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Nancy J. Miller-Ihli, PhD
Healthy Weight Through A Lifestyle Change
Savvy Selections
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Healthy Weight Through A Lifestyle Change

What is a diet anyway? The original dictionary definition of the word diet was “a way of living” but the more modern definition is “a regulated selection of foods, as for medical reasons or cosmetic weight loss.” Most people consider a diet a temporary way of eating and not something that they will do for life. Considering the more modern definition, my opinion is that diets dont work for anyone. The reason I say that is that anyone who follows a diet is very unlikely to have long-lasting weight loss results.
Here are some facts for you to consider. The average one year weight loss from a variety of commercial weight loss programs is 10 pounds. Thats not a lot of weight and some people lose more, but very few people can maintain their weight loss. In fact, 95% of all dieters regain their weight in one year and 98% regain it in two years. There are all kinds of diets including low fat, low carbohydrate, and calorie restricted. Then there are the trendy and crazy diets like the cabbage soup diet, eat one meal a day diet, Atkins, grapefruit juice, meal replacements, and cereal only diets. If you Google the term “popular diets” youll get more than a million hits.
Why is the U.S. as one of the world leaders, so challenged by the battle of the bulge? I think the answer is diets. People are looking for permanent results, but dont want to make permanent changes. Very often people lose weight quickly (as muscle) only to regain it back as fat. Their weight may be the same, but their waist is larger and their clothes dont fit. Many Americans have damaged their metabolism by yo-yo dieting or restricting caloric intake too severely, slowing their metabolism and routinely putting their body in fat storage mode.
What is the answer? The answer is a lifestyle change incorporating low glycemic impact (GI) foods, stress reduction techniques, appropriate nutritional supplements, and exercise. Low GI foods avoid a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels avoiding a metabolic switch being thrown signaling the body to store fat. Low GI foods help you to burn calories more efficiently. These foods include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein and represent a healthy way of eating which will lead to improved body composition. This way of eating helps you feel full faster and longer. Adding a combination of aerobic and weight training exercises allows you to reach your goal more quickly and ensures continued health for the future.
How long will it take to make a lifestyle change? Scientific reports suggest that you need a minimum of 90 days to really change your habits. You can accelerate your progress by following a detox diet to rid yourself of cravings and to set the stage for steady, healthy weight loss. Forget diets and make a lifestyle change what have you got to lose but excess body fat?

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