The Natural Way

Friday, March 4, 2005

Jim Fain We are coming out of winter. Mother Nature has given us an automatic way of protecting ourselves during winter and scarce times; we put on extra weight we don't need.

Weight loss and gain are based on many ingrained characteristics. Each of us has a base metabolic rate which is different from anyone else's. Some folks have an engine that constantly revs high while others barely putter along. Our age has to do with fat stores, as does whether we are male or female. The effect of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland can make the difference between being skinny as a rail, or no matter how hard you try, weight just won't come off.

Medicines can cause weight gain. If you reach for a can of Betty Crocker frosting when you get emotionally upset (comfort food), that can make you a two-ton Tessie/Tom, too. To make it all the more frustrating we all have "set points," which the body arrives at and then stubbornly refuses to budge.

Most people aren't overweight, they are overfat. A football player can be overweight even without much fat. A guy needs at least 4 to 6 percent body fat to stay healthy while a woman needs at least 10 to 14 percent. So now we talk about muscle mass. Muscle weighs more than fat. So someone who is well muscled, like the football player, could be overweight according to height/weight/age/gender scales. Body mass indexing is a good way to measure progress while the bathroom scale isn't.

Weight loss is complicated. Your weight shouldn't be based on pictures in magazines or societal pressure, but on your acceptance of yourself and how you want to be.

Bottom line is you have to burn more than you take in. Find a food plan you can get into and stick with, one that won't make you feel deprived. Exercise at least three times a week. Aerobics are best for weight loss. Use supplements in combination such as Hoodia, Rhodiola rosea blended with alpha lipoic acid and chromium picolinate, and trust the many herbals that help with insulin levels.

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