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Losing Weight vs. Being Healthy

Society has created a very specific standard on what defines beauty. Media pressure and different demands from today’s culture have lead many people to shed the pounds for the wrong reasons. They are usually searching for a way to look healthy, instead of reaching overall health. To do this they will usually turn to a trend (or fad) diet to reduce their calories by a substantial amount. It’s natural for those wanting to lose weight to want to lose it quickly. In the short term this may not be too detrimental, but as a regular practice it could cause health concerns.

To improve overall health, it’s important that you take a look at your lifestyle choices with a keen eye. As you identify some key elements and modify them, positive transformations will start to take shape; one of them being weight loss.

Losing that extra weight around your waist can have many healthy benefits. The Center for Disease Control states “no matter what your weight loss goal is, even a modest weight loss, such as 5-10 percent of your total body weight, is likely to produce health benefits such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars”.

Seeing your weight loss as a journey, not a road trip is the first step to getting healthy.

 Envision the results, even if the goal seems lofty at the time. Any, and all, weight loss can reduce your risk of chronic disease related to obesity.

Learning new lifestyle habits that you can maintain and implement long-term will improve your health. Some of these habits include exercise, eating a well-balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, reducing portion sizes, and increasing your physical activity (such as taking the stairs versus the elevator up to that second floor) will allow you to keep the weight off.

After a bit of study, you will probably find that you will accomplish more if you focus on healthy weight loss goals versus trying the latest fad diet. Many people find they can lose weight quickly; but, they gain it back just as fast without a clear path. It becomes a lifelong roller coaster ride for them. If you establish healthy habits, you can easily maintain the results and improve your overall health.

The National Weight Control Registry tracked over 10,000 individuals who lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time and have published their research.

When you improve your overall health you are more likely to have a better quality of life. Isn’t that what you really want?

DNA…It’s About You!

DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. If that sounds too scientific to be relevant, let’s make it relevant.

 AGCT

 About 99% of our cells have the same DNA made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.

DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar, and phosphate are called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder, with the base pairs forming the ladder’s rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules forming the vertical sidepieces of the ladder.

An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. The reason elephants give birth to elephants and humans give birth to humans is because the DNA copies itself. During sexual reproduction, organisms receive half of their DNA from the male and half from the female.

What does DNA do for us? 

DNA contains instructions for organisms to survive, reproduce, and develop. DNA sequences must be converted into messages that can be used to produce proteins, which are the complex molecules that do most of the work in our bodies.

Because our bodies each have different messages, we have different dietary needs. In other words, our DNA determines what each person’s body needs to thrive.

Since DNA is different for each person, every single person could have a different set of ideal food type and quantity intake. For instance, what’s best for you may be different from what’s best for your neighbor. Therefore, it is important to understand your specific DNA and what foods are best for your body.

Understanding BMI

The Center for Disease Control defines Body Mass Index (BMI) as “a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems”. Body Mass Index does not measure body fat directly. Instead, it is an easy-to-perform, inexpensive screening and research shows it is accurate. Because it is a screening tool and not a diagnostic tool it will only identify possible weight problems. The Body Mass Index measures our body fat from underweight to obese using the formula to screen both children and adults. A healthcare provider would perform further assessments if they suspected excess weight to be a health risk.

Initially, the Quetelet Index, used in the 19th Century was used to determine body fat percentages. However, in 1972 Ancel Keys a paper was published in the Journal of Chronic Diseases which found the best proxy to be the BMI for population studies and not individual diagnosis. We adopted it as a standard formula to measure body fat because it was so easy to use. This formula is controversial because people, including physicians, have come to rely on it’s authority for medical diagnosis. It is intended purpose was meant to classify sedentary individuals or populations with an average body composition. The formula is a person’s body mass divided by the square of their height in metric units.

For a given mass, the BMI is inversely proportional; for taller people, however, this is skewed. For these reasons it can be controversial and not truly accurate. Childrens BMI are calculated the same way although the formula takes into consideration a percentile that compares children of the same sex and age. If you have little ones, you may hear the pediatrician tell you your child is in the 65th percentile, for example.

Bottom line: if you use it as an easy screening to be a guide, it can be helpful; but, if you are going to deem it entirely accurate, it is not.

Trend Diets…They Are Everywhere

grapefruit

The word diet can be defined as many things: a way to lose weight, a lifestyle overhaul or simply a state of being for many people in the U.S. Diet programs come and go with some making a splash in the headlines and others barely creating a buzz.

The Atkins, Paleo, and the Mediterranean diets are just some examples of recognizable diet fads. The Huffington Post listed the “14 Fad Diets You Should Avoid” and some of these have had quite a bit of attention such as the Grapefruit Diet or Raw Foods Diet. But, others sound a bit crazy such as the Cotton Ball Diet or Tapeworm Diet. Although they follow different guidelines and nutrition plans, one thing they all have in common is their passing fame.

 

Recently it was quoted, “If women were happy with their bodies, ½ the industries would go out of business”.

Whether you’ve tried some of these or just heard about them, there are a couple of things you need to understand. People will go to great lengths when they are desperately unhappy with their bodies.

 

Why Fad Diets Don’t Work

Fad diets that focus on one food or food group do not give you the well-balanced nutrition your body needs. For example, with the Grapefruit Diet, your body will absorb Vitamin C (and acid!); but, will lack in Calcium, Protein, and much more. Grapefruits certainly have benefits of being a lower calorie food and containing fat-busting enzymes. It would be a great addition to your daily diet. The Paleo Diet leaves out dairy and grains. Any old-fashioned doctor will tell you a bowl of oatmeal will do you a world of good!

Why The Right Kind of Diet Does Work

The best “diet” is a lifestyle diet. This is a diet that will provide for a well-balanced nutrition plan so that your body gets everything it needs. If you develop a lifestyle diet as a plan you can live with long-term, it won’t feel like a diet.

Mom always says, “everything in moderation” and although that doesn’t define a lifestyle diet, there is a good message behind Mom’s wisdom.

Too much meat (protein sources) rob your body of the vitamins found in fruits and vegetables and the reverse is true. Besides, can you really see yourself eating raw carrots or grapefruits every day for the next 20 years? Maybe, but not likely. Next time you are making changes and working toward a healthier body, remember: what we put in our bodies is just as important as how it looks on the outside.

One People, One Planet…Or Are We All Different

people

Males and females, Mars and Venus. Short, tall, “thin boned”, “thick boned”. Emotional or logical creatures? There are articles everywhere about how different we are. Sometimes these articles refer to our race, ethnicity, generation, body type, love language….almost any other difference you can find.

 “We are all built differently. Some guys are more powerful. Some guys are very tall. I’m not very tall, so I rely on quickness.”  –Henrik Lundqvist

 Our athletes tend to understand that because our bodies are different we must act differently, using different strengths to reach peak performance and health. A woman going through pregnancy notices her body’s need for change.

It’s true that we all have different nutritional needs, which may change as our seasons in life change, therefore we need to understand our individual bodies.

This is why we use each person’s individual DNA to determine their metabolism type and provide a comprehensive weight management genetic test report. Our program uses your specific DNA to provide you a meal and exercise plan that works for you and your body. This allows a safe, healthy way to reduce or maintain your weight, and more importantly your health. When you follow a healthy plan, you reduce the risk of obesity related diseases and other diseases caused by what we eat.

Our Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of experts from multiple medical disciplines including Nutrigenomics, Genetics, Food Science, Biochemistry, and Exercise Physiology. This allows us to provide actionable solutions to support our goal of providing individualized nutrition plans. GenoVive is the first comprehensive weight management program that combines DNA science and personalized nutrition.

Because we are all built differently. Treat your body like an individual because it is!

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