Can Losing Weight Really Be Simple?
If you were to research all the different diet programs that are on the market, they all follow the same basic principle, eat less and move more. However, losing weight made simple seems to take on a whole new meaning with each decade.
Just look at all of the different diet trends that have graced us with their presence and how they often tend to come back again with slight changes, somewhat like fashion.
Losing Weight – Diets Through the Decades:
In the 1960’s the Atkins Diet was created by Robert Atkins, MD, a cardiologist. The Atkins Diet has remained a viable diet solution to losing weight, as it has gone through quite a few changes since it was first introduced. Dr. Atkins continues to refine his approach as new research becomes available in regard to diet and nutrition.
In the 1970’s and early 1980’s the Scarsdale Diet, created by Dr. Herman Tarnower was the go-to diet. The Scarsdale Diet is a high-protein, low-calorie, low-carb weight loss plan which is designed to last 14 days.
Dr. Tarnower was murdered in 1980 by his girlfriend, Jean Harris, as a result of a cheating scandal. The Scarsdale Diet increased in popularity for a time as a result of the scandal and all the media attention surrounding the incident. However, at this time, the Scarsdale Diet book is no longer in print.
In the 1990’s losing weight was all about low-fat diets. The only problem with this is that low fat products traditionally are lacking in taste. To compensate for the lackluster flavor, manufacturers added more sugar to their products. Sugar, as we all knows, turns to fat so this is definitely not the most successful solution to losing weight.
In the 2000’s it was all about cutting carbohydrates. More recently it seems to be all about organic and gluten free products. I am eager to see what the next diet trend is going to be.
Becoming Educated About Losing Weight:
All of these different food variables have their place when implementing and following a food intake program, so why not take a little from each of these and develop one that works for you.
The grapefruit diet and the cabbage soup diet were popular at one time, and some people still use these as short term solutions for losing a few pounds. But, as people become more educated as to healthy eating habits they realize that losing weight, as well as managing disease, has everything to do with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
My cousin is a nutritionist and her mantra is “the body is an amazing thing, and when given the proper nutrients, it actually has the ability to heal itself from most illness and disease.”
Whole Wheat vs Enriched Bleached Flour:
If you were to look at the typical diet for the average American, it is mainly composed of high carbohydrates and saturated fats. There is some protein in this diet, but it is lacking in fiber that you get through certain vegetables and legumes.
The healthier solution is to consume foods that are not processed or refined. Processed foods contain chemicals. The less chemicals you put into your body, the healthier you will be. For example, instead of eating white flour based products, switch to whole grains & whole wheat.
I always try to impress upon people the fact.. there is no flour plant.. it is a wheat plant. Farmers do not grow a crop of flour, but a crop of wheat, so why not just eat whole wheat products versus products containing enriched and bleached flour.
Eating Fresh Fruit vs Drinking Fruit Juice:
Furthermore, even though you do not want to count calories, you should be aware of what you are putting in your body, especially when it comes to fluids. A lot of us think that because we are drinking 100% fruit juice that it is good for us.
You need to imagine how many oranges it takes to make a glass of orange juice. It is certainly much more than just one orange. That is where you will get into trouble. Just because it says pure and natural.. does not mean that it is necessarily beneficial for you. These sugary empty calories will be stored as fat in your body, which is the direct opposite of what we want if we expect to lose weight.
You re much better off eating an orange, rather than having a glass of orange juice.. and eating an apple rather than drinking a glass of apple juice.
Burning the Fat and Losing Weight:
When it comes to losing weight or losing the fat.. 3500 calories will equal one pound of fat burned. Remember, if you can reduce your current food intake by 250 calories and burn another 250 calories (per day) exercising, you will lose one pound of fat per week.
Initially, it is advisable to keep eating your existing diet for now. But, try to shrink it down a little bit.. as well as increase your physical activity. Once you start seeing results, then you should start replacing some of the foods you eat with healthier alternatives. Try to eat more foods that have a lesser fat content, healthier carbohydrates, more fiber, etc.
If you see small results with what you currently eat now, you will be more excited about shifting your food intake to the next level to get even better results.
If you’ve had challenges adhering to a food plan, you may want to consider working with a professional trainer or a support network. This will motivate you and hold you accountable for your long-term and short-term goals.