Type II Diabetes and Emotional Stress

Hi, I’m Will Smith AKA Thunder of the American Gladiators.

My interest in competing and winning championship titles began to wane as my interest in the scientific discipline of diet and exercise neuroendocrinology intensified. This particular scientific elective was initially the result of my younger brother’s diagnoses and longtime struggle with Type I Diabetes. My determination to research and develop a diet and exercise related curriculum that would improve my brother’s ability to play sports and live a normal life (while also enabling him to achieve optimal levels of health, fitness and performance, minimize the use of insulin and reduce his risk of developing further cardiovascular related diseases and complications) would eventually become my obsession and is known today as the INTRAFITT Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program.

I’ve written this article in several parts and today I am bringing you Part 1 of the Series.

Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, approximately 220 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes mellitus. Patients with type 2 diabetes not only have a chronic disease to cope with, they are also at increased risk for coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy.

The exact causes of type 2 diabetes are still not clear. Since the 17th century, it has been suggested that emotional stress plays a role in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. So far, review studies have mainly focused on depression as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Yet, chronic emotional stress is an established risk factor for the development of depression.

The present review provides an overview of mainly prospective epidemiological studies that have investigated the associations between different forms of emotional stress and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Results of longitudinal studies suggest that not only depression but also general emotional stress and anxiety, sleeping problems, anger, and hostility are associated with an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Conflicting results were found regarding childhood neglect, life events, and work stress. It is important to emphasize that publication-bias may have occurred, resulting from “fishing-expeditions,” where authors search their data for significant associations. Publication bias may also be caused by the tendency of reviewers and Editors to reject manuscripts with negative results for publication. It is therefore essential that research groups, who aim to conduct a new epidemiological cohort study, prospectively describe and publish the design of their study. Future research should focus on identifying mechanisms linking different forms of stress and incident type 2 diabetes.

Part 2 of this article to follow. Email me any time at gladiator@intrafitt.com

For your very own Individual Nutrition Plan click here NOW!

In good health,
Will AKA THUNDER of the American Gladiators


There goes the alarm. You wake up with coffee and juice, get the kids off to school and head for work where your agenda is already filled with projects or meetings. After the morning dash comes long hours behind a desk, in front of a computer, in the car or out at the work site. By midmorning, your blood sugar is so low that you’re craving food loaded with sugar and fat. By remarkable coincidence, the vending machine, canteen or a box of donuts that one of your colleagues picked up on the way to work is calling your name. Then it’s lunchtime, a meal many of us skip altogether, or turn into a business meeting. After a day like this, it’s no surprise that many of us consume our entire day’s calories at night, which is usually the only time of day when our stress level is lower and/or we feel like we have the time to sit down and enjoy a meal. In fact, many of us associate relaxation with eating and/or snacking on high-calorie, high-fat foods before, during, and after dinner.

Fortunately, inside the new millennium, we see more and more people rejecting this routine and taking responsibility for their health through better nutrition and regular exercise. But how is it possible to incorporate good nutrition and fitness into a schedule like this?

Plan, Plan, Plan!

Remember, If You Fail To Plan, You Plan To Fail; It all begins with placing your nutrition and exercise program at the top of your priority list and then learning how to use those excellent organizational and time-management skills that you use at work to plan your healthy life?

Stress and Disease

Many of us put off good eating and exercise habits because we feel our lives are often times to hectic to try and change or add anything to our already busy schedules. The fact is, unless we learn how to eat and exercise optimally, each day, our lives (much like a “positive feedback cycle) will only become more difficult to manage and deal with as our minds and bodies continue to deteriorate. Thousands of scientific studies have shown a direct relationship between increased levels of stress, impaired thinking and judgment, decreased physical and mental conduct and poor eating habits. Consequently, chronic and degenerative diseases continue to rise as our desire and level of commitment to do anything about it steadily declines.

Optimal Fuel For Optimal Performance

Think of your body as a High Performance Race car. If you want it to perform (strength, speed, endurance, sexual drive etc…) you need to feed and train it optimally every day! Unfortunately, in our society, medications and supplements have become known and recognized as a convenient replacement for “Primary Nutrition” when in fact these products taken over a period of time have been shown to have more related side effects than the disease and symptoms they are being used to treat. Viagra and other OTC (over the counter) sexual aids for example are really nothing more than an expensive and perhaps dangerous replacement for eating the correct amount of nutrients and engaging in regular strength training and cardiovascular exercise.

So What’s The Answer?

Some would say “discipline” however the answer truly is knowledge, planning, and application. Sound’s simple and in fact it is. If you knew exactly how, what and when to eat and exercise each day in order to reprogram your body to be fit and lean for the rest of your life, chances are you would feel more compelled to do just that. (click here to learn how) If however, you simply cannot make the commitment to change your eating and exercise habits at this point in your life for whatever reason, there are other health alternatives that you can integrate right away that will certainly begin to improve =your body’s Health, Fitness and Performance!

Nutrient Dense Foods

Even if you don’t have time to learn the applications associated with optimal eating habits, you can at least learn and apply basic nutrition protocol such as lowering your fat intake and increasing your fiber intake. Eating lean or low fat protein foods such as skim milk, low fat or nonfat cheese, low-fat yogurt, lean beef, ham, turkey, chicken and tuna as well as high-fiber carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals, beans, breads, fruits and vegetables will immediately begin to enhance your body’s performance!. These foods provide staying power because they take longer to digest, thus releasing energy into the body slowly.

Plan Alternatives

When you eat nutrient -dense foods during the day, you are unlikely to be as hungry at night, and will therefore be more satisfied with a lighter dinner. To get into this routine, try the following guidelines and suggestions and see if you don’t begin to perform better immediately:

  • Find low-fat, high-protein foods in single serving packages.
  • Keep convenient primary nutrition available at all times in your office or car
  • Check your vending machine for acceptable choices such as low-fat snacks (baked chips, pretzels etc…)
  • At business meetings, offer bagels with low-fat cream cheese as an alternative to donuts.
  • Keep small cans of V-8 juice, water packed tuna and tiny applesauce containers in your desk or with you at work in a thermal food bag.
  • Low-fat microwave popcorn and pretzels are favorite afternoon snacks, and fruit is the original fast food.
  • Organize what you’ll eat for the week by purchasing foods you need on a weekend shopping trip. Then keep them handy.
  • Cook on weekends and freeze one-serving portions to take with you for lunch. Pasta salads with steamed vegetable and fat-free dressings keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.
  • Eat a high-fiber breakfast of whole-grain cereal with skim milk, or make a fruit smoothie with a high-grade protein powder and yogurt as a liquid breakfast.
  • Bring your own bagel with a yogurt or fat-free cottage cheese with fruit (pineapple) to work when you have to skip breakfast at home.
  • Other easy items are fat-free crackers, string cheese, turkey or beef jerky, or Gobble Sticks.
  • When you are stuck at a fast-food restaurant, choose food items that are low in fat and order salads with chicken or beans along with a low-fat dressing choice.
  • After work, remember that, although alcohol is a carbohydrate, it can only be used and metabolized by the liver. With time, planning your meal for work will become second nature. Most people find it helpful to actually schedule their snacks and meals into their daily calendar just as they would an important meeting.

Add Exercise

Use your lunchtime to walk or work out, then eat wholesome nutrient-dense foods at break times. There are many compact inexpensive pieces of home equipment you can use in front of the TV after the kids are in bed, such a slide board, home step or an aerobics video. As you continue to exercise, your muscle mass will increase, which will speed up your metabolic rate. Remember that muscle tissue burns calories, while fat tissue is stored calories. Don’t watch the scale to determine your progress, instead, monitor your energy and strength levels and pay attention to how your clothes fit.

In Summary

If you can apply all of the organizational skills and qualities that have made you successful in your work environment to your daily eating and exercise habits, you will find that achieving and maintaining Health, Fitness and Performance is really nothing more than “Planning Your Nutrition”.

Be sure to visit me at our website:  http://www.intrafitt.com/ or email me anytime at gladiator@intrafitt.com!  I would especially like to hear from you if you are trying to reconcile diabetes or any other health-related disease! You can also pick up your individualized nutrition plan on our site.

In strength and honor,

William Smith/aka Thunder of the American Gladiators

Cholesterol…The Derived Fat

William Smith is the President / CEO and Founder of the INTRAFITT Corporation which was established in California in 1992. Will has won more than twenty-eight bodybuilding championships and is also known for his role as “THUNDER” on television’s American Gladiator between 1990 – 1992. He is a National and International Speaker on Performance Nutrition and Exercise Science.

The concern with eating a lot of saturated fats is the related cholesterol content associated with these foods (egg yolks, butter, cream, beef, etc.).  Although cholesterol has received as much bad press as dietary fats, it is a much-needed substance by the body; so much so, that the liver is capable of manufacturing fifty trillion molecules of this compound per second.  Cholesterol is a fatty like substance which belongs to a group of fats known as sterols or steroids, and unlike most lipids is a precursor to all the steroid hormones such as testosterone, cortisone and even vitamin D.  Although the body can produce its own cholesterol from components of glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids, the rate of biosynthesis can be altered by the amount of dietary cholesterol, carbohydrates and saturated fats eaten.  In other words, when the intake of dietary cholesterol increases, cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver is reduced.  This is similar to the “down regulation” and “negative feedback” properties associated with hormone production in the body.  In other words, when the body is receiving adequate amounts of cholesterol through the diet, hepatic formation is reduced.  If on the other hand, dietary cholesterol is restricted beyond that the body feels is necessary, intrahepatic enzymes will activate the synthesis of endogenous cholesterol in order to supply the cells of the body with this intrinsic compound.  It is because of this homeostatic ability by the liver that it may be difficult to control serum cholesterol levels through dietary efforts alone.

Be sure to visit me at our website:  www.intrafitt.com or email me anytime at gladiator@intrafitt.com!  I would especially like to hear from you if you are trying to reconcile diabetes or any other health-related disease!

In strength and honor,

Will Smith/aka Thunder of the American Gladiators

Some Must Know Facts about Diabetes

William Smith is the President / CEO and Founder of the INTRAFITT Corporation which was established in California in 1992. Will has won more than twenty-eight bodybuilding championships and is also known for his role as “THUNDER” on television’s American Gladiator between 1990 – 1992. He is a National and International Speaker on Performance Nutrition and Exercise Science.

Dear Friends,

I have come across a couple of articles that relate to health and diabetes
that I find absolutely fascinating; not because it is good news, but rather
news that we all need to know.  As you read this and think – well I am not
obese or even overweight so it doesn’t apply to me — then think again.  
This is really an indictment of our total food supply and our way of life.


The first is an article carried by (Reuters)- It ran in the LA Times on July 7, 2011.
By Lisa Baertlein.   Some of the excerpts are:

The number of obese US adults rose in 16 states last year, helping to push obesity
rates in a dozen states above 30 %…

While the number of states showing significant year-over-year increases in obesity

“Today’s state with the lowest adult obesity rate would have had the highest rate in
1995″ said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health.

Four years ago, only one US state had an adult obesity rate above 30 per cent,
according to the report, which defines adult obesity as having a body mass index
– a weight to height ratio — of 30 or more.

Over the last two decades, people in the US have been eating less nutritious food
and more of it.  At the same time, activity levels have fallen, Levi said.

In the United States — where two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children
are obese or overweight — the obesity epidemic is sending healthcare costs higher
and threatening everything from worker productivity to military recruitment.

The report released on Thursday showed that over the past 15 years, seven states
have doubled their rate of obesity and 10 states have doubled their rate of diabetes.

I urge you to check our website at www.intrafitt.com for your personalized nutrition program.  All accessible on line in the comfort of your own home/office.  Email me with any questions at :

In strength and honor,

William Smith, aka/Thunder of the American Gladiator 

What Percentage of Our Meals should Be Made Up of Carbs?

William Smith is the President / CEO and Founder of the INTRAFITT Corporation which was established in California in 1992. Will has won more than twenty-eight bodybuilding championships and is also known for his role as “THUNDER” on television’s American Gladiator between 1990 – 1992. He is a National and International Speaker on Performance Nutrition and Exercise Science.

In order to achieve optimal levels of health, fitness and performance, a carbohydrate intake of approximately 50 – 60% of an individual’s recommended dietary calories should be maintained.  Although the range of these percentages seems insignificant, the hormonal effects produced when eaten in the proper ratio with dietary protein and fat can be quite influential and have a powerful impact on the regulatory systems that directly affect metabolism.  Keep in mind that, as with all nutrients, the specific amount needed from one person to the next is entirely based on individual metabolic variables, environmental stressors and behavioral factors.

Visit us at www.intrafitt.com so you too, can have your own individualized nutrition and exercise program.  Get fit for life eating whole, natural foods.  No potions, pills or shots!

In health and honor,
William Smith/aka Thunder of the American Gladiators

PS-Join us on Sundays at 10:00 AM (EST) at www.wbt.com for our new radio show.  Give us a call and ask any nutrition question that you have been pondering for decades or since yesterday!

Full Range Contractions

William Smith is the President / CEO and Founder of the INTRAFITT Corporation which was established in California in 1992. Will has won more than twenty-eight bodybuilding championships and is also known for his role as “THUNDER” on television’s American Gladiator between 1990 – 1992. He is a National and International Speaker on Performance Nutrition and Exercise Science.

Full Range Contractions are the foundation to building muscle quickly and efficiently!  Often times in today’s health & fitness publications we read articles directly associating muscular strength and size with heavy weight training.  It is important to realize that although resistance is an important factor in developing muscular strength and hypertrophy it is NOT the “limiting factor”.  Instead, the most important element is an increase in the tension of force that a muscle must generate.  This is accomplished by using a strength training application referred to as “FULL RANGE CONTRACTIONS”. 

For example, when performing a biceps curl, consciously contract your biceps at the beginning of the exercise and hold the contraction as hard as you can while you perform each repetition of the exercise throughout the full range of motion.  By integrating this applied science you will automatically increase the number of contracting fibers involved in the movement, subsequently increasing the force generating capacity (strength) of the biceps and therefore allowing for the use of heavier weights.  The consistent use of Full Range Contractions with all of your strength training exercises will inevitably accelerate muscular growth and hypertrophy while dramatically reducing the risk of injury.

Another way to explain the effects of Full Range Contractions is in the analogy of a closet door that is stuck and will not open.  In order to open the door, one of two methods can be used.  The first method involves gently placing your hands on the door, then slowly beginning to push until you are pushing with all of your effort.  Although the door may not open, the muscles being used to push on the door are most likely generating maximum force (which in turn promotes and accelerates muscular strength and hypertrophy).  On the other hand, if you took a couple of steps away from the door and got a running start, the power and momentum of your body mass, once you hit the door would generate enough force to open the door.  Unfortunately, the muscles did not directly generate the force.  Instead, speed and momentum were the force generating factors.  This is essentially what is happening when speed, momentum and leverage are used to swing, bounce or hoist a particular weight (sometimes referred to as Explosive Training) in an attempt to increase the size and strength of a muscle.

In summary, muscular growth and strength does not occur efficiently as a result of using momentum or by swinging heavy weights up and down through a specific movement.  Instead, it is an increase in the tension or force that a muscle must generate throughout the entire range of motion during any given exercise.  There is a significant difference between a muscle generating force and a muscle swinging heavy weights.  Although “Explosive Training” may have its advantages for certain athletes, it is not recommended for building and strengthening the muscles efficiently and may very well cause severe injuries.

Visit us at www.intrafitt.com or email me with questions to gladiator@intrafitt.com

In strength and honor,

Will Smith/aka Thunder of the American Gladiators

Advanced Dietetics

In many ways the human energy system is similar to that of an automobile.  For instance, stored body fat and glycogen can be perceived as the fuel tank of the body and since calories are primarily burned in the muscle tissue (also referred to as oxidative tissue), we could consider it to be the engine.  The circulatory system would then serve as the fuel line enabling free fatty acids, amino acids and glucose to travel to the working muscles to be used for energy and other cellular work.

Just as a race car mechanic can build a high performance dragster, we have the ability to transform the human body into an ultra performance machine as well.  By understanding how proper nutrition and exercise directly influence the major regulatory systems of the body, we can achieve any level of health, fitness and performance that our genetic potential will allow.  Although highly specific dietary and exercise guidelines are essential for each individual, the basic principles associated with the overall improvement of biochemical alterations apply to everyone, healthy or otherwise.

PS-Log on to www.intrafitt.com right now and get your own individualized nutrition and exercise program.  Begin today to reprogram your body, mind and spirit to be lean for life.  Any questions, send them to gladiator@intrafitt.com  I’d love to hear from you.

In good health and honor,
William Smith/aka Thunder of the American Gladiators

PPS-You can also pick up your Allied Health Care Certification from INTRAFITT!

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