Die It: Tipping the scale toward a healthy lifestyle
How did you start off the year? "I'm going to lose 20 pounds."; "I'm going to try this diet.";... 

thinner man standing on a scale

SCREEEEEEEECH! Hard brake. We're going to stop obsessing over the scale. That's so 2022 ;-) It's time to focus on whole-body health—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Actually, a focus on whole-body wellness—engaging in consistent, moderately intense exercise; taking time to explore your passions; eating unrefined foods; spending time with your dearest; and investing in purposeful activities—has been shown to result in an optimal weight, sound mental health, and satisfaction.

It's time to focus on whole-body health—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Diets and Meal Plans

Nevertheless, with all the coverage diets get, it's worth taking a look at some of the most popular ones, and if they might work for you.
  • Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent Fasting involves cycling between eating and fasting (conventionally allowing only water and meals of no more than 50 calories). Adherents have various options including 16:8 (an eight-hour window for eating and 16 hours of fasting during the day); 10:14 (a 10-hour eating windows and 14 hours of fasting during the day); alternate day fasting (ADF); One Meal a Day (OMAD); and 5:2, which entails normal eating for five days a week and two days of the week in which you reduce your caloric intake to, at most, a quarter of your usual levels. There aren't restrictions regarding what to eat; the only limits are when to eat. However, intermittent fasting can present some disadvantages. Some may experience nearly excruciating hunger between meals. Intermittent fasting can also lead to bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort. Just as importantly, intermittent fasting, has been shown to have a negligible impact on weight loss, compared to caloric restriction, during regular meals. As we know, weight loss is the prime motivation, for many individuals, to begin intermittent fasting in the first place. Therefore, portion control, balanced meals composed of unrefined foods, and daily exercise may be the real path for optimal weight and physical health. 
  • Keto Diet: The Keto Diet is a low-carbohydrate diet (such as Atkins, South Beach, or Paleo, which will be discussed below); however, unlike previous low-carbohydrate diet, Keto promotes fat as the main food source—as much as 90% of daily calories in fact—with the rest of the diet consisting of proteins. There is no preference for the type of fat consumed. So, could a diet, based on fat, help you lose weight? Keto is meant to compel your body to use a different kind of fuel—ketone bodies, which the liver generates from stored fat—instead of glucose, a sugar which serves as the body's natural and primary source of energy, typically sourced from carbohydrates including grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. However, inducing the level to produce ketones is a demanding task. It demands minimal carbohydrate intake, between 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates daily (it's worth noting that a banana, of average size, contains 27 grams of carbohydrates). Additionally, it can take a few days, of unrelenting carbohydrate deprivation, to reach ketosis. Furthermore, one must be very selective with their low-carbohydrate diet; over-consumption of protein can hinder ketosis.  
    Though many have reported losing weight under the Keto Diet, only short-term weight loss has been studied. As widespread adherence to keto is still relatively new, there are no data on enduring weight-loss impact. Additionally, there can be side effects from the Keto Diet. Again, as the diet lacks guidelines on which fats to consume--fats from bacon to olive oil are allowed under the plan--a rise in LDL (bad cholesterol) is commonplace, which can lead to heart disease. Moreover, followers are not encouraged to eat vegetables are fruits, which can lead to fiber deficiencies, and escalate risk for colon cancer, diabetes, and similar lifestyle conditions. Furthermore, as the diet's focus is on lowering carbohydrate consumption, nutritional deficiency could be another result. The authentic evaluation of the keto diet's efficacy can only come in the coming years, and with substantially more data.
  • Whole30: Under the Whole30 Diet, followers will eliminate food sources that have been shown to adversely impact health—including refined foods, those high in saturated fat, and those high in processed sugar—for 30 days. Though the diet offers no recommendations regarding caloric intake, portion control, exercise time, or exercise form, it offers solid guidelines for long-term physical health.  Nevertheless, it may not be suitable for all, and some, particularly those who may be predisposed to eating disorders, may benefit from more guidance. 
  • Paleo Diet: The Paleo Diet—also known as the Caveman or Stone-Age Diet—is principally comprised of fresh lean meats and fish, fruits, nuts (for those who are not allergic) and seeds, vegetables, and healthier fats, including coconut and olive oils. Foods to avoid include dairy, refined sugars, salt, and refined oils like canola. Raw and lightly cooked foods are favored. The idea is that if you eat like those in prehistoric times, you'll avoid the chronic lifestyle conditions which plague us today including diabetes and heart disease. As can be surmised, a vegan diet is not inherently consonant with the Paleo Diet; however, the structures can be amended to conform to the vegan lifestyle, especially with Paleo's requirement to consume only unprocessed foods. 
  • Mediterranean Diet: The Mediterranean Diet is consistently rated as the diet which best contributes to an optimal weight, and is the most versatile; it can be integrated into intermittent fasting and the Paleo Diet, as discussed above, the Sirtfood Diet and Stepped Consumption—both of which will be discussed below—among others. Attributes of the Mediterranean Diet include a focus on lean meats and eating less red meat, limited amounts of sugar and saturated, and making fruits and vegetables, nuts (for those without allergies), and whole grains (for those without celiac disease) staples of the daily diet. Moreover, US News & World Report also recognized the Mediterranean Diet as the top for bone and joint health (tied with the DASH Diet which is aimed at lowering hypertension, and is also rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains); families; and plant-based diets.
  • The Sirtfood Diet: Though many attributed the Sirtfood Diet to Adele's dramatic weight loss, the Grammy- and Oscar-winning pop icon credits daily, intense exercise—including weight training, boxing, and hiking—to her fitness and well-being. We'll take a look at it anyway. The Sirtfood Diet is derived from research on sirtuins (commonly known as SIRTs), a collection of seven proteins, found in the body, which have been demonstrated to manage a range of functions including metabolism, inflammation, ageing, and, consequently, lifespan. Along with the promotion of sirtuins, the Sirtfood Diet demands tight caloric restrictions, which may elevate the body's generation of SIRTS. Initially, the Sirtfood Diet is implemented over a three-week course—with Phase I, lasting for seven days, and kickstarts weight loss, entailing a maximum caloric intake of 1,000 from day one to three and a maximum of 1,500 calories from day four to seven, comprised of foods such as miso-glazed tofu and stir-fried buckwheat noodles, found in the sirtfood diet, and Phase II, lasting two weeks, regarded as the "maintenance period," does not specify daily caloric intake but advises three complete meals—again, contained in the sirtfood diet guide, along with at least one serving of the signature green juice per day. However, the reliance on a prescribed, formulated green juice—which should be consumed as much as thrice daily, according to the Sirtfood Diet—can raise blood sugar (juices contain significant levels of fructose, and other sugars, without the levels of fiber, that whole fruits and vegetables offer. Additionally, chief ingredients of the Sirtfood Diet—namely, matcha green tea, lovage, and buckwheat—can be expensive, hardly making this diet accessible. However, sirtuins, the foundation of the Sirtfood Diet, have been shown to guard against heart disease, slow aging, and extend the lifespan. It bears mentioning that NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide), an activator of sirtuins, is in a substantial number of Seminal products including Celluron, Potenseed, and The Purifier. Please see below.
  • Stepped Consumption/"Declining Balance": A member of our team began following this plan after being underwhelmed by intermittent fasting (she corroborated some of the downsides mentioned above). Stepped Consumption involves eating small, balanced meals—also called "grazing," "nibbling," or "mini-meals"—ideally, those comprised of lean proteins and complex carbohydrates (chicken, fish, legumes, nuts (if one is not allergic), etc.)—every two to three hours until approximately three hours before bedtime. This plan is especially suited for those experiencing, or prone to, gastrointestinal difficulties such as nausea, vomiting, or bloating; early satiety (fullness); or gastroparesis, also called stomach paralysis, which is a condition arising from irregular contractions from the stomach to the small intestine. It is also most convenient for those with more flexible schedules, and consistent access to healthy or personally prepared food throughout the day. Meals under this diet can be as small as a palm full to as large as half a plate. Some adherents start with a larger meal (a plate full) in the morning with progressively smaller meals—hence, the name "declining balance"—throughout the day. The last meal is the lightest (e.g., an apple or a piece of chicken). Moderate physical activity is recommended right before bedtime to optimize energy consumption and enhance sleep. Let the last hour before you go to bed be real down time, for you to wind down and reflect. Please see "Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle" below.
No matter which diet, or meal plan, you follow, ensure that you get adequate sleep each night (it helps to stick to a consistent bedtime); manage your stress (even in the most challenging circumstances, maintain your perspective); and, always take solace in the "little wins," and what you were able to accomplish during the day. Here are some other tips. 

Take solace in the little wins, and what you were able to accomplish...

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

As we discussed at the beginning of the post, there needs to be a shift from a number on a scale to our complete wellness level, involving physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. A healthy diet is a key building block; however, whole-body wellness involves daily physical activity; regularly engaging in interactive learning; interacting with old, and new, contacts; and, staying rooted to that which is beyond yourself. Some tips are below:
  1. Make exercise a daily practice—Even moderate exercise, such as walking around the block or opting for the stairs, instead of the elevator, for intermediate heights, can give your body the physical activity it needs. And, even a few minutes of exercise, on particularly hectic days, is beneficial. Actually, it's during the most frantic days that you need exercise the most. Exercise is a time for you to recharge, often letting you reset your mood and renew your perspective, leading to breakthrough solutions.
  2. Learn something new each day—Learning should continue even when you're not in the classroom, and throughout your life. You can expand your knowledge about a favorite hobby or longtime passion, through a video or article, or think about developing a new skill. Have you always wanted to paint? Maybe you've had an idea for a cool website, but you never learned how to code. Picking up new skills like these are excellent ways to keep your mind sharp and engaged. Frequent mental stimulation has also been shown to decrease dementia risk. Not only does learning something new promote mental health, it makes life that much more interesting.
  3. Spend time with your circle and broaden it—As we get older, and "responsibilities" interfere, it's hard to make as much time with friends and family. But, your social circle is as vital a part of wellness as any. Those with strong social ties tend to have lower rates of anxiety and depression, and have more positive outlooks. But, don't refrain from making new friends either. Broadening your social circle can lead to fun new experiences, additional interests, and a greater network of support, especially during inevitable challenges.
  4. Wind down and reflect—Let the last hour of your day be a time for you to truly slow down and process. Yes, think about what you still have to do, but be grateful for what you were able to accomplish, the disasters that were averted, the crises you're overcoming, and the progress, even incremental, toward your goals. Have this time be a restful coda to another phase of your journey, no matter how trying the day. Don't dwell on the problems; stay motivated by the possibilities.
  5. Connect to that which is beyond yourself—Connecting to that which is beyond yourself can involve volunteering or making a similar impact on the community (e.g., coaching a little league team or starting an after school club). Let it also involve being grateful for the Source of your power, and for making through another day. Each moment we have is a precious gift. Let us not take even a second for granted.

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No matter the approach, whole-body wellness asks you to strive for your best self, and to give that to others, each day. We all have so much to potential. Neither a number on a scale, nor a calorie count, can ever measure that.


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Physical activity for a healthy weight. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html

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Harvard Health Publishing. (2020). Should you try the keto diet? https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet

Hattersely, G. (2021). Adele, reborn: The British icon gets candid about divorce, body image, romance & her "self-redemption" record. https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/adele-british-vogue-interview

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Lau, Y., Fang, L., Cheng, L.J., & Kwong, H.K.D. (2018). Volunteer motivation, social problem solving, self-efficacy, and mental health: A structural equation model approach. Educational Psychology, 39(1), 112-132. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2018.1514102

Liu, D., Huang, Y., Chenishan, H., Yang, S., Wei, X., Zhang, P., Guo, D., Lin, J., Xu, B., Li, C., He, H., He, J., Liu, S., Shi, L., Xue, Y., & Zhang, H. (2022). Caloric restriction with or without time-restricted eating in weight loss. New England Journal of Medicine, 386(16), 1494-1504. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2114833

Mayo Clinic. (2021). DASH diet: Healthy eating to lower your blood pressure. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20048456

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Marc Bowers

Date 2/8/2023

Seminal Wellness Team

Date 2/26/2023 5:24:27 AM

Taysha Mabley

Date 2/26/2023

Seminal Wellness Team

Date 2/26/2023 5:13:09 AM

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