Sunday, December 18, 2005

Don't Waste Your Money On Diet Books.

Has anyone checked out the top-selling diet books lately? A quick look at Amazon.com’s top diet books illustrates just how horribly confused the general public has become, and what many “experts” are willing to do to make a buck.

Buzzwords and gimmicktry rule the day…”The Three Hour Diet,” “The Abs Diet,” “Fast and Healthy Weight Loss,” and “Lose The Fat, The Wrinkles and The Years,” are the words and phrases contained in the books on Amazon’s top-selling “Diet and Weight Loss “ home page. Depressing.

I am going to appeal to your common sense and your pocket book, and give you for free all that you need to know about what, and how, you should eat. Don’t think in the short term like “three hours” or “six-days” but in long terms like “everyday” and “always.”

The “calories in/calories out” formula is the secret to weight loss and maintenance. This formula means that if you want to lose weight you must take in fewer calories than you use. That’s it.

The food, when you eat it, or the combinations of foods that you eat during the day doesn’t matter. If you need 2000 calories a day to maintain your weight but you eat 1900 calories of in a day you will lose weight. And if you eat 2100 calories a day, you will gain weight.

This is how simple “dieting” should be.

To figure out how many calories you should eat in a day, apply an 18-calorie per pound of body weight formula to give you your daily intake. So a 150-pound person should get about 2700 calories per day. If you are an athlete or lead an extremely active lifestyle, you can add 100-200 calories per day to your total.

Approximately 60% of your total calories should come from carbohydrates, 20% of your total calories from protein and 20% of your total calories from fats. Stay away from refined sugar, fatty proteins and saturated fats. Stay away from fast food and processed food. A great rule is to avoid foods that come in wrappers and foil bags.

People who have good eating habits are successful in their quest to lose or maintain weight.

The best habit to develop is to eat three meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner - seven days per week, for a total of 21 meals during the week.

Eat your breakfast within the first hour after you get out of bed. Have a snack during the mid-morning hours. Eat lunch a couple of hours after your snack. Have a snack during the mid-afternoon “lull” hours. Eat your dinner a couple of hours after your mid-afternoon snack.

There really are no valid reasons for not eating a good breakfast and lunch every day. Sure people have their reasons, but they aren’t valid reasons. Eat a good breakfast everyday and give yourself one splurge lunch per week.

When it comes to dinner I suggest that you eat five good dinners per week and leave the other two dinners for splurging. You deserve two dinners of your choice as a reward for being good all week.

Following this plan gives you 18 good meals out of your weekly total of 21 meals – that’s an 85% “good eating” score. In your daily life, if you’re right 85% of the time that’s pretty darn good. The longer you stick with this program the harder it is to eat poorly, since your body is going to be overwhelmed by good stuff and won’t tolerate the bad stuff. I promise.

And if you’re honest with yourself you know what’s “good” and what’s “bad.” The guidelines for you to balance your meals are provided above – 60/20/20 – as are the caloric guidelines.

Get in the habit of having some healthy “all-purpose” foods handy - like Clif Bars, Luna Bars, fruits and a variety of nuts – to use as snacks.

By the way, people who think fruits should be avoided are crazy!

Having someone tell you what and when to eat just provides a built in excuse for failure. Writing out a contract with yourself, or trying to figure out why you eat is a waste of time. If you can’t learn to have portion control and if you don’t know that fast food is bad there isn’t a diet in the world that will work for you.

This isn’t too earth shattering, is it? How silly is it that people spend their hard earned money on books that makes the simple act of eating properly so complicated?

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