To Change, You Need to Get Uncomfortable

Sitting on the couch is comfortable.  Going through the drive thru to pick up dinner is comfortable.  But when you notice that you’re out-of-shape, tired, sick and your clothes no longer fit, you realize that what makes you comfortable is not in align with what would make you happy.   

You want to see something different when you look in the mirror.  You want to fit into a certain size of jeans or just experience your day with more energy and excitement.  The current condition of your life causes you pain, be it physical, mental or emotional.  To escape the pain you are feeling, you know that you need to make changes to your habits that keep you stuck in your current state.  But why is it so hard to make the changes you know that will help you achieve what you want?  

I want to lose weight but….

I want a six pack but…

I want more energy but….

The statement that follows the “but” is often a situation or habit you are comfortable with.  You want to lose weight but don’t have time to cook healthy meals.  So it’s much more comfortable to go through the drive thru instead of trying some new recipes.   New habits often require a learning curve and a bit of extra time in the beginning.  It also takes courage and energy to establish new routines or seek out help.  

Setting out to achieve your goals requires change.  Making changes to establish new habits that support your goals and dreams can be uncomfortable.  Life, as you know it, will be different.  Knowing that fact can be scary, but so can staying in your current condition.  So I’m asking you to take a risk and get uncomfortable so that you can achieve your goals.  

Realize that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit.  I believe it takes triple that amount of time to really make a new habit stick for the long haul.  So for 21 days, you’ll experience some discomfort while you make changes to your old routine and habits.  Depending on what you are changing, discomfort could mean feeling tired, moody, or even withdrawal symptoms.  However, the longer you stick to your new habits the less uncomfortable you start to feel.  The first week is always the worst, but then it gets easier.

Making it through the uncomfortable times requires staying focused on your goals and not caving to your immediate feelings or desires.  I encourage clients to focus on why their goals important to them.  This reason or burning desire to change will help when old habits, cravings, or situations call you back to your old ways.
Use a tracking and a reward system to stay on track.  Grab a calendar, journal or index card to check off or note your daily successes.  Shoot for consistency and not perfection when trying to make changes.  I encourage my clients to use the 90/10 principle of change and apply that to their goal tracking system.  New clothes, a massage, or a day me-retreat are just a few examples of rewards you can use to sticking to your tracking system.  Pick something that really gets you excited.  

Getting support system in place can help you feel more comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Hiring a coach, joining an online support group, or recruiting family and friends can be very helpful when making big changes.  With a support system in place you are not alone in your discomfort.  You’re network is there for you to reach out for help, knowledge, accountability or camaraderie when you feel frustrated and isolated.  

I’ve helped hundreds of people change their bodies, health and lives of the eleven years I’ve worked as a trainer and coach.  I know it’s hard, but I also know that if they can do it, so can you.  You just need to step outside of your comfort zone and take a risk. Don’t let fear create uncomfortable feelings that keep you stuck in your old ways.  Take that first step and enjoy the journey of reaching your goals and dreams.  

Amber Budahn, B.S., CSCS, ACE PT, USATF 1, CHEK HLC 1, REIKI 1
Cureality Exercise Specialist

3 Band Exercises for Great Glutes

Bands and buns are a great combination.  (When I talk about glutes or a butt, I use the word buns)  When it comes to sculpting better buns, grab a band.   Bands are great for home workouts, at gym or when you travel.  Check out these 3 amazing exercises that will have your buns burning. 

Band Step Out

Grab a band and place it under the arch of each foot.  Then cross the band and rest your hands in your hip sockets.  The exercise starts with your feet hip width apart and weight in the heels.  Slightly bend the knees and step your right foot out to the side.  Step back in so that your foot is back in the starting position.  With each step, make sure your toes point straight ahead.  The tighter you pull the band, the more resistance you will have.    You will feel this exercise on the outside of your hips. 

Start with one set of 15 repetitions with each foot.  Work on increasing to 25 repetitions on each side and doing two to three sets.



Band Kick Back

This exercise is performed in the quadruped position with your knees under hips and hands under your shoulders.    Take the loop end of the band and put it around your right foot and place the two handles or ends of the band under your hands.  Without moving your body, kick your right leg straight back.  Return to the starting quadruped position.  Adjust the tension of the band to increase or decrease the difficulty of this exercise. 

Start with one set of 10 repetitions with each foot.  Work on increasing to 20 repetitions on each side and doing two to three sets. 



Band Resisted Hip Bridge

Start lying on your back with feet hip distance apart and knees bent at about a 45-degree angle.  Adjust your hips to a neutral position to alleviate any arching in your lower back.  Place the band across your hipbones.  Hold the band down with hands along the sides of your body.  Contract your abs and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up off the ground.  Stop when your thighs, hips and stomach are in a straight line.  Lower you hips back down to the ground. 

Start with one set of 15 repetitions.  Work on increasing to 25 repetitions and doing two to three.  Another variation of this exercise is to hold the hip bridge position.  Start with a 30 second hold and work up to holding for 60 seconds.

Top 3 Strength Training Exercises for Runners

First and foremost, if you’re a runner and you’re not strength training you need to start.  This in and of itself could be an entire blog article.  But here I go with the synopsis. 

Strength training will indirectly help you run longer and faster.  Strength training exercises can improve your running mechanics, so that you run more efficiently.  Efficient running mechanics will lead to less wasted energy with each step and less injuries. 

Think about it.  You will take 80 to 90 steps per foot each minute you run.  If you have muscular imbalances that lead to joint mobility or stability issues you will move through an improper range of motion with each step. 

When you run for 30 minutes you take 2700 steps with each foot for a combined 5400 steps.  That could be 5400 steps of feet rolling in, rounded shoulders, wasted side to side movement or just pure pain.  Needless to say, when you are an endurance athlete it’s important that each step and every workout is adding to improved performance not to injury or fatigue.

The key to becoming a better runner is consistency.  For most runners, injuries are the biggest disrupter of consistent training.  Runners get a few good weeks or months of training, and then they are injured.   That means time off, loss of motivation, and a decrease in fitness. 

Strength training with proper form 2 to 3 times a week will reduce the onset of injuries and improve your running form.  Here are my top 3 strength training exercises for runners. 

Bulgarian Split Squat

You will need a bench, chair or stepper to perform this exercise.  Start by doing this exercise with just body weight and then progress.  The progression could include holding dumbbells, kettlebells or a barbell.  You can also make this exercise explosive. 




 
  • Place the to top of your back foot on.  If you are having a hard time with balance, flex your back toes and place them on the bench.   
  • Stand in a staggered stance about 2 to 3 feet wide.  This should allow your knee to bend while keeping your knees behind your front toes. 
  • Inhale as you begin to bend both knees. 
  • Focus on your back knee pointing straight down toward the ground and your body weight in your front heel.   
  • Keep your front kneecap inline with the 3rd toe of the front foot. 
  • Exhale as you straighten both knees to come back up to standing.  
Start with 10 repetitions on each leg and progress to 15. 

Calf Lowers

Use a stair or a stepper to perform this exercise.  Start by doing this exercise with just body weight.  The progression would include holding a dumbbell in one hand. 


 


  • Place the ball of your foot on the stair while holding on to the wall or railing.   
  • Rise up on the ball of your foot as high as your heel will go.  Make sure you have weight evenly distributed on all of your toes and that you are not rolling onto one side of your foot. 
  • Slowly, lower you heel back to the starting position.  Try counting 3 to 5 slow counts to ensure you really focus on lowering part of the movement.   
Do 10 reputations on each foot to start.  Work up to doing 20 reputations on each foot. 

Band or Cable Row

How many runners do you see hunched over logging long miles.  This exercise is for improved running posture, which can lead to improved respiration. 

To perform this exercise, use a band or a cable.  This exercise can be done with both arms or with just one arm. 





  • Stand in a staggered stance with relaxed knees.  Make sure your ribs on stacked on top of your hips to ensure good posture. 
  • Grab the handles of the band or the cable in the thumbs up position. 
  • Start the movement by protracting the shoulder blades.
  • Then bend the elbows straight back so that your biceps are close to your rib care.  Keep  your knuckles forward. 
  • To release, begin to straighten your elbows and bring your shoulders back to the starting position. 
Start with 10 repitions and work up to 20.  To increase difficulty, use a more difficult band or more weight on the cable system. 

Here’s to improving your running mechanics so that you can train more consistently.  Can’t wait to hear about the PR at your next race. 

Sit Less and Move More.



We sit way too much. Many of us have desk jobs where we sit for 8 to 9 hours a day. After we leave the office, we sit in our car to run errands. We follow that by sitting down to eat dinner. Our day ends by sitting on the couch to unwind by watching some television.

Many of us will be sitting a good 12 to 15 hours each and every day. Unfortunately the research shows that long hours of sitting can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even early death. Don’t be fooled that your workout is enough movement. You can still be active and sedentary.

How can you add more movement to your day? First, think about all the times you find yourself sitting during the day. Then come up with a creative way that you can get out of the seat and move your feet.

Here are a couple of examples:

Instead of driving everywhere, jump on your bike. The picture above is of the bike I use to go to work or run errands. Bike riding is great exercise, greener transportation and a great stress relief.

We spend a lot of time at work sitting in front of the computer or the phone. Prop your laptop on a bookshelf to create a standing workstation. You can also purchase a sit-stand workstation you can adjust throughout the day. Get a headset and stand during phone calls.

Walk during your lunch break. Walk to the coffee shop, the mailbox, and the dry cleaners. Get your errands done on foot or just enjoy a stroll outside.

Take a movement break every hour. Do some desk push-ups, squats or walk the stairs. Need to communicate with a coworker? Don't email, walk over and talk to them.

Human beings are meant to move, not sit in chairs all day. I want to challenge you to incorporate more movement into your day. I'd love to read your comments how you move more and sit less.

Something is Better Than Nothing



This past weekend I attended a fitness conference with an amazing lineup of presenters. Even after 11 years in the fitness industry, I love attending these events. I’m a lifetime student always learning more and honing my craft.

I went to a presentation by Al Vermeil about joint mobility, not knowing anything about him. To my surprise, Al was the strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago Bulls and the San Francisco 49ers the years these teams won championships in their respective sports. That’s a pretty impressive resume.

Al was a great presenter, full of fun and practical advice. During his presentation, Al said the following statement:

“Every time you miss a workout, the next one is easier to miss.”

This statement really hit home because I’ve seen this time and time again working in the fitness industry and in my own life. One workout is missed, then an entire week of workouts are missed, then it’s been an entire month of never setting foot back into the gym.

It’s easy to get thrown off your workout routine when life gets busy and days get long. So what do you do? Do you just trash your workout plan?

The all or nothing attitude is common when it comes to making health changes. Either you’re following your plan 100% or you not. I’m here to tell you that doing something is better than nothing. Doing part of your workout or a mini workout is better than missing an entire workout.

The other day I had the choice to do something or nothing. I had a full day of work meetings, video, and family commitments. Here is what happened. I did shorter variation of my joint mobility routine. I followed that with a quick kettlebell circuit of 25 kettlebell swings, 12 kettlebell overhead presses, and 12 kettlebell goblet squats. I did three rounds of this circuit. That’s it! The following day, I got back to my regular exercise routine.

Be consistent with movement and you’ll always see improvements. That’s the magic of exercise. You'll get better if you just do it.

Use This Trick to Boost Exercise Motivation



Are you been struggling to get your workouts in? 

Do you belong to a gym and find that you're not going?

Do you have exercise equipment sitting in your basement collecting dust because you find that you just can’t get yourself down there?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions you are not alone. Many people struggle with finding the motivation to exercise.

The problem here is that you have head trash going on. Head trash is that voice inside your head coming up with a million excuses that inhibit you from carving out a bit of time to take care of yourself.

Head trash will tell you that you’re too tired, even though a workout would give you a boost of energy.

Head trash will tell you that you’re too busy, even though you just spent a half hour on Facebook.

Head trash is barking at you to take care of others, even thought you know your health is important for you well being.

Head trash is a real conflict that can get in the way of our health and fitness goals. We start an exercise program with the intentions of a long-term commitment. But after the initial excitement wears off, we find our workouts occurring less frequently. Head trash begins to take over and soon we find ourselves not exercising at all.

Here is my secret for winning the battle over the head trash that keeps getting in way of your workouts. Tell yourself that you are only going to exercise for 10 minutes and evaluate if you want to continue. If you're truly too tired you can stop after 10 minutes. If you're truly too busy you can stop and move onto a task that needs your attention.

Making this deal with your mind that you are only going to exercise for 10 minutes seems reasonable. The head trash will become quite because your mind is convinced it has an out within 10 minutes.

I've used this 10-minute trick myself. I grind through the first few minutes, but then the magic happens. Once you hit the 10-minute mark your body takes over. Exercise feels amazing and your body is energized and enjoying the movement. You have tricked your mind to get over the hurdle of starting and now you’re in the exercise groove.

Try the 10-minute trick next time your head trash is getting in the way of your workout. You'll be amazed how your workout consistency improves.

Top 5 Tips to Get Ready for Tough Mudder


When it comes to mud runs, Tough Mudder is a big deal.  This event covers ten to twelve miles of muddy running interspersed with challenging obstacles.  Using the word “challenging” when describing the obstacles along the course is an understatement.  Obstacles include getting an electrical shock, running through ice-cold water, jumping over fire, climbing over walls, and things you’ve seen when watching American Ninja Warrior.  Plus these obstacles are all done on a rugged, muddy terrain.  So, maybe the word dirty-insane-challenging would be a better fit to describe the Tough Mudder.

Don’t let this description lead you to think that this is an impossible feat.   The Tough Mudder website states that 1.3 million people have completed this event since it’s inauguration.  If Tough Mudder is on your bucket list, know that if they can do it so can you.  Here are 5 tips to get you ready to tackle the Tough Mudder.

1) Train: This tip seems obvious, but it’s not.  Many people are standing at the start line hoping for the best.  This strategy puts you at high risk for injury and not completing the event.  You need to train anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks for the Tough Mudder.  Use this guideline if you have a regular workout routine established.  If you’re new to exercise or have been on a workout hiatus you may need 4 to 6 months to get ready.  Carve out time in your schedule to train 3 to 5 days a week to prepare for this event.  If you need some guidance, join a training program to provide a road map to Tough Mudder success.

2) Run:  Tough Mudder is like a half-marathon on steroids.  Running is critical component when you find that you’re traveling up to a mile between obstacles.  Incorporate running intervals, hills, and fartleks into your training program.  Start your training off with a new pair of running or minimalist shoes so that by the time your Tough Mudder comes around your shoes are ready to get trashed.

3) Simulate Obstacles:  To feel confident at the start line of Tough Mudder, you need to practice skills that can help you with the obstacles.  This will reduce your risk of obtaining any injuries during the event.  Utilizing stairs, fences, playgrounds, rock climbing walls, football fields, lakes, and beaches are great places to start when looking to simulate obstacles.  Check out the Tough Mudder website to see a list obstacles.  Use your imagination to find ways to incorporate obstacle training in your workouts.   

4) Simulate Terrain: Running covered in mud with wet shoes is much different from running on the treadmill.  Running in the grass, on the sand and through the water is much different from running on asphalt.  Get ready to be a little uncomfortable.  Your shoes will begin to slide around on your feet and your clothes will cling to your body.  Get ready to work a little harder.  Your stride will be affected by the changes in terrain.  Practice running on the grass, in the water, and in the sand.  Make sure you get wet and run with soaked shoes and clothes. You’ll realize what shoes and clothes to wear on race day to be the most comfortable and effective.

5) Team: Teamwork is what Tough Mudder is about.  Teamwork is what keeps drawing people back to the Tough Mudder venue.  From the start to the finish, it’s about getting everyone across the finish line.  If you’re struggling to get over a wall, a hand is there to help pull you up.  When fatigue is setting in, another person is there to bring up your spirits.  You’re not alone out there.  At other races you find you’re left in the dust.  At Tough Mudder you are overcoming challenges with your muddy buddies. Get together with friends or a training group to form a team bond that will keep you accountable with your training and support you to the finish line.

Want personalized training???  Schedule a virtual appointment with Amber.

Keeping Up with the Kids



On Saturday my husband and I took our niece Anna out her annual birthday date. That date started with a trip to the Humboldt park playground. As with most kids, Anna ran straight to the spider-web jungle gym which I have to admit it looked pretty cool. Just before she began to climb up, she turned to look at me and said “Auntie Amber, climb up too!”

I was not wearing my playground apparel on Saturday. I had a cute pair of pink loafers on, skinny jeans, tank and a jean jacket. But it did look like fun so I decided to climb. No problems yet. I was good to go climbing around on the ropey, spider web apparatus. But of course, just climbing around was not enough. Anna suggested that we should race. Not just to the top, but to the top of the jungle gym over the side, across the rope bridge and down the slide. This is when my skill was put to the test.

As you could have guessed, Anna smoked me during our race. Not only that, but the jean jacket was off and I was working up a sweat. Was I getting a workout from my 9-year-old niece? I think so. But we both were having so much fun. We continued to climb up and down the fake rock wall, monkey bars and run around the playground. It was a blast.

But as I looked around the playground, I was the only adult climbing around the playground and playing. The other adults were sitting on park benches watching. One parent near by had to decline the request of a child they were with to join them on the playground equipment. I felt really good that I could be there with my niece running around, climbing and swinging.

Keeping up with our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews is really important as we age. Otherwise we sit on the sidelines. How do you train for the playground? Get in the weight room. Lift heavy things, jump, pull yourself up, move side ways, and challenge your body to do movements beside sitting or standing. If it’s been awhile or you’re just not sure where to start then get a trainer and join some group workouts.

It’s time to get moving. Because it starts out at the playground now but soon it will be mud runs, Frisbee, triathlons and weekend football games. You need to keep up!

When is the Best Time of Day to Workout?



There are various theories about the best time of day to workout. At the personal training studio I own, training sessions start as early as 5:45am and the latest sessions start at 8pm. We have people that get up early and get their workout done first thing in the morning. We also have other people that get it done after work to release the stress of the day.

So which group is getting the better workout?

If you’re an early bird or have too many evening commitments then a morning workout is ideal for you. Here are some benefits to training in the morning.

1. Very few things can get in the way when you workout in the morning. (Except for the snooze button.) Later in the day extra phone calls, meetings and tasks can get in the way of getting your workout done.

2. After a strength or interval training session, your metabolism is elevated for hours after your workout. Enjoy these post exercise benefits while you are awake and active instead of when you are at rest.

3. Exercise will boost your energy. Use the momentum from a morning workout to arrive at work energized, present and focused instead of feeling sluggish because you just got out of bed.

4. Exercise on an empty stomach before breakfast is a great way to burn more body fat. Upon waking, the body is in a fasted state. Without ready available glucose in the bloodstream, the body is forced to use fat as an available fuel source for the workout.

However, some of us need our sleep or need to burn off the steam of a hectic workday. Here are some of the benefits of working out in the evening.

1. Getting enough sleep is crucial for health and recovery. If you have to skimp on regular sleep to get up for an early workout, the benefits of the workout start to diminish.

2. Instead of taking that stress of work home, you hit the gym after work. Even after the worst workdays, exercise will boost your mood. Friends and family will be grateful that you get your workouts (aka therapy session) completed.

3. Often people feel stronger when they workout in the evenings. When performing strength tests people tend to lift heavier during evening workouts. This could be due to the fact that they are more awake or that they have food fuel to utilize during their exercise session.

4. Research shows that you can build more muscle with evening workouts because cortisol levels are lowest in the evening. The result of this will be a higher testosterone to cortisol ratio leading to a less catabolic workout.

So which time of day comes out on top for the best workout time? In my opinion, it’s the time that you can do consistently. It’s the time that works best with your natural energy rhythms, work schedule, and family commitments.

Experiment working out at different times to see what works best for you. When you find the right fit, schedule your workouts on your calendar to build the exercise habit.

We Need More.....Kettlebell

You either love them or you hate them.

When you are in love with kettlebells, like I am, you enjoy the multi-muscle group movements.  Kettlebell workouts are fluid, like a dance, putting together a chain of movements that leave your heart pounding and sweat pouring.  Yes, there’s some sneaky cardio component to a kettlebell workout.   A great blend of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.

If you hate kettlebells it’s because kettlebell exercises keep you honest with proper exercise execution.  Form is imperative to moves like the kettlebell swing or the kettlebell snatch.  Do it incorrectly and you’ll be either sore or have bruised wrists the next day.  But this is no reason to shy away from the kettlebell.  You have way too much to gain from this odd looking piece of exercise equipment.  

You will get a mega -caloric burn.  The American council on Exercise states that the average kettlebell workout burns 20 calories per minute.  That’s 1200 calories in just one hour.   Kettlebell workouts utilize many muscle groups to give you an efficient, total body conditioning workout.  

If you’re looking for a toned back side get a kettlebell.  The classic kettlebell swing works all the posterior muscles like your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.  But only if you use correct form.  Otherwise you'll find yourself with nagging back pain, instead of a better butt.  

Kettlebell exercises are functional movements that will allow you to play hard without getting injured.  If you are an athlete, a nature enthusiast, or just want to keep up with the kids then you need to give kettlebells a try.  During a workout, the exercises will target movements that will make getting up and down off the floor easier, as well as bending over to pick something up.

If you are interested in doing kettlebell workouts start with a coach or take class.  You can’t fake form with kettlebell exercises or you could end up hurt.  I’m not trying to scare anyone away because good form is easy to learn.   Your body will memorize the correct movement pattern and you’ll be on your way to a successful kettlebell workout.  
Fat Head: Tom Naughton's manifesto for low-carb eating

Fat Head: Tom Naughton's manifesto for low-carb eating

I just got back from Jimmy Moore's low-carb cruise to the Bahamas.

Among the many interesting people I met on the cruise was the creator of the documentary film, Fat Head, Tom Naughton.

Tom brings both creative insights into low-carbohydrate eating as well as humor. Low-carb eating can be a pretty contentious issue, but Tom made it fun. He will make you laugh about many of the odd notions we have about diet.

Among the best parts of Fat Head is Tom's portrayal of the effects of carbohydrates on insulin and fat metabolism:






Fat Head joins the ranks of films like Food, Inc, that make nutrition information entertaining. For anyone interested in a unvarnished look at diet, weight loss, along with a few laughs along the way, Tom Naughton's Fat Head is worth viewing.

Comments (16) -

  • Jimmy

    3/12/2010 6:28:59 PM |

    Dr. Davis, I agree Tom has hit on something HUGE with his film FAT HEAD which is why I asked him to join us on the cruise to show his film.  THANK YOU for your incredible contributions during the conference and I am grateful to you for your generous donation of time to join us. Smile

  • Kevin

    3/12/2010 6:39:52 PM |

    The low-carb manifesto tries to convince you that fat doesn't matter and therefore calories don't matter.  LC books pander to the people who can't or won't control their appetites, telling them, 'It's not your fault, have some brie instead of a cookie'.

    But ingested fat being twice the calorie density of carb or protein does eventually add to the fat stores.  Those LC dieters who lose weight and maintain have CCK's effect on satiety to thank.  

    kevin

  • Dr. Isaac Eliaz

    3/12/2010 9:03:23 PM |

    This is great! Check out my blog post on blood sugar and metabolic syndrome...http://tinyurl.com/y9tr8va

  • Anne

    3/13/2010 1:53:51 AM |

    It is a good film and the animation of how fats get into cells made it easier to understand. Tom's blog is always an entertaining and educational read. http://www.fathead-movie.com/

    I so wish I could have been on the cruise - maybe next time.

  • freyal

    3/13/2010 2:32:02 AM |

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    this is a comment for your fish oil article.  I have a curious case: one has very high triglycerides (above 1000 mg/dL) and recurrent acute pancreatitis since 20s, have been taking 9grams of omega-3 in combination with 145mg tricor, 40mg simvastatin and niacin (1g) per day for 1 year and haven't successfully lowered the triglycerides.  His LDL and cholesterol are both normal with very low HDL (<20). No liver, kidney, pancreas or thyroid disease.  Underweight, not drinking, follow a strict low fat, complex carb, good protein, high veggie diet.  What do you recommend?

  • Anonymous

    3/13/2010 9:14:19 PM |

    freyal, just wondering what your goals are with your patient?  If you are trying to kill him, you are doing a good job.  

    A low-fat, high "complex" carb diet will keep the triglycerides high and the HDL low, as you have proven.  It doesn't matter how much fish oil, statins, or niacin you add, until you re-align your thinking with regard to diet, you are never going to help this guy.

    Have you actually read this blog?  Because your question is ridiculous if you have.

  • freyal

    3/14/2010 2:53:32 AM |

    Thanks for your response!  I actually just started reading this blog more extensively after posting my comment above.  I see Dr. Davis's point on limiting carb.  So do you recommend low-fat low carb diet?  He actually tried low-carb high protein diet sometime ago but without much success.  Because it is hard to just eat protein (will be very high protein here for 2000-cal daily intake) without fat and carbs.  Maybe the failure was because he couldn't limit fat as strictly as in the low-fat, carb+protein diet.  His TG is very sensitive to dietary fat too.  But now we will try low fat, low carb and high protein diet and see if there is a reduction.


    Another problem is, what do you recommend for the "gas" problem associated with high protein diet?  Thanks for your help!!

  • Anna Delin

    3/14/2010 6:07:00 PM |

    Freyal, so you are saying his chylomicrons don't get cleared from the blood within reasonable time?

  • Anonymous

    3/14/2010 8:58:48 PM |

    freyal, no, high-protein/low-fat is not good either (look up "rabbit starvation").  Use a very low-carb/ moderate-protein/high-fat diet.  The best fats to raise HDL and lower triglycerides are saturated fats like butter, tallow and coconut oil.  Stay away from vegetable and most nut oils, especially because they are high in inflammatory omega 6 oils.

    Gas (usually caused by fermentable carbohydrates, including lactose if he is eating dairy) may not be much of a problem when you correct the diet but if it is, try digestive enzymes and betaine HCL.  

    Check out some other blogs on Primal or Paleo diets.  http://www.paleonu.com/ is one of the best, click on "Get Started" to see the diet then check out the rest of the blog!

  • freyal

    3/15/2010 1:06:48 AM |

    Hi Anna,
    yes.  His TG remains above 1000 with healthy diet and TG lowering medications.  His TG would only come down to normal level after several days of fasting during hospitalization due to acute pancreatitis.

  • freyal

    3/15/2010 1:10:15 AM |

    Hi Anonymous,
    thanks for the rabbit starvation info.  I thought high protein-low fat-low carb would be lacking a lot of essential nutrients.  

    But about your point that "The best fats to raise HDL and lower triglycerides are saturated fats like butter, tallow and coconut oil.", I have never heard about this and could not find any source.  Could you please point me to some studies that support this claim?  Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    3/15/2010 2:00:17 AM |

    freyal - is the patient gluten free instead of just wheat free?

  • freyal

    3/15/2010 6:53:27 PM |

    Hi,
    he is not gluten free or wheat free.  He tried moderate-fat, low carb, high protein diet, and also low-fat, moderate complex carb + moderate protein diet.  Both did not work to lower his TG.  He is not allergic to gluten I believe.

    Someone above mentioned high saturated fat (butter palm oil etc) works better to lower TG.  I'm not sure about this approach.  Even if there are studies supporting this (I only found one so far),they were all done with normal people.  He is not normal in terms of TG, he has genetically very high TG and is very sensitive to dietary fat (be it saturated or unsaturated) and would get acute pancreatitis every time following a large heavy greasy meal.  
    I appreciate all your comments, please leave more if you have thoughts about this patient, thank you!

  • Anonymous

    3/15/2010 8:36:03 PM |

    freyal - start with the PaNu blog and then look at the following blogs http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/, http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/. http://www.nephropal.blogspot.com/ - you will see hundreds of studies analyzed.

  • Anonymous

    3/17/2010 8:25:07 AM |

    the niacin is too low.  it should be 3gms/day.  ensure it is niacinic acid.

    http://www.lipidsonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?q=niacin

    and

    McKenney JM, McCormick LS, Schaefer EJ, et al. Effects of niacin and atorvastatin on lipoprotein subclasses in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia. Am J Cardiol 2001;88:270-274.

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