Friday, April 10, 2009
My blog yesterday was entitled "Seek Balance" and referred to balancing all aspects of your life. Today I will continue on the balance theme but restrict it to one aspect, eating and weight maintenance.
Through the first forty years of my life, I was pretty much chronically underweight. At 6'-1" and 150 pounds weight was never much of a problem. Then I hit forty. people tell you your metabolism slows down at forty. This is a lie. It absolutely stops. Then when you get to be fifty, it reverses itself and not only doesn't burn off the calories as fast, it finds a way to take the 100 calories you eat and convert it into 150 equivalent calories in excess weight!
I have not tried every diet and eating regimen on the market by a long shot but I have observed many of them. Everybody has a gimmick! If you take these pills or drink these drinks or don't eat any carbs, or don't eat any proteins, or don't eat any fats, or don't eat anything, you will loose weight, GUARANTEED!
Of all of the programs available, the only ones that work, long term, are Weight Watchers and Spark People. Why is this? Because both of these programs and only these programs consist of monitoring a reasonable eating regimen. The important thing is that once you get into the eating regimen espoused by these programs, you can continue them for a lifetime.
The Atkins diet, carb free, works miraculously for a while but how long can you live without carbs? The Atkins program depends on creating a chemical imbalance (ketosis) in your body which results in a rapid burning of the fat deposits. But, you cannot go on forever without eating carbs and when you put carbs back into your eating plan, your body goes out of ketosis and the fat returns, with a vengeance. My observation is that Post Atkins weight gain is faster than with other programs.
Liquid meal replacements work short term too but sometimes you just have to have something you can chew! After you have achieved your goal on a liquid meal substitute plan, you go back to eating real food. the problem is that you have not cultivated good eating habits and return to the same bad eating habits that pushed you into the liquid meal plan in the first place.
Balance is the key. Fats, proteins and carbs all have a place in the operation of the human body and must be taken to live healthy. Keep the balance and do not let one over power the other two. Maybe 33-33-33 is right for you. Maybe the 40-40-20 program touted by The Zone works for you. Pick out a proportion and follow it for a week. Do you feel better or worse. If you feel better, good. If you feel worse, adjust the proportions and try again. What works for me might not work for you, you must listen to your body and find your own personal balance.