The No Diet

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Now here's an interesting thought...
cutting calories does not have to mean going on a "diet.
" Most people who want to lose weight think they have to go on a proven and well-thought out program prescribed by their doctor.
Or they purchase the latest diet tome to hit the bookstore shelves.
After several frustrating weeks of attempting to follow the latest in diet codes or shopping for complicated beach recipes, they give up and go back to their old habits.
Here's the deal...
for those of us who don't suffer some sort of thyroid problem or other metabolic imbalance (and that's most of us!), we put on fat when we eat more calories (in food and drink) than we burn up.
To lose weight, we have to reverse this by burning up more calories than we take in.
We can do that in one of three ways: 1.
eat less (thereby consuming fewer calories) 2.
burn more (by exercising) 3.
or both Cutting down on calories adds up much quicker than trying to lose weight by exercising alone.
Let's say you are trying to cut your daily calorie consumption by 500 calories and that you determine that you will walk daily for exercise.
Depending on your weight, at a speed of 15 minutes per mile, you would burn between a whopping 44 and 70 calories! At that rate, you will never lose weight! So what's the solution? The conventional wisdom is of course, a combination of diet and exercise, the old "eat less and exercise" more advice.
And that's still good advice...
up to a point.
A new study from the University of Minnesota showed that when women and men reduced the fat in their diets, their weight dropped, regardless of how much they changed their pattern of exercise! Now here's the interesting thing...
in women, even a substantial increase in exercise was not enough to produce weight loss if they did not reduce fat consumption.
Men, on the other hand, were able to lose weight through exercise alone.
A combination strategy is still the best advice, but for women it seems there must also be a decrease in dietary fat for the weight to come off.
Now back to the "no diet" plan.
You really don't need a book to begin to avoid or limit one or more foods which are high in fat (such as high fat meat, full fat cheese or high fat snacks).
Sweetened beverages, although they contain no fat, are a source of a lot of "hidden" calories in many peoples' diets.
A simple reduction in portion sizes can also go a long way to make cutting calories easier.
To sum up, avoid high calorie beverages (switch to water or unsweetened tea).
Be cautious about consuming artificial sweeteners.
Cut portion sizes...
a little less food at each meal can add up to a lot of calories in a day.
Look for lower fat protein choices...
skim or 1% milk, low fat yogurt or cottage cheese, lean meat and fish.
Get plenty of whole fresh fruits and vegetables and when you do eat bread products, make them whole grain.
Go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes four to five times a week.
This plan isn't really too glamorous is it? No mysterious Codes, and no Beach recipes.
Maybe I should write a book called the "No Diet"...
coming soon to a bookstore near you!
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