Looking Into Diets
Some thoughts to share with you....
Look before you leap, jump, or snooze....
My own belief is that sugars and "liquid candy" (a good name for most sodas and other sweetened beverages) all too often meet the body's immediate need for calories. They may even meet an entire day's need for calories. I read recently that Warren Buffet drinks multiple ounces of Coca Cola(R) every day. In that sense he is a picture of youth, for America's youth certainly are major consumers of soft drinks, some loaded not only with sugar but with enough caffeine to disqualify a racehorse!
Obviously our bodies need more than sugar calories and caffeine to be healthy, slim, and trim.
What else then? Even after the empty calories of sugary stuff, the body needs good nutrition. It will crave what it needs, whether it is water, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, minerals, or affection. And, while affection may be at the top of the list, those other needs are critical in daily living.
What comes with "the good stuff" is likely to be more calories, and, if you met your day's need for calories with the sugary stuff, those extra calories from "the good stuff" are going to be saved for later...as fat! "The good stuff" of milk, eggs, meat, vegetables, fruits, seafood, nuts, cheese, fish, potatoes, etc. are great for our bodies. They are plentiful, year round, too! If you eat a reasonably varied diet of "the good stuff," you will reduce your risk of most of the major "killers" such as diabetes., cancer, heart disease, etc., but there are at least four other items you need to include: fiber, exercise, water, and proper rest .
Let's add one more for good measure: reduced stress. Stress is a fact of the typical American life from at least the time we first leave home, to the time someone fits us for a coffin or a jar. Stress can affect our diet, too. Stress eaters, lonely heart eaters, and food addicts can quickly get in over their beltlines when resorting to such delicacies as apple pie, ice cream, pizza, and chocolate...not to mention whatever they wash it down with. So, learning to cope with stress and avoiding nearly mindless temptation, has to be high on the Resolutions List for this year.
Our bodies have been handed down to us from a long line af ancestors dating way back to the hunters and the gatherers in our family trees, and these modern bodies still remember to save up calories for the "lean times." Those extra calories show up as our famous "love handles" and the cellulite globules that cause some people to head in for expensive liposuction sessions due to "fat times."
America leads all other countries and peoples in the consumption of sugar. When you see folks saying "We are #1!" remember what they are bragging about! "We are #1 in sugar consumption!" I believe we can soon add (if we haven't already) that "We are #1 in obesity!" (and diabetes, heart disease, and other excess weight related conditions can't be far behind.)
The famous "Yo Yo Effect" isn't describing a rush of young people deciding to study the cello. It's the same storing up for "lean times" from our ancestral heritage.
Nutritionists and fitness experts can tell us lots about "BMI" (Body Mass Index) by which we can get a good idea of how much of our body's mass is made up of fat. Go to a good gym and they can haul out a little handheld "pincher" that does a convenient squeezing of some of our flesh, and they will immediately tell us why we need a full membership in their gym's fitness program.
Plodding along five times a week on a treadmill, or a track, or a neighborhood sidewalk or trail, is a great alternative because it accomplishes two goals: (1) it burns more calories than we do sitting in front of the TV or the computer popping popcorn into our mouths (no doubt with some "liquid candy") and (2) it gives us "weight-bearing exercise" to help our bones stay strong by depositing the good calcium we took in by eating "the good stuff."
If we can manage to do that plodding along when the sun is shining, and we don't have to cover each piece of our skin with protective clothing or equally valuable sunscreen, then we can get the added benefit of soaking up some of the sunshine to make Vitamin D for our bodies, and further assist in avoiding having brittle bones subject to fractures.
Besides the chance that some days it is raining, where does water figure into our efforts to be healthy? Well, for starters, our bodies are about 74% water. If we get dehydrated for lack of water, everything slows down. We don't feel like plodding along for a brisk walk; we want to sit down in front of the TV; we don't even think as fast (which would be bad for our gaming in front of the computer); and, we are even more likely to snack on the salty foods that might add to our water deficiency (and our weight!)
We can burn off calories, reduce the empty calories we do consume, eat "the good foods," and build some exercise into our daily schedules, while drinking enough water for good hydration, but if we still burn our candle at both ends and get lousy sleep each night, it may have all been for nothing. We wouldn't expect a good computer to run with no fan to circulate the air, or a car to go very far without a thermostat, but we often think we are the next closest thing to the Energizer(R) bunny or the Timex(R) watch.
Our brain needs to be treated fairly, too. It needs the sleep that permits it to organize what we encounter each day, and while the brain is the primary part of us that benefits from good, deep sleep, the rest of our body needs some rest too.
You've just read, or skipped through to get to this part of this piece, so invest another moment to think about how we treat this thing called our body. It carries us around each day, and usually responds to our demands. By and large it is what "Readers Digest" called The Incredible Machine in a book of that title with fantastic photos of just what we are maintaining when we properly care for our bodies.
Let's forget about the term "diet" and just give some "routine maintenance" to this incredible machine which is constantly renewing itself with the tools and energy we invest in its upkeep.
Some Chinese wisdom says it well, "Expensive things aren't expensive. Cheap things aren't cheap." Chances are you and I have been given bodies that are intended to run and look like a Lamborghini. We shouldn't, and don't need to, settle for ones that run and look like a piece of junk.
Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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