November 15, 2018
In this newsletter . . .
The Urban Dictionary has some funny definitions. Here's one of my favorites: “Dunlops Disease—when your belly dunlops over your belt.”
So Dunlops Disease is the extreme opposite of six-pack abs. While few people ever attain an actual six-pack, too many Americans do have Dunlops Disease. (And it’s not just the U.S. Many other developed nations have a similar problem.)
Here’s what I mean: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one-third of U.S. adults are not just overweight but obese. That’s not an exaggeration or typographical error. Three out of ten Americans are obese.
Yet so many people are on diets and lose weight—and then gain it all back, and often more. It makes you wonder: is permanent weight loss even possible?
Back in the 1970s, I bought a Welsh terrier puppy. We named
him Toby. I remember taking him to his first physical exam and the veterinarian told me that Toby had a heart murmur. There are different classes of heart murmurs, some serious and some rather insignificant. At first I imagined all sorts of bad outcomes. He might be sickly or die early.
But the vet told me not to worry. Toby, he said, would have to follow a diet of pet food for dogs with heart abnormalities; but he would otherwise lead a healthy, active life.
I asked him how simply eating a prescription food could make such a difference? I always remember what he told me: ”It’s because dogs can’t cheat.”
Toby lived 15 very active years.
And therein lies the reason the majority of overweight or obese people cannot seem to maintain a healthy body weight after successfully losing weight through dieting: People can cheat.
There’s really no big secret to losing weight. You simply stop eating as much as you have been and the weight comes off.
The old joke about the best exercise for losing weight is to push yourself away from the dinner table is true.
Dieters who manage to keep off the fat, once its gone, are the ones who don’t cheat. Their methods to keep from falling back into their old ways may be varied. But one way or another, they do resist overeating. They don’t allow the excess pounds to creep back.
So here’s the truth. If taking off fat sounds difficult, keeping it off is even harder. Almost any popular dieting plan will result in weight loss. Each may claim a “secret” reason why their plan works best. But the fact is any diet works when you consistently take in fewer calories.
That doesn’t mean it is smart or healthy to eat anything you want as long as you eat less of it. It’s certainly possible to lose weight and harm yourself at the same time, if basic principles of good nutrition are ignored. And not
all popular weight loss programs are properly balanced.
When I led cardio-kickboxing classes, I handed out dietary recommendations. Some of the overweight people who regularly came to class lost a lot of fat and got really fit. Years later a couple of them I kept track of were still trim and fit. I featured one young woman in my book, Living the Fitness Lifestyle (no longer in print). She was determined to succeed and did.
I cannot say how many who came to my classes maintained their fitness permanently because I lost contact with them. I like to believe that all of them experienced long-term success. I have no way of knowing.
But if you are overweight, you can be one of those who succeeds—permanently.
Here’s a tip that improves the odds of maintaining a healthy bodyweight once it’s achieved. When regular exercise becomes part of your effort to lose weight, there is a much greater chance of maintaining a healthy bodyweight permanently.
Another huge advantage in getting regular exercise while dieting is how your body will look at a lower weight. Without regular exercise, dieters may be trim but still
flabby. With regular exercise, dieters lose fat while building or retaining muscle. Resistance exercise, in particular, is the antidote to flabbiness.
Find a free beginner’s exercise plan here.
Discover sound nutrition information here.
Senior Exercise Central
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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.
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