The portion of Americans who are overweight and heavy is
increasing at an alarming rate. "Overweight" is determined as
having a Body Masses Index (BMI) of 25.0 to 29.9 whereas a
BMI of 30 or above is defined as "obese." According to the
National Center for Health Statistics, 56% of the population
was overweight during the reporting point from 1988 through 1994,
and 23% was obese. During the period from 1999 through 2002,
these shares had increased to 65% and 30%, respectively.
Not only is there strong proof that dieting does not work in the
long run, but of even more concern is the proof that
they can really contribute to further weight gain and turn
down in health. In fact, yo-yo dieting can weaken the immune
system by as much as 30%.
A search of the research literature on weight loss
powerfully supports the general consensus that key life
style and dietary modifications are absolutely essential to
achieving success. Here is a fairly general listing of what is
needed to achieve a healthy body weight:
1. Eat lots of veggies and fruits.
2. Increase protein intake to build and support lean muscle
3. Utilize fiber-rich foods, which are more fulfilling and
encourage a healthy digestive system.
4. Promote calcium and other minerals to aid in the
disposal of unwanted fat.
5. Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids by taking fish,
flax, and nuts.
6. Reduce amounts of "junk" carbs, containing
sugar and white flour to a minimum.
7. Greatly reduce--or eliminate--saturated and trans fatty
8. No alcohol.
9. Reduce the amount of food eaten gradually to head off the
unfavorable results of sudden diet.
10. Eat on steady, small snacks, to maximize calories
used up for energy.
11. Never skip breakfast. Always eat a solid breakfast to
aid in controlling cravings later in the day.
12. Be sure to work out for a half-hour, at least 3 times a
13. Get some sun for at least 15 minutes each
14. Get a good night's sleep - 6 to 8 hours.
16. Incorporate all of these changes into your lifestyle and
maintain them consistently, and you will feel and see the