There is a lot I wish we could change in medicine. One of the things that bothers me the most is our fixation with the scale and lack of education about what it tells us. Both women and men use their total body weight as a marker of how healthy they are, but just how accurate is it? The truth is it isn’t accurate at all.
The scale tells us our total body weight. It tells us how much fat mass, muscle mass, bone mass and water mass our bodies are composed of. We just assume the lower the number, the better. This is one of the most dangerous assumptions we make in medicine today.
I have been 186 pounds (84 kg) and 97 pounds (44 kg), and I have been obese at both weights. It’s not hard to justify to people I was obese at 186 pounds (84 kg) since I’m only five feet (152 cm) tall, but what about 97 pounds (44 kg)? How could I possibly be obese then? The truth is I may have been small, but I was a little sack of fat rather than the large sack of fat I was at 186 pounds (84 kg).
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 1,750,000 people in the United States will get a cancer diagnosis in 2019, and over 600,000 will die of the disease. Of those who died in 2017, 10 to 20 percent were nonsmokers, and most of the others were former smokers. That outnumbers the deaths from breast, prostate, colon and rectal cancers put together. Although pancreatic cancer doesn’t make the list, it is still the 4th leading cause of deaths. The Immune System and Wellness Researchers suspect links between many carcinogens and tumors, but the connection between some, like cigarette smoke and lung damage, is certain. Another proven link is that between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, a rare, hard-to-treat disorder that doesn’t cause symptoms for 30 to 50 years. Lung ailments are uncomfortable because they make it difficult to breathe, but all patients experience symptoms like pain, anxiety, fatigue and side effects from medication. Illness makes it more difficult to eat a balanced diet and exercise, and that affects the immune system. Doctors can’t always cure cancer, but they may be able to help patients live longer and more comfortable lives with exercise, complementary therapies and special diet programs. The Mayo Clinic recommends that patients talk to their doctors or a dietician about the best way to regain weight lost during the illness. Diet can help to control pain, nausea and side effects that keep cancer patients from getting the nutrients they need. A good plan also helps overweight patients lose extra pounds safely and slowly. Recommendations for a Healthy Diet The American Cancer Society makes the following recommendations:
· Good fats and omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in nuts and fish
· 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies every day
· Proteins low in saturated fat, such as seeds, nuts, lean meats and fish
· Healthy carbs like legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables
More research is necessary to know if certain nutrients or foods help with prevention or recurrence, but studies agree that a balanced diet is good. Taking a lot of supplements, however, especially without medical supervision, may be dangerous. Superfoods and Immunity One of the latest trends in the fight for a strong immunity and a disease-free lifestyle is the superfood, many of which are little known and come from around the world. Dana-Farber Cancer Clinic nutritionist Stacy Kennedy says superfoods have similar phytonutrients, or compounds that make them colorful and healthy, that ordinary fruits and vegetables, such as
blueberries or cranberries, have. Although mostly plant-based, the category includes some dairy and fish products and foods like these:
· Green tea
· Leafy, dark greens
· Fruits and berries
· Legumes, nuts, seeds
· Yogurt and kefir
· Olive oil
· Spices like ginger and turmeric
· Sweet potatoes
Just as eating superfoods makes the immune system stronger, eating other foods can be harmful. Foods high in carbohydrates or refined sugar, fried or overcooked foods, processed meats, and foods high in sodium or fat content may cause cancer or complicate recovery. Like healthy individuals, those with immune disorders will benefit from moderation and wise choices.
The medical journal BMJ published a report today that links higher levels of physical activity at any intensity to a lower risk of early death in middle-age and older people.Previous studies have repeatedly suggested that any type of sedentary behavior, such as sitting still, is not good for your health. Being sedentary for 9.5 hours or more a day, excluding sleeping time, is associated with an increased risk of death. https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/22/health/physical-activity-death-trnd/index.html
You are having problems at work or at home. Stress is beginning to show — in more ways than one. You have noticed a bulge around your mid-section that was not there before. Where are these extra pounds coming? One of the culprits is stress. Stress temporarily dampens the appetite, but long term it can boost hunger.
Fight and Flight Reaction
When we feel pressured, we are a risk to become overeaters. The fight-or-flight response does what it feels it needs to survive, once your body reaches a certain stress level, most cases, will cause you to eat not mindfully. Why? Because our bodies believe it used up calories to deal with the stress, even though it has not, and as a result, it thinks you need to replenish those calories, though you do not.
Cortisol and Comfort Foods
Tension filled times increase Cortisol levels the stress hormone, which causes sugar and fatty foods cravings that leads to overeating. Overeating then will stimulate insulin secretion the insulin cause sugar to drop, so crave sugar and fatty foods. This cycle of tension, the stress hormone, craving sugar, overeating, sugar dropping, craving sugar turns into a habit.
More likely, you will reach for cookies or mac and cheese instead of healthy fruits and vegetables. These “comfort foods.” makes the body releases chemicals in response to the food that might have a direct calming effect.” Jason Perry Block, MD, says eating can be a source of comfort and solace. Stress puts a person at risk in choosing the wrong kind of foods such as fatty and sugary foods. As a result, stress can lead to more stress hormones, junk food cravings, more storage of belly fat.
Long term effects of unhealthy weight :
Carrying the extra weight can lead to other, more severe problems, including:
Exercise, but don’t overdo it. An activity like yoga and Tai Chi are examples of mindful breathing exercises. The intensity workouts can raise cortisol levels. Try brisk walking instead.
Try to get enough sleep and Meditate. These methods can help clear your mind and curb those comfort-food impulses.
Have a supportive family and friends who listens and understands. When you are feeling tense, it is always good to have someone you can trust and talk.
Others stress relieving factors: Read Listen to music Pray
If you are gaining weight due to stress, tackle some good habits that can help you get back to your old self. Eat healthily, get active, and do things that make you relaxed and happy.
We have a day to day struggles and challenges which caused the stress. We have to take charge and manage our stress as best as we can. One way to deal with tension is to resist overeating.
At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of stress management. Whether you, your child or your whole family want to embrace a healthy lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy. Always, our physicians, coaches, and dietitians are here to help you along the way. We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program. 864-640-0009