08 March 2009


i was pleased to see on a tv news program, that the results of a recent study on weight loss confirm my own approach -- i.e., there is no need for special, expensive or exotic diets. losing weight is simplicity itself. in a word, calories. keep track of the total number of calories you intake each day, and DO NOT EXCEED your target. coupled with daily exercise, you will lose weight, gain cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, improve muscle tone, and feel better about yourself and the world. calories in, calories out.

when i graduated from high school in 1965, at 5'9" i weighed 155 lb. and was naturally fit. in 2003, after years of edging slowly up in weight, i reached 200 lb. and knew that i had to take charge. i looked doughy, felt sluggish, and had a low self-image. having gone on fruit juice fasts ranging from three days to thirty days in the past, i knew i had self-discipline. so i set a target intake of 1200 calories per day, and stuck with it. the lb.s and inches came off gradually, which is the most realistic approach if you want to keep the weight off. i ate a balanced diet, included the major food groups, and kept track in particular of my intake of fat, cholesterol, and fiber.

once in a while i allowed myself a special treat (sweets are my weakness), and that's okay. all things in moderation. i found it important to weigh myself daily, so that if i slipped, it was immediately apparent. by 2005 i had plateaued at 165 lb., and it took perserverance to get past that barrier, but it paid off. today i'm not only at, but below my h.s. weight. i go for a daily walk, still eat well, and feel (and look) better than most men my age.

to get started, and as a periodic reference, a BMI (body/mass index) chart is valuable. it gives you a pretty liberal range of "acceptable" body weight for your gender and height. i believe that the nearer you are to the lower end of your range, the healthier you are and the longer you'll live. and your fitness will allow you to actually enjoy those added years.

this is a health issue of epidemic proportions -- in the u.s., one-third of the population is overweight, and an additional one-third is medically obese. these are staggering, scandalous numbers. we are literally eating ourselves to death. to give yourself that little added push to really look at your own weight issues (if any), rent a copy of michael moore's movie "Sicko". it is a funny and sobering indictment of the health care system in america, as well as a wake-up call to those two-thirds of us who are literally eating themselves to death.

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