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You Can’t Outrun a Lousy Diet
More than 1/3 of the American population is obese. This puts about 78 million adults at greater risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Although eating right and exercising are both important factors to losing weight, or keeping it off, research studies show that one of these factors is more important than the other.
As things turn out, a diet based mainly on sugar, carbs, and processed foods is a bigger contributing factor to obesity than a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, according to this study, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, a high calorie diet will give you more health problems than inactivity, smoking, and alcohol combined.
This team of researchers looked at the numbers and came to the conclusion that, for every 150 extra calories of sugar that a person consumes, their risk of diabetes increases 11 fold. Scientists believe that simply cutting out extra carbs from your diet can be the single most effective intervention for reducing the effects of metabolic syndrome.
Nutrition, perhaps more than any other factor, is what controls the future of your health, this research paper claims. Perhaps that old adage “Don’t dig your grave with your own fork and knife” holds more truth than anyone ever imagined!
Mega food industries are currently running down the same road that Big Tobacco did 60 years ago, using celebrities and athletes to promote their unhealthy food products in popular magazines, online, in movies, and in commercial advertisements. Celebrities and professional athletes must stop endorsing unhealthy foods. Gyms, health clubs, and yoga studios also need to remove sugar filled drinks and chemically filled products from their facilities.
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The mainstream media has been telling us for at least the past 30 years that a diet high in fat is bad for us. “Fat will make you fat” has been shouted from the rooftops and plastered on every billboard. What has this war on fat actually accomplished? America is fatter than ever before! How could this be when we are surrounded by low fat everything?
The problem with a low fat diet is that people are replacing their previous fat consumption with more carbs. A Cochrane Review of randomized controlled studies of either modified fat or reduced fat interventions all found that when fat is replaced with carbs, there is absolutely no protection from cardiovascular problems.
This is why so many people go for fad diets, believe those misleading “health” food advertisements, and are still fatter than ever. They tried the low fat craze and it didn’t work. Americans are now adrift in a dietary sea, with no trusted compass to guide them. So they desperately grasp at anything they think might work or that is endorsed by someone they admire.
One fact that has not changed is that in order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This is next to impossible unless people change their eating habits.
This is not to say that exercise is unimportant. But for most people looking to lose weight, thinking that they can eat all the junk food, fast food, sugar, and alcohol they wish and then spending an hour at the gym four times a week will make up for it, these people need a wakeup call. One pound of fat is 3,500 extra calories. Running a marathon burns about 2,600 calories. You simply cannot outrun a junk food diet.
It’s quite clear that although exercise is important to the body, when it comes to losing weight, diet is much more important. It’s extremely easy to consume large amounts of calories in America. An average quarter pound hamburger, French fries, and a soda can run about 1600 calories. That’s one meal and the calories count will only soar higher if you exchange that soda for a milkshake or if you supersize your meal, or if you add a dessert to it.
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A truly healthy way to lose weight is to focus on organic vegetables, fruits, combined with some nuts and healthy fats, and then top this off with moderate exercise. Studies show that those who combine healthy eating and 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise lose more fat and weight than those who only focus on diet.
By the way, you don’t have to do those 150 minutes all in one whack. This would be about 30 minutes of mild exercise, such as walking, some weight training, dancing, or swimming, 5 days per week. Also, those 30 minutes does not have to be done all at one time, either. If you have a super tight schedule, split those 30 minutes up into 3 ten minute sessions. You will get the same benefits as someone who worked out for 30 minutes straight.
Something to note here: one calorie bomb that many people, especially men, don’t consider is beer. An average beer can have 400 to 500 calories. You can down a beer in 10 minutes, but you will have to do three hours of walking to burn it off. It’s easy to see where drinking a beer or two every night, or a six pack on the weekend can blow your weight loss efforts sky high.
Now, when you compare 500 calories worth of apples, well, you probably couldn’t eat that many apples in one day. You would be really full after eating just half that amount of apples but one beer will only leave you hungry for real food in about 30 minutes. The idea here is to emphasize that increasing your consumption of healthy foods will greatly cut back on your overall calorie consumption, which will cause your body to lose weight. Not only that, but increasing your consumption of healthy foods will also give your body tons of nutrition and disease fighting compounds.
People would be much better off adopting a high fat, low carb, mainly plant based organic diet than chowing down on diet sodas, synthetic vitamin water, and sugar filled “protein” bars.
Losing weight is all about smart eating and those little victories that add up to real change. Yes, changing our eating habits is difficult but the payoff in your health and longevity is huge. To repeat an often used phrase: Just Do It!