Put some science behind your New Year Resolution

I, like most people, always start out the New Year with "Get in Shape" as one of my top New Year Resolutions. And I, like most people, do super awesome for a month. Eating tons of green foods, working out 5-6 days/week. All the right things. But then February hits and you start slipping back into old habits, and before you know it, you put all that weight back on.

Why does this happen?

Because we didn't create a sustainable habit. We try too much, too fast.

But there's another problem, we don't know HOW or WHY we are changing what we are doing.

As I'm sure you've found out, there's a ton of information out there about working out and nutrition, and every other article conflicts with what the last article was telling you.

It can be confusing.

But I want to help simplify some things.

          First: WHY?

You need to ask yourself what you're trying to accomplish this year. Is it just getting that number on the scale down to a particular number? Is it putting on muscle? Is it training for a marathon? 


When it comes to weight loss, the formula is actually VERY simple. 

Calories in < Calories out. (CICO)

What does that mean?

It means that if you're putting less calories (energy) into your body than you are expending. 

It's just physics. Well , to be more specific, the Laws of Thermodynamics.

"But Brian! It can't possibly be that simple!!!"

Well it is. And it isn't. 

Here's why it's simple:
Not too long ago, my 6'4" frame was carrying 230 pounds. And not like an NFL player who is 6'4" 230 pounds of muscle. I was a pretty squishy 230 pounds.

But over the next 18 months, I dropped 40 pounds. 

And I didn't change the foods I ate. I just ate less of them.

Still had my burgers, still had my pizza, but I just had less burger and less pizza. 

Essentially, I only changed my eating habits, and by consuming less calories than my body was using, I started losing weight. Could I have lost that weight faster through a stricter diet and exercise program? Absolutely. But, because I didn't make any super drastic changes in what I was eating, I've been able to maintain that weight for over 2 years with very little effort. 

Was it the healthiest way of losing weight? Probably not. But my goal was weight loss, and I met my goal (without starving myself or doing anything really unhealthy).

Here's why it's not so simple:

My 6'4" frame does make it easier for me to lose weight. Why? There's just more of me, and that means that there is more body that is using energy at any given moment. And that means that I can consume more calories.

Now it isn't by much, but it does make a difference compare to a more average sized person.

I'm also in my mid-20s. And I'm male. And I work on my feet for a living.

There are a lot of factors that go into the "Calories Out" portion of CICO. 

The best information I could find on this is from Brad Dieter, PhD over at Science Driven Nutrition.

Check out his article: http://sciencedrivennutrition.com/body-weight/

All the science I want you to know is in that article, so do yourself a solid and check it out.

He goes in to a lot more detail about the other components that take place in your body that affect how you expend your energy. It's a little wordy, but it's well worth a read.
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With all this being said, it comes down to the effort you're willing to put in to it. 

Define your goal, and take steps in the right direction.

It's okay to stumble. It's okay to fall. But if you take small, consistent improvements, you'll get meet, and often times exceed, your goals.

Go out there and get it done.

 

Don't be so "sympathetic"

Sympathetic...as in the sympathetic nervous system.

Alright, that title is clickbait-y, but just bear with me for a second. 

As you will get to learn (if you haven't already), that most of the work that happens at Encore Chiropractic revolves around the Nervous System.

What I want to talk to you about today is the Autonomic Nervous System, or the ANS. The ANS is the part of the Nervous System that is responsible for regulating the things that you can't: heart-rate, respiratory rate, digestion, etc.

Now, we can break down the ANS into 2 parts: The sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. (Now you get the title, right?)

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response, and the parasympathetic nervous system is the "rest-and-digest" response. 

Both the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses are vital in certain situations. In a healthy person, these responses are in a constant battle for control, which, more or less, results in balance between the two states. 

When you're getting chased by a bear, or about to get hit by a cab, the sympathetic nervous system jumps into action and prepares your body to jump out of the way or run for your life. This is a "high-stress"-type situation. But these are also short-term situations. Life isn't a giant game of "Frogger" where you're constantly dodging traffic as your profession. 

The problem comes from the chronic stress that is experienced by an overwhelming number of people today. This chronic stress fools the body into thinking you're always running from a bear, or always diving away from the cab driver, and it responds that way. So now your body is always in a "stressed-out" state. The scales are now tilted towards the sympathetic nervous system and away from the parasympathetic nervous system.

This new high-stress state you're in is going to start breaking down your body. Your muscles are always tight, your hormones are in disarray, and maybe your performance in bed is starting to be affected. Sympathetic dominance is a major issue that is responsible for many of the common, and complex, problems that are plaguing our society today.

I know what you're thinking: "Thanks for all this info, but now I'm stressing out that I have a stressed-out problem, and now I'm worried I'll be even more stressed out, and put my body into a more stressed out state!"

Well, that may be true, but here is the good news:

We can test to see if your Nervous System is balanced!

How? 

At Encore Chiropractic, we test each and every one of our patients for Nervous System imbalance. If we find any issues, we have a specific set of procedures designed to custom tailor a solution just for you.

We help our patients restore that sympathetic/parasympathetic balance and get your body back into healthy, adaptable state.

Think you might benefit from having your Nervous System checked?

Call us!

646-518-8696

A consultation is just a conversation, and that's always free.


It's good to be sympathetic to others, but you shouldn't be too sympathetic yourself

 

Inside the Head of an Opera Singer

opera singer Michael Volle MRI

A video recently surfaced showing the MRI of German Opera superstar Michael Volle performing an Aria from Richard Wagner’s 1845 opera “Tannhäuser” in real-time.  The study, commissioned by the Freiburg Institute for Musicians’ Medicine, is a part of an ENT (Ears, Nose, and Throat) study of the mechanics of what happens while someone is singing.

Before we get too far in to this, check out the video HERE.

What stands out most is the movement of the tongue. It's distracting even. As you look even more closely, you'll start to see the other parts of the body that are contributing to the act of singing. It can be assumed, that since Mr. Volle has had such a successful career thus far, that the mechanics of his singing are proper and worth studying to learn what we can. 

And while most people, including the researchers are looking at those mechanics, my eyes went directly to his neck. With a trained eye, you can see that he has some pretty noticeable degeneration happening. And while I don't know if he has any health complaints currently, I'm concerned for the longevity of his career.

There are a lot of components of singing, and the jaw opening and closing is one of them. In singing, especially when opening the mouth widely, the neck gets involved. If the neck is degenerating, as in Mr. Volle's case, and it continues to degenerate, it could drastically affect the thing he loves to do and has made his career out of! Now, I don't know Michael Volle personally, but I suspect that he may want to decide when he's done performing instead of his body telling him it's time to stop.

At Encore Chiropractic, we use specialized technology to identify the underlying cause of structural damage, just like Michael Volle, for our singers and performers. The rigors of training and practicing can take it's toll on the body, and it's better to identify if there is a problem now even if you don't feel like there is a problem yet. 

It is easier (and cheaper) to prevent a problem than it is to correct one.

If you have ever felt tension in your neck after extended practice sessions or a performance, this could be an indicator of a growing problem. The only way to know for sure if you are headed towards a potential issue is to be evaluated by a specialist. If you would like to explore whether you may be suffering from spinal degeneration, you can always call us at Encore Chiropractic. We offer a complimentary consultation for those interested in seeing if we may be able to help.

Call us today at 646-518-8696!