Welcome to DFitLife

At DFitLife.com you will find the tools necessary to combine fitness, health and nutrition for an optimal balance that fits your lifestyle.

Daniella Dayoub will help you find ways to feed your body and train it to prevent illness, combat chronic conditions, and let your body thrive.

 

Food choices and exercise selection are based on your individual needs, goals, and challenges.  There is no blanket prescription for everyone. In fact, there are no prescriptions here at all, just sound educational information and helpful advice so that you can make your own fitness decisions. No matter who you are, or what your situation is, there is always something you can do to take your health to the next level.

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Most Recent Blog Entries

Which Fitness Tracker Truly Steps Up?

Posted On: September 22, 2016

Information for this post was provided by my friends over at Reviews.com.  I hope you’ll find their information useful!

The best fitness trackers are the ones that anyone — from a couch potato to a professional triathlete — can comfortably wear all day, every day, and actually use to get consistent, accurate statistics about their activity level. The one thing it won’t do is make you any healthier. You have to do that. But knowledge is power: Applying the information a good fitness tracker provides to make a few healthy changes — like walking a little farther each day, or using the stairs instead of an elevator — can help you reach your fitness goals faster than you would without.

 

Fitness trackers collect their data from four main types of sensors: pedometers, accelerometers, heart rate monitors, and GPS sensors. Pedometers, or step counters, track how many steps you’ve taken each day, and are pretty common. Accelerometers measure changes in motion — they determine whether you’ve started or stopped moving. All accelerometers measure on two axes: back and forth and side to side. Some have a third axis that measures up and down movement, too, which is helpful for weightlifters who need fitness trackers to count vertical motion. Heart rate monitors keep tabs on heart rate and measure your level of exertion throughout the day. GPS sensors track distance traveled without relying on a pedometer or accelerometer. The tracker constantly triangulates your position with satellites instead. It’s great for sports like running, biking, and hiking, where a normal pedometer might be less accurate.

Fitness trackers are marketed to different specific user groups, but, really, they all do the same thing: track your movement. They all use the same general sensor technology (Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike all get their sensors from the same company, for example). Some just do it more accurately than others, are more user-friendly, and look a little cooler while doing it.

Since the main difference between any two fitness trackers (besides how they look and feel on your wrist) lies in the algorithms each company’s software uses to interpret the raw data, finding the right fitness tracker can be tricky: who has the time (and cash!) to buy every tracker out there and test them all?

Because these popular devices have become fitness essentials, the team at Reviews.com set out to find the best fitness trackers. They looked for the ones that made tracking as easy as possible without sacrificing accuracy and comfort. <a href= http://www.reviews.com/fitness-tracker/>Their review</a> has lots of great information about what makes a good fitness tracker and how they ranked their choices, but here are three of their top picks.

 

1.The Fitbit Surge topped their list: It performed well in accuracy tests across multiple types of exercifitbitses and body movements, and it was easy to use straight out of the box, with a just large-enough built-in display. Fitbit’s software, especially its mobile app, was by far the best of any of the trackers tested. It doesn’t gather as many types of data as their other top pick, the Garmin Vivoactive HR, but Fitbit’s software does a better job organizing that information. They were impressed by the common-sense, clean workout interface, and the Fitbit app is well-organized and inviting, analyzing and displaying information in easy-to-use ways. It was by far the easiest and most intuitive interface to get to know. The Surge is also decent-looking and comfortable to wear, feeling more like a normal watch than a small computer strapped to your wrist. Their testers had no reservations or complaints about wearing it all day, and the battery lasted about seven days before needing to be recharged.

 

2. Garmin Vivoactive HR is the best choice for endurance athletes looking to up their training, or data-nerds who love crunching stats! From heart-rate tracking and elevation changes to all-day activity monitoring, the sheer volume of accurate data it pumps out will give you the most to work with to better your training, especially for activities like running and biking. The Reviews.com team found it to be highly accurate, coming in second in all three of their accuracy tests.  The Garmin app is great at showing the nitty-gritty details that highly motivated, dedicated athletes will crave, like “heart rate over time” charts for each of your workouts. If you want to map your run, Garmin can do that, too, using dedicated software. Not even the Fitbit Surge can do that. Garmin also lets you export your workouts to a third-party app for further deep-dive analysis.

3. Mio Fuse is the best bet if you’re worried about information overload (or you plan on going swimming with your tracker).  Their budget pick at $99, it’s the cheapest option of all the top trackers — and the most basic — but it’s still accurate, dead simple to use, and completely waterproof. Despite the low price tag, the Mio’s simplicity and accuracy put it in striking distance of their top two contenders. It can count your steps and monitor your heart rate accurately — and that’s it. But that’s all many need to keep an eye on base levels of activity. If you’re not training for marathons or regularly biking centuries, you might not need GPS tracking, calorie counting, or social media integration. It doesn’t have the same breadth of features that the Fitbit and Garmin do, but the features it does have work exceedingly well for less than half the price.

A tracker only works as hard as you do.  Ultimately, no matter which tracker you choose, it’s up to you to get moving.  ,

 

Are You Treating Yourself? Or Is It Really Punishment?

Posted On: August 21, 2016

So, you’ve stuck to your diet, killing it in the gym, logging in some serious hours on the trails.  You are starting to see the results you’ve hoped for:  waistline is slimming, energy is increasing, and you feel pretty darn good about yourself.  THAT’S THE BEST!!!  Once every few days or so, you deviate from your diet without worrying.  A few bites of ice cream or an extra glass of wine here and there.  All good.

But then, you have a rough day.  Everything that could go wrong at work does.  You get a notice about jury duty coming up the same week you were hoping to head out to Cabo for some R&R.  Your dog leaves you a special little something on the carpet while you went out to the grocery store.  The hits just keep on coming.  You think “I deserve a REAL treat!”

It starts off innocently enough.  Instead of a few bites of ice cream, you dig into a huge bowl and cover it with some chocolate sauce that somehow is in the back of your cupboard.  Then, you wonder what those chocolate chip cookies the kiddo likes so much would taste like crumbled on the side.  Next thing you know, the whole pint of ice cream has disappeared, and you’re feeling well-satiated.  You say to yourself, “Now THAT was a treat!”

The problem comes the next day when you wake up feeling like a blow fish.  You’ve been off sugar so long that you almost feel hung over from the crash that ensued last night.  Your eyes have so much baggage under them that you wonder if you even need your luggage for that Cabo trip.  The next day, you feel better, and yet your belly is still bloated and you haven’t, um, made a deposit in the lavatory recently.  In fact, it seems that it’s about 4 days before you feel your lithe, clear-headed self again.  What the heck!!  It was just a darn treat afterall….

cupcake

Okay, okay, sorry for the long story telling there, but I want you to see how easy it is to fall prey to a “treat” that in actuality turns into punishment.  I see this happen with clients over and over:  they are feeling on fire with their fitness and nutrition, and then POW- one treat sends them spinning out for a few days.  Sometimes it’s intentional, in that they were so proud of their accomplishments that having a few extra “treats” that week is an earned right!  But sadly, it sets them back a few weeks on their progress towards their goals.

I’m not saying you should never have a “cheat day” or a deviation from your nutritional plan.  However, there’s a difference between a few bites to placate yourself and a smorgasbord.  And honestly, you have to understand what YOU can get away with verses someone else.  If you’ve been at your goal weight/shape for a year or so, an occasional meal or even day off course will not derail you completely.  But if you have just lost the first 5 or so pounds and have 25 to go, you might want to think twice about “treating” yourself just yet.

 

For some of us, myself included, some deviations off our nutritional program can lead to consequences like brain fog, skin irritations, and IBS.  In fact, it could start a cascade of autoimmune issues.  When I first gave up dairy I was quite saddened by the fact that my skin was immediately clear, and all the “baby” goo on my belly disappeared.  Mostly because I love cheese SO much that I wanted it not to be!  So, for the first several months dairy free, I would “treat” myself to a few bites of cheese when eating out or if it ended up on something I ordered by mistake.  But sadly, every time I would have to deal with a few days of bloating and dermatitis before it settled back down.  After a while it just didn’t become fun anymore to indulge in that creamy goodness because I would honestly feel like crap afterward.  I was not treating myself at all; I was punishing myself!  And honestly, I didn’t deserve that!

So, when you decide to “treat” yourself, make sure it’s a real treat.  If you decide that food-related treats are in order, choose things that don’t make you feel bad, derail your progress, or even just bring on guilt.  I encourage my clients to find other ways to indulge themselves.  Here are few of my favorite treats that are completely calorie and guilt free!

  • Meet friends out for a walk/jog on a sunny day
  • Cuddle with my kiddo
  • Listen to music I loved as a teenager and dance around the house like a crazy person
  • Get my nails done
  • Go for a foot massage in the middle of the day
  • Lay on the couch watching wonderfully bad reality TV or a sappy rom-com
  • Call my mom and rant about anything
  • Grab my BF and run around the mall buying nothing and talking about everything

You get the idea.  We all deserve a good “treat” now and again.  Just make sure it makes you feel REALLY good!!

What are your favorite ways to treat yourself?  Chime in below and give the rest of us some ideas 😉

Yours in health,

Daniella

Mindful Eating

Posted On: July 27, 2016

eatwhileworkingThe other night, I sat down to my favorite big ass salad like I always do.  I took a picture of it to put up on YouFood where many of my nutrition clients and I share our picture food journals.  Then I started scrolling through the dinners of other people I follow.  Next I slid my way over to Instagram and scrolled some more.  I might have gotten distracted once or twice by the action of my fork entering my mouth, but otherwise I was on automatic pilot with the shoveling.  Next thing I knew, the huge mixing bowl I use for my nightly salad was empty, and yet, I was still hungry.  Calorically and nutritionally I was well fed.  But psychologically, I was still starving.

We’ve all done it at one point or another:  worked right through nibbling on lunch and found yourself starving for snack.  Or maybe you were so rapt in the sports on T.V. that you couldn’t possibly remember how many buffalo wings you knocked back.  Who hasn’t watched the latest blockbuster movie and mindlessly made your way through a gallon of popcorn?

For many of us, food is often simply eaten on automatic pilot with little to no thought about the tastes, textures, source of, or benefits of our meals.

When did eating become so mindless?

If I go to a nice restaurant and order something special off the menu, there’s no way I would stare at my phone while eating.  I would be excited to see what showed up in front of me:  How was it presented?  Was it warm? How did they combine flavors? That first bite would be slow, appreciative, curious.  I might be engaged in conversation, but every so often would take my eyes back to my plate to assess what bite would come next.  I’d stop every so often, put my fork down, and allow myself to fully focus on the chat at hand before taking another bite.  When done, I would likely feel satisfied.  Maybe even get full way before I could finish it all.  I’d be satisfied.

Why is this not often the case at home or work?  Routine.  Monotony.  Same salad.  Same space.  Same flavors.  But is the food any less nourishing?  Is it any less filling?  Likely not, but my perception of fullness and satiety are diminished as my attention is elsewhere.

The benefits of mindful eating are many:

  • increased satiety (maybe overall less consumption)

  • peristalsis (signaling to the digestive system to start up)

  • better nutrient absorption (from increased enzymatic activity from peristalsis)

If you were able to take a similar focus on your meals at home and work as you do at a special dinner out, would you be able to actually be healthier?  Well, if mindless snacking were eliminated, you’d likely decrease your overall caloric intake (especially empty calories).  If you were able to notice your fullness early in the meal, you likely would not consume such high volume, and even save money!  If you “got your juices flowing” by chewing slowly and allowing your body to properly digest, you likely might have less GI distress.  Bloating, gas, or distention might be caused by overeating or even under-chewing.  I imagine you might even lose a pound or two.

After noticing how little satiety I got out of that salad, I was disappointed in myself.  How could I take all that time to put together such a healthful meal only to not appreciate one darn bite?  I decided then and there it was time to be more mindful about my eating.

So, I invite you to join me in a 30-day challenge of MINDFUL EATING.  Starting Aug 1st, here are the rules:

  • NO eating in front of a screen:  this includes phones, tablets, T.V.s, computers, movie screens, you name it.
  • NO eating while reading:  this includes magazines, emails, books, etc.
  • TRY to eat seated and in a calm state of mind
  • TRY not to rush your meal/snack.
  • TRY to avoid eating while doing any other activity:  driving, working, playing a game, etc.
  • DO taste your food, enjoy the flavors, or even think about how it could be better
  • DO chew your food slowly and intentionally
  • DO put your fork/spoon down occasionally to finish chewing or engage in conversation

One tactic I have tried in the past and find very helpful is to eat with my non-dominant hand.  Funny how much more focused you are on each and every bite when you are uncoordinated.

I’ll be posting on Facebook this Monday August 1st, and invite you to join in the 30 day challenge.  Put up pictures of your lovely meals, anecdotes, tips and tricks, challenges, whatever you like.  Let’s do this together and see how we feel after 30 days.  You’re also welcome to chime in via the comments section below to share your journey.

Who’s in??

Yours in Health,

Daniella

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