Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Reason 1 for being overweight

In my first post, I listed the three reasons for being overweight:
  • Lack of knowledge about healthy living/poor habits
  • A compulsion to overeat
  • Slow metabolism/poor digestion
There is no special order to these reasons, but today I want to discuss the 1st reason: lack of knowledge and poor habits.

Remember the lady who sued McDonald's for making her fat, because she didn't know the food was bad for her? That's lack of knowledge.

Remember Governor Huckabee who lost 105 pounds after having symptoms of diabetes? That's a sign that he had poor eating habits. He wasn't really interested in controlling his weight before he got scared. Then he enrolled in a controlled weight-loss program and lost the weight without too much trouble (although he made a big commitment).

How do you know what you should eat? Where do you get that knowledge? Come on, every magazine and newspaper has articles about a healthy diet. Here's a concise article, 13 Keys to a Healthy Diet from the University of California at Berkeley.

So, what are you waiting for?

Bad habits are not easy to break, but not hard either. You need to make a commitment. Write it down. Then start. Don't delay. Start with a little and never strain or go overboard. That's going on a diet! Remember, diets don't work!

After about 3-4 weeks, you should find that you've created new, better habits. At least, that's what most experts say about habits. You can start by eating less sugar and more vegetables. Do that for a month. Then substitute fruit for some of the fats you're eating and do that for a month.

One thing I can tell you is that you'll feel better about yourself. You may feel a little scared about missing your favorite foods, but after trying this new way of eating, you'll be much happier.

However, don't foget my reason #2 for being overweight: a compulsion to eat. Many people think that overeating is just a bad habit, but if you have a compulsion, you'll have a harder time. In later posts, I'll get to solutions for compulsion.

If your only problem is that you haven't thought about what healthy eating means, or haven't read those articles, you can solve that problem easily. Just read a few articles.

To start breaking a bad habit, you need to make a commitment. And while you need to make a lifetime commitment, after 3-4 weeks, you'll have developed new, good habits of eating. So it's only hard at first.

Many people are overweight for more than one reason. For example, I know that both reasons 2 & 3 apply to me. Some people have all 3 reasons. Just know that reason #1 is the easiest to solve.