Atkins, Keto, South Beach, and more diets have popped up over the years. Some work for some people. However, is your goal wrong?
If your goal is to lose weight, then a diet might be the answer. How many people lose weight and then regain it? Maybe your goal should be to eat healthier and let the chips fall where they may. A diet implies something temporary. Once the diet has finished, people go back to the way they were eating previously. The weight comes back from the return to the former eating habits.
Eating healthier is not something we are taught by our parents. It is not something that we read in a book. It is part of a factor of our lives called lifestyle.
Obese & Overweight
https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity-facts#:~:text=1.,of%20American%20adults%20are%20overweight. Over one-third of Americans are obese, and another third are overweight. That means that two out of every three people exceed their maximum bodyweight for their height.
Nearly one-fifth of children from age 2 to 19 are obese. One in eight preschoolers is obese. Follow the history and you can expect that an obese child will become an obese adult.
What should it mean to you in terms of your health? Obesity costs people’s quality of life. Over 60 health concerns are a direct result of obesity. The cost of treatment exponentially rises over time. Death from being overweight is greater than being underweight.
Again, maybe a goal for the New Year, 2021, should be to eat healthier. Over time, it will lower your risk of health issues and premature death.
Losing Weight by Eating More
https://www.acsh.org/news/2020/11/06/back-bit-reverse-dieting-key-keeping-weight-15134 Diets pop up all the time. I discussed a dozen of them in my last book, a bestselling book on health and aging, The Joy of Ageless Health (https://amzn.to/2KtwG5K).
For many of us, the process of losing weight is not terribly difficult if you are talking about twenty or thirty pounds. The hard part is keeping it off. It is even harder to lose weight if you are fifty or more pounds overweight.
Our bodies stabilize metabolically at a setpoint you determine by several factors – calories, nutrition balance, exercise, stress management, toxins, and more. Most of us focus on calories and not nutrition. Some add exercise. Few view the entire picture of being a healthy adult.
Most people who diet regain over 50% of the weight they lost within two years when long-term weight loss studies are analyzed. Within five years, they have regained almost all they lost. I can put myself in that category.
I had to maintain a certain fitness (weight being one measurement) during my days as a Naval Flight Officer. After flying, I was still obligated to maintain a certain fitness level. In my last five years in the Navy, I studied the Atkins Diet and felt it was safe enough for me.
I lost twenty-five pounds and kept it off for nearly six years. My exercise routine had decreased significantly because I had no spare energy (glycogen) in my body to support running for an hour. Regardless, a couple of years after leaving the Navy I took a bone density test and discovered I was osteopenia.
Shock upon shock entered my brain. How could I possibly have a bone density issue with decades of running and lifting weights? It seemed impossible. That started me down the path of discovering what causes what to happen in our bodies. It was a few years later before the fascination of health at the cellular level exploded within me.
And, yes, it did take five or more years for me to put on 80% of the weight I had lost. What changed? The dietary awareness of food choices to increase bone density was one factor. Other internal and external influences associated with growing older, retiring, and stress added a few extra pounds.
Mindset is probably the biggest friend you have when you want to achieve something. It keeps a person going when it is easy to give up. When my mindset is aligned with my goal, the goals are achieved.
Over two years of fasting 72 or more hours is one example of a mindset. When I spend two days preparing myself mentally to not eat for three or more days, it is super simple. On those few occasions when I do not spend any time focusing on what I want, I find that it is extremely difficult not to eat when I am fasting.
I have already fasted 90+ hours this month. I lose one or two pounds with each of these monthly fasts. The weight stays off month to month. I am at my old flying weight today.
Weight & Loss
https://www.verywellfit.com/the-weight-trainers-bodybuilding-diet-3498427 Some of us confuse the written word. A photo of before and after and a meal plan that worked for someone implies that it will work for us. Look at the magazines as you are standing in line to check out at the grocery store. Lots of articles about how to lose 30 lbs. in 30 days, or something like that. Social media provides similar articles.
Our bodies develop natural stability at a determined weight based on many things. Keep everything the same and eat less and one can expect to lose weight. The same can be said with exercise. Keep all other factors constant and increase exercise and weight will decrease.
It takes years for weight to accumulate. We did not add that extra twenty-five pounds overnight, or even over the past year. Weight is added incrementally. A few ounces this week. Next week few more ounces. Over time, weight accumulates. It is because of food choices, exercise, and more.
I do not have the secret sauce for weight loss. Every person is different and there is no one size fits all. I do know the secrets to healthy living. Can you be twenty pounds overweight and be healthy? Yes! Is it advisable? No!
Most of us have blamed our metabolism for gaining weight after the age of 40. It is true. Our metabolism and brain function are connected. Some of us, very few, can hear that brain wave connection when your body has eaten enough food. We should put our forks down and walk away.
That momentary signal normally takes place around mid-meal, especially if you use a large dinner plate. My wife and I switched to salad plates years ago to gain restrict portion size. It is still possible to overeat using a salad plate.
‘All you can eat’ is not a place to practice portion size. My father used to say, “That’s all you can eat!” It was not the same meaning as wandering back to the counter and filling up a new plate. It was an admonition that what is on your plate is all you get. It was said in a joking manner and his dry sense of humor implied the earlier meaning.
New Year Resolution
https://www.performancehealth.com/articles/how-to-keep-your-new-years-resolution-weight-loss This link is like so many others that stick with the tried-and-true advice that makes sense and does not work a year later. It is not that the information is wrong or bad. I disagree with several recommendations.
Our subconscious brain works in the present. It does not comprehend or understand the future. When one says, “I will…” it is not registering. Our conscious brain hears it, but that part of our brain is not in charge of our destiny. Any affirmations must be in the present tense. “I am eating healthier” is far better than “I will eat healthier.”
Eating more frequently is not your friend. The body needs time to digest and process food (and toxins). Eating several times daily, even with smaller meals, is not in your interest to lose weight or become healthier. Eating nutritionally balanced meals once or twice a day better. Portion control should yield fewer calories which is a goal for longer and healthier life.
There are many places where advice on losing weight is given. They typically sub-optimize one aspect of health for another. My recommendation is to focus on nutritional balance using smaller plates.
I am an advocate and recommend the Wahls Protocol as the reference book for nutritional balance.
It provides up to ten times the body’s minimum daily requirements for 30+ nutrients the body needs every day. Continual nutrient deficiency leads to many diseases. You are in better health, even a few pounds more than you think looks good when your body is in nutritional balance.
Start practicing today for 2021. A one-day excursion away for healthy eating is easily tolerated.
However, two days is not. Save that one big, delicious meal for the right day to celebrate. Do not forget to ask for a doggie bag if eating out.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com