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How To Be Healthy: Understanding Successful Weight Reduction
( Published 1962 )
Is overweight hereditary? Perhaps, but only to the degree that body build is inherited. Weight control, like other good health practices, begins with knowledge of proper nutrition. Merely counting calories is not the most practical way to slenderize. Eating the right foods will stimulate the thyroid gland to secrete more of the hormone that maintains normal weight, and this will automatically tend to regulate your weight.
Obesity is as notable a symptom of a lack of proper nutrition as is underweight, and almost everyone will agree that this condition shortens life. Overweight is a widespread disorder in civilized nations, but it does not prevail among primitive races living on simple diets.
Needless to say, obesity is injurious to health in many ways. It increases the risk of damage to the arteries, the kidneys, and especially the heart. It is now known to have a bearing on the cancer death rate as well. Surveys conducted by life insurance companies indicate that overweight people of advanced age are more likely to die of cancer than those of average weight. The United States Department of Agriculture has called overweight "probably the chief dietary hazard of modern living."
As to the cause of overweight, Adelle Davis, a leading nutritionist, writes:
There are many causes. One, I suspect, is that our foods are so depleted of the nutrients which starved bodies crave that overeating is due to a physiological compulsion to obtain them; even that usually fails to supply the nutrients longed for by the tissues. Another cause is that people often eat too little rather than too much; the basal metabolism drops far below normal; there is no energy for work or play, none to be turned into heat. When few calories are used, few are needed.'
The rate of metabolism has a bearing on whether a person is fat or slender, and this is controlled essentially by the kind of food one consumes. Certain nutrients, are necessary for speedy metabolism, principally calcium, iodine, and iron. The thyroid gland, which controls the speed of metabolic processes, needs, in addition to iodine, zinc and certain B vitamins.
Some persons are overweight due to the retention of excess water in the tissues, because their protein consumption is insufficient. They generally have inferior health and a greater susceptibility to degenerative diseases. When the proper foods are supplied, however, the body sheds this fat and water.
If you are troubled with overweight, hold to a high-protein diet and take moderate exercise. If you also make sure to use the foods that offer the best sources of minerals and vitamins, the chances are good that your excess weight will come off and stay off. Furthermore, you will be obtaining the carbohydrates in the variety and form in which you are intended to get them. Since these will be the right sort of starches and sugars, you will not have to be too concerned about calories. Good food is fuel for the body. There is no need to go off the deep end by starving off extra weight.
Older people should bear in mind that, because their metabolic activity, as well as all the other physical functions, is slowed down, trying to lose excess weight will be more difficult for them.
The foremost enemies of proper weight are white flour products, fried foods, salt, and sugar. If you wish to reduce, you must give up foods like bread, cake, candy, cookies, ice cream, pastries, and rich dressings and sauces. It is not generally known, for example, that a stick of chewing gum contains 63 percent sugar and 16 percent corn syrup. One stick is enough to halt weight loss. Such "foods" are practically dead as far as vitamins and minerals are concerned. Substitute complete protein foods, such as eggs, fish, and meat, together with cottage cheese, fresh fruits, green vegetables, and yogurt.
During the past several years, my experience has been that adherence to a high-protein, high-fat diet, enriched with the necessary nutrients, is the most feasible method of preventing a weight problem. I have actually lost weight, and my waist measurement has dropped two inches, since I began following this diet.
An all-meat diet is wholesome and takes very little time to prepare. Restricting vegetables and salads, and cutting out elaborate desserts, lowers the cost per meal to a moderate sum.
Wine, in addition to aiding in digestion of foods, has been found effective in causing weight reduction.
It has been reported in the New York State Journal of Medicine, November 1, 1962, that discreet use of wine with dinner has resulted in a more rapid loss of body weight in obese people, and particularly in those who are a victim of compulsive raiding of the refrigerator at night. Subjects given wine with dinner or before bedtime lost almost twice as much weight per week as subjects who were given the same meals without the wine. . . . Those troubled with compulsive eating were given more will-power by the wine, and were benefited in alleviation of insomnia.
For many years, Dr. Blake F. Donaldson, a distinguished New York physician, has efficiently treated overweight people with a dietary in which up to twenty-four ounces of fat meat were permitted daily.
First, he prescribes a thirty-minute walk before breakfast. This, he says, is extremely important. Second, he recommends an exclusive diet of one half-pound of fat meat (any kind), with a half-cup of black coffee, if desired, three times a day. To this is added three glasses of water between meals, three in the morning, and three in the afternoon. No water is allowed after five o'clock. As the patient improves, the doctor allows the addition of a baked potato, fruit, and sometimes an additional vegetable. Finally, he prohibits sugar, seltzer and carbonated drinks, bread (any kind), flour products, and alcohol.
If you have vainly tried to reduce your weight, be assured that you can lower it. A reduction in weight will greatly improve your health and will ease the strain on your heart. This becomes a goal well worth working for when one realizes that deaths from hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, and heart disease are two and a half times as great among overweight people as they are among those of normal weight.
In truth, the only solution to the problem is to make a practice of eating only natural foods, high in vitamins and
minerals, so that the smallest quantity of food will suffice. There is no other way. If you wish to lose weight, here are three points to remember:
EAT PROTEIN FOODS.
STOP EATING FANCY DESSERTS.
DRINK COFFEE WITHOUT CREAM AND SUGAR.
Try it. It works-naturally!