Most people don’t realize that, as we age, our demand for protein grows. Problematically, as we age, we generally consume less protein. As such, our body’s defenses become weaker which makes us more susceptible to diseases and illnesses. Additionally, without the right amount of protein, we also struggle to maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin control, we feel hungry more often, and we struggle to regulate our weight.
Sadly, most Americans consume a larger proportion of carbohydrates vs. proteins in their daily diet. This imbalance only accelerates the problems mentioned above and sets us up for failure with regard to our health. Another longstanding trend is to reduce fat intake. While there’s nothing wrong with reducing saturated fats in our diet, going to an extreme low fat diet can be detrimental to your health both physically and emotionally. Low fat diets are notorious for causing depression in those who ascribe to this type of diet modification.
We must strike a healthy balance between carbohydrates (preferably in the form of high in non-grain fiber), protein, and fat. In my recent review of current medical research, there is a large amount of evidence that proves the health benefits of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, moderate -fat diet. These benefits include weight loss, blood sugar regulation, insulin reduction, lower blood pressure, less blood vessel inflammation, and preservation of healthy metabolism.
There is a quick way to calculate your protein need per day. The formula is as follows: Your Weight (in pounds) ÷ 2.2 = Your Weight (in kg.)
Protein Need FOR WOMEN: Your weight in kg. × 0.82 = Amount of Protein Grams/day. This gives you theminimum protein requirements per day. NOTE: if you are more active, you may multiply by 1.2 for moderate activity OR 1.8 for strenuous activity.
Protein Need FOR MEN: Your weight in kg. × 0.89 = Amount of Protein Grams/day. This gives you theminimum protein requirements per day. NOTE: if you are more active, you may multiply by 1.2 for moderate activity OR 1.8 for strenuous activity.
When increasing your dietary protein, it’s best to do this under the supervision of a weight loss specialist. At the Optimal You Clinic, I have training as a weight loss solution coach. I’d love to help you design a program that’s just right for you. If you’d like to take a free diet profile, go to www.OptimalYouWeightLoss.com (http://www.OptimalYouWeightLoss.com). I have a FREE diet profile that will help design a program for you.
To Your Optimal Health & Vitality,
When it comes to healthy living, most people are aware that sugar and starches need to be limited. But, most people don’t know why. When you eat foods that are starchy or contain sugar, your body interprets them all as pure sugar. Your body doesn’t know the difference between a tablespoon of sugar, a piece of bread, or mashed potatoes.
While sugar is necessary for survival, the best source of sugar comes from fruits and vegetables. I tell patients all the time to think of themselves as scavengers. Ask yourself, what am I most likely to find if I’m stranded in a tropical wilderness? Odds dictate that you are more likely to find cruciferous vegetables, nuts, and berries while scavenging. For now, we will stick to fruit.
In nature, berries are most plentiful and tree fruit is seasonal; thus, tree fruit naturally has limited availability. Because of modern-day-mass-production of these delectable foods, we no longer have to scavenge. We simply go to the local market and purchase whatever our heart desires. This can be both good & bad – good in the sense that we have access to healthier options, but bad in the sense that unlimited access to seasonal fruits, such as those that come from trees, can lead us to unhealthy imbalances.
Remember this little clue. Any fruit that ends in “berry” is better for you: strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, & raspberry. These have the lowest sugar content of all fruits, are filling, high in fiber, low in sugar, and high in antioxidants. If you have a choice, choose berries over tree fruit. If you must eat tree fruit, stick to apples. Enjoy these healthier options and enjoy a healthier life.
To Your Health,
O.k., here’s the obvious. Melatonin helps with sleep. I know, I can hear through the waves of cyberspace the resounding… “Duhh.” More specifically, it helps influence sleep patterns – the fancy name is circadian rhythm. By influencing the deeper stages, Stage IV and REM, quality of sleep improves and health benefits are conveyed.
Here are some published health benefits of Melatonin:
Influences the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH); which can affect weight loss and healthy weight maintenance
- Enhances Mood
- Increases Natural-Killer-Cells
- Modulates Immune Function
- Protects Against Cancer
- Potent Antioxidant
- Free Radical Scavenger
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Decreases Migraines & Cluster Headaches
Melatonin is readily available in most all pharmacies. The best form to use is a “time release, micronized” form. This allows for better absorption and longer duration of action, compared to the standard over-the- counter versions, which more closely mimics the body’s natural Melatonin release. Typical dose range is anywhere from 1mg to 30mg per night. Because of the known health benefits and the relative low side effect profile, this supplement is a good all-around addition to any wellness regimen.
To Your Health,
While we often discuss larger lifestyle changes including hormone optimization and significant dietary adjustments with our patients, there are also smaller changes to their daily routines that can have an immediate impact on their wellness. Here are a few easy tips that can make a big difference:
Put yourself on a “media diet”
How much of the nightly news are you watching? How many times are you checking Facebook? Is the presidential election increasing your blood pressure? Here’s a challenge: Reduce your exposure to anxiety- inducing media. Give yourself permission to believe that anything you need to know you will hear from someone else. Use your phone for phone calls, nothing more. By limiting exposure to the ‘noise’ of media, you will feel calmer and less stressed.
Remove Starches from your Diet
For two weeks, challenge yourself to be grain free: no corn, no rice, no wheat. Only consume organic protein, fruits and vegetables. Why? Starchy foods are high in glycemic index (GI). High glycemic index foods can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. These swings in blood sugar can inhibit cognitive function, creating a “brain fog.” By removing starches from your diet, this mental fog evaporates, providing more clarity in your daily life. For a bonus, try going carb free for one day. The feeling of clarity and increased energy can be dramatic. Remember, the things we put in our body affect us both physically and emotionally.
Learn to Breath Deeply
Often overlooked, the art of breathing can have a significant impact on your short-term and long-term health. Deep breathing releases tension, relaxes the mind and can even increase digestion and assimilation of food. Practice your deep breathing for five minutes every day. Start by breathing in for a count of four, hold in for count of six, then exhale for a count of eight. You may not be able to do this right away. Once cycle is four of those breath exercises. Try to work up to five cycles. If you can get to five cycles, you will notice your mental fog will clear and you will simply feel better. The more you practice deep breathing, the better you will feel.Move Around
While this may seem like common sense, the importance of physical movement in your daily life cannot be understated. New research suggests that long periods of sitting at desks or watching television for long periods with inactivity will actually shorten your lifespan. If you work at a desk, get up every couple of minutes. Take a walk on your lunch hour. When home, walk around the house, or stand and walk in place while watching television. If you need reminders, smartphone apps such as Human will remind you to get up and take a short walk. Whatever you choose to do, you’ve got to move. Our bodies weren’t made to be stationary.
For more information on improving your health and wellness, visit optimalyouclinic.com