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Weight loss: Here we go again. June 14, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here, airing one of my pet peeves: false advertising. I saw an article yesterday morning on Yahoo News that claimed that exercise and diet weren’t the keys to a healthy life at a healthy weight. Hmm, then what were the keys, taking long naps and exercising your mind, then refreshing your effortlessly fit, slim body with a heaping helping of barbecue and fries? Naturally, I clicked on the link to find out what magic bullet this author was pushing.

Turns out, he was pushing exercise and diet. Shock surprise! The way he spun it was to advise everyone to change their lives and habits to accommodate the exercise and diet restrictions, so nobody would have any excuse not to do them.

Some of his food-related examples included getting the junk (food and clutter) out of the kitchen and putting healthy snacks like crudites, nuts, nut butters, and fruits within easy reach on shelves and at the front of the fridge; taking packets of healthy snacks to work and in the car so you’re not tempted to swing through the fast food drive-through or dive into the office donuts, chips and candy; refusing to eat out with coworkers; skipping happy hour; making a healthy grocery list and sticking to it; and changing your route to work if it takes you past a drive-through, bakery, or the like that you find hard to resist. And persuading your elected officials, local schools, and grocery stores to promote fresh, healthy food at all times.

Exercise? Make fast friends with exercise buddies who’ll get you to walk rain or shine, or at least hit the treadmill if it’s really bad weather. Put in-home exercise equipment where you’ll pass it constantly as a reminder to use it. Encourage your community to establish convenient, attractive walking trails if they don’t already have them. Promote a “walk your grandkids to school” program in your neighborhood.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these ideas. We’ve always known that the sad, hard rule of eating less (and less high-cal) and exercising more is the key to health and healthy weight. What’s wrong is that they were falsely promoted: The article’s title promised that exercise and diet weren’t the keys to maintaining healthy weight and health in general. But the article atressed that they were the keys, with the age-old add-on that making it easy makes the difference.

Making it easier definitely helps: If you have your crudites (we like celery sticks, baby carrots, broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, radishes, bell pepper strips, and scallions, aka green onions, for bite), berries, plain Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds, string cheese and fruit or veggies, watermelon and cantaloupe chunks, apples and Cheddar, and/or tomatoes and cottage cheese right there when you’re hungry, it’s easy to reach for them. We like hummus or tzatziki sauce (Greek yogurt, dill, diced cukes, and lots of garlic) as dips for crudites, though I’m happy just salting them and eating them bare.

But make no mistake, “easier” isn’t “easy.” We’re still talking about monitoring portions of even these healthful foods and resisting the impulse to have a slice of pizza or a burger or some bread or pasta or whatever, much less a pointless and super-caloric drink from Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks. Deprivation (What do you mean, I can’t have a burrito? No chips and salsa? No margaritas?! What’s the point of living?!!), moderation (no more than a handful—25 nuts), and exercise (get out there and get walking, slugs) are still the order of the day.

Good luck with getting your neighbors and officials and schools and so on to sign up for this. Do it yourself, and yes, you’ll lose weight and be healthier, I promise. Is it hard as hell, and does it take up a lot of your free time? Yes it is, take it from one who knows. Is it worth it? That depends on you, your health and your priorities.

Too bad they didn’t say all that up front.

‘Til next time,




1. mybodymytime - June 14, 2014

listen to your body it has all of the answers

Right you are!

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