The Health Guru

Facts, Hints, Tips, Advice and Inspiration on everything to do about health & weight loss.

Why people fail to lose weight

Posted on | February 17, 2010 | No Comments

Our lives have become more stressful, we sleep less, our energy output has dropped (more sedentary jobs & activities), socialising is associated with gluttony as we eat and drink like kings frequently.  So why is it that considering all of this – our energy or calorie input (food and drinks we consume) is higher than it’s ever been?

Times have changes. Our lifestyles are different – so therefore – Our needs must have to change to cope.  Instead we’ve allowed our world to be turned into the polar opposite.

Why are we seeing advancement as a society in disposable income increases and technology however our disease rates are growing. Shouldn’t all this additional money we’re making be able to support our needs to cure our Lifestyle Diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure???   Why in 2010 do we live like kings with a roof over our heads, have clean running water, have a bank account with money it  – yet we still eat like dockworkers who had $2 to their name, couldn’t afford meat and had to eat nothing but bread and butter to survive?

Who’s fault is that we’re consuming too much energy, gaining weight and increasing health risks?   Restaurants? Chefs? Television? Advertising? Higher Incomes?  Health Promotion Board?  Schools? University? Governments? Lack of Knowledge?  Manufacturers?  Incorrect Advice?

You could argue any of the above -or- all of the above….  and I’m sure everyone would point their fingers at somebody else…… So here is a few reasons why I believe we are failing as a society to manage our weight:

Relying on Exercise to Burn off Calories

Exercise is important for heart health, keeping the body active and using up a few extra calories each day but shouldn’t be what we rely on to lose weight. There is not enough time in the day to burn off all the additional calories we consume.  The only person that wins here is the Gyms & Personal Trainers.  I’ve known people to attend 3-4 sessions each week – see no results yet keep spending more money until they finally give up still overweight and now broke.

Over-estimating portion sizes

Your stomach should only hold a portion of food the size of your fist.  The portion of meat you need to consume at each meal is only the size and thickness of your palm.  1/2 cup cooked carbohydrate and the remainder should be green leafy vegetables.  Of course the problem is we eat too much too fast and take in far too much energy than what’s required.

Counting Calories

Counting calories simply doesn’t work  because most people don’t know what a calorie is.  They have no idea how many calories they need.  Studies have shown calorie claims on food packaging to be incorrect by up to 30%.  How do people count calories at a buffet or restaurant? Only in recent years fast food chains have advertised calories. As well as the fact…. no-one considers the quality of calories in food.  What does that mean?  If you eat 1000 calories of bread, butter and jam VS. 1000 calories of lean fish, chicken and vegetables  – same amount of calories that produces a VERY different outcome in the body.  Stop counting calories.

Trusting food manufacturers too much

It’s common for families to now purchase a tomato pasta sauce in a bottle and simply take it home, heat it up and pour it over cooked pasta.  It may taste similar to the fresh pasta sauce that was once made by your grandmother – but do you have any idea how many preservatives, sugar, additives, artificial colours & flavours are in that jar?   If the answer is NO – then you shouldn’t be using it.

The Food Pyramid is outdated

The conventional food pyramid recommends eating a diet consisting mainly of carbohydrates.  This needs to change to reflect our modern lifestyles.  Our diet should consist of mainly vegetables with limited fruit.  We should consume more protein than carbohydrate and of course limited fat and salt.

Making bad choices when eating out

Are your eyes too big for your stomach?  Do you choose rich, creamy pasta & pizza when you eat out?  Do you have chocolate pudding or dessert frequently?  Do you have all your food smothered in sauces and gravy?  Do you prefer deep fried food over fresh food? If you have are thinking YES – simple changes make a difference.  Try to avoid eating carbs as the main meal (or share wherever possible) – avoid deep fried foods – get sauces on the side – choose entree size portions.

Drinking ourselves fat

The only fluid our body needs to drink to stay alive is water.  And water is the only fluid that doesn’t contain calories, sugar or carbohydrates.  That means everything else you drink if purely a habit, lifestyle choice or to satisfy a craving.  Think before you drink.   Did you know soft drink & juices contain about 140+ calories and 7+ teaspoons of sugar.  Swap for water!

Eating has become a social event

For some reason most people live to eat – instead of eating to live.  Most social outings begin, end or are moulded around food and drink.  The obsession with food needs to stop. We need to consider how we eat, what we eat and when we eat.  Eating should be to provide needed energy & nourishment for the body only – not to satisfy lifestyle. Swap social eating with an activity like meeting for a walk, going to a movie, playing cards or playing golf.

Remember you are what you eat!

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