Health – Weight Loss Myths and Realities
Weight loss is at a minimum a $100 Billion industry with a double digit growth rate. That’s why EVERYBODY would like to get a piece of it – doctors, drug companies, nutritionists, authors, supplement companies, food companies, gyms, exercise equipment, shoes – all aspects of lifestyle can play into this market and their messaging. Where do you go and who do listen to? How do maintain the body style & shape that you feel is right for you?
If you are a person who is concerned your current body shape, this will be an extremely helpful essay – if you are not currently concerned with your body shape, use this to help others make sensible personal choices and do some planning for yourself.
This article will focus on 3 areas – the size and scope of the issue or the fact that you’re not alone; why you gain weight and the three most common weight loss myths.
You’re Not Alone
North America has a problem and the world in general has a growing problem – weight management. The baby boomers (post WWII) and later generations are at a unique confluence – highly mobile, industrialized society with extremely lost cost, highly processed but nutritionally deficient food served in large quantities with an emphasis on speed of preparation.
This has resulted in the following conditions throughout the country
- 65% of the population is overweight.
- 33% of children are obese or at risk
What’s so amazing is that this is tip of the iceberg; in the last two generations, weight management related diseases / ailments have exploded in all age groups.
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Acid Reflux
- Blood pressure
- Erectile Dysfunction
These conditions are the core of current health care crisis in the country and they are lifestyle issues and are all moderately to extremely controllable by the individual.. Example: 70% of all U.S. deaths are from heart disease, cancer or stroke and 50% of these deaths are diet related.
Why You Gain Weight
Let’s demystify weight management. In general it’s pretty straightforward but in specific everyone needs to personalize a program to their needs. This is not a cop out – it’s just to say everyone’s body chemistry is a little different and the individual needs to take general principles and translate them into a personalized program.
It’s true what some companies say – “diets don’t work” BUT they don’t tell you why. First, because you can’t stick to them (ex: grapefruit diet) – so you roller coaster; second most programs don’t come with support – people lose, maintain or gain weight best if they have a support system, usually a coach they can talk to- not friends or your partner/spouse. Third, the person really isn’t serious. Real, sustainable results take time – talk is cheap. An ounce of commitment is worth a pound of promises – stick to it!
You eat healthy now and can’t lose weight – take a look at what you eat (be honest). Example low fat yogurt. While the term “low” is relative anything that says low fat means that its high in sugars and vis versa or take salads, ever see someone get a salad and then put a ton of dressing on top or the person who gets a burger and fries and then a has a Diet Coke to “cut” calories – the list goes on. Here’s what a good eating program looks like:
What the Body Needs… American Diet… Nutritional Diet
- Sugar… High… Low
- Fat… High… Low
- Salt… High… Low
- Calories… High… Low
- Protein… Low… High
- Fiber… Low… High
Here’s the math of why we all gain weight. Under the American Diet an average number of calories consumed daily = 4,000. The average number of calories need to maintain the body = 2,000. Net waistline growth per day = 2,000 calories. WOW!
This doesn’t into account the effect of the lower nutritional value of those calories that you take in from food processing. Example: the pasteurization process that milk goes through kills all the bacteria BOTH good and bad. By killing the good bacteria they destroy most of the nutritional value and the flavor of milk. A slightly lower temperature would kill the bad and leave the good but it’s a little more expensive so dairy processing companies don’t use it. You can’t tell me that an out of season hothouse tomato tastes anything like one right off the vine. “Organic” or otherwise makes no difference. It’s the processing.
Weight Loss Myths
When it comes to losing weight we all have our own stories – let’s walk through the BIG myths:
- It’s all about Calories – NO. Unhealthy weight loss is all about calories. HEALTHY weight loss is about Nutrition. You do need lower calories in relation to how much activity you have BUT it needs to be balanced or you will go hungry all the time and cheat. Also, don’t fall for those commercials of eating packaged foods and getting ripped abs – won’t happen.
- It’s all about exercise – NO. Exercise is a complement not a substitute for fewer calories. Exercise is for toning and shaping muscles and it takes a LOT of exercise to burn calories. Do not fall for equipment commercials that tell you 20 minutes a day of a routine workout get you those muscles – takes lots of exercise with the right diet, usually much higher in lean protein.
- I Can’t lose weight Myth – YES YOU CAN. ANYBODY can lose weight Here are the reasons why people don’t have long term success – cheating, not enough water/detoxand too many of the wrong kind of calories
Now you know the scope of the problem and you’re not alone in fighting the battle of the bulge. You also know why you gain weight and the big myths that companies, friends, doctors and nutritionists like to tell us. Here is a framework that you can use with the right support coach in making great choices that fit your lifestyle.
- Healthy/can maintain weight loss = proper nutrition
- Faster loss = exercise
- Tone and shape = more exercise
Proper Nutrition – your choice – your results
Refined / Simple Carbohydrates: Sugars, white breads, rice & pasta, fruit juice & white potatoes. High hunger control But only lasts 10 minutes – this is what produces constant cravings.
Complex Carbohydrates: Fruits, veggies. and whole grains (whole oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta & bread). Produces low hunger control that lasts 30 – 60 minutes.
Lean Protein: Chicken, fish, lean beef, egg whites and soy products. Medium hunger control lasting 2-3 hours
Complex Carbohydrates + Lean Protein: Meal replacement shakes, balanced meals, and balanced snacks. High hunger control that lasts 3+ hours. THIS IS THE BEST.
Find out what works for you. REMEMBER you don’t have to settle, your great just the way you are and accept personal responsibility for whatever choices you decide to make.