Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About it – Six Steps! Part Two of a Seven-Part Series

Step #1    Understand Why Women Get Fat and Unhealthy in the First Place?

Most women gain body fat and ruin their health through five main avenues. These comprise the “Five Factors Affecting Body Fat and Health” (see a more detailed explanation in my first article, “Why do American Women Get Fat?  Part One – Addressing the Root Causes of High Body Fat and Poor Health”).

Factor #1: Liquid Consumption

Inadequate consumption of water each day and poor liquid choices.

Factor #2: Quantity and Distribution of Calories

  • Daily caloric intake (uncontrolled calories-too many or not enough)
  • Daily nutrient ratio: protein/carbohydrates/fat (unbalanced calories)
  • Number of meals in each day (too many or not enough)
  • Meal size (uncontrolled portions)
  • Meal timing (unmonitored timing)

Factor #3: Quality and Purity of Calories

Eating these kind of calories: 

  • Fat calories
  • Unhealthy calories
  • Dirty calories
  • Impure calories
  • Old and dead calories
  • Non-kosher calories  

Factor #4: Restrictive and Unbalanced Dieting

Buying into quick-fix solutions, gimmicks and false promises. Subscribing to dangerous pills and special packaged foods. Getting hooked into a dangerous cycle of “yo-yo” dieting.

Factor #5:  Exercise

Lack of exercise and physical activity.

Americans’ attitudes toward exercise reflect other values in our culture today: we have grown lazy and passive, expecting rewards to come to us without effort and hoping that others will do for us what we can and should do for ourselves. In terms of physical activity, the result is that our health and fitness levels have fallen dramatically.

Step #2   Stop the Nonsense!

Don’t use band-aid solutions to a problem that is more serious than a scratch on your arm-obesity requires acute action.  Quit searching and employing “quick-fix” products or programs to lose fat, gain health and increase longevity.  Use the winning formula:

  • Increase Knowledge
  • Become Accountable
  • Find Courage
  • Implement Discipline
  • Stay Motivated

Step #3   Embrace Your Diet Allies and Defeat Your Diet Enemies!

We are in a battle for our health and fitness!  And in any battle you should know who your allies and enemies are.

Diet Allies 

o  Water 

Water is essential for life-it makes up about two-thirds of a person’s body weight and is the second most important nutrient next to oxygen. We can live without food for weeks but only a few days without water. Drinking plenty of water stands alone as the best thing you can do for your body-for health, low body fat, great skin, longevity and much more.

o  Proper Diet (nutrition) 

Nutrition is defined as the relationship between food and the health of the human body. When you achieve proper nutrition, all the essential nutrients are supplied and utilized in a balance that maintains optimal health and well-being. Good nutrition is essential for normal organ development  and function, normal reproduction, growth and maintenance, optimum activity level and working efficiency, resistance to infection and disease, and the ability to repair bodily damage or injury.   

o  Calories (food)

Human beings (and animals) need energy to survive and they require energy from food.  Our food has three main components: protein, carbohydrates and fats. These are digested in the intestine, then broken down into their basic units: proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into sugars and fats into fatty acids. The body uses these basic units to build substances it needs for growth, maintenance and activity.     

o  Supplements

Vitamins and minerals help us to grow, produce energy, fight disease, repair injured tissue and maintain normal health. Many of these important nutrients are available in quality, wholesome foods. But supplements can be helpful and sometimes necessary, especially if you are reducing calories to lose weight, trying to offset the affects of aging, trying to reverse any physical damage you may have acquired through unhealthy habits or injury, have any nutritional deficiencies, specific health and fitness goals, or a medical condition or health concern that warrants taking them.

o  Exercise

A major ally in the battle for a lean, fit, healthy and more functional body is exercise-it truly is the fountain of youth. Exercise makes you healthier, feel better and look younger!  The wide-ranging health benefits of regular exercise include reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity.  Exercise helps to keep joints, tendons and ligaments flexible, protect posture, and keep bones and muscles stronger.  Exercise contributes to mental well-being (including alleviating depression, stress and anxiety) and to ensuring better sleep. Exercise also helps increase metabolism, energy and endurance, and it stimulates fat loss while you develop a firmer, more defined and youthful body.

o  Sleep (rest) & Sun

The health benefits of sleep include reducing inflammation, depression and stress and increasing alertness, memory, immune function and more. Sleep also helps repair muscles after exercising and damage caused by stress.  Moderate amount of sun exposure can actually be beneficial by helping your body produce Vitamin D.  This is not a license to “bake and burn” in the sun-just a fact to relieve your fear about  sun exposure and get you outdoors to exercise and enjoy what nature offers (use sunscreen).

Diet Enemies

In summary, our “diet enemies” come from lack of exercise and sleep, overeating, undereating and consuming the wrong kind of calories.  Diet enemies include poor liquid choices, junk food, saturated fat, sugar, high-sodium intake, excessive non-organic dairy products, trans fats and hydrogenated oils, preservatives, additives and chemicals, man-made food products, white flour;  consumption of poor quality protein, carbohydrates and fats; excessive use of unhealthy sauces, dressings and seasonings; restrictive, unbalanced and unsafe diet programs.

Step #4     Analyze and Attack the Root Causes Once and for All!

Every smart and successful woman who truly wants to improve significant personal areas of her life-the development of her character, relationships with others, her spiritual life-or who wants to see progress in more pragmatic areas-her career, financial planning, time management-will always begin with a thorough evaluation of her current condition. It is no different for women who want to transform their bodies into lean, healthy, sexy, more functional machines.

Quit treating high body fat and poor health with ignorance, excuses, desperation and laziness. In order to make real changes in your eating and exercise habits, you should to do a diet and exercise analysis.  Take a thorough look at the “Five Factors” and see which factors you have under control and which ones you can fix.

Think of your analysis as a map indicating, “You are here”. It will tell you where you are, how far you need to go and how long your transformation process will take. This is the beginning of your success. After your analysis, you should seek accurate knowledge on how to change, and then you need to implement whatever changes are necessary.

Step #5      Fix the Five Factors-Create and Implement the “New American Diet and Exercise Plan”!

Factor #1: Monitor liquid consumption              

Drink water and carefully chose other liquids.

  • Consume plenty of water throughout the day (approximately six to ten cups or more, depending on your body weight, exercise level, current diet, caffeine and alcohol consumption, and any medications you may be taking).
  • Teas-plain (green, red, black, white and herbal) are great choices.
  • Coffee is fine in moderation without the cream and sugar.  Be careful of so called “energy drinks”.
  • Meal replacement drinks and fresh juice are a great way to have a meal-only if they are high quality and not full of sugar, white flour, and artificial ingredients.
  • Stay away from all sodas (diet and regular), sugary powdered drinks, non-fresh juice and alcohol.

Factor #2: Calculate the quantity and distribution of calories.     

Eat according to your metabolism, goals and activity level.

  • Total daily calories for the average women should be approximately 1,200 to 1,600 (or more in some instances, depending on whether you are in a reduction phase or a maintenance phase of your diet program, your activity level and other variables).
  • Daily nutrient ratio: For fat loss:  35% protein/45% carbs/20% fat (or close)-For maintenance:  Approximately 20 to 35% protein/45 to 65% carbs/ 20 to 30% fat 
  • Number of meals should be four to five evenly spaced throughout the day.
  • Meal sizes must be controlled (portion control)-break up your daily calories and divide them by four or five to get an idea of how large each meal should be (i.e.; 1600 divided by 4 = 400 calories per meal). 
  • Meals should be timed appropriately (every three to four hours).

Factor #3: Determine the quality and purity of calories.                

Eat pure and wholesome foods.

  • They must be lean (containing little or no fat, especially bad fat).
  • They must be healthy (conducive to health).
  • They must be clean  (free from foreign or extraneous matter).
  • They must be pure (free from contamination).
  • They must be alive and/or fresh (recently harvested, with no decay, not preserved or processed and not overcooked)
  • They should be kosher (fit and suitable).

Factor #4:  Eliminate restrictive and unbalanced dieting forever.

There is no quick fix for fat loss, optimal health and longevity. No sensible diet will ever compromise your physical or mental health for the sake of looking good. So, stay clear of diets that claim “fat loss in days” and be leery of any new ones that come on the market.  Commonly used formulas for fat-loss to avoid: 

  • Liquid diets
  • Low-calorie diets
  • High-protein, low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets
  • Low-protein, high-carbohydrate, no-fat diets
  • One meal per day diet
  • One type of food diet
  • Processed, packaged and man-made food products diet
  • One part of the equation diet

 Factor #5: Introduce a balanced exercise regimen.      

A balanced and effective exercise program should include

  • Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Strength and endurance training
  • Flexibility training
  • Core and balance training
  • Corrective exercises
  • Functional training

Step #6      Stay Encouraged!

It’s not how you start or even the middle of the race that counts-it’s how you finish

By using this approach WE WOMEN CAN ALWAYS BE lean, fit and healthy and live more productive, happier and longer lives. 

Why Do American Women Get Fat? Seven-Part Series       

By Christine Lakatos

PART ONE – Addressing the Root Causes of High Body Fat and Poor Health.

PART TWO – What You Can Do About It-Six Steps!

PART THREE – Wage War Against High Body Fat and Poor Health-An In-Depth Look at Our Diet Allies and Diet Enemies.

PART FOUR – Why Restrictive and Unbalanced Dieting Doesn’t Work-How They Actually Contribute to Weight Gain and Have the Potential to Damage Health.

PART FIVE – What to Eat to Reverse the Curse (or Prevent High Body Fat and Poor Health)-Good Foods For Fat Loss, Great Health and a Longer, Happier Life!

PART SIX – Exercise-A Major Factor in the Fat-Loss, Better Health Equation.   Six Components to an Effective Exercise Program.

PART SEVEN – The Winning Formula for Fat Loss, Vibrant Health and Longevity!  

Knowledge  Accountability  Courage  Discipline  Motivation

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