Dispelling Weight

2007 July
Dispelling Weight-Loss Myths
Do you remember the 1990s? Everyone thought that “fat free” products were the greatest thing – eat all
you want, just avoid the evils of fat. Then the trend became “low carb,” and everything shifted. As we learn
more and more about our bodies, some new ideas about weight loss are challenging old ones.
Dieting works…and it doesn’t work. Researchers widely agree that to lose weight you have to take
in fewer calories than you use. But a UCLA study, from April 2007’s American Psychologist, suggests
that most people who go on diets soon gain back the weight they lost – and, in many cases, more.
Many experts say that this points to a broader lifestyle change as the new elixir. The problem is that
it isn’t an elixir at all. We need to make long-term choices that include getting more exercise and
eating a sensible, well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and the
right kinds of fat.
Sleep actually helps you lose weight. Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D.,
director of the Sleep Disorder Center at the NYU School of
Medicine, is among the latest researchers who are suggesting
that the regulation of hormones from regular sleep may be a
significant factor in losing or maintaining weight. When you
disrupt those hormones, you become glucose intolerant, you
want to eat more, and you don’t metabolize what you eat as well.
“I’m not an exercise kind of a person.” Have you ever thought
that? Well, it may just be that the commercials and magazines
you’re used to seeing only show a few types of exercise – like
going to the gym or playing sports. The types of exercise to
choose from can be as unique as people, and finding something
that makes you smile can be the key to sticking to a regular
exercise program. Consider these activities that are both
calorie-burning and fun: adult ballet or tap dance classes,
bird-watching, fencing, boxing or martial arts, swing dancing or
tango classes, hiking, frisbee, golf, or long and romantic walks
on the beach.
Did You Know?
Not only is water essential to losing
weight, but it can also help keep you healthy
in other ways. It contributes to a better
metabolism and helps your kidneys and liver
function properly, which is important for
burning fat. Most health care professionals
recommend the 8 X 8 methodology: eight,
eight-ounce glasses of water every day.
Some say that you should drink an additional
eight ounces per day for every 25 pounds
you’re overweight.
Note: Water intoxication – drinking too much
water – is possible, but is very rare in adults,
and it’s usually only seen in extreme athletes.*
*Can You Drink Too Much Water?,
Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. on About.com
Sometimes it’s not what you’re eating…it’s what’s eating you. Food can be comforting to people
when they’re plagued by stress, boredom, loneliness, anger, depression and other emotions. That’s why
learning to deal with emotions without food is a significant skill that can help a lot with long-term weight
control. If you’re having trouble sticking to weight-loss plans, don’t be afraid to reach out for support
from family, friends, community groups and behavioral health professionals.
Services provided by Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. and/or Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association,
an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.
Please consult your physician for specific advice regarding recommendations for your individual circumstances.
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