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Social Pressures Promoting Dietary Restraint
Studies in the USA have shown that cardiovascular and metabolic fitness levels are more important than weight and body mass when in come to overall health and mortality rates. In a study carried out by Steven Blair, at Dallas’ Cooper Institute which involved more than 70,000 people, it was discovered that BMI appears to have no relevance to health whatsoever. Obese people who engage in moderate levels of physical activities have around one-half the mortality rate of sedentary individuals who maintain supposedly ‘ideal’ weight levels.
Low fat diets are not appropriate especially for children or elderly, according Professor Alfred Harper of Wisconsin University. These guidelines do not ensure that the growth and development of children will not be impaired. The assumption that limiting fat intake will provide healthier lives has not been validated by research. The current drop in fat content has not been accompanied by a decrease in the number of overweight people, as expected, but rather by sharp increase. Low fat foods may be making people fatter because they lessen satiety. Professor Harper argues that blaming fat for the increase in chronic disease is an unproven myth.
A study carried out in London University also confirmed the negative effect of repeated weighing on the psychological state. Repeated weighing encourages the individual to focus on body weight. This accelerates any existing self-criticism resulting in changes in mood and self-esteem. Changes in depression and body dissatisfaction in the weighed group reflected their actual change in body weight.
The French are far healthier than other nationalities. They spend a lot of time eating; eat 30% more fat; do no exercise, and drink ten times more wine than Americans and have one of the lowest weights in Western world. This leads us to believe that the calorie-counting approach is not working.
The times people eat and how they eat is more important. It has been established that the absorption of carbohydrates, fats and protein varies considerably depending on the time of the day, even the time of the year.
Scientists have also established that the theoretical calculation of calories never considers the conditions under which fats and carbohydrates are absorbed into the intestines. These conditions change. Calorie-reduced foods, the classical diet, is usually the beginning of lifelong obesity. Particularly if the first diet is follow by a second, third, etc.
Calorie counting is the wrong approach, a dead end. It ignores too many details, it has been established that the absorption varies considerably depending on time of the day.
If we starve our bodies by giving them less energy, they will immediately use every opportunity to establish new (fat) reserves. Today, we call this ‘yoyo’ effect. So it is important to eat three regular meals a day and three snacks and not skip any meals!!!
In laboratory tests, animals have shown that if they receive an equal daily amount of food, once in the evening, they become overweight. On the other hand, animals who receive a daily ration divided over five or six meals, do not gain weight. Statistics show a frightening picture. People who go on one diet after another finally end up with much more fat tissue than they ever had before beginning the first one. A person who has made his/her way into this vicious circle of depravation can never loose another gram. The metabolism adjusts itself to a decreased number of calories.
A very small number of overweight people are eating too much (only 15%). According to French statistics, 35% of overweight people eat normally. 50% eat very little, around 800 calories, a day, but binge occasionally. A person eating so little is damaging his/hers health. He/she usually suffers from a deficiency in essential fatty acids, mineral salts, vitamins and trace elements. This is then manifested in tiredness, a weakened immune system and/or depression.
MORE MIND THAN BODY
Excessive weight loss involves more ‘mind’ than ‘body’!
The conscious ‘you’ and subconscious ‘you’ both need to want the same thing. The secret of successful slimming is not will power. It is our imagination, which we reach via our subconscious mind. The key to reaching our subconscious is strong, frequent visualisation of success. And frequent repetition of our affirmations. This conditions our subconscious to want to produce a slim and healthy body. And our subconscious will find ways that will automatically bring that desirable result. A positive self-approving frame of mind is essential. If we feel good we look good.
Sometimes even small changes create a dramatically new result. They can turn a depressing negative into new possibilities. The difference between people who keep the weight off, and those who don’t, is their attitude and motivation. They are the ones who create new perspectives on old and incorrect beliefs and turn problems into challenges and participate in their recovery.