Make It or Move It

Walking
Walking

I am sure that I am not the only woman in America who has trouble losing weight.  In fact, every other person that walks into my clinic has weight loss as one of their three main goals.  Discipline and ambition are definitely two of the first factors that define your ability to lose weight, but it would be so much more motivating if you knew for a fact that what you are choosing to do, will really work for you! So I decided that a quick tip guide is needed for my patients to help make the results worth the effort.  The basic question is how much exercise and how essential is diet.  In other words should you make it or should you move it.

Here are the basics: If you want to lose body size, then diet is the way to go.  Eating fewer calories, but not just any calories.  Our 21 day basic cleanse is so effective at helping people lose weight because it follows the healthy calorie restriction option.  Choose from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and get your protein from beans, nuts and an organic protein powder (whey is my favorite).  The second thing is that frozen is NOT the same.  Now I'm definitely a fan of Trader Joe's frozen organic foods, but truthfully there is a change in the living quality of a food once you freeze it.  It's really a type of processing, and processing is akin to the devil.  So limit how much you're eating processed foods.  Now I know that many people love Weight Watcher's frozen meals, Jenny Craig is based on a lot of frozen meals, but the secret there is portion control, calorie restriction and regular eating.  All of those are great, but are not necessarily the healthiest option.  So if you are looking for improving your health (a bit more later about this), then going for whole food is best, as much as possible.

Avoid empty calories such as deli meats, refined carbohydrates, pastries, white bread and be sure to read the label on everything.  Sugar is the enemy and you don't need a lot of fat or a lot of salt.  Remember that marketing does not equal health.  Be a smart shopper.  Eating dense, lower calorie foods fills you up, gives you fuel to burn and has the fiber to keep your bowel function on track.  There is nothing worse than feeling bloated and sluggish.  Clean up your diet and you'll be amazed at the results.

Now it isn't just losing weight that focuses on diet.  Diet is the way to go if you want to increase your energy.  It gives you a steadier supply of endurance energy that carries you through a long day.  Your diet is what sustains your blood sugar and keeps your insulin from spiking, which not only packs on the weight but drives up the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

But exercise is not to be discounted.  Moving is the key to longevity, to heart health, to a healthy libido and to long-term brain acumen.  Now I'm not saying it will make you smarter, but it will make the smarts you have last longer.  Both cardiovascular exercise and strength training in equal amounts is key to these benefits, but that doesn't mean working out like Arnold.  Instead, try low weights with slower movements.  This avoids injury because your muscles are limited by stretch receptors.  These receptors are triggered by sudden stressful movements.  Cardio exercise needs to be a minimum of 30 minutes at least 5 times a week.  You will get so much more out of your workout if you do it often, as opposed to sitting all week and then running your bum off on the weekend.

And don't think running is the best option.  As we age, and especially if we have a lot of weight to lose, then running is not the thing.  Walking counts as great exercise, and if you wear a pedometer and shoot for 10,000 steps a day, you will be amazed at how much you you will be inspired to get your pedometer numbers up and how often you'll be willing to take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Or park a block away and walk the block.  Or take a break to walk because you know it's the only time you'll have today.

A 2012 study in the journal Diabetologia showed that sedentary people have substantially increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.  The study mentioned that the enzymes in our muscles alter in ways that lessen our ability to metabolize sugars and fats.  So we end up with daibetes and high cholesterol.  The rule of thumb?  Take a walk every two hours, or get up and stand for a while.  Just shift your posture and your position - get your enzymes moving.

Ladies!  Don't forget about libido.  Exercise is the key to libido, but studies show that yoga is actually the very best for women that are complaining of headaches when it's time for bed!  But often there are other issues linked to your libido, such as natural lubrication and self-image issues (ah, gravity, gravity!).  Try some Tribulus Terrestris, a great Bulgarian herb that does wonderful things for all those aspects of libido.

Honestly, if you are just beginning to act on the realization that time is passing and gravity isn't going anywhere but down, then take one step at a time.  Failure is most often the result of biting off more than you can chew, in every sense!