PAMPHLETS FOR A BETTER HUMANKIND Addressing The Micro- And Macro-Problems Facing Humankind, (world events, social issues, prison reform, et. al.) And Providing Achievable Solutions; Going Where The Politically Correct Dare Not. (While the SOLUTION offered herein may not be a panacea, and may be provocative, it is offered as a positive step to correct the problem presented.)
POSITIVE, PERMANENT, PAINLESS WEIGHT LOSS (SOME TRUTHS ABOUT DIETING)
David Scott Harrison, (c) 2011
[NOTE: This Pamphlet is not concerned with those individuals who have medical conditions that result in obesity nor, perhaps, the few whose socioeconomic or environmental circumstances negatively impact on their ability to lose weight and keep weight off.]
Americans are overweight because they take in more calories than they burn off. The problem is no more complicated than accepting the reality that people eat and drink too much ("eat"will be used throughout, but includes beverages also).. That said, a slimmer, trimmer and more desirable you is hiding there just below the surface. Let's see how to get from here to there.
The equation is simple enough: CALORIES CONSUMED CALORIES BURNED
It cannot he stressed enough that the entire problem comes down to that simple equation. Taking in more calories than you burn results in weight gain. Burn more calories than you take in, you'll lose weight. One pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. So, losing one-half of a pound of fat by dieting requires seven days of taking in 250 calories fewer per day than the body uses. At 500 fewer calories per day, you can expect to lose one pound in that seven day period.
Nutritional considerations aside, your body does not care what you eat, what combinations of foods you eat, or how you cycle your foods; whether you are a meat and potatoes person, a vegan, or eat only fruits; high-protein - low carbohydrates, low fats, high fiber, liquids, and the grapefruit/juice diet; eliminating fats, meats, dairy products, chocolates, desserts; eating one big meal or many small meals, not eating after 6:00 p.m., ad. infinitum. None of it matters in the least (except to the authors who concoct and tout their books on such fad diets) when the focus is weight loss; to rediscover the waist you desire. After all, since there is no such thing as spot reduction, being happy with your waist invariably means being happy with your weight. Gimmick. Diets do not work, and are an unhealthy way to diet for the simple reason that those diets are predominantly premised on the elimination of foods that are necessary to meet your daily nutritional requirements. A nutritionally balanced diet cannot exist where any one, or more, of the Food Pyramid groups has/have been eliminated. Not only that, but eliminating entire food groups causes physiological chaos and extreme cravings for the very foods you are avoiding, which inevitably results in the yo-yo effect of weight loss, weight gain ... In addition, what is suggested below does not require complicated calorie counting. Indeed, the International Food Information Council's research suggests that twelve percent of those surveyed were unable to accurately estimate the actual number of daily calories they need for their age, height, weight and physical-activity level. As a whole, people are equally incapable of accurately counting the calorie content of the foods and beverages they consume. There is a healthier, saner, less complicated, and more attainable path to steady, and permanent, weight loss.
Eat whatever you want, in any combinations you want, whenever you want, but take in fewer calories than you burn off in any twenty-four hour period. Allow me to emphasize this point. If you need, for example, 2,500 calories in a twenty-four hour period to sustain your daily activities, but you eat only 1,500 calories -- you will lose weight no matter in what form you receive those calories. If you eat 1,500 calories of chocolate, or steak, or fruit, you are going to lose weight for the simple reason that you are consuming less calories than required to sustain your daily activity level. It is not about what you eat or don't eat, or when you eat. It's about the above equation, pure and simple.
Additionally, activity burns calories. Exercise, however, is not a requirement. Sadly, we see on the nightly world news emaciated people who have never run a marathon or performed multiple sets of sit-ups, they are simply starving. Sad as that truly is, it is indubitable proof of the truth of the above equation. Nevertheless, activity builds muscle (muscle burns calories). Activity elevates your internal thermostat, resulting in prolonged calorie burn even after you've ceased exercising. Exercise is not a bad word. Playing softball with your children, hiking, gardening, walking on the beach, strolling through the local mall -- the options are endless and enjoyable. Burning calories is easy, fun and natural. Perhaps you are skeptical about an argument suggesting you can eat anything you want, exercise a little or not at all, and still lose weight. Here's how it can work for you.
SOLUTION: Take account of what you eat and drink in a twenty-four hour period. Notice the portion sizes (quantities) of the foods and drinks you consume. Do you order the grand slam breakfast, or maybe grab three jelly filled donuts and a large coffee with sugar, is lunch two double bacon cheeseburgers, large fries and a super-size Coke, dinner of appetizers and drinks, then steak with baked potato (butter and sour cream), followed by a large bowl of ice cream? Do you snack on chocolates and/or chips and dips?
[NOTE: According to the Institute of Food Technologies, twenty-five percent of Americans' total daily calorie consumption comes from snacks. Beverages, not food, account for about half of those snacking calories.]
Giving up guilty pleasures is a good step towards a healthier life, but not the best means to achieving your goal of permanent weight loss. Leaving aside the unhealthy aspects of many of the foods we eat daily, let us continue to focus on our goal of weight loss. In the decades leading to today, the scale has been loaded down on the calories-in side, and light on the calories-burn side. The path to weight loss, and keeping the weight off, is simply to steadily reverse the scales by:
- easing back, a little at a time, on the calories-in side, and
- gingerly adding to the calories-burned side. No need to give up your jelly donuts, just eat two and a half, instead of all three.
Do that for two weeks, then cut back a little bit more. Instead of two bacon cheeseburgers, large fries and a super-size Coke, downshift to small fries and a medium Coke. After two weeks switch to one bacon cheeseburger and a chicken sandwich and diet Coke. Order a smaller steak and imbibe in fewer drinks. Later, choose a healthier appetizer, or none at all. Over time, order fresh fruit or any other less calorie crammed dessert rather than ice cream. Use self-control to leave untouched ten percent of your food, drinks and snacks. Small reductions create only small pangs of hunger, if any. Such pangs are short lived, and if need be you can sate them by eating an apple or some other healthier, minimal calorie food. More importantly, you are still enjoying your favorite foods, albeit in smaller portions. Every two weeks cut back on the quantity of food you take in. If ten percent is too much, then set your goal at five percent less every two weeks. Set a goal that is attainable. Cutting back drastically, eliminating your favorite foods entirely (perhaps a good idea for other reasons), or trying to force rapid results will only lead to failure. Go slow. Of course, the process will yield more satisfying results if at the same time as you are reducing your calorie intake, you also increase your calorie burn.
To burn more calories increase your activity level. Start slow to ensure you do not overly stress yourself. Above all, be careful. Experts recommend an increase in exercise of no more than ten percent every two weeks. To be clear, let us say you presently use a treadmill four days a week, one mile per day, with the intensity setting at three. You would not increase both the distance and intensity simultaneously. Rather, you might increase the distance by five-hundred-two feet, then two weeks later increase the intensity proportionately. Let's look at another example. Perhaps you have a medical condition that hampers your ability to be active. As a result you are putting on unwanted weight, and walking even one-half mile requires you to sit and rest. Then by all means sit and rest, but don't quit. After relaxing, then get up and walk another one-half mile, or less. Don't give up entirely just because you can no longer run along the beach or play basketball. Do what you can, and increase upon that however slightly, every two weeks. Steady, gradual progress will produce safe, long term results. You can't meet your goal of a, trimmer waist if you make grueling changes that derail your long term objectives.
It took decades of overloading the scales on the wrong side to bring you to today. Decades of steady weight gain that you hardly noticed from day to day. Over time, however, your ballooning waist was impossible to ignore. Now's the time to reverse course, to recover the waist of your high school days. It won't take decades. Just regular small decreases in the amount of calories you take in. Your results will be even more dramatic, and satisfying if, at the same time, you increase your calorie burn. No fad diets. No gimmicks. No giving up your favorite foods. No loss of essential nutrients. No yo-yo effect. Just a healthier, trimmer, happier you.