Low Calories

As I sit here licking my lips from the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I just devoured (hey, even fitness studs like me — NOT!!! — have breakdowns every now and then), I’m going to pick on an e-mail I received today from my favorite coffeehouse.  They shall remain nameless simply because I’m going to pick on them.

Just a little.  And playfully.  Citing their e-mail only as an example.

First of all, the PB and J… yummy.

I was starving.

Well, probably not literally.  But my little (?) tummy was growling and I felt the need to torture the cats by eating something they don’t like.  I spied the loaf of Natural Ovens Bakery Hunger Filler bread (100% whole grain, 4 g of fiber, 2 g of sugar, 4 g of protein per slice), and the worst thing you can be is anything edible when I’m hungry.  Two slices toasted, slathered with natural peanut butter and Smucker’s grape jam (yes, it’s true… high fructose corn syrup; even I’m not perfect), and the leftover cup of green tea, reheated for, like, the fourth time.

A tasty little snack that satisfied the hunger pangs.

So here’s the takeaways:

  1. Strength training means never having to say you’re full.  Well, that’s not exactly true, but it sure makes it seem that way.  I never feel full (except at Thanksgiving and on Christmas Day).  The point is, burn a lot of calories, build some muscle, and it requires more calories to fill you up.
  2. Nobody’s perfect.  If you eat an occasional non-supportive meal, the world will not end.  The sun will rise in the morning (even if obscured by clouds).  You will have another opportunity to get it right tomorrow.  And the sandwich wasn’t that “non-supportive.”  Well, except for the high fructose corn syrup.  That’s why it’s best not to even have it in the house; it got in between me and my empty stomach.
  3. If you’re hungry and you know you’re hungry, eat!  I’m not an expert on emotional eating, but I know I’ve done it and will probably do it again.  But after you get in the habit of eating supportive meals on most days of the week and spacing your calories throughout the day, you get in touch with your body’s needs and you know when your body is craving calories and you’re not using food as an “outlet.”

Now back to the e-mail…

This particular coffee establishment was advertising various breakfast and beverage items.  The title of their e-mail:

“Resolving to be healthier? (We) can help.”

How can they help?  Their advertised items are low in calories.

Is that a good thing?

We’re not going to get into your body’s metabolic needs in this post.  Suffice it to say, we have to consume enough calories — quality calories — so our body can function appropriately, so we don’t slow our metabolism.

Our body cannot differentiate between “cutting calories to lose weight” and starving.  If we don’t adequately fuel our body, our body will respond accordingly.

The e-mail got me thinking about the menu boards at restaurants like Panera Bread and McDonald’s, etc. that now indicate the number of calories contained in each food item.

That’s a nice start.

But it’s incomplete information.

For instance, in the coffeehouse e-mail, is the Small Lite Latte (under 200 calories) healthier than the under 300 calories Classic Oatmeal?

Seems obvious, right?

Maybe not to the calorie counter desperately trying to lose ten pounds.

How much fat?  Is it saturated?  How much sugar?  Any protein?

At every meal, try to eat a lean protein, a whole grain starchy carbohydrate, and a fibrous carbohydrate.  And try to limit empty calories from beverages (we’re not talking about meal-replacement smoothies here).

So, kudos to the coffeehouse.  They’re trying to be responsible citizens while trying to sell product at the same time.  Unfortunately, in their attempt to help, they’re adding to the confusion.

The focus should not be so much on the calories as on the nutrients: the fat, carbohydrates, and protein.  And the quality of those nutrients.

All that being said, if you’re hungry and you know it’s really hunger…

EAT.

 

Who is Dave? And Why Should I Listen to Him?

 

Dave at 55
Dave at 55

I’m not a lifelong health and fitness fanatic. I wasn’t the picture of health as a child. I am not a gifted athlete.

I’m not into extreme sports. I’m not a daredevil.

I’m not a marathoner. I’m not a runner. Don’t like it. Never have. Don’t get it.

That’s okay!

Most people don’t get my quirky, eclectic taste in music either. That’s okay, too.

I have the utmost respect for runners, their commitment, overcoming plateaus, recovering from injuries and persevering through pain. I am awed by the massive commitment of time marathoners devote to preparing for race day.

But that ain’t me and that’s not what you’re going to get from me. My interests are all over the map. I’m too easily distracted. I can barely stand ten minutes on a treadmill, much less a leisurely ten-mile trot through the woods preparing for the next half-marathon.

Maybe I’m soft. Or maybe I have other interests. Maybe you do, too.

If you like to run, more power to you. I won’t discourage you. I also won’t join you.

If you want a dance class, go for it. That ain’t me. Boot camp? Sure! If you’re so inclined. I’m not.

If you want the latest and greatest fitness gadget or the newest exercise craze, you won’t find it here. Doesn’t mean we won’t talk about these things. Doesn’t mean I’ll dismiss them. But we’re not going to keep up with the Joneses and we’re not doing infomercials.

My views and advice on fitness are often contrary to that of so many self-proclaimed industry experts. I will most definitely challenge conventional fitness wisdom.

But let’s make something crystal clear:

My words and observations are not intended to replace or serve as professional medical or nutritional advice.

I am not a doctor. I am not a Registered Dietician. I am not a Physical Therapist. I’m just a guy who changed the way I lived because of certain events in my life. A health crisis and a visit to the emergency room prompted me to change the way I ate. And that led me to change how I approached my own fitness. And that led me to get certified as a personal trainer. And ultimately change careers.

All of these life changes were designed with one purpose in mind…

To live to 100.  And help you get there, too (if you dare).

Not just survive, mind you. Not just limp forward a day at a time.

I want to get to that 100th birthday rockin’, baby.

If God permits.

There’s so much inside of me that needs to come out. It’ll take at least that long. To help you any way I can. To say what I think needs to be said.

Here’s one thing you need to know:  I absolutely love helping people. Knowing that I’m helping you charges my batteries. Period. As a Certified Public Accountant and a financial planner, I helped clients pay less tax (legally!) and improve their financial future. I was passionate. I was an evangelist for the cause.

After my health crisis, I never thought the same way again.

What good is fiscal fitness without physical fitness?

What good is wealth without health

That’s who you’re dealing with.

My mission is to improve your quality of life.

Not deprive you of your favorite food.

Not make your life miserable because your body doesn’t ache enough from the last punishing workout. Not ignore your body’s demands or pleas for mercy. Not push you through this workout “because today is legs and back day, so… sorry your back is a little achy, suck it up and work through it.”

That’s not me.

The more you hang around, the more you’ll hear about my story. I was never obese. I don’t know what it’s like to lose 100 pounds. Or 50 pounds. Or even 30.

However, I do know what it’s like…

… to be the underweight weakling.

… to be the pudgy kid in grade school.

… to absolutely despise and avoid the weight room (think high school).

… to do whatever it took to avoid physical education class (think college).

… to have low self-esteem.

I also know what it’s like to juggle a mundane career, kids, a wife (okay, okay… I know that husbands are typically higher maintenance than wives. Gimme a break… just having a little fun).

But we both know what it’s like to juggle all of life’s responsibilities and at the same time attempt to take care of ourselves.

Most of the time, we relegate our priorities to the bottom of the daily to do list.

Right?

So when you read that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends “30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise three to five days per week,” I say:

Don’t sweat it (get it??)… don’t sweat it if you can’t do that. And don’t think that you’re a failure or not making progress if you can’t adhere to that recommended guideline!”

Note my words carefully.

I didn’t say their guidelines are a bunch of B.S….

I said:

 

“Don’t sweat the details. We’ll do the best we can.

And you will make progress.”

 

Here’s the cool thing about progress.

It’s infectious.

When you discover that you’re making small strides forward, you’ll want to know what comes next. Small successes build upon themselves.

Soon, small successes will add up to big successes.

And more progress.

And you will feel better about yourself.

Despite your perceived lack of adherence to some misunderstood guideline.

So all of this is my long-winded caution to expect the unexpected from me. And for as long as our relationship lasts.

My hope is that it lasts a long time. Because if it does, I will presumably still be making a difference in your life.

Which is my mission in life.

To help make yours better.

I look forward to helping you any way I can.

“To 100 and beyond!”

Rock on.

Work With Dave

I personally train a select handful of clients in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I choose my personal clients carefully. There’s only so much of me to go around!

In January 2015, I am releasing an e-book, “The Simple 7-Step Journey to Your Healthy, Happy Body.” Just in time to rescue the masses from their overly ambitious New Year’s resolutions!

If you read my Holiday Thrive Guide, you’ll have a head start on them.

But you still may like some additional guidance to help you through the winter months.

I’ll be here for you. In addition to my book, I’ll be leading an online series that will educate and motivate you to make lasting changes, that will help you find your best body ever. No matter your age. No matter your physical condition.

And I will be accepting a select number of clients who seek long-distance training.

Through the magic of Skype, we’ll start where you’re at and make steady progress on your journey to health, fitness, and self-care.

You can always reach me by e-mail at dave@davekfitness.com.  And if you’re not on my list, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.

My mission in life is to help make yours better. I look forward to helping you any way that I can.

Next Steps

I personally train a select handful of clients in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I choose my personal clients carefully. There’s only so much of me to go around!

In January 2018, I’ll be sharing a number of new resources, just in time to rescue the masses from their overly ambitious New Year’s resolutions!

If you read my ebook, Four Simple Steps to Happy, Healthy Holidays, you’ll have a head start on them.

But you still may like some additional guidance to help you through the winter months.

I’ll be here for you. I’ll be leading an online series that will educate and motivate you to make lasting changes, that will help you find your best body ever. No matter your age. No matter your physical condition.

And I will be accepting a select number of clients who seek long-distance training.

Through the magic of the interwebs, we’ll start from where you’re at and make steady progress on your journey to a happier body and a more satisfying life.

You can always reach me by e-mail at dave@davekfitness.com.  And if you’re not on my list, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.

My mission in life is to help make yours better. I look forward to helping you any way I can.

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