I know many of you do not want to listen to diet advice from a fat lady, but who better to guide you than someone who has already made all the dietary mistakes? Who is better qualified to speak at an AA meeting than an old drunk? Who better to admonish teens about smoking than someone with lung cancer?
So…this morning I want to caution you against falling into the trap of fad diets. They have been around forever and ALL of them work…for a very short time. Most of them drastically restrict calories in the guise of some other magical powers. And yes, you lose weight, but only as long as you adhere to the diet.
Fad diets also affect every part of your body, not just the fat ones! Most fad diets cause no more than a few headaches and stomach problems and irritability, but some are dangerous, especially if you have an underlying unidentified health condition. In the sixties a popular diet plan caused one of my relatives to faint from hypoglycemia. In the nineties there was a fad liquid diet that many of my friends embraced. One of them ended up in the hospital with gallbladder problems. What you eat affects your heart, liver, kidneys, brain…
I also find it amazing and amusing that the same intelligent, determined people who have the willpower to sustain themselves on boiled eggs and water for a fad diet are not willing to make the small dietary changes that will have a long-lasting powerful impact on their health and weight.
Here are the five best things you can do to improve your health:
- Stop drinking soda. Don’t say you are “cutting back” or you only drink one or two a week. STOP. None of them are good for you and the research is out there for you to read.
- Cut down on salt, even if you don’t currently have high blood pressure.
- Eliminate the worst food that you currently eat. Come on…you know what it is. Mine was pizza. Unless you make it yourself, “healthy pizza” is an oxymoron.
- Drastically cut down on fast food. If it can be passed through a window it is NOT good for you! Period.
- Eat more vegetables. Ever notice how few meals in restaurants include real vegetables? That tiny bit of lettuce drowned in dressing does not count!
Again, lessons from a fat lady. But I am carrying around a lot of very OLD fat from the days when the golden arches were still on my friends list. Once you are fat it takes a while to change that, especially if you reach the age where metabolism and the ability to exercise are at an impasse. I know that sounds like just another excuse, but talk to me after you have had three major operations, two accidents, and two conditions that inhibit your ability to move quickly. I have only lost twenty-five pounds the slow steady way, but I also feel better and I am rarely sick. I seldom even have a headache. Most of my current medical problems are hereditary. So I will work on increasing my movements. You work on eating better food. And stay away from the hucksters.