may have noticed lately that the number of overweight people
seems to be increasing. This is not your imagination. In fact,
there are more overweight people than normal weight people in
the U.S. today. So if you've put on a few pounds during the
last few years, you are not alone.
What is the secret to permanent weight loss? First, you
have to understand what actually causes weight gain.
Most people believe that they gain weight when they eat too
much, because of heredity or because of aging. All of these
are factors, but the real reasons people gain weight
Nutrient deficiency. Most people eat too much cooked,
processed and nutrient deficient food. In fact, we Americans
are the most overfed and undernourished people in the world!
When you eat nutrient-deficient food, your stomach may be
full, but your body continues to send out the 'I'm hungry'
signal. This can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Changes in body composition. As people age, they
gradually lose lean muscle mass and develop more fat, a
process known as sarcopenia. Poor food choices and lack of
exercise can accelerate this condition. This is significant
because it takes between 25 and 50 calories per day to
maintain a pound of lean muscle, whereas it takes only 2
calories per day to maintain a pound of fat. Over time, this
means that the body can process fewer and fewer calories,
which can lead to weight gain.
The formula for losing weight and keeping it off is:
Focus on food choices rather than counting calories. It
is interesting to note that the average person in China
consumes 30% more calories and a pound more of food every
day than the average American, yet most Chinese people do
not have a weight problem. It's because of the types of
foods they eat.
Eat more nutrient-dense foods. This means consuming a
diet rich in fresh raw fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes,
nuts and seeds. In fact, the majority of the diet should
consist of plant-based food.
Increase exercise. Exercise elevates the metabolism long
after the activity is completed, and helps to burn fat and
to build lean muscle mass. A lean body burns more calories
while resting than a fat body does!
Pay attention to the ingredients in the packaged foods
you buy. You'll be surprised at how much sugar and other
processed ingredients are in some of your favorite
Learn to make healthier meals at home. Buy a new cookbook
and try some new recipes and ingredients.
Make sure that your changes are gradual and permanent.
Don't start anything today that you can't continue for a