Post # 128 The Diet Days of Summer

June 13, 2013 at 12:11 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 128 The Diet Days of Summer

Yeah, Okay, we’re all in this conundrum.  It’s summer.  We want to look good as we wear fewer clothes.  We want to be healthy, shed winter pounds, keep them off, and go forward smaller into the sunset.

Doesn’t work.  For every pound lost, two more are found.  Eventually.  I had a friend in high school he used to tells people when they said they’d lost five pounds to look behind cuz there they were.

See, the trouble is most people will go on diets.  Some are fad diets.  Some are sensible diets.  Some are doctor regulated diets.  The trouble with diets is that they usually work by eliminating something and once that something is reintroduced into your life, the weight comes back.

See, the body has many survival mechanisms.  One of those is a prevention against starvation.  And how does the body do this?  It hordes calories in the form of fat.  So the more you starve yourself, the more it stores.  But because it’s thinking in starvation mode, it hides those fat cells in the interior of the body (at first) where there is more room and it’s more readily available.  When those recesses are filled, it starts “hiding” them under the skin EVERYWHERE!  Eventually, starvation diets work, the body sheds some pounds by getting rid of water then by using the reserved stores deep in the core.  So we might lose a few pounds, but we look the same.  So why bother?

Cuz we want to look good, dammit!  Right?!

Look, there’s a right way and a wrong way.  So many people go about it the wrong way.  Remember the cabbage soup diet?  For those who don’t, let me refresh your memories.  You made gallons of soup out of cabbage, tomatoes, and some other vegetables and herbs.  Then you ate that soup for a week and drank only water.  Apart from making you incredibly flatulent, it was supposed to drop pounds like crazy.  It worked on the theory of negative calories.  There are some foods, like celery, that take more energy to eat and process than they supply to the body.  So when you eat them, you starve.  This soup also helped “detox” your system.  It was billed in turns as “The Detox Diet”, “The Heart Association Soup Diet”, “The Cabbage Soup Diet”, and various others.  After a week, you were supposed to start adding smart and healthy additions to the soup.  Your body would continue to drop pounds as you learned to eat healthier.  Problem was, it did so much damage to your body that the American Heart Association had to release a statement saying they had no part in this soup diet and that it was harmful to human life.  I never heard of anyone actually dying from it, but it wouldn’t have surprised me.

Then there are the myriad “X-free” diets.  Mostly it’s carbohydrate-free diets.  Carbs are very high in calories, so eliminating carbs gets rid of tons of calories.  Trouble is, it gets rid of tons of nutrients.  Then there’s the “fat-free” diet.  This one says to limit the amount of fat you eat to next to none.  There is some merit to this.  Fats are calorie dense.  They can cause plaque build up in our blood vessels leading to disease.  But some fats are very good for you, and eliminating them will take away their benefits.  Olive oil, for instance, helps eliminate cholesterol from your system.

See, the only real way to lose weight and become more healthy is to reduce the amount of calories you take in, in a sensible manner, while increasing the amount of calories you expend, again, in a sensible manner.  Basically, eat less and exercise more.  Doctors have been saying that for decades.

What I’m talking about is a basic lifestyle change.  Not a crazy fad diet that denies your body nutrients, but a sensible nutritious change in eating habits that fuels the machine.

SO!  We’re joining a gym so we can increase our activity levels and burn more calories.  We want to do so in a way that will be effective and not moronic.  Our diet is mostly okay, but there are areas we can improve.  In looking at food and nutrition over the years, talking with my doctor about cholesterol levels, and reading guidance on the ‘net, I’ve decided that the two “diets” that seem to be the best are the Diabetes diet, and the American Heart Association diet.  SO!  We’re going to be modifying our diets to be more in line with the diabetes guidelines.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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