Medicalizing Obesity; Part 3

June 19, 2013

The Rational Approach to Nutrition and Physical Activity in Medical Weight Management

F²C³

A Nutrition and Fitness Formula with a Mission;

Optimal Performance

F²-Fiber and Frequency is my formula for how to eat based upon the principles of cellular metabolism

  • Eat upon awakening in the morning: this does not mean that we have to cook or go out for breakfast; it’s as simple as opening an energy bar or pouring cereal and skim milk into a cup and drinking it.
  • Eat frequently: Eat at least at least 4 and as many as 6 times per day. Do not let 3 hours go by where you do not eat. The evidence shows that when we eat in response to being famished that we will consume more calories than if we eat before getting hungry. In addition, based on the principles that govern the process of cellular metabolism by the time that we feel hungry our cells’ efficiency at converting our nutrients into energy that we can actually use goes down and you know what that means? The cells will store more of the food that we eat as fat.
  • Consume 4 to 6 grams of Fiber each time that you eat:Fiber while classified as a carbohydrate, in the pure sense, is not a nutrient at all in that the human intestine does not have the necessary enzyme for absorbing fiber into the blood stream. Therefore, it is not metabolized, or used as a source of energy for life processes. However, due to its unique properties, fiber slows down the absorption rate of food from the intestines into the blood stream . This is why it is essential to consume fiber every time that we eat; as a result of this slower rate of absorption, the 40 trillion cells that make up our bodies can more efficiently capture the energy (calories) from the food that we eat for activities such as thinking, moving, growing our bones, our hair and our skin and leaving less total calories to store in our bodies in the form of fat. In addition, by not being absorbed and remaining in our digestive tracts, fiber enhances satiety, making us feel fuller from less food.

When people on fiber deficient diets gradually increase their fiber intake to the recommended level of 25 grams per day, they drop weight, they can sustain this weight loss, improve their blood levels of sugar and cholesterol, cut their risk of heart disease, improve their bowel regularity and cut their risk of developing Diverticulitis of the colon. 1 Pretty impressive effects for something that never even gets inside the human body. Isn’t it nice, for once that someone is telling you what you should eat instead of what you should not eat?

  • Eat before you are hungry! This sounds counterintuitive, and will make many dietitians cringe but, compare the task of learning to eat before you are hungry to the task of trying to not eat when you are hungry. It is a behavioral change that is readily achievable, and is more in synch with how our cells use energy most efficiently. In fact, hunger puts us off n a sub-optimal functional state in which we are more prone to make mistakes and to fly the handle. Eating often enough to preëmpt hunger, however, will keep your performance and your mood on a more even keel. Numerous studies have demonstrated that when people eat before they are hungry they eat fewer calories as compared to when they eat in response to being hungry.2 In addition, more frequent eating leads to a higher rate of efficiency of our cellular metabolism, making it more likely that the food that we eat becomes energy used by our bodies and not stored as fat around our bodies.3

Sources of Fiber: Look at the nutrients labels and check out what you are getting. Here are my general guidance with a few personal recommendations:

  • Whole Grain Cereals: 3 to 6 grams of fiber per serving: the entire line of Kashi cereals ; there are many other Cereals on the market that have 3 to 6 grams of fiber per serving
  • Whole Grain Breads: 2 to 4 grams of fiber per slice.
  • Fruits and Vegetables in general are good sources of fiber.
  • Soy, which is a vegetable, is high in protein as well as fiber. Here are some soy recommendations:
  1. Edamame; try Melissa’s brand. It is in the frozen section. Microwave it for 2 minutes and add course kosher salt; it’s awesome.
  2. Boca Brand of burgers and sausages (it’s all soy and actually tastes great)
  3. Morning Star is another brand of the faux meat products (and I am not a vegetarian)
  • Trail Mixes: with 5 grams of fiber per serving these are extremely practical because of how portable they are. Trail mixes can vary in their content quite a bit; some are more candy than anything else. Just check the nutrient content for the  and go for it. This is something you can keep in the car at your desk in backpacks, purses, brief cases, etc.
  • Energy Bars: 3 to 6 grams of fiber per serving.
  1. Cliff Bars
  2. Kashi GoLean
  3. Many others

Here is a plug for Starbucks because they seem to get it. They have prepackaged trays such as their protein breakfast with apple, peanut butter, whole wheat bagel, hardboiled egg, cheeses and grapes.They make their sandwiches  on high fiber bread. They sell individual small packages of trail mixes. While on the pricey side, they deserve credit for offering truly healthy food.

What follows are some of the prerequisite habits you will need to develop to successfully follow the F² formula:

  1. Go grocery shopping at least once per week
    • Buy foods that are portable and contain  3 to 6 grams of fiber per serving. Only buy food that is packaged to maintain its freshness, you can take or store it anywhere including in your car.
    • Make sure you buy enough to last you the entire week.
  2. Never be more than an arm’s length away from your food.
    • Keep it in your desk drawer, purse, backpack, briefcase, coat pocket and glove compartment.
  3. Find your new hunger equivalent
    • If we eat only when we are hungry we will always be in one of two states, famished or full; and, neither one is compatible with optimal functioning.
    • Eat for optimal function. The next time you have to read an e-mail twice or notice you are having a little difficulty keeping focused, eat something. Our function deteriorates before we feel hunger and we should respond to these functional signals by eating, well before we feel hunger. Start paying attention to your performance level and when you sense a slight drop, time to re-fuel. Find your new hunger equivalent, respond to it and you will start eating small amounts often, especially if you add fiber each time that you eat.

F² in summary: Eat 4 to 6 times per day and eat 4 to 6 grams of fiber each time that you eat. If you make   your focus, you will see that your dietary fats, carbohydrates and proteins will fall into place, your function (performance) and mood will improve and, the bathroom scale will most definitely do the right thing. Now let’s move on to my formula for fitness, .

C³-Cardio, Core and Cortical is my formula for how to move based upon the principles of cellular metabolism and neuroscience

Introduction:

Just as we eliminated the word, diet from our vocabulary because of its association with self deprivation, we must similarly excommunicate the word, exercise for its association with, self torture. In its place, I suggest, fitness or physical activity. Physical activity is no different from an essential nutrient of which we need our minimal daily requirement for achieving our optimal performance. Just as we eat primarily to perform optimally, not to lose weight, we need to merge physical activity into our daily lives for the same purpose. Just as it states in Chapter One of any Physics textbook,  the first step in getting the movement we need, we must first overcome our inertiafor which I recommend the following:

  • Drop the all or nothing approach to fitness. Our not having the time to get to the health club for ninety minutes is not a reason for us to be sedentary.
  • Get 10 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as calisthenics or taking a brisk walk, within the first 60 minutes of waking up in the morning.
  • Incorporate physical activity into you activities of daily living. For instance, turn  shower time into fitness time.
  • Instead of deluding ourselves into thinking we have 2 hours to go to the health club, here is a radical alternative; for every hour throughout the day that we are sedentary, such as sitting at work or school, we get 3 to 5 minutes of physical activity.
  • If  we can get to the health club for a fitness class or a work out, let’s consider it a luxury;  but we can not rely on this as the only means of getting our daily dosage of physical activity!!

 

C³  

My fitness formula based upon the principles of cellular metabolism;

designed for you to reach and keep up your optimal performance

Cardio
From a rest, start your physical activity at a low intensity level and gradually increase it so you are at your target heart rate after 5 minutes; keep up your target heart rate for 10 to 30 minutes and then cool down so that you return back at your resting heart rate after 5 minutes. Try to do this 3 to 5 times per week. There are many ways to get your cardio fitness with equipment or without it.


Core
The core is our body’s center of gravity and is the area from the bottom of our rib cages to the top of our hips. The benefits of strengthening  the core is to improve our balance and prevent common injuries such as low back pain. As little as 5 minutes per day of core strengthening has significant health benefits. To begin strengthening your core, you simply need to get on the ball.

Cortical
This is the most important yet most neglected part of fitness especially in the western world. After all, it is the cerebral cortex that distinguishes humans from all other animals on the planet. It is our seat of reason and creativity and it is the part of our brain that most influences what we actually do in the course of our lives. Without cortical fitness, the lower centers of our Central Nervous Systems will have undue influence on our behaviors and place limitations on our reaching our personal potential and leading fulfilling lives.  It is my professional opinion that cortical fitness is the missing link to achieving  and maintaining our optimal levels of health and performance.

Now that you have the formula, apply it to your life for just 30 minutes per day and I am certain that you will see that this small investment of time will pay you significant dividends.

Good luck and keep your eye on the prize; optimal performance.

End Post

Mitchell R. Weisberg, MD, MP

Internist-Psychopharmacologist

Founder-CEO and Personal Physician at:

Optimal Performance MD

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