Hope for hopelessly Fat People?
...before its too late
I'd eat a fork if it were deepfried...
The secret to weight loss is adjusting your lifestyle
Have you ever wandered the halls of an art museum and wondered why all of the people in the pictures are fat? The angels are fat, the kings are fat and even the flying babies are fat! Well, back in those days the only people who could afford to pack on the pounds were the rich. Normal, everyday sort of folk made it through life on meager vittles grown by their own hands and labored all day long. The lack of cheap high calorie food and the abundance of work kept them fit and trim. Unlike today where food is cheap and abundant as well as all of the modern conveniences that keep us from having to lift a finger.
Think about it. They had to walk everywhere. Milk and eggs didn't arrive in neat little packages, you had to go and get them. Warmth didn't appear at the flick of a switch, you had go out and chop firewood. So maybe we need to turn away from some of the modern conveniences and adjust our lifestyles if we want to lose weigh and be more healthy. Here are some ideas:
1. Walk more
Dr. Laura, the radio psychologist, likes to say that weight problems are caused when we eat more than we move. Its a simple idea but true. If we don't burn off the calories that we are taking in, they just get turned into fat. If you want to lose weight you have to move more than you eat. Without a costly gym membership there are plenty of way to get more exercise in our daily lives and walking more is one of the easiest. Try to work more walking time into your day. Rather than wishing you had a handicap sticker, park farther from the store or office so you can walk more in the parking lot. Get a dog and take them out for daily walks. Instead of sitting around the lunch room gossiping, organize a lunch time walking group and gossip out in the fresh air.
2. Stop paying other people to get exercise
Do you hire people to mow your lawn, shovel your walk, clean your house, wash your car or even coach your kids soccer? If so you are paying someone else to get exercise. Think about those people I mentioned from the past who worked hard everyday. It was the kings and queens who got fat as the peasants stayed trim. Today everyone acts as if they were a king or queen. Mowing the lawn might not be a glamorous as sweating it on the tread mill at a high priced heath club, but it still burns a lot calories and its free.
3. Eat out less
Eating out can be a double whammy against the goal of weight loss. When you prepare your own food you get several healthy benefits. First you know what's in it. Starting with fresh ingredients you have total control over what goes in your body. I've never run across a recipe that says "add 1 tablespoon of red dye #11" or even include the laundry list of chemicals most prepackage foods include. Secondly you're are doing something. You're moving around the kitchen, pushing a cart up and down the aisle at the market, shopping at a local farm stand. Any movement is better than sitting on the sofa waiting for the microwave to ding.
Secondly food from restaurants are very high in calories. The goal of the restaurant is to make sure you love the food not to help you lose weight. A restauranteur won't cut corners when it comes to satisfying your inner cravings for salt, fat and sweets. They'll add sugar to just about everything, add a pat of butter on your steak and douse everything with amazing amounts of sodium. And the worse thing is that you no idea what has gone into the dish you order. You might even try to order something that sounds healthy completely unaware of what the chef has put into the dish to make your body love it. Its not unheard of that a single chain food restaurant appetizer can have an entire day's worth of calories. Restauranteurs know what people crave - bacon, cheese, salt, sugar, fat - and they won't hesitate to give it to you in abundance.
4. Drink Less Alcohol
If you've seen the blue flame of alcohol burning than you understand the energy contained in this fuel. With the goal of weight loss the last thing you want is more energy to burn off. Watch the alcohol intake. A couple of drinks with a meal can easily ruin an health benefits of that salad you ordered.
5. Stock the house with healthy foods
You won't eat more fruits and vegetables unless they are handy. Get to know the fresh produce section of the supermarket and keep a selection of handy vegetables and fruit on hand. Challenge yourself to explore all of the exotic fruits offered. Snack on nuts, cut up veggies, make fruit smoothies, make fruit salads and maintain a supply of whole grain snacks such as granola or trail mix. Satisfy your cravings for chocolate and sweets by buying a single high end chocolate bar and breaking off a piece as a reward for a day of healthy eating. In moderation chocolate is a great mood elevator and is high in antioxidants. Choose a dark chocolate for the maximum health benefit and lowest calories. It is also harder to gorge the more bitter dark chocolate than milk chocolate.
6. Shop More Often
Reverse the trend of stocking up at warehouse food stores with their array of prepackaged foods and start shopping for single meal. In Europe meal preparers gather the evenings meal ingredients fresh each day with stops at the local bakery, butcher and grocery. Now that you are starting to make your meals from scratch, take more mental time to think about each meal. Rather then reaching into the freezer and popping a frozen cube of ice in the microwave, spend some time the night before and plan out a shopping list for the next exciting recipe you are going to try. Don't forget to park far from the stores entrance to get a bit of exercise in!
Copyright Edward M. Fielding