Sedentary Lifestyle Woes

Sedentary Lifestyle Woes


Despite the health conscious movement, people are become less active; whether it’s sitting down at work or sitting down in front of the television, most Americans are not getting enough physical activity. The westernize way of life creates sedentary habits and more than 50 million Americans are at risk of developing health problems associated with it. The main way to avoid the hazards of sedentary lifestyle is a dose of physical activity. Here are some reasons why:


  • Those who are physically inactive have an increased risk of colon and breast cancer. A study showed a 40% decrease in cancer mortality in persons who were physically active compared to those who were inactive.


  • Physical activity helps prevent insulin resistance, the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes. A recent study reported that for every 2 hours that TV the risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 14%.


  • Regular physical activity reduces the risk of dementia in old age. It’s reported that it’s a 50% reduction for persons who maintained regular routine of physical activity


  • Highest rate of heart attacks are found in people with sedentary lifestyle by being active 3 hours or more per week you cut the risk of heart attack in half.


  • Lack of physical activity increases the loss of lean muscle tissue, making activities of daily living (dressing and bathing) and instrumental activities of daily living (grocery shopping, performing transfers) much more difficult to perform. Loss of vital lean muscle tissue also makes it more difficult to maintain body weight.


  • Bone loss progresses much faster in people who live sedentary lifestyle because bones require regular exercise to maintain mineral content and strength


  • People who live inactive lifestyle are more likely to suffer from depression. Physical activity is a good way to reduce mood swings and helps a person maintain a sense of emotional well being.


  • Lack of regular physical activity are more likely to gain excess weight. An hour of walking daily cut the risk of obesity by 24%.


  • Physical activity increase efficiency of the immune system, which helps ward off various disease and illnesses such as colds and the flu.


Exercise Fights Sleepiness

Exercise Fights Sleepiness


Must.Stay.Awake. Is what you repeat in your head to try to remain focus on the task at hand. But does it work? Is reciting this phrase going to send an energy boost through your body? No. Studies show that the actual answer for fatigue is the gym. In your unique weight loss journey you will realize that how essential exercise or being active is in the functionality of your body.


Next time the sand man comes to visit, consider hitting the gym instead of that power nap or extra cup of coffee. About one in four healthy adults experience feeling tired or fatigued well before bedtime. The connection between exercise and a reduction of low energy and exhaustion comes from the fact that exercise prompts the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissue and facilitates the circulation of blood. Breaking a sweat directly affects the central nervous system, which regulates energy levels.

This in no way negates the need for sleep. Sleep is essential for optimal health and deprivation can lead to weight gain. If you replace sleep with excessive exercise it will increase your chances of stress fractures, cardiovascular complication, or the feeling of being burnt out. You have to find a healthy balance. So light aerobics or yoga are perfect to give you that needed boost, but steer clear of high intensity work out.

Must.Stay.Awake. turns into Must.Hit.Gym. What a unique weight loss solution!

Say NO to Added Sugar

Say NO to Added Sugar


Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Here are 9 reasons why you should say NO to added sugar:

1. No Essential Nutrients and is Bad For Your Teeth

Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrient, also known as “empty” calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar, just pure energy. When people eat to 10-20% of calories as sugar  this becomes a major problem and contributes to nutrient deficiencies. Sugar is bad for the teeth because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth which can lead to tooth decay.

2. Will Overload Your Liver

Sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars: glucose and fructose. Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it. Fructose, on the other hand, is not produce in our bodies nor is there physiological need for it. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver. Consumed in small amounts doesn’t do harm – the fructose is turned into glycogen which is stored in the liver. The harm comes when the liver is full of glycogen forcing the fructose to turn into fat. If you have a western diet of high-carb and high-calorie intake it can lead to fatty liver and serious health problems.


3. Causes Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

A growing problem in Western countries is associated with metabolic disease. When fructose get turned into fat in the liver, it is shipped out as VLDL cholesterol particles. However, some of it can lodge in the liver which can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).


4. Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. It allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes. The cells become “resistant” to it,  also known as insulin resistance, which is believed to be a leading driver of many diseases including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes.


5.Can Give You Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth. For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels – constant sugar consumption- can contribute to cancer and metabolic problems (another potential cause of cancer). Studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer.


6. Can Cause Fat-Promoting Effects

Studies show that fructose doesn’t have the same kind of effect on satiety as glucose. In one study, people drank either a fructose-sweetened drink or a glucose-sweetened drink. Afterwards, the fructose drinkers had much less activity in the satiety centers of the brain and felt hungrier. There is also a study where fructose didn’t lower the hunger hormone ghrelin nearly as much as glucose did. Over time, because the calories from sugar aren’t as fulfilling, this can translate into an increased caloric intake.


7. Dependency

Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain. The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature. For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods.


8. Leading Contributor to Obesity

The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster. It can get people addicted so that they lose control over their consumption. People who consume the most sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. Many studies have examined the link between sugar consumption and obesity and found a strong statistical association. The link is especially strong in children, where each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a whopping 60% increased risk of obesity. One of the most important things you can do if you need to lose weight is to significantly cut back on sugar consumption.

9. Raises Your Cholesterol and Gives You Heart Disease

New studies are showing that sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism. Large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, small, dense LDL and oxidized LDL, raise blood glucose and insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity in as little as 10 weeks. These are all major risk factors for heart disease. Not surprisingly, many observational studies find a strong statistical association between sugar consumption and the risk of heart disease.


Ditch the Diet Soda: Heart Disease

Ditch the Diet Soda: Heart Disease


Another reason to not drink diet sodas If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know that I’m all about ditching diet products and anything that’s artificial. In fact, in my newest book I devote nearly three pages to why you should quit diet soda. Now, new research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine finds that daily diet soda drinkers may be at increased risk of suffering from strokes and heart attacks.


Researchers analyzed data from over 2,500 participants in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. They looked at how often regular and diet soft drinks were consumed, and the number of vascular events that occurred over ten years. They found that people who drank diet soda daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered a vascular event, compared to those who drank none. This was after taking into account pre-existing conditions like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and high blood pressure.


While this study doesn’t show a cause and effect relationship, it certainly is intriguing particular because statistically, diet soda drinkers are more likely to be overweight or obese. That’s right: MORE LIKELY. Two-can-a-day drinkers have a 54.5 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese, compared to 32.8 percent for two-a-day drinkers of regular soda. In my private practice I’ve had many clients who worried that giving up diet soda was going to lead to weight gain, but in my experience the opposite is true. Once they kick the habit they tend to report fewer cravings for sweets and a heightened ability to tune into hunger and fullness cues. And the additional water they’re drinking can lead to other health and beauty benefits.
If you’re a diet soda drinker and you want to cut back or cut it out all together try my five favorite healthy alternatives. It may be tough at first, but your taste buds will eventually adjust!

• Flavor infused all-natural seltzer or sparkling water—the only ingredients you should see are carbonated water and natural flavor

• Hot or iced all natural flavor infused teas, like mint, vanilla, berry, mandarin orange or peach

Dressed up H2O—add fresh sprigs of mint, wedges of lemon, lime or lime key lime, or a slice of orange or pineapple

• Flat or bubbly water with a splash of 100% fruit juice, like white grape or apple

• Water or brewed iced tea served with ice cubes made from 100% juice and bits of real fruit, or water-based ice cubes with seasonings added, like organic citrus zest or cinnamon


-Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.