Author Archives: Chris
7 Evidence-Based Weight Loss Tips
It seems that once you search online for anything to do with weight loss, you’re soon to get blasted with ads for health gurus, 3-step plans, and magic pills that cut fat.
Unfortunately, any plan that forgets diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices isn’t one that works. It’s best to stick to the evidence-based facts. We’re going to give you some tried and true weight loss tips today.
Hopefully, the information below can give you some insight into ways that you can see some lasting change. Let’s get started:
7 Truly Effective Weight Loss Tips
We should mention that weight loss is different for everyone. Your journey will depend on your current lifestyle, your body type, and the particular challenges that your life offers.
That said, the tips below are broadly effective for most people. If we stick to the well-documented methods, we’re most likely to see results across the board.
1. Drink More Water
Drinking enough water is something that most people fail to do. It might seem like the recommended volume per day for your body type is excessive, but keep in mind that drinking water helps you burn fat.
Getting water into your system boosts your metabolism, curbs your hunger, and provides a wide range of other health benefits.
It’s wise to get a big reusable bottle of water, keep it on you at all times, and sip throughout the day. That’s the best way to get all of the water you need. The alternative is drinking exorbitant (but healthy) amounts at one time, which is pretty tough to do.
2. Understand How Food Interacts With Your Body
Think of the tidal wave of food marketing that you’ve been exposed to throughout your life. How much of the information we receive about food is actually accurate?
We’ve even found out that the food pyramid that was pushed in schools for decades is actually pretty suspect.
That means that a lot of our ideas about food might not be based on actual evidence. Understand what carbs do in the body, how dietary fiber operates, and what proportions are healthy for your lifestyle.
A foundational understanding of food will direct and inform your dietary choices. Instead of getting a diet soda, then, you might take a look at the back of the bottle and choose to drink water instead.
3. Reduce Carb, Sugar, and Starch Intake
That is if you’re consuming too much of those things now.
A lot of times, unhealthy weight gain is the result of too much sugar going into the body. Carbs are broken down into sugar, too, so eating excessive amounts of it leads to fat buildup.
Our bodies are storing that fat in case we need it later. A couple of thousand years ago, that fat would have been crucial for survival. Now, excess fat is the thing that leads to an untimely death for thousands of people each year.
So, identify the excess sugars and carbs in your diet and do the work to cut them out.
4. Focus on Protein
Try offsetting a portion of your carb intake with protein. Consuming protein throughout the day can prompt your body to use more calories, as well as reduce your feelings of hunger.
It’s also important to remember that not all proteins are created equal. There are nine essential amino acids that comprise protein. Not all sources of protein contain all nine of these acids.
Those sources that do are called “complete proteins.” Most meats offer complete proteins, while other sources are host to just a few of the amino acids you need in your diet.
There are certainly non-meat complete proteins. Many beans and seeds offer great sources.
5. Exercise Enough
We say “enough,” because many weight loss programs lead you to think that you have to be busting your butt constantly to see results.
The truth is, you should be doing what you can if you’re going the process alone. All of us have probably experienced a time when we started with a goal, pushed far too hard for our own abilities, and ended up just quitting.
The same goes for changing a diet, producing at work, or achieving any sort of goal. Your angle shouldn’t be one of brute force and dedication if that’s not who you are. Instead, you should be forgiving of yourself and have the foresight to set healthy expectations.
That said, exercising in any way might be a challenge for you. That’s a challenge that will greatly help your weight loss efforts when met. So, get up and get some cardio, but don’t set your sights so high that they’re unreachable.
6. Work With a Coach
What’s more motivating than a professional when you have to get something done?
Working with a weight loss coach is a method that will provide results time and time again. This is a person who can keep you in check and offer the most effective suggestions and programs when it comes to losing weight.
Instead of doing your research alone and trying to hold yourself accountable, this person will give you the information and motivation you need. While it might be a little daunting to work out with someone pushing you, the results that come are well worth the initial struggle.
Programs like ChiroThin are just the thing to get you motivated and start seeing results with the help of a pro.
7. Address Your Stress
Weight gain is a complicated issue. It happens as a result of imbalances in your life, whatever they may be. One of those imbalances is stress.
If you experience chronic stress, you might notice a significant amount of weight gain. It’s not stress alone that causes this, but our bodies’ responses to stress. When you’re body is stressed, your cortisol levels spike, and your blood sugar drops.
When this happens, we crave sugar. We want to eat sugary snacks, bread, and other things packed with carbs. This process continues and the habit of unhealthy eating turns into a coping mechanism, and we’re left a little less healthy.
Taking care of stress in whatever way you can is key to establishing a lifestyle change.
Ready to Make a Change?
Hopefully, the weight loss tips above have given you some food for thought. There’s a lot involved in losing weight, though, and we’re here to help you move forward.
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Call us at 412-243-WELL (9355) or learn more at www.WellnessPittsburgh.com
Chiropractic and Discs: All the Ways We Can Help
Whether it’s Arthritis, Degeneration, Bulging or Herniation
The other day I heard a patient say, “It’s my disc. You can’t help.” Honestly I was surprised to hear that from this person. The discs are DIRECTLY affected by a spinal adjustment, there is SO MUCH research (like this study) showing that chiropractic can help with disc problems.
What is the Disc?
The discs between each vertebrae are tough, fibrous bands that wrap around a soft jelly-like center (like a donut, but not as tasty). They hold the vertebrae together and also absorb shock and pressure to the backbone.
Because they are so tightly attached to the bone, when the vertebrae move out of alignment there is a lot of tension on the disc. Too much of this tension over too long a period of time can cause damage to the discs, as well as pressure on the nerves.
In our office we treat the discs in a few different ways
Adjustments: Realigning the spine is the first step in helping disc issues. We need to get the tension off of them so no more damage is done. The adjustment also helps get pressure off of the nerves to help with the pain.
Stretching: We use a method to stretch out the spinal joints called Flexion-Distraction, which helps hydrate the discs and get pressure off the nerves. This improves their ‘squishiness’ and helps with the shock absorbing. It also increases circulation to the discs, which speeds up their healing.
Cold Laser Therapy: Cold laser is incredible at speeding up healing time. This form of light therapy triggers the cells to grow and form new healthier cells quicker. It’s really useful for areas of the body that don’t have a lot of blood flow, like ligaments, cartilage, and discs.
Nutrition: It is vitally important when dealing with any long-term chronic condition that the body be nourished as well possible. Anti-oxidants, good fats, and a quality joint support formula will help the disc recover as quickly as possible, and also help the results last longer. We recommend an all natural glucosamine formula from Standard Process that our patients love. Be careful where you get your glucosamine from. Most of what’s on the market is garbage!
Postural/Ergonomics Training: Most of the research shows that without a good regimen to follow during and after treatment, most disc problems will return. This is why it is crucial to start implementing things like yoga, postural awareness, and strength/stretching routines when there is any disc problem. Plus, it will help the whole body, too!
I hope you have found this information helpful. Remember we are always here to answer your questions. Call or message us for a free consultation!
The Adjustment: A Few of the Common Techniques We Use to Help You Feel Better
Ok, I know there are some people who LOVE to watch those adjustment videos online. And I’ve been meaning to make some for a while. So without further ado, I want to share with you the most common adjustments we perform her at Wellness Pittsburgh.
Now I need to first say, everyone is different. We examine each patient thoroughly first to determine what kinds of adjustments would be safest and most effective. There are about 4-5 techniques we use here to adjust. Certain people prefer a lighter adjustment with no ‘cracking’ or ‘popping’. Other people can’t tolerate a lot of force with the adjustments due to osteoporosis or other degenerative conditions.
That is why it is crucial to have a consultation and exam with the doctor first to find out what will work best. Even then, with some of our clients it can take a few visits to find the best technique for them.
Keep in mind, while most people feel GREAT after an adjustment, sometimes there can be a little soreness the next day. Very rarely there can be more pain, usually when the spine was really badly out of alignment. In this case it’s important to come back in for another realignment as soon as possible. After the second time there is usually a noticeable change in pain levels.
Always remember, if something doesn’t feel good, tell your chiropractor. I mean, we’re good, but we’re not mind readers. Getting that feedback from a patient helps me to find the best technique to get the best possible results.
How to Know When You Need an Adjustment: Top 3 Ways
Most people make an appointment when they are having pain. And we all know chiropractic is great for helping with pain, but what if you could prevent it before it starts. Just like how regular dental care reduces pain and problems with our teeth, regular chiropractic care reduces pain and problems in our spine. Watch the video below for some quick tips to know when you need to be adjusted, before that nagging pain returns.
So, yes, pain is an indicator you need an adjustment. Or rather you needed an adjustment a few days or weeks ago. Radiating pain shows a deeper issue, usually involving the discs, or some kind of pressure to the nerves exiting the spine. If you have radiating pain get adjusted ASAP!
Assymmetry gives us insight as to what is going on in our underlying structure, particularly the spine. If your head is tilted to one side, or your shoulder or hip is higher, your spine is most likely not aligned. If it’s not aligned, degeneration (arthritis) will be sped up, inflammation will increase, and you will most likely be hurting pretty soon.
Motion is such a big key here as well. And this takes awareness. Notice how far your head turns to one side or the other. Notice what movements seem difficult, or restricted. Do you have a hard time turning your body to one side versus the other? When there is restriction in any of our movements, there is usually a joint that is not properly aligned. There will be muscle involvement as well, but remember any time a muscle is tight or weak, there is an effect on the joint. And anytime a joint is out of place, there is an effect on the muscles.
Remember, the more aligned your spine is, the less degeneration and arthritis will occur, and the better your nervous system will work. Best of all the better you will feel!
Change These 4 Things in Your Diet Now
We all know the basics with nutrition, right? Eat more fruits and veggies, watch the sugar and salt, balance your diet with all the colors of the rainbow, etc etc. But there is so much more to eating a truly healthy diet. Here are 4 simple things you can do to start taking your nutrition game to the next level.
Eat whatever you want! As long as you MAKE IT YOURSELF. This is one of the best pieces of advice for anyone trying to eat better. The large food ‘industry’ adds so many unnecessary ingredients into the products the manufacture. There are ingredients to preserve shelf life, ingredients to change color and appearance, even ingredients to stimulate our brains and our taste buds that actually make these foods addictive.
Fats are your Friends! Years ago there seemed to be a war on fats. They were responsible for obesity and heart disease, among other things. But the whole truth is that we NEED fats on our diet. Good fats, that is. Every cell in our body is coated with a fatty layer that allows nutrients to pass in and out of the cell. Our brains and nervous systems are made up of a lot of fatty tissue. Many of our hormones and endocrine glnds rely of fats for proper function. Also, consumption of healthy fats actually DECREASES the amount of bad fats in our body. So eat those avocados, use that coconut oil, eat those good locally farmed eggs. Your body will thank you.
Let’s talk about animal products. Most of our meat, dairy, eggs etc come from large scale farms that don’t always treat their animals the best. They are usually crammed into tight quarters in dirty environments. They are usualy given antibiotics due to the high levels of infections caused by these conditions. Often they are given hormones to make them grow larger, or affect the product in other ways. The high levels of stress these animals experience does go into the product, changing it in an undesireable way. The best thing we can do for ourselves, and for our environment, is to get as much of our animal products from local farms that treat their animals well. Happy animals make a better product.
Fermentation: Fermentation has been a part of every civilization since the beginning of time. I’m sure you’ve tried saurkraut, kimchi, or yogurt in your life. Historically it has been a method of preserving food, but it has many other benefits. Fermentation uses bacteria or yeast to start breaking down foods, but also to prevent bad bacteria and yeasts/molds from spoiling the food. This also increases the amount of certain vitamins and nutrients, like some B vitamins. Fermentation also breaks down something called phytic acid, which is an enzyme inhibitor found on grains, seeds, and legumes. By breaking this down the food becomes alive, and will grow if given the opportunity. It’s always better to eat food that is alive rather than dead.
So take these 4 tips and start implementing them now. You will feel SO much better!
Chiropractic and Yoga
For years I’ve been benefiting from both chiropractic care and yoga. There are many similarities between the two. Both help with our alignment. Both help improve our range of motion, and decrease stress. I’ve been recommending that my patients start their own yoga practice to help maximize the benefits they receive from an adjustment. But I feel that both chiropractic and yoga can be misunderstood by many. I hope this video will help clarify some things, as well as give you some good tips to help you to feel better.
When our spines are in line, our range of motion is better. This not only helps us to move through yoga poses easier, it also minimizes potential damage and strain to the joints. If we are really stretching out our joints and they are not moving right, we could hurt ourselves.
Yoga also is about POWER and STRENGTH. It’s not just about flexibility. Holding these poses strengthens our postural and core muscles. This will also help the body to hold the adjustments longer after treatment.
There are so many parts of a healthy lifestyle. So many therapies that are effective. It can be hard to know what is the best course to take when changing our lifestyle for the better. But one thing is for sure: The combination of regular chiropractic care and yoga is one of the best things you can do for your body.
Check out https://www.yogahivepgh.com/ for some great classes and events!
Posture: A deeper look into how to be more aligned
At some point we’ve all heard that we need to stand up straight. Pull our shoulders back. Chin up! And while we may be able to correct some of these things by just sheer determination, there are some other important factors to acheive that great posture we are all looking for.
Most of us neglect our breathing. We breathe from a more stressed out, or ‘sympathetic’ state. Focusing on slow, full breaths in through our nose will help to expand our ribcage, which will improve our posture.
Another often overlooked factor is literally foundational to our posture: our feet. The arches in the feet are actually different bands of muscles. They have a kind of spring-like action when they are working correctly. Most of us are thrown into shoes way before our arches have developed, and we wind of wearing shoes with arch supports for most of our lives. Constantly ‘supporting’ these muscles will actually make them weaker over time. So take more time to walk around barefoot. It will help more than just your feet.
Finally, no one can have correct posture if their spine is out of alignment. You just can’t. And you won’t always have pain when the spine isn’t aligned. It’s crucial not only for your posture, but for your overall health and well-being to get your spine checked every few weeks, even if you’re not hurting.
So put those shoulders back, keep your chin up, and pull your low back into your belly. And also all the other stuff mentioned above 🙂
Carpal Tunnel: what is it and what to do about it
We all know someone (or maybe you’ve experienced this yourself) who has had pain in the wrist. Sometimes it can extend into the hand, or up to the forearm. You’ve probably heard the term ‘Carpal Tunnel’ used when this is the case.
The Carpal Tunnel just refers to a sheath that wraps around the tendons controlling our fingers and hand muscles. Watch the video below for a better explanation:
We’ve all got a carpal tunnel (actually two, if you have both hands), but this term usually refers to a problem, usually pain or lack of movement, within this area.
So if you or someone you know is experiencing any hand or wrist pain, even elbow, shoulder, collarbone, or neck pain, have them see a good chiropractor to adjust those areas. Do the stretches outlined in this video. Massage the spots pointed out here as well.
Remember, the pain you’re feeling in your wrist or hand could be coming from a completely different area.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you have. We’re here to help 🙂
Why Chiropractic? I could have done ANYTHING!
When I was younger, I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I was all over the place. But I was really GOOD at whatever I was doing. I worked in catering since I was 13 (yeah, I know, child labor laws). I was cooking, serving parties, and managing the place by 18. I worked part time doing construction and contracting (which is paying off huge dividends now as a homeowner). I was playing in bands, just starting to actually make some good money at gigs. I had an interest in physics, biology and medicine, and could have easily gone to med school with my GPA and SAT scores.
But there was a problem that I saw. People were sick. My own family was affected by chronic disease as well as addiction. My friends and neighbors seemed to be suffering from the same problems, and our health care system seemed to be failing them all.
I had always loved helping people, and always wanted to help those closest to me most. So after injuring myself and finding almost immediate relief with a local chiropractor, I became intrigued. Why was it that after getting treated for some back pain that my whole body felt better?
Seriously, I had lived with asthma (albeit mild to moderate) since a young child, and it was pretty much gone after a few weeks of regular adjustments. I had worn glasses since the 2nd grade, and at the next school eye exam they told me my vision was better than average. Yeah, could have been coincidence, but the more digging I did, the more I found that chiropractic affects the whole body, since it takes pressure off of the nerves that CONTROL the whole body, and I REALLY experienced it!
It was soon after that that I decided I wanted to do this. I wanted to REALLY help people! I began talking to people, and hearing others recount their experiences. One of the most common things I hear them say before telling their tale of recovery, when everyone else told them they had to just live with their problems was, “What do I have to lose?”…
THE PAIN OF GROWTH
WOW! What a great month it has been! So much has changed. Many hours were put into breaking down everything in our old office and moving it piece-by-piece to our new space. Renovations were done. Carpets were torn out, yanked and ripped bit-by-bit from the floor they were once glued to so that the new carpet could be installed. Walls were scraped, sanded and spackled so that the proper paint could be applied. Four-hundred pound tables were heaved, pushed, pulled and thrusted in any way possible in order to get them to the proper position within the rooms. Network cables were ran, re-ran, and ran again until they were right. So many little things had to be done so that we could open and begin to care for you, our incredible clients, in this new office space.
And then… the pain set in.
Each movement sent shooting, cramping pains throughout my limbs. The dull ache in my back reminded me day after day of the immense work that I had done, and still was doing. It was as if it was saying, “STOP! You are doing too much! You’re just one man!” And guess what… it was right! My body was working perfectly. My pain was there as a sign, a reminder not only that I had pushed myself pretty hard, but also as an early warning system to prevent me from hurting myself by continuing.
You see, almost all growth requires us to push ourselves, to reach beyond our comfort zone, get a little uncomfortable. This is how we grow. Bones strengthen only when stressed. Muscles grow in size only after they strain from so much effort that they use up all the oxygen around them. Our mind learns only after we force the use of a specific pathway over and over again until the brain “glues” it into place. Nothing comes without effort.
After a hard workout, you should feel a little sore. After doing a new workout, you should feel a little sore. But there is a difference between feeling a little sore because of pushing yourself and hurting because you have damaged your body.
Pain is our friend. No, that is not a typo. Yes, I meant to say that. In fact, look at what happens when someone can’t feel pain.
There are neurological conditions out there where people lose the ability to feel pain. They bump their toes into things, they bleed, get infected, in some cases gangrenous, and need to be amputated. Others will burn themselves and not know about it. They risk serious infection, loss of body parts, the risk of bleeding to death, and many other complications because their body cannot tell them there is danger.
Pain is GOOD! It often brings clients into our office. They realize it is not natural to have headaches or low back pain, shoulder pain, etc as much as they do. They listen to their body and want to know why this pain recurs. They eventually understand the relationship between their pain and their nervous system, and learn how to prevent recurrences in the future through Wellness-based chiropractic care, not symptom-based care.
Pain is an early warning system designed to stave off danger. Fail to pay attention, and you risk damaging the very body that tried to warn you. Listen to those subtle clues, and you will have a long and wonderful relationship with the “’human suit” you are wearing.