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Weight-Loss Rules to Rethink

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Weight-Loss Rules to Rethink

Virgil McDill, Experience Life

Let’s see now. Are carbs the source of all dietary evil – or is it fat? Is dairy supposed to be good for weight loss these days, or bad? Is protein’s day in the sun over, or just beginning? And should you be eating and exercising according to your blood type or your Ayurvedic dosha, or just strictly counting calories?

If you feel confused or clueless, it’s no wonder. Every season brings a new weight-loss trend. Infomercials on diet supplements and exercise gadgets promise to help shed unwanted pounds, and we’re bombarded daily with diet and exercise tips – from folk wisdom to the latest medical research – which often seem contradictory or incomplete. With so much weight-loss advice to wade through, many folks simply throw up their hands in despair and decide that they might as well sit on the couch and eat whatever they like.

No surprise, then, that we just keep getting fatter: Nearly 65 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. And the more obese our nation becomes, the greater our collective risk for many deadly and costly diseases, including type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and breast, colon and prostate cancers – to name just a few.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we are not powerless. We needn’t let our lack of knowledge about nutrition and fitness prevail over our common sense and our desire to live healthy, happy lives. We do, however, need to rethink what we think we know about dropping pounds and keeping them off.

For starters, we can forget about finding instant fixes and miracle cures for what are essentially pathological lifestyle habits. “We must stop falling for the myths that keep us fat and perpetuate an endless cycle of weight loss and gain,” says Mark Hyman, MD, former long-time co-medical director at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, and current editor in chief of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

As much as we all might like the idea of a “magic bullet,” most experts agree with Hyman that healthy, sustainable weight loss doesn’t come from extreme measures or single-faceted diets. Nor does it come from relying on heavily marketed low-fat or low-carb foods and diet drinks (which, in fact, have been shown to hinder weight-loss efforts by messing up metabolism, contributing to cravings and undermining energy levels).

If you really want to lose excess weight and keep it off (or if you just want to maintain your current weight and stay healthy for the long haul), start by putting aside any worries about your love handles or saddlebags. Instead, start focusing on the space between your ears. Any weight-loss misconceptions or misinformation harbored there could present a real danger to your weight-management success.

Think you know everything there is to know about weight loss? Maybe it’s time to think again.

Next: Five Weight-loss Rules to Re-think

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Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

25 comments

+ add your own
7:12AM PDT on Jun 15, 2013

I conclude, have selected a smart and surprising website with fascinating material.
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11:43PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

The people are very lucky to have this blog because it has better knowledge.
for beginners

9:43AM PST on Nov 30, 2009

This is a great article. I especially like the last tip.

2:58AM PDT on Oct 14, 2009

Obesity comes from the need to fill in some kind of gap.
If you eat low quality fats, your body will ask for more fats because it didn't get the EFAs it needs.
If you are bored or sad or mad or just plain stressed out and turnto the fridge for compensation, you'll get fat.
If you eat to fast and don't chew, you're likely to get fat.
If you eat refined carbs and don't get enough fibers, you might get fat and/or constipated and/or diabetic etc.
If you eat the healthiest diet but are toatlly inactive physically, you might not lose the weight you should.
The secret is to eat a balanced diet according to what feels right for your body (usually extreme diets don't work on the long term, so find what's right for you) but make sure its based only on high quality products, combined with enough excercise and mental/spiritual/emotional work to control stress levels.

10:28PM PDT on Oct 13, 2009

Whoa, David Harmon, chill out...you're going to explode.

5:49PM PDT on Oct 13, 2009

So true hope more people realize it

3:47PM PDT on Oct 13, 2009

Great article, I like the undisputable logic and clarity and down-to-earth approach. And in particular how it empowers people to take control of their own life and health. Keep on good work.
BTW, I can see a point to David's post. It's the first time I read his post and am not inclined to judge him on second-hand reports of his previous activity. He's clearly angry about what many thinking people (also on Care2) are also concerned about: that modern societies are being DUMBED up by those in power (i.e. with money) who set up fairy-flossy trends and 'proven rules' which sound benevolent, hopeful and healthy but actually degrade us mentally and physically. The sad thing is that lots of people, instead of thinking, look upto some authority to give them prescriptions on how to live, what to eat and how to protect ourselves (and especially the children) from normal social interactions with peers and neighbours. That's how I see it, in relation to the article.

3:19PM PDT on Oct 13, 2009

David Harmon you are acting just like those spoiled little brats you're always complaining about. Jumping into a discussion that's not even vaguely about your usual rant and throwing a hissy fit to get attention.
To those who are not familier with David H., He does this all over the Care2 sights. He hates over protective MOMMYS, children he asumes are spoiled little whimps, thin people, probably vegitarians and any one else he thinks he can bully or intimidate. He appearently thinks that 'free speech' means he doesn't have to have any consideration for appropriateness and that he can just jump in and start spewing. David, you need help. Normal adults do not act like you do.Lots of people don't have much time for kids but they don't actively hate them and their mothers.And even if they did, they wouldn't go around puking it all over an international petition site for all the world to see.Usually under anger, there is a lot of fear and grief.. Go do a sweat lodge. Peace be with you.

10:09AM PDT on Oct 13, 2009

The ultimate formula to keeping your weight balanced is to:

1. Know how many calories you are eating.
2. Know what you are going to be doing after you eat. Ask yourself: how many calories will I be burning?

Only eat the amount of calories you need to do whatever you are going to do.

9:57AM PDT on Oct 13, 2009

continued -

we all must do what is right for ourselves, using practical comon sense - avoid junk foods, cruel factory farmed foods, and empty calories.

i think this article gives a good overview of making healthy choices to create a healthy lifestyle.

i also appreciate seeing grass-fed meats mentioned in the article as an occasional source of good nutrition on this primarily vegetarian leaning website.

:)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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