Your Healthy Weight Part Three: Diet

This is the third part of my blog on this. Here are pats one and two.

Now we get to the big part about the weight loss industry. The one you constantly hear about. Diet. First of all, I think that word has to be clarified. Diet does not mean restricting what or when you eat. Diet is simply what you eat. If you follow laid out meals plans or restrictions then you are changing your diet.

You don’t have to go far or wait long for an ad telling you you’re fat, need to lose weight and the only way to do it is by handing over a stack of cash for someone to tell you what you can’t eat. These ads prey on people’s insecurities and vulnerabilities to sell them something they probably don’t need. Again I have to say be aware of what you’re being sold. “If you could do it your self, you’d have done it already” Are you kidding? Those aren’t the words of someone who wants to help you, those are the words of a high school bully! If you really don’t think you can lose the weight your self, go see your doctor and talk to them about what you can do, not some asshole looking to earn a quick buck. But here’s what I’ll tell you, I think you can do it.

So far you’ve figured out your body type, so you know what is realistic and what is unhealthy for your body. We’ve covered some way to exercise and keep your body active without forking over more money to a gym you’re going to hate even thinking about. The last thing to consider is your diet. Fats, salts and carbohydrates are generally considered bad for us, but that isn’t true. They are all vital for us and they all taste great. That’s no coincidence, it’s evolution. Those things are harder to find in nature. They taste good to us so that when we find them, we eat as much of them as we can because who knows when the next time we’ll have a chance is! In today’s world though they aren’t hard to find. They’re too easy to find and we over indulge in them.

Fat is a part of life. It’s what everyone wants to lose, but it shouldn’t be so scary. Your body needs fat.  There are too many programs around which dictated low, or even no fats. While reducing your fat intake will probably do you some good, taking away too much or even all your fats is bad for your body. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all referred to as fat-soluble. That means that they dissolve in and are transported around your body by fat. Vitamin A is critical for good eyesight and proper brain function . Vitamin D aids the metabolism (we’ll talk about that later) and prevents osteomalacia (more commonly known by it’s childhood form, rickets). Vitamin E is critical for the proper function of many organs. Vitamin K plays a key role in helping your blood clot so you don’t bleed to death. If you don’t have enough fat, none of these essential vitamin can be transported around your body to do their jobs.

So what can be done to reduce the amount of fat we intake, but still maintain a healthy level? Stop being afraid to eat things with fat! We are naturally omnivorous. Our bodies are evolved to eat meat, so eat it! Just don’t eat too much. While it’s common to see a meal with a steak taking up half the plate surrounded by a tiny spoonful of vegetable and potatoes slathered in gravy, that is a bad ratio! Your protein should only be about one quarter of the plate. Bump up that veg portion. And while your at it, a little less gravy won’t hurt. Sauces should compliment the flavours they’re being poured on, not cover them up. If you can’t also taste those potatoes you’ve got too much gravy.

Similar to fats, carbohydrates and calories are another big no no on many diet plans. While there is some truth to this, people don’t seem to understand what these things are. Simply put, calories are the energy our bodies burn to continue functioning. Carbohydrates are the main source of calories we consume. Just in case you don’t understand that, let me put it in bold for you. Our bodies need carbohydrates to live. Everyone get that? Now, there are “good” carbs and “bad” carbs, that’s true. Sugars are generally the bad ones and should be limited. While that is also true for the good carbs, they are essentials to our diets and should not be cut out of them. Grains like wheat and rice are the best sources for this. If your diet plan is leaving you feeling weak and tired, you’ve probably cut out too many carbohydrates.

All of this revolves around one thing. The metabolism. Your metabolism is responsible for not only your body using calories, but storing them as well. If you’re trying to lose weight you want to make sure your metabolism is burning more calories each day then it is storing. There are lots of ways to speed up your metabolism so it burns more, but the single most influential factor on it is exercise. Since I’ve already written about that though, there are a couple other easy, but important ways. First of all, get a good sleep. When your body is well rested all it’s functions work better and thus you will be burning more calories. The other thing is to make sure you eat a balanced diet. As I said, things like fats and carbs are needed for your body to function. Cutting a necessity out is never a good thing and will only cause you more harm. Make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to ensure everything runs smoothly.

But even doing all this, don’t expect instant results. Weight loss should be a gradual process. If someone is promising you’ll lose 50 lbs in a day and a half without exercising they’re either lying to you or making you do something hazardous to your health. You need to be patient, and when you reach your healthy weight you have to keep it there. Just because you made it doesn’t mean you should go back to sitting around and eating a ton of food. Stay active, eat healthy then once in a while take a day off or treat your self.

I hope I’ve been able to change a few minds about body image…It seems to constantly be on everyone’s minds in a very unhealthy way. Remember that you may just have a heavier set body type and that is okay. There are ways to stay active and exercise without paying for expensive gyms or infomercial work out machines. Commercial diets are usually unhealthy and prey on people feeling bad about them selves. If you want to lose weight, do it to be healthy, not to look like a Sports Illustrated model. $60 billion a year is too much to be handing over to bullies and low lifes for nothing.

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