Journey to Optimum Health
The Science of Nutrition & Permanent Weight Loss
By Dr. Farzad Farahmand:
In the April, 2013 issue of the Calabasas Times magazine I wrote an article titled, Steps to Wellness, discussing an approach to wellness by addressing the various systems of the body, including the Nervous, Digestive, Endocrine, Cardiovascular System and more. In this article, I’d like to take a closer look at the importance of proper nutrition, its effect on the overall health and wellbeing and the significant role it plays in prevention of disease.
The food industry offers us tasty, cheap products that are addictive and unhealthy. The medical and Pharmaceutical companies are more concentrated on curing illnesses rather than on promoting health and well being. Even preventive health care passively focuses on avoiding disease rather than on helping people achieve the best health they can.
Poor nutrition and having an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to many complications in the long run. Weight gain and obesity are merely visible and obvious symptoms of leading an unhealthy lifestyle. There are many other hidden and silent symptoms that can often develop into serious illnesses over time. Examples may include Diabetes, complications affecting the cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure, high Cholesterol and ultimately heart failure just to name a few.
In our instant gratification society, we tend to think of weight loss as a destination. In fact, it’s really just a first step. Optimum health is a journey based on lifestyle change and a reorientation from merely hoping to lose weight, to creating health by allowing our minds and bodies to work together. That’s very different than focusing on losing weight alone. Your long term success depends on choosing the best strategic actions to support your health. These include examining how you make choices, understanding your patterns and triggers and making an effort to establish support systems. As in any good strategy, the first steps can make the next steps easier to do.
Feeding the body with the right nutrients is one of the most helpful habits to adopt. Food is the major source of these nutrients, but sometimes additional support is needed in the form of vitamin and mineral supplements.
The effect of regular sleep patterns on health is often underestimated, but sleep is one of the most critical factors in creating overall health and well being, and surprisingly has an impact on losing weight and keeping it off.
Our old habits that we develop and the poor choices that we make are the key factors responsible in health complications developing over time. The consequences occur in a cumulative fashion. Let’s say that today at lunch you ate a greasy cheeseburger, onion rings and a soda, and then you had a near fatal heart attack. Would you wake up the next day and order the same thing? Of course not! Yet everyday, millions of people are eating foods again and again that are destroying their health. It may not happen right away, but after days, weeks, months and years of making poor choices, that heavy load of saturated animal fat, trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup, along with a lack of healthy vegetables, can lead to insidious rise of insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. These substances, aided by our own immune system, can lead to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and decrease blood circulation.
Eating the one cheeseburger would not kill you. The body has the amazing ability to handle a few bad choices. What can kill you however is making similar bad choices day in and day out over the course of your life. Our health is our most precious asset, yet the daily choices most of us make directly conflict with our ability to preserve it. Why? Because the negative results are not obvious right away. Eating a cheeseburger today or bypassing the treadmill on the way to the couch will not cause a noticeable downturn in your health right away. By the same token, choosing a healthy vegetable for lunch today or going to the gym once or twice in January will not create a noticeable improvement. What will make a difference is choosing actions on a daily basis that support your journey to optimum health. Over time, these choices make all the difference in the world.
Health is all about making choices. If you just want one thing, making a choice is easy. But what happens when you want two things that are in conflict with one another? For example, you want optimum health, and you want to eat a cheeseburger with fries. Those two desires are mutually exclusive. You can’t have both. You need to make a choice. But how? The overall principle is to make the choice that supports your more important desire. Of course that means you need to sort out which of your desires are more important and which are less important to you. When we think about optimum health versus a cheeseburger with fries, the question is what’s more important to us? The benefits of a long term and healthy life, or the short-lived satisfaction of eating something that can harm our health? It’s easy to see that the prospect of a long and healthy life is a far better proposition. But when confronted by a cheeseburger with fries, we sometimes forget our larger goal and give in to the temptation.
Typically, you make some changes at first, but later you fall back to your into your old ways of behaving. Why? Because whenever you experience emotional conflict and feelings of negativity, you want to stop. You think about your health problems or about how much you hate the way you like, and your natural response is to feel terrible. In order to end that discomfort, you take actions to make you feel better about yourself. Perhaps you go on a diet, or vow to change your coach potato ways and start exercising.
Emotional conflicts lead you to act. Because you acted you feel better even if the situation has not changed much. Feeling better takes the pressure off, lessening the emotional conflict. Less emotional conflict means there is less reason to continue doing the things that reduced the conflict in the first place. Since you feel better, you no longer feel the pressing need to follow through on your action, and the original behavior returns. It’s a vicious cycle and a yo-yo pattern. And the most natural thing in the world is to fall back into your previous habits. Learning the habits of health together with having a support system can break that cycle, ensuring lifetime maintenance of your goal once you reach your destination in your journey to optimum health and well being.
The health risks associated with Obesity
The health problems associated with obesity are numerous. Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem. It's a health hazard. Someone who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as is a normal-weight person. Obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions, including:
· Heart disease and stroke.
· High blood pressure.
· Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
· Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for a short episodes during sleep) and asthma.
People who are overweight or obese and can gain significant health benefits from losing weight. A person is considered obese if he or she weighs at least 20% more than the maximum healthy weight for his or her height. Those at greatest risks for overweight/obesity related conditions include:
· Family history of certain chronic diseases. People with close relatives who have had heart disease or diabetes are more likely to develop these problems if they are obese.
· Pre-existing medical conditions. High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or high blood sugar levels are all warning signs of some obesity-associated diseases.
· "Pear shaped body". People whose weight is concentrated around their stomachs may be at greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or cancer than people of the same weight who are "pear-shaped" (they carry their weight in their hips and buttocks).
Fortunately, even a modest weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds can bring significant health improvements, such as lowering one's blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
How Is Obesity Linked to Heart Disease and Stroke?
Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability for people in the U.S. Overweight people are more likely to have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, than people who are not overweight. Very high blood levels of cholesterol can also increase risk of heart disease and often are linked to being overweight.
The good news is that losing a small amount of weight can reduce your chances of developing heart disease or a stroke. If you are overweight, reducing your weight by 5%-10% is proven to decrease your chance of developing heart disease.
How Is Obesity Linked to Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes reduces your body's ability to control blood sugar. It is a major cause of early death, heart disease, stroke, and blindness. Overweight people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to normal-weight people. Most cases of type 2 diabetes can be attributed to being overweight or obese. You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight, eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercising more. If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight and becoming more physically active can help control your blood sugar levels. Increasing your physical activity can as well allow you to reduce the amount of diabetes medication that you need.
How Is Obesity and Cancer Linked?
Several types of cancer are associated with being overweight. Being obese increases the risk of dying from cancer. Cancers of the colon, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), kidney, and esophagus are associated with obesity. Some studies have also reported links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries, and pancreas.
How Is Obesity Related to Gallbladder Disease?
Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight. Your risk of disease increases as your weight increases. It is not clear how being overweight may cause gallbladder disease.
How Does Obesity Affect Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that most often affects the knee, hip, and back. Carrying extra pounds places extra pressure on these joints and wear away the cartilage (tissue that cushions the joints) that normally protects them.
Weight loss can decrease stress on the knees, hips, and lower back and may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
How Is Obesity Linked to Gout?
Gout is a disease that affects the joints that is caused by excess levels of a substance called uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid can form crystals that deposit in the joints. Gout is more common in overweight people and the risk of developing the disorder increases with higher body weights.
If you have a history of gout, check with your doctor for the best way to lose weight.
How Is Obesity Linked to Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious breathing condition that is associated with being overweight. Sleep apnea can cause a person to snore heavily and to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness and increase risk for heart disease and stroke. The risk for sleep apnea increases as body weight increases. Weight loss often improves sleep apnea.
Scientifically and clinically proven safe and effective program to help you lose weight and keep it off:
Journey to optimum health is much more than a diet or a program to lose weight. It's a comprehensive program that allows you to first reach a healthy state, but beyond that teaches you the things that are necessary for long term success. You will learn ways to change the way you think about food by changing your old habits and by making health your priority. This will also greatly improve how you sleep and handle stress.
This program will help you reach a healthy weight, transform your tired days into restful sleep and improve your energy. This is done through the science of proper weight loss, quickly and consistently. Designed with options that fit your needs and lifestyle, the plan will help you lose 2-5 pounds each week while taking you to a healthier place on your path.
We'll help guide you into the fat burning state where you'll experience rapid, safe weight loss. Soon you'll be feeling better, sleeping better, and have so much more energy that you'll be ready to take your next step. You'll be ready to feel this way for the rest of your life by learning the habits of health which are the fundamental building blocks of optimum health. Soon you'll be equipped with a complete eating strategy to support a lifetime of health.
Losing weight is only half the battle. Our goal is to help you create permanent optimal health. This program's approach, by contrast, is about actively creating health through proper nutrition and lifestyle. If you are willing to invest the time and the energy, we can teach you specific steps to move you from where you are right now to a state of optimum health.
We set realistic goals in a baby step fashion. Can you eat every 2-3 hours? We put you in a position to simply do something that anybody else can do.
In just three to four days your body enters the fat burning stage, your metabolism will work most efficiently and your blood sugar reaches a level where you won’t feel hungry and constantly crave for food.
While your plan may include formal exercise, it's more often made up of fun activities and clever strategies that make moving your body easy and fun.
In order to make this a lot easier and less overwhelming, we'll introduce our new habits in baby steps, little by little, through a plan that's logical, doable, and effective. One step will lead to the next and soon you'll have as firm foundation for optimum health.
You may be wondering whether you can adopt these habits of health. Yes you can!
Will they work for you? Better than you can imagine at this point.
Is it hard? No, in fact, because of the way this approach is structured, and because of the science behind it, you'll find it much easier than you have expected.
Do I need will power? Not in the usual sense. You wouldn’t be manipulating yourself through willpower or pressure.
If I lose weight, will I yo yo or gain it back? No, most programs can get you to lose weight, but what they're missing is the crucial way these habits of health work together to reinforce long term success.
The program starts with the 5 meal replacement plan plus one Lean and Green meal whenever it best suits your schedule. Each meal replacement has a full spectrum of 24 vitamins and minerals and 100 calories, so you’ll meet your recommended daily nutritional intake and would not require multivitamins and other supplements. And they are low-glycemic, keeping your blood sugar levels even so you won’t feel hungry.
It is important to eat 5 portion-controlled meals a day to help prevent dips in your blood sugar that lead to cravings as well as to stimulate your metabolism. Meals can be swapped at any time since they all have similar nutritional footprint.
Our goal is to make your journey a pleasant one, and to help you efficiently reach your destination and enjoy a lifetime of health.
For a Free phone consultation, please call:
818 501 2000
Farzad Farahmand, D.C.
22020 Clarendon Street, Suite 101
Woodland Hills, Ca. 91367