"Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process, heal our own."
- Wangari Maathai

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Losing weight and fat

There are no 'secrets' to losing weight and fat.  There is only education and implementation. 

First up, is education.  Just like we all have to educate ourselves on how to use various objects in our lives like our car, TV, playstation, computer etc. we also have to educate ourselves on how to take care of our own bodies and health. 

We all have handbooks on our cars.  We look up how much pressure we should put in the tyres, when we should have it serviced and what fuel to put in it to make it run at its optimum.  Some people even add all sorts of gadgets to make their cars go faster or put in special sound systems so that they can listen to music with greater clarity and depth.  If someone is interested in something, they take the time to learn about it.

Why are so few people interested in their own bodies?  What is the point of anything else on this plane of existence if we did not have a body?  I would go so far as to say, without a body, you and I would not have a life!

There are no handbooks on health.  There is lots of information available on what to do once you are sick or overweight or depressed etc. but very little emphasis on how to stay well in the first place.  Also, without knowing how to stay well, how are you going to stay that way once you get better?  So learning about what is in the food we eat and how much of it we, each as individuals, need to stay healthy is the first step in the education process.  Most people have no idea what protein, carbohydrates or fat are.  They have no idea what these things do or where to find them in food.  They also have no idea what their own particular bodies need. 

I go on a bit about individual needs because I want to emphasise that everyones' needs are different and should be assessed individually and personally.   For instance, a daily protein intake of 1g per 1lb of lean body mass is recommended, as a guideline.  The truth is that this measure of 1g can range from less than 1g to more than 1g per person.  I might need 1.2g of protein per 1lb of body weight per day, the next person may only need 0.50g or 0.75g of protein per per 1lb of body weight per day.  The same applies to carbohydrates and fats.  The right amounts for you can only be found by experimentation with your own diet and listening to how your body responds.  It is a bit like tuning an engine.  Adjust it until it runs sweetly.  An added complication is that your body's needs may vary due to seasonal changes, increased or decreased stress, age or other factors.  If you have trained yourself to be in tune with your body you will immediately pick up its changing needs and rectify your food intake. 

Hand in hand with education goes implementation.  It is useless to gather knowledge if you don't use it.  As you learn something more about creating better health, apply it immediately in your life.  For instance, you smoke, you suddenly realise that it is bad for you so you stop.  Next:  you eat tons of processed foods and when you learn that these are bad for you, you stop.  Next:  you learn that fresh fruit is good for you so you start including it in your diet.  And so on ...... and so on .....

Education and implementation is the name of the game.  No secrets, no mysteries .....!

Diana Elsmere