Despite the thousands of gallons of sweat shed and the billions of dollars spent on health clubs and diet programs and products, an estimated 90 percent of us who diet soon regain the weight we shed. But the weight problem may be as much in our minds as in our love handles, experts say.
Americans are the most overweight people in the world. Our abundance of food, easy access to fatty snacks, sedentary lifestyles, and, in some cases, genetics contribute to our weight problems. About 90 percent of U.S. residents surveyed say they weigh too much and 35 percent want to lose at least 15 pounds.
The myth that being thin equals success is the force that drives the majority of us to diet. There is a concentrated focus on making people, particularly women, feel dissatisfied about their bodies. The fashion industry perpetuates an average woman’s guilt over weighing more than she perceives she should.
The best clothing styles are made for slimmer figures, while overweight women often have to go to special stores for larger sizes. Women are stigmatized by having to go into heavy women’s stores. Although more men in recent years have become concerned about their bodies, women are more likely to take radical steps to lose weight.
A little walking will help it come off faster. And a lot of walking is better yet. Moving the large muscles of the body, as in walking, swimming, bicycling and rowing, changes the balance of fat to carbohydrates burned. Once your body is working well more fat is used to keep you going the same distance. It’s a good thing getting better. Fat can’t be left out of your diet entirely because you need some of the components – and as long as you must have them, they might as well come from something you like.
Foods in the diets are largely interchangeable so you can have what you like within the range of permitted fats. Cooking methods may have to be changed a bit. That means less frying and more broiling and baking.
Although many people who go through low-calorie diet programs gain back the weight, it isn’t always the fault of the diet. Crash diets really don’t work in the long run. Yes, it is possible to lose some weight for a while, but they really don’t change the lifestyle habits of the person. In some cases, there may be a potential danger with weight reduction – particularly if an individual is severely obese and requires medical supervision.