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ANTI-AGING                  tao wisdom to live long  LIFE SPAN AND GENES
longevity  how to live long       wisdom in the art of living well
How to Lose Weight

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How to Lose Weight
                                               
By Stephen Lau


If you wish to live long, control your body weight. Weight control holds the key to healthy longevity; it is the soul of your well-being. An ideal body weight is anti-aging. Losing a few extra pounds may add a few extra years to your lifespan. You may want to lose weight, just like everybody else. In fact, to control body weight is of such paramount importance that Americans are spending billions of dollars every year just to keep them in better shape. Sadly, many are lost in this battle of the bulge.

Forget about losing weight; focusing on weight loss is forever frustrating and futile.
But weight control is important. Your body shape is a reflection of your overall health. Good weight management is important to healthy longevity.

Before taking on any weight loss endeavor, understand the basics of weight loss.


THE BASICS OF WEIGHT LOSS


Why your body weight is “unimportant”

The bathroom scale just indicates your body weight, and that is all there is to it. It does not tell you how much fat or muscle you may have lost during a given diet or a certain time frame. It may not even indicate if you are healthy or not, unless you are grossly overweight. Therefore, do not become obsessed with your weight. After all, your body weight always fluctuates-which is a fact, and which is very normal.

When you go on any diet to lose weight, your body metabolism immediately starts to react and begins to slow down, and that accounts for the initial weight loss in any diet program-there is nothing to be excited about, and do not jump to the conclusion that the diet program works. It is only a self-delusion: initially your body loses only water, not your body fat. Your body learns to adjust to your reduced calorie intake (this is basic human survival in response to starvation); in other words, your body burns fewer calories, when you eat less. However, when you stop dieting or resume bingeing, your metabolism rate goes up again-unfortunately, not to its original level, but usually to a much higher level. If you jump from one diet to another, your body metabolism rate might become impaired due to repeated fluctuations, such that it would no longer burn fats efficiently. That explains why you might still gain weight even when you eat less, because your metabolism has gone hay-wired. Does that make sense?

Even when you go on a fast, you lose weight, but you will gain back all the weight lost once you resume eating. The only difference between a fast and a fad diet is that in fasting, your metabolism may make some long-term changes or adjustments that will ultimately benefit your weight loss, while a fad diet results in impaired metabolism.

Given that lean muscle mass requires calories at times of rest, the amount of muscle you maintain directly affects your metabolism in a positive way. You burn calories while you sleep. In other words, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism rate is, and the more calories you will burn. The converse is also true: as you lose your muscle mass, your metabolism rate decreases, and so does you
r weight-loss rate. On the other hand, fat, being inert, has little or no effect whatsoever on your body’s rate of metabolism. These are the weight loss fundamentals for better understanding of how you may lose weight.

The maximum amount of weight loss (fat or muscle) in one day is about one half pound. Since your body is about 60 percent water and one gallon of water weighs approximately eight pounds, any additional weight loss greater than one half pound may only be water, and not your body fat. Therefore, when your body replaces the water lost, weight gain will re-occur, and you are right back to where you started at an unhealthy weight. Does that sound familiar to you in your futile attempts to lose weight?

The unpleasant facts

Consider this: 3,500 calories equal one pound of your body weight.

Do your math: To lose 10 pounds, you have to expend 35,000 more calories than you consume; and to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, you need to burn 2,500 more calories a day. You know very well that it is not a piece of cake! That explains why you forever cannot lose weight, not to mention controlling it. So forget about weight loss!

Why losing weight is forever “impossible”

To lose weight is impossible to many individuals because they have become obsessed with numbers. They are forever playing the losing game of numbers. They have to count their calories, their carbohydrates, and their proteins, among others. Profit-making dietary plans allure them with numbers, both “hard” and “soft” data, to the land of myths and fallacies, where they end up only in frustration and disappointment.

Remember this simple factor: Weight loss occurs only when the calories you consume are less than the calories you use up. That is the most fundamental factor in weight loss, and also one most difficult to achieve. Trying to circumvent it with state of the art is impossible. That is why most weight-loss plans are always about counting calories: giving you a calorie chart, calculating your daily total calorie need, and then instructing you to eat less than that, hoping against hope that your weight will drop dramatically.

Simply put, they want you to eat less, but you stubbornly refuse, and that is why you fail to lose weight despite the money and initial efforts you expend. Don’t try to circumvent this simple ruling. If you cannot overcome your food cravings, your battle of the bulge is already lost.

Furthermore, counting calories is not only difficult but also inaccurate, because foods are not mathematic values that can be accurately quantified. The biochemical differences in different foods account for discrepancies in counting calories in foods.

In addition, calculating an individual’s daily caloric need is equally unreliable, since each individual’s biochemical and genetic makeup is uniquely different. The minimum energy used for circulation, digestion, glandular activities, and respiration also varies in different individuals due to the differences in body metabolism affected by age, sex, health, body weight, and other factors.

Given that counting and calculating your calories are difficult to determine precisely and often misleading, calories charts are not only inexact but also irrelevant in your weight loss. So forget about counting calories! Counting calories will drive you crazy! Do not waste time in the game of numbers, which you will lose no matter what!

Remember, overweight is a result of consuming too many calories. To lose weight you must maintain lower calorie consumption indefinitely. Not just for a certain period but permanently! Many people simply fail on that score. Do you have that tenacity and perseverance? If you had, you probably would not have any weight problem in the first place.

Frankly, low-calorie foods are generally disagreeable and unpleasant. One of the unethical reasons for “diet” foods to add aspartame or other flavorings is to mask the unpleasant taste without giving you the extra calories. Yes, you may lose some weight at the expense of gaining some chemicals in your body, which may not only play havoc with your health but also shorten your lifespan. In other words, you want the taste without the calories, and the food manufacturers accordingly give you what you want, but with a price -- your health! To lose weight requires you to eat less.

Permanent calorie-restrictive consumption always becomes an ordeal. You feel hungry - which is only natural. You like the food, and you want to eat it -- who can blame you? Counting calories or weighing food is something else. You do not want to spend the rest of your life counting calories at home, or in a restaurant. By the way, did your ancestors ever count them? If they didn’t, then why should you?

Because food is so tempting, you start “cheating” on your diet, giving yourself every inexcusable excuse just to eat the food you have been denying yourself, and before long you are back to your original weight. That is devastating, and you begin to crave “comfort” foods to pamper yourself when you are emotionally upset. You end up eating more, not less.

Learn how you can stop your food cravings, in particular, your unhealthy sugar habit, thereby taking control of your health and lose weight.

Further frustration puts you back to your old eating habits to satisfy your stomach. There you go again, back to square one!

Your weight “balloons” and you give up the diet totally, blaming your genes or your parents, except yourself.

Then you tell yourself to wait for yet another “better” diet to come your way -- or maybe even a miracle diet to help you lose weight.

HOW TO CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT

You must understand how the human body works, and what it needs to lose weight. You must understand what causes hunger. Without knowing these weight management basics, you would forever be at a loss as to how to lose weight.

A lack of calories may make you feel hungry, just as eating many more calories may still make you feel hungry.

Why is that?

Your body simply does not count calories; only you consciously do; you want to lose weight -- your body stubbornly does not! That is the problem with weight control.

To lose weight, you must eat less, and eating less makes your feel hungry. If you cannot overcome your pangs of hunger, you cannot lose weight. So to lose weight, you must stop, not overcome, the hunger: overcoming hunger requires a will of steel, which most probably you don't have, while stopping hunger may be easier.

Your feeling of hunger is triggered by your nutrient deficiency and your food addiction, not by your calories or lack of them. However, it does not mean that calories are unimportant -- they are important in weight loss, but irrelevant in terms of your food cravings. In other words, if your body is healthy and full of nutrients, your abnormal food cravings will naturally subside, if not cease. You will eat what you need, instead of eating what you want to eat. You will eat when you are hungry, instead of eating for the sake of eating or eating to gratify your urge. Surprisingly, your body wisdom intuitively knows your own nutritional needs. Learn to trust your own body, not a calorie chart! If you are healthy, you will not have any problem to lose weight. Simply put, if you are hungry all the time, you are unhealthy, and you may have other health problems to deal with, not just a body weight problem.

Remember, any diet is not natural eating. Any abnormal eating may cause you to form unhealthy food relationship, a precursor of eating disorders.

Change your eating habits

To alleviate your food craving, you must change some of your eating habits in order to lose weight:

Chew more while eating, and feel less hungry by sending a “fullness” signal to your brain.

Eat more fiber, giving your stomach nerves a “bulky” as well as “satisfying” sensation.

Stop eating processed foods, designed by food manufacturers to make you “feel” hungry and want more all the time. The more you eat, the richer the food manufacturers become. You will always be the ultimate “loser” -- you lose your health, your money, except your weight!
Always eat a light breakfast, such as a piece of fresh fruit or glass of juice - and no more.

However, some experts disagree with eating only a light breakfast: they insist that a heavy breakfast is good for you in many ways.
Some scientists are saying that most heart attacks and strokes occur in the morning, and eating a heavy breakfast may protect you from such occurrence because studies indicate that those who skip breakfast tend to have more sticky platelets in the morning than those who do not.

Well, eat a heavy breakfast if you really think you are going to have a heart attack that morning!

In addition, according to some studies, eating breakfast can help you control your hunger, and hence control your weight

Well, if you have not completely digested the previous night’s dinner, adding more calories at breakfast will only increase, not control, your weight!
A good breakfast can kick your body into high gear, providing energy to sustain you for the rest of the day.

Well, this might be true if you would leave aside the fact that consuming food in itself uses up your energy too!

If you insist on a heavy breakfast, it is your choice too!

Why nutrients are important to weight control

Eating only natural foods provides you with nutrients and fiber your body needs for permanent weight control to attain healthy longevity.

Weight gain is simply overeating. To say otherwise is pointing finger at the genetic factor - which is tantamount to saying the unhealthy eating habits of your parents, or your genes inherited from them being responsible for your own overweight.

Overeating is essentially a lack of nutrients in your body. Your body is hungry for nutrients, not carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; they are only substitutes for the nutrients your body is not getting from your food.

For example, if you are deficient in vitamin B complex, you may crave peanut butter, which happens to be rich in vitamin B complex. Your body demands what is in peanut butter that can satisfy that deficiency in you. Not meeting that inherent deficiency, you will continue to eat, simply because your body continues to remain unsatisfied.

However, eating more may still not meet that nutrient deficiency, especially if you continue to eat bad food, which may only further deplete that deficiency. Your body has no choice but to draw from the limited nutrient resources accumulated in your body, leading to all types of deficiency disease.

Nutrition depletion not only distorts your body metabolism, which is vital to weight control, but also affects your body organs, especially your brain, resulting in depression and eating disorders. If you are constantly hungry, you may in fact be suffering from nutrition depletion, even though you may think you are getting more than enough nutrients from overeating. Unfortunately, you are not! The nutrients from overeating may simply pass out of your body without being absorbed into your bloodstream, especially if your body is toxic or unhealthy.

The food you consume goes to your gastrointestinal tract, where proper absorption occurs. Even if the absorption capability is 100 percent, nutrient deficiency may still result from a variety of causes, including your age, physical makeup, inadequate food intake, consumption of nutritionally deficient food, such as sugar, and food imbalance due to a poor diet.

Absorption of nutrients will be inadequate and incomplete unless there is complete food digestion, which requires the following:

Adequate enzyme activity is necessary throughout your whole gastrointestinal tract - from mouth to descending colon. Nutrients such as Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Biotin and Folic acid are required to foster enzyme activity, which may be destroyed by antibiotics in your drugs and improper diet.

Eating raw food regularly is a rational way to obtain enzymes for healthy digestion, leading to healthy longevity.

An adequate amount of water has to be present to precipitate biochemical activities in your intestinal tract; otherwise, poor digestion or constipation will result in poor absorption.

Adequate and balanced minerals are required for optimum absorption of nutrients during food digestion. However, most inorganic mineral salts, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, may interfere with one another’s absorption; too much of any may block absorption of the other minerals in that group, resulting in deficiency. Minerals have to be balanced; more may not necessarily be better.

A balanced acid and alkaline level (pH) contributes to balanced minerals in your body - an important factor in healthy longevity.

The Acid-Alkaline Diet
provides excellent information on how to alkalize your diet. Many experts believe that a balance of acidity and alkalinity, known as your balanced pH level in your body, will make you disease-free. It is a proven anti-aging diet for everyone who wishes to live longer and remain younger. A balanced acid-alkaline diet may be a solution to your weight management.

Disease begins at the cellular level. Cherish and nourish your cells with anti-aging herbs, vitamins, and minerals, such that they regenerate instead of degenerate. Go to Herbal Remedies to get all your natural herbal remedies for healthy longevity.

Disease begins at the cellular level. Cherish and nourish your cells with anti-aging herbs, vitamins, and minerals, such that they regenerate instead of degenerate. Go to Herbal Remedies to get all your natural herbal remedies for healthy longevity.

Also, try to go a regular fast to detoxify your body.
Eat Stop Eat provides excellent information on how to eat intermittently to lose weight.

Accumulation of mucus on the lining of your gastrointestinal tract wall caused by disease and dehydration will also adversely affect the absorption of nutrients.

Some of the more common symptoms of nutrient depletion are:

• Bad breath
• Body odor
• Fatigue
• High blood pressure
• Headache
• Insomnia
• Hair loss
• Memory loss

Why fiber is important to help you lose weight for healthy longevity

Fiber, mixed with the half-digested food in your intestines, serves the following functions:

• Keeping undigested food moist by retaining water
• Keeping undigested food bulky and loose
• Keeping swift transit of food through the intestines, thereby reducing the absorption of calories

Foods high in dietary fiber help weight control: they make you eat less, and reduce your caloric absorption.

Vegetables to help you lose weight:

• Beans
• Brussels sprouts
• Leaks
• Kale greens
• Parsley
• Spinach

Fruits to help you lose weight:

• Dried figs
• Prunes
• Dates
• Black currants
• Raisins
• Blackberries

Cereal products and bread to help you lose weight:

• Wheat bran
• 100 percent bran cereal
• Rye bread
• Oats

If you do not take measures to put your health on the right track first, attempting to lose weight is indeed like washing dishes is a sink of dirty water -- it simply won’t work! Remember, effective weight management is healthy longevity.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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