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Weight Loss: It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Diet!
Stand in line at a local store and look at the person in front of you, then the person directly behind you. Statistically speaking, one of you is obese. A growing epidemic in the US, obesity rates are rising not only among adults, but also among children. Miracle pills, hormone therapy, special shakes and others have helped some people, but overall we are a bigger unhealthy country than a generation ago. Researching healthy detoxification diets or short lifestyle changes can help with weight loss for people who are categorized as “obese”.
Obesity has several definitions, but a simple way to define it is that it is when your body weight is 20% more than your ideal weight. Between 1980 and 2000, obesity rates among adults doubled. About 60 million adults, or 30% of the adult population, are now obese. Since 1980, overweight rates have doubled among children and tripled among adolescents. This is largely due to poor diets and lack of exercise, which contribute significantly to joint problems, diabetes, and the onset of various other health problems. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), poor diet and lack of exercise are responsible for more than 300,000 deaths each year. This is the equivalent of almost three jumbo jets full of people crashing every day!
More than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits. I hear it all the time: “Dr. Laurence, I don’t have time to exercise”, or, “I don’t like sports”, or “The weather is bad outside.” You can start by just walking. Walk every day; outside, inside, in the local department store or mall (Just don’t bring your wallet!). Walking can gradually turn into jogging. If you have bad knees, try swimming or a water aerobics class. Weight loss occurs when fat cells shrink. During Liposuction, fat cells are removed in one part of the body, only to find that fat is deposited in another part of the body. Therefore, the only way to achieve real weight loss is to exercise and change your eating habits.
A healthy diet is essential for weight loss. This doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. Eating larger meals earlier in the day instead of later in the day will help keep pounds off. While you sleep, your metabolism slows down. Eating a large meal late in the day will only make you gain weight. Try eating smaller meals. Research shows that only 25% of American adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. More people are eating convenient, sugar-laden, processed foods that lack vitamins and minerals essential to health. Over a lifetime, this can contribute to other serious health risks, such as arthritis, joint replacements, asthma and other degenerative diseases.
Where should you start? Try to eliminate all sodas and sugary drinks from your diet. Replace them with organic juices and water. Start reading labels for hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and other unhealthy ingredients. Eat 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Below is a diet that I recommend for you for three weeks, and, as always, first be sure to consult your doctor, nutritionist or chiropractor before starting, to see if it is right for you. It is meant to be temporary.
Foods allowed: poultry, seafood, eggs, butter, whole nuts (except peanuts), all vegetables, including asparagus, cucumber, celery, green peas, onion, broccoli, lettuce, okra, carrots, etc., all salads, beans, ginger carrots, and low-sugar fruits, including all types of berries, pears, green apples, unripe bananas and grapefruit. Use only small amounts of high-quality oils when necessary, such as olive, sunflower, canola, fish oils, flax oil, and borage oil. Spices are ok; ginger and turmeric are very anti-inflammatory.
Restricted foods: all grains, bread, pasta, cereals, rice, sweet fruits, juices, sweets, candy, cakes, corn, potatoes, starches, chips and crackers, high fructose corn syrup and sugar. No alcohol. No carbs for three weeks.
Things to keep in mind: Make sure you drink plenty of water and prepare your meals. This can be done in conjunction with a healthy exercise program. When you are done with the three weeks, it is still very important to eat less starch and processed sugars, because these items mainly contribute to weight gain.
Again, this is a guide, and should be followed closely with your healthcare practitioner. It can be quite challenging, but you will see results. By being proactive now, you are insuring your most valuable asset: YOU! As the famous saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
By: Dr. Chad Laurence
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