We're not all perfect - including me. Sure, I'm an internationally-known, published nutrition expert but you can bet your next latte that I eat birthday cake and love every crumb of it! Keep reading...you'll find the inside scoop on what we really should eat (despite what the latest buzz may say), real-life tricks on how to eat well, feed your family and actually enjoy doing it! Plus, a little wit, ranting and "ah-ha" moments from yours truly. Enjoy!
Monday, June 2, 2014
Argh! Why Can't I Lose this Weight?!
As the market place is full
of quick weight loss solutions promising drastic reductions in weight with a
flip of their magical wand, it’s important to understand why we are obese and
why we should care how heavy we are. Why are we so fat?
According to the World Health
Organization we are fat because we’ve transitioned our food choices towards
refined foods, food of animal origin, and increased fat. According to all of
these experts, we are fat because we may have genes that tell us to overeat, we
eat more with each generation and we choose the wrong foods.
Why do we care if we are fat?
Some experts say that it’s
because humans have similar eating patterns to the rat – humans will eat until
overfed. This is an evolutionary response to eat and store energy to be able to
survive a future famine. However, when, if ever, does the local supermarket run
out of food? We are not likely to see a famine in the near future in North
America. Therefore, we never find a need to use all of this energy we are
storing. With each generation we appear to be storing more
energy for this fictional upcoming famine. According to Professor Roland Auer,
of the University of Calgary we are fat because we eat 15% more
Clothes come in all sizes and
body fat is useful as it keeps us warm in the winter. What is the concern?
Well, obesity is a concern because it is associated with disease. Excessive
body fat is associated with an increased cancer risk. A study that observed
900,000 people for 16 years estimated that excess body fat may account for 14%
of all cancer deaths in men and, 20% of cancer deaths in women. This type of
convincing research warns us of the danger of obesity.
Physical Activity for Weight Loss?
Although obesity has strong
genetic determinants, it is generally accepted that it results from an
imbalance between food intake and daily physical activity. We eat too much food
and exercise too little. This is reflected in the health guidelines across
North America which focuses on two particular lifestyle factors: increasing
levels of physical activity and reducing the intakes of fat and sugars.
Most health experts agree
that all long term weight loss programs should include regular exercise.
However, does exercise directly reduce weight? There is disagreement among the
scientific experts as to how much exercise is needed to achieve weight loss and
whether or not there is a dose response effect.
For those of you who cringe
at the idea of a weight loss plan that includes intense workouts such as the
stair climber that makes you feel like you are climbing Mount Everest, or the
rowing machine seems like it’s in the ocean during a hurricane – never fear.
The Journal of the American Medical
Association reported a study of women who were put on a calorie reduced
diet and varying exercise programs for a year. They found that regardless of
exercise intensity the women attained weight loss (average 13 to 20 lbs),
maintained the weight loss and improved cardiovascular fitness. In other words,
you do not have to train for a marathon to lose weight.
Any amount of exercise can
help with weight management. Do what you can so that you will keep doing it.
Everest and the ocean are not necessary to achieve weight loss. Most
importantly, exercise and physical fitness are associated with increased
energy, feelings of contentment and reduced risk of some diseases. Exercise is
a part of a healthy lifestyle and should be a part of everyone’s daily
How to Lose Weight?
The shelves are packed with
various books touting the latest diet plan. Each diet book promising to offer
greater weight loss effects than the others. However, we have yet to find the
be-all-end-all of diets. Scientific investigation of various diet forms has
found that in the end a diet that is rich in vegetables, whole grains and
low-fat foods is a good way to loose weight. However, the only scientifically
proven way to loose weight is to have a net caloric loss of 500 calories per
day. This can be achieved by cutting back on snacks, dressings and high calorie
drinks, in addition to participating in a daily exercise plan. This year be successful
and achieve your desired weight loss goal with a healthy diet and some
From A. Tannis, Vitality: Quest
for a healthy diet, Volumes Publishing: Kitchener, 2005.