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The Non-Diet Diet


Diets don't work. If they did the U.S. of A. would be the thinnest, trimmest nation in the world, with over 40 million Americans spending billions each year on weight loss products. In fact, the opposite is true. The Center for Disease Control claims that at least 65% of adults are overweight or obese. With the growing list of woes associated with obesity, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, the weight problem in America has become a serious concern. Yet we continue to look to fad diets as the answer to this serious problem - as if living on bacon and eggs, cabbage soup, or low-calorie meal replacement drinks could ever be construed as a healthy solution.

A review of popular diet programs conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, stated that most weight loss programs offered little or no proof that participants were successful in loosing weight or keeping weight off in the long run. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has stated that of the millions of people that diet, less than 5% of those who actually loose weight will be able to keep it off in the years to come. It has been surmised that a dieter may shed approximately 100 pounds in the course of a lifetime, but gain back 120 lbs. One benefit of weight loss organizations, however, was group support. Dieters who joined support groups appeared to loose more weight than those who decided to go it alone.

Fad diets themselves bring with them a plethora of health concerns. Restrictive low calorie diets can be self-defeating. The body's metabolism slows moving the system into energy conservation mode and holding on to every calorie for future use instead of burning it. Precious muscle mass is broken down, and low lethargy occurs. Low carbohydrate diets can result in dehydration and constipation. The risk of heart disease is escalated due to the increase of bad cholesterol found in animal fats. When nutritional integrity of the body is threatened due to the elimination of a particular food group, the dieter is at risk for many health problems including osteoporosis, certain types of cancers, immune system issues, electrolyte imbalances, and eating disorders. And with diets, as opposed to permanent lifestyle changes, the probability of gaining back what you have lost, and then some, is high.

In a culture obsessed with physical perfection perhaps we must evaluate how we think about weight in general. Are we dieting to be healthy, or just thin? If the later is the objective, then further investigation into dieting motivation may be necessary, but if health is the ultimate goal, then looking at lifestyle changes may the place to start. Are you an emotional eater, have a compulsive sweet tooth, or someone who eats out of boredom? Do you eat fresh foods or only things that come in a box, bag, or through a drive-up window? What is the overall condition of your health? Is your lifestyle sedentary or active? What type of physical activities do you enjoy? Questions like these help you build the foundation for creating a customized Non-Diet Diet - a common sense plan for living that will result weight loss, elevated energy levels, and improved health and well-being.

Quick fixes usually result in long term failures, and while the answer to America's weight problem may not come in the form of a magic diet, it need not be extremely complicated either. Maintaining a sensible meal plan, including complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, good fats, fruit and vegetables, and sweets in moderation, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy attitude regarding the weight/health connection may be the simple answer you've been looking for.

Deborah Martin is a writer, life coach, and co-founder of The Woman Project. For more information regarding her Non-Diet Diet and other programs visit her website at http://www.dreamlearncreate.com .


MORE RESOURCES:

LifeSpan to celebrate National Nutrition Awareness Day
Evening News and Tribune
A special hot lunch and nutrition education program will be provided to seniors at the centers that day at approximately 11 a.m. Reservations are required by noon Thursday, March 12. Donations of $2 per meal are appreciated, according to a LifeSpan ...



Philly.com

Obama Administration Mulls Nutrition Guidelines That Say Americans Should ...
TheBlaze.com
“For example, earmark tax revenues from sugar-sweetened beverages, snack foods and desserts high in calories, added sugars, or sodium, and other less healthy foods for nutrition education initiatives and obesity prevention programs,” it suggested.
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Conaway says Vilsack shares responsibility for 'flawed' dietary recommendationsAgri-Pulse

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Food for thought: is nutrition context-dependent?
Huffington Post
One paradigm that's always stuck out to me as ripe for improvement is the way we (Americans) learn, transmit, and interpret health and nutritional wisdom. How did we decide that low-fat diets are healthy? That "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"?



USDA.gov (press release) (blog)

National Nutrition Month: Raising a Healthier Generation through Diet, Education
USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
Our nutrition assistance programs, such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, provide children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy lifestyles for the long term. To make this happen, it's imperative we teach our ...
Don't Waffle on Nutrition During School Breakfast WeekHuffington Post
Schools celebrate child nutrition with push for breakfastWECT-TV6
Grants to Aid New School Lunch, Breakfast StandardsWisconsin Ag Connection

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The News Journal

March is nutrition month, and start of annual challenge
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What we choose to eat on a regular basis has an impact on our energy level, our weight, our immune system and our risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Each March and throughout the year, the Academy of Nutrition and ...
National Nutrition Month Celebrates Healthy Eating, Active LivingWCTV
NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH: Dietician encourages healthy livingMorganton News Herald
March is National Nutrition MonthThe Fort Stockton Pioneer
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Distorting Nutrition Facts to Generate Buzz
Huffington Post
In mid-February, the government released a scientific report that will shape its 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Think of it as America's basic nutrition policy. Most people who read the report would have viewed it as a snore; not much has changed.

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MLive.com

Atherton schools administrators share nutritional advice at national event
MLive.com
BURTON, MI -- Two Atherton schools administrators recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to give input on how to improve school nutrition. Bethany Taylor, food service director for Atherton School District, and Susanne Carpenter, principal of Atherton ...



Snack your way to a smaller waistline with Extend Nutrition's new “Snack-2 ...
STLtoday.com
Extend Nutrition, a leading nutritional snack company with the only snacks shown to reduce the amount of calories consumed at the next meal by an average of 21%[i] introduces their new “Snack-2-Health Kit.” There are no lifestyle changes needed and no ...

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Military Times

New site gives MRE nutrition facts
Military Times
What about the nutrition value of an entire Pork Sausage Patty, Maple, meal? This information is readily available on the packaging of combat rations. But a new online database lets troops get that information before they get into the field. The Combat ...



The eight most important things to look for on nutrition labels
Fresno Bee
_Serving size: This tells you what amount of the food or drink the nutritional information is based on. Some nutrition panels will also tell you how many servings are in the package or container. Look carefully at the serving size. There may be 2, 3 ...

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