It takes about a month to change habits, to redirect patterns and efforts. If you are thinking about changing the way you look or feel by changing your lifestyle you have made a good decision. The human body you live in is magnificent. The DNA that makes up your genes is the blueprint to making this change. The foods we eat directly affect our genes by turning them on and off in certain ways. Foods that your body is intolerant to will adversely affect the genes turning them on in such a way that lend chronic/degenerative conditions in the system. This means breakdown and destruction, pain, inflammation, weight gain and disease. By eating and exercising in the appropriate manner, you will transform your system from a sugar dependent, fat storing structure that constantly battles illness, hunger, depression and weight gain into a fat burning and sculpted fit body. We use thirty days as a time reference. It takes about 21 days to break a habit and another seven to really drive home the change at the genetic level.
They body follows the mind.
It is important to change your belief system as well as changing your lifestyle. The body follows the mind. How you think it shall become. Believe in your own success and it will be on your doorstep. Take the responsibility to be accountable. No one else will know how you are doing except you. Be mindful in your process; make it fun, energizing and easy to maintain the attitude you need to make this a lifestyle. In order to know how your body functions it is important to listen. Listening to how your digestion works after each of your meals helps you dial in your own complete plan. Your physician or nutritionist can help you hone in on the rest.
If you still come to a stale mate and cant loose weight or have symptoms of gastrointestinal gas and bloating there are numerous tests and studies available that can uncover your own specific genetic needs. These tests can identify micro and macronutrient deficiency as well as food allergies and sensitivities. If you have a grain or gluten intolerance it is important to completely avoid them. Keep in mind that it is never too late to turn a presumed failure into a success. Start now and with your next meal. Make your lifestyle a priority so you can enjoy optimal health for the rest of your life.
Start by evaluating where you are at now. Take interest in your habits, exercise protocols and how you are staying active in keeping your mind healthy. Study the following 8 concepts of nutritional wellness and begin to integrate them into your lifestyle.
8 Concepts of Nutritional Wellness
1. Change your thinking process.
How you think is directly related to your outcome. Turn it around every minute of the day in every way and have a positive attitude.
2. Set a date and get started.
There is no better day than today to begin to improve the quality of your life. Put the wheels in motion.
3. Get a base line check up.
It’s not all your fault. Things can get turned upside down, your thyroid can get sideways, or your blood sugars can become out of balance. Aging does bring on certain hormone changes. Make sure that you have a thorough clinical evaluation before getting started to make sure all things are have been looked at and addressed at the starting line. If you have access to a functional medicine physician it may be ideal. A functional medical physician will take a more holistic approach.
4. Make better food choices.
Getting rid of grains that cause an allergy or sensitivity or foods that cause inflammation will change the way your genes respond. 75-80 percent of your body composition is directly determined by how and what you eat.
The SAD (Standard American Diet) offers minimal nutritional value, promotes fat storage by raising insulin, and contains anti-nutrients that create rapid aging by compromising digestion, promoting inflammation, and altering hormone balance. If you are allergic or sensitive to grains remove them and keep them out. If you have to have a little, keep it to once per week. You want to choose from low glycemic carbohydrates, keep the glycemic load low and the insulin signal minimal. This method of eating keeps the hormonal system in check.
All chronic diseases are started with the onset of inflammation. By switching your genes from an insulin signaling process to a fat burning process will reduce the amount of body fat you have, increase your daily energy levels, decrease your risk for illness, and optimize your bodies hormone systems (stress, immune, metabolic, sleep, thyroid etc.). Time to clean out the cupboard and restock the refrigerator with whole foods.
5. Switch from a sugar-based metabolism to a fat-based metabolism.
Your body prefers fat over carbohydrates. Turning your energy metabolism into a fat-based metabolism turns your nutritional eating plan into the optimal energy plan. The carbohydrate diet causes severe blood sugar swings and food cravings. It is called the vicious cookie cycle. When you eat cookies, you want more cookies. When you eat chips, you want more chips. Sugar begets sugar and there is no way around it other than stopping the over-use, learning to be sensitive and consistent with no grains, and carbohydrates coming only from your vegetable and fruit sources.
6. Understand the benefits of saturated fat and cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a vital component in the hormone pathway. It is one of the body’s most vital nutrients. The sad part of the story is that high blood fats are due to over eating a sugar diet. The end product is triglycerides and the VLDL which then lends LDL. Heart disease risk factors-oxidation and inflammation are driven strongly by polyunsaturated fats, simple sugars, excess insulin production and stress. Limiting processed carbohydrates and eating more high quality fats and whole foods (including saturated animal fat) can promote health, weight management, and reduced risk of heart disease.
7. Avoid chronic workout patterns.
Workouts that are too hard, too long, and done too frequently with insufficient recovery time cause inflammation, burnout and lost efforts. The body becomes inflamed and weight gain becomes the side effect.
8. Maximal fitness can be achieved in minimal time with high intensity/focused training.
Intermittent and occasional sprints (if you have no joint issues) pump the body full of blood, and recreate the fight or flight response that is practical to our everyday life. Learn how to use your body in a correct and functional manner.
5 Step Action Plan
Step 1: Eliminate SAD foods.
Get rid of the boxed, packaged, processed foods that cause weight gain and blood sugar instabilities. Following is a list of foods you should eliminate from your diet.
- Beverages (designer coffees [blended iced coffee drinks, mochas], energy drinks, flavored milks [almond, soy, rice etc.], sweetened teas, bottled juices, soft drinks, sweetened cocktails [daiquiri, eggnog, margarita])
- Fast foods
- Most farmed fish (fish caught by environmentally-objectionable methods, or from polluted waters, large fish at the top of the food chain – sword, shark etc.)
- Grains (corn, rice, wheat and wheat products, tortillas, muffins, pizza, pretzels, dried cereal, grits, oatmeal, chips [corn, potato, tortilla], cooking grains [amaranth, barley, bulgur, couscous, millet, rye], puffed snacks [rice cakes, popcorn], saltine crackers)
- Legumes (alfalfa, peas, beans, lentils, soybeans, tofu, peanut butter) Note: The glycemic response from these foods is less objectionable than grains yet they still produce and appreciable load of insulin release with their ingestion.
- Processed meat (breakfast sausage patties, dinner roasts, frozen meals, sliced lunch meats, bologna, ham, hot dogs, jerky, pepperoni, salami)
- Processed foods (energy bars, granola bars, packaged protein bars, frozen breakfast, dinner and dessert products, packaged, grain/sugar-laden snack products) Note: If it’s in a box, package or processed its LADEN… think twice.
- Sweets (candy, cake, chocolate syrup, cookies, donuts, ice cream, milk, chocolate chips, pie, evaporated cane juice, HFCS, honey, frozen desserts, other packaged/processed sweets and treats) Note: There is no nutritional benefit to eating sweets. They are nutrient void and cause an immense release of insulin. Insulin and Vitamin C compete for the receptor sites on the immune cells. High insulin levels dampen the immune system.
- Dairy (processed cheeses, ice cream, frozen custards and yogurt, nonfat and low fat milk, whole milk, cream cheese, cottage cheese)
- Baking ingredients (Corn meal, corn syrup, starches and syrups, flours, powders [gluten, maltodextrin, milk], sweeteners [dextrose, fructose, lactose, malitol, xylitol], yeast)
Step 2: Shop, cook and prepare your meals.
Clean out the pantry and re-stock it with foods that will support your metabolism. Stop dining out and snacking. Shop around the periphery of the market. All of the boxed and packaged items are in the center of the grocery stores. The fresh and raw foods are on the perimeter.
Step 3: Make the healthiest choices.
High grade meats (grass fed), fish (fresh water), fowl, eggs (omega), vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, fats and oils, foods allowed in moderation such as dairy and occasional sensible indulgences. Most produce is usually conventionally grown, picked too early, artificially ripened with ethylene gas, and trucked in from distant origins. Choose locally grown and organic as much as possible. Search out CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or co-ops (member-owned cooperative. Everybody needs a cheat day. One day a week splurge on your favorites. Don’t go to the all you can eat buffet but sit down to something you enjoy and savor it.
Step 4. Slow down.
Everything we do as Americans is fast paced and on the run. Take time to enjoy simple pleasures such as sitting down to really enjoy a meal. Avoid multitasking. Choose interpersonal relationships over social media. Get plenty of rest and walk in the sunshine. Avoid staring at computers for extended lengths of time.
Step 5: Make it fun.
No more calorie counting. If you are eating the right foods and being mindful of quantities, the pounds will come off. Nutrition and good eating patterns should not cause undue struggle or suffering. If you are suffering and following a solid program, you may want to talk to your doctor and obtain some further studies (food allergy tests, micro and macro nutrient tests, studies to determine if you have a bacterial of fungal overgrowth in the bowel).
The Results of Better Nutrition
- Improved blood markers – Start your plan off right. Have your blood marker risk factors measured. At a minimum obtain your fasting blood glucose level, fasting lipid, thyroid (TSH and Free T3), and Vitamin D (25-hydroxy).
- Lower body fat – Changing from a sugar burning metabolism to a fat burning metabolism does the one thing we want most when it comes to body composition: LESS FAT. Taking the carbohydrate load and index down decreases the amount of the hormone insulin that you produce. When insulin levels are low and balanced sugar cravings are minimal. Keeping insulin levels low also allow the metabolism to kick into a fat burning state.
- Less cravings – No more blood sugar blues! You will notice that as you reduce the amount of high glycemic carbohydrates and grains from your nutrition plan, your moods and energy level become more predictable, constant and stable.
- Improved digestion – By minimizing the toxic and injurious substances that you eat (grains, additives, preservatives, diet soda’s, etc.), your genes will be happy.
- Improved energy – By cleaning up the fuel you put in your own tank you will feel revitalized and anew.
- Improved immunity
- Improved body composition – You can’t always tell what is going on inside a body from the appearance outside. Are you healthy or just NOT SICK. Weight and BMI do not evaluate body compartments and therefore do not reveal if weight changes result in loss of fat free mass or gain in fat mass. However with FMI’s InBody (Bioimpedance Analysis) machine, we can watch your composition change.
- Improved muscle mass – As we age, after 40 years of age the body will demonstrate declines in lean mass. The percent of loss increases with each decade of life. By maintaining a nutritional protocol that maintains lean body mass such as this one will aid in the prevention and decline of the loss of lean mass.
- Improved sleep – Recent studies on show that sleep plays an important role in the maintenance of such important bodily functions as the immune response and metabolic balance, as well as such critical mental functions as attentiveness, learning and memory, and emotional equilibrium. Shakespeare may have been correct when he said that sleep ‘knits up the raveled sleeve of care’, but he was underestimating the more active developmental and survival functions of sleep.
All these benefits and more are available to you for just a few simple changes and learning to listen to your own system!