of the Seven-Part Series: Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It. -- Found on EZINE!
At any given time two-thirds of all American adults are on a diet. Of those, 29 percent are men and 44 percent are women. Yet, only five percent of dieters will keep the weight off. In fact, most will actually regain their lost weight, plus more. With all the money being spent on diets and diet products, Americans aren't losing weight. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, overweight and obesity has reached epidemic levels. One of the main reasons dieters fail at their "get fit" attempts and remain a statistic is because they choose "fad diets" as opposed to a balanced, healthy diet. In fact the weight-loss industry makes its billions because "millions succumb to 'quick-fix' claims, seeking a (non-existent) effortless weight-loss method.
After a "fad diet" fails, most dieters give up, claiming, "diets don't work". It seems to me that the word "diet" is the target of criticism and creates a lot of confusion. Is diet a bad four-letter word? If you eat food (or liquids), you're on a diet. Diet is defined as "food or drink regularly consumed," or "a controlled intake of food and drink designed for weight loss, for health or religious reasons, or to control a medical condition." The real issue is whether you on a proper diet, for your body to either lose weight (fat), or maintain a healthy and acceptable body weight.
Diets that Don't Work:
Instead of saying, "diets don't work", we should specify which diets don't work. Unhealthy diets don't work. Restrictive and unbalanced diets don't work. Starvation diets don't work. Fake food diets don't work. Diet pills don't work. Massive supplement intake diets don't work. Fad (lose weight fast) diets don't work. We should confront the real issue; most diet programs and products offer quick-fix solutions and are basically gimmicks full of false promises, magic potions, and misleading propaganda. As a fitness expert for over 27 years, I've seen diets come and go (and some recycled) and have witnessed first-hand, the damage done by "trend diets." No sensible diet will ever compromise your physical or mental health for the sake of looking good. In fact, you don't have to starve, deprive yourself, settle for fake food, lose your sanity and health, or take pills to lose weight and get into great shape! I know that getting and staying healthy and fit involves a lifestyle of the "proper diet and exercise regimen." See my article -- Diets: Hope or Hype?
First and foremost, don't fall victim to "quick-fix" diets and make certain your diet is proper (appropriate and sound)! Unless there is a specific medical condition that should eliminate certain foods, you should be leery of any diet program that lacks sufficient amount of calories, restricts one of the key nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), and even restricts certain wholesome foods like carrots, potatoes and bananas.
The good news is there is finally a rise in sound (proper) diet programs that will help you lose weight and gain health. There are now widely accepted, well-researched nutritional principles found in most well respected, leading diet programs, ones that do not offer quick-fix solutions that are found in so-called "fad diets".
Most fitness experts, nutritionists, diet gurus, and well-informed doctors agree that we should consume clean and wholesome foods and liquids to attain (and maintain) low body fat and vibrant health. We should eliminate junk food, fast food, fried food, and highly processed food. The real debate begins over how many calories we should consume each day and the nutrient ratio. The other debate exists over whether it is better to be a vegetarian or vegan - or not! Most also agree that fat loss is where it's at, not just weight loss, that real and lasting weight-loss results don't happen over night, and getting fit is best accomplished when you include exercise. According the Web MD, "proven weight-management strategies include a balanced diet with reduced calories with a regular exercise regimen." The key to low body fat, vibrant health, and longevity is a lifestyle of the PROPER DIET and exercise!
The proper diet includes the following factors: Liquid Consumption, Quantity and Distribution of Calories (daily caloric intake: under eating and over eating; daily nutrient ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat; and meal size: portion control), and Quality and Purity of Calories.
I would like to specifically address Quality and Purity of Calories. Calories are our friend, however, the wrong kind of calories will do harm (make women fat and sick-the opposite of fit and healthy)! Calories that are not wholesome and do not promote mental, spiritual, and physical well-being include:
- Fat calories
- Unhealthy calories
- Dirty calories
- Impure calories
- Old and dead calories
- Non-kosher calories
In summary quality and purity of calories include:
Clean and pure foods-natural, fresh, organic, and kosher
Lean, healthy, fibrous, and alive foods
Foods made by God (nature) for human consumption
Carefully chosen man-made or man- manipulated foods
Unless you are a nutritionist, food expert, or well-informed fitness professional making good food choices can be a confusing subject. Even experts sometimes disagree on what to eat. There are obvious choices of what not to eat, namely most packaged, processed, and man-made foods-especially the ones full of preservatives and additives. However, some packaged and man-made foods may be good to eat, and some may even be a smart diet cheat. As you do your own research on packaged and man-made foods you can add more of them to your diet. Just remember that when you consume more man- made foods, you are increasing your odds of making mistakes in your food choices.
Pure and wholesome foods (God/nature-made foods) will always be a staple in any diet, whether you want to lose fat, improve health, gain lean body mass, increase your fitness level, become an athlete, or even just maintain your current weight and health condition.
Good Food Choices Short List
Since I have been in the fitness industry for over 27 years, I am always asked, "what do you eat?" and/or "what should I eat?' Here is a VERY short list, but I am sure it will be helpful.
Here is a good rule to follow: In choosing foods-now and later-use the Golden Food Rule: "If God (nature) made it, it is safe. If it is man-made, then it must be examined thoroughly." Quote from MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book
- Fresh-water fish (with fins and scales; like salmon, halibut, trout, and tuna)
- Organic free-range and grass-fed animal meats (beef, poultry, turkey) - (skinless, white meat from poultry)
- Kosher meats (if you eat meat you should only eat it once a month or less and trim the fat-good choices are filet mignon, flank and top sirloin))
- Eggs from organic, free-range, vegetarian-fed hens (use egg whites and only a few whole eggs each week)
- Carefully chosen meat products (like Boars Head deli meat -- fresh and white meat)
- Organic low- to no-fat dairy - (eat or drink minimal amounts)
- Fresh and organic legumes
- Raw and unsalted nuts and seeds (dry roasted on occasion)
- Plant protein products-clean and pure (like nut butter, hummus, soy butter, and more)
- Organic whole grains; like barley, oats, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, couscous, kamut, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, and others
- Grain products-sprouted, stone ground (baked, never fried); like bread, cereal, rice cakes, mochi, corn tortillas, etc.
- Organic fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fresh and untainted herbs and spices
- Extra-virgin olive oil and other unrefined vegetable oils
- Limited amounts of all-natural spreads, sauces, sweeteners, salad dressings, and dips.
- All natural gluten-free, low-sugar and low-fat smart diet cheats; like are fudgsicles, popsicles puddings and yogurts. Dark chocolate (low sugar of course)! Barbara's Fig Bars, Mrs. May's Naturals Pumpkin Crunch, and Lundberg Wasabi Rice Chips.
- Don't forget to consume plenty of water each day and the proper amounts of other liquids. Liquid consumption is another topic altogether!
MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book (copyright 2007)
Click here for the other 4 parts of "Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It." EZINE only!