Obesity and Men’s Health

The truth is that obesity is dangerous.

Obesity has a direct impact on men’s health, disease risk, and cancer.

How does being overweight affect my chances for cancer?
It’s hard to pinpoint one reason over another on why cancer is associated with being overweight.

The American Cancer Society posted that it may be due to how excess fat changes your hormone levels, induces inflammation, changes your immune system’s function, or affects how you regulate cell growth.

How does being overweight affect my risk for disease?
When your body is larger than normal, or contains more fat than normal, a few things happen:

The excess fat in your body can build up in different areas. If it builds up around the liver, then fatty liver disease can occur. If it builds in the rib cage and the passageways of the lungs, then the lungs cannot expand fully and the airways are narrower, causing asthma. If it builds up in your arteries then cardiovascular disease occurs.

Your blood pressure increases whenever your heart has to work harder to send blood around your body. Fat around the heart can cause this, but even physically having a larger body can cause your blood pressure to increase. High blood pressure increases your risk for stroke (or when blood flow doesn’t reach the brain momentarily, causing brain cells to die).

There are other diseases that are linked with obesity and are interlinked with other diseases, which can compound the disease risk that is associated with obesity.

How does being overweight affect men-specific health?
Obesity is tightly-associated with low testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels can cause a myriad of health issues like increasing risk for type 2 diabetes, changing sleep patterns, reducing muscle mass, worsening sleep apnea, negatively affecting sexual health, and more.

Obesity and Women’s Health

The truth is that obesity is dangerous.

Obesity has a direct impact on health and as a woman, even more so.

Obesity affects your reproductive health and family-planning; it increases your risk for disease, and it negatively impacts your quality of life.

How does being overweight affect my family planning?
In a study following women on hormonal contraceptives, they found that women with a BMI of 27.3 or higher had a 60% increased risk of unintended pregnancy, and a 70% increased risk for those with a BMI of 32.3 or higher.

Not only does excess fat decrease the effectiveness of birth control, but it also negatively affects a woman’s fertility. Fat secretes hormones, and when the body has too much fat, the extra hormones can cause imbalances and negatively affect ovulation. Obesity is also associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which can also cause infertility.

More than just fertility, obesity in a mother affects the health of a baby. Obesity is positively associated with pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, stillbirth, and other issues or complications.

Enough about the baby talk –how does it increase my disease?
Everyone knows that obesity is unhealthy, but what they might not know is exactly how or why. Obesity increases risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It also has a huge effect on your risk for cancers like breast, endometrial, colon, rectal, kidney, head and neck, esophageal, pancreatic, gallbladder, and thyroid cancer.

On average, obesity can decrease your life by 8 years.

Well, what about quality of life?
We had mentioned earlier that obesity does increase your risk for depression and Alzheimer’s but more than that obesity can affect how you feel on a day-to-day basis. It increases your lower back pain, increases your likeliness for arthritis, and makes moving around a lot harder. The good news is that just losing a little bit of weight can increase the enjoyment of your life. They say 1 lb. of body fat takes off 4 lbs. of pressure off of your knees. Just imagine how much a life could improve if someone went from obese to a healthy weight.

Visceral Fat

What is visceral fat?
Visceral fat is the fat in the body that is stored around the organs and in the abdominal cavity. This is different from the pinch-able subcutaneous fat that is directly underneath the skin.

Why is visceral fat bad?
Because visceral fat is around the organs, it can push up on the organs and change how they function.

Visceral fat also releases hormones that have a negative effect on health.

What negative health effects?
Visceral fat has been shown to increase risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia, kidney disease, liver disease, stress incontinence, cancer, blood clots, hormonal disruption, and sexual dysfunction.

How do I lower my visceral fat?
The body doesn’t like to have abnormally high amounts of visceral fat, so if you adopt a healthy lifestyle like the 30/10 program the visceral fat will come down naturally on its own, and as visceral fat drops so does any risks associated with disease.

Goal Setting

The Art of Goal Setting
Setting a goal is an art-form because it takes thought and time. But with thought and time, it increases the likeliness of you reaching your goal. After all, how can you achieve a goal you haven’t set for yourself?

The Starting Point
When you first came into 30/10 you were given a reading of your body fat %, visceral fat, and more.

Hone in on what you want to change the most and accept where you are now. After all, everyone starts somewhere.

The Big and Small Goals
The end goal for any health-seeking individual should be reaching their healthy body fat percentage and achieving a visceral fat level that reduces risk for disease, both of which you should talk to your coach for guidance on what healthy is for you. But in addition to setting a goal for the healthy number, setting qualitative goals and mini-goals along the way can help you become emotionally attached to your goal and keep you motivated. Examples of a mini goal would be dropping a pant size, walking a mile, or hitting a half-way mark weight.

The Parameters
A goal without parameters is just a wish. Set a time frame and a way to check back with your progress. For example, if your goal is to fit into a dress you can check your weekly or monthly pant-size for progress. If it is a visceral fat or body fat % goal you can check at your weekly weigh-ins.

The Motivation
Motivation isn’t about a present feeling but about the determination to accomplish your goals even when it’s difficult. Write down why it is important to reach your goal, and when you feel like the lack of motivation is sabotaging your success, refer to why your goal is important.

Take Action
Most importantly, set yourself up for success. Be proactive about your journey and foresee things that might be an issue and pre-plan how you will handle them. It might be bringing your own food to share at a party or no longer stocking a certain item in the house.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

Why You Need Water
Your body is made primarily out of water. Water is lost throughout the day when you breathe, cry, urinate, sweat, and so much more.

It is important to replenish any water that is lost throughout the day so that you do not become dehydrated.

What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is when the body doesn’t have enough fluids in order to perform optimally. Dehydration can range in severity, from mild to severe.

When your body doesn’t have the right amount of fluids you might notice that you get headaches, thirsty, have dark-colored urine, and you might get muscle cramps. If the severity of dehydration is really great, then symptoms include shriveled skin, rapid heartbeat, listlessness, not urinating, not sweating, weakness, dry mouth, dizziness, and can even digress to unconsciousness.

Can I have too much water then?
Yes! Don’t over-do water consumption because symptoms of too much water are similar to dehydration.

When you have too much water the nutrients and sodium in your body becomes diluted, this can cause muscle cramps, nausea, and confusion. If over-hydration continues then serious health complications could occur.

How do I know how much water to have?
One of the best ways is to judge hydration levels is by the color of your urine. If your urine is hay or straw colored to a transparent yellow color then you are well hydrated. A dark yellow is fine as well, but drink water soon.

The Cool on Carbohydrates

The Benefits of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are your body’s first fuel source. They provide you with the energy, to think, move, and recover.

The Different Types of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are found in nearly all foods except for meats, hard cheeses, and pure fat sources like butter or oil.

This means that carbohydrates can be found in nuts, seeds, flours, fruits, vegetables, milk, and more. With so many sources of carbohydrates, it is important to note the distinction between a smart-choice and a less-smart choice. This is where separating simple carbohydrates from complex carbohydrates can come in handy.

Simple Carbohydrates
A simple carbohydrate is one that is made of mostly sugar, has little fiber, and may have been processed. They also tend to be digested quickly, which can increase your blood sugar levels and insulin levels.

A few examples of simple carbohydrates are maple syrup, fruit jam, white sugar, brown sugar, and honey.

Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are those that are digested slowly and tend to be nutritionally dense with vitamins and minerals. These are the best carbohydrates to choose because they make you feel full longer due to the higher fiber content.

What is fiber?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that helps absorb water and bulk-up waste in the colon. It also slows digestion and makes you feel satiated.

Some foods that are high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, and more.

All About Protein

The Benefits of Protein

Protein is very important in a well-balanced diet. Not only does your body need protein in order to survive, but it needs protein in order to heal, grow, and perform.

Protein, unlike carbohydrates and fats, is made up out of amino acids, and when protein is digested those amino acids rearrange in order to transform into muscle, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.

Protein can give structural shape to organs and cells and can assist in transporting oxygen throughout the blood stream.

Protein Hierarchy

Just like fat, protein comes in different forms: complete or incomplete.

Whether a protein source is complete or incomplete depends on the amino acids that it consists of. If a protein source has all of the essential amino acids then it is complete, and if a protein does not have all of the essential amino acids then it is considered incomplete.

Complete proteins are usually derived from animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs. Soy, although not from an animal, is a complete vegetable protein.

Incomplete proteins are usually sourced from plant sources like grains, legumes, and produce.

The Importance of Complete Protein

Choosing complete proteins gives your body all of the building blocks it needs in order to survive. While you are on the 30/10 program you will be consuming complete proteins. When you transition into maintenance, ask your coach about incomplete protein pairings if you are interested in consuming most or all of your proteins from plant-based sources.