Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Don't Diet

     As you all know, I am not a dieter. I don't believe in following someone else's idea of what I need to eat in order to keep my weight under control. It's not that I can't. I have plenty of willpower which I choose to use for other more important things such as exercise and patience . One of the reasons I don't diet is because I found that they throw your metabolism and physical being out of whack. If you want to really mess with yourself just go on a fad diet. The more trendy they are the worse they are for your constitution.
     One of the worst trends in dieting occurred in 1977 after a government subsidized study was finally unveiled. All the newspapers carried the story about how fat was making everybody fat. The truth is that the American public was much leaner, overall, before the report came out. I wonder why no one has ever noticed that before. Probably because they were too busy trying to figure out a new no or low fat diet. There have been a lot of crazy ones. I remember the Beverly Hills diet. It consisted mainly of eating fruit until you wanted to puke. I remember the sores in my mouth from eating pineapple! That's when I decided that diets were for lunatics and never went on a proscribed diet ever again.

     For about twenty years now I have become what most people would consider to be a nutritionist. I learned that you have to try everything- except for insects. I draw the line there. I never eat anything unless I want to eat it. I chew my food well even if I am ravenously hungry. I enjoy adding spices and seasonings to food instead of excesses of salt and butter but I don't avoid salt or butter. I don't eat substitutes such as trans fats, margarine, artificial sweeteners or diet anything. I have learned to enjoy steaming vegetables instead of boiling the life out of them. I don't eat packaged, processed food unless it's pasta, couscous or rice. I allow those as my staples- carbs to balance with protein and fat. I like fruit in summer as an addition to my meals and they are a great substitute for dessert.
     This isn't anything you haven't already heard I'm sure. Just eat a balanced diet and all that weight will just fall off. Easier said than done and also not quite true. All this sounds right until you get to the point of talking about calories, exercise, hypnotism and genetic predisposition. I've had all the conversations I'm ever going to have on those subjects and I can give you a fast rundown on my opinions on all of them without having to go into much detail. Be prepared to be surprised and amazed.

     Let's start with calories. Calories do count in summer unless you spend most of your time in air conditioning. Any other time of year you can forget about calories. They do exist but do you really know what they are ? First, I want you to look up the word calorie in your dictionary. You should have found two definitions that read something like this : 1. a unit for measuring a quantity of heat 2. a unit for measuring the energy value of food. How curious, huh ? You thought it was only for the second definition and have never heard anybody use the word for the first. Truth be told, there is no difference. The food value equates to keeping your metabolism to a certain rhythm and temperature which is expected to be 98.6 most of the time. Remember feed a cold, starve a fever ? That's where that theory comes from and it doesn't exactly work when you're sick. It holds true when your metabolism is basically normal. How will you know if your metabolism is normal ? If you don't feel like eating when you're overheated and you do want to eat a lot during the winter months, then you're normal. Get in tune with your body and basically decide if it is hungry or thirsty. Many times people will eat when they are thirsty and drink too much when they are hungry. Both contain calories that count but act very different on your system. After a workout or just plain work in summer heat, when you rehydrate, make sure you drink water that is half-chilled or straight from the tap without ice. It will prevent your body from going into shock and do weird things like drastically lower your heart rate or stop digestion for up to 12 hours ! 
     Exercise is another thing altogether. It doesn't have anything to do with a diet. Phil was wrong about that, okay ? My advice is find something that you will definitely take the time to do and make sure you do it everyday. Compound exercise is marvelous and you can do it at any level- from beginner to pro athlete. Just do it.
     Being hypnotized to lose weight has its rewards but remember that all you are doing is tricking your mind into making your body do something when what you really need to do is examine the problems which have either made you out-of-shape, obese or just out-of-control. A little bit of soul-searching could save you money, time and trouble. Don't leave God out of the equation when it comes to dealing with problems such as these. Jesus said, "I came that you might have life and more abundantly." He wants you to be your best.
     Genetic predisposition is just a very long word for saying you'll never change your basic body shape or anything else your parents ever had or didn't. People beat the odds on quite a few things everyday of the week and in all walks of life. Don't let something like inherited problems tell you it'll never work. Did your Dad die of a heart attack ? That does not mean you will. Examine his life and ask yourself what you will do different. Did he hold a lot of unexpressed anger inside ? Don't let yourself repeat those same mistakes. Take anger management courses and make sure that your story will be different. It's all up to you.

     Now, for my favorite subject. Food. Yummy food. Eating helps you lose weight. I'm not kidding. If you starve yourself to be thin you may eventually achieve ultra thin status but at what price? Haven't you ever seen anyone with anorexia nervosa ? If you experiment with eating good food and avoid stuff that is obviously going to cause you to have acquired diabetes you'll eventually have a healthy, beautiful body. Find out what food does to your body and make it work for you because food is one of the best medicines in the world and the only way to give your body what it needs to stay healthy. There is no health in a pill. When's the last time you saw an ad for a drug to actually make you healthy? Have you noticed that all the prescription ads on T.V. have at least five side effects that sound more uncomfortable than what the actual disease or condition causes ? Find out about food. Did you know eating asparagus will actually make you beautiful? It has a dynamic effect on your bloodstream that will literally give you the glow of health. Jacqueline Onassis would go to restaurants and only order asparagus. She was excessively thin but her skin was always radiant. Bananas are a type of super food. They are packed with meganutrients and the fiber in one banana is a sufficient amount your internal organs need each day to run efficiently and easy. There's more but I think you get the idea and now it's time for you to get out there and educate yourself on the most important element your body needs to help you have energy during the day and most importantly, will help you sleep at night. Have fun !