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Your Health & Wellness, Issue #010 -- Learn about weight loss myths, and the healthy way to lose
September 07, 2007

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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Week of September 9, 2007

Table of Contents

* Weight Loss Myths, and the Healthy Way to Lose Weight Permanently *

Weight Loss Myths, and the Healthy Way to Lose Weight Permanently

Low-Fat Diet

The percentage of Americans who were overweight in 1960 was 45%. Of that number, 13% were obese. That was 47 years ago. Currently 66% of Americans are overweight while 33% are obese. The obesity rate has more than doubled since 1960! If the existing trend continues, by 2015 75% of Americans will be overweight and 41% will be obese!

These statistics are alarming. In order to rein in these escalating obesity numbers, the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association all recommended that Americans eat low-fat foods. That was in the late 90s during the low-fat diet craze. The thinking then was that fat was fueling the obesity epidemic--eating fat made you fat.

I, too, used to think that in order to lose weight, I had to reduce my fat consumption. After all, I reasoned, digested fat yields 9 calories while carbohydrates and protein produces only 4! When I dieted for a bodybuilding show, I inevitably reduced my fat intake.

Not only did Americans reduce their consumption of fat, but they increased their intake of carbohydrates. Unfortunately these carbs were by and large refined (white rice, breads, sugar.)

But, if fat is the culprit which makes Americans fat, why don't the French, and others who eat a high fat Mediterranean type diet, have high obesity rates? Obviously there is more to our skyrocketing obesity rates than meets the eye.

Fat is the nutrient which gives food taste. When food manufacturers began to flood the market with low-fat products, they had to replace the fat with something to give the food products taste. That something was sugar and artificial sweeteners--an abundance of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Since Americans typically over consume snack and junk foods, the empty calories piled up. That caused American waistlines to expand even more.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners are addictive. The more you eat, the more you want to eat. The consumer's mentality about low-fat products played a large part in accelerated obesity rates too. He thought that since he was eating a low-fat product, he could eat more of that product. That was a big mistake then, and continues to be one now!

The market was now flooded with low-fat food products. There was low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat salad dressing, low-fat ice-cream, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cookies and other baked goods, low-fat potato chips. The list goes on and on. These low-fat products were contributing to rather than lessening the obesity rate.

The problem with a low-fat diet is that many people don't realize that there are good fats and there are bad fats. The government, and heart and diabetes associations were telling Americans to throw out the baby with the bath water in the 90s. Americans were indiscriminately staying away from all fats--the good and the bad.

Good fats fall into two classes: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are the types of fats that are in the Mediterranean diet. A staple of the Mediterranean diet is extra virgin olive oil. It is a monounsaturated fat. Extra virgin olive oil reduces the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Besides olive oil, you can find monounsaturated fats in hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, sesame and pumpkin seeds, and avocados.

Omega-3 and omega-6 are polyunsaturated fats. Both are necessary for good health. With the appearance of the low-fat diet, food manufacturers provided consumers with low-fat vegetable oils. Although these vegetable oils (See...Dangerous Food Technology.) were made from polyunsaturated fats, the refining process destroyed nutrients such as the antioxidant vitamin E, and altered the oil's structure.

Vegetable oils are not the only source of omega-6 fats. With the introduction of factory-farming by the giant meat conglomerates, animals have been fed grain--a source of omega-6 fats. Even farmed fish are fed grain. Unrefined omega-6 fats are beneficial. The American public however was unknowingly eating too much in proportion to omega-3 fats (Read...)

In addition to providing too much omega-6 fat which was only stored as body fat, factory-farmed meat produced an excessive amount of saturated fat too. Factory-farmed or feedlot raised meat has 500 percent more saturated fat than grass-fed meat! America's low-fat diet regimen was unknowingly pushing the obesity rates even higher.

Saturated fat is not as bad as we have been led to believe. A limited amount is necessary for good nutrition. It, however, should be obtained from organic and grass-fed meat. This meat is much leaner than their factory-farmed counterparts, and contains omega-3 fats and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which have all but disappeared from the American diet (Read...)

Another good source of saturated fat is coconut products (See...) Coconuts and their oil have medium-chain triglycerides which are not stored as body fat as long-chain saturated fat is.

The superstar of all good fats is omega-3. Omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats are essential. That means that they must be obtained from the food we eat. A good source of omega-3 is wild fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies. Omega-3s are also found in flaxseeds, flax oil, and nuts like walnuts.

There is one type of fat which should be avoided altogether. It is called trans fat. Trans fats are created when a vat of vegetable oil is injected with hydrogen. Trans fats or hydrogenated oils are solid at room temperature.

Food manufacturers love hydrogenated oils because they extend a product's shelf life. Trans fats increase your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Studies with velvet monkeys have shown that trans fats will transfer fat from other parts of the body and deposit it in the abdominal region. The abdominal area is the most dangerous place for fat to reside. Fat deposited here increases your risk for developing chronic disease (Read...)

Instead of low-fat diets causing weight loss, they promote it. Limited amounts of saturated fat is necessary for health. Get it from organic, grass-fed meat and eggs. You should get limited amounts of omega-6 fats from unrefined vegetable oil. Avoid all refined vegetable oils (soybean, sunflower, safflower, peanut, corn, canola.)

Get sufficient amounts of omega-3s from wild, coldwater fish. You can also get omega-3s from cod liver oil or fish oil/omega-3 capsules. Be certain to include extra-virgin olive oil in your meals. Including these healthy fats into your nutritional plan will ensure fat loss.

Low-Carb Diet

Another weight loss myth says that a low-carb diet is the secret to successful weight loss. Just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are likewise good carbs and bad carbs. Again Americans throw out the baby with the bath water when they go on a low-carb diet.

Good carbs are essential for long term health. These carbs should come in the form of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds. Of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrate, the majority of your calories should come from unrefined carbs.

A low-carb diet may seem to be ideal for America's seemingly insatiable appetite for obesity related soda, white bread, white rice, white potatoes and white sugar. It isn't though. The body's preferred source of fuel is carbs. If there isn't a sufficient amount of carbohydrate to provide energy for your body, muscle will be broken down to supply that energy. That's why complex carbs are known as muscle sparing carbs.

The white carbs mentioned above should be eliminated entirely from your diet. Substitute vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, sweet potatoes, whole grains and seeds. These whole foods are high in fiber and phytonutrients (plant nutrients.) The fiber in these unprocessed foods slows their absorption into the bloodstream. This has the effect of keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day.

Refined carbs are quickly absorbed and send your blood sugar levels soaring. The pancreas responds by creating insulin to shuttle the blood sugar (glucose) into your body's cells. Your blood sugar levels just as quickly falls. You are hungry again. The standard American diet consists of processed carbs which spike blood sugar levels. This process leads to insulin resistance, and obesity (Read...)

The Starvation Diet

People who skip meals such as breakfast are actually following the starvation diet. Just as the body needs good fats and good carbs, it needs adequate and frequent feedings.

Your body is designed to store fat. When you skip meals your body shifts into starvation mode.

In starvation mode your body prepares itself to not be fed. Starvation mode is a natural protective mechanism. It slows down its metabolism and holds on to its fat stores. To supply it with the energy it needs in order to function, your body taps its lean body mass (muscle.)

The starvation diet also causes you to overeat in your next meal. The body is programmed to get the nutrients it needs in order to function. It will not allow you to rob Peter to pay Paul. The meal that you neglect to eat in order to lose weight will be more than made up for when you do eat!

Although you will lose weight on this diet, it is muscle weight, not fat weight. Neither the low-fat, low-carb, or starvation diets are long term solutions. They each seek to 'trick' the body. That's almost impossible to accomplish. Permanent weight loss consists of working with the body, not against it.

Long Term Weight Loss Solution

Diets are ineffective. Although you will lose weight on almost any diet, you will almost with a certainty fall off the wagon. When that happens, you will gain back what you initially lost, plus more.

A healthy lifestyle is the only long term weight loss solution. This begins with a mind transformation (Read Weight Loss Mind Makeover.) As far as nutrition is concerned, eat only whole foods (organic fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and grass-fed meat.) Your body was designed to eat these foods. Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. This has the effect of keeping your metabolism revved up. You will never get hungry on this plan.

Eat whole grains only. Make certain that your fruits and vegetables are low glycemic (See #2 below.) Have a protein source with every meal. Adequate protein will allow you to keep your lean body mass (Read...) Drink plenty of water.

This nutrition plan assures you of getting enough fiber in your diet. The standard American diet is sadly lacking in fiber.

The second phase of this healthy lifestyle weight loss solution is exercise. This is important. Weight loss without exercise is not going to work.

On a step-by-step basis, your weight loss agenda looks like this:

(1) Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. Have a protein source with each meal (organic eggs, nuts, organic, free range meat, etc.)

(2) Eat non-starchy fruits and vegetables (See...)

(3) Drink plenty of pure water (the water in your coffee or tea doesn't count.)

(4) Avoid all white products (breads, rice, potatoes, sugar.) These are all high glycemic carbs which are bad for you.

(5) Read all food labels carefully (Read...) Avoid all artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), Sweet N' Low, saccharine, etc. Use the natural sweetener stevia. It doesn't affect your blood sugar. Even diabetics can use it (Read...)

(6) Eat your last meal at least 2 hours before you go to bed.

(7) Eat only organic, free range lean meat (chicken and turkey breasts.) Eat wild salmon 2 to 3 times a week.

(8) Eat nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans in moderation. Even though they contain good fat, they are still high in calories.

(9) Be conscious of portion size (Read...)

(10) Exercise 4 to 5 days a week.

Permanent weight loss is a by-product of a healthy lifestyle. A whole food nutrition regimen will allow your body to not only heal itself, but to reset its weight set point. It's impossible to become or remain overweight when you follow, and don't deviate from, this plan.

When I ate processed foods and non-organic meat, fruits, and vegetables, my bodyweight spiralled up to 210 pounds. I have now been on this healthy lifestyle for over a year. My weight peaked at 182 pounds, and remains there. I eat a lot in my 6 meals a day. I also lift weights strenuously.

You too are guaranteed similar results.

New E-book now available Let Food Be Thy Medicine.

The title of this manual is from the famous saying of Hippocrates in 400 bc. The full quote is “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates is known as the father of modern medicine. The foods which constitute the standard American diet (SAD) lack the ability to supply essential nutrients, let alone be medicine for a sick body.

Whole foods such as wheat and other grains, and fruit are processed to such a degree that dietary nutrients and fiber are removed. Examples are white rice, white bread, and fruit drinks. These processed products are inadequate to supply the human body with the nutrients it needs just to sustain itself. Even though the majority of Americans are eating more than enough calories, they are empty calories.

People are literally starving themselves to the point that the body is highly susceptible to attack by disease. Their immune systems are undernourished and not capable of fighting chronic illnesses.

By following the information given in this manual you will slowly nourish your body with the wholesome nutrients it needs to maintain, repair and build itself. Instead of calorie dense foods you will be consuming nutrient dense foods. You will put yourself on the road to strength, vigor, and vitality–no matter what your age. Price: $21.95.

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