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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #370. Feast or Famine
June 01, 2024

Feast or Famine

The defeat of famine is the goal of all successful societies. Unfortunately, triumph often evolves into the other extreme — obesity.

Here’s what I mean: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 42% of U.S. adults are not just overweight but obese. That’s not a typographical error. Four out of ten Americans are obese! And we aren’t alone, if that is any consolation. Other developed nations have similar weight problems.

(According to the CDC, overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.)

Now that summer is here in the Northern Hemisphere a lucky few may be able to display six-pack abs. Well, that’s great. But somewhere between the extremes of six-packs versus one’s belly hanging over his or her belt is most people's sweet spot. For good health and a nice appearance, actual six-packs aren’t essential; but firm abdominal muscles are required, along with the absence of a thick layer of fat covering them. That’s most people’s sweet spot.

What if you are already overweight or obese?

How do you go about achieving a healthy body weight? Honestly, if it were easy, no one would be fat. The truth is, shaping up does require lifestyle changes. Yet with a true desire to be fit, success is very attainable. Here is what you must do.

First, and most important, is to stop eating more food than you need. That may sound overly simple and obvious. But it is the heart of all weight loss methods. You must consistently consume fewer calories than your body requires to maintain your current weight.

There are many ways to do it. Programs such as Weight Watchers have been successful for many. Or working with your doctor or a dietician might be the right path. Just beware of diet pills (example) or quick-fix promises. That’s not the way to go. Personally, I find hand-measurement for portion control eating is simple and effective, described here.

Second, you must consistently exercise. Exercise is a key, even though it is in second place. But “second place”? Don’t be surprised. Because if you don’t first get calorie intake under control, all the exercise in the world won’t burn off the fat. To succeed, it takes a comprehensive approach. Sure, if you consistently reduce calories, yet don’t bother exercising, yes, you will still lose weight. But without proper exercise, you will end up thinner — yet flabby.

Here are two how-to-do-it places to get honest help . . .

Ab Exercise and a Trim Waistline

and, for beginners . . .

Beginning Weight Training

For bodyweight only exercise ideas, go here.

Stay healthy. Stay fit.


Senior Exercise Central

Spread the word. If you like the newsletter, please forward it to a senior friend or acquaintance.

Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. Well, I was a mere 70 years old then. I’m 87 now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as strong or muscular as I was 17 years ago. —LF

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Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines, and television, this newsletter and my website contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and website provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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