Mr. Fickle, I started crafting a crabby cabbage post on the concoction below, but decided to rewind a bit and share my philosophy on food and health instead. As I smacked the Mac, it was clear I need to break this into a series.
My B&P blog motto is fast becoming:
I hope this food and health series causes more thinking than rage, but who knows. Let's do this.
Which factor below presents the greatest risk to a person's health:
C) Crazy tanning-bed lady
D) Heavy drinking (alcoholic)
Ding dong if you answered B. That's a surprise, I'd peg smoking as most harmful.
So we have a weight problem in America, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 35% of adults and 17% of children are obese in this country. Nearly 70% of adults are overweight or obese. Heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, stroke and tight pants are all yoked directly to obesity. U.S. obesity-related medical costs approach $300,000,000,000 (that's $300 billion) per year.
You get the point.
Another question for you...which of the following is more effective for weight loss:
I'd guess exercise, but the correct answer is diet. This is especially true for women, research shows ladies may lose NOTHING with vigorous exercise alone, if they don't also trim their fat intake.
From what I've read, here's my understanding of weight loss mechanics:
- Diet alone is the simplest and most direct method for cutting weight. It's often easier to reduce 500 calories from your day than to sweat out 500 calories. Burning 500 calories = a 5 mile run. Most people won't run 5 miles a day, but many can trim 500 calories from their plate with simple changes.
- Diet and exercise combined cut weight the fastest, but require extra time and commitment to pull off consistently. Exercise can spike the appetite, which is fine as long as the burn exceeds your caloric intake.
- Exercise is effective for maintaining weight, but incoming fat needs to be kept in check.
- Extreme dieting and fad diets are dumb. They eventually backfire and often cause weight gain in the long run.
The best diets are those that are realistic and sustainable for a lifetime. Mom was on Weight Watchers growing up, she literally weighed and tracked every morsel of food. That's silly, it's not realistic or sustainable to expect a person to scale food every day of their life. So I'd argue the Weight Watchers plan she was on was flawed since it was impossible to stick to.
Common sense eating is a good way to ease into intake changes. Begin with simple tweaks like cutting soda, limiting junk food to twice a month and pounding down water. Once that solidifies into a habit, slowly introduce additional food changes while adding on a daily 2-mile walk/jog combo. Slow and steady, molding habits through consistency are what count on the wide timeline of a healthy lifestyle.
So we know obesity jabs health harder than smoking. Diet controls weight better than exercise alone. This means what we eat is deadly important. Since our children's eating habits are molded by what they are fed growing up, parents should be careful about what's for dinner.
I'll dig more on what I feed my kid and why next time on the series.
I'd like to shape the flow of this food and health discussion by your input. Please share in comments your thoughts on the matter. Speak up and tell me where I'm wrong. And let me know if there's something specific you'd like me to write about on diet and exercise.
The health screening today showed my cholesterol pegged at 254, send help.