By now I hope you have watched Dr. Robert Lustig’s video that I’ve talked about in my last 2 blogs. If you heed his advice it really is life enhancing. I have and it’s made such a huge difference. But now, as I promised last week, I want to talk about exercise and what it can and cannot do for you.
To summarize what Dr.Lustig says on the subject of weight loss and exercise, exercise is not the key to weight loss, but it is one of two keys to great health. The first key is changing your diet by drastically reducing your intake of sugar in combination with a huge increase in your intake of fiber. Do that and your half way to excellent health.
The second key is, yes, exercise and by that he means consistent exercise. As Dr. Lustig points out, exercise will build muscle and in the very long run will help you lose a little of the weight because muscles burn calories faster than fat but this would only be a little additional weight loss. In other words, exercise should be part of a weight loss plan but is not the key to it. Without the change in diet, weight loss will be slow and the increase in overall health will be minimal.
Not a believer quite yet? Well, I’d recommend going out and getting Dr, Lustig’s book “Fat Chance” so you can read about all the factors that go into healthy weight loss and healthy eating. It’s not that exercise cannot have a tremendous impact on your health but exercise alone won’t do it. Next week I’ll tell you about another book and the story it includes of an amazing man, his commitment to better health and how you can follow in his footsteps. In the meantime, start evaluating your sugar intake. You may find it startling just how much you take in and, hopefully, it’ll stir you to do something about it.
If you watch the link I posted last week of Dr. Lustig’s lecture you learned about the major damage sugar does to your body. His words and proof of what he was saying certainly made a huge impression on me and has changed my eating habits significantly. I’ve watched his video presentation twice and after that quickly got a copy of his book “Fat Chance” and devoured it. I’m so glad that I did. Not only did I realize all the damage sugar was doing to my body but I began to see that what I believed to be true about how we process calories was, in fact, not true!
Most of us have been lead to believe that a calorie is a calorie regardless of the food we get it from. So if we thin k that if we eat a 1,000 calories of food that is loaded with sugar versus a 1,000 calories of food that is relatively sugar free the results to our bodies is exactly the same. But if you believe that (like I did) you’d be wrong.
The reason that one type of calorie can cause your body to gain weight and another one will not, is all in the way the body metabolizes the food. So let’s say that in the next 6 months you ate 2000 sugar loaded calories a day. You might gain 5 lbs. But if you ate 2000 calories of non-sugar foods you might lose 5 pounds or stay the same weight. But that’s just the beginning.
As Dr. Robert Lustig says in the beginning of his book, “Every good story needs a villain. While I am loath to reveal it this early in the book, I won’t keep you in suspense. It’s sugar…..a substance that now permeates nearly all food and drink worldwide. It’s killing us … slowly, and I’ll prove it. Every statement throughout this book is based on scientific study, historical fact, or recent statistics.”
Plain and simple, Lustig makes a totally convincing case that sugar is TOXIC.
If you read his book you will see all the ways sugar is doing damage to your body. Lustig’s book certainly motivated me to cut out almost all the sugar and processed foods from my diet. By the way–did you know that there are dozens of different names that the food industry uses to hide sugar content, especially in processed foods? If you aren’t sure you can identify them, go to the USDA’s page here for a list.
And if you are thinking, like so many people, “I will just exercise more to counteract the sugar.” Sorry, that’s not going to work either. Don’t get me wrong … exercise is not bad. In fact it’s very, very good for the body but that is not how you will counteract sugar or to lose weight. Why not, you ask? Well, I’ll talk about that next week. In the meantime, read your labels. See just how much sugar you are really taking in and try to cut it out of your diet. I bet you’ll be surprised just how many things you’ll have to eliminate but that just tells you how bad the situation is.
Sometimes it takes huge bells on a gigantic clock to wake us up enough to change our thoughts and our habits. But, sadly, too many times when the alarm goes off we hit the snooze button or even sleep right through the loud ringing. I had the opportunity to see quite a few wake-up alarms going off at the hospital in Boston where my wife underwent a difficult surgery and I hope to permanently learn from them.
One such alarm was seeing and talking to a patient who had half her lungs taken out 5 weeks before but was back in the hospital with blood clots. Her husband took me aside and told me how sad it was. His wife smoked but never a lot. Still, she couldn’t seem to give it up. He was really hoping that this was a loud enough wake up bell that she wouldn’t hit the snooze button this time.
Another thing that really hit me was seeing so many obese people in the halls. This wake-up call was more one of empathy for them, knowing many were there for obese related problems. I realized that even though the alarm was going off for them, food addiction is even harder to give up than smoking! Unlike cigarettes, you can’t totally stop eating food, so in a way a person who overeats is constantly teasing and tempting himself or herself every time they eat.
Being in a hospital environment, there are many instances where you are exposed to the problems people have with taking care of themselves. The big take away, at least for me, is knowing that we all need to be much more observant, to see our own selves clearly and see what we need to be doing to stay healthy. We need to figure out better paths to go down before we get the big wake up calls. Additionally, I would say–don’t hit the snooze button! Go out and make the necessary changes—now!
**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?
So, are you ready to put together your Grand Health Goal? Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to get yourself into the best possible health and do it for the rest of your life?
We should back up here a bit because, of course, that Grand goal is way too general by itself. You absolutely need to break it down into specific small goals and steps in order to be able to monitor and measure your progress along the way. I talk about what I call “Bite Sized Miracles” in Chapter 6 of my book “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living”. It’s one of the most essential elements to guarantee you are successful in this very important goal.
What small bite-sized miracles can you aim for that will make your Grand Health Goal a reality? That’s not something I can tell you. You need to decide what you want and then figure out the steps to get there. Just don’t let the idea of a Grand goal make it feel impossible. You can just add a short exercise routine this week and then a new sport next week to get yourself back into shape. Try cutting out soda followed by eliminating all the empty calories of white bread and white rice soon thereafter to keep your weight down. With these small, managable steps and changes in your life, you will soon find you are healthier and feel better and that high energy feeling alone will motivate you to do even more. Then you just keep it up and there you are, living your Grand goal!
But back up one more step. Are you ready to do this? Is it important enough to you? (And if you say, no, you really have to ask yourself what is more important than the very aspect of your life that allows you to do all the things you want to do and enjoy it because you feel good?) Because the first and most important step is for you to realize just how enormously important your health is and commit yourself to preserving and improving it.
So, are you ready to live a healthy and full life for the rest of your life?
Last week I talked about how important it is to keep yourself in shape–not just for now but for LIFE! In the next few blogs I am going to cover what it takes to stick with a program that will get you in the best possible health for the rest of your life.
The very first step is—and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard this before– you just absolutely need to set the right goal. For example, the wrong goal would be to say I am going to lose 20 pounds. Why is that wrong? Because that’s too short term. I mean, think about it—you set the goal and when you reach it, you celebrate a bit but a few weeks or months later it’s so easy to slowly slide back to your pre-diet eating and exercise habits until, once again, those 20 pounds are back.
This will happen because your goal didn’t address that you wanted this to be for the rest of your life. If however, you set the right goal—like setting the goal of hitting your ideal weight and make keeping that ideal weight for life a critical part of that goal, then that is the right goal.
And yet, there may be an even better goal than this. Although having that correct health goal for life is huge, why not take it a step further and go for a Grand health goal? It’ll take a number of small steps including this first health goal for life. So get to work on setting the right goal for yourself and then next week, we’ll talk about bigger and grander goals for your health that will allow you to get the most out of every day.
Back in 1998 I saw a picture of a man that really shocked me. It was the picture of an African American man posing in a swim suit as he flexed his rather well defined muscles. The headline below it read “can you guess this guy’s age?” i took up the challenge. I saw that he was in great shape and his skin looked pretty wrinkle free so i guessed 45 or 50 years old at most. I wasn’t even close.
Harry Scott was actually 65 years old which, of course, made me ask if just anyone, myself in particular, could look that good at age 65! I tore that page out of the magazine (sorry about that my good doctor’s office!) And have carried that now very tattered page with me ever since. It was and is such a great inspiration to me to not just look good and be in good shape but more importantly, to strive to be in the greatest health that is possible at every age!!
I am 67 now and near my high school. The things I’ve done to keep in shape are likely stuff you already know but let me give you some critical keys to put what you know into practice but may not do consistently. Remember that old great saying “To know and not to do, is not yet to know.”
So I would suggest you start thinking about what you’d like to improve in your health, fitness routine, and energy level. Over the next few weeks, I will cover what it takes to stick with a program that will get you in shape and keep you in the best health possible.
If you want to see this great picture of Harry Scott, it’s in the picture center of my re-written book “The Next Step To Waking Up The Financial Genius Inside You”
When you ‘retire’ it is not time to sit down and watch the world go by. It is time to go re-read your favorite 10, 20 or 100 books, to re-learn all those things that may have slipped slowly away over the years. It’s time to re-connect with old friends and make new friends. It’s time to start a new business or donate your time to a great cause. It’s time to visit a few 3rd world countries and see how many people you can help. It’s time to improve learn, and re-learn.
If you are thinking, “Hey, I don’t have enough energy to do some let alone all of the above”, well, then maybe you need to re-fire yourself by setting a goal to generate more energy. I am talking about rebuilding your body and mind through a regiment of physical exercise and a super-charged diet. Eat more and more fruits and veggies. Set a goal to stop sitting around just watching TV. Get up and move about. You’ll see that the movement itself, whether it’s walking, running, hiking, tennis, bowling even just playing pool, will energize and re-fires you all by itself.
Then once you have some of that renewed energy running through you, get back to living, not retiring. You have so many more years yet and so much to do.
Most of us have some health related goal or area of improvement that we are working on or hope to work on very soon. Keeping yourself mentally and physically aware while exercising and eating by using the “living in the now” concept I’ve been talking about in the last couple blogs, can get you through a strenuous workout as well as help you eat right all while increasing your enjoyment of these activities.
For most of us, getting through an exercise routine is a struggle. But if you are completely attentive to your movements instead of thinking about how you’ve never yet been able to keep up an exercise routine or letting your mind wander to how much nicer it would feel to be lounging on the couch, you aren’t as likely to quit in the middle of it. Just keep focused on the feeling of your muscles moving and listen to your breath as you control your inhaling and exhaling (a primary concept behind yoga and its distressing effects, by the way) and soon enough you will have completed your routine or finished that 30 minute run and are feeling great.
When it comes to food, it’s all about being mindful of what you eat, how much, and how you eat. When you reach in the fridge for something, consciously decide what will contribute to your well balanced intake for the day and choose your best options. Stop eating directly out of the box or bag and lay out a small portion on a plate that you can then take to a table or out onto the porch to enjoy. Choose a place with no TV or computer or anything else to distract you. Taste your food, becoming aware of every flavor and texture, and chew completely. You will find that eating “in the now” is much more enjoyable. It will also slow down your eating so you fill up on less food and will help your digestion by having food well broken down before it hits your stomach.
“Living in the now” will help you by not only increasing your appreciation of the sensations of exercising and eating well but will also help you attain your goals for a better, healthier life. You’ll feel great because of your accomplishments along with gaining the long lasting and compounding effects of the bliss that comes with being consistently happy in the moment.
During the last few weeks, I’ve been talking about health and the benefits of a good diet and hopefully it’s inspired you to eat better. The question is, are you, or will you be committed to it, not just for the near future but for life?
Getting down to an ideal weight and getting off junk food are great goals but your hard efforts will be wasted if you don’t make it a modification to your lifestyle rather not just a temporary change.
As I mentioned about the CRON diet last week, these healthier eating habits can lengthen your life—an actual fountain of youth! But if you can’t keep it up, it probably won’t get you halfway near the 140 years that the CRON scientists believe a healthy person can reach.
If you lose 30 pounds then gain back 20 a few months later, lose another 10, gain another 15, and keep this yo-yo dieting going, you aren’t helping your health at all. In fact you’re stressing your system. Same goes for the ‘occasional’ junk food meal. Can a coke addict get high just once in a while?
The bottom line is, you have to decide that you want to live healthy–determine the specific weight you want to reach and stay at, commit to eating healthy, minimally processed, whole foods, and keep active. Look at this commitment as a commitment for life, an umbrella goal that will support every other goal you make but giving you the health and energy to pursue all your dreams.
So be good to yourself these next few weeks and aim to eat and live healthy for the rest of your life. You can start by reading Chapter 10: An Umbrella Goal for Life in my book, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. As I explain, 42 days is all it takes to form a new eating habit. After that it’s just a little bit of vigilance.
Use the goal planning tips in my book and you’ll certainly get there. Do this for yourself, your family, and, of course, for the success of all your dreams.
Have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet? I hope your health is on the top of the list. If the chilling information about junk food and its addictive qualities from last week’s blog didn’t get you motivated, how about the wonderful news that you can boost your energy, enhance your mental acuity, decrease pain, lose weight, eliminate fatigue, and feel young again in just a few days? You can do this. I have. With fasting.
I fast for just 48 to 72 hours every 3 or 4 months to get these huge benefits and know that it is key in making me feel younger and keeping myself healthy.
Fasting is simply a period in which you abstain from food but drink fluids in sufficient quantity to take care of your thirst and physiologic requirements. With no food coming in, the body no longer has to focus on digestion and getting rid of the toxins that come in with the food.
Instead, the body will turn to breaking down malignant substances, repairing damaged tissue, and cleansing itself of the toxins that have built up in your tissues over time. As damage is repaired and the toxic load is reduced, your cells are able to function at more efficient and beneficial levels. This optimal functioning at the cellular level is the source of the many benefits of fasting.
Keep in mind, there is a right way and a wrong way to fast and it’s not for everyone. Before you try fasting, get your doctor’s okay and then get his or her recommendation for a fasting regimen or a reputable book on the subject that can guide you.
Next week, I’ll let you in on the one diet that can actually help you live longer as well as better. And don’t forget, I talk about many of these things in my book, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. If you don’t have your own copy, get it now to help you focus your New Year’s resolution. If you do have it, give a copy or two to friends and family and help them grow their passion for living.