From FAT to FIT again – Transformation Challenge

YES, I did it and I achieved my goal. In just 12 weeks of this weight loss challenge, (January 4th-March 29th  2015) I lost 10.3 kg (23 lbs) of unwanted weight and I trimmed my waist circumference with 14 centimeters (5.5 inches)

In fact those are my results week by week:

Date Section Weight Waist
January 4, 2015 Start Weight 92 kg       (202 lbs) 106 cm
January 11, 2015 Week 1 86 kg       (189 lbs) 98 cm
January 18, 2015 Week 2 85.3 kg     (188lbs) 97 cm
January 25, 2015 Week 3 85 kg         (187 lbs) 97 cm
February 1, 2015 Week 4 84 kg         (185 lbs) 96 cm
February 8, 2015 Week 5 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 15, 2015 Week 6 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 22, 2015 Week 7 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 1, 2015 Week 8 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 8, 2015 Week 9 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 15, 2015 Week 10 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 22, 2015 Week 11 82.4 kg   (181 lbs) 93 cm
March 29, 2015 Week 12 81.7 kg   (180 lbs) 92 cm

 

RESET March 29 2015

Why I decided to do this challenge?

On my previous blog from January 2015, entitled ‘From Fit to Fat – My Transformation Challenge’ http://www.mariofit.ca/fit-fat-transformation-challenge/  I wrote how stress, medication for pain and nervous tension, affected my life, my health and my physical fitness. And as a result of those stressors, my blood sugars elevated, my blood pressure rose to unhealthy readings of over 140/90, my weight gain move up from 84 kg to 92 kg in only few months, and my waist measurement increased to 106 centimeters (42 inches). This constellation of symptoms made me a candidate for developing a pre-diabetic state known as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X.

Having personal experiences and knowing that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company with clinical studies in Reversing of Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, I decided to restore my health and lose some unwanted pounds by participating into their Usana Reset Nation weight Loss Challenge and follow their protocol. See some clinical trials at the end of this blog.

And I have to admit that even with my knowledge in functional fitness and holistic nutrition, achieving this ambition and losing 10 kg, was not an easy task without exercising.

Yes, due to some re-occurring back pain and muscular stiffness (as a result of a car accident in 2009) I was not able to exercise during the first 8 weeks of my challenge, yet I was able to lose 7 kg of my weight just by changing my nutritional habits, as recommended in the USANA’s RESET™ Nation Challenge.

But when 4 weeks ago I also started to workout using a combination of moderate intensity weight training and functional bodyweight exercise program I personally designed for my recovery, I was able to achieve my goal and to lose an additional 3.3 kg.

RESET March 29 2015 -2

Why I set my goal to lose 10 kg?

And if someone might ask why my goal was to lose 10 kg and not six, eight or 15kg, I can surely affirm that before 2009, this was my ideal weight as a fitness professional and martial arts athlete. This was the weight that in the years 2005-2009, kept me extremely active, strong and in great physical condition despite my age of 47 (in 2009).

But what motivates me to participate into this challenge NOW was mostly a combination of many personal choices.

  1. First, I needed to restore my health which in the last year started to decline at a considerable speed and I wanted to win the big prize: The Usana Health Sciences all inclusive trip to Sanoviv Medical Institute (May 2nd-May 7th 2015)
  2. On the same time, I wanted to prove again and again that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company. In the past, as a Registered Holistic and Sport Nutrition Consultant in Canada, I was able to help many friends, athletes and other clients to improve their wellbeing using a combination of healthy nutrition, regular physical exercises and the use of Usana Health Sciences nutritional supplements.
  3. My next reason to win this challenge was to raise awareness to my fellow Romanian friends and compatriots, and to point out that Usana Health Sciences is indeed the True Health Company.

Once one of the top karate athletes in Romania (and than in Italy) I grew up as an eyewitness to the effects of malnutrition in many orphan children in Romania. And at that time I was unable to help at all. But in 2002, thanks to Children’s Hunger Fund (a Charitable Organization) and its long-time partner Usana Health Sciences, I have heard how they restore health to thousands of Romanian orphans for many years. This is why in 2012 I decided to ‘return the favor’ and to compete (at the age of 50) in the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships to raise funds for Usana True Health Foundation and Children Hunger Fund to be exclusively used for children in desperate need of food and medicine. For me as a USANA Associate, giving to Children’s Hunger Fund was more than a donation — it was a fight. And I would like to thank Usana and their True Health Foundation for recognizing me as one of their “Champion”. In fact in 2013, the management of Usana Health Sciences and True Health Foundation invited me in Salt Lake City to present to me the ‘Champion for Change Award’

4. And NOW the year of 2015, become my time to restore my health and bring back my well being. And thanks to Usana Reset Nation Challenge, I am on my way to get healthier and better physically, emotionally and financially.

And to conclude I would like to tell everyone:

YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH

More information about Usana Clinical Studies on Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome:

Your New Year Resolution – Exercise to Slow Aging

Exercise to Slow Aging? What You can Do to have a healthy and long life?

DSCF2219 - CopyAging is the progressive loss of metabolic and physiologic functions, and the biological structures of aging vary considerably among individuals. A sedentary lifestyle increases the tendency to aging-related diseases and premature death. Many clinical studies demonstrated that physically active people have cells that look younger at the molecular level than those that are sedentary. We all know that regular exercise plays a role in health and well-being. It was demonstrated that frequent exercisers display reduced cardiovascular risk factors, have a lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer, hypertension, obesity, and osteoporosis, which are all considered aging-related diseases.

And high intensity but low volume exercise has a positive effect on the telomeres length which acts as a biological aging clock. Telomeres consist of repeated DNA arrangements that play an important role in the structure and function of chromosomes. Telomeres and associated proteins cap the chromosomes, protecting them from degradation and end-to-end-fusion.

On my previous articles I provided information on how genetics and environmental factors may create oxidative stress and inflammation thus changing the telomere dynamics (telomere length and age-dependent attrition rate). I also advised you to have a healthy diet (high in fiber and quality foods. On top of this diet I recommended to take a high quality Multivitamin/Minerals formula enhanced with antioxidants and phytonutrients, to protect against the damage of free radicals (oxidative stress). I also warned you to take a high quality Essential Fatty Acids from high quality pharmaceutical grade fish oils, to prevent and to reduce internal inflammation. To better understand this connection, read my previous articles on Exercise, Telomeres, Healthy Aging and Nutritional Supplementswww.mariofit.ca

And now I also advise you to go and EXERCISE regularly.

Despite the known benefits of physical activity, inactivity continues to be a major public health problem in many countries in the world. Unfortunately, people in the low socio-economic status are predisposed to to have a sedentary lifestyle in addition to an unhealthy diet, smoking, drinking and obesity. Inactivity may diminish life expectancy not only by predisposing to aging-related diseases but also because it may influence the aging process itself.

I know that being in a low socio-economic status, might not permit you to eat quality foods (all the time) and to take nutritional supplements that might prevent the degenerative diseases related to aging. Your might have a stressful life, thinking how to cope with your circumstances.

And this chronic psychological stress is associated with harmful effects on physical health, and may operate in part through accelerated cell aging. Not a nice picture.

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This is why I would like everyone to make EXERCISING as a New Year 2014 resolution.

A study, involving more than 2,400 British twins, found for the first time that exercise appears to slow aging by the shortening of telomeres. By comparison, about 100 minutes a week of activity such as tennis, swimming or running had telomeres that on average looked like those of someone about five or six years younger than those who don’t exercise.

But one of the best time effective exercises is the High Intensity Interval Training, who stimulate the release of the Human Growth Hormone (an anti-aging hormone) and promote the release of endorphins. For those who don’t know yet, enorphins are released when you are involved in strenuous exercise when the level of intensity is between moderate and high, and breathing is difficult. This also corresponds with the time that muscles use up their stored glycogen and physical pain may leave you with a “euphoric high” after.

Only 4-8 short burst of high intensity (sprint for 30 seconds) with full recovery (1-2 minutes) will do the job. And if you have some physical limitation, any kind of exercises (Push –ups, Mountain Climber, Burpees, and Tuck Jumps etc.)  that increases your temperature, make you short of breath and make a burning sensation in the muscle will do the job. And I said time efficient? All this workour can be done in  less than 10 minutes per day.

SO, make EXERCISE as your New Year Resolution.

And if this information is valuable to you share it with others. If you find that my research and teaching are helpful for you, please subscribe to my e-newsletter: www.mariofit.ca

I wish you all to be healthy and prosperous on the New Year!

Why we age and become sick?

Why we age and become sick? According to scientists specialized in cellular health and genomics, in a perfect environment, human cells never have to die because of their ability to divide and regenerate.

anti-aging-01[1]Why then we age? Obviously we are not living on the perfect environment. Aging is not the result of only one single cause, but is the cumulative result of many factors.At the cellular level, life is a balance between degradation and restoration. At every time our bodies are engaged in an internal fight against factors that can destroy our cells, such as oxidation, advanced glycation or inflammation, and external factors such as environmental pollution and poor lifestyle choices. Whenever we lose any of these battles, our cells cannot function properly and they start dying faster influencing our aging.

To repair or to replace existing damaged cells and to maintain a proper function, our body cells divide protecting our DNA in chromosomes from critical injuries.

telomere_fig_one[1]When cells divide and replicate, instead of losing important vital genetic information from the DNA packed in the chromosomes, a telomere shorten at the end of chromosome protecting from degradation of genes. A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromatid, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with other  chromosomes.

Due to this internal and external environmental factors, the scientists agreed that the cell division can occurs on average of 52 times (known as the Hayflick limit) before they reach the state of senescence (the cell age to the point that is no longer able to divide and regenerate).  Therefore, your telomeres get shorter and shorter, you get older and older.

But don’t despair. There is some hope.  In 2009, three genetic research scientists, which won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine – have shown that the solution to this problem is to be found in the enzyme telomerase that forms the telomeres. If enzyme telomerase activity is high, telomere length could be maintained, and cellular senescence is delayed.

Micronutrients for your healthy aging?

toddler-vitamin-supplements[1]Since the discovery of the enzyme telomerase that can rebuild the telomeres, scientists get extremely busy to find out what can positively influence the activity of this enzyme. And now a growing body of research is showing that certain micronutrients such omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals with antioxidant properties, vitamin C, vitamin D,  vitamin E,  turmeric, zinc and vitamin B complex, play a huge role in maintenance of DNA integrity and DNA methylation and on increasing the telomerase activity, influencing telomere length and thereby affecting longevity.

But the Recommended Daily Allowancesare are not set to provide those micronutrients, at a level to maintain the telomerase activity high. Many micronutrienti are required at 10 to 100 times higher than the RDA standard, which a regular diet cannot provide a good balance. More information on this subject is available on my site: www.mariofit.ca

athletes600[1]Additionally, the short but vigorous interval exercises proved to naturally increase your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH), which also plays a significant role in the aging process.

Instead of doing a 30 minutes long aerobic workout, you can sprint at maximum speed for 10 seconds. Walk for 30-60 seconds until you almost recover your breath, and sprint again up to 8 repetition. This principle can be applied to any kind of training not just sprinting.

More about Nutrition, Supplementation and Exercises that might affect your health and longevity are available on my site: www.mariofit.ca