Health 106: Weight Management

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Health 105: How To Cook

Contradictory and false weight-loss tips inundate the health industry

Most of this information is either wrong, redundant or selling an unnecessary product

Every functioning weight-loss trend, idea, and product is a combination of the following concepts

  1. Eat fewer calories, fat, protein or carbohydrates than you need for weight maintenance
  2. Exercise more frequently to burn more calories than you’re consuming
  3. Distract your mind from eating via a conditioned response or alternative food arrangement

The best weight-loss approach is to ignore trends and learn the science of metabolism

The health trend industry is a huge-money-maker and often ignores how metabolism works

Weight-loss has become a cosmetic product because society often ties excess body fat to self-image

Though diets can create results, the results usually only stay as long as honoring the diet

The only diet worth your time is one you can imagine doing for the rest of your life

The diet industry propagates numerous bits of misinformation

Each body is different with different dietary requirements

  • A 100-pound high school student won’t have the same health requirements as a 300-pound bodybuilder
  • The dietary standard of 2,000 calories a day depends heavily on the types of food consumed

Fat is a necessary and healthy part of the body

  • Consuming fat doesn’t make a person fat near as much as consuming too many carbohydrates or proteins

The body needs more proteins than carbohydrates

Eggs (including yolks) have been scientifically proven to have many health benefits

There is no link between cholesterol and heart disease

Animal fats are healthier than processed vegetable oils

A full diet requires variety to provide trace amounts of various fats and proteins

  • Foods like butter and meat have many rare nutrients, which can be challenging to substitute
  • Artificial food products like Soylent and shake diets can’t account for the body’s need for trace nutrients

Consuming in moderation is more effective than following rules or eating specific foods

  • Fruits and vegetables are vital to “fill in” the bulk of what we eat through dietary fiber and hydration
  • We need consistent routine exercise to perform proper food restraint and create an overall feeling of wellness

All diet and exercise programs are changing habits, which is a naturally uncomfortable and frustrating experience

Though following a system of rules may get you to your goal, you’re not building the necessary self-discipline for succeeding after the goal

A 21-day workout and diet regimen will help you lose weight, but your restraint keeps it off

  • However, a yo-yo diet (fluctuating up and down quickly in weight) is overall more healthy than staying obese

If you want to pursue a diet, learn about how to become successful (coming up next)

Metabolism isn’t hard to understand

1. Saliva, stomach acid, and bile digest food

A. Saliva starts breaking down food

B. Stomach acid and microbes in the stomach dissect food into usable components

C. Bile and microbes in the intestines break down anything that passed through the stomach

D. The large intestine and colon take water out of the remaining waste

2. Components from the food travel to where the body system needs them

Carbohydrates float into the bloodstream as glucose and body cells metabolize glucose from blood with insulin

  • The body digests simple carbs like sugar first
    • Dietary fiber from fruits and vegetables slows down the metabolism of simple sugars
  • Complex carbohydrates like grains digest more slowly
    • Complex carbohydrates are a chain of simple carbohydrates
  • Healthy carbohydrates have a “time-release”, while unhealthy carbohydrates spike blood sugar levels
    • Fiber and breaking down complex carbohydrates allows a steady feed, which avoids the body producing substantial amounts of insulin and a recovery phase through a sugar crash
    • Too many carbs in the body over a long enough time will lead to an insulin production disease (diabetes)

Proteins are building blocks for the body to rebuild itself

The body uses fats for a variety of purposes

  • Fats store energy
  • Fats insulate the body from harm
  • Fats aid protein synthesis and transfer

3. Any extra components are converted for another use or disposed of

Excess glucose

  • Stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver until needed
  • Converted into fat
  • Discarded through urine

Extra protein

  • Turned into energy to fuel the body
  • Converted into fat

Extra fat

  • Used for energy
  • Converted into body fat

There are profound differences between managing weight, fat, and health

Weight management is about keeping weight down

  • Managing weight is is the least medically useful to the body, since it doesn’t account for health or appearance
  • Many diets measure weight alone
  • Though weight management is easy to measure, the results vary since muscle weighs more than body fat
  • Even with extreme medical procedures (e.g., stomach stapling, liposuction) you don’t fix the habits that gained the weight in the first place

Fat management tries to improve appearance by getting rid of excess body fat

  • Fat management is harder to measure (fat calipers instead of a scale) but is best for maintaining your physical appearance
  • Muscle weighs more than fat, which makes fat management better, but isn’t considering the overall impact on physical wellness
  • Good-looking abs require losing nearly all your body fat
  • Improve your posture to give the quickest appearance improvement
    • Make sure while standing that your head isn’t in front of your shoulders and you can’t see the back of your shoulder
  • Improve your posture
    1. Standing up straight with your hands at your sides
    2. Breathe out while forcing your belly inward
    3. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat ten times
  • You look larger than real life on camera wearing yellow, but wearing green makes you look smaller

Health management is maintaining a proper healthy diet and exercise regimen

  • This philosophy focuses on maintaining or increasing vitality and physical wellness more than looking attractive
  • Managing health is the least direct approach to improving physical appearance, but is the most long-lasting

Anything you eat is technically a diet

Health has some scientific requirements

Exercising enough

Eating enough

Eating the right vitamins and minerals

Staying within a certain percentage of body fat

Staying hydrated enough

All diet goals risk sabotage by numerous small mistakes

Ignoring cravings

  • When a person craves something, often it’s the body’s natural system asking for it
    • Cravings are a body’s standard of “normal”
    • A detox can often “reset” the body from years of poor diet
    • Specific cravings are often desires for nutrients the body most needs at that moment
  • A few tricks resolve most cravings
    • Drink tons of water, especially before or instead of the item itself
    • Snack frequently and eat light meals
    • Brush your teeth instead of eating before bed
    • Eat a spoon of peanut butter instead of satisfying late-night cravings
  • Learn healthy portions of each food group
    • Dairy – 3 cups
    • Vegetables – 2-4 cups
    • Fruits – 1.5-2.5 cups
    • Grains – 5-10 ounces
    • Meat, Beans, Nuts – 5-7 ounces
    • Fats, Oils – 5-12 teaspoons


  • Eating when HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired
    • You’re only hungry if you’d eat an apple
    • Instead of eating, drink an enormous glass of water
  • Eating too quickly
    • It takes about 15 minutes for the body to recognize it’s full
    • Rapidly eating also increases stress, decreases digestion, and lessens enjoyment from it
  • Eating lunch at work
    • Exercise during lunch break instead of eating
  • Giving yourself too much flexibility
    • Taking the weekends “off” can sometimes fully undo any progress during the week
    • Overeating at “special occasions”, which you can overcome with discipline and a long-term vision
  • Overeating on a workout day
  • Use a smaller plate to help with portion control

Eating the wrong things

  • “Diet” foods and drinks have chemicals that slow metabolism
  • Weight-loss supplements promise unrealistic results

Eating at the wrong time

  • Eating anything within four hours of bedtime will store it straight to body fat
  • Alcohol before bedtime can bring your calorie count up from a weight-loss level

Not eating enough of the right things

  • Cutting back on junk food without replacing it causes malnutrition
    • People eat less when they have all the nutrients they need
  • Add the following to your diet to lose weight
    • Fruits like bananas, berries, grapefruit, and watermelon
    • Vegetables like celery, cucumbers, and hot peppers
    • Grains like quinoa and oatmeal
    • Dairy and meats like eggs, fish, and Greek yogurt
    • Drinks like green tea, oolong tea, and coffee
    • Drink lemon juice with a pinch of salt in it every morning
    • Eat a small amount of chocolate in the morning
  • Cutting fat out of your diet
    • The body needs fat, and will naturally eat two 1/2-the-calories food items to get it
  • Not staying hydrated
    • The body needs water, even if it’s from unhealthy food
    • You lose additional weight by drinking two cups of water before meals
  • Skipping meals
    • Starvation does willpower no favors
    • Eating breakfast in the morning makes burning calories throughout the day ten times easier
  • Food guilt from eating some foods
    • Most food guilt is from social pressure for a non-verbalized ideal
    • Guilt about food is silly, so don’t react to it

Focusing on  the wrong things

  • Looking at total calories consumed
    • Many natural foods are low-calorie and usually more satisfying and more healthy
  • Looking at everything but personal health
    • Weight gain usually comes from not considering health habits
  • Looking at setbacks
    • Failing is natural, but trying again is most important
    • Learn how to be successful in the next section
  • Trying to lose weight too fast
    • It’s a permanent lifestyle decision, not a race
  • Trying to out-exercise a bad diet
    • It is mathematically impossible to lose weight through exercise alone
  • Weighing yourself too often
    • Your body will naturally fluctuate up and down by a few pounds every day
    • Measure your weight about once a week at the same time each day

Not adapting your lifestyle

  • Not planning meals
    • Without a weekly plan and a kitchen stocked with healthy items, weight management is impossible
    • Don’t make dining out a routine
      • Some restaurant salads and sandwiches are less healthy than their burgers and fries
    • When you do eat out, get smaller portions
      • Starbucks offers a Short size
      • Consider children’s meals
      • Dedicate yourself to only eating one of the items in the meal and taking the other to go in a box
      • If you’re dining with someone else, split one meal with them instead of purchasing two
    • Restraint is much harder if your baking skills ever out-pace your cooking skills
  • Insufficient or irregular sleep causes extra stress and can ruin weight management
  • Ineffective stress management techniques can lead to additional fat storage
  • A lack of a creative outlet leads to boredom, which causes unnecessary eating
  • Without exercise detoxing through sweat and increased blood flow, it’s hard to practice self-control
  • Avoiding weight-lifting doesn’t develop muscles, and muscle cells consume three times as many calories as fat cells

Exercise doesn’t have to be painful or negative

1. Before working out

Schedule HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) throughout your day

  • Stop to exercise vigorously for 1-2 minutes and then return to whatever you were doing

Work out before bed to burn calories while you sleep

Watch for misleading exercise trends

  • Most extreme exercise trends don’t account for various physical starting points
    • Don’t overwork yourself to where you can’t make the workout a routine
  • Focusing on muscle groups doesn’t change physical appearance in that area more prominently, but concentrate on strengthening some parts of the body
    • Jump squats and climbing stairs are great for having stronger butt muscles
    • Work out pectoral muscles to increase breast size and perkiness
    • Get a better posture by working out back muscles
  • Gatorade or Powerade are only healthy when watered down and in the middle of a workout

2. Right before your workout

Increase your metabolism

  • Drink a cup of coffee
  • Eat spicy foods
  • Drink a mixture of honey and water

Don’t eat too much or too soon before your workout, especially high-fat foods

Eat onions and garlic to strengthen yourself

Limber up before you workout, but don’t static stretch

If your thighs keep rubbing from wearing shorts, rub deodorant between them

Put on music to run and lift more quickly

3. Find easy workouts you can do without much equipment

While sitting

  • Shoulder circles – spin your shoulders in a windmill, add resistance with weights
  • Leg lifts – lift your leg and hold it

With a flat surface and some room

  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats – keep your back straight and hold your balance
    • Jump squats – jump after reaching the lowest point
    • One-leg squats – straighten your arms directly in front of you and try to squat with one leg
    • Wallsit – squat against a wall for several minutes, add resistance by squatting with one leg
  • Lunges – place your hands on your hips and take a huge step forward
  • Lift a textbook or other heavy object behind your head

On the floor

  • Crunches – lay on your back with your knees bent and bend  your lower back
    • Situps – sit up all the way
    • Crossed-leg crunches – lift one leg up over the other
    • Glute bridges – lift your butt off the ground from this position
    • If you a cramp in your neck, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Military pushups – hold your back completely straight and lower yourself to the ground
    • Diamond pushups – have your hands touch
    • Bench pushups – spread your arms further out
    • Mountain climbers – alternate bringing legs up to hands
    • Oblique pushup – turn your hips sideways to tone your whole body
    • Planks – hold your body rigidly off the ground by balancing on your hands and feet
    • Spiderman pushup – tap the elbow to the knee every time coming up
  • Handstand pushups – find a wall you can’t do handstands
  • Divebombers
    1. Start with your body stiffened and butt in the air
    2. Lower yourself to the ground
    3. Push your chest up
    4. Lower yourself again
    5. Lift your butt in the air again
  • Burpees
    1. Squat
    2. Shoot your feet out
    3. Do a pushup
    4. Pull your feet back to squatting
    5. Jump as high as possible
  • Leg raises – kneel down with palms on the ground, lift your leg backward and hold

In a hallway

  • Army crawls – slide your legs across the ground and stay low
  • Bear crawls – walk on all fours
  • Sprints – run as fast as you can back and forth

With a chair or elevated surface

  • Box jumps – jump on and off the elevated surface
  • Calf raises – use a slight ledge and extend your calf muscles
  • Decline pushups – do a pushup against a desk or chair
    • Chair dips – turn around and bend your elbows
    • Shrugs – lift with your shoulders

With anything that holds your weight

  • Pull-ups – pull yourself up past a right angle with your elbows
  • Table rows – lay under a table and pull up while keeping back straight

A jump rope works out many muscles at the same time

  • 15-20 minutes will give you an unparalleled total body workout

Many things are exercise, so do something fun if you hate conventional workouts

  • Official exercising – aerobics, gymnastics, jogging, running, treadmill, walking, weightlifting
  • Dancing – ballet, salsa, swing, tango, tap dancing, twerking, waltz
  • Team sports – baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball
  • Individual sports – boxing, golf, wrestling, martial arts, laser tag, paintball, ping-pong
  • Personal  recreation – bowling, frisbee, trampolining, playing catch
  • Alternate transportation – bicycling, ice skating, swimming, horseback riding, rollerblading/skating, skateboarding, unicycling
  • Outdoor recreation – boating, canoeing, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding
  • Performing – drums, juggling
  • Games – Dance Dance Revolution, Double Dutch, hopscotch, hula hooping, Kinect games, jump rope, Wii games

Going for a walk has many benefits without as many risks as most other exercises

Many people don’t run because they feel pain from it

  • Try to run as quietly as possible for the best running form
  • If you get cramps, exhale on alternate feet or when your left foot hits the ground
  • If you have foot pain, skip tying your shoes across the second level

4. After every workout

If you need to catch your breath stand on your toes with your head tilted back and deeply inhale

Stretch thoroughly

  • Stretch after a workout
    • Before the workout runs the risk of overworking stiff muscles
  • Stretching reduces the risk of long-term injury by expanding the range of tendons, ligaments, and muscles
  • Several vital muscles are more likely to cause problems when they’re not stretched out
    • The quadratus lumborum runs along the sides of the lower back
      • Lay with your back on the floor and twist your hips to where your opposite knee is touching the ground
    • The hamstring is on the back of the knee
      • Place your heel on an elevated surface and bend down to grab your elevated toes
      • Lean forward on something while keeping your feet flat on the ground

Replenish the body’s resources to heal quickly

  • Eat nutrient-rich foods after workouts that give the feeling of fullness such as protein, fats, and high-fiber foods
  • Drink chocolate milk
  • Drink fruit juice or eat fruits high in antioxidants
    • Cherries
    • Cranberries
    • Pomegranates
    • Watermelons
  • Drink peppermint tea

Watch for muscle soreness

  • Rub aloe vera plant sap on the muscles
  • Take a muscle-relieving bath by adding a half cup of Epsom salts into a warm bathtub
  • Soak your feet
    1. Add a half cup of Epsom salts and a cup of lemon juice in a small tub of warm water
    2. Dissolve and soak your feet for 30-45 minutes

Many overall tricks make weight management easier

Drink tons of water throughout the day

Never stop looking for healthier alternatives and improvements to your cooking choices

Pay attention to what you eat

  • Draw physical lines before you eat about how much you’ll eat
  • Learn about the nutritional content of your food compared to other related foods

Always save some food for later

Making healthy eating and snacking a priority and always have healthy food available

Make all of the choices in your home healthy

  • Set a fruit basket out to make choosing fruit easier
  • Store away sweets or never buy them
  • Don’t do anything else while eating
    • Set aside specific time where you only eat and talk with others
  • Serve food on smaller plates
  • Install mirrors in your eating area to be more self-aware

Find ways to exercise more

  • Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Go for walks in the evenings
  • Sign up for a fitness club or join a friend’s physical activities

Learn to be a happier and more fulfilled person

  • Dieting and exercise are only portions of a fulfilling life
  • Health is tied to mental wellness as much as a physical diet because of the convenience of comfort foods
Next: How To Become Personally Successful