Saturday, February 28, 2009

Losing weight made simple: Temporary diets are no replacement for permanent lifestyle choices; give up the fries, you really won't miss them

One of the best things about having leukemia for the past 38 months -- and the diabetes it has brought -- has been the permanent lifestyle choices forced upon me.

Now I cannot think of living without these restraints that have actually liberated me.

No more french fries and fried foods frees the body of disgusting toxins. Green, leafy vegetables in exchange for potatoes really give you more energy and remove the feeling of being bloated. I hate the sensation now of overeating and do not go to buffets anymore.

Best of all, my body craves exercise, twice daily. The more vigorous, the better.

And man, it really is nice being slender and avoiding the mid-life, male belly hanging over the belt. Clothes fit so easily. It really makes you feel better about yourself, even if you are like me and haven't been blessed with good looks. I now know I will be slender for the rest of my life, even if it is shorter because of the leukemia.

Research just released from the National Institutes of Health shows that losing weight and keeping it off requires permanent choices. Oprah Winfrey has been indicative of the stop and start dieting that plagues Americans. And so many Americans are obese, one-third of all of us, which is like holding a gun to your head 24 hours a day.

NBC's Biggest Loser is not the right recipe either. Who has time to commit weeks upon weeks, full-time, to losing weight? And who can afford a personal trainer?

Read the following from Yahoo News which makes perfect sense to take control of your body and life -- for the rest of your life:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Eating heart-healthy, low-calorie foods and exercising is the key to losing weight regardless of levels of protein, fat or carbohydrates, a new study has found.

The research, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, seems to argue against blanket use of diets that do not necessarily limit calories but call for eating certain foods such as vegetables or proteins, at the expense of others.

The NIH study of 811 volunteers, 38 percent of them men and 62 percent women, aged 30-70 and either overweight or obese, looked at diets that have been popular in the United States in recent years, even as the number of obese Americans has soared.

The "Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies (POUNDS LOST) study found similar weight loss after six months and two years among participants assigned to four diets that differed in their proportions of these three major nutrients," said researchers.

"The diets were low or high in total fat (20 or 40 percent of calories) with average or high protein (15 or 25 percent of calories). Carbohydrate content ranged from 35 to 65 percent of calories.

"The diets all used the same calorie reduction goals and were heart-healthy low in saturated fat and cholesterol while high in dietary fibre," said researchers, whose study is published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Participants lost an average 13 pounds (5.9 kilos) at six months and maintained a nine-pound (four-kilo) loss at two years.

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