Monday, July 26, 2004, by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
It seems that everybody wants to lose weight. But when most people say they want to lose weight, what they really mean is they want to lose weight without altering their current lifestyle. They want to lose weight without changing the foods that they eat, or without getting up off the couch, turning off the television, and engaging in regular physical exercise. Not surprisingly, there is a huge market that offers shortcuts to weight loss through cosmetic surgery, diet pills, nutritional supplements, and various diets — such as the Atkins Diet.
There’s a growing group of people who leap from one weight loss fad to another, in search of the one thing that’s going to finally help them lose weight without having to alter the foods they eat. People don’t want to give up their soft drinks; they don’t want to give up pizza, and ice cream, and fast food. And they sure don’t have time to go out and exercise on a regular basis. So the shortcuts market is absolutely astounding — $9.4 billion was spent last year on cosmetic surgery alone, and hundreds of millions more were spent on weight loss pills, fat burning nutritional supplements, and low-carb foods. It’s a tremendous market, and the public seems to be more than willing to keep spending money on these items, even though the real answers are to be found in something entirely different.
The reality of weight loss is that there are no shortcuts! You can have cosmetic surgery to remove fat from your thighs, or the back of your arms, but if you continue eating the way you’ve been eating, your body will just deposit the fat somewhere else on your body — usually in a place that looks even stranger than when it was on your hips. Even if the cosmetic surgery works out for you, it doesn’t alter your blood chemistry, your cardiovascular health, or your level of physical fitness. Meaning that you are just as unhealthy after the surgery as you were before, even though you may physically show less body fat. Something similar is true with foods as well. Many people continue to eat a diet high in refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and obesity-promoting ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup. Then in an attempt to lose weight, they will take a couple of weight loss pills each day, and hope that those pills will some how counteract the entire day of eating unhealthy, obesity-promoting foods. It just doesn’t work this way.
If you really want to lose weight, you’ve got to do two things. First you have to avoid foods that promote obesity and weight-gain. These are the foods that are consumed by the vast majority of Americans, and are the ones that are the most popular in grocery stores and restaurants. Any food that’s processed or manufactured is very likely to promote obesity, or some other chronic disease. Foods made with refined white flour or refined sugar, for example, will undoubtedly alter your blood sugar levels and tell your body to start storing fat. Foods high in saturated animal fats, such as red meat, or foods that are high in hydrogenated oils, like margarine or shortening, will also pack on the body fat, and harm your cardio-vascular health at the same time. Achieving a healthy body weight absolutely requires taking these foods out of your diet for the rest of your life. You can have either soft drinks and processed foods, or a healthy body weight — but not both. In fact, much of the foods available today in the national food supply are simply incompatible with a healthy body weight, no matter how much surgery you undergo, and no matter how many weight loss supplements you attempt to take.
The other part of the equation here is physical exercise. The human body simply won’t shed excess body fat without engaging in regular physical exercise. Physical exercise gives you a much higher metabolism; it helps you burn calories, even while you’re sitting or sleeping. It also increases your lean body mass — especially when you engage in strength training — and that results in even more calories being burned when you are at rest. Physical exercise, in fact, modifies your body chemistry in a way that helps your body better use refined foods such as breads or pasta. When you eat those foods without engaging in physical exercise, you’re automatically going to add weight. But when you have an extremely fit body that engages in regular exercise, such as jogging, swimming, walking, or biking, you can get away with eating a few processed foods. But still you have to limit your intake of processed foods if you want to maintain a healthy body weight.
In my own case, I engage in rather vigorous physical exercise several times per week, typically putting in 10 hours of exercise each week. And even then, I don’t allow myself to eat any breads or pasta or refined carbohydrates of any kind. I don’t consume breakfast cereals; I don’t drink fruit-drinks or consume soft drinks. And what I’ve found is that if I eat a piece of bread or have a sandwich, then those refined carbohydrates alter my blood sugar in a way that makes me extremely hungry three or four hours later. If I had eaten a high protein meal, or a meal high in healthy fats and fibers, I wouldn’t be hungry so quickly. So it is these processed foods that are in fact causing the obesity in the first place. And consuming diet pills or weight loss supplements simply isn’t the answer to long-term weight loss. The answer is to look at your lifestyle, examine what you’re doing wrong that needs to be corrected, and then have the courage to make the changes that will bring you into a healthy body weight and keep you there for life.