportunity to get stronger physically and mentally so that you can take on everything life throws at you. Having an outlet keeps us grounded mentally so why not do an outlet that makes you the best version of yourself.

I advise you to think hard on your own whys and write them down on a piece of paper. On days that you’re struggling to stay confident about your fitness, I want you to go back and read your list of ‘whys’ to help you remember the reasons you are working hard. Hope this blog entry inspires you to start or continue your fitness.

Happy Saturday!

How Being Aware Of Our Food Emotions Help Us Eat Better

We all love food. We were born to crave and need food.  We grew up having certain foods our whole life only to realize how much of the foods we ate as kids is not healthy. The foods we ate when we were younger shaped our emotions for eating. At such a young age, there is no way we would even think about how healthy food was for us or not. As we got older into adulthood, we’re then told that carbs and fat are the culprits. The fast food industry gave us such warm fuzzy feelings as a kid that when were adults we still gravitated towards fast food because it was cheap and it was guaranteed to taste great, which in turn always involves happy emotions. Lets not forget about the addictive emotions sugar creates for us our whole lives as well. So is there a way to eat the way we love and still get fitness results?  In order to do that, we need to make ourselves aware of the emotions involved too. Let’s dive in and I’ll share my experiences on how I’ve overcome my emotions over the years.

When I was 7, I got into a pretty bad bike accident. My sister baited me to go down a steep hill one day by calling me chicken. Of course after watching Michael J. Fox respond boldly towards being called “chicken” in the Back to the Future movies, I wasn’t going to back down. So I followed my sister and cousin down this hill and sure enough I spun out and landed on my right leg and scraped myself up. Little did I know that this accident was actually a positive thing. After getting X-rays done my bones were not broken from the fall, but somehow I had a benign tumor hanging out just below my right knee. At such a young age I had surgery in my leg to have it removed. I still remember getting knocked out from the drug anastesias to go under surgery only to wake up over a day later in a hospital bed with my parents close by.  The surgery was successful, but I would have crutches and not be able to walk on my own for 3-4 months. This span of 3-4 months was right in the middle of summer so it was a pretty inactive summer of watching “Saved By The Bell” everyday and playing video games.  Before finding out about this tumor, I was an active kid and skinny. However this summer of not being able to be active or able to run around like a normal 7 year old is where the start of my weight and diet problems began.  I would not only eat unhealthy, but I ate way larger portions then a normal 7 year old. I’d eat 4 microwave burritos in one meal. Some days I would eat 3 top Ramen soups in a meal and top it off with lots of butter most likely inspired by Homer Simpsons way of eating. I grew to love Taco Bell and McDonalds like they were my lifelines. My emotions for food started to really change at this point. It was a form of comfort since I wasn’t able to run around like a normal kid. I gained a lot of weight that summer and by the time my cast was off my leg the emotional damage had been done; my diet and need for big portions of food had set itself in. I would never lose the weight all the way through grade school. I would be known as the fat kid in school from that point. You can check out my previous blog about my transformation from 16 years old to 34 years old and consider this story a prequel.
My childhood emotions on how food felt to me didn’t really change till I was in my 30’s. Despite getting into fitness and working out in my 20’s, I’ll admit that I didn’t think about my diet enough. Don’t get me wrong I tried. I tried to do less carbs and fats. I tried to eat 2000 calories a day. I kept calorie journals and tried to be good at dieting better. However I would always revert back to eating poorly. Taco Bell and some form of fast food was always in the mix every week still. At 25 years old I ran a computer services business in San Francisco so I basically ate out all the time. The only reason I didn’t gain any weight was because I continued to workout 3-4 times a week. However the emotional eating I created as a kid was still part of me in my 20’s. I never became aware of how emotional eating was till I read a book that I borrowed from my cousins. The name of the book is called “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. This book really helped me understand my eating habits and really made me think deep about how I’ve been eating over the years. It was hard to face how wrong I had been eating. I would say I still didn’t make drastic changes to my diet even after learning about the emotions of eating, but it stayed in the back of my mind. At 29 years old I finally decided to take some steps to get my eating in the right direction. I reduced my carb intake by half and had some to no sugar at all in my diet. This pushed me to look at alternative methods to eat since I needed to reduce my carbs. I started appreciating lettuce wrapped burgers more as they were a lighter carbs option to have a burger still. I did have eat less pasta and spaghetti. Instead of making rice with every meal, my wife and I would opt for veggies. Instead of emotionally eating what came to mind first, I successfully planned meals better. This has carried over into my 30’s now and has only gotten better. I now can be happy with myself no matter what I eat. Even if I splurge and over eat or eat something unhealthy I will get back to my usual healthier eating and go back to being present about my food intake. I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself anymore about eating and allow myself to enjoy meals. This has allowed me to stay on top of eating healthier which in turn has helped give me better fitness results. I’m still working on this, but I’ve come a long way.
The main point I want to point out in this blog post is that our eating is based a lot on the emotions we feel about food. When were happy or sad we have a tendency to eat unhealthy or overeat. So what is important if we want eat better is to be aware of how our moods, emotions, and lifestyles that urge us to eat a certain way. Keeping a food log can help us make us more aware. Another tactic is planning meals one day at a time and sticking to it. One thing that has worked for me is telling myself to go with the healthier meal if I do have to eat out. I tell myself that no matter what my mind is telling me to eat, choosing the healthier meal will still fulfill my hunger. These days I stick to having one or two cheat meals a week to keep my hunger satisfied so that most of my meals are healthy and nutrition dense. Its a mind over matter thing when it comes to eating. The only one that can help you with this is yourself. You can read all the meal plans and get all the advice possible, but it’ll come down to you executing what you put in your body. Make it so that food is something you consume, not letting food consume you.