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Fitness: Readiness Assessment & Setting Priorities

My biggest concern as a personal trainer was always the safety of my clients – both physically and medically. Over the years a common theme emerged with each new client relationship that I developed and that was how unprepared people were to really engage in a significant training program and what skills and knowledge they would be required to develop for success. Physicians were often unprepared to advise their patients on what to do, how to proceed, or what limitations and issues needed to be acknowledged by their patients before engaging a trainer to help them “get to the next level”.

resistance-bands-in-field

“Tell Me What You Don’t Like About Yourself”

A potential client nervously sits down before a very handsome LA plastic surgeon at the beginning of each episode of this extremely popular television show in the early 2000s. The surgeon asks the same question to each patient he meets.,“Tell me what you don’t like about yourself?” The potential client, slightly taken back by the magnitude and depth of this question, details what it is he or she wishes the doctor to change about them.

As a MedFit fitness professional and educator, this particular scenario really resonated with me. In fact, I have spent multiple decades trying to figure out the “WHY” behind the behaviors and mindsets adopted by my clients. What external or internal factors are positively or negatively affecting their ability to make healthy decisions, their ability to feel confident, or their ability to love themselves or others. This is exactly why we all must keep asking, why?

While designing fitness programs to support physical well-being is extremely important, are we providing enough positive reinforcement to encourage clients that “they are enough”? Are we building their confidence and self-worth? Are we empowering their mind and believing in them so hard until they start believing in themselves?

These are the questions we should be asking ourselves when we design fitness programs for the “whole person.”

The Why

Why do people feel the need to drastically change their appearance?

Where do these ideas come from and how will it have a positive effect on their future?

Why is outer appearance still considered more important than overall health when considering recent research to support longevity?

These are just a few questions to consider as a fitness or medical fitness professional as you begin to assess clients and “peel back the onion” to fully understand how you can best support their goals.

The How

If your client suffers from what I refer to as “negative self-talk,” those incessant self-deprecating statements act as a personal bully and obstacle to achieve true happiness — ask them why they feel this way?

Then, continue those “Why” questions until you find out the answers. This may take one whole session, or it may take months of shorter conversations. However, a medical fitness professional has the power to change lives, not only through physical fitness, but mental fitness. Mindset matters!

Consider

1. Is this negative thinking a result of a negative experience or is it being projected on them by others?

2. Ask questions and listen. Only when the fitness professional has developed a trusting, supportive, comfortable, and communicative relationship with their client can the fitness professional begin to understand their “why.”

3. “The way you make your muscles grow is through resistance training, where you work them until your muscle fibers are fatigued and break apart. With proper rest, recovery, and nutrition, those same muscle fibers grow back stronger than they were before. And you grow. The mind and your mindset work the same way.” –Dr. Bryan Price


Christine M. Conti, M.Ed, BA is and international fitness educator and presenter. She currently sits on the MedFit Education Advisory Board and has been nominated to be the 2020 MedFit Network Professional of the Year. She is currently writing the MedFit Network Arthritis Fitness Specialist Course and is the CEO and founder of ContiFit.com and Let’s FACE It Together™ Facial Fitness & Rehabilitation. Christine is also the co-host of Two Fit Crazies & A Microphone Podcast and the co-owner of TFC Podcast Production Co.

scale

The Habits of Successful Weight Losers

In a national television interview with Barbara Walters in 2014, Oprah Winfrey confessed that not being able to maintain her weight loss was her biggest regret. In that interview, Walters asked Winfrey to finish the sentence, “Before I leave this Earth, I will not be satisfied until I…”

“Until I make peace with the whole weight thing,” Oprah replied.

Losing weight is hard; keeping it off is even harder. What is unique about those who succeed? The answer is buried deep in the archives at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center in Providence, Rhode Island: The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), the largest database ever assembled on individuals successful at long-term maintenance of weight loss. Founded in 1994, the NWCR includes more than 10,000 individuals who complete annual questionnaires about their current weight, diet and exercise habits, and behavioral strategies for weight loss maintenance.

Habit #1: Live with Intention

Living with intention eliminates the random approach to weight loss maintenance in favor of the systematic and methodical one that leads to results. The NWCR has shown that, when intention is behind weight loss maintenance, 21 percent of overweight people are successful weight losers.[1]

The longer people keep their weight off, the fewer strategies they need to continue keeping weight off.[2] In other words, weight maintenance gets easier. The longer your clients persist in their intention and behave in accord with that intention, the easier it is for that behavior to “stick” and turn into a habit.

What makes one individual persist at a specific behavior while another individual doesn’t? For starters, the persistent individual has a conscientious personality. In the most recent NWCR study published in 2020, conscientiousness was compared between successful weight losers from the NWCR and non-NWCR weight regainers.[3] The successful weight losers were found to be more conscientious than the weight regainers and scored higher on measures of order, virtue, responsibility, and industriousness. The scientists suggest that being conscientious may help individuals maintain their weight loss by improving adherence to specific behaviors.

In a review of 56 studies that contained 58 health behaviors, researchers at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada and the University of Limburg in The Netherlands found that intention remained the most important predictor of health behavior, explaining 66 percent of the variance.[4] In half of the reviewed studies, perceived behavioral control (believing that you have control over your behavior) significantly added to the prediction.

Habit #2: Control Yourself

Being a successful weight loser requires a lot of self-control, delaying gratification now (e.g., dessert) for the more desirable reward later (e.g., a slimmer waistline, better health, enhanced self-esteem, and happiness).

Compared to typical unsuccessful dieters, successful weight losers are better able to resist temptation, control themselves, and push back against the environment. They restrict certain foods,[5] weigh themselves regularly,[6],[7] and use digital health technology.[8]

One of the key factors of self-control is disinhibition, which literally means not being inhibited. Some inhibition is good, because it prevents people from not giving into temptation and eating whatever and how much they want. High levels of disinhibition are bad, because it leads to risky behavior. Disinhibited eating is a failure to maintain control over eating. The opposite of disinhibited eating is dietary restraint. Several NWCR studies have found that increased disinhibition leads to regaining lost weight.[9],[10],[11],[12],[13] Other studies have found strong relationships between a lack of self-control—impulsivity—and obesity.[14],[15],[16]

Habit #3: Control Calories

Successful weight losers consume fewer daily calories than the general population. Table 1 shows the number of calories the NWCR members consume per day, from the several studies that have reported it, along with the amount of weight they lost at the time they entered the NWCR.

Table 1 – Caloric Intake of Successful Weight Losers

  Calories Per Day Pounds Lost
1,381([17],[18])

1,297 (women)

1,725 (men)

66

63 (women)

78 (men)

1,306 (women)([19])

1,685 (men)

63 (women)

77 (men)

1,390([20]) 69
1,462([21]) 124
1,400([22]) 62
1,399([23]) 73
Average

Women

Men

1,406

1,302

1,705

79

63

78

Successful weight losers consume a low-calorie diet of about 1,400 calories per day, with women consuming about 1,300 and men consuming about 1,700 calories per day. By comparison, the U.S. adult population consumes an average of 2,120 calories per day (women consume about 1,820 calories per day and men consume about 2,480 calories per day).[24],[25]

Successful weight losers control calories several ways, including limiting how often they eat out at restaurants,[26] rarely eating fast food,[27] and limiting how many calories they drink.[28] They are also more likely than normal-weight individuals to have plans to be extremely strict in maintaining their caloric intake, even during times of the year when it’s easy to consume calories, like during holidays.[29]

Want to learn about more of the habits of successful weight losers? Register for Dr. Karp’s webinar, Lose It: The Habits of Successful Weight Losers from the National Weight Control Registry


Content from this article is adapted from Lose It Forever: The Habits of Successful Weight Losers from the National Weight Control Registry by Jason R. Karp, Ph.D.

A competitive runner since sixth grade, Dr. Jason Karp pursues his passion every day as a run coach, exercise physiologist, bestselling author of 10 books and 400+ articles, speaker, and educator. He is the 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and two-time recipient of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Community Leadership award. His REVO₂LUTION RUNNING™ certification has been obtained by fitness professionals and coaches in 23 countries. His new book, “Lose It Forever: The Habits of Successful Weight Losers from the National Weight Control Registry” is available on Amazon.

 

References

[1] Wing, R.R. and Hill, J.O. Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition, 21:323-341, 2001.

[2] Klem, M.L., Wing, R.R., Lang, W., McGuire, M.T., and Hill, J.O. Does weight loss maintenance become easier over time? Obesity Research, 8:438-444, 2000.

[3] Gold, J.M., Carr, L.J., Thomas, J.G., Burrus, J., O’Leary, K.C., Wing, R., and Bond, D.S. Conscientiousness in weight loss maintainers and regainers. Health Psychology, 2020.

[4] Godin, G. and Kok, G. The theory of planned behavior: a review of its applications to health-related behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 11(2):87-98, 1996.

[5] Wing, R.R. and Phelan, S. Long-term weight loss maintenance. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82:222S-225S, 2005.

[6] Wing, R.R. and Hill, J.O. Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition, 21: 323-341, 2001.

[7] Butryn, M.L., Phelan, S., Hill, J.O., and Wing, R.R. Consistent self-monitoring of weight: A key component of successful weight loss maintenance. Obesity, 15:3091-3096, 2007.

[8] Goldstein, C.M., Thomas, J.G., Wing, R.R., and Bond, D.S. Successful weight loss maintainers use health-tracking smartphone applications more than a nationally representative sample: comparison of the National Weight Control Registry to Pew Tracking for Health. Obesity Science and Practice, 3(2):117-126, 2017.

[9] McGuire, M.T., Wing, R.R., Klem, M.L., Lang, W. and Hill, J.O. What predicts weight regain among a group of successful weight losers? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67:177-185, 1999.

[10] Niemeier, H.M., Phelan, S., Fava, J.L., and Wing, R.R. Internal disinhibition predicts weight regain following weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Obesity, 15:2485-2494, 2007.

[11] Butryn, M.L., Phelan, S., Hill, J.O., and Wing, R.R. Consistent self-monitoring of weight: A key component of successful weight loss maintenance. Obesity, 15:3091-3096, 2007.

[12] Thomas, J.G., Bond, D.S., Phelan, S., Hill, J.O., and Wing, R.R. Weight-loss maintenance for 10 years in the National Weight Control Registry. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 46(1):17-23, 2014.

[13] Lillis, J., Thomas, J.G., Niemeier, H., and Wing, R.R. Internal disinhibition predicts 5-year weight regain in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR). Obesity Science and Practice, 2(1):83-87, 2016.

[14] Chamberlain, S.R., Derbyshire, K.L., Leppink, E., and Grant, J.E. Obesity and dissociable forms of impulsivity in young adults. CNS Spectrums, 20(5):500-507, 2015.

[15] Fields, S.A., Sabet, M., and Reynolds, B. Dimensions of impulsive behavior in obese, overweight, and healthy-weight adolescents. Appetite, 70:60-66, 2013.

[16] Amlung, M., Petker, T., Jackson, J., Balodis, I., MacKillop, J. Steep discounting of delayed monetary and food rewards in obesity: a meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 46(11):2423-2434, 2016.

[17] Klem, M.L., Wing, R.R., McGuire, M.T., Seagle, H.M., and Hill, J.O.  A descriptive study of individuals successful at long-term maintenance of substantial weight loss. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 66:239-246, 1997.

[18] Wing, R.R. and Hill, J.O. Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition, 21:323-341, 2001.

[19] Shick, S.M., Wing, R.R., Klem, M.L., McGuire, M.T., Hill, J.O., and Seagle, H.M. Persons successful at long-term weight loss and maintenance continue to consume a low calorie, low fat diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 98:408-413, 1998.

[20] McGuire, M.T., Wing, R.R., Klem, M.L., Seagle, H.M., and Hill, J.O. Long-term maintenance of weight loss: Do people who lose weight through various weight loss methods use different behaviors to maintain their weight? International Journal of Obesity, 22:572-577, 1998.

[21] Klem, M.L., Wing, R.R., Chang, C.H., Lang, W., McGuire, M.T., Sugerman, H.J., Hutchison, S.L., Makovich, A.L., and Hill, J.O. A case-control study of successful maintenance of a substantial weight loss: Individuals who lost weight through surgery versus those who lost weight through non-surgical means. International Journal of Obesity, 24:573-579, 2000.

[22] Klem, M.L., Wing, R.R., Lang, W., McGuire, M.T., and Hill, J.O. Does weight loss maintenance become easier over time? Obesity Research, 8:438-444, 2000.

[23] Ogden, L.G., Stroebele, N., Wyatt, H.R., Catenacci, V.A., Peters, J.C., Stuht, J., Wing, R.R., and Hill, J.O. Cluster analysis of the National Weight Control Registry to identify distinct subgroups maintaining successful weight loss. Obesity, 20(10):2039-2047, 2012.

[24] Wright J.D., Wang, C.Y., Kennedy-Stephenson, J., Ervin, R.B. Dietary intake of ten key nutrients for public health, United States: 1999-2000. Advance Data From Vital and Health Statistics, 334:1-4, 2003.

[25] U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Energy intakes: percentages of energy from protein, carbohydrate, fat, and alcohol, by gender and age. What We Eat in America, NHANES 2015-2016, 2018.

[26] Wing, R.R. and Hill, J.O. Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition, 21:323-341, 2001.

[27] Thomas, J.G. and Wing, R.R. Maintenance of long-term weight loss. Medicine & Health Rhode Island, 92(2):56-57, 2009.

[28] Catenacci, V.A., Pan, Z., Thomas, J.G., Ogden, L.G., Roberts, S.A., Wyatt, H.R., Wing, R.R., and Hill, J.O. Low/no calorie sweetened beverage consumption in the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity, 22(10):2244-2251, 2014.

[29] Phelan, S., Wing, R.R., Raynor, H.A., Dibello, J., Nedeau, K., and Peng, W. Holiday weight management by successful weight losers and normal weight individuals. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(3):442-448, 2008.

chalkboard-gut-health-digestive-system

Intestinal Distress: Gutting It Out

While some athletes have cast iron stomachs and few concerns about what and when they eat before they exercise, others live in fear of pre-exercise fuel contributing to undesired pit stops during their workouts. Be it stomach rumbling, a need to urinate or defecate, reflux, nausea, heartburn, or side stitch, how to prevent intestinal distress is a topic of interest to athletes with finnicky guts. Here are tips to help you fuel well before/during exercise while reducing the risk of gastro-intestinal (GI) distress. For more in-depth information, you might want to read The Athlete’s Gut by Patrick Wilson or listen to this podcast.

  • Stay calm. Being anxious about intestinal issues can exacerbate the problem. Think positive. Trust that your gut is adaptable and trainable. Record what, when, and how much you eat, as well as the duration and intensity of your exercise. Use that data to help you figure out what foods and fluids settle best. Building body trust can reduce anxiety—and that can reduce GI issues. That said, precompetition nerves can affect any athlete, regardless of GI hardiness!
  • Athletes in running sports are more likely to suffer GI issues than, say bicyclists or skiers. With running comes intestinal jostling; the longer the intestines are jostled, the higher the risk of upset. Ultra-runners know this too well…
  • If you experience gut issues every day—even when you are not exercising, you want to talk with a GI doctor. Celiac disease, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and blood in your stool need to get checked out now! They are serious issues and differ from exercise-induced GI problems.
  • The higher the intensity of exercise, the higher the risk of intestinal distress. Add heat and anxiety to intense exercise, and many athletes experience transit trouble. During hard workouts, blood flow diverts away from the gut to transport oxygen and glucose to the working muscles and carry away carbon dioxide and waste products.
  • Low intensity training that can be sustained for more than half an hour is less problematic. The GI tract gets adequate blood flow, can function relatively normally and is able to digest, absorb, and metabolize pre-exercise fuel. Athletes tend to have fewer GI issues on easy training days, given better blood flow to the intestines, lower body temperature and less anxiety.
  • Carbohydrate is the easiest-to-digest fuel before and during exercise. Carbohydrate gets broken down into simple sugars in the stomach, then absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine. Specific transporters carry each sugar molecule (such as glucose or fructose) across the intestinal wall. Hence, consuming a variety of carb-based fuels helps minimize a “backlog” if all the transporters for, let’s say, fructose get called into action.
  • With training, the body creates more transporters to alleviate any backlog. That’s one reason why you want to practice event-day fueling during training sessions. Your body gets the chance to activate specific transporters. The foods and fluids you consume before and during training should be the ones you’ll use for the event. Some popular carb-based pre-and during-exercise snacks include fruits (banana, applesauce), vegetables (boiled potato, roasted carrots), and grains (sticky rice balls, pretzels, pita)—as well as commercial sports foods (sport drinks, gels, chomps).
  • Athletes who experience gas and bloat want to familiarize themselves with FODMAPs —Fermentable (i.e., gas-producing) Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These are sugars and fibers that some people have trouble digesting. Commonly eaten sport foods high in FODMAPs include milk (apart from lactose-free milk), bread, pasta, onions, garlic, beans, lentils, hummus, apples, and honey.
      • By choosing a low FODMAP diet for a few days before an important event, an athlete might be able to reduce, if not avoid, digestive issues. (Of course, first, experiment during training to be sure the low FODMAP foods settle well!) Low FODMAP foods include bananas, grapes, cantaloupe, potato, rice quinoa, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, and maple syrup.  For more information on FODMAPS, refer to KateScarlata.com.
  • Fatty foods (butter, cheese, nuts) tend to slowly leave the stomach and are metabolized slower than carb-rich foods. If you will be exercising for only one to two hours, think twice before reaching for a handful of nuts or a chunk of cheese for a quick fix before you exercise. A banana or slice of toast will digest quicker and be more available for fuel.
      • Eating fatty foods on a regular basis can speed-up gastric emptying a bit but you won’t burn much pre-exercise dietary fat during your workout unless you are an ultra-athlete who will be exercising for more than three hours. In that case, a bagel with nut butter or cheese will offer long-lasting fuel.
  • Some athletes chronically under-eat during training. This includes dieters trying to lose weight, and athletes with anorexia. Under-eating can impair GI function; the gut slows down with inadequate fuel. Delayed gastric emptying means food stays longer in the stomach and can feel “heavy” during exercise (as well as is less available for fuel). Slowed intestinal motility easily leads to constipation, a common problem among under-eating athletes.
  • Highly active athletes, such as Tour de France cyclists and ultra-runners, need to consume a large volume of food to support performance. If they are eating “healthy” foods before and during endurance exercise, they can easily consume a lot of fiber —and that can easily contribute to rapid transit. Endurance athletes needing a high calorie diet often benefit from eating some so-called less-healthy foods (such as white bread, white rice, cookies, candy) for low-fiber muscle-fuel.
  • Given each athlete is has a unique GI tract, be sure to experiment during training to learn what works best. Eat wisely—and enjoy miles of smiles.

Sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston area (Newton; 617-795-1875). Her best-selling Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (6th edition, 2019) can help you eat to win. For more information, visit NancyClarkRD.com.

sneakers-walking-in-woods

Gait! Everything You Need to Know

Assessing and training clients is challenging but skilled observation can give you important clues about your clients’ condition and readiness—and they don’t need to say a thing! Many trainers, and even therapists and doctors, are missing one of the most valuable assessment tools and training modalities they have at their disposal: the client’s gait.

fresh-fruit

Your Weight and the Pandemic

During a recent interview on a talk radio show, a caller told me she had gained seven pounds since living in lockdown; her friends also had gained weight, she said. A few days later, a colleague who has been conducting what she calls “telephone clinics” with her obese patients wrote: “All were telling me how lockdown is causing further weight gain and how they feel unable to do anything about it.” She continued: “I think that the lockdown affects disproportionately people who were already struggling with obesity and unhealthy eating habits.”

As most of you know, it is not just select “obese patients” who are struggling with overeating and ensuing weight gain. This is because overweight and obese people are not a small subset of the population. Rather, almost 70% of Americans are overweight or obese; indeed, by 2030 the percentage is expected to be closer to 100%. This means that the lockdown may be speeding up our obesity stats, but it is not the cause of our overweight pandemic: The fat-track train left the station decades ago.

The Obesity Link to Covid-19

Today, with the threat of coronavirus infection, there is yet another reason to be concerned about being overweight: As Americans reel from the shocking and devastating health, mental, emotional, economic, and social impact the coronavirus pandemic has wrought, the virus continues to disproportionately harm those who are already struggling with obesity and other diet-related conditions — from heart disease and diabetes to high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. This is an alarming situation given that (1) almost 45% of adults in the United States are obese — we rank #1 in obesity among international OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations, (2) and one in two Americans — over 133 million people — suffer from chronic health conditions, many of which are linked to poor food choices.

In my opinion, the coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call; a stunning event that is sounding the alarm we need to take action NOW to remedy the struggle that millions of overweight and obese people live with day-to-day. Clearly, we are being alerted to change — really, really change — what we eat and how we eat. Each day and every day. Starting now. For the rest of our lives. My vision is that we accomplish this by halting and turning around the obesity pandemic without dieting; rather, by losing weight and keeping it off with what I call a dietary lifestyle, meaning, a way of eating that leads naturally to weight loss, health, and healing…for life.

The Whole Person Integrative Eating (WPIE) Weight Loss Rx

What if…

…it were possible to overcome overeating and to lose weight and keep it off without traditional dieting? (Note: Almost 50% of Americans are “on a diet” at any one time; and typical dieters will try between 55-130 diets in their lifetime!)

…you could nourish yourself physically each time you eat? But also emotionally, spiritually, and socially?

…your relationship to food, eating, and weight was based on a way of eating that leads to a pleasurable relationship to food and eating—with weight loss as a natural “side effect?”

What I am describing is the Whole Person Integrative Eating (WPIE)® dietary lifestyle, an evidence-based, scientifically sound model and program that treats the root causes of overeating, overweight, and obesity. It is also a way of eating that may prepare your immune system to fight viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.1-3 And the WPIE dietary lifestyle can also help you prevent and reverse a plethora of other diet-related chronic conditions.

After 25 years of research by behavioral scientist Larry Scherwitz, PhD (transparent disclosure: Larry’s my

husband) and me, the well-documented message in Whole Person Integrative Eating is that it is possible to overcome overeating, overweight, and obesity by replacing the newly identified, new-normal overeating styles Larry and I have discovered with their antidotes: the ancient/new, science-backed elements of our Whole Person Integrative Eating® model and program.4-6 FYI…WPIE is a “whole person” program that address both what you eat (your food choices) and how you eat (your eating behaviors); and in turn, how your food choices and eating behaviors nourish you physically, but also emotionally, spiritually, and socially. As a first step, this article offers the WPIE what-to-eat guidelines for weight loss.

What-to-Eat Rx: Fresh, Whole, Inverse

What Larry and I, and hundreds, perhaps thousands of other researchers have discovered, is that there’s a simple way to eat that provides the antidote to the Fast Foodism overeating style our WPIE research identified that leads to overeating and obesity. It is a time- and science-tested what-to-eat guideline that has nourished humankind for millennia—and it is how people who are naturally thin and healthier eat today: Eat fresh, whole food in its natural state as often as possible.Please keep in mind the phrase “as often as possible.” This means making fresh, whole foods your most-of-the-time way of eating; it is not a rigid, regimented way of eating you start, then stop.

To get you, and your waistline and immune system, started on the road to health and healing, here are the three words that describe the WPIE what-to-eat guidelines that lower odds of illness: Fresh. Whole. Inverse.7 This is what I mean.

Fresh. Whole. The optimal way to eat for weight loss, health, and healing is to consume mostly unrefined, unprocessed, real food that has all its constituents (such as the fiber and germ in grains) intact. This means choosing lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts and seeds, with lesser—or no—amounts of free-range, grass-fed, and/or wild dairy, poultry, meat, and fish that is free of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, and additives and chemicals (you often can’t pronounce).

Inverse eating. Along with “fresh” and “whole,” the third WPIE “ingredient” for optimal eating is to eat inversely. What do I mean by “inverse eating?” Whether you’re looking at the traditional diets of Mediterranean, Asian, South American, African, Indian, or Native American cultures, they all have one way of eating in common: meals are mostly plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, grains, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds), with lesser amounts of animal-based foods (dairy, fish, poultry, and meat). In other words, the diets of most cultures worldwide are—and have been for thousands of years—mostly plant-based foods as the centerpiece of the meal, and animal-based foods as a condiment or side dish.

Clearly, this is the inverse of the almost 40 percent—approximately 84.8 million Americans—who eat fast food every day and the 91 percent—at least 290 million Americans—who completely miss the mark of meeting the U.S. dietary guidelines of a half to two cups of vegetables per day. Same with fruit: only 12 percent of Americans consume one-and-a-half to two servings per day. In other words, most Americans eat the standard American diet (SAD) of mostly processed animal-based foods with few, or no plant-based foods.

With SAD as a starting point, I use the term inverse eating to describe the antithesis, or inverse, of the standard American diet: the opposite way of eating that evolved naturally over thousands of years and includes mostly fresh, whole, plant-based foods supplemented with small, occasional servings of fresh, whole, chemical-free animal-based foods.

The WPIE Dietary Lifestyle: If Not Now, When?

I know. Change isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to food and eating. I understand; truly. Since the social-isolation policy that has gone into effect for most of us, I’ve talked with people who are turning to high-carb, high-sugar, high-fat “comfort foods” to cope. And they are gaining weight. And weakening their immune system. And making themselves vulnerable to a plethora of diet-related conditions.

The antidote? Commit to, and adopt a dietary lifestyle that empowers you to eat to prevent, even reverse, a multitude of food-related ailments and increase odds of boosting immunity, which in turn may decrease your risk of becoming ill from the coronavirus. And it lowers odds of being overweight and obese. Or developing diabetes. And heart disease. And some cancers. And depression and anxiety. And other mind-body, diet-related chronic conditions.

In other words, we know that the WPIE fresh, wholeinverse way of eating ups the odds of helping you lose weight and keep it off, lessens the risk of Covid-19 symptoms, and can prevent and reverse food-related chronic conditions; that the Whole Person Integrative Eating® dietary lifestyle holds the key to transforming your relationship with food and eating so you can reclaim your health…for life. If not now, when?

 

Article originally printed on integrativeeating.com. Reprinted with permission from Deborah Kesten. 


Deborah Kesten, M.P.H., is an award-winning author, specializing in preventing and reversing obesity and heart disease. Her expertise includes the influence of epigenetics and diet on health, Lifestyle Medicine, and research on the Whole Person Integrative Eating dietary lifestyle to treat overeating, overweight, and obesity. She and her husband, behavioral scientist Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D., collaborate on research and writing projects. Her latest book, “Whole Person Integrative Eating” was named the “Winner” in the Health category by the 2020 Book Excellence Awards.

running-determination

The Moment of Truth

According to the Advanced English Dictionary, © HarperCollins Publishers, “if you refer to a time or event as the moment of truth, you mean that it is an important time when you must make a decision quickly, and whatever you decide will have important consequences in the future. Both men knew the moment of truth had arrived. (As a sentence example)

We all come to crossroads in life when we are faced with a decision that will change our life’s direction one way or the other. You have to make that decision quickly, without procrastination, and decide where you are headed. Sometimes, if you get old enough like me, these times come more than once. They are said to be our “moment of truth”.

In September of 2017, I started a closed Facebook Group called MS Fitness Challenge GYM for those of us with MS who are doing their best to beat MS through fitness. It is a platform for MSers to be educated on exercise, nutrition and mindset in the battle against this disease. It’s also a place where we can interact, share our goals, talk about our trials and victories and be able to connect with like-minded MSers who want to encourage and uplift each other in a positive atmosphere of health. We currently have, at the time of this writing, over 7,000 members.

Every day, I read a post about how hard it is to exercise and follow a strict nutrition plan from the members enrolled. The member’s post about the limitations, pain and issues of their symptoms that make it difficult to follow through with exercise. And, they talk about the mental blocks to sticking with an exercise or diet program.

I know. It’s not easy having MS or any challenge in life and dealing with our ups and downs let alone trying to push ourselves to get to a gym or work-out at home and follow a diet that is ONLY full of great foods and supplements for MS. I get it!

But what I’d like you to look at is the consequence of NOT getting into a regular fitness routine, NOT watching what you put into your body, and NOT setting your mindset to the positive dial. MS will not go away; it’s incurable (right now). And the disease symptoms will not improve unless you take a proactive stance against it. Exercise, nutrition and the thoughts in your mind has been proven, through programs such as my MS Fitness Challenge and many others, to help MSers in one way or another in this battle. You can read over and over again, in a multitude of platforms, the testimonials from MSers who have switched to an MS-based diet and implemented an exercise routine seeing great improvement in their quality of life. We are not talking cure here. We are talking a better day-to-day existence despite MS. And, really, this translates to any obstacle you have in your mental or physical health. The choice is yours. Do you want to choose the road that takes the work necessary to a more fulfilled lifetime, or let whatever your challenge is tell you how to live? This is the moment of truth.

The first step is getting your thoughts, motivation and determination in order. Your body will not go where your mind doesn’t take it. So fitness starts in the most influential muscle in your body… your brain. Getting revved up and ready to take on your barrier through fitness is a choice that has to be made. It is not something that most have waiting to come out. It is a desire found deep in your thoughts and feelings. You have to dig down and pull it out because there is a serious amount of action that needs to be put into play with the reaction of… “I want to beat MS” or “I’m tired of being obese” or whatever your challenge is.  And once you make this choice in your moment of truth, you do not want to look back.

When your choice to overcome your challenge is made, now it’s time to settle in on the exercise and nutrition programs that will kick start this new truth in your life. I understand the confusion of where to begin; what are the best programs for you; who helps you? This is where research and support comes in and why I founded my MS Fitness Challenge charity. We are the MS cause dedicated to educating, training and inspiring people with MS to live a lifestyle of fitness through knowledge.

So, who’s ready to stand at that fork in your road, look at it hard and tell it you are going down the road to fitness?  I’ve been traveling that road my whole life, without MS and with MS and there is no better path to follow. Your moment of truth has arrived…


David Lyons, BS, CPT, is the founder of the MS Bodybuilding Challenge and co-founder of the MS Fitness Challenge with wife Kendra. He has dedicated his life to helping people with MS understand and be educated on the importance of fitness in their lives. He is an author and sought after motivational speaker, dedicated to helping others by sharing the lessons gained from his life experience.  His most recent book, Everyday Health & Fitness with Multiple Sclerosis was a #1 New Release on Amazon at its release. He is the 2013 recipient of the Health Advocate of the Year Award; in 2015, he received the first ever Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lifetime Fitness Inspiration Award in Feb 2016. In 2017, David received the Special Recognition Award from the National Fitness Hall of Fame.

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The Importance of Exercise for the Disabled or Handicapped

Everyone must remain active. This is only achievable with the help of exercise. Contrary to popular belief, handicapped people also wish to stay fit and healthy. On the other hand, some of handicapped individuals do not realize the importance of it.

Let’s discuss the importance of exercise for handicapped people.

Prevention of Heart Disease

Exercise can help reduce the risk of developing diseases relating to the heart. This includes high blood pressure, heart attack and ischemic heart disease. Furthermore, exercise is essential for preventing various other medical conditions.

Prevention of Comorbidities

Inactivity is a disease in itself. Being inactive makes the body less productive. This makes them more prone to the development of illness, ranging from something as small as flu to as big as cancer. Disabled and inactive individuals have a higher chance of developing colon cancer and diabetes.

Prevention of Anxiety and Depression

Being inactive and indoors can lead to depression and anxiety. You may feel down most of the time. Exercising releases endorphins in our body. These help in regulating mood; those who exercise regularly experience improvement in their moods.

Alleviates pain

Inactivity can cause harm to your bones and muscles as well. The majority of people suffer from pain in joints and other complications. Stiff muscles are also an additional drawback of inactivity.

Handicapped people who exercise more often do not suffer from these symptoms. They report relief of pain. Furthermore, such people also have faster healing of wounds and injury from trauma.

Clears the mind

Exercising not only helps with our physical well-being. It also aids in improving our mental health as well. Brain fog is a real thing; people can be doubtful about the decisions they make. Exercising helps people to think clearly. They can divert their mind from useless jargon to more productive thoughts.

DO NOT LET OTHERS STOP YOU FROM EXERCISING

Being handicapped has a certain societal stigma with it. The perception of people can often stop you from exercising. Always remember that exercising will only benefit you alone. Don’t worry about what others think!

Conclusion

Being disabled can be a hard thing. But, exercise is an activity that will help you to gain self-esteem. You do not need to start with rigorous workouts.

This journey begins with a single step, time will help you get better in the long run. So what are you waiting for?  Start looking for an exercise regimen that suits you best.

Here’s to your health!


Terrance Hutchinson is the Owner of Your Best Lifestyles Fitness and Nutrition. He is a Certified Personal trainer specializing in Exercise Therapy, Corrective Exercise, Sports Nutrition, and Corporate Wellness. He an author of 3 books, he has his own podcast, he has contributed articles to major newspapers and magazines, Terrance has spoken at health events, webinars, seminars, hospitals, schools, doctors offices and has been featured nationally syndicated television platforms. Terrance has clients in many states and counties and is looking to help others bridge the gap between the medical and fitness industries. To learn more about Terrance, visit yourbestlifestyles.com