86%

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that 86% of our healthcare costs are spent on individuals with one or more chronic conditions. In addition, chronic conditions are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths. Think about these statistics.

Chronic conditions can be ongoing or reoccurring, and they can last for years. Some cause only minor annoyances while others can greatly affect the quality of our lives. Often, people deal with more than one condition at a time. Complicating matters, no cures exist for these disorders.

The usual course of action—you go to your doctor or healthcare professional, they say you have such and such, they hand you a prescription, you fill it, and begin taking pills. Have more than one disorder? Then, you’ll probably be taking multiple medications. Because of this, the question must arise—what about the possibility of drug interactions?

In fact, your “condition” could actually be the result of a reaction to a drug you’re taking or perhaps, the interaction of one medication with another. Please take time to read what the side effects are for each medication you’re taking as well as how it interacts with the other drugs you may have been prescribed. You may be surprised by what you discover.

We are a nation that automatically seeks drugs to treat our symptoms; you could say we have been conditioned to seek this approach. Have a symptom, ask your doctor about a drug you’ve seen advertised or one a friend mentioned to you. I can understand this reaction to immediately seek a pill; if you’re suffering, you want relief.

But is this the appropriate response? Does the symptom reflect the underlying cause? In many cases it does not. How can a doctor really know what to prescribe without knowing the true cause and given this, will the treatment be successful?

For example, you’re having stomach/digestive issues and yet, your doctor says everything appears fine. What do you do? Do you reach for antacids for relief? Have you thought about first eliminating dairy and wheat from your diet for a month before taking that pill? Try this elimination approach and see if your discomfort lessens or disappears. Isn’t it worth a 31-day trial to possibly avoid having to take a prescription or over-the-counter medications for the rest of your life?

During this period of healthcare upheaval, our nation needs to shift to one that practices preventive medicine. Take control—make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes that can eliminate or greatly reduce your chances of having to deal with a chronic condition. Do you truly want to face an endless cycle of doctor visits as well as taking multiple medications? Remember, the pharmaceutical companies want us to have this dependence—they can’t make money if we’re healthy.

If you’re thinking, my parents or grandparents have/had this condition; it’s in my genes. Please, think again. The McArthur Study reveals:

  • Only 30% of aging/longevity can be assigned to genetics; in fact as we get older our genetics become less important, and guess what, lifestyle and environment become more essential.
  • The significance of an active engagement with life.
  • The importance of diet, exercise, and in certain cases, medication in delaying or eliminating the emergence of disease.

Keeping these above points in mind, examine the various aspects of your lifestyle and environment. Look for foods, habits, actions, products, and behaviors that are detrimental to your health and wellbeing. If during your examination you find something that’s damaging, change it for the better and reap the rewards of that change.

Revisiting “Have You Ever Noticed . . .?”

Connecting to last week’s post on Metabolic Typing®, I’m returning to a request I made last June.

For the next week please write down all the foods you eat and all the beverages you drink. You do not have to count calories, weigh food, or record the amounts of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. First, just make note of the foods and drinks you consume.

Then, one to two hours after eating record how you feel. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • “Am I still hungry?”
  • “Do I have certain cravings?”
  • “How’s my energy level?”
  • “What’s my mood?”
  • “Is my thinking focused and clear or just the opposite?”

I ask people to do this exercise because I discovered, in working with them, many individuals have lost touch with their bodies, and the clues it provides them. We often eat mindlessly and never make the connection between the foods we consume and how we feel afterwards.

After a week, take time to review your reactions. Some new questions to consider:

  • “Do certain foods always create the same reactions, moods, and feelings within you?”
  • “Do you feel full and satisfied or do you feel physically full, but still hungry?”
  • “Which foods produced cravings and what types?”
  • “Which foods improve your energy, and which ones drain it?”

Take note. Do you notice any patterns emerging?

As an example, I had a client who regularly ate frozen dinners from a “healthy” company.

Her records revealed that whenever she consumed these frozen meals she had reactions such as stomach upset, low energy, slight headaches, and feeling unsatisfied. Like many of us, she had never thought about how her body reacts to the food she eats. When I pointed out the negative reactions she had associated with those meals, she finally made the connection. She dropped those “healthy” frozen entrees from her diet.

As a follow-up, for one week eat/drink only the foods and beverages that gave you positive reactions, and again, record how you feel one or two hours after eating. Be aware of and really observe the changes in your body.

The foods that work for you and those that don’t work reflect your uniqueness. Chances are if a family member or friend did this exercise with the same foods/beverages, they would have different results/reactions. Thus, this connects to Metabolic Typing’s® philosophy that we are all biochemically unique.

I hope this exercise assists you in making new and healthy decisions around your food and drink choices.

“One Man’s Food Is Another Man’s Poison”

The above quote is by Hippocrates. As you read the following, please keep his words in mind as well as forgetting everything you’ve heard or have read about diet/nutrition. Basically, keep an open mind.

In connection to my previous three posts on obesity/weight, I want to bring the Metabolic Typing® approach to your attention.

Has This Ever Happened to You?

  • You want to lose weight, so you try your best friend’s diet. She loses 35 pounds quickly, but you can’t seem to shed an ounce.
  • Your friend, the vegetarian, thrives on pasta and vegetables and has boundless energy. But when you imitate his diet, your energy plummets, and you can hardly drag yourself out of bed.
  • You eat all the best foods, take only the finest quality supplements, you exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. Yet you still don’t feel well.
  • You believe in nutrition, but you’ve given up on it. It’s impossible to make sense of the confusing and contradictory information flooding the market.

Metabolic Typing® helps to put an end to the confusion about what diet is right for you.

You are actually very different, biochemically speaking, from every other person—your body’s biochemical makeup is as unique as your fingerprints.

For genetic reasons, we all vary in the way that our bodies process foods and utilize nutrients. Throughout man’s evolutionary history, people all over the world have been forced to adapt to widely varying environmental circumstances, including very different climates and food supplies.

As an example, the traditional Inuit thrive on very large quantities of meat and fat, while people born in the tropics stay healthy eating fruits and grains and other light vegetarian fare. Do you know your unique nutritional needs?

Over the last few decades, there has been an extraordinary nutrition revolution in the U.S. Yet at this time, the health of Americans has greatly declined. Obesity, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, digestive maladies, chronic fatigue—all these problems have reached epidemic proportions.

From the Metabolic Typing® perspective, our poor health is, in part, a result of serious dietary deficiencies and imbalances. Dietary solutions need to be tailored to individuals, because what works for one person may have no effect on another person, and may, in fact, make a third person worse (see Hippocrates’s quote).

Could this be the one of the reasons why your diet attempts have failed you? Also, please remember, the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar a year business—could they want and need you to fail?

Through Metabolic Typing® you can discover your own highly-individualized dietary needs. With this approach, you’ll know how to select just the right “body fuel:” foods, food combinations, and nutrients that will enable your body to function at peak efficiency. Through Metabolic Typing® you may:

  • End dieting, counting calories, punishing exercise, and/or deprivation to achieve permanent fat loss.
  • Lose weight without restricting calories.
  • End the cravings for junk food, sugar, and processed food.
  • Eat foods that convert into energy instead of being stored as fat.
  • Let go of dieting forever to rediscover how to enjoy your food and end your guilt.
  • Freedom from food cravings.
  • Determine your unique dietary needs and examine your relationship with food.
  • Personalized eating plans that provide an escape from crazed dieting.
  • Eliminate mood swings, lose body fat, have mental clarity, and energy throughout the day.

If you would like information on Metabolic Typing®, please contact me at rob@mybodyphysics.com. Thank you.

While we emphasize an integrated, personalized approach to health, fitness, & lifestyle, My Body Physics’ programs are not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, manage, or cure any disease/condition. We strongly recommend you consult with your physician or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise and/or health/wellness program.

 

Beyond Calories

I’m continuing to build on my two previous posts regarding obesity. In my last one, I discussed the outdated approach of “eat less, exercise more” and advocated looking for other connections to obesity mentioned in Time magazine’s special obesity issue such as genetics, the biochemistry of hunger/fat metabolism, fast/junk food, food psychology, and a metabolic disorder.

An important item to add to the above list is hormones. You might ask what do they exactly have to do with our weight? In The Schwarzbein Principle II, Diana Schwarzbein, M.D. provides straight-forward, user-friendly information on the role three major hormones (adrenaline, cortisol, and insulin) and minor ones (growth hormones) play in our weight.

Insulin and growth hormones are used for rebuilding your body’s biochemicals while adrenaline and cortisol use up your body’s biochemicals: “The ideal is to have all you regeneration reactions in balance—what you use up, you rebuild. Since your hormones determine how your body regenerates, you need to balance the hormones that use up your biochemicals and the hormones that rebuild your biochemicals to keep these reactions in balance.”  Schwarzbein reminds us all hormones work together; for ease of understanding she considers the actions of the each hormone alone.

Thus, it’s a question of balance. Think back to when you were a kid, and with a friend, you tried to balance on a seesaw—keeping your feet off the ground. Not always an easy thing to do. Now think about keeping your body’s hormones in balance: “If you use up your biochemicals faster than your body can rebuild them, you are destroying your metabolism and accelerating your aging process. Therefore, you do not want to use up your biochemicals more than you can rebuild them for too long.”

For a brief example of how “rebuilding” and “using up” hormones interact, take a look at adrenaline/cortisol (“using up”) and insulin (“rebuilding”): “If the ratio of your adrenaline/cortisol levels is higher than your insulin levels, you will use up your biochemicals faster than you can rebuild them, especially if your insulin levels are low or normal. If the ratio of adrenaline/cortisol is lower than your insulin levels, you will rebuild your biochemicals faster than you can use them up, especially if your adrenaline/cortisol levels are low or normal.”

Schwarzbein continues: “If you chronically diet, overexercise, ingest too many stimulants and are under too much stress, you will use up you functional, structural and energy (including storage) biochemicals faster than you can rebuild them. If this were to go unchecked, you would not survive.”

Now, how does the “eat less, exercise more” approach hold up?

I used a number of quotes today. One of the purposes is for providing information, and another is to show how readable and user-friendly Schwarzbein’s writing is. By telling her own story as well as those of some of her patients, Schwarzbein creates a connection with the reader—“That’s me.” I highly recommend her work especially for an alternative perspective on our diet-crazed nation her books provide.