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Forget The Fads! Transform Your Lifestyle For Health And Wellness!

May 6, 2008
America is getting fatter and judging by the popularity of diet books, diet supplements and the dizzying array of diet programs available, America is determined to do something about it. But what's the right answer? If you're one of the millions who are looking to lose weight, or maybe just opt for a healthier lifestyle, how do you make sense of the diet and weight loss industry chaos? How do you find the system that's right for you, that's going to be a sustainable lifestyle?

Take a look around and you'll be inundated with diet "systems"--South Beach, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast and others come immediately to mind. We're in a battle of the bulge, and we're losing, but not the way we want--the weight's staying on, and our waistlines are expanding. We're losing the battle.

We all know the simple math--in order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Increasing exercise while decreasing caloric intake is the classic way to weight loss. Most diet plans fail in that they provide a temporary solution to a life-long problem. They offer severely restricted, short-term eating plans to produce dramatic and fast weight loss. Where they fail is in addressing long-term lifestyle needs. They don't teach someone how to eat properly, how to make better choices and how to live, eat and exercise for health and wellness. Add to that the constant flip-flopping of studies, one week carbs are your friend and the next they're the enemy a la the popular Atkins Diet and you're got a recipe for failure.

Your body = Your machine

Our bodies require more than just basic fuel (food) to thrive. We need a complex combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and thousands of other nutrients. The most important thing is that our bodies are trainable. We "like" what we're exposed to. Most people find that slowly introducing healthier food choices, while at the same time slowly reducing the unhealthy choices, results in a desire for more of the healthy stuff. We can reprogram our bodies to crave the good stuff; it's just going to take practice and patience.

Meanwhile, how can we be sure we're getting a balanced diet? As calorie count goes down, so too do the nutrients we're taking in. This is where savvy use of meal replacements and supplements comes in. We can also ensure our bodies are getting the vital nutrients we need by taking additional vitamins and minerals.

What about exercise? There's no doubt that exercise is vital to a healthy lifestyle, but you can't count on it as the only way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Remember that basic math? A pound of fat represents roughly 3,500 calories. OK, sounds basic. To lose a pound, you need to "burn" 3,500 calories more than you take in. For the average person, a "moderate" walk of about three miles per hour will burn about 300 calories an hour. Wow. I hope you like walking! For each pound you want to lose, you'd have to walk not quite 12 hours--36 miles. Take about 21 trips across the Golden Gate Bridge. Or walk around the island of Manhattan--one and a half times. Seems like a lot of work for one pound, doesn't it?

Looking to the long-term

Exercise is a great thing, increasing your cardiovascular health and boosting your metabolism, which increases your ability to burn fat efficiently. But it's not the only answer.

A diet that reduces how much you actually put into your systems is the first step. Increasing your activity is an important second step. But along the way, you might also consider introducing additional fiber, as well as supplements designed to help boost metabolism and reduce fat absorption. In addition to helping with weight loss, and promoting a healthier body overall, supplements can also provide joint support to help ease the aching of tired, stiff joints. Getting rid of joint aches and pains will encourage more exercise. It's all a circular relationship--exercise helps build stronger muscles, offering better joint support, and boosts your metabolism, encouraging weight loss. The weight loss, better metabolism and pain-free joints encourage you to exercise more.

Reaching a healthy, sustainable weight is not a quick or easy task, but it's one that's well worth doing right as the benefits are a lifetime of health and wellness, more energy, and oh, yeah, looking and feeling better overall. And that combination is a heady motivator!
About the Author
Written by Maya Bartlett for vitanetonline.com, who sells quality vitamins and herbs with a wide selection of Discount Vitamins that are in stock and ready to ship. Please link to this site when using article.
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