Tag Archives: Diet

It won’t zip!!

This one is kind of a trick question, and the answer actually depends on your age, life stage, and state of development.
If you thought the answer was A, please seek common sense immediately; bonus points though if you know the reference. (I jest, but on the serious side, this kind of thinking and behavior is extremely dangerous, and I urge anyone who believes this to be a good idea to seek medical assistance in their weight management goals). Option B is also a bad idea; fad diets, like the grapefruit diet, Atkins diet, and so many more, are both dangerous and counter-productive. They are written and sold with the intent of making money, not helping you lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. They are generally based on hypothetical data and evidence and focus on “quick fixes” and “miracle foods/herbs/pills” that can solve all your problems. I’m sorry to tell you, these do not exist. There’s only one healthy way to lose and maintain weight; but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Option C is actually an appropriate answer for many girls and young women in this situation. If the size change has come from normal growth and development, your clothes should grow with you. When trying to determine if your size change has been a healthy, natural one it is important to consider the difference between excess fat tissue and new muscle growth, in addition to girls’ normal growth and development. If you’ve been working out, especially doing weight training, your muscle growth will increase your overall size, a healthy change that you should be proud of!
When I was getting married I had a final fitting about a month before the wedding and the dress fit beautifully; a week before the wedding I tried it on for my mom, who hadn’t seen it yet, and the top inch wouldn’t zip. I was in tears. How did my chest get so much bigger without any increase in my bra size? Worse yet: how was I going to get into this dress in a week?? In the months preceding my wedding I was working as a gymnastics coach at a children’s gym; working on the bars and demonstrating handstands 8 hours a day 6-7 days a week had increased my upper body strength, and size, considerably. After accepting my natural size increase, I was able to find a tailor that could fix the dress and long story short, the dress fit perfectly and I felt amazing in it! In a world where small frame size and low body weight are praised as beautiful, it is important to recognize healthy increases to body size.
However, if the growth has occurred due to weight gain from an unhealthy lifestyle, it is important to take steps towards maintaining a healthy weight, and slimming down to fit into your gorgeous new gown could be the perfect motivation to get you going.
So, how do you do that? There is only one answer to that question: burn more calories than you consume. It’s a simple answer; but, putting it into action isn’t as easy. No matter how driven you are or how much will power you have, you can’t achieve and maintain a healthy weight without the facts. You need to know exactly what you are putting into your body, including calorie count, fat, carbohydrate, and protein intake.

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Hack Away the Pounds

When it comes to losing weight there are many fads, gimmicks, and “miracle cures” available on the market to “help” you lose weight. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to managing one’s weight; the only way to achieve and maintain a healthful weight is by taking personal responsibility and making permanent lifestyle changes. Expecting a pill, drink, or grapefruit to magically melt off the pounds is unrealistic. Even if short term results are seen, in the long run, maintaining that diet could have dangerous health consequences and most often the weight that has been lost returns, commonly adding additional weight gain as well.

The Hacker’s Diet, developed in 1991 by John Walker, an engineer and computer programmer, is unlike most other diet programs on the market. There are no gimmicks, no quick fixes, no promises of success without hard work or dedication. Walker’s “The Hacker’s Diet: How to lose weight and hair through stress and poor nutrition” focuses on long-term goals, the important balance between calorie intake and energy output, and modifying lifestyle behaviors, including exercising for the health of it, not just to reach weight loss goals. His approach to weight loss doesn’t focus on eating or eliminating any type of food, and while supplements are recommended for those who are not reaching their daily recommended intake for certain nutrients, they are not considered essential, or even necessary, for success with the program.

Although his unique mechanical approach to weight loss may seem intimidating at first, the concepts, such as the “eat watch” and the “rubber bag,” are thoroughly explained using real life scenarios, experiences, and humor, making Walker’s book an easy and enjoyable read. He also offers many tools to help promote progress and increase motivation including: calorie intake records, energy expenditure records, weight loss and gain records, analytic reports, and a diet calculator. He includes strategies for all technologic comfort zones: those who are experienced with computers will find many helpful online tools and Excel spreadsheets, and those who prefer paper and pencil will learn valuable record keeping skills including how to keep a food journal and how to draw a graph and plot your progress.

The Hacker’s Diet doesn’t simply offer weight loss strategies, there are no exercise plans or recipes, but it is unique in its thorough education on how the body controls the intake and usage of energy and how it functions in different states of malnutrition. Walker provides an easy to understand foundation for developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime, not just a bikini season.

Achieving and maintaining a healthful weight is not a short-term goal, it is a life-long process that requires education on how the body functions, behavior modifications, and lifestyle changes and implementations that promote a lifetime of health and wellness. A weight loss program should not be something to be started and ended; it is a process that once started can lead to success in maintaining a healthful weight and achieving optimal physical fitness and health, extending life expectancy as well as quality of life.

 

References

The Hacker’s Diet. Walker, John. (2011). Retrieved May 3, 2012 from

http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/e4/. 

Thompson, Janice and Manore, Melinda. Nutrition: An Applied Approach 2nd edition. (2009).

Pearson Publishing.