New goals for 2016

Happy New Year 2016. What are your new goals for 2016? Religious and secular new year events often center on health and happiness? Some ask forgiveness oe meditate about past indiscretions. Among those, may be weight loss – intertwined with health and happiness. Us this one of your new goals for 2016? Is it an annual goal at each new year? Is it always prone to failure?

Each year, and with each new year celebration (calendar or ethnic), everyone wishes for new goals to be set or met each year. For many, finding love and weight loss top the list. The problem with new goals for 2016 is that they are mainly repetitions of previous years. That’s because these new goals for 2016 are as lofty and unattainable as previous goals. Many require lifestyle changes and most aren’t ready to pay the price over the long run.

Of new goals for 2016, changing body appearance is almost number one. People realize that books are judged by covers. They are often misleading windows to their content. Barring the busy season for reconstructive surgery, weight maintenance, muscle gain or fat loss are the most sought after goals.

As a regular gym user for over 30 years, I and other regulars often joked how the gyms got filled at the end of December. We knew who they were. By February, the gym was back to normal. That is because people expect change to happen quickly. It doesn’t.

Wisdom dictates that moderate exercise and moderate diet help maintain weight and muscle. For those seeking less weight and more muscle, more effort is required. The process takes years and progress is painfully slow.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly two-thirds of the USA population might be classed as obese. While not a disability, there is no simple treatment or cure. It does require contrasting lifestyle changes that seem tortuous and tedious. With all the available resources from all forms of media, weight-loss remains a phantom in the United States. Conquering obesity is as diversely challenging as establishing world peace.

In “get rich quick” or “get healthy quick” societies, people resort to quick methods. These are more life shocking methods for quick results. Some try living on nutrition shakes alone for a few months. (Imagine sustaining yourself on 3 shakes a day and being satisfied.)

Some try diet pills. Others try going to the gym once or twice a month. Every year there are new methods to demonstrate quick goal attainment for happily ever afters. Generally, though, ever afters are very short. The process doesn’t seem worth the sacrifices. Is weight loss a fantasy? Some say, if it is, it is masochistic. It is a lingering problem.

The reason why weight loss is so damned difficult is very simple:

1) As you age, you typically lose lean muscle by 5% each 10 years. As a result, more fat is visible as muscles help contain fat.

2) Excess calorie consumption – Dietician’s indicate that to lose one pound of fat, you need to lose 3500 calories but that has been challenged recently. Typically, to lose body fat if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Is that healthy? How many calories do you need each day?

3) According to webMD categorization based on gender and activity, a woman around age 50, who sits most of the day requires around 1800 calories per day. If she is moderately active, she needs about 2,000 calories per day, and 2200 calories per day active. Men require about 25% more calories. According to Calorie King calculator, a female office worker would need to consume 1100 to 1300 calories per day to lose one pound per week.

4) Exercising more – Apart to the advantages concerning muscle tone and heart rate, how does exercise help lose calories? The Mayo Clinic provides a very good list. According to Mayo Clinic, at a duration of 1 hour, walking burns 214 calories at 2 miles per hour and 300 calories at 3-1/2 miles per hour, if you weigh 160 pounds. If you weigh 200 pounds, it is 255 and 391 calories respectively. Leisure bike riding offers about 40% more calories burned. A low-impact aerobic dance class typically burns over 400 calories per hour at 160 pounds and 600 calories per hour at 200 pounds, Because women are lighter than 160 pounds, the efficacy of working-off calories seems like an aching, slow process in contrast to dieting.

What about fast-acting dietary supplements and drugs?

Many resort to drugs or dietary supplements available and often advertised. They may be mentioned on TV medical shows. These may be quicker methods of dropping weight fast but they carry potential long-term consequences despite popularity. These work at altering basic body functions. Naturally derived, you are strongly advised to see a physician or nutritionist before and during trying these. Many of these supplements may be approved by the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but research testing was small, short, and inconclusive.

A new one is Garcinia Cambogia pills. It, like many other quick methods, was introduced by Dr. Oz on TV. It is hydroxycitric (HCA) acid found in the rind of citrus fruits, primarily grapefruit (the part you usually peel off). It is used for cooking in southeast Asia.

Some very small studies done with few representative samples indicate that Garcinia Cambogia, derived from grapefruit rinds, might also be a natural method for weight loss at doses of hundreds of that found in the rind. HCA, an organic acid, works by making you feel full, reducing your appetite, and affecting metabolism. US Food and Drug Administration approves as a health supplement at doses are between 250 and 1,000 mg each day.

As with all health supplements (example: vitamins), these are chemicals that interact with your body. Garcinia Cambogia works as a drug that helps reduce glucose in your bloodstream and has been used by nutritionists as a possible method to help reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol. In a WebMD article, side effects may include Dizziness, Dry mouth, Headache, or Upset stomach or diarrhea. Taken habitually, these doses may negatively affect your liver. As a nutritional supplement, standards are not as strict as with prescription drug sources. You may not be getting pure HCA.

Many weight loss supplements may add Caffeine, a key ingredient in coffee and a potential antioxidant to help keep blood vessels clean. Weight loss supplements use higher doses of caffeine than you find in a cup of coffee. The caffeine is derived from natural resources. These may include substances such as guarana (Paullinia cupana), kola (or cola) nut (Cola nitida), and yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis).

Caffeine is a chemical that works directly on the nervous system and the larger doses may prove harmful. Caffeine is a methylxanthine that stimulates the central nervous system, heart, and skeletal muscles. It also increases gastric and colonic activity and acts as a diuretic for water weight loss. Caffeine might also contribute to weight loss by increasing fat oxidation through sympathetic activation of the central nervous system. As such, as with many CNS activators, it may be addictive. As a short term, less than 2 months at prescribed doses, Caffeine may help weight loss. A caffeine study, however, shows that adding sugar to coffee or chocolate may stimulate weight gain.

What about lifestyle?

The Atkins Diet or Ketosis are lifestyle choices that are in direct contrast to normal and inherited eating habits. These diets virtually eliminate eating carbohydrates. Instead you eat protein and fat. It’s a possibility if you are not monitoring cholesterol levels.

Carbohydrates (examples: grains, fruits, juices, sugars) are very common sources of energy and are found in the USDA recommended food pyramid for daily diets. Atkins and Ketosis (or Ketogenic) limit a maximum of 40 grams of carbohydrates. Of those carbohydrates, they recommend complex carbohydrates (whole grains, soy) over simple (table sugar, white rice). A serving of pasta or rice exceeds the limits of Atkins. A typical sandwich may have 36 grams of carbohydrates or your daily allowance of carbohydrates.

Meats (except organs), fish (except shrimp and lobster) are high protein and moderate fat sources. Soy as Edamame or Tofu are potent vegan sources of protein with lower fat and no cholesterol.

Certain Flat Breads available by mail from Joseph’s Bakery and some other sources offer low-carb breads. After factoring the 7 to 10 grams fiber, the bread has 5 net carbohydrates and about 10 grams of protein. This can help replace bread cravings.

Atkins and Ketosis deliver weight loss over a few months provided you don’t cheat on the 40 grams limit of carbohydrates.

Ketosis has been found beneficial at helping patients with epilepsy. No indications of serious short-term risks have surfaced. It is intended as a method to reach short-term goals quicker than calorie-based diets but maintenance is required for long-term goals and results. You will be less popular at carbohydrate-based social events.

Appearing fashionable and healthy require sacrifices. Appearing younger also require more sacrifices. We live in a culture where parties and celebrations often provide foods in excess followed by sedentary activity. The short term result is weight gain. The long term results are cardio and vascular disease, diabetes, and numerous other diseases. Economically, it aids the pursuit of finding larger size clothing each year.

Some Conclusions

Obesity is a world-wide problem. It may be derived from combinations of foods, snacks, rituals, and lifestyles. Sociologists may bind it to poverty both in the USA and elsewhere. Lack of health insurance and respective availability of certified nutritionists helps assure that even the USA has a lingering problem with obesity and the diseases that may result from them. While those diseases are covered by State and private insurance policies, their prevention is not.

Losing 20, 30, or more pounds of body weight is very difficult. Based on the accepted notion that to lose weight you need to lose 3500 calories per pound demonstrates the need for herculean efforts.

It is not simple. The likelihood of following through a weight-loss program may seem an unattainable goal. It may require high levels of motivation and fortitude.

Aspiring for health and wellness as new goals for 2016 are admirable. Individuals adding weight loss as one of the mew goals for 2016 for better appearance and possible health have much to consider. Realizing and understanding that those new goals for 2016 are filled with sacrifices is wiser. While no results offer guarantees, those new goals for 2016 must carry on to 2017, 2018, and beyond. At the point you meet your goals, then maintenance is easier by choosing moderate diets and exercise that suit your new lifestyle.

In a twist of a famous quote: Comedy is easy. Weight loss is hard. Both have their rewards. For those of you that made it down here, a secret is eating dinner at 6:00 and nothing else. Your body uses fat storage after 12 hours.

Good luck at achieving your New Goals for 2016! Happy year ahead!

Autism and blood flow

According to a Center of Disease Control study, it identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is a developmental disease that affects communication and social levels. Autism can have many variances from one child to another and not all autistic children exhibit similar symptoms.

Considered a neurological disorder, rooted in the brain, the causes of autism have been debated. Some say it may be genetic, a few attest environment, and inconclusive rumors point to early childhood vaccinations. Some believe that autism prevalence might be found in certain areas but that remains inconclusive as well.

A New York University research team published results of a study that blood vessel instability may be an indicator to help diagnose autism. The vascular system are arteries, veins, and capillaries that extend throughout our body to nourish complex cellular networks. Where there is instability in the blood’s delivery mechanism, certain parts of this network may deviate. It may be possible that unstable blood flow in certain areas of the brain may be possible influences of autism development.

More people are primary witnesses and victims of vascular disturbances, through plaque buildup, that may lead to strokes and heart attacks.

No vascular incident is ever really the same and that is why autism is really defined as Autism Spectrum Disorder in a formal sense. The complexity of symptoms and degrees in the spectrum make autism a rather tough condition to get a good, consistent, therapeutic approach.

The research from New York University supports further research into unstable vascular flows as possible contributors to the onset of Autism in young children. Many of these children may have demonstrated no visible autism evidence during their first 3 to 5 years of development.

There are significant caveats that might help detect vascular conditions. There are sonograms, fMRI, and PET scans that might be able to display neural blood flow irregularities. These remain expensive as those blood fluctuations might be so minute that they are indecipherable through normal diagnostic methods. Most insurances will not cover the expenses of these procedures.

Autism spectrum disorders are usually found to develop in about 1 out of every 68 children. The Center of Disease Control plays an important role to continuing to provide essential data on ASD, search for factors that put children at risk for ASD and possible causes, and develop resources that help identify children with ASD as early as possible. But that is only a portion of the problem.

Raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder is often extremely challenging over the course of a lifetime. While there are many lifelines of support, love doesn’t always conquer all.

Autism does not influence life expectancy and many outlive their parents. With no visible cures in sight, Autism is very much a challenging disease.

This focus and study of possible unstable vascular issues have been studied for many other diseases. Inasmuch as the simple red fluid called blood is well known, the sophisticated nature of vascular movement and getting to all the needy networks within our body proves that there is much more to be learned about the etiologies of many medical conditions. Somehow, by detecting autism early before damage can occur may help broaden the odds and reduce the number of children that may develop autism spectrum diseases.

Sexual frequency and wellness

When it comes to sexual frequency and wellness, are you satisfied? Surveys say yes but the recommended frequency may be shocking.

There’s much to be said about passion and lust. Beyond love, it is what people crave in their inner fantasies. They are the roots of satisfying wellness as well as underlying depression. A study on sexual frequency and wellness has shown that less sex is more satisfying.

Based on repetitive surveys of different surveys, the authors surmised that sexual frequency and well-being had a positive correlation along a linear scale. The conclusions seemed to indicate that sexual frequency is no longer significantly associated with well-being at a frequency of greater than once a week in long-term personal relationships. Up to once a week may be just as well.

In Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, the couple began psychotherapy sessions as the relationship soured. When asked about sexual frequency, Annie Hall noted (with exasperation) “at least 3 times per week”. Woody’s male character responded. “No more than 3-times per week.” The study concluded that in long-term relationships, couples reported more satisfaction with their relationships as sexual frequency increased up to once per week. More than that is not always better.

Sex therapists and psychologists tend to report that most couple counseling (among physically healthy couples) complain about sexual frequency or the repetitive Not Tonight Syndrome
. The syndrome may actually be bound to other factors said and not said in couples from their 20 to their 50s. Therapists tend to target those communication failures as a means of finding resolve. Most admit success is often very limited. When it comes to sexual frequency and wellness the goal of UP TO once-a-week sex may be a more suitable goal.

Beyond 50, the Viagra years, sexual frequencies decline from weeks to years. When men are asked about sexual frequency over the past year, many say at least once. More women than men admit no sexual activity. Life and perspective changes, declining health and other changes seem to contribute to living with dramatic reduced sexual frequency among those over 60.

AARP and many other organizations studying people from 45 and higher are finding reports on surveys reporting sexual frequencies of once a month to once a week. Their websites often feature articles and blogs discussing sex toys and dynamics of elder relationships.

Menopause and appearance often are gauges that help determine sexual interests and activities among women. A proliferation of over 60 sex books keep appearing on Amazon. Sexual frequency and wellness may find more academic studies targeting seniors.

Interestingly, readership of an archived article of mine continues to keep it in demand.

Declining energies with age seem to be redefining sexual activity among seniors. New erotic bestsellers and movies seem to be adding kink interests to senior sexual activities, according to surveys among women. It becomes mind over matter. Senior sex seems to be alive and well as many seniors adapt and integrate new activities into sexual parametric libraries.

Among active people over 60, increasing numbers of couples (responding to surveys) report that they have at least one sexual experience per week and are very happy. That is quite a difference from the expected normal of once a year.

Of course sexual frequency doesn’t always account for overall wellness and sprightly moods. There are many issues and adversities that account for individual moods, behaviors, and conditions. While weekly sexual frequency and wellness correlate positively, monthly may be just fine too.

Surveys do leave incomplete pictures of large groups. Of 10,000, there may only be about 5% respondents. Why are they responding to the survey? Since Kinsey, when it comes to answering questions like sexual frequency and wellness, surveys provide a clue of a wider picture.

Sexual frequency and wellness may go together. Past notions seem to have passed. Integrated in many ways and styles, sexual frequency and wellness reportedly correlate to more conservative and revolutionary approaches. Three or more times per week may have some cardiovascular benefits but only continue as lust and passion dominate over intimacy and durability. Are you happy? Are you well? Does your sexual frequency contribute to that?