Tag: weight loss

Amber’s Keto Success Story

Today I’m sharing Amber’s story of making her way from vegan to pescatarian to keto—and, ultimately, to health! Have you improved your health, tackled a fitness goal, or overcome obstacles with the help of the Primal Blueprint? Inspire others by sharing your success story with the MDA community. Contact me here. Hi, Mark! I wanted to share how putting the steps provided in your book into practice has changed my life. Thanks for reading. I was already 20 pounds overweight when I gave birth to my son in 2016. During pregnancy I put on another 40 pounds, which put me in the obese category. I let myself indulge in every craving (mainly strawberry shortcake) and paid no attention to the scale. I was overly confident the weight would fall off after delivery, but when it didn’t, I started to think this was just my new normal. Six months later I joined a gym. On day one I stepped on the scale, and when the number was displayed I was completely mortified. I had zero muscles in my abdomen, and they often had to create different exercises specifically for me as I could not participate in their regular classes. I was embarrassed but determined, and after 11 months I was down 30 pounds and feeling proud. However, I was hungry most of the day. In an effort to drop the weight, I had “tinkered” with diets. At the time, I was on a vegan diet that quickly turned into a pescatarian diet. One day, my gym announced they were moving locations and could no longer provide daycare for my son. Just like that, my gym days were over. I tried to “will” myself to the gym at 5 a.m. but it NEVER went well. I could barely keep my eyes open let alone do a proper workout. I let the membership expire and quickly noticed the weight coming back. I could not understand how this was happening. I thought I was making healthy meals. A normal day went like this: One piece of sourdough toast with avocado and some juice. For lunch I would make vegan nachos comprised of a starch-like substance to substitute for cheese along with black beans, rice, lettuce, and tomato served over chips. For dinner I would make yet another dish with beans or fish with gnocchi. It went on like this for the next two years, and abruptly white wine enters the picture. Wine became a constant in my life and—surprise!—I started gaining even more weight. I was tired all the time; I went to bed at 8 and yet woke up exhausted. At age 32 I thought for the first time that this was not any way to live life. I decided to address this extreme exhaustion with my doctor. She ordered labs, and when the results came back (sparing you the details) everything was elevated to “red” in EVERY category. I was shocked and ashamed. My doctor explained a “new” diet she heard remarkable … Continue reading “Amber’s Keto Success Story”

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Try It or Toss It: Mythbusters for 4 Wellness Trends

The ability of the human population to produce unending reams of utterly nonsensical health and wellness trends is unparalleled. Never content to rest on our laurels, humankind feels compelled to come up with some wellness trend or another. Some of the motivation is financial—it’s hard to sell the old tried-and-true methods that really do work. Some of the motivation is curiosity—people love trying new things, no matter how silly they sound. And most of the motivation is probably sheer frustration—most people get health and wellness wrong, and very little of it actually works, so there’s always plenty of consumers ready to consume wellness content.

But still, you can’t write it off. You have to bust the wellness myths, and not just to steer people away from the stuff that doesn’t work, but also to sift through the garbage to find the nuggets of truth that occasionally emerge.

So today I’m going to cover a few of them. If it works out, if you people like it, I’ll do some more in the future.

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Sprinting, Jumping, Losing Body Fat, And Cultivating Gratitude)

Before we get into details about the two best exercises ever known to mankind to shed excess body fat (sprinting and jumping), I want to put in a little plug for the trending healthy living topic of gratitude. The concept is easy to pay lip service to, especially when you’re struggling and not in the best mood to feel it naturally. I’m recently recovered from a minor knee injury lasting six months that prevented me from doing my beloved sprinting and high jumping workouts. While athletics no longer dominates my life as it did when I was a pro triathlete, there was a lingering frustration deep down from being deprived of my favorite fitness endeavors, being unsure of the diagnosis of my injury, testing out the knee and experiencing setbacks, and being forced to be massively patient.

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Gaining Weight Changed My Life? Kris’ Success Story

Today, we have another success story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community, please contact me here. Thank you for reading!   This may sound odd but I often say gaining weight actually changed my life – for the better! No, not because I was too thin, but because the changes that I made to lose that weight gave me my life back. Several years ago I had lost over 50 pounds by doing the typical eat less, move more thing (what I now call the “old fashioned” way). It was a ton of work but I lost the weight and even maintained it for a few years. I thought I was good to go. But then, despite the fact that I was still doing the same things I had done to lose the weight originally—micromanaging everything I ate and exercising 6 days a week—I started gaining weight again, and quite quickly. I was frustrated, scared and at a loss. This is what I’ve always been told to do to lose weight, but now it was no longer working. What do I do now?? Eat even less? Exercise even more? A friend introduced me to Primal and I started reading everything I could. The success stories were so inspiring! After several months — yes months — I was hesitant because grains and beans made up a huge part of my diet. And, I was a picky eater so I thought I’d starve if I had to get rid of those. But I had gotten to the point that I knew I had to give it a try, I didn’t know of any other option. And you know what? It wasn’t that hard and I certainly didn’t starve! I actually loved the food that I was eating and didn’t miss that other stuff near as much as I thought I would! I found that the main thing I missed was the convenience of things like bread and tortillas rather than actually missing eating them. But there are great Primal and keto-friendly ways to get around that convenience piece. It didn’t take long before I started noticing the difference. The weight was coming off (without ever being hungry which was HUGE!) but that wasn’t even the best part. I FELT so much better. My digestive issues went away. The bone and joint pain that I blamed on getting older was gone. Allergies dramatically improved. I had more energy, I was sleeping better and I was no longer riding the blood sugar rollercoaster. And over time (this definitely wasn’t overnight) I was actually able to get off all meds for anxiety and depression – something I never thought was even possible for me. I now feel better and stronger than I ever have—even through the craziness of 2020. I never would have experienced these changes had I not started to gain weight again. … Continue reading “Gaining Weight Changed My Life? Kris’ Success Story”

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Ask a Health Coach: Who’s Nutrition Advice Should I Follow?

Hi folks! PHCI Curriculum Director, Erin Power is here for another round of Ask a Health Coach. Today, she’ll be answering your questions about popular weight-loss apps, navigating your doctor’s advice, and what to do when your friends and family chime in on your goals. We love getting your questions, so keep them coming over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group or in the comments below.
Sonya asked:

“I’m considering signing up for one of those weight-loss apps like Weight Watchers or Noom. I’ve got about 45 pounds to lose and I could really use a structured plan to help me get on track this year. What’s your take on programs like that?”

 

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Blood Flow Restriction Training. What Is It, and Is It Safe?

I’ll admit, the first time I heard about blood flow restriction (BFR) training, it sounded like a hack to me. BFR training promises that you can do relatively easy workouts and get the same results as if you crushed a hard workout at the gym. Too good to be true, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about less is more: Spend 30 minutes in the gym instead of an hour and a half. Go for a long walk instead of a long, grueling run in the black hole. Simplify your diet. However, I’ve seen fitness trends come and go, so I’m inherently skeptical until I see the evidence for myself.

Once I started to dig into the research, though, it became clear that BFR isn’t just a “get swole quick” gimmick. It’s a well-researched, validated training method used by physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and personal trainers to help patients and clients gain strength with minimal musculoskeletal stress. In some situations, it might be the best—or only—option to help someone maintain or gain muscle safely.

BFR was formalized as a training method in the 1970s and 80s by scientist Yoshiaki Sato, who called his technique KAATSU (“ka”=additional, “atsu”=pressure). Research interest has really picked up in the past decade, with a significant spike in the number of publications in the past three years.

I’m pretty sold on the potential benefits, but since you are restricting blood flow, you obviously want to be smart about trying it for yourself.

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How to Foster Healthy Body Image in Children

I belong to a ladies’ trail running community online. These women are cool, badass humans who perform amazing feats with their bodies. Last month, someone asked the group if they ever struggle with body image. The responses were overwhelmingly affirmative. Hundreds upon hundreds of women responded, “Yes! Me. Every single day.” Only a very few said no.

It was eye-opening and also woefully unsurprising. Most adults I know struggle with body image on some level.

Those of us who are parents would love to spare our children from this emotional baggage, but how do we help our kids develop healthy body image in today’s world? We’re up against massive biological and, especially, social forces. Humans are hardwired to see — and judge — faces and bodies, looking for signs of friendliness, similarity, and fertility. Our early survival as a species depended on it.

The modern diet and beauty industries have taken these natural propensities and exploited them to the nth degree. They bombard us with messaging, both subtle and overt, telling us we must do everything in our power to be as physically attractive as possible. No amount of time or money is too much to invest in the quest for beauty and the “perfect” physique. Oh, and definitely don’t show any signs of aging. The wrinkles, gray hair, and natural softening of the body that comes with growing older? Not allowed! Obviously, if you fail to live up to the ever-changing ideal, it is 100 percent your fault.

Short of moving to the woods and disconnecting from society entirely, we can’t keep our kids from being exposed. Our best hope is to help them develop a healthy body image early. Give them a strong foundation so when they inevitably get caught up in Hurricane Diet Culture, they may waver, but they’ll stay standing.

The strategy is two-fold: First, do your best not to repeat and perpetuate the culture that creates insecurity and negative body image. Second, teach kids to trust, respect, and appreciate their bodies regardless of appearance.

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Ask a Health Coach: Real Tips on Breaking Through a Plateau

Hey folks. This week, Primal Health Coach Erin is answering your questions about breaking through plateaus with tips and strategies you can start putting into practice right away. If you’re stuck in a weight loss rut, stalled out on your fitness routine, or need a push getting out of your comfort zone, today’s Ask a Health Coach post is for you. Got more questions? Keep them coming in the comments or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group. Kimberley asked: “I’ve lost a total of 70 pounds and have maintained my weight loss for over a year now, but I’m struggling to lose those last 10 pounds. Any tips on getting the scale to move again?” First of all, congratulations. The fact that you’ve lost that amount of weight and kept if off is proof you’re committed to your goal. Even better, I love that you’re not using words like “diet” or “falling off the wagon,” both of which imply that you’ve embarked on a temporary lifestyle change. Weight loss is a long-term process that includes ups and downs. And plateaus like the one you’re experiencing right now are a natural part of that process. Anytime you’re going through a plateau, you can take it as a sign that something needs to change. It doesn’t need to be a drastic change, but it is an opportunity to take a closer look at what you’re doing — or not doing. I find that the biggest culprit of weight loss plateaus with my own health coaching clients is that they’ve loosened the reins a bit. In the beginning of your journey, you might have been meticulous about avoiding grains and refined sugars. If you’re following the Primal Blueprint, you might have kept your split at a solid 80/20. But as the months and years go on it’s absolutely normal to let some things slide without realizing it. Eating more than you think is extremely common. Extra handfuls of nuts. Wine every night. A carb-fest on Sunday that turns into sandwiches and ice cream all week. You get the picture. Occasional indulgences should be enjoyed guilt-free, however it’s important to be aware of them instead of mindlessly refilling your glass. Small changes can be sneaky, and they add up fast. Tip: Keep a Food Journal for 3-5 Days I’m not a big fan of tracking calories and macros in general. But taking a few days to get back in touch with what you’re really doing can be a game changer for breaking through a plateau. After keeping a food journal, one of my clients found that the good stuff she was loading her morning yogurt with (chia seeds, flax seeds, unsweetened coconut, and nuts) was packing on about 400 calories more than she thought. Tasting bites of food while cooking or cleaning up are two other common places those extras tend to slide in. Need more convincing? Researchers at Kaiser Permanente found that participants who kept a food diary lost twice the … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: Real Tips on Breaking Through a Plateau”

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Getting Back on the Wagon

Things are going great. You’re eating well, moving your body regularly, lifting heavy things, getting good sleep. Then wham! Something happens, and all your best laid plans are out the window. Maybe it’s a crisis at work, the loss of a loved one, a vacation, or, I don’t know, a global pandemic that changes everything. Sometimes it’s nothing memorable, you just sort of… stop trying.

What do you do when you realize you’ve fallen off the wagon?

It’s simple. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and climb back on.

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Why Eating Less Doesn’t Always Work

Off the bat, I should say that I’m actually a fan of eating less. I’m on record as saying that my goal is to figure out how few calories I can eat and still thrive. Still, eating less isn’t always the magic bullet people will hope it will be. There are many ways that eating less can go wrong.

For weight loss, the advice to “eat less, exercise more” often doesn’t work like it “should” on paper. The weight-loss diet industry thrives on repeat customers who struggle to lose weight and keep it off. Dutifully following this strategy has led many people down the road to frustration and dejection, as they blame themselves for their failure to successfully lose weight despite their best efforts to “just eat less.”

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