Oakville Zen Meditation

#47.Being mindful to our body. From Zen hat to MD hat.1JUN15

                                                                       Being mindful to our body. 

                                                                          From Zen hat to MD hat.

Being mindful to our body is part of good Zen practice. It also includes respect our body. Controlling our body weight is an important part of this respect since overweight carries many health hazards not to be discussed here.

If you are not interested in this issue just delete this document.

Part # 1 is a Q & A. It is medically based. You may find it too academic and boring. Just skip it.

Part # 2 is a list of Does and Don’t. It is more practical. Go for it.


                                                     PART # 1: Q & A

Q: What is the ideal weight? A: Click on: http://www.calculator.net/ideal-weight-calculator.html

Q: I went on this link and my weight is perfect. A: Be careful. A number is just a number. What is the % of muscles vs. fat in this number?

Q: Tell me. A: If your weight was 160 lbs. at 30 years old and still 160 at 60 is it good or bad?

Q: It is good.... no weight gain! A: Wrong! From 30 to 60 we loose ~30% of our muscle mass (1%/year) and we loose also bone mass. If your weight is the same it means that you lost 30% of your proteins (muscles) and gain in fat! It means also that you lost in bone mass.

Q: How can I check my fat ratio? A: The simple way is to look at your waistline that is a perfect indicator of your overall fat mass. Click on:


The more abdominal fat the higher is the risk for cardiac diseases, cancer, diabetes, etc. The other way is to have a scale assessing your fat index. I don’t trust them. Waistline measurement is better and cheaper.

Q: I exercise 4x /week at least for 30 min. It should do the trick to control my weigh   A: Not so.

  • If you want to loose 1 lb. of fat you need to burn 3500 calories.
  • When we exercise we are burning carbohydrates and almost never fat. (1 gr. of fat = 9 cal).
  • Assuming that we don’t burn carbohydrates we have to run about 9 hours at 4 miles/ h based on average weight.
  • Beside most people drink sport drinks during workout. They are packed with carbohydrates!

The fitness industry has been fantastic in convincing people that we can loose weight with exercise. This is a 99% fallacy. If you are a pro athlete the story is obviously different. Exercise is great to maintain a strong heart (cardio training) and muscle tone (weight).

Q: What are the daily calories requirements? A: Click on: http://www.calorieking.com/interactive-tools/how-many-calories-should-you-eat/?ref=nav

All calories excess is stored as fat.

Q: What is the perfect calorie intake balance between proteins, fat and cabs? A: For people with low/moderate physical activity.

  • 30% of total calorie intake should come from protein,
  • 30% from fat and
  • 40% from carbohydrates.


  • 1 gram of protein produces 4 calories
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates produces 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat produces 9 calories

All calories excess is automatically stored in fat (1 lb. of fat = 3500 calories) Most of our calorie excess comes from carbohydrates.

Q: What are the basic minimum adult daily requirements for protein, lipids (fat) and carbohydrates per kg. body weight? A: Here is a synopsis of the current medical literature & Dietary minimum Requirement (DRI)

  • Proteins: ~1 gr. / kg body weight or ~0.45 gr. / lb.
  • Fat: ~ 0.85 gr. / Kg or ~ 0.42 gr. / lb.
  • Carbohydrates: ~ 4.0 gr. / Kg or ~ 2.0 gr. / lb.

For a 60 kg. (132 lbs.) person the adult minimum daily needs is:

  • Proteins = 60 gr.
  • Fat = 51 gr.
  • Carbohydrates = 240 gr.

Going below these numbers is dangerous.

These numbers are basic and will vary with physical activity and age. One must remember that:

  • By far the # 1 cause for gaining weight is excess of carbohydrates (they are sooooooo good). See weight control in part # 2
  • Almost no one will gain weight by excess of proteins.
  • Minimum protein and fat intake are critical for maintaining healthy body functions. (See below)

Q: I do not drink too much water to keep my weight down. Is it OK? A: This is absolutely crazy!

  • Your body requires at least 9 –10 ounces of water / day. YES: 9 to 10 or around 2L. / day.
  • The need increases if on a wait loss diet, when doing heavy exercise, in hot weather and with fever.
  • Thirst reflex disappears with age. One must drink even if not thirsty. If you are 40 or older being thirsty means a loss of at least 5% of your total water creating fatigue, dizziness, headache, etc.
  • Tea and coffee are diuretics. Be careful.
  • Drinking sport drinks, fruit drinks (any), pops is adding huge load of artificial sugar (4 calls / gram of sugar) with the following consequences:
  • Increase craving
  • Weight gain, diabetes and many other conditions.
  • Do not drink water with ice.

Restaurants always give us a glass of water with ice, why? The cooling effect in the stomach triggers a reflex for food at the brain level since low   temperature means calorie need.

Remember this: you will never gain weight by drinking too much H20 since your kidneys will take care of the excess within 45 min.

Q: Do I need supplements? A:   Answer in Part # 2

Q: Is there an ideal diet? A: Contrary to what the weight loss business will tell us there is NO IDEAL DIET.  This is why the best way to help you is to give you a list of does and don’t. I will be happy to help you if you wish.

Part # 2: Don’t and Do


  • Use dinner as the main meal of the day. This is what more than 80% of the population does. We do not need too many calories before going to sleep.
  • Main meal = breakfast ~ 40% of daily calories intake
  • Lunch = ~30%
  • Dinner = 30%
  • Eat snacks. They are poison.
  • Drink pops, fruit juice and energy juices with or without ice. They are packed with carbohydrates.
  • Drink water with ice. Its cooling effect increases appetite since it is perceived as a need for calories.
  • Eat too much bread. Try to limit to the equivalent of 3-4 slices/ day.
  • Try to get all your proteins and fat daily requirement with meals. You may get too many calories.
  • Use artificial sweeteners. Instead buy the organic ones such as Stevia. Artificial sweeteners may increase appetite and may lead to diabetes 2.
  • Avoid margarine. There are too many artificial poisons in it.
  • Minimize alcohol: beer, wine, and liquors.
    • 1 glass of beer contains ~155 calories.
    • 1 glass of vine contains ~160 calories.
    • 1 glass of whiskey contains ~ 90 calories.
  • Add artificial sugar.
  • Avoid cereals full of artificial stuff.
  • Forget (Details upon request.)
    • Yours minimum daily proteins/fats.
    • Yours minimum daily requirements for vitamins & minerals: calcium, iron, etc.
    • Enough probiotics: keys intestinal bacteria for brain function, immunology, etc.
    • Enough water: you need 9- 10 glasses / day even if you are not thirsty.


  1. Calculate your ideal body weight: http://www.calculator.net/ideal-weight-calculator.html  (Use the Robinson formula)
  2. Measure your waistline.
    1. There is an excellent correlation between fat excess (and its health risks) and waistline measurements (see below)
    2. The health risks of overweight / obesity are beyond the scope of this paper.

                                                              OK                            Overweight                             Obese

Her                  Waist line              < 35 inches                   35-  40                                     > 40

Him                        "                         <40                                   40  -45                                      >45

Example: J. is 45 year old and weights 140 lbs.

  1. The calculated ideal weight is around 120 lbs. Click on http://www.calculator.net/ideal-weight-calculator.html
  2. To loose ~ 20 lb. to reach ideal weight, calculate the bare daily needs to maintain a weight of 120lbs:
  • The need in proteins is ~ 0.45 gr. / lb. or ~ 54 gr./day. This will produce ~ 220 calories. (One gr. of proteins produces 4 calories)
  • The need in lipids/fats is ~ 0.42 gr. / lb. or ~51 gr. /day. This will produce ~ 450 calories.
  • (One gr. of lipids/fats produces 9 calories)
  • The need for carbohydrates is ~ 1.00 gr. / lb. or ~120 gr. /day. This will produce 480 calories. (One gr. of carbohydrates produces 4 calories)
  • Water: 2 L
  • Supplements: Vitamins/ Minerals/ Probiotics. (See below)

==>Therefore the daily needs for this person who wants to loose 20lbs is ~ 1150 calories. Assuming sedentary/low physical activity you should not go above1200 calories


 Supplements: Vitamins/ Minerals/ Probiotics.

 Please note: there is no government regulation regarding supplements and manufacturers are not obliged to provide data on the efficiencies of their products.

  1. Proteins:
  • Protein powder supplements may be required when a very strict diet is needed and when the protein needs would lead to too much calorie intake and or during sport activities.
  • The advantages are that it tastes good (chocolate, vanilla, etc.), it cuts appetite and contains low calories.
  • Types: whey, veggies, mixes.
  • Recommended to reduce calories intake.
  1. Vitamins:
  • A must if the diet is restrictive diet. Veggies and fruits will not bring the appropriate amount.
  • 2 types of sources:
    • Over the counter. They are synthetic (molecules artificially made in the lab) and their 3D configuration is different from the natural/organic ones. This makes their recognitions by the human body very difficult. Their absorption studies & efficiencies are not available to the public.
  • From Heath shops/ Whole Food. This is the best but they are more expensive by 20 to 30%.
  1. Minerals:
  • Calcium: at least 1gr./ day
  • Iodine is critical for thyroid functions. Make sure that your salt is iodinated.
  1. Probiotics:
  • Recent research shows how crucial our intestinal bacteria (over 1 trillion) are for our health.
  • They have a role in digestion, in absorption, in neuro functions, in infection prevention, etc.
  • They have an anti inflammation and an anti allergy role.
  • The problem is that unless we eat 9 servings of yoghourt or a lot of veggies rich in probiotics our diet is probably not good enough to provide ~ 10 billions CU of probiotics daily. Supplements may be needed.

      5. Anti oxidants:

  • We need at least 1gr./day of Vit. C organic.
  1. Omega 3- 4- 6:
  • Must be organic.

A diet?

  • To loose 1 lb. of fat you have to burn/ loose 3500 calories. Yes 3500 calories!

You may decide to loose 1lb. per 10 days or have a calorie balance of ~ 350 calories per day. It is far better to loose fat excess slowly than too quickly. It is better tolerated and there are less relapses.

  • You will loose weight automatically & w/o to much pain by cutting carbohydrates BUT ALSO by maintaining proteins and fat intakes.
    • Maintain your minimum daily protein intake (0.45gr. /lb.). Therefore you may need protein supplements (detail upon request) to avoid excess calories since food rich in protein is also rich in calories (dairy products, meat). Beside, eating proteins reduces appetite.
    • Maintain your minimum daily fat intake (0.42gr. / lb. Avoid margarine at all cost since totally artificial. Butter is better. Extra virgin olive is better than other oils.
    • Remember that 1 slice of bread contains ~ 90 calories.
    • Avoid artificial sweeteners since they promote diabetes 2. Use organic ones such as Stevia.
  • Eat 5 to 6 fresh fruits / day but banana is rich in calories.
  • Eat vegetables as much as you can and as many as you want. NO restriction. They are low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals. They are great to fill up the stomach.
  • Wheat is very good but too much is very bad in your body. Any intake of carbohydrates such as wheat increases appetite.
  • Get at least 1gr. calcium / day.
  • Get 1 tsp. of iodized salt / day.

I will be happy to assist you.


Ven. Ji Gong Sunim. aka Dr A. Painvin.  June 1st 2015