How to Burn Fat by Walking . . And Achieve Other Health Benefits

 

I don’t know about you but walking is hands down one of my favorite forms of exercise.

First I can take my children with me if necessary. Second, I can make myself feel somuch better both phyically and mentally.

And Third, it is a superb way to achieve optimum health.

Walking about 45 minutes mobilizes the body to dip into fat reserves and burn stored fat.

How To Enter the Fat Burning Zone

The fat-burning zone for walkers is achieved when you achieve a heart rate of around 60 – 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate.

is reached when you exercise at an intensity where your heart rate is 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

In this zone of exercise intensity, 85 percent of your calories burned are fats, 5 percent are proteins and 10 percent are carbohydrates.

The Optimum Walking Pace

A recent study showed that there is actually an optimum time to walk, which is around 100 steps per minute. That is a brisk but not particularly frenetic pace.

A recent study which was published in June in a special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine  looked at walking to decide if there was a good way to assess what is “brisk walking” that can deliver major fat loss and health benefits.

The researchers began by looking for recent, top quality studies that looked and the factors that assessed the appropriate number of steps including assessing heart rate, respiration issues and so forth.

The studies they assessed showed that brisk walking involved a pace of about 2.7 miles per hour. Or put more simply, it required about 100 steps per minute.

You don’t need any special technology to assess that, just count how many steps you take in 10 seconds and multiply by six.

Or count how many steps you take in six seconds and multiply by 10.

The fact is this pace will not feel particularly strenuous.  It’s perfectly achievable and will help deliver some huge health benefits.

(Vigorous walking would be around 130 steps per minute).

The current US federal exercise guidelines suggest 30 minutes of brisk walking most days, which would translate into 3,000 steps taken at the 100-steps-per-minute pace.

If you are ambitious, you also could ramp up the pace so that your walking becomes vigorous but frankly you do not need to.

So get out there!  Start walking to burn fat and achieve a feeling of wellness and health.  You can’t beat it.

>> See My ‘No Think’ Fat Loss Diet Review Here

 

The Low-Carb Miracle That Beat Fat . . And Aging

How much truth is there in the low-carb diet in terms of weight loss and overall health.

Well, Frankly, I think there is a lot.

And so I was really interested in this article from Diet Doctor on law carb diets, something I have used as part of my own research.

Let me quote from the report –

Many exceptional doctors, researchers and scientists contribute their expertise and knowledge to the global low-carb community. Together they are leading the real food, low-carb high-fat revolution that is contributing to better health and wellness for millions of people worldwide.

What was the personal journey that led these individuals on this path? Each has a unique tale. In this post it’s Dr. Ted Naiman’s story. Dr. Naiman is a low-carb family physician at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center, who has been coaching his patients in low-carb eating for 20 years.

Dr. Ted Naiman, 45, is the picture of robust health. His webpage and twitter accountfeature a shirtless snapshot of his athletic physique, displaying washboard abs, rippling biceps, and glowing skin.

But when he looks back 20 years, the difference in his own health is remarkable. “The 45-year-old Ted could crush the 25-year-old Ted with his bare hands,” he laughs (see before and after pictures below).

He is now in the best health of his life, but 20 years ago his health was horrible.

Back then Ted had just finished his medical degree at Loma Linda University, a Seventh Day Adventist college in Southern California, and was starting a three year residency in family medicine in South Carolina.

He had been raised in the Adventist tradition in Seattle, in a near-vegetarian household. “It is a diet that, on paper, is supposed to be the best in the world: low in fat, low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, and really high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I always sprinkled wheat germ on my food.”

And yet he felt awful. “I looked like shit and I felt like shit and my health absolutely sucked.”

Health struggles in spite of doing everything ‘right’

In fact, Ted had extensive eczema —”the worst eczema you’ve ever seen” — that regularly cracked and bled. He had episodes of obsessive compulsive disorder that made him count and do actions repetitively, like turning on and off a light switch 20 times in a row. His body composition, he says, was “soft and pudgy.”

He describes himself back then as a non-athletic math nerd, a geek who loved science and chess. He had first completed a mechanical engineering degree because he’d hoped to be an aero-science engineer with Boeing Industries, but the company laid off hundreds of engineers just when he was graduating. “I couldn’t get a job. So I decided on a whim to apply to medical school.”

That engineer’s problem-solving mindset, however, helped shape his approach to medicine. It is no surprise to Ted that he and other engineers like Ivor Cummins and Dave Feldman are now closely examining key issues in metabolic health, helping question the status quo.

“In engineering you have to find out the route-cause analysis. You have to find out why everything is happening. If you can’t figure it out, you have to reverse engineer it backwards to figure it out. You question everything. Medicine is not like that at all. In medicine you are trained by experts, all supposedly smarter than you, who tell you ‘this is how it is done, don’t deviate from this, do exactly what the guidelines say.’ ”

At Loma Linda Medical School, a “vegetarian mecca” he says, his training was that the plant-based, low-fat diet was the key to good health. Since Ted already ate that way — and he considered his health to be poor — the impact for him was to believe that diet actually made little difference to health. Good health, he felt at the time, was largely a function of good luck and good genes.

He continued to hold that belief when he moved to South Carolina for his residency. There, a huge proportion of his patients had diabetes. “Honestly, almost every single patient was fat and sick and dying of diabetes.”

‘Bad luck, bad genes,’ was what he and his colleagues would tell themselves. “That was so we wouldn’t feel like bad doctors. We would pump them full of insulin; they would gain and gain weight; get worse and worse, and I would watch as these people would go blind, go on dialysis, and we literally would cut off their limbs.”

“We told ourselves it wasn’t our fault as doctors that they weren’t getting better — it was their inherited bad genes. We never talked about diet at all.”

A patient sparked his interest in low carb

Then one day a patient came in having lost 30 lbs (14 kg), reversing his diabetes. Ted was astounded. “I said, ‘Oh my God, what did you do? I have to let other patients know about this!’”

The patient had read one of Dr. Robert Atkins’ books and adopted the Atkins diet. Ted remembers telling two of his residency supervisors about the patient’s incredible health improvement. “I said ‘check this guy out. He stopped eating carbs, he lost a lot of weight and his diabetes is way better.”

Ted will never forget the senior doctors’ response: they laughed at him. “They treated me like I was the dumbest person in the world. They said. ‘what do you think happened to his cholesterol? He probably had a heart attack in the parking lot.’ ”

Ted took a closer look at the patient’s results: his triglycerides were better, his high blood pressure had returned to normal, his blood sugar was better, his weight was much better, but yes, the total cholesterol had gone up about 20 points. Didn’t the host of improved results offset the slight rise in cholesterol? His medical colleagues said no. “They basically told me I could not recommend this diet to anyone as it would raise their cholesterol and they would die.”

The incident, and the doctors’ dismissive and disparaging response, intrigued Ted. In his engineering way, he set out to find out what was going on. First he read Atkin’s book; then he tried the diet himself — and miraculously his OCD rapidly disappeared as did his eczema within weeks of being on the diet and has never returned. “I was like, ‘Wow! There is really, really something to this!”

His residency required him to do a research thesis and dissertation on any topic of his choosing. He decided to study the macronutrient components — fat, protein, carbohydrates —and their relation to diet and health.

“I spent hours in the medical library. I read every single article I could find on macronutrients and health in the history of medical literature throughout the world. I wrote this giant paper with all these references. By the time I was done, I was convinced that everybody was eating way too many carbohydrates.”

That was 1997. He soon moved back to Seattle to work as a primary care physicians among 400 doctors at Virginia Mason Medical Centre. He immediately started giving dietary advice to his patients to drastically cut carbohydrates and up fat and protein, soon seeing rapid and incredible results.

“It has been phenomenally rewarding. I have a huge number of patients, hundreds, who have lost 50, 100, or 150 lbs (23-68 kg). I have countless people who have completely reversed their diabetes.

I have seen migraines, anorexia, infertility, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, acne — even more diseases — all greatly improve, even cured, on this diet. Mental health issues like bipolar, depression, anxiety, OCD, all get much better, too.”

Flying under the radar

For most of the last two decades, however, he has kept very quiet about what he was doing, not drawing attention to it among his other medical colleagues.

“I have never worked with a group of like-minded physicians. For years I have had to fly extremely under the radar with my so-called crazy, nut bag dietary beliefs. For many years I felt on my own, with no medical community support at all.”

In fact, although Ted has a popular website and a very active twitter account, he is still forbidden by his institution to hand out to his patients dietary materials of his own creation or refer them to his own website. “It is just their policy. Everything has to be vetted by the institution and approved by the board.”

In the last few years, that feeling of isolation however, has been disappearing, largely on account of his connections through the internet and social media to other medical professionals and scientists advocating the low-carb lifestyle around the world. “It excites me because it feels like low carb is at a tipping point for sure. People can instantly look at the research and share it; more and more people are educating themselves.”

He refers patients to Diet Doctor daily. His patients are then not only able to get excellent dietary advice, they can link to a global community of experts and even learn from their own doctor in video interviews and other posts, and find their way back to his own website.

“Dr. Naiman has a hugely impressive ability to explain complex health topics with a simple illustration,” says Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, founder of Diet Doctor. “We always aim to make low carb simple here at Diet Doctor, but for even quicker nuggets of nutritional wisdom, Dr. Naiman’s twitter feed is hard to beat.”

 

An illustration by Dr. Ted Naiman

Ted’s patient testimonials are glowing, too. He has dozens of positives reviews on sites like Vitals and the Virginia Mason website, including these two: “Dr. Naiman is FANTASTIC. He sees his job as not temporarily fixing broken patients but helping patients live the fullest lives possible.” and “I highly recommend Dr. Naiman. I lost my asthma, pre-diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, low HDL, high trigs, and 10 inches (25 cm) off my waist since being in his care.”

While he and his wife deliberately choose to live a low-carb lifestyle, they do not enforce it for their 10-year old daughter. “We are not strict with her at all. We let her eat anything she wants.”

They do, however, fill up their house with high quality food, grass-fed beef, free run eggs, fresh vegetables. And interestingly, their daughter naturally chooses to eat little sugar and almost no snacks. “She just doesn’t want it. At a birthday party she will have one bite of cake and find it way too sweet. She is required by her school to have a snack in her backpack for 10:30 am. She has carried the same unopened beef stick for a year. All the other kids are starving at 10:30 and she is not even remotely hungry.”

Exercise

By the look of those washboard abs, he must work out constantly? Not at all. He does not have a gym membership, never uses any weight machines. “I have never lifted a bar bell in my life.” He does have a pull up bar installed in his house and does about 15 minutes of body weight resistance exercises —push-up, squats, pull ups. He now has a short daily routine, but he says just 15 minutes three times as week is sufficient.

“I am trying to democratize exercise and prove to my patients that you don’t need any equipment. You don’t need to spend money on trainers, gizmos and gadgets. You don’t need to invest a lot of time. In fact, 100% of my physique is body weight exercises you can do at home in 15 minutes.”

In addition, once a week for about an hour he plays Ultimate Frisbee, mostly for the fun of it. “I am kind of addicted to Ultimate Frisbee,” he says.

Have patients failed on low carb?

Has he seen patients struggle or fail with the low-carb diet? Yes, mostly because they are addicted to carbs and sugar and cannot break themselves of their pull.

“I have realized that a big part of my job is straight up addiction medicine… whether it is nicotine, drugs, alcohol, carbohydrates. Some people are just horribly addicted to carbohydrates. We have some tricks to try to help them. We offer more support like having a nurse try to call them daily. Maybe we say take a picture of what you eat every day and send it to us. We might help with a prescription for a stimulant or use of artificial sweeteners to start. But some have to basically white-knuckle it for months, maybe having nothing sweet at all.”

“But you can get over it. Just like other addictions, you have to fill your life with other stuff that is cooler, that gives you that hit of dopamine, maybe get addicted to exercise or something less damaging.”

Worries on the low-carb horizon

Is there anything that worries him on the horizon of the low-carb world?

“I worry about the schism that might be developing between opinions on the amount of fat and protein portions in the diet.”

Protein consumption has always been important to Ted on his journey. In fact an early, very influential book was Protein Power by Dr. Michael Eades. “I am really indebted to Dr. Eades because when I read it when I was first starting out it really helped me feel like I wasn’t the only crazy doctor out there.”

Ted worries that people are restricting protein too much. “I am firmly on the higher-protein side — I think it is a super power of the diet. Others are on the side of more fat. I don’t want to see a war develop over this.”

Ted thinks the optimal proportion of protein and fat may come down to individual genetic variation “but we are nowhere near figuring that out yet.”

In the end, it should not be that big a deal, he says. “We are all on Team Low Carb.”

And for the first time in 20 years he feels he truly is on a rising team, all taking to the field together. He is no longer an isolated player “all by my lonesome, hanging onto my tattered copies of Protein Power and Atkin’s book.”


By Anne Mullens

Dr. Ted Naiman

 

The ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ – What You Need to Know About Vitamin D

vitamin d + weight loss

I don’t know about you – actually I HOPE I do – but sunshine is one of the great things about enjoying life.

And when  you’re out and about, it is sunshine and its vitamin that you’re taking.

Not a bad way to go, right?

Well, here are some key things you need to know about vitamin D and what it is good for.

Meet Vitamin D

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You can find vitamin D in a several foods where it occurs naturally, such as tuna fish, swordfish and salmon. It’s also present in beef liver, eggs and cheese. Because of the lack of vitamin D in many people’s diets, some foods have it added in, such as yogurt, milk, orange juice and certain cereals.

When you spend time in the sun it will give you vitamin D, but not because it actually comes from the sun. Instead, the sun’s ultraviolet rays hit the skin and cause vitamin D synthesis to occur.

Skin cancer concerns mean that people are often not getting enough Vitamin D, or it is being blocked by clothing or sunblock.

But although the sunscreen will help reduce a person’s risk of skin cancer, it also harms your ability to obtain vitamin D. Even sunscreens with an SPF of 8 lessen a person’s ability to produce the vitamin by 95 percent!

That’s why you need to get it from other sources.

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The fact is that most people need to take supplements to reach the recommended amount – myself included.

But no matter how you obtain this nutrient, it has to undergo two different – yet equally-important – processes in the body.

Let’s get a little scientific for a moment (bare with me) –

First, it must convert into calcidiol in the liver. Then, it undergoes a process in the kidneys that changes it into calcitriol, also known as 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. These steps are both necessary to transform the vitamin D you take in into a form your body can actually use.

Unlike vitamins C and E which are expelled as a waste product from the body when they’re in excess, extra vitamin D remains in the body and is stored for later use. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that’s able to be stored in fatty tissue and in the liver, which your body can use when your D levels are low.

At the end of the day, how much vitamin D your skin makes depends on various factors, such as the time of year, the time of day, the season, your skin pigmentation and your location.

The Purpose Behind Vitamin D

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One of the biggest reasons people need vitamin D is for skeletal and dental health, where it regulates the amount of phosphate and calcium in your body – both of which are necessary for your bones to develop and repair themselves.

Without a combination of calcium and vitamin D, bones aren’t as strong as they could be. As a result, they may become fragile and brittle, and may break easily – even without a serious injury occurring.

There are other things that vitamin D does also of course – such as playing a role in the nervous system.

Plus, it also protects cells from tissue damage that can arise from oxidative damage.

I have a girlfriend who swears that a vitamin D deficiency caused her to become forgetful and to have other ‘thinking’ issues.

 

I later researched and discovered these are a big concern for people who are lacking vitamin D. The vitamin has the ability to help prevent brain disorders like dementia. I’m glad I got back on track taking my supplements before things got too serious!

But that isn’t all that vitamin D can do for you. This nutrient is vital for the body in a number of other ways.

Also the muscles require vitamin D.

To ward off viruses and bacteria from entering into your body and making you sick, you need vitamin D. I didn’t realize it at the time, but once I found out I had a vitamin D deficiency, it was like a smack in the face – I now know why I was sick three times over last winter, and why it seemed to take me a long time to get over a simple cold.

How Much Do You Need?

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Not sure if you’re getting enough vitamin D? Want to avoid some of the negative side effects I experienced when my levels were low?

Then you need to get your levels tested!  Truly.

If you think you’re not getting enough vitamin D or have symptoms of a deficiency, ask your physician for a 25(OH)D test. Although there’s also the 1,25(OH)₂D test, it won’t tell you if you have a deficiency or not.

The test is a blood test that can be obtained by pricking your finger.

For instance, the Vitamin D Council suggests your level be around 50 ng/ml. Ultimately, you want the reading to be between 40 and 60 nmol/L. Levels that are less than 30nmol/L aren’t high enough to support good bone health, let alone your general health. Having a reading above 125 isn’t healthy either.

If you can’t get all the vitamin D you need from sunlight alone, supplementing to meet these levels is an incredibly easy way to maintain your health.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough or Get Too Much?

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The number of people who have inadequate D levels is rising, despite all the foods fortified with it. I know – I’m part of this statistic.

In fact, it’s estimated that one billion individuals throughout the world have lower than normal vitamin D levels.

People don’t get enough either because they don’t consume enough or because they don’t go out in the sun enough. In some (rarer) cases, a person might be unable to convert vitamin D into its active form because of kidney problems.

That’s not a major problem for people like me who live in Southern California, but it is for many.

Adults who develop a deficiency may wind up with a condition known as osteomalacia that leaves bones were soft and very bendable. Unlike osteoporosis, which causes weakening in previously constructed bone, osteomalacia causes issues with the bone-building process, leading to muscle weakness and achy bone pain.

Treatment for osteomalacia involves replenishing low levels of vitamin D and calcium and treating any underlying disorders that may be causing the deficiencies. From problems with weakness and muscle tone in the legs, people who have this condition may waddle or have trouble getting around.

I know that sounds pretty scary, so I wouldn’t blame you if you were thinking about doubling up on your vitamin D supplement. But before you reach for an extra dose, be aware that more vitamin D isn’t necessarily better.

In fact, taking more vitamin D than needed through supplementation can cause health problems in the future. On the contrary, it’s not possible to overdose on vitamin D made from the sun, or from foods that don’t contain high quantities of it.

Who Should Take Vitamin D Supplements?

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Beyond the general recommendations there are certain groups of people who should be doubly-certain to take supplements to ensure they’re getting enough vitamin D.

Those with dark skin have a decreased ability to obtain vitamin D from sun exposure, while those who fall into the category of obese experience problems with vitamin D absorption. This occurs because the excess body fat binds to a portion of the vitamin D and stops it from reaching the bloodstream.

Finally, breastfed infants may benefit from a supplement because human milk doesn’t contain a large amount of vitamin D. Infants who drink less than 500 ml of formula each day may benefit from a supplement as well. Continue with the vitamin until the child reaches at least five years of age, or at your doctor’s recommendation.

The Final Word on Vitamin D

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After my experience with a vitamin D deficiency, I’ve made it my goal to try to educate others. As a result, I try to always keep up with the latest research to make sure I’m giving out the best possible recommendations.

One thing you need to know is that the recommended amount of vitamin D a person should get has been debated in recent years.

The Institute of Medicine released a report on November 30, 2010 that recommended both adults and children need more than three times the amount of vitamin D that was currently recommended, which led to U.S. and Canada suggesting people get at least 600 IU per day. The safety limits were pushed from 2,000 IU per day to 4,000 per day.

Other new research suggests that Vitamin D may help to ward off certain medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, some cancers, heart disease and various autoimmune disorders. The heart muscle relies on potassium every time it beats, but scientific evidence is showing vitamin D might be beneficial to the heart, too.

In this particular study, the Health Professional Follow-Up Study, scientists followed almost 50,000 men’s vitamin blood levels for 10 years and found that the men who had a vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely as men who had normal vitamin D levels to have a heart attack.

Other studies conducted revealed low levels of vitamin D increased a person’s risk of sudden cardiac death, stroke, cardiovascular disease, heart failure and cardiac death, according to Harvard University. Evidence points to this vitamin playing a role in blood pressure regulation as well as artery damage, but more research is needed to prove this.

Type I diabetes rates also vary based on location. For instance, a child in Finland is approximately 400 times more likely than a child in Venezuela to have type I diabetes.

One 30-year study followed 10,000 Finnish kids from birth. The children who took a vitamin D supplement during infancy had a 90-percent lower risk of type I diabetes than the ones who didn’t get a supplement. Multiple other studies conducted in Europe showed that vitamin D may protect against diabetes, but only juvenile diabetes.

Vitamin D may even play a role in preventing the development of a cold or the flu, as most of you might know. Typically, people get a cold or a flu in the winter, but one British doctor hypothesized that this may be because vitamin D levels are lowest in the winter. Plus, vitamin D boosts immune cells’ production of the proteins that fight microbes.

If you ask me, that’s all pretty amazing!

 

So make sure you’re ‘dosing up’ correctly and making the most of this vital vitamin – a ‘sunshine vitamin’ that can help increase your overall health and wellness. 

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