What To Do To Promote Healthy Weight Loss

In a previous blog on weight loss, I covered the importance of tamping down inflammation so your body loses its resistance to getting rid of that unwanted belly fat. In this blog, I’m highlighting some evidence-based tips on what to do to help you get off the rollercoaster ride of weight loss/weight gain. Intermittent Fasting There are no shortage of fad diets and recommendations on losing weight. And all of it looks like the plan for success on ‘paper’. But as you know, different diets work for different folks so most of it is trial and error (I’m speaking from years of experience!) Regardless of which eating plan you’re on to lose weight, intermittent fasting  (IF) is something one can do on ANY diet.  It’s simple and saves you time and money (who doesn’t want that?) So, what is intermittent fasting (IF)? It’s where you eat your meals within a short eating window (around 8-10 hours) and fast for the rest of the day. For example, if you have breakfast at 10am and finish dinner by 7pm ...

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Promoting Weight Loss by Demoting Inflammation

If you are like many Americans that struggle to lose excess weight, there’s comfort in knowing that you are not alone and all the odds are stacked against you. As our hormones decline with age, our food choices, the toxic environment and the sleep-deprived world we live in tell the cells in our body to hold on to the fat for dear life. In this series of blogs on weight, I’ll cover some evidence-based ways on what NOT TO DO and DO to boost weight loss without counting every calorie we eat and every step we take. I have personally tried just about every diet in the book and realized after many years that it’s not a one-diet-fits-all approach and that some diets will make you feel better where others will not. Because we live in a world full of gourmands and almost infinite food choices, it’s become even more complicated to know what works and what doesn’t. For example, I don’t do well with wheat and dairy but it took me many years of eating the Western diet to figure that out. You probab...

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Preventing Heart Disease the Functional Medicine Way

I listened to a fascinating series of podcasts called the Longevity Roadmap offered by Dr. Mark Hyman and his Ultrawellness Center. In one episode, a group of specialists provided a short summary on the causes of cardiovascular disease, how to identify the root cause, adequate testing and ways to protect and support the heart using functional medicine approaches. Here are the highlights: The endothelial system lines the inside of every blood vessel in the body and the one cell thick layer called the endothelium is found in the inner walls of our arteries. The proper function of the endothelial system is intimately tied to our health – it delivers oxygen and removes waste. It needs to be able to relax to allow blood to get to all the different tissues in the body. If it doesn’t relax, blood pressure will go up and inflammation of the system leads to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Oxidative stress can damage the endothelial layer and abdominal visceral fat is an inflammatory trigger for d...

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Why older adults should practice calisthenics

Cristian Bianchi has been a physical trainer for more than five years. He founded one of the first gyms specialized in calisthenics in Guatemala City, with the objective of offering people an opportunity to forge healthy lifestyles.

He learned about this training method during one of his trips to Europe. It consists of using only the body's weight during exercise. The goal is to gain control of body mass, without the need for resistance or additional loads.

In 2015, the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) indicated that calisthenics is the leading sport in the world. In addition, it said it helps reduce the number of individuals who die from lack of physical activity, which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), amounts to approximately 3.2 million each year.

For Bianchi, this training is key to reducing that global figure and is far from excluding people because of their age. In 2021 he serves about 120 students in his gym, three of which are senior citizens.

To...

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Metabolic Dysfunction and How It Can Cause Diabetes and Chronic Diseases

I listened to another fascinating (albeit long) podcast on the Broken Brain series on how out-of-control blood sugar can cause belly fat, brain fog and chronic disease. Dr. Casey Means was the guest and she is a Stanford-trained doctor and associate editor of the International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention. Her mission is to reverse the epidemic of preventable chronic disease by empowering individuals with personalized tools (i.e. continuous glucose monitors – CGM) that promote sustainable dietary and lifestyle choices. As a pre-diabetic myself, I have been using some of these tools to monitor how my body responds to my diet and activities of daily living. I was quite shocked at what I learned from a month’s use of a CGM and if this blog speaks to you, it may be something you may want to discuss with your doctor.

Here are the highlights from the podcast:

We make energy from converting sugar and fat and this metabolic process is a core fundamental pathway of every ...

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Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Cancer Risk: Part 2

In my previous blog, I described some of the foods and strategies you could try to support an anti-cancer approach to daily living. Here, I will highlight some other foundational pillars to reduce your overall cancer risk.

Sleep

Sleep is critical to our health and well-being; with 40% of American adults reporting lack of sleep, insomnia and/or sleep apnea, it has become an epidemic.  
Research has shown that insufficient sleep (less than 7-8 hours per night) reduces natural killer cell activity and cellular immune response in the body.
It’s not just about quantity of sleep, though, as your quality of sleep is equally important. A recent study indicated sleep apnea combined with snoring could contribute to an increased risk of cancer for both men and women.  
Circadian rhythms impact our sleep and health. Circadian rhythms influence our body’s sleep-wake cycle, as well as hormone release, digestion, body temperature, and other important bodily functions. They influence our immune sy...

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More Superfoods to Help Fight Diabetes

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you see a dietitian to help you develop a healthy-eating plan. The plan helps you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats. In fact, a diabetes diet is arguably the best eating plan for almost everyone, as it’s naturally rich in nutrients, low in fat and calories, and includes lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Here are five more everyday superfoods that are extraordinary for controlling glucose, insulin and staving off/managing Types 2 diabetes. And even if you don’t have diabetes, you should look to incorporate these key elements in your daily diet for a healthy lifestyle. Beans Beans are a superfood packed with protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber to keep you satiated while stabilizing blood sugar levels and minimize cravings. They are nutritious, versatile and inexpensive – hard to say no unle...

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Dr. Jason Fung: Fasting as a Therapeutic Option for Weight Loss

Dr. Jason Fung is a nephrologist and expert in the use of intermittent fasting and low carbohydrate diets for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. I’ve listened to over half a dozen of his webcasts and have always been impressed by his professionalism, as well as his evidence-based non-drug approach to treating diabetes. This presentation, delivered at the CrossFit Health Conference in 2018, shares how he has shifted his medical practices with alternative treatment methods as the traditional medical recommendation of drugs and dialysis did not produce the desired outcomes for his patients. His presentation objectives included: Understanding why long-term weight loss is so difficult;Introducing the concept of therapeutic fasting; andHighlighting some myths and misunderstandings associated with the fasting process. The modern eating pattern as Dr. Fung categorized it emerged in 1977 with the development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (the US Food Pyramid). This changed the eating f...

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Natural Ways to Heal Your Gut

I recently listened to an interesting podcast on inflammation and the gut offered by Dr. Elena Villaneuva at Modern Holistic Health. In one of their materials for the masterclass, they outlined the importance of gut function and how chronic inflammation leads to various diseases.
Here is a short summary:

Why is the gut so important to our health? Our gut not only digests food but makes the brain’s neurotransmitters and impacts 70-80% of our immune system. Proper digestion by our gut is necessary to break down food and absorb the nutrients. If you experience poor digestion like upset stomach, gas or bloating after a meal or from eating fats and carbohydrates, your gut is telling you it’s not functioning optimally.

Your brain sends signals to your gut and has the ability to influence the intestinal microbiota. In the same way, the gut has the ability to influence brain and behavior. A perfect example is having butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous. So the good bacteria in yo...

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