Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weight Loss - a Boondoggle from the insurance companies

OK. So you want to lose weight. Along with almost everybody else in the country. So what do you do? First, you think about it. Second, you think some more. Third, you ask your friends and neighbors what worked for them. Then, you go to interview Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, etc., etc., etc.

There are no shortcuts to weight loss. It's simple arithmetic. One pound equals 3500 calories. Every time you eat 3500 calories less than you expend, you lose a pound. In other words - eat less, exercise more. The mouth trumps exercise.

You've heard, or maybe even said, but I like cinnabuns so much. Or, I need ketchup on my french fries. Or, toast without butter? All of this reminds me of an Aunt Jenny story. Aunt Jenny, a very elderly relative who lived in Florida, used to stop the buses on the street by standing in front of the bus and waving her cane at the driver. She had the usual health complaints of the elderly and her doctors kept encouraging her to lose weight. "But doctor," she protested, "I don't eat very much. For breakfast today, I had a soft boiled egg, a piece of toast, a glass of juice, a cup of tea with a cinnamon bun. For lunch I had a salad with chicken, a cup of tea with a piece of pound cake. For dinner, I had a cup of soup, a piece of fish, some vegetables, and a cup of tea with a slice of pie."

"That sounds great, Aunt Jenny, but tell me, why did you have the cinnamon bun for breakfast, pound cake at lunch, and pie for dinner?"

"Oh doctor," she said, "who can drink dry tea?"

The dry tea syndrome is what is driving today's epidemic of obesity and overweight. If people stop eating when they are no longer hungry, weight will be lost. And, if it's difficult to tell when you are no longer hungry, just measure smaller portions and don't eat any more.

Eat when you're hungry - not by the clock. Don't eat when you're not hungry. And eat only foods that are nutritionally beneficial - lots of vegetables and fruits, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread (my recipe is included in my blogposts), no poultry skin, no fat, lots and lots and lots of water, as little sugar and salt as is possible, nothing artificial. Oatmeal and raisins for breakfast, low fat yogurt and fruit for lunch, skinless chicken and broccoli for dinner with whole wheat pasta.

And don't charge the insurance companies or medicare for this.

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