Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Striving for Health- Some facts about weight loss and exercise

Tips, tricks, and plans to lose weight hits you in the face almost wherever you go. They're splashed across every magazine at the checkout counter, in many commercials, on the news headlines, and featured on almost every page ad on the internet. Yet, we are by far the most unhealthy we have ever been here in the US.  As a whole, statistically there has never been such a wide divide between what our waistlines look like, and the people we Photoshop, and edit onto our magazine covers.

I don't want to make this into a big political piece about how the fashion, and beauty industry is taking advantage of us, and making us feel ugly to buy their products. To some degree, I think they are, but what I would rather focus on is being healthy. It's not healthy to be overweight, or to be normal weight, but with a high fat percentage. This is a fact.
What to do about it is where the lines blur. This is where I think our social pressures take over. We want a quick fix, but being healthy,losing weight, and being in shape is not quick. There are no shortcuts to health. If you take anything from this whole entire article, please let it be the bold sentence. If you see something claiming to be "easy" or a simple "trick" to lose weight, burn fat, whatever.... it is a gimmick. It is trying to sell you something, and you will not get what you paid for. In today's world, page hits hold monetary value for writers, so even just getting you to click on something is enough. It's a waste of your time, and misguides you to believing misinformation.

The only way to get healthy is to be healthy. There is no way around it. Here is what I find the great debate is. I know that I am a bit of a health freak. Not completely, but I am on the autism spectrum, so when I get involved in something I get involved. So, I research, and try different things. When I get interested in a subject I learn about it enough to where my knowledge is probably comparable to those that work in that field. I know a lot about nutrition, and exercise.

I would like to share with you some tips facts about how to lead a healthier lifestyle. These aren't designed to be quick in the sense of losing a ton of weight quickly, or looking like a bikini model in X weeks. No. They're just some ideas to help you be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Diet  Health Tips:

*Try to eat the least amount of processed food as possible. Whole grains, fruits,vegetables, meats, and some dairy are all good ways to go. If it can easily go bad in your fridge, then it is what I would call a green light food, meaning eat as much, whenever you want food. There is so much to cover on the subject of food that I will likely do another post just about that soon. I would rather see someone fry up a hamburger than eat a Lean Cuisine meal. Frozen, canned, and boxed foods should be kept at a minimum as much as possible.

*If it says lowfat, fat-free, or light it's likely very bad for you. Eat natural, and clean. You can't out-exercise a bad diet. Eat real food.

* Move. That is it. Find an exercise you don't mind doing, and do it. My favorite site is Fitness Blender . There are hundreds of FREE searchable videos you can do at your own convenience. If you only have 5 minutes, and want to do a level 3 lower body routine, then search for it. They have several. I tend to pick 3 or 4 at the beginning of my day, and do them as I have time.  I can typically find 5-10 minutes at a few intervals of my day to workout. This keeps me moving, and also boosts metabolism by getting it moving several times a day.You won't get a super-toned body by only doing a few minutes of exercise a day, but you can benefit from it. It helps boost mood, metabolism, and energy. Just 5 minutes of cardio has enormous benefits, so don't use the excuse of not having time. Start with where you are, and what you have. Some is better than none, and ll kinds of other cliches I can toss out applies here!

*Stop restriction diets. As I said, earlier... I will do a more in depth blog entry about eating, and nutrition, but this point is so important I want it to be heard. I see too many people going on strict diets to lose weight only to drop out before they lose any, or gain it right back as soon as they stop 'dieting'.  No food should be off limits. None. If you want a cookie, or to go out to eat then you do it. Now, you can't go to I-HOP every couple of days, and munch away, and expect to lose weight, and/or body fat, but every other week or so will not hurt. If you're at a party, and want some cheesecake have some. Have one normal serving slice. Don't have one everyday. Don't eat the whole package of cookies, or cake, but have some. Eat "bad" foods in moderation. Do this forever, and you won't have an issue. You won't be able to indulge every time you want, but you won't feel imprisoned in this life of bland food, and deprivation of your favorite foods, and activities. A lot of our social life is centered around food. Eat clean most days, so you can enjoy the special times.

 I hope this helped a few people, and cleared up some myths. Stay tuned for more.

*I am moderating comments due to the ginormous amount of spam that this post is likely to generate. I look forward to reading your thoughts if you choose to comment.



6 comments:

  1. Hi. I find it really difficult to live healthily when my daily routine is changed - so for example, when I'm not at college due to holidays or something. And especially when I'm on my own; there's always something better to be doing with my time than cooking proper food. Like you, when I get into something, I REALLY get into something. For a while I got into being healthy, but ended up taking it too far so that it was no longer healthy at all. But at the moment, I'm really into other stuff. I'm worried that, as in a couple of weeks I'll be going to university, I will find it really difficult to be motivated to eat healthily when there's more important things to be doing. Do you possibly have any advice?

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    1. When I went to university, I was happy to be able to systematize things like shopping and eating. I picked two fixed days of the week (and time) to be certain that the supermarket wasn't crowded and also had fresh produce, and I started making meal plans. It worked wonderfully and I still do it. Having a shopping list and going to buy food just after having eaten helps to avoid buying junk food. Having a meal plan helps to minimize the time spent cooking because you can cook in batches and freeze or save for later. It's always a good rule to have more carbs for breakfast and lunch and more protein and vegetables for dinner :)

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    2. Yes, I will do a blog entry on that issue, because I think it is probably the biggest obstacle to most people developing better eating habits. I have to really think on this one, because even I struggle with this immensely, when I have a really busy schedule.

      The biggest thing I can think of off the top of my head is to take advantage of the already prepared food that is in the produce section as much as possible. I try to at least minimalize the processed food I am eating/ordering out. Like, if I have a frozen dinner I try to pair it with fresh vegetables, and fruit for a dessert/snack. But, you definitely have a very good question! I hope I can come up with some good ideas!

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  2. Can I just mention that 'overweight = unhealthy' isn't automatically true. Whilst all you have written about being sensible about food content and consumption is true, that first statement is currently being proved wrong by various studies that are demonstrating that being overweight or fat can be either neutral or an actual benefit to health and longevity. There is a massive amount of anti fat bias and a great deal of corresponding 'fat advocacy' right now.

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  3. Can I just mention that 'overweight = unhealthy' isn't automatically true. Whilst all you have written about being sensible about food content and consumption is true, that first statement is currently being proved wrong by various studies that are demonstrating that being overweight or fat can be either neutral or an actual benefit to health and longevity. There is a massive amount of anti fat bias and a great deal of corresponding 'fat advocacy' right now.

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    1. I would say yes, and no. It's true that one can be bigger, and still healthy, and one can be thin, toned, and unhealthy. Weight is just one measurement of health, and is an incomplete picture by itself. I have seen people that are 30 pounds overweight, and not as healthy as they probably could be if they had better diet, and exercise habits make the excuse that they carry it well, or are just big boned, when in their case that is not true. It's a kind of cognitive dissonance that I have seen smokers use to justify their habits, so they can keep doing what they do, and feel good about it. Not that being fat, or a smoker is something anyone ought to be ashamed of. Those things say little about who we are, or our character. My goal is to arm people with the correct info so they can make better decisions. A lot of bigger people are not lazy, at all. They have just never been taught how to properly eat, and exercise, and feel helpless, like it's a lost cause. I don't want them to feel that way anymore.

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