A Pound of Flesh

Well, here it is the middle of April and my New Year’s resolutions have been crushed, twisted and destroyed. I have actually gained 8 pounds rather than lose any…

resolution

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lose weight

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Come on… this is simple, isn’t it?

It’s not rocket science and I do have a Ph.D.

Just use more calories than you take in.

That means eat less calories and/or do more activities. Eat Less and Exercise More, Got It!

Wait, what about nutrition? You know, the vitamins,minerals, fiber and stuff.

bacon burger

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OK. It’s not just calories, but some of what you eat. I remember there are bad foods out there, but they keep changing as new studies emerge (see blog last month) .

Maybe closer to rocket science that I first believed.

food pyramid

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So, maybe I need to utilize a plan, but which plan? The food pyramid……no that was done away with for the choosemyplate system.

myplate_yellow_livetype copy

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ChooseMyPlate isĀ  a good plan. It has the 5 food groups in the best proportions to provide the proper nutrition. Yet it doesn’t give the actual foods to eat. I need something more. Like a real diet plan.

Where do you find a good diet?

Dr. Oz, Oprah, The Doctors, Morning News shows…they all tell you about different miracle diets. And most of them are bogus… without scientific validation.

Yet people use the diets and lose weight. Pick any diet and someone has lost weight on it. And someone else didn’t lose anything.

Low-fat, Low-carbohydrate, Balanced fat-carbs-protein. Pick the type and you can lose weight. It goes back to the statement: Eat Less and Exercise More.

As long as the diet you pick is not too extreme and lowers calories…it will work,

for some people.

A pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. In order to lose the fat, your diet must create a calorie deficit and your weight will go down. Maybe not one pound for every 3,500 calories, physiology bodies just don’t work that way, but less calories will mean weight loss.

Along with calorie deficit, you need exercise. Exercise will burn more calories and build muscle which burns more calories.

A good place to look for diets is in U.S. News Best Diets report. You can find it HERE.

Look at the different diets and try some. Stick with the one that works for you. I personally like the protein diets (low-carbohydrate). I enjoy the meals and don’t feel hungry on this type of diet. You have to like eggs on this type of diet.

The studies seem to show that low-carbohydrate diets are easier to stick to for the long haul, but the evidence is not overwhelming. The is a lot of back and forth with the studies. So the best thing is to find a diet that you can stick with. It means changing your life habits.

The DASH diet ranks high on several websites. It is a balanced diet thatĀ  was designed to lower high blood pressure (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), so it is not intended for weight loss per se. It does lower blood pressure and usually weight if you lower calories.

Evaluate the different diet types and find one with some favorite foods. As long as you stick to the diet and it has adequate nutritional value, you will benefit compared to the average American.

It may not be rocket science, but it is also not as easy as falling off a log or picking up burger and fries on the way home…

dsb

 

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David Brooks

Associate Professor of Biology & Nursing at East Texas Baptist University

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