Saturday, December 29, 2018

Unbiased Diet Review: Paleo Diet

What is the Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet is a diet that is based on the consumption of foods that have only existed during the Paleolithic era. These include foods like meat, vegetables, eggs, fish, fruits, etc. People who do this diet are supportive of the idea that humans were meant to eat what their ancestors ate based on evolutionary principles. 

Pros
One of the pros of going paleo is that you are completely eliminate processed foods. There has been evidence that the Paleo Diet is has been beneficial in helping with Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease(1). There is also the fact that non-processed foods are less calorically dense therefore leads to less calorie intake which can be good for weight loss(1). Overconsumption of processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of cancer(2). So by eliminating processed foods from your diet, you are decreasing your risk of cancer. Not to mention that you can't eat fast food on the Paleo diet, which ultimately leads to less of a risk of obesity. A study in the state of Michigan showed a high association between eating fast food and obesity(3).  So there is strong evidence of the benefits of this diet for weight loss and overall health. 

Cons
So one of the biggest cons of this diet is the lack of research on it(4). More research needs to be done before people start promoting the health benefits of this diet. Also, it is ridiculously hard to stick to as it is very restrictive. We live in a world full of processed foods. We are not cavemen anymore and we have adapted to a world where most of the food we eat is processed. In fact, 70% of the average American diet is processed foods(5). With how restrictive this diet is, it does not seem to be sustainable long term. I mean if you think about it, how realistic is it to eat only foods that cavemen ate. It does not seem to fit a modern lifestyle. 

Overview
So overall, the pros of the Paleo diet are the health benefits that come with eliminating processed foods including decreasing the risk of cancer, diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, and obesity. The cons of the Paleo diet are the lack of research on it, and how unrealistic and unsustainable it is. Overall, it takes a lot of discipline to stick to a diet like this. I have a lot of respect for people who can do this diet. 




Sources

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Why BMI isn't always reliable

BMI isn't always the best way of measuring whether you are at a healthy weight or not. It only takes your height and weight into account. There are no other factors that are taken into account when using BMI. There are so many other factors that go into whether someone is a healthy weight, overweight or obese, such as age, gender, body fat percentage, etc. According to this chart, a 5'10 215 bodybuilder who has a body fat percentage of maybe 10-15% is obese. That doesn't make sense. So take the score you get on the BMI scale with a grain of salt. I am currently considered obese on this scale but my body fat percentage is completely normal. Don't put all of your faith in the BMI scale because it is not always accurate. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Unbiased Diet Review: Mediterranean Diet

What is the Mediterranean Diet? 
The Mediterranean Diet is a diet that is based on the eating habits of Greece, Southern Italy and Spain in the 1940s and 1950s(1).  This diet mostly consists of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables,  moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, moderate consumption of wine, and low consumption of nonfish meat products(2). 

Pros 
There is evidence that the Mediterranean diet may reduce your chances of getting Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer due to consuming more fruits and vegetables, as well as less red meats(2). Olive oil is also a huge component in the reduction of the chances of getting cardiovascular disease and olive oil also leads to a decrease in neurodegeneration(3). Also, this diet seems very flexible as it doesn't seem as restrictive as the other diets I have reviewed. It seems like you can easily sustain this diet for long periods of time. There is evidence that this diet can possibly reduce the risk of many different diseases and health conditions(4). 
Cons
So the first con on the list is the fact that this diet encourages people to drink wine. This isn't always an option for those who can't drink alcohol for health reasons or they are on medications that would have a bad reaction. The second con is the fact that there isn't a specific serving size on here for the amount of each food that you need to eat. It is a very vague description to say, "low consumption" or "moderate consumption." What does that mean? We need an exact number. Dieting is about counting the macronutrients that you eat and the calories that you eat.

Overview
Overall, this diet has shown to be good for your health as it has lots of health benefits and it seems to be sustainable long-term as it isn't too restrictive. It isn't good for those who can't drink alcohol for health reasons or because they are on medication that could have a dangerous reaction to alcohol. Also, there isn't a specific calorie count or specific count of each macronutrient that you need, so the best way to lose weight on this diet is to combine it with a calories-in-calories-out approach to weight loss. Remember, you need a calorie deficit to lose weight.

Sources
(1) Alberto Capatti et al.Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History, p. 106.; Silvano Serventi and Francoise Sabban, Pasta, p. 162

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4663587/

(3) https://iubmb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/biof.1318

(4) https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201758/figures/4

Friday, December 7, 2018

Interview with my Vegan Friend



So last night, I interviewed my vegan friend, Sam Fortin, about veganism and her personal experience with it. I wrote an article about veganism earlier but I thought it would be better to interview someone who has personal experience with this diet. Here is the information I found. 

When did you start your vegan diet?
February of 2018

What health benefits have you noticed from becoming a vegan? 
It helped me digest food easier. I don’t have any crash after eating a big meal. 

What food was the hardest to give up once going vegan? 
Not eating meat as a whole was hard. Burgers, sushi, and baked goods were the hardest. 

What was the hardest thing about becoming a vegan? 
It is hard getting the sustainable nutrients that you get from animal products. 

What is your reasoning for being vegan? Health reasons? Moral reasons? To help the environment? 
Health reasons mainly to help my digestion and to give me more energy. 

What negative physical/mental side effects did you notice from becoming vegan? 
If I wasn’t eating enough protein I would feel tired midday. Other than that not really. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Unbiased Diet Review: The Vegan Diet

Veganism is a diet that many people have used and been successful with when it comes to weight loss. We are going to be exploring Veganism from an unbiased view. Once again, I am not telling you whether you should go vegan or not. I am simply sharing the facts about this diet.


What is Veganism? 
Veganism is based around the idea of avoiding not only meat but any sort of animal product whatsoever. I would like to distinguish the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan. A vegetarian is someone who avoids meat but a vegan avoids not only meat but dairy, cheese and basically anything that is produced from an animal. The reasons for going on this diet range from health reasons, to financial reason, environmental reasons and also moral reasons. Those who go on a vegan diet may believe it is morally wrong to eat meat or animal products and therefore avoid them completely. Now do I have experience with veganism, no I do not. I have never been on a vegan diet before but I am very fascinated by the vegan diet as it seems to have become a trend that many people are following. Let's look at the pros and cons of veganism.

Pros 
The first pro of going vegan is that you will be helping the environment. According to the University of British Columbia, "Modern agriculture is now the number one contributor to a variety of factors that impose hazards to the environment, including and not limited to, an increase in rates of methane and CO2, overconsumption of water, overuse of land resources, waste production, water and air quality degradation, deforestation, and species extinction(1)." Not to mention the fact that the meat industry contributes to 18% of all greenhouse gases(1). There is also evidence that vegetarianism and veganism are highly effective for weight loss. "In 2006, after reviewing data from 87 published studies, authors Berkow and Barnard reported in Nutrition Reviews that a vegan or vegetarian diet is highly effective for weight loss. They also found that vegetarian populations have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity(2)." They have even linked vegan and vegetarian diets with a lower risk of mortality(2). The moral and ethical benefits of going vegan are the fact that you are not contributing to animal cruelty in the meat industry. "Though no less capable of suffering than their domestic and wild counterparts, animals raised for meat, eggs, and milk in the United States have long been denied any meaningful protection while enduring the most egregious forms of mistreatment at all stages of their lives(3)." There are many issues with factory farming in the meat industry. Cows and Chickens are stuck in cages where they can't move and aren't very free. That is cruel and morally wrong. So by going vegan, you are choosing to boycott an industry that has been known to be ethically questionable.

Cons
The one con of veganism is the fact that by not consuming meat you missing certain nutrients that your body needs to function. "Micronutrients of special concern for the vegan include vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, and long-chain n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids. Unless vegans regularly consume foods that are fortified with these nutrients, appropriate supplements should be consumed. In some cases, iron and zinc status of vegans may also be of concern because of the limited bioavailability of these minerals(4)." Luckily, as the last quote states, you can easily get these nutrients through supplements and other foods. You just need to really make sure that you are getting all these nutrients that you are missing from meat so do your research on this before starting this diet. The next one specifically applies to those who are going on a vegan diet specifically for weight loss, it is hard to sustain. You have to be very motivated to cut out all animal products. Another con of veganism is the lack of research around the subject matter. "Although preliminary data are valuable, more scientific studies on vegans are needed to get a clearer picture of their health status(4)." Hopefully, there will be more research on the subject of veganism and vegetarianism in the future because of the health benefits and many other benefits that come from being vegan are great! 

Overview

Overall, veganism has a lot of benefits not only to your health but to the environment and also by fighting animal cruelty in the meat industry. The main cons are related to the lack on micro-nutrients you find in meat, which can easily be supplemented for, the amount of discipline it requires to be on a vegan diet for weight loss, and also the lack of research behind the subject.  




Sources
(1) http://cases.open.ubc.ca/environmental-impact-of-meat-consumption/#cite_note-1
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/
(3) https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1122&context=mlr_fi
(4) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/5/1627S/4596952

Unbiased Diet Review: Keto Diet


This is a new series I am starting on this blog about reviews of different diets from an unbiased perspective. I am not going to recommend any of these diets, I am just going to get into the facts, information, and science behind these diets so you could make an informed decision about which diet you want to go on. The first diet that I will be reviewing is the Keto Diet. I personally have used this diet and was very successful with it. In fact, I contribute most of the weight loss to this diet. I am not saying it will work for everyone though as everyone's own experience with weight loss is different.

What is Keto? 
The Ketogenic diet is a diet that is heavily restrictive of carbs and sugars(specifically carbs). The diet is based around getting your body into a state called Ketosis. This is when your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn so it starts burning fat. This allows your body to burn a lot of fat at a very fast rate. The amount of carbs that you need to eat for your body to be in Ketosis ranges from 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

Pros 
The Pros of the ketogenic diet are the fact that you will see results very fast. I am speaking from personal experience as when I started Keto in October of 2017, I was 280. I got down to 235 in January of 2018 and then 225 in February of that same year. So it is very fast and sudden which will lower the amount of stress and frustration that you will feel while on this diet. There is also no doubt that the ketogenic diet is effective when it comes to weight loss. Antonio Paoli from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health wrote in his article, "There is no doubt that there is strong supportive evidence that the use of ketogenic diets in weight loss therapy is effective(1)." There is also evidence that the Ketogenic diet helps people with epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, Neurological diseases, and even acne(2). Not to mention Cardiovascular risks decrease(2). So there are a lot of health benefits to Keto and there is strong evidence that it is an effective treatment for weight loss. From personal experience, I also found that I wasn't as hungry as I used to and I was satisfied by eating fewer calories. 

Cons 
The first con that I will mention is that it is very hard to maintain long-term. It is also very hard to stay on. Imagine not allowing to eat bread throughout the entire day, or rice, or noodles. Or anything that has more than 20 grams of carbs in it. That will be difficult to sustain. There is also a problem with binging that I personally experienced when I went on Keto. I found that once I started eating carbs, I ate a lot of carbs and binged on them. This is especially true when it comes to Pizza because it is my favorite food. Another con is the Keto flu which happens for a few days after you cut down on your carbs and go into ketosis. You will feel physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, Nausea(you won't vomit though, etc. The Keto flu can be quite uncomfortable. Not to mention the fact that this diet is not very flexible so you don't have a lot of variety in the things that you can eat. 

Good foods to eat on Keto 
Cheese 
Any kind of meat
Vegetables 
Some fruits(low carb fruits)
Dairy products 

Foods to avoid on Keto 
Pizza 
Bread 
Processed Sugar 
Noodles
Rice
Beans

Overview
Keto is very effective for weight loss and has many other health benefits. It is unfortunately very restrictive, very hard to sustain, has a potential rebound effect, and the Keto flu can be quite uncomfortable. I will not say whether you should or shouldn't go on this diet. You have to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to Keto.



Sources
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3826507/

Friday, November 30, 2018

How to guide on Cheat Meals


A huge part of losing weight is staying disciplined with your diet. In fact, I would say that is the most important part of losing weight. But isn't it okay to indulge every once in a while? When you are out with your friends and they are all eating all this delicious, marvelous, unhealthy food that is full of sugar and carbs, don't you want to join them. Well, the good news is that indulging every once in a while is okay. But it's important to get back on track after you indulge. Here are 5 Tips on how to do cheat meals properly. 

1. Make a cheat meal a reward! 
This is probably the most ironic thing that I have ever said, but making a cheat meal as your reward for losing weight will be a good way to motivate yourself. So let's say that you lost 10 pounds, go out and eat pizza or indulge in your favorite food to celebrate your accomplishments! You should be very proud of yourself for losing that weight because it is not easy! Invite your friends and your support system and have a celebration! It is an important reminder that your accomplishments are always worth celebrating! 

2. Don't overdo it!
Don't come in with the mentality of wanting to eat everything all in one day because it is your cheat day. You will instantly regret overeating so much! Remember, everything in moderation. So instead of eating the entire pizza maybe just have a few slices. Don't eat an entire pint of ice cream, eat maybe a bowl or two. Keep in the back of your head that this is not an excuse to eat as much as you want. Have self-control and practice disciple. 

3. Plan your cheat meal!
If you are counting your calories, remember to count your cheat meal with those calories that you are counting. Remember that an important part of losing weight is being honest with yourself. If you plan on eating 2500 calories a day, you should incorporate your cheat meal into that. While indulging, remember that your cheat meal counts in the daily number of calories you consume so plan around that so you have some wiggle room. If your daily calorie count is, 2500, let's say, and that pizza you are eating is 500, remember to only eat 2000 calories before you eat your pizza. Maybe also start a routine for cheat meals, like tell yourself, "once a week I will have a cheat meal." 

4. Get back on track!
After indulging yourself, remember to get back to your diet and regular routine. It is easy to tell yourself, "One more day of eating unhealthy isn't going to hurt me." Then all of a sudden, you are forming a habit. Discipline is key, remember your goals and what you want to achieve is more important than the comfort and satisfaction of eating unhealthy food. 

5. Don't check the scale the next day! 
 Remember to not check the scale the next day after eating really unhealthy or overeating. The reason being is because you know that your weight is going to increase and when you check the scale, you will feel demotivated and stressed by the minor weight gain that happened. Remember that it is important to not be obsessed over what the number on the scale is because, in reality, that is not healthy and will lead to you being stressed out and worrying. I made a blog post in the past about not worrying about small weight gains. Don't sweat the small stuff, remember that checking your weight the day after having a cheat meal is not going to be accurate because one day of overeating doesn't equate to your real weight and progress on your weight loss journey. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Worked out twice a day for a week: Benefits I noticed

I worked out twice a day for this entire week, with the exception of Wednesday. By an entire week I mean from Last Saturday to this Saturday which was yesterday. This was a total of 2-3 hours of lifting a day. There are certain benefits that I noticed. First is that it boosts your metabolism. Secondly, you are able to eat more because you burn off more calories. Third, I got way better sleep and felt way more rested. I struggle with insomnia and sleeping issues so being able to sleep well as a gift to me. Overall, a great idea and it is also a great way to keep weight off because you are burning off more calories and therefore don't have to worry about overeating. Now going to the gym twice a day doesn't give you the excuse to eat 10 McDonald's cheeseburgers. But you can eat more flexible if you are burning off more calories. I know that not everyone can do this because we all have school, work and many other things that keep us busy. But if you have a day off or a few days off I would recommend trying this because you will notice the benefits. I did this mainly because I was off for Thanksgiving break the entire week and I had the free time to do this. If you don't like working out, than I wouldn't recommend this. This is specifically for the workout junkies. One thing you also need to make sure of is that you don't work out the same body parts on the same day. So if you are doing arms in the morning, make sure you do legs in the afternoon. Maybe add in some cardio if you want to. Make sure you also are careful with this because working out twice in one day can increase your risk of getting injured. Also, be prepared to feel more fatigued throughout the day. Overall, I think this is a good thing to try if you have the time and are up for it.  

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Interview about Gestational Diabetes with Connie O'Connor(My Aunt)

This is an interview I did with my Aunt who is named Connie O'Connor who has Gestational Diabetes. She tells her story of how she got it, how she manages it, and advice to people who may be struggling with diabetes. She also biked across America twice while being diabetic which is very inspiring. I am so blessed to call her my aunt and I would love to share her story with all of you because she is an inspiration and living proof that Diabetes can't hold you back from doing anything. I have learned so much through this interview and I hope you do too!


At what age did you find out that you found out you have type 1/2 diabetes? What were the warning signs that you had it and what was your emotional reaction to the diagnosis?
I have Gestational diabetes that I got from when I was pregnant with my first child at the six-month mark of my pregnancy. She is my only daughter and her name is Claire. I have a son that is 19 months younger named Tommy. Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman gains weight from pregnancy combined with the pregnancy hormones that overload the system. Once I delivered Claire, I went back to having a normal blood sugar. Then in the first month of my pregnancy with Tommy, I became diabetic and had to go back on Insulin. How I found out I had diabetes again was because I was constantly thirsty, losing weight and constantly fatigued. The constant fatigue was normal for pregnancy but the constant thirst and losing weight wasn’t so I went for a blood check and they found I had high blood sugar and I had Gestational diabetes once again. I was frustrated because I lost weight and have done everything that my endocrinologist said and I still came out with the diagnosis. When I originally worried about Claire’s brain after the first diagnosis because I thought my health had affected her.   
How has this disease affected your day to day life?
I have to watch my diet and exercise. I have to count every single calorie that I intake into my body. I have to check my blood sugar every hour and I have to use insulin whenever my blood is too high. I also have to eat before six o’clock because if I need to be aware before I go to sleep whether I have high or low blood sugar. To check my blood sugar, I use a Continuous Glucose Monitor called Dexcom. It is a company in San Diego and it measures my blood every five minutes and I can use an app on my iPhone to monitor it. It also alerts me when it is too high or too low.   
What are some daily habits that help you manage your diabetes?
I eat four to six times a day instead of 3 times a day. I exercise at least an hour a day. I make my biggest meals my breakfast and lunch and if I want to eat a treat I will eat it at lunchtime.
How do you stay motivated with diet and exercise?


You know how you feel when you get the flu and you say to yourself, “I’m going to stay away from sick people.” It is the same with food. If I know something will make my blood sugar go too high and I get too tired and sleepy and I don't want to do anything. I avoid those foods.

What has to be your biggest piece of advice to someone who is struggling to manage their diabetes or who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes? Or someone who is in the prediabetic category?
Don’t count on other people, count on yourself. You are responsible for yourself, others are not responsible for you. Don’t be a burden to other people, don’t force people to do what you have to do. Just because you can’t eat certain food doesn’t give you the right to force others not to.
What does your daily diet look like?
In the morning I eat about a fourth of a cup of fruit with a little bit of diabetic yogurt, an egg and a piece of toast that is about 7-10 grams of carbs. Then for lunch I eat some kind of lunch meat or something with protein in it with half of a fruit. Then about at four o’clock I eat a little bit of string cheese and maybe a cracker. Then for dinner I usually have have 6 or 7 grams of protein, 8-10 grams of carbs and then some veggies. I eat
about 1400-1700 calories a day depending on how much I exercise.

One thing that I would like to add is that I am very impressed and proud of your accomplishments. I am amazed that you were able to ride your bike all across America twice while being diabetic. That is truly inspirational and I applaud you for showing people that diabetes can’t stop you from doing anything. Plenty of other people will be inspired by your story!  









Sunday, November 18, 2018

How to survive the Holidays while losing weight.


Thanksgiving is coming up and that means lots of eating. Your family and friends are going to be having a feast with you and it will be hard to not overeat. It is important to be disciplined and remember your goals. This goes for any social event. You need to remember your limits and to not go over them. You don't have to starve yourself this Thanksgiving but don't use the holidays as an excuse to overeat. Stick to your normal portions and your normal calorie limit. If you told yourself that you are only going to eat 2,000 calories a day, don't make Thanksgiving an exception. You don't have to say no to that delicious pumpkin pie but don't ask for a second slice. Stay disciplined during the holiday season my friends.

Don't Sweat the small stuff: Why small weight gains mean nothing.


As you anxiously step on the scale waiting to see what your weight is, you may feel some anxiety if you are a pound two in a day. You may see that you weighed a certain amount of pounds throughout the week and then at the end of the week, you gain two pounds and you are freaking out and acting like it's the end of the world. That two-pound weight gain didn't just derail all the progress that you have made. It could just be water weight, or it could just be that you ate a lot of food the night before. There are many reasons that your body gains weight temporarily and you will see fluctuations in your weight for many different reasons. I would say that if it is a small weight gain, basically anything less than 5 pounds, than you shouldn't worry about it. It isn't a big deal. Now, If you are consistently putting on weight then there is a reason for concern. This is why you shouldn't weigh yourself every day because if you do that then you are going to let yourself down if you gain weight one day. You should instead weigh yourself once or twice a week or maybe every other day but don't weigh yourself daily because it can mess with your motivation when you see a minor weight gain.

Friday, November 16, 2018

When You Diet Too Hard: Unhealthy Calories Restriction


Everything in life needs a balance, including the number of calories that you eat. Too many calories per day are unhealthy and too little calories.... is also unhealthy. Many of us who are obese or overweight, including me, have looked for easy ways out. We look for crash diets, special supplements, etc. I would never lie to you and tell you that there is an easy way out. In one of my older posts, I talk about weight loss is simple but not easy. I will link that post in this one if any of you want to check it out. We get really impatient and we want the pounds to start just shedding off. This mentality of impatience is what leads us to unhealthy weight loss methods including heavily restricting our calories to an unhealthy point. Obviously, a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss but it's important to not make that calorie deficit too much. There are consequences for eating too little including the weakened immune system, hair loss, chronic fatigue and malnutrition(1). There is also the principle of what goes up must come down. It is found that one of the biggest causes of binge eating and binge eating disorder is extreme calorie restriction(2). This is a situation that is all too common, someone eats a ridiculously small amount of food a day, they lose weight really fast and then once they get to their goal weight than they start binge eating and gain back all the weight that they lost. Highly restrictive, extremely low-calorie diets are not sustainable. Yes, creating a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss but if you are eating less than 1,000 calories a day, you are eating way too little. Remember to find that balance between eating too much and too little. Patience is a virtue and weight loss requires a lot of patience. Don't try to rush your weight loss, make it slow and sustainable. That is the healthiest way to lose weight. Not only is it the healthiest way but it is the way that allows you to not only lose the weight but keep the weight off after you lost it. Remember that the best things in life are worth weighting for(pun intended).




Sunday, November 11, 2018

Fats or Carbs, which one is your enemy?


When losing weight, We all want to know which diet will give us the best results. Should we cut out fats or carbs, which one would be more effective? Well, according to a study done by the "Journal of the American Medical Association" did a study that proves that both diets worked equally as effectively regardless of genetics, 

"Conducted by researchers at Stanford University, this study included 609 overweight or obese adults from the San Francisco Bay area. Through the study, participants were randomly assigned to either a low-carb or low-fat diet for one year. During this period, they attended regular classes where they received dietary instructions and support from certified dieticians.
For the first two months, participants limited their intake of fat or carbohydrates to 20 grams a day, depending on their assigned diet. They then slowly added fat or carbs back into their diet, while keeping fat or carb consumption as low as they could maintain. All participants were also encouraged to stay active and maintain a healthy diet throughout the study. After one year, researchers found no significant difference in weight loss between either group." Average weight loss was 12 pounds in the low-fat group and 13 pounds in the low-carb group(1)."
This was a good study to be done because it shows that it doesn't matter whether you go on a low carb diet or a low-fat diet but you have to choose some structured diet to lose weight. So the real question is now which one of these are you most willing to give up in your diet. If you like eating bread and many other things that have carbs in it than the low carb one isn't for you. If you like eating cheese and ice cream than the low fat isn't for you. Find a diet that allows you to eat the foods you want to eat(in moderation of course) and that doesn't sacrifice foods that you love eating regularly. When I started losing weight, I went on Keto(low carb) because I was still allowed to eat meat on Keto which was very important to me and I didn't really care about giving up bread or any high carb foods. So I was able to stick on Keto because to me it wasn't that huge of a sacrifice. Honestly, whether you do low carb or low fat is up to you but you should weigh out which one you are more willing to sacrifice. Going on a diet takes a lot of discipline but it should never be too uncomfortable for you to handle it. If it is too uncomfortable for you to handle then you should find another diet to do that better suits your needs and food choices. 
Sources

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Emotional Eating: How to deal with eating your problems away


We have all been there. Been through a bad break up and we get a pint of ice cream and watch cheesy romantic comedies. Or maybe we get upset about the loss of a job and we order an extra large pizza just for ourselves. I am going to explain here why you shouldn't eat your problems away and find a healthier outlet to release stress. Essentially, what you are doing is turning food into a drug. You are using it to escape reality. You are using it to comfort yourself during hardships. It is nothing but a crutch. This will often lead you off the deep as you will start to develop a problem with overeating. Essentially, what you are doing is associating negative emotions with food which is a habit that will stick in your brain. Food can be like a drug in the sense that it releases dopamine in our brain which is the feel-good chemical that gives us pleasure. It is the reward chemical in our brain. When our brain is over flooded with dopamine, that is when addiction starts. Being addicted to food is a problem that can kill someone. This addiction is bad because you can't stop eating food. You need to learn to control your food consumption. So it's not like you can just quit food and be done with it. If you quit eating you would die. So how to solve the problem of emotional eating, find other outlets to escape. If you are feeling down, go work out! If you are feeling stressed, meditate. Find something else to replace food as that outlet of stress, something that is healthy. Find healthy coping mechanisms to make your weight loss a lot easier!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Dealing with the Haters


As I was looking through a Facebook weight loss support group, I couldn't have noticed how there are people posting about their experiences being fat shamed and bullied. I personally found this disturbing and disgusting. IT IS NEVER OKAY TO FAT SHAME! You don't know a single thing about someone's life and you decide to berate and bully them for struggling with their weight. You don't know what they have been through, they could've lost a loved one and they could be using food to comfort themselves. They could be struggling with their emotions and food is their only coping mechanism. They could be working hard to better themselves. If you are fat shaming, remember that you are a part of the problem. You need to be supportive and treat others with kindness and respect no matter what. Yes, being obese is unhealthy and can lead to a lot of illnesses. I don't support the idea of ignoring the basic fact that being fat isn't good for you. If you are obese, it is important to lose weight so you can live a healthier, better life. But being obese doesn't make you any less of a person. You are a valuable person no matter what, don't let others tear you down and have your self worth be determined by how you look. The haters are just angry people who want to feel better about themselves so they just bring others down to do that. Don't let them affect you, just ignore them. Their opinion is worthless. Keep doing your thing, work hard and achieve your goals and show those haters that you don't care what they think!

Find your favorite exercise, then grind your favorite exercise



Have you ever heard someone claim that this exercise or that exercise is the best for losing weight/burning fat? Have you ever heard someone try to sell you a workout program claiming that you will be thinner after 6 weeks of doing this program? We all have heard these things, but the question is, is this true. What is the best workout you can do to lose weight? The answer is any workout. Find the workout that you enjoy the most. If you like biking, take a bike ride. If you like running, go out for a run. If you like weightlifting, lift your heart out. Do something that you enjoy, it doesn't matter what it is. Move your body in some sort of way. Remember that most of the work is done through your diet, that is the most important part and as long as you are burning calories, it doesn't matter what you do. When I first started losing weight, I skateboarded every day to exercise. I loved skateboarding and I ended up skateboarding 8-10 miles a day. I found something that I really liked doing and I did it to death. Just like dieting, exercise isn't a one size fits all. Everyone is different and Everyone prefers different workouts. Don't force yourself to do something you don't want to do though because then you aren't going to do it. If you hate running, try biking instead. If you hate lifting, try bodyweight exercises. Experiment and find the exercise that you like doing the most and do it to death. Because the exercise that you like the most is the one that you will be the most motivated to do and if you are motivated to exercise, you will burn more calories. And if you got a good diet in place, you will burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight! Remember, the key is to find your favorite exercise and grind your favorite exercise!

Monday, November 5, 2018

How to keep weight off

Losing weight is not nearly as hard as keeping that weight off after you have lost it. You need to remain vigilant and self aware of what you eat and how much you eat. I have heard so many stories of many people gaining back the weight that they have lost. It is unfortunate when you work hard to gain the progress you have just to lose it. The truth of the matter is, your body doesn't want you to lose weight. Your body is used to being a certain way and it is hard for it to make these adjustments to your new weight. So why is it exactly that so many people who lose weight gain it back? Well the main reason is that these people go on crash diets that are extremely restrictive and once they go off these diets because they have reached their goal weight, they binge eat. We need to remember that weight loss requires long-term changes to our diet and eating habits. We can't just go on a diet for 2 months and then once we are done just eat whatever we want. Now of course, once you have reached your goal weight, there is nothing wrong with making your diet a bit more flexible. But you also need to remember to not go overboard. Once you have lost the amount of weight that you want to lose, the way that you can keep the weight off is by making sure you are not eating more calories than you burn off everyday. To get a good measure of how many calories you need to eat each day, You should calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR) which is basically how many calories you burn a day at rest. Then you should calculate your caloric needs which is the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight. I will link a calculator in the description so you can figure out your BMR and your caloric needs. Also, another important tip when it comes to keeping weight off is to make sure that you increase your physical activity post weight loss. So when you are heavier, it is easier to burn off more calories than when you lose weight so you need to make sure that you become more physically active once you lose weight to keep burning off the same amount of calories. Hope this was helpful to you guys! Remember, don't be discouraged by a little weight gain. If it does happen, get back up and keep fighting! Remember that you are strong and can do anything you set your mind to!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weight loss is simple but it is not easy

It is not hard to know how to lose weight. Weight loss is simply about having a caloric deficit. All you have do is eat less calories than you burn off and you will lose weight. There are simple ways you can do this by exercise and diet. You need to also make sure that while you are eating less you are eating foods that are healthy and have nutritional value. It is not rocket science to figure this out. Yet the difficult part of losing weight is implementing these lifestyle changes into your normal routine. It can be difficult and uncomfortable to make these lifestyle changes because it takes a lot of discipline. It also requires a lot of patience as you may not see results immediately. It is very easy to get frustrated and give up. So you have to be resilient. It is a battle between your logical mind and emotional mind. You may know logically that you shouldn't eat that sugary food or drink that soda, yet emotionally you want to because you know that it will taste good. While on paper, losing weight can simply be done using these simple steps, you need to remember that it is not going to be a walk in the park and you have to be very dedicated to get the results you want. I believe anyone can do it, it is always possible! Stay motivated, keep going and eventually you will reach your goals. The most important part is making sure to not give up when things are tough, because they will be, there is no avoid them yet at the same time, the rewards are worth it! Stay Motivated through thick and thin!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Processed Sugar is you worst Enemy

What do you think is the biggest contributor to weight gain? Well I mean, there are a lot of reasons that someone would gain weight. There are so many factors into why someone would become obese or overweight and a lot of them are involved in their diet. So this begs the question, what foods should we be avoiding as much as possible to avoid gaining weight. Well, the answer isn't the same for everyone. But we can identify one food group that is most likely the biggest source for weight gain. That is sugar. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly soda, provide little nutritional benefit and increase weight gain and probably the risk of diabetes, fractures, and dental caries(1)." So we see how highly sugary drinks such as soda, energy drinks, and even some fruit juices have been linked to weight gain. They offer a significant amount of processed sugar in a liquid form which is linked to weight gain. I personally don't believe any food group is completely 100% bad. Everything in moderation as they say, especially moderation. But foods that have a high amount of processed sugar, especially liquid sugar, should be avoided at all costs if you are trying to lose weight. Natural sugars, such as the ones that you find in fruit, should be eaten once again in moderation. So if you have a sweet tooth, choose fruit over candy. If you want to have a soda or eat some candy every once in a while, that is fine but don't make it a part of your regular eating routine. How much sugar should we be consuming daily? Well, according to the University of California, "Expert panels worldwide have made consistent recommendations on daily sugar intake. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men(2)." Those are the numbers as far as the amount but from this same source, we also see that these sugars should come from either added sugars or natural sugars(2). So remember to limit your sugar intake as much as possible for the best results on your weight loss. 

Sources: 
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210834/

(2) http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption.html#.W8n3X2hKjZQ

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Before and After: My story


Before 
After




















My Story: In May of 2017, I was 5'11 and 295 and miserable. I was eating myself to an early grave. I had a huge wake-up call when I went to LA Fitness to get my health assessed and I found out that I was at 33% body fat. I was at risk of getting type two diabetes and heart diseases. I remember how concerned I was for my health and I knew that if I didn't get my weight under control, there was a chance I was going to die early from obesity. I was overwhelmed by how much weight I had to lose. By the beginning of 2018, I was down to 225 pounds. As of recently, I had my body fat percentage checked and I was at 21.2%. That is a normal body fat percentage. I am at a normal body fat percentage for the first time in years. I couldn't be more grateful for accomplishing this and I am not trying to brag but instead spread motivation to those who are struggling with their weight that it is always possible to lose weight. Don't ever give up! You got this! So how did I do it? I started off by increasing the amount of exercise that I do. That's how I lost my first 15 pounds but it still wasn't enough and I had to lose more weight. I was still eating horribly and treating my body horribly with my bad eating habits but I thought I could make up for it. Turns out that I can't. Remember that 80-90% of weight loss depends on what you eat. In October of 2017, I decided to try keto which basically meant that I cut down the number of carbs that I eat to 20 grams a day and that my main source of calories comes from fat and protein(Mostly fat though). Throughout the next few months, I went from being 280 to 225. I have since then kept the weight off. Just wanted all of you to know that you can do anything you set your mind to. Never give up, you got this!