Be Healthy, Be Happy # 32

What’s Most Important for Weight Loss – Exercise or Food Intake ?!

As we get older, many of us experience an inevitable weight gain, as a few pounds or kilos seem to be added on to our bodies each year. Just think – you add on only two pounds or maybe even two kilos a year, and in 20 years you are 40 pounds or 20+ kilos heavier. Just looking at people in various public places, and you can easily see the increased number of heavy and even obese bodies. There are many reasons for this development, with two primary factors being lack of activity/exercise, and also improper nutrition habits.

In my own experience especially in my earlier years (from mid 20’s-early 50’s), I figured I could basically eat whatever I wanted, as my levels of daily exercise were quite high – I would just burn off the calories from any type of foods I was eating – including bagels, bread, pasta, pizza, ice cream, potato chips, pretzels, crackers, sodas, etc …. I believe that many people today still feel this way. Yet, you can easily surmise that the “quality” or nutrient density of these so-called foods mentioned is not ideal, for sure!

In recent years, as I have started to advise friends and colleagues who have asked about the best ways to lose any amount of weight, I have stressed nutrition as being the main factor, with exercise not being as important. I still believe one of the main concepts of my Primal lifestyle – “that 80% of your body composition is determined by your diet, not how you exercise” – but I also realize that exercise can also play a very important role in weight loss. My own health & fitness guru – Mark Sisson, explains this very well here – Why Exercise Does Actually Matter for Weight Loss.

As mentioned in the article, the focus should likely be “fat loss” and not just weight loss. I have heard received a number of requests/comments from friends-colleagues and current clients in recent years; regarding their desire to lose fat in various areas of their bodies – their midsection, backside, legs, arms, etc …. A common occurrence as people seeking to lose weight/fat increase their daily exercise level – their clothes start to fit better, even though they may not have seen the number on the scale go down. They are able to wear clothes that were previously tight and are now more comfortable – this is a great start in their quest to reduce weight and/or fat! Eventually, that number on the scale should also start moving down, especially when combined with a healthier diet of primal, real nutrient-dense foods and beverages.

Thanks for listening this week, and there will be more to come on this topic next week.

“Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it.”


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 31


Last week, we talked about Sarcopenia – this week we delve into Osteopenia; Wikipedia definition: Osteopenia is a condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is considered by many doctors to be a precursor to osteoporosis. However, not every person diagnosed with osteopenia will develop osteoporosis.

Bottom line is – we need to keep our bones healthy and strong. As we age, our bone density will gradually decline, but there are various ways to maintain adequate strength in our bones. Diet, exercise and supplements can all help enhance our bone density.

For a bit more detailed look at this aging condition, check out this article/link.

Bones are obviously crucial to our daily existence, but many people seem to take our bones for granted. As we go through life, it is important for us to keep paying attention to the vital skeletal system in our bodies. This second article this week focuses on a variety of factors for overall bone health.

Are you consciously taking care of YOUR bones?!

“Make yourself stronger than your excuses.”
(Adding a new motivational slogan at the end of each post ….)


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 30


This week’s topic is sarcopenia, which is basically a loss of muscle tissue and muscle mass, which occurs as part of the ageing process. Yet, it is definitely possible to maintain desired muscle mass, and hopefully reverse the process of sarcopenia.

Just a few days ago this NY Times article discussed the topic of sarcopenia, focusing mainly on “older” people – past 50 is old?! This condition can actually start in people as early as their late 30’s and 40’s, and progress if not addressed properly. Maintaining muscle mass is one of the main reasons for my regular resistance/weight training program, and I fully believe that it helps slow many other factors in the overall ageing process. Reminder from the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid – two times per week of strength training is adequate. AND – strength exercises always just makes me feel better! Just pick up and put down some heavy things each week – with good form!

The second article this week delves much deeper on sarcopenia, and how to prevent/decrease/reverse any symptoms of this condition. Check for yourself to see how many of these ten methods for addressing your own muscle mass/muscle deterioration you are currently practicing!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 29


For many years, most people pursuing fitness and athletic endeavors-accomplishments have thought it best to use carbohydrates as a source of fuel. We have been told (and are still being informed) by the so-called experts, that having a big high-carb meal of pasta-spaghetti, etc …. the night before a big game or event will serve as the best energy source. I was definitely stuck in that paradigm (rut) for years, trying my best to load up with starchy carbohydrates especially, but eventually and especially in longer bouts of exercise or long races, my fuel (glycogen stores) would diminish.

Yet, in the past several or more years, the science of fueling for exercise has evolved significantly. Now, many exercise physiologists are recommending healthy fats sources to athletes and everyday exercisers. Participants in longer distance events are now often seen fueling on fatty treats like almond butter or coconut butter packets. There is much evidence now, to prove that fueling with fats should be considered as a main source of energy, and for your overall metabolism. This article best explains this paradigm shift.

Today, my primal eating habits consist of a good daily amount of healthy fats, used either for cooking or eating – butter, ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, avocados, olives, nuts & seeds, coconut products, olive oil, nut butters, etc …. I would guess that my nutritional/macronutrient intake would be about 50% fats, 30% proteins, and around 20% carbohydrates (mainly from vegetables, quinoa, wild rice and a bit of fruits). My daily energy levels have been consistently high throughout the day, with very few lulls; whereas I used to pften experience a late afternoon energy crash. I attribute much of my current daily energy to my food-drink intake. It is obvious that my body has adapted, and changed from my earlier carb-heavy days as a “sugar-burner” to now becoming fully fat-adapted and a “fat-burning machine!”

I hope many others can follow a similar path to becoming fat-adapted. More to come on fat, cholesterol, etc …. in upcoming posts. For now, try adding more healthy fats into your daily nutrition plan!


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