How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

Hey everyone,

Here’s this month’s article. Ever wondered how your diet is affecting your posture? I explore the relation in this month’s article.

How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

Have you ever thought that your eating habits are affecting your posture and body alignment? You probably know that age, height, fatigue and occupation affect your postural alignment. There are so many other factors that impact your posture, but what about nutrition? In this article, you’ll learn how and why your nutritional choices could be leading to postural misalignment.

To learn more, I consulted Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian, Melissa Halas-Liang, M.S. to discuss the subject. “The right diet helps avoid excessive weight,” was her opening statement. She continued, “The more weight you’re carrying is more detrimental to your posture.” Melissa explains that your lumbar curve maintains your upright posture and supports the weight of your body.

Excess weight places stress on your bones, muscles and joints and can cause an unnatural curvature of the spine. “Extra weight in the stomach pulls the pelvis forward and strains the lower back, creating lower back pain.” You read that correctly, your diet might be affecting your lower back, but it’s not just weight gain that’s affecting your posture, your nutrient intake and eating practices during meal times are also creating an issue.

Vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health and posture. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, Melissa urges that you get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet. “Vitamin D plays a major role in calcium absorption, bone health, muscle performance, balance and risk of falling,” she says. Sun exposure is also an important source of vitamin D, but you also need to ensure you’re receiving enough from your diet. While calcium can be found in dairy products, fortified foods and dark green leafy vegetables, vitamin D can be found in fortified milks and cereals, egg yolk, salt-water fish and liver. UV-treated mushrooms are a good plant source.Not convinced? Have you heard of kyphosis? It’s an exaggerated forward rounding of the back and while it has several possible origins one cause of kyphosis is when osteoporosis weakens and compresses the spinal bones. “Among the lifestyle factors that increase osteoporosis risk are low calcium intake and vitamin D insufficiency,” says Melissa.

Older adults are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency; anyone who has limited sun exposure or kidney issues also needs to be aware of this information. Please consult your physician if you’re unsure whether you’re not receiving adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Do not take supplements until you ascertain this information.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) website explains that excessive alcohol, caffeine, coffee and soft drink intake is detrimental to bone health because they interfere with calcium absorption and could contribute to bone loss. For you soft drink lovers, not every soft drink is bad for you. The NOF explains that colas, but not most other soft drinks, are associated with bone loss. “The carbonation in soft drinks does not cause any harm to bones. The caffeine and phosphorous commonly found in colas may contribute to bone loss. Like calcium, phosphorous is a part of the bones. It is listed as an ingredient in colas, some other soft drinks and processed foods as ‘phosphate’ or ‘phosphoric acid’.” By getting enough calcium to meet your body’s needs, you can make up for the loss.

So what about meal times? It often feels like the bulk of our problems originate from our habits around food and our meal times, but how does posture come into play? Melissa explains that eating while watching TV or on the computer means that people are usually slouched on their couch or slumped over their screens; neither are correct sitting positions for good posture and body alignment.

Additionally, you may be eating more calories while using social media and when enjoying some form of entertainment; this will lead to excess weight gain that could impact your postural alignment. Melissa blames late night, mindless eating of fatty, salty and sugary foods. You need to eat at a table, sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back without distractions (Implement NPI’s Four Points of Posture™); prevent mindless eating by becoming more mindful of your eating habits and food choices.

Your nutritional habits during meal times and your food choices affect your posture and body alignment. Ensure you’re receiving enough calcium and vitamin D and please consult a physician before taking supplements. Remember, be aware of your posture while eating and avoid eating mindlessly, you’ll look more confident and save yourself excess weight gain.

 References:

  • Halas-Liang, Melissa Personal interview. 11 February 2015.
  • “Food and Your Bones.” Food and Your Bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <nof.org/foods>.

To see the article and other articles from our website, see the link here

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Nutritional lies

Hey folks,

I found this article titled “Top 13 Nutrition Lies That Made The World Sick and Fat” by Kris Gunnars and I just had to share it with you. The references used are pretty good too. Take a read for yourself at the 13 nutritional myths that Kris believes are still being circulated and leave your comments on the article below. I’d love to hear what you think !

Enjoy !

Nick

27 Ways to Eat Healthier

Hi Folks,

A friend posted this on my wall I wanted to share it with everyone. It’s called 27 Easy ways to Eat healthier and it offers some pretty cool recipes; there’s some neat substitutes that you can use e.g. using black beans over flower or combining two ingredients to make ice cream. Check it out !

Nick

*Picture taken from the article above

Simple and Clean Eating

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Remember how i’ve spoken about moderation and eating simple and clean ? Here’s a prime example. Rice & Beans, well seasoned chicken (seasoned with herbs and some spices) and some shredded carrots. Washing it down with some homemade lemonade. Simple, clean and will get the job done ;).

Nick

Self Discipline is key. Cookies can’t stop me…This Body is Built by Moderation

Wow, what a journey it’s been over the past 2 months. Reflection is one activity I’ve grown fond of engaging, and it’s even better when I can compile my thoughts and put them out to the public and to anyone on a mission to stay fit, physically and mentally. The sun is hot and difficulty is ripe, but that’s a fruit that is slowly becoming stale. I can’t wait for the real fruit to bear, so that I may pick and eat from it. Until then, I’m going to share some insights I’ve had about food, nutrition and how it relates to your fitness.

I recall sitting in the dinning hall in Fall 2006, this memory always stands out to me. The image of myself seated, hunched over a plate of vegetables and meat with little to no carbs on my plate always seems to be the example I go too when thinking of a change in my nutrition and eating. That was the period of my life where I realized I had gone to college, gained 20 lbs of muscle and fat and needed to make a change. That semester my body fat was as low as 4% and it was due to the new mentality I had adopted when it came to food.

“I don’t need this, I think I need this, but I can survive without it, so why do I crave it ?” That’s the question I asked when I saw pizza and walked past it. I hated pizza, I hated anything fried, anything with lots of sugar and dough was the enemy. No soda, no coffee, no whole milk, no cereal, no pizza, no fried food and the list went on. I ate more vegetables, fruits, chicken (seasoned or unseasoned), got into drinking green tea and water. I worked out regularly with weights and did what I called “fat burning” cardio. That semester I lost my baby fat, I was never a runner and if you knew me before college you knew all i did was calisthenics and martial arts. I had never set foot in a gym, I had never lifted weights, 2006 was my 1st time…but when my time came, I learned a ton, burned a  lot and earned my respects in that arena and i’m still growing…

I want to break down the statement I made in my mind; ” I don’t need this, I think I need this, but I can survive without it”. To this day, I speculate to myself how I got to this point and I’m unraveling the way in which it became so tightly wound in my system. I do this for good reasons, reasons that would allow me to share it with readers like yourself. I realized that I didn’t need certain foods, cravings were mostly mental and that I could really survive and feel pretty good without them. I didn’t need the list of things I cut out and If there were nutrients in those foods that I lacked, I knew I could acquire them from other, healthier sources. I reduced Ice cream and chocolate, but once in awhile I would have them. I also realized I don’t need to have 10 cheat foods, I could have 1 or 2 and let that be my satisfaction.

I preach moderation and to this day I still adhere to it. A lot has changed, I’ve come to a place where I feel I’ve achieved a sense of balance. Those days are behind me and are honestly difficult to get back too at this moment in my life due to some circumstances that are in my control and many that are not. I’ve learned to adapt…sometimes we don’t have access to the foods we need to have and so we may have to eat certain foods to get by. I remember eating cereal because that was all I had a few months ago; I also remember eating sausages and sardines, on separate occasions. I would be lying to you if I told you that there aren’t times where we go through difficulties and we have to find the best way to adapt.

Have you begun thinking about the way you eat ? have you begun thinking about the way you may have adapted to eat based on your past ? Life changes, we get busier as we get older, we have more responsibilities. With time, age and life experience, unknowingly, many mindsets and beliefs are deposited on the inside and we don’t realize it until it’s too late. Do you eat everything on you plate just so it doesn’t waste ? Do you throw things out because you were taught too ? Do you drink a certain way because of your peers ? Think about it, reflect for a moment on the way you eat…use this time to slow the gears and look into the machine and the way it works.

I’ll tell you what Reader, I eat ice cream, chocolate and junk food very rarely; I have pizza either once or every two weeks (baked, vege pizza). Some weeks I have about a pack of 5 cookies as dessert (God they are good >.<), but they are semi sweet and are not made with unhealthy ingredients. I’ve learned to balance myself, I eat healthy and I don’t even realize it anymore. Even when making sausages, my mom has a method for getting rid of some of the salt and If I have them it’s limited to maybe once a week in a moderated amount. Sometimes, you’re hungry and all you have is…all you have, but the important parts are, you guessed it, moderation, learning to bounce back after you’ve stumbled, working hard at working out hard and paying attention to the way your body responds to food i.e. how do you feel after a particular meal and do you want to continue feeling like that every time ?

I hope you take the time to think and reflect reader, instead of beating yourself up, if you’re in the game of making lasting, positive changes then pat yourself on the back. Pat yourself on the back if, and when, you reflect on your current patterns because your mindset is SO powerful that it dictates the way you eat, the foods you’ll continue to like and dislike and the way in which you see your body. Hate is never cool, so self hate is even worse; love what you have, adapt to your environment and work toward changing it if you need too.

Remember, you don’t need that soda, you can survive without it, you can survive without ice cream, chocolate, beer, cakes etc. Think about it really, what is a craving ? what is this feeling, this thought of eating this particular food and do I realize that I can say “No” to it and move on ? Do I realize whatever I’m craving  has a better alternative that won’t make me feel bad after I eat it ? I want to feel good right ? I’m in the business of feeling great so I need to feel great and let that thought be my focus, I am in control and I decide what I crave.

Do it for yourself more than anyone else, you’ll be surprised at how amazing it feels, to feel great and stay there.

Self Discipline is key. Cookies can’t stop me…This Body is Built by Moderation

This is Nick A. Titley and i’m on a mission to keep you Fit.

It’s time to step it up

Good Day Reader,

For the past week and change I’ve posted fruit and vegetable recipes, alongside nutritional information. I want to take a minute to start helping you put it all together. Here are some nutritional tips and suggestions I have from my experience with eating, nutrition and the body.

I want to share these with you especially because you now have some cool recipes and smoothies to try.

My first lesson is about adaptation.

I recently read a tidbit from an article that spoke about our body’s ability to adapt:

“A closing point I want to make has been demonstrated in Hu et al’s recent meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing the effects of low-carb and low-fat diets on metabolic risk factors. Despite subtle differences, in a total of 23 trials (2788 subjects) a rather anticlimactic lack of significant therapeutic advantage was seen in any particular type of diet. Notably, the low-carb treatments ranged from 4 to 45% carbohydrate. This reinforces the principle that we humans are extremely versatile when it comes to diet. We can achieve excellent health on a very wide range of macro nutrient compositions. The supremacy of a single type of diet (e.g., low-carb or low-fat) simply lacks evidence.”
— Alan Aragon

It made me think about my experiences with Nutrition and eating over these past 6 months. I’ve traveled to different countries, states and house holds and I’ve had to eat different in each place, but one thing I was able to do was maintain a good workout scheme and not stray too far away from where I wanted to be. I lost a bunch of weight but I gained other things in the process. Reading the above statement and juxtaposing it with my life in college and my life now, I can definitely say that humans are truly made to adapt.

Here’s where it also comes in on nutrition and exercise. How, when, how much you exercise, sleep will determine how your body will feel, look and behave. Our bodies adapt to what we do consistently.

If I consistently ate burgers and fries from a fast food place, didn’t workout and stayed at home living a sedentary lifestyle then the chance of me putting on weight I don’t need is highly increased, no matter how fit I was.

If i consistently eat well and workout hard, but have burgers and fries once, yes, I may feel bloated, I may not feel very well because my body is adapted to eating a certain way; however, I’ve also noticed that I can recover from it.

Its what you do consistently that matters the most AND what you do in excess at one time or another that matters. What I mean here is this:

If I go to a buffet and pig out, I mean really let lose then yes it does affect me in the short term, some people may even look and feel slightly different the next day. I know hours after a huge meal I feel like I lose definition. Give it 2 days and I’m back to me, this may be different for many people granted.

Following me so far ? I hope so, Here’s something else I learned about adaptation.

I’ve been told our body is made to withstand starvation, but it’s not meant to withstand overabundance. That is, we can survive if we don’t have much to eat, our body will adapt to what we have and will store fat if it needs too. However, when we over eat, and eat, and eat consistently without much activity we gain weight. If we consistently eat the wrong kinds of foods that are high in fat and other human created modifiers, we could get obese…

So what do you to then ?, I’ve explained consistency in nutrition is key, if I consistently eat well and stay active I’ll be fine, if I consistently eat bad I’ll do bad. This is a basic premise and in another post I’ll get into phrase I use, “Skip beat and over eat” i.e. You skip meals, starve and then over eat.

So I’ve spoken about consistency right ?, have I hammered it home yet ? Consistency is one of the 3 keys I always tell clients. I have 3 C’s to success in any area:

CommencementCommitment and Consistency (yet another fun post I’ll be writing)

You have to begin and you have to consistently stay committed to getting your goals accomplished, to eating a certain way, to sleeping a certain time, to working out and staying active. Complacency is not one of my 3 C’s and I banish it from my vocabulary until it’s needed, and I’m suggesting you do the same.

Be consistent with what you do and be inconsistent with the junk food. If you want to have something different, find a creative way to use one of the recipes or smoothies I’ve mentioned in other posts. Do you want ice cream ? chocolate ? it can be done folks (granted you’re not allergic) and the simple word I use to sum up how it’s done is:

Moderation

Moderation is knowing how much to take and how much to avoid. Having some now so you can have some at a later time. Having a small portion now, so you can have some later. Use moderation to squelch that desire for chocolate. Sometimes when our body is craving something it could be our body’s way of telling us we need something that, that food has to offer. E.g. I’ve craved chocolate, out of the blue I get a chocolate craving and I know maybe I’m missing a certain nutrient found in chocolate and I should try to have some. How do I maintain my body and good vibe after consuming the sugary, sweet treat ? Moderation !

You’re body will adapt to having a certain eating regimen daily, it will adapt to a certain activity level and it will certainly adapt if you starve yourself, cut out fruits and veges, eat fatty foods, fail to exercise or get moving…and not every adaptation is positive…

So I leave you for now with all this information and knowledge, please ask any Questions I’ll be sure to follow up in another post. Expect more information, expect more, more, more; More foods, more veges, more fruits, more recipes and certainly more smoothies.

Before I close, I’m going to go over it one more time. Consistency in nutritional intake,your body adapts based on what you do consistently, moderation is key to enjoying those treats you crave, have a little now and save the rest for later, you’ll be less tempted to gorge yourself all at once. Take it from me, it’s better to eat a little and really savor it now than indulge all at once and regret it later.

Nick

Here are some recent pics I took, 10 days worth of consistent bar (outside) training and changing up my nutrition has helped my definition come out a bit more in these pics (Sorry for the blur on a few of those):

pose4 pose3 pose2 pose1