January 15, 2021
In this newsletter . . .
There is a saying about typical shopping malls: You see lots of fat people and lots of old people. But you don’t see many fat, old people.
Shopping mall visitors or not, most who subscribe to this newsletter are likely to be in good shape or on the road to getting there. Yet too many others struggle with being overweight. Shopping malls often put a spotlight on the problem.
Recent data show that in the U.S. 43-percent of us are obese. Not just a few pounds overweight, but obese. Forty-three percent! Comparatively, in the U.K. the obesity percentage is far lower at 25-percent (still not a percentage to be proud of).
But why the difference? I don’t pretend to have the answer. I do know, however, that we in the U.S., on average, do not eat enough vegetables, fruit and whole grains. And, unfortunately, we make up for it by eating far too much sugar and highly processed foods.
Not only are too many Americans consuming the wrong kinds of foods — we are
simply eating too much of everything. A December Wall Street Journal article on health and fitness included a graphic to emphasize this point: It showed an average size bagel of two decades ago, which was 3-inches in diameter and 140 calories, alongside an average bagel sold today of 6-inches in diameter and a whopping 350 calories.
They weren’t picking on bagels, in particular. They used them to illustrate the widespread tread toward bigger U.S. food portions of all sorts.
Years ago, when I was working out like crazy, I would eat three moderate meals per day along with two or three between meal snacks. I won’t get into the details, but when you are super-active, that’s fine. It works for younger people pushing workouts to the limit while piling on muscle. But as we get up in years and less active, food portions must shrink. If not, we become part of that awful 43-percent obesity statistic.
Here is a healthier pattern.
The people of Okinawa are among
the longest living and active elderly in the world. Okinawans’ claim an eating habit called the “80-percent rule.” They stop eating when they feel 80-percent full.
Years ago, here in the U.S., there was a saying that the best exercise of all is to push yourself away from the dining table. Apparently in Okinawa they still do that. And it works.
I have seen people take off unwanted pounds with programs like Jennie Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and others. Their formulas work simply because followers are taking in fewer calories.
My own method for keeping excess calories at bay is here. I’ve seen it work for serious, dedicated people. If taking off excess weight is your goal, and keeping it off, you might give it a try.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
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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.
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