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Reset Your Hunger Hormone to Shed Fat Easily

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDWaist

Have you ever shivered on a cold day? Do you ever feel a little light-headed when you stand up too fast? I’m sure you’ve broken a sweat while doing your PACE exercises, right?

What you’re feeling is your body trying to return itself to “normal.” In medicine we call that homeostasis. Your body is reacting to its environment and trying to get back within its natural chemical, hormonal and temperature ranges.

Hunger is a good example. When your energy levels are low, normally your hunger hormones (like leptin and insulin) signal your body to eat. When you’ve eaten enough, your hormones should tell you that you’ve had enough.

So eating enough should blunt your appetite. Your body should go back to a balanced state, and have homeostasis.

That also means that if you gain weight, homeostasis should send a signal to eat less, use more energy, and bring you back to “normal.”

But there’s a problem … in the real world, it doesn’t work that way.

We do eat too much. We have obesity.

You can get fat.

Shouldn’t this be impossible? How can every other system in your body be regulated by homeostasis except your weight?

The answer is in the food we eat.

The food choices you’re presented with as “healthy” are processed sugars and starches, and hormone- and pesticide-laden meats and dangerous preservatives. These foods lack the basic nutrition your body needs.

When you eat these foods, homeostasis tells your body it hasn’t gotten any nutrition, and to eat more. So you eat more of these processed carb-heavy foods that spike your blood sugar. This triggers the hormone insulin to bring your blood sugar down. But when insulin drops your blood sugar too low, you crave even more carbs.

This vicious cycle eventually leads to weight gain that overcomes nature, and homeostasis.

This is “hormonal hunger” and it’s what the modern world has done to you. The processed foods, grains and starches that you’ve been sold over the last 50 years have changed your body so that it overrides homeostasis and keeps on eating.

The good news is, you can reverse the effects of years of conventional food and nutrition. You can return your body, and your hormones, to a “normal” state and never have to worry about getting fat if you follow these simple steps:

Eat quality calories. Conventional doctors will tell you the key to fat loss is cutting back on calories. But it’s not about the quantity of calories. It’s all about the quality of calories. Eat meals based on protein … as many different kinds of protein as you can get. Because protein signals your body to stop eating. Getting enough protein tells your body that times are good, and flips your metabolic switch from “store fat” to “burn fat.” Then your body will use the calories as essential fuel to function at its best.

Eat the right fats.  Don’t cut back on fat, either … Instead, eat the right fats like omega-3s. Your body uses them to absorb vitamins and nutrients.

Practice short-duration, high-intensity, progressively challenging workouts.  Exercise is one of the best ways to shed fat and reset your hormones.(1) But the key to lasting fat loss is to teach your body to burn fat after you exercise – not while you exercise. My PACE program helps your body reset your hormone signals so you can burn off fat.

Take a multivitamin. Unless you’re the rare exception, you’re probably not getting the nutrition you need from food. Choose a brand you trust, with natural forms of the nutrients, so you can actually absorb them and they’re available for your body to use.

Eat low-glycemic-index foods.  High-glycemic-index foods, which are usually the processed ones, are loaded with sugars, starches and grains and cause hormonal hunger. But low-glycemic-index foods – foods that don’t raise your blood sugar – that are also the most nutrient-dense curb your appetite and you’ll shed fat in no time. These include seeds, nuts, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, eggs, berries and fruits, and vegetables.

Avoid high-fructose corn syrup.  It’s been found to cause hormonal hunger.(2) One more reason to stay away from processed foods or anything packed in a box, can or plastic container (even if it’s labeled organic).

Don’t skip meals.  It’ll only put your body in starvation mode and make you binge on carbs that mess with your blood sugar and hunger hormones. Eat three balanced meals a day, especially breakfast, and snack on those nutrient-dense foods in between.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.
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References:

1. Reseland, Janne E. “Effect of long-term changes in diet and exercise on plasma leptin concentrations,”American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001;73(2): 240-245
2. Shapiro, A., Mu, W., Roncal, C., et al, “Fructose-induced leptin resistance exacerbates weight gain in response to subsequent high-fat feeding,” Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 2008; 295 (5)

Blasting the Beer Belly with Food Rotations and 50 Caliber Training

By: Scott Mendelson, Infinity Fitness

Scott,
I am very lean everywhere except my belly and no matter what I do I just cannot get rid of the fat in that area.  There is also a consistent bloated feeling that pushes out my stomach almost like I swallowed a small beach ball.  I have what I can consider good habits in place regarding nutrition and training, but you may have a different take.  What can I do to get rid of this beer belly and show off some abs this summer?  
Buck

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Buck,
I would highly recommend 50 caliber training to burn off belly fat and strategic nutrition changes to lower body fat and get rid of the bloating.  Thanks for sending your pictures and training/nutrition logs as this info helped me spot the sources of your problems very quickly.  I agree that you have some good habits in place, but after five years of consistent efforts your strategies have not evolved at all.  You have consumed the same foods prepared in the same way for five years and your body is no longer responding well.    

I have been designing customized training and nutrition programs for clients for ten years and there is no substitute for having the right strategy in place to fuel a fast transformation.  Buck- now is the time for strategic change to support rapid fat loss.

Check out this blog post which provides strategies for Blasting your Beer Belly Fast.

It is difficult for most trainees to accept that programs that were successful in the past no longer work as body catches on to these tactics while hormonal/metabolic conditions change.  Your nervous system which governs strength is no longer responding to your training routines based on the lack of performance progress.  The ability to improve performance over time has a direct correlation to fat loss by increasing fat burning hormones.  

A Strategic Shock to the System That Doubles the Rate of Fat Burning

You will do 50 reps of each exercise listed in a giant set fashion to help minimize rest between sets, which in turn increases growth hormone dramatically while stimulating a ton of muscle fibers for rapid growth. The rest between sets should be no more than 30 seconds which gives you just enough time to grab the DBS needed for the next set. While you are pressing for example, your back muscles are resting and vice versa.

During weeks 3 and 6 of the next six week training routine we will implement 50 Caliber Training to send fat burning into overdrive.

50 Caliber Training cannot be used every week due to the level of difficulty and stress placed on the muscles and nervous system, however used correctly in conjunction with the right nutrition changes it is a powerful physique transformation weapon.

For weeks 1,2,4 & 5 You will use the same exercises, but different set, rep, tempo and rest schemes to set the stage for the 50 Caliber training during weeks 3 & 6. The consistency of the exercise movements helps to build the necessary continuity to maximize performance.

Maximize the Fat Burning Response from Training

The short rest periods are necessary to keep the training sessions under an hour which helps to maximize the anabolic hormonal response from training and prevent over training. Inadequate rest periods and the high volume of reps will increase muscle blood flow dramatically.  However, do not sacrifice proper form as you will increase your risk of injury.  
Following a warm up, including practice sets, you will start with a challenging load that you can execute properly for eight reps and do as many sets as needed in giant set fashion to hit 50 quality reps of each exercise. This means do a set of A1, rest 30 seconds, Set of A2, rest 30 seconds, Set of A3, rest 30 seconds, Set of A4, rest 90 seconds and repeat the sequence as many times needed.

Challenging loads are crucial to stimulate a wide cross section of muscle fibers with the greatest potential for growth. On average it will take clients eight sets to hit 50 reps and training with a partner for a reliable spot is helpful. During the later sets you may only be able to earn 4 or 5 reps per set which is to be expected. Your performance should be better during week six than week 3 if you keep your head and your heart in the game! Advanced clients may change the order of the exercises during week six to keep stimuli fresh.

Bullet Proof Your Chest and Back with 50 Caliber Training and Burn Fat FAST - Just in Time for Summer

  • A1. 30° Incline DB Press
  • A2. Neutral Grip Pull Down 
  • A3. Flat DB Semi Neutral Press
  • A4. Chest Supported 30° UH Row

You Must Rotate Your Food Sources to Take the Air Out of Your Beer Belly

The bloating you are experiencing may be related to eating the same things every day.  Over time the body can build sensitivities to certain food sources which result in bloating, difficulty losing body fat, sluggishness, rashes and more.  I would rotate more organic protein sources into your weekly plan and switch up the way you are cooking your food as well.  The body can respond differently to a pan seared filet in comparison to a grilled rib eye!  Be sure to use organic chicken, bison, duck and lamb frequently as well.  

I would highly suggest that you execute the KISS Rapid Fat Loss Plan to lose 10-15 pounds of body fat over the next month to help your abs show well for Memorial Day weekend!  The KISS plan makes use of several proven fat burning strategies that work very quickly while improving energy levels for a number of reasons.

Macronutrient cycling, which makes use of strategically increasing dietary fat and carbohydrates on certain days of the week is a sample way to vary the food choices as well.  By preventing metabolic staleness, increasing fat burning enzymes and optimizing fat burning hormones, macronutrient cycling is a crucial fat burning tool. In combination with the reduced bloating and a lower body fat level- the beer belly look will be gone for good.

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Email Scott@infinityfitness.com for your free copy of the Updated Male and Female KISS Rapid Fat Loss Nutrition plan files including five days of sample menus and the Rapid Fat Burning Tools Special Report.

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Infinity Fitness INC provides training, fitness, and nutritional information for educational purposes. It is important that you consult with a health professional to ensure that your dietary, exercise and health needs are met. It is necessary for you to carefully monitor your progress and to make changes to your nutritional and fitness program to enjoy success. Infinity Fitness does not employ dieticians or health professionals and assumes no responsibility or liability for your personal health and condition. For more information regarding our Limited Warranty for products and services, please see our disclaimer at InfinityFitness.com.  Copyright © Infinity Fitness INC All Rights Reserved 2014.

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Eat Huge Holiday Meals Without Accumulating Body Fat!

By: Scott Mendelson, Infinity FitnessThanksgiving

Scott,

One of your clients told me he has had great success with your cheat meal strategies to prevent body fat accumulation.  I am going to eat “Big Time” on Thanksgiving Day and that is not negotiable, however I am willing to exercise more on Thanksgiving Day so I can get away with more eating!  What can I do to prevent this big day of eating from increasing my belly fat?  
Art  

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Art,

Yes, Dr. Serrano and I have developed several proven strategies for preventing body fat accumulation during big holiday meals.  These large meals can actually be beneficial for boosting metabolism and fat burning hormones when executed correctly.  Many women in particular, chronically eat too little and as a result metabolism becomes very sluggish.  Working with clients over the years I have found that including a large meal weekly or every other week very important for fat burning.

Get the Proven Cheat Meal Body Fat Accumulation Prevention Strategies in the blog post!

Strip Load Training Fires up Metabolism

Your success will all start with firing up the metabolism and fat burning hormones with an intense weight training session 1-2 hours before the large meal.  The strip load training routine below is a metabolic game changer and creates the ideal metabolic environment for a large meal to follow.  Strip load training uses a strategic drop in load to allow for more high quality repetitions than normal workouts.  The conditions created allow the muscle bellies to open up and take in more nutrients from your big meal instead of spilling over into your fat cells! In some cases for advanced clients we may choose to weight train twice in one day with customized programming.

Avoid an In-law Clash!

Yes, a higher activity level on days when you plan to eat big makes perfect sense and hey, a trip to the gym can minimize conflicts with the visiting in laws!  Find tasks to do around the house to keep you on the move and out of the kitchen.

Eat Organic!

Organic protein choices have fewer fat storage properties even when consumed in large quantities vs. commercially raised animals.  Dietary fats within organic and grass fed animals are free of fat storage hormones such as estrogen, which are typically given to commercially raised animals to increase their body weight for higher auction prices.  So get an organic turkey or other wild bird to be featured on Thanksgiving.

Control Appetite with the Great Tasting Appetizers

Before the big sit-down meal use great appetizers that will help to control appetite.  Instead of crackers and bread rolls, use higher fiber vegetables with organic cheeses and dips.  Vegetable intake will help to fill you up more quickly and digest big meals properly.  Also consider organic beef snack sticks and other protein-based snacks as appetizers- they are always a big hit!

Keep the Desserts Under Control

Hey - it is Thanksgiving, there is no problem with having a piece of pumpkin pie, but be practical!  Overeating desserts will get you into trouble quickly.  So limit dessert to one or two choices so you do not set yourself up for a belly ache!  Fruit makes for a great dessert choice as it is very filling due to the dietary fiber content

Get Rid of the Bad Food Choice Leftovers

It is important to get back to optimal nutrition habits the day following Thanksgiving or any holiday for that matter.  Get the high sugar desserts and other high carbohydrate leftovers out of the house!  If they are not there, you will not eat them!  Otherwise, you can find yourself eating poorly for an entire week or more and before you know it Christmas arrives with another week of bad food choices.  As a result, a couple weeks of poor food choices will pack on body fat quickly!  

Strip Load Training

  Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A1 45-Deg Incline Press 3 5-6 3-2-1-0 20
A2 45-Deg Incline Semi-Neutral Grip Press 3 7-8 3-2-1-0 75
B1 Neutral Grip Pull Up/Pull Down 3 5-6 3-1-1-2 20
B2 Chin Up/Chin Grip Pull Down 3 7-8 3-1-1-2 75
C1 Chest Supported OH Row 2-3 5-6 3-1-1-2 20
C2 Chest Supported UH Row 2-3 7-8 3-1-1-2 75
D1 Prone DB Front Raises 2 8-10 3-1-1-2 20
C2 30-Deg Incline Rotation Fly 2 8-10 3-2-1-2 45


See exercise video clips here

Complete two warm up sets of each exercise before performing the work sets to ensure you have identified the proper challenging load while practicing proper execution.

Following the 5-6 reps of exercise A1- reduce the load 15-20% and immediately (within 20 seconds ideally) perform exercise A2, rest 75 seconds and repeat the A series a total of three times before moving on to the B Series.  Emphasize proper exercise form, tempos and sticking to the short rest periods to earn the greatest fat burning impact from your training session.

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Email Scott@infinityfitness.com for free copies of the Fat Cell Cleansing Special Report, the Kiss Rapid Fat Loss Nutrition Male and Female plans, Success Calendar and the 21 Rapid Fat Loss Nutrition Tips.  Email Scott@infinityfitness.com to discuss your barriers to success and get a personal response right away!

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Infinity Fitness INC provides training, fitness, and nutritional information for educational purposes. It is important that you consult with a health professional to ensure that your dietary and health needs are met. It is necessary for you to carefully monitor your progress and to make changes to your nutritional and fitness program to enjoy success. Infinity Fitness does not employ dieticians or health professionals and assumes no responsibility or liability for your personal health and condition. For more information regarding our Limited Warranty for products and services, please see our disclaimer at InfinityFitness.com.  Copyright © Infinity Fitness INC All Rights Reserved 2013

This document is provided by Infinity Fitness INC for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of health or fitness advice.  The information is provided “as is”  with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.  


Why Bigger Is Better When It Comes To Heart Waves

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDrunning

All of our behaviors move in waves. Anxiety and relaxation, eating and not eating, being awake and asleep…those are all are waves of energy. We put the energy out there, and then we recover. These waves are your natural rhythm. They are how your body and mind work together.

This rhythm has been broken by the modern world. You could easily have constant stress and not be able to relax at all. You might not be able to sleep. Or you might have difficulty eating as well as you would like to.

Today I’m going to show you how you can restore the rhythm of your “Heart Wave.” And how that natural rhythm can fix what the modern world has broken.

Train Your Heart to Recover

The story begins with Dr. Irving Dardik. He was the first Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council.

Dr. Dardik had a friend named Jack Kelly, the brother of actress Grace Kelly. Jack was also an Olympic oarsman and the president of the U.S. Olympic Committee. One day he went out for his usual morning run and, shortly after, dropped dead of sudden heart failure.

Dr. Dardik knew that heart attacks often occur after running or jogging – not during the workout. He added that, “People have been running for thousands of years, and they didn’t die like that. It must be something in the way people run now that causes heart failure after exertion.” (1)

He also observed that long-distance runners were prone to infections and chronic diseases, especially heart disease. He compared their exercise practices to the habits of native people and animals.

He said that animals and natives in the wild run in short bursts. Then, they take time for recovery. And they repeat this cycle of exertion and recovery. He concluded that long-distance runners die of heart attacks because they have not trained their hearts to recover. This is the same conclusion I reported in my bestselling book PACE: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution.

Your Natural Heart Wave

These observations of cycles lead Dr. Dardik to his fascinating concept of viewing heart exertion and recovery as a wave – the “Heart Wave.”

When you begin to exert yourself, your heart rate begins to climb. When you stop, it begins to come back down. Think about that. If you plot these changing rates going up then down through time, it does indeed form a wave.

Inside that overall wave of exertion, you have smaller waves from each heart beat.

You can think of each heartbeat as a wave, too, because each one is actually an alternating wave of exertion (systole) and recovery (diastole). Dardik was the first to see these as “waves within waves.” The picture below will help you visualize the concept.

Heart Wave
An expanding Heart Wave, represented by the top wave in the graph, means an increase in your heart’s power to beat faster when you need it, and increased heart rate variability (HRV), which means better health. A limited Heart Wave – the low wave in the graph – means less heart power, lower HRV, and poor health.

So why should you care about these waves?

Because if you mimic the natural rhythms of your heart (your Heart Wave), and exert yourself with periods of exertion and recovery, you gradually increase your heart rate variability, or HRV.

The greater your HRV, the better your overall health. The more limited your HRV, the greater your risk of chronic disease.(2)

And when Dr. Dardik did a study on the benefits of using short periods of exertion followed by rest to restore your Heart Wave, non-athletic women in the study also gained:

  • Greater Lung Volume
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Immune Function
  • Lower Stress and Anxiety
  • Greater Sense of Energy and Well-Being

All of these changes were in just 8 weeks. To quote Dardik, “Cyclic exercise really worked in reversing disease.”(3)

Your 12-Minute Plan for Reconnecting to the Rhythms of Life

You can choose any activity that will provide exertion for your heart. An elliptical machine, bicycle, jump rope, trampoline or alternating sprinting and walking will work well.

To maximize your Heart Wave and restore the natural rhythm of your body, keep your exertion periods brief – from 30 seconds to 4 minutes is enough. Immediately after you finish a brief sprint, put the emphasis on your recovery.

Instead of merely resting, participate in the process by calming your mind and imagining your heart rate slowing down.

To help with this, focus on each exhalation. As you breathe out, use your imagination to bring your heart rate down. In your mind’s eye, see your heart relaxing – slowly and steadily returning to its resting rate.

When your heart rate recovers, do another set of exertion. Repeat this one more time, and with just those three sets – no more than 12 minutes of total exertion – you’re done for the day.

Remember, the natural rhythm of life is exertion and recovery. What happens during recovery is the key to restoring your Heart Wave rhythm.

You see, after you exert yourself, you melt extra calories as your body repairs muscles and stores energy in them, and begins to restore your natural rhythms, or what you probably think of as your metabolism.

Since this can take from several hours to a full day, your metabolism gets ramped up, and you keep on melting calories long after the workout is over.

A Colorado State University study measured the changes induced by exerting yourself in this natural way. People did sets lasting two minutes, followed by one minute of rest. The researchers found that people were still melting fat at an increased rate 16 hours after they exerted themselves! At rest, their fat-melting rate was up by 62 percent.(4)

This doesn’t happen with endurance exercises like running or cardio. With those, you keep going and going past the point where you would normally stop and recover. It’s not natural, which explains why Dr. Dardik and I both observed that endurance runners are more likely to get infections and chronic diseases.

Your body was designed to follow the wave patterns that make up almost everything in life. Exert the energy, then rest. Then repeat. Modern exercise breaks that cycle.

I designed P.A.C.E. to restore these natural cycles of movement, or, as Dr. Dardik might say, to restore your Heart Wave.

This is why we already have 70,000 people doing P.A.C.E., and this is why I like to talk to you about it often.

And now that I’ve created my new PACE Express program, you have an even easier way to mimic your natural Heart Wave rhythm so you can live younger and healthier.

If you’re doing P.A.C.E. now or have ever read my P.A.C.E. book, take a minute to watch this video.

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References:

1. Lewin, R. “Tuning Biorhythms through Cyclic Exercise.” Holistic Primary Care. Spring 2006.
2. Dardik, I. “The Origin of Disease and Health Heart Waves.” CYCLES Vol.46,No.3,1996.
3. Lewin,R. “Making Waves: Irving Dardik and his Superwave Pinciple.” Rodale, 2005.
4. Osterberg KL and Melby CL. “Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption…” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2000 Mar; 10(1):71-81.

Power Boost That Could Save Your Life

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDWeightlifting

You probably know someone who’s fallen and broken a hip. You may not know that it’s not just the elderly who fall, or break their hips. All seniors are at risk.

The risk doubles every five years after you turn 50. Nine out of 10 hip fractures happen to people over 60. And more than 25 percent of those people will develop complications and die within a year.(1)

No matter what your age or level of fitness, you can take a few simple steps – right away – to keep this from happening to you.

A new study tells a revealing story. Turns out, the signals to your muscles start to slow down as you get older, making it harder for your muscles to respond.

Researchers at the University of Delaware looked at how muscles respond when the cells that activate them, called neurons, send out electrical signals for the muscles to move.

They found that in the elderly, not only do muscles respond more slowly, but neurons actually fire less frequently. At first glance this seems to confirm the conventional wisdom that slowing down physically is an inevitable consequence of aging but there’s more…

The researchers discovered that strength training significantly improves both neuron and muscle response.(2) In other words, you can “turn back the clock” on this particular feature of aging to help keep your mobility as you age.

Strength training builds up the so-called “fast-twitch” muscles, the kind that gave our ancestors the sudden, explosive power they needed to capture prey or escape from danger.

These same muscles – and the neurons that activate them – are responsible not only for power, but for coordination, balance, and sudden response. Someone going up the stairs with a lot of this kind of muscle is simply less likely to fall. And here’s what the Delaware study proved: This is true no matter how old you are!

Other studies show that leg strength is the number-one predictor of how active, healthy and mobile you’ll stay as you get older.(3) So here’s something you can do starting right now to boost the power in your legs and hips. It’s my favorite leg workout, and the only one I do every day.

They’re called “Hindu squats:”

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground with your hands open and palms facing down.
  • Inhale briskly and pull your hands straight back toward you as if you’re rowing.
  • As you pull back, turn the wrists up and make a fist.
  • At the end of the inhalation, your elbows should be behind you with both hands in a fist, palm side up.
  • From this position, exhale, bend your knees and squat.
  • Let your arms fall to your sides and touch the ground with the tips of your fingers.
  • Continue exhaling and let your arms swing up as you stand back up to the starting position

Repeat at the pace of one repetition every four seconds. Once you are comfortable with the form, you can increase your speed to one squat per second. Repeat until you feel winded. Rest, recover and do two more sets.

It’s important to keep in mind that increasing your strength – not doing “aerobics” or other endurance exercise – is what makes the difference. In fact, many long-duration exercises, like jogging or running, produce wear and tear, making your body more vulnerable to injury.

With more strength, you’ll do a lot more for yourself than avoid injury. You’ll also boost your immune system, elevate your mood, be more active, melt more fat, and even prevent chronic aches (like back pain).

One final note: If you think you’re too old to get these benefits, think again. Researchers at Tufts University’s Human Nutritional Research Center studied the effects of strength training on a group between the ages of 63 and 98. Most needed hearing aids or wheelchairs.

After just ten weeks, these “elders” saw an increase in muscle strength, stamina and stability. Many were able to walk unaided by the end of the study.(4)

The fact is falling down the stairs (or anywhere else) doesn’t have to be a part of aging. You have to decide that you’re not going to take it lying down.

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.
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Resources:
1 “Hip Fractures In The Elderly,” A Place For Mom www.aplaceformom.com
2 Knight, Cristopher A. and Kamen, Gary,“Modulation of motor unit firing rates during a complex sinusoidal force task in young and older adults,” Journal of Applied Physiology 2007;102:122-129
3 Swallow, Elisabeth B., et al, “Quadriceps strength predicts mortality in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” Thorax 2007;62:115-120
4 Klatz, R., Hormones of Youth, American Academy of Anti-Aging, Chicago 1999;47–48

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Cholesterol Is Good For You

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDHeart

You could see the response in the room as I said it.

“Cholesterol is good for you.”

You could tell they had never looked at it quite that way. People stopped what they were doing and started commenting and talking about it.

And they started taking photos and videos of me.

I was a little startled. I felt like I was on stage at a rock concert there for a second.

I was giving my lecture and slide show on P.A.C.E. in the grand ballroom of the Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur.

I showed hundreds of doctors and dignitaries why P.A.C.E is the first anti-aging exercise program, and how it can reverse many of the symptoms of aging and strengthen your heart.

When I got to the part about P.A.C.E. raising HDL cholesterol, and how cholesterol is a good thing, the buzz and the flashes started.

I recovered after a few seconds, though, and continued.

“I want you to have cholesterol. You need it. Life without cholesterol is miserable. You will be weak, slow, frail, and impotent.”

I was able to raise my patient Terri’s HDL cholesterol by 33%. Doctors at the anti-aging conference were shocked.

HDL GraphI showed them this slide, of how I was able to raise my patient Terri’s HDL up to a much healthier range by doing P.A.C.E. In fact, we raised her HDL 33%.

They were shocked I was raising the cholesterol of one of my patients.

But I wasn’t done. I told the crowd that the higher your cholesterol is, the better your life is. You’ll live longer, and the quality of your life will be better. Because you need cholesterol to make vitamin D, to make sex steroids, and to make the membrane of your cells and your brain.

I related a study from the prestigious medical journal The Lancet. Researchers looked at 724 people and followed them for 10 years. They found that higher cholesterol meant a lower chance of dying from any cause.(1)

Right then, about half of them stopped listening to what I was saying so they could send the pictures and videos of me to their Facebook pages. It was surreal.

They were stunned to hear me say that cholesterol is a part of your body, and that a war on a part of you will never work.

We have this disease of inflammation that happens to act on cholesterol. So cholesterol was there at the scene, and thought to be the guilty culprit. Really, it’s the innocent victim.

Drug companies quickly engineered a pharmaceutical to stop your body from making this presumed enemy “cholesterol,” and food companies went right along.

They’ve convinced the whole world that cholesterol is an enemy in your diet. They’ve created these new foods without cholesterol and people will pay extra for them. To have nutritionally-deprived products that are devoid of cholesterol.

Mainstream doctors all around the world are getting away with lowering people’s cholesterol even if they don’t have any disease, and causing millions of people to suffer. It’s alarming. It’s Orwellian that we could have the whole world convinced and be acting on something so ignorant.

The truth is, you don’t want to remove the part of your body that the bad guys – inflammation and oxidation – are acting on. You want to protect yourself by raising your levels of the good guy, HDL.

Here are four simple steps you can follow to raise your HDL quickly and easily:

  • Take Cod Liver Oil – It’s one of the richest sources of omega-3 on earth, and the more omega-3 you get, the higher your HDL will be. In a new review that looked at many studies over the past 15 years, they found that getting 1.5 to 2 grams of omega-3 a day will significantly raise your HDL.(2) And there are 15 grams of omega-3 in just one tablespoon of cod liver oil. This is one of the simplest, easiest ways to raise HDL, and fortunately, it no longer has the fishy taste like when your mother tried to give it to you. For example mine has a clean hint of lemon to it.
  • Work Out With P.A.C.E. – Intense, short periods of exertion like I describe in P.A.C.E. will reliably boost HDL. For example, one study looked at Navy personnel going through intense training and after only 5 days, their HDL had increased 31%.(3) Click here to try my at-home P.A.C.E. program, P.A.C.E. Express.
  • Use Guggul – This reliable ancient Indian herb comes from the resin of the guggul tree. Ayurvedic healers have used it for thousands of years as a heart-strengthening tonic. The guggulsterones in the resin lower the inflammation that acts on cholesterol and help improve your cholesterol ratio (the ratio of LDL to HDL). Look for guggul extract standardized to 6% guggulsterones and take 300-400 mg two to three times a day.
  • Eat Low-Glycemic Foods – That means eat more animal protein, stay away from carbs that come from grains, refined sugars and processed foods, and avoid trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup. One study on the effect of eating protein instead of carbs gave people foods consisting mostly of beef and beef fat. They ate no sugars, milk, or grains and their percentage of HDL jumped 50%.(4) Check out my glycemic index chart so you’ll know which foods to choose.

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.
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Resources:
1. Weverling-Rijnsburger AW, Blauw GJ, Lagaay AM, Knook DL, Meinders AE, Westendorp RG. “Total cholesterol and risk of mortality in the oldest old.” Lancet. 1997 Oct 18;350(9085):1119-23.
2. Bernstein A, Ding E, Willett W, Rimm E. "A meta-analysis shows that DHA… increases HDL… in persons without coronary heart disease." J Nutr. 2012 Jan;142(1):99-104.
3. Smoak, B.L., Norton, J.P., Ferguson, E.W., et al, “Changes in lipoprotein profiles during intense military training,” J. Am. Coll. Nutr. Dec. 1990;9(6):567-72
4. Newbold HL. “Reducing the serum cholesterol level with a diet high in animal fat.” South Med J. 1988 Jan;81(1):61-3.

Real Strength You Can Use

Pushups

By: Dr. Al Sears, MD

Thinking of buying one of those exercise machines you see advertised? They make great towel racks but few people stick with them. The movements they force you into are often unnatural and do little to train your muscles for real strength.

I call it functional strength.

It means you have ability to get yourself up a flight of stairs. It means you can lift your groceries and load stuff into your car. Functional strength is the power to live your daily life. But as you age, that power starts to fade.

My older patients ask me about this all the time. When you’re young, you never think about it. But when you get older, it hits you: Losing the ability to lift, pull or stand up means you lose your independence.

When my patients ask me for advice on building functional strength, I tell them to work the “big muscles.” Legs, hips, buttocks and lower back. About 85% of your muscle mass is below your waist, and this is where your functional strength comes from.

The simple act of getting yourself out of a chair is a good example.

In fact, try a little experiment for me.

Sit on the edge of your chair. Put your hands in your lap. Lean forward, push up with your legs and stand up without using your arms.

Was that difficult? If it was, you may be losing muscle mass in your legs. And that’s a problem. That functional strength your legs have keeps you agile, balanced and mobile.

The good news is building those muscles doesn’t require a lot of work or sacrifice. And the payoff is huge. You can use body weight exercises and never have to step foot in a gym – or even leave your home.

So what’s the best way to train your body for this kind of functional strength you can really use?

Well, remember that in real life, you muscles have to handle your own body weight.

So you want to use movements that mimic what you would do in real life. Bending down, standing back up… real movements that build strength and balance.

Do these in short bursts of only two or three minutes at a time, and use muscle groups in the patterns of movement they were designed for with simple maneuvers.

Here are a few of my favorite body weight movements… they seem simple, but will give you a real strength-building workout:

Push-ups: Start face down on floor, palms against floor under shoulders, toes curled up against floor. Push up with arms keeping a straight line from head through toes. Lower to within a few inches of floor and repeat. This exercise is great for your entire upper body.

Squats: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Squat as far as possible bringing your arms forward parallel to the floor. Return to standing position. Repeat. Lean a bit forward to work your buttox and straighten up to work your

Knee bends: These are great for balance. Start with your feet almost together and arms at your side, head straight and level. Lower your body by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor, rising up on your toes, while simultaneously swinging your arms forward until they are parallel to the floor in front of you, fingers together and palms facing down, and back remaining perpendicular to the floor. Without stopping, reverse this motion and return to your original starting position. Repeat.

Jump squats: Start with your body crouched, feet together, arms at your sides, head straight and level. From this position, quickly straighten your legs and jump upward as high as you can into the air, simultaneously extending your arms and reaching upwards overhead. Once you have landed, quickly return to your original starting position, taking care not to lose your balance throughout the exercise. Repeat.

It will take you a few sessions to build up your stamina. Start slowly. Take plenty of time to build up your strength, endurance and balance gradually. Rest and recover between sets. At first you’ll have to take longer breaks, but they’ll get shorter as you rebuild your natural strength.

 

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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The Easy Way to Drop the Fat

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDProtein

What if the central point of the entire weight-loss industry were all wrong?

Trainers and weight “specialists” tell you the only way to drop weight is to consume fewer calories or to melt more calories.

But they made a mistake. It isn’t. Because they left out the most important thing: what your body does with the calories.

And your body can decide to do other things with the calories besides building fat. It’s a decision your body makes depending on the environment you put it in.

And you can control the environment you put it in. One of the biggest ways is with two small words.

More protein.

Protein gives you the feeling that you’re full, more so than carbs or fat. Protein boosts your sensitivity to a hormone called leptin. This hormone tells your brain that you’re full. As a result, you feel satisfied. Overeating stops.

Protein is important for both losing weight and gaining muscle. A very revealing study makes a point I always try to get across to my patients: People who increased their protein intake, shed fat and gained muscle.

In fact, the people who ate a high-protein diet dropped seven pounds in six weeks. The group who followed a standard diet didn’t drop any weight. And, the high-protein group simultaneously gained twice as much muscle.

Also, getting enough protein tells your body that times are good, and flips your metabolic switch from “store fat” to “melt fat.” Then your body will use the calories as essential fuel to function at its best.

Protein IntakeYou Were Born on a Diet

Part of the issue is that you’ve very likely been on an unnatural diet since the day you were born – without realizing it. You’ve never really had access to your natural diet based on protein.

The processed food you’ve been consuming isn’t natural. It bears little resemblance to the native diet our ancestors enjoyed for hundreds of thousands of years.

Nutritionists and dieticians want you to depart from our native way of eating, and tell you that the healthiest things you can eat are processed, nutritionally worthless grains, and corn and soy.

But your body is designed to treat these foods as evidence that you’re starving.  And when you’re starving, your body thinks it has to store fat.

To reverse this process, you have to show your body that its environment is stable and plentiful. Then, your body will cooperate in your effort to become lean. In fact, it will take over, and you’ll see how easy it becomes. Because your body is simply rebuilding its naturally lean and fit state.

Notice how this has nothing to do with counting calories. In fact, if you take the typical American diet and you restrict calories on top of that, you convince your body that the problem has worsened.

It then puts everything you have into storing fat. You’ll direct all systems toward building fat at the expense of everything else.

That’s why restricting calories from the beginning will make you feel tired, and shut down repair functions, your antioxidant system, your immune system, and long-term maintenance.

You need to precede eating fewer calories by telling your body that the environment is good – that the hunting is good and that it doesn’t need to store fat.

So, how do you convince your body that the environment is good? It’s simple. Your body knows how to interpret nutrient intake so it knows whether there is famine or feasting because of thousands of years of past evolutionary experience.

What Kind of Protein Is Best for Me?

Protein Sources

Try to get as many kinds as possible, but remember, your body absorbs animal protein more efficiently than plant protein.

So the most important thing you can do is increase your protein first. Try eating one gram of protein for every pound of lean muscle. You will then melt stored fat instead, so you can accomplish things like repair, long-term maintenance and immune surveillance.

If you weigh 180 pounds, and have 20 percent body fat, you have 144 pounds of lean muscle mass. So shoot for 144 grams of protein a day. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, the average man can estimate between 15 to 18 percent and women 18 to 22 percent.

The second step to directing your body to drop fat is to apply the concepts of my P.A.C.E. program to your fitness.

P.A.C.E. Reinforces the “Drop Fat” Message

A true P.A.C.E. workout reinforces the “dump fat” message. Progressively increasing the intensity of your exertion, while keeping the duration short, tells your body it’s okay to get rid of stored fat.

How does P.A.C.E. do this so well for you?

To illustrate how shorter periods of exertion get rid of fat at a greater rate than endurance workouts, take a look at this: Researchers in Quebec’s Laval University divided exercisers into two groups: long-duration and repeated short-duration.

They had the long-duration group cycle 45 minutes without interruption. The short-duration group cycled in multiple short bursts of 15 to 90 seconds, with rests in between.

The long-duration group melted twice as many calories, so you would assume they would melt more fat. However, when the researchers recorded their body composition measurements, the short-burst group showed the most fat reduction.

In fact, the short-burst group drop 9 times more fat than the endurance group for every calorie melted!


Intensity Chart

Higher intensity exertion increases fat oxidation a bit, but helps melt off more than twice as many carbs. That means you help your body choose to build muscle over storing the extra carbs as body fat.

And remember that this study wasn’t even about P.A.C.E. They were simply looking at higher intensity for short periods vs. lower intensity for longer periods. If they would have tested for P.A.C.E., there would have been even more dramatic differences.

Because P.A.C.E. turbo-charges your metabolism. After intense bursts of exercise, your body needs to melt extra calories to repair muscles, replenish energy, and bring your body back to its “normal” state. This process takes anywhere from a few hours up to a whole day – meaning you’ll melt calories long after your workout is over.

P.A.C.E. lets your body choose building muscle over storing fat. And, you get the added benefit of metabolic changes that help you turn repair and rebuilding signals back on.

If you eat protein, but do the wrong workout, your body will get confused. And confusing your muscles and your brain is a horrible idea. How can you benefit by confusing your body?

Eating excess protein first, and working out with P.A.C.E. is how you keep your body from being confused. Signaling your body to build muscle and dump fat have to be done together, at the right time, through what you eat and how you exert yourself.

This kind of reinforcement, by doing things in the right order, helps you accomplish the goal of transforming your body, which is why I created my new PACE Express program. I designed it to help you unlock your body’s own power to transform itself.

If you follow PACE Express the way I lay it out for you, you will transform your body. This is not guesswork… it is a proven system that works time and time again for my patients who use it.

The sad reality is most weight-reduction and fitness programs simply don’t work. The proof is that 90% or more of those people who drop pounds when they diet or follow an exercise plan will regain all of the weight – and in some cases, even more – within five years.

But PACE Express works because it gives your body the right challenges in the right order. It’s the formula that let’s your body transform itself naturally.

Have you heard that we’ve launched a national TV campaign for PACE Express? Everyone who’s seen it loves it, and the response has been incredible. My staff has been flooded with phone calls and orders.

Because for the first time, the American television audience has a chance to get a program that really works.

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.
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Resources:

1. Phinney S. “Ketogenic diets and physical performance.” Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004 Aug 17;1(1):2.
2. Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C. “Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism.” Metabolism. 1994;43(7): 814-818.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!describe the image

We’ve looked into some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions year after year, and found that sadly, most people don’t even last a month when trying to improve some aspect of their lives. 

So, we’ll try to help by offering some random ideas and inspirations to make your New Year all it can be!

Diet

-         Give up added/artificial sweeteners (no soda!)

-         Go Paleo 

-         Take time out for family dinners at home

-         Try the Perfect Health Diet 

-         Keep a food journal

-         Eat more GOOD Fats

-         Mediterranean Diet (Think olive oil, lean meat and red wine!)

-         Become a better cook (Try one of our cookbooks!)

-         Pack better school lunches (or work lunches!) 

Exercise

-         Try CrossFit

-         Take the Hundred Pushup Challenge

-         Start P90X

-         Take your kids (or pets!) for a daily walk

-         Get a great six pack 

-         Join a gym – and stick with it

-         Try a new exercise (pilates, yoga, step) DVD

Stimulate Your Mind

-         Take a pottery class, computer course, gardening class

-         Learn a new language

-         Turn off the TV

-         Read a new book each month

-         Subscribe to a new blog

Manage Stress

-         Fight depression with food 

-         Start yoga or pilates

-         Meditate

-         How to beat effects of modern stress 

-         Get Enough Sleep

-         Get some “me time” every day!

-         Visit Mark’s Daily Apple 

Save Money

-         Buy in bulk

-         Use coupons!

-         Take your lunch to work (or school!) 

-         Save 15% when ordering grass-fed beef

-         Become a Facebook follower

-         Eat whole foods on a budget 

-         Visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop 

Improve Ourselves

-         Volunteer More

-         Support Our Troops

-         Take a cooking class

-         Recycle

-         Ride a bike

-         Quit smoking!

Ideas from our Facebook Fans

-         Make more soup from bone marrow

-         Sprint more

-         Hug my daughter more

-         Simplify my life

-         Eat more beef tongue

-         Keep healing our family of 6 with the GAPS diet

-         Resolve to give up grains

-         Do a Whole30

-         Start a garden

-         Incorporate organ meats into our diet

Hope this gives you some new ideas to make 2013 a great year for your health and well being!  We’d love to hear any new ideas or resolutions that you have – feel free to leave comments below!

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Healthy Eating and Working Out While Traveling

 exercise, workout, crossfitHi, this is Carine from The Traveling WOD and I am super excited to share with you some tips that we have concerning how to eat well and stay fit while on the road. Peak travel time is upon us!

We work so hard to maintain our health while at home-eating thoughtfully, exercising often and intensely; So why is it that many times as soon as we are on vacation everything is thrown out the door? Out goes the fruit and vegetables and in sneak the carb-laden cheese-covered fries with a large milkshake chaser. And the gym? What is that?!

Granted, it is hard to be at the mercy of someone else’s refrigerator or stuck to the local restaurant chains while away. We have all been there- it is so nice to eat out and not have to worry about cooking or dish duty, but then after a while we long for a home cooked meal. Our body subtly (or sometimes not so) lets us know that it doesn’t appreciate the change. Headaches or tummy aches, poor sleep and fatigue all start to rear their ugly heads.

So how can we eat well and maintain our exercise inertia while traveling? How can we ensure that we have the energy and stamina to make it through another day at the mega fun park?

Here are some things that we found work well while away:

SNACK ATTACK:  Always make sure you have something good for you and delicious on hand so that when your stomach starts to rumble, or you feel low on energy, you have a go-to option rather than the convenience store. Just because you are snacking doesn’t mean it needs to be junk- far from it! U.S. Wellness Meats have a great selection of snacks that you can chow down on in good conscience.

Good options include:         

Remember that this type of fuel also works perfect for the kiddos. Children usually get cranky when they start to wane on energy so keep their little bodies filled with quality.  

HYDRATION: Yes we all know we should drink water, but are you getting enough? Really? Don’t reach for a soda, sports drink or coffee- drink WATER. Plain and pure. Especially if you are flying or are outside a lot in an environment which you aren’t used to on a daily basis (such as heat or high altitude). Aim for 1 cup per hour minimum. If your urine output isn’t clear then drink more until it is and keep it there. 

EXERCISE: Don’t stop your routine just because you are away from home. You can have a fantastic workout without any equipment whatsoever. No gym? No excuses! Body-weight exercises can give you a run for your money and are easy to do anywhere. They enable you to accomplish a lot of work in a minimum amount of time and there is an infinite variety to keep your muscles and mind challenged. 
Kids need exercise too, so if you are traveling with children then make sure to include some kind of activity that they can do to burn off some energy- whether it be a stop at a park, dip in the hotel pool or even just something you make up, like one- legged races at the rest stop! The more they move the better they will rest.

JUST SAY NO: Just because it is on the buffet bar, or the air steward offers it does not mean it needs to go into your body. Whether you are a Paleo, Primal, Atkins, Zone, Raw or whatever else eater make sure you try to maintain your dietary norms.  I know that we all want to enjoy ourselves and have a treat while on vacation, and by all means do so, but diverting too far from your routine will just leave you feeling overly full, sluggish and generally blah.  You won’t feel good on the beach when you are bloated because you overdid it.

Finally,

FORETHOUGHT: Just a little planning in advance can make a huge difference. So often we look at the destination and forget about the journey there. We focus on our to-do list of attractions and our food and exercise falls by the wayside. 

Some things to think about:

What is the food like where you are going (especially if you are going overseas)? Does the airport/train/bus/road have decent food options?
Are healthy snacks easily available or should you bring them with you?
Is there a hotel gym you can take advantage of?
Are there safe running routes nearby or a local gym you can hop into for the day (and if so do you need to contact them prior)?

And after all that planning? Go out there and have fun and feel good that you are doing the best for yourself and your family.

Safe and Healthy Journeys!

For more info from The Traveling WOD, check out their blog, or find them on Facebook!

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