Ask Davey

Every week, Davey Wavey answers fan questions about fitness, nutrition or general health. If you have a question, send it to Davey at davey@daveywaveyfitness.com

I’m Obese And Want to Lose Weight. Where Do I Start?

In the last 7 years, I’ve gained 160lbs. Though I was athletic my entire life, I recently hit 320lbs and I’ve decided that it’s time to do something. Right now, the only exercise that I get is walking from the couch to the refrigerator during commercial breaks. My diet is also pretty fatty.

I don’t even know where to start. Do I exercise? Do I eat better? Both?

From,
Jordan

0601_MGMT_obese_630x420Hey Jordan,

The first step is always the hardest – and you’re well on you way to taking it. Congratulations on your resolve. By creating a healthier lifestyle, you’ll improve the quality of your own life and have so much more to give the people around you.

So which comes first? Exercise? Or diet? The truth is, both. By combining a healthier diet with exercise, you’ll decrease the calories going into your body and increase the calories going out. This creates a calorie deficit; the result is weight loss.

Can you get results from just diet? Sure. Can you get results from just exercise? Of course. But creating a healthy life – and getting the best results possible – comes from a combination of moving more and eating smarter.

As I’d advise anyone in your situation, start gradually. We are creatures of habit and stubbornly resistant to change – especially big changes. As such, lean into the improvements. Start with a walk here. And a salad there. Maybe join a gym and start with two or three days per week – and only exercise 30 minutes. Grill up some fresh vegetables. Replace your a soda with water.

You didn’t gain 160 pounds overnight, and you won’t lose it overnight either. And that’s okay. As you slowly introduce new and healthy changes into your life, your body and mind will have time to adapt. That’s a good thing.

So why wait? Start right now. Get off the f*cking internet and take a walk. Everything will still be here with you return.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For help losing weight with a focus on nutrition, exercise and self-love, try Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program.

Are Vegan Desserts Healthier?

I have a sweet tooth and love dessert. When I go out with my friends, I’ve noticed that a lot of cafes and some restaurants offer vegan desserts. I’m not vegan, but I was wondering if these desserts are healthy?

From,
Liz

tart_1857Hey Liz,

If any food is vegan, it simply means that it’s made without any animal products including dairy like milk or butter. The term vegan isn’t synonymous with healthy. Just like non-vegan foods, some vegan options are healthy and some are not.

As such, not all vegan desserts are created equal.

Case in point, vegan cupcakes, cookies, cakes and pies. Just like traditional baked goods, these vegan desserts are loaded with unhealthy ingredients like corn syrup, sugar, white flour, unhealthy oils and so on. As such, these vegan baked goods aren’t a healthy choice. Instead, just like traditional baked goods, they can be a special treat – or something of which you might only eat a few bites.

On the other hand, a bowl of fresh cut fruit is both vegan and nutritious. My three ingredient cookies are also a healthy and vegan dessert choice.

The bottom line, the list of ingredients is the determining factor in whether or not a dessert is healthy – and not simply the label of vegan.

Love,Davey

 

Is Swimming Better Exercise Than Running?

Dear Davey,

I used to run a lot, but I’ve recently taken up swimming which I really enjoy. However, I’m wondering which is a better workout? Swimming? Or running?

From,
Lucas

sexymaleswimmersHey Lucas,

When comparing swimming to running, there are a few big differences.

The first is convenience. For one, swimming requires a pool – and often a pool membership. If you’re traveling or on vacation, you might not have access to a lap pool. Second, swimming requires more preparation. In addition to showering before entering the pool, you’ll need to pack a bathing suit, towel, goggles, etc. Running, on the other hand, is much more convenient and accessible. You can do it on any street and only need a pair of sneakers.

In terms of calories, it really depends on intensity. If you run and swim with the same intensity, the caloric breakdown is quite similar; there’s not a huge difference between the two. Personally, I find it much easier to push myself on a treadmill versus swimming in a pool – but that is a matter of preference.

There are health risks involved in both running and swimming. Regardless of the exercise, there’s always the risk of injury. It’s important to consult with a physician before starting any routine. Having said that, swimming provides lower amounts of impact on the body’s joints. Because swimming is low impact, it’s a form of cardiovascular exercise often favored by the elderly and individuals with joint or knee issues.

Above and beyond these details, there’s another important variable to consider: enjoyment. Looking forward to a workout is a huge motivating factor; if you enjoy your workout, you’re more likely to stick with it. And a good workout is a consistent workout.

In other words, if you prefer swimming to running, embrace it!

Love,
Davey

 

Do Vibration Fitness Plates Work?

Dear Davey,

My gym has a vibrating fitness plate that I’ve seen people use for push-ups, squats and other exercises. I’ve given it a try, but I’m not really sure what it does and if there are any benefits. What’s your take?

From,
Britney

PP_Pro5_Male_SidePlankHey Britney,

According to WebMD, vibrating platforms – often called “Power Plates” – were first developed to train Russian cosmonauts. Over the years, the technology was refined and quickly spread across Europe, Asia and the United States.

Manufacturers of these vibrating platforms certainly promise a lot. By vibrating 30 times per second, marketing claims include better circulation, increased muscle strength, improved flexibility, faster muscle recovery, increased bone density, reduction of cellulite, better skin and more. It sounds like a miracle.

The science behind these vibrating platforms is less clear – and quite mixed. In some instances, they’ve shown to provide some promising benefits.

For example, vibrating platforms may help improve bone density for individuals that can’t participate in conventional exercise (i.e., the elderly or individuals recovering from injury). Many of the other claims – like reductions in cellulite – seem a bit more dubious; the marketing hype around these products is largely unsubstantiated.

Regardless, these vibrating platforms aren’t miracles. It’s true that some populations may experience benefits. But for the rest of us, we can get those same benefits from a solid exercise program that doesn’t involve buying a $5,000 cosmonaut toy.

Love,Davey

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Reducing Body Fat While Increasing Mass Simultaneously: Is It Possible?

Dear Davey,

Can I reduce fat in my mid section while also increasing the size of other muscles simultaneously?

Regards,
Abishek

shirtless-guys-pics-GymPaws-Fit-Guys-339x480Hey Abishek,

Your question is actually very common. To answer it, there are a few things you need to know.

To lose weight and reduce body fat, you must be in a calorie deficit. That is, consuming fewer calories in food than you are burning.

To build muscle or gain mass, you must be in a calorie surplus. That is, consuming more calories than you are burning.

As you can see, the goals of reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass work against each other. That’s why most personal trainers will focus on one goal and then the other. For example, a good personal trainer will most likely start a client on a program that results in fat loss while preserving muscle mass. Then, the trainer will switch gears and create a program to increase muscle size. The strategy will be different for both.

You also need to know that it’s impossible to spot-reduce fat. Fat comes off according to its own agenda. It may come off your chin, your butt, your face… In fact, for most men, the stubborn midsection is the last to shed fat.

Having said all of that, there is some research to suggest that you can both lose fat while gaining muscle. This is especially true for brand new exercisers. It’s quite common to see some fat loss and muscle gain occur simultaneously during the initial months – but this effect reduces over time.

Here’s the bottom line: Even if it’s possible to simultaneously lose fat and increase muscle mass, it wouldn’t be an efficient process. You’ll have much better results focusing on fat loss and muscle preservation first, then increases in muscle size later. That’s my recommendation.

Love,
Davey