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How To Find The Perfect Diet

What is the perfect diet for you?

woman in bikini top measuring waist and eating an apple
  • First, take a moment to think about what "diet" really means.
  • The word diet comes from Greek, where it meant "way of life."
  • That's very different from the way we look at "diets" these days.
  • Now when we say diet we think of starving ourselves on cardboard food and thinking constantly about getting something good to eat.
  • So, is there something better? Is there a way around the starvation and frustration and failure?

Dieting dread

Now, do you look forward to dieting? No, nobody does. It has connotations of starvation, missed meals, dreadful diet food and misery while everyone else is enjoying themselves.

It means cardboard diet bars and awful weird soups and smelly nasty shakes. And it means being really, really hungry.

Diet has become a bad word. Nobody wants to have to diet. This is especially true if you have very strong emotional ties to eating. And a lot of us do.

"No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means."


On a diet, off a diet

So you are "on a diet" to lose weight, and then "off the diet" when you have -- triumphantly! -- lost the weight. Or you're off the diet when it flopped -- again -- and you've just given up.

This is why I discourage radical "dieting." I have never seen anyone achieve long-term weight loss just through dieting. And this is particularly true with extreme or fad diets.

Most overweight people follow the dieting path exclusively. And it's gotten so bad that many public health experts have given up trying to help others lose weight.

Instead, they try for a "holding action" -- meaning a slight bit of weight loss to try to control blood pressure or diabetes a little. Or worse, they settle for efforts just to avoid further weight gain.

Well, I know differently. You can lose weight. Whatever your current condition. Whatever failures you've had with dieting in the past, you can find the perfect diet that will get you the body you want.

If you're not at your goal weight there is simply something -- something that is within your power -- that you can do to move you closer to your goal.

The power of words and ideas

Words are distilled ideas. A word means something. Words affect us powerfully.

Words affect our emotions. They affect the way we see the world. A cheerful "hello" can brighten our day. Angry words can make the world look bleak.

Words are used for propaganda. When "freedom" is redefined as "security," people rush to give up their rights.

So, what's this got to do with weight loss and the perfect diet? The wrong definition of a word can tie you down as surely as if you were tied with rope. And the correct definition can free you to see things in a new way.

Somewhere along the line the word diet was redefined.

So what is a diet?

The best way to look at the perfect diet is by the original meaning: A diet is a way of life.

Your diet should be your "way of life." That doesn't mean starving yourself to lose weight. It doesn't mean giving up everything you like.

It means eating the foods you like. It means eating enough to make you lean and strong and healthy. Eating enough. Not eating so little that you become physically weak and feel starved.

That is a "diet" that will take off weight, keep weight off, and that you can enjoy now and for the rest of your life.

That is the perfect diet for you -- where your "diet" is really your "way of life."

"Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don't realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from all this high-fat eating."

Jack LaLanne

Food as fuel

You need carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates are natures energy food. Your body uses carbohydrates when you walk or run or lift up a baby.

But you don't need excessive sweets like candy and Coke. Sugary drinks and excessively sweetened treats give the illusion of energy, but in reality they sap your strength. They're not part of the perfect diet.

If you have trouble with energy, or just don't feel like getting out and exercising, you'll need to shift your carbohydrates to healthier sources. This is something a lot of us just don't realize: When you eat higher quality food you get more energy. It's like putting jet fuel in your tank.

Complex carbohydrates and health

This means complex carbohydrates -- like oatmeal with your eggs for breakfast, and garbanzo or kidney beans with your salad. And heap on the fibrous vegetables like string beans and asparagus as well.

This is particularly true if you tend to have high cholesterol or heart disease in the family. Your genes may be working against you to some degree, so you'll want to adjust your diet toward complex carbohydrates to give your body what it needs to be healthy.

Add to your diet

If you are having trouble with your weight you should start by figuring out what to add to your diet. Not by figuring out what to take away. Why?

Because you may be overweight -- storing excess calories that your body does not need for energy -- but you still may be deficient in nutrients.

And if you're deficient in nutrients you will tend to be hungry and get cravings. How do you get deficient? It starts by eating foods that are overly refined.

If you eat sugary doughnuts for breakfast, greasy drive-through hamburgers for lunch, and then packaged foods for dinner, you will not be getting the nutrients your body needs.

This will lead to feeling tired, hungry, excessive snacking before bed, and multiple health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Food cravings mean you are deficient in nutrients.

Health issues and your diet

For example, high blood pressure often is a cry for help. Your body is struggling to maintain itself. But it can't do it with what you are feeding it.

Instead of pills you might just need more magnesium. Magnesium is found in greens like spinach, in beans and peas, and in whole grains.

Many chronic problems, like adult onset diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even painful conditions like back pain and fibromyalgia begin with an inadequate diet.

So take a look at what you are eating. If it isn't fresh -- if it doesn't look like it did when it came out of the ground -- if your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food -- then it probably isn't food. At least not the food that is going to get you the body you want.

Skipping to lose weight

There's a joke: You can skip to lose weight. Skip the desserts... skip the snacks... skip the beer...

Or actually skip, like skipping rope. Or running. Jogging. Biking. Walking. Working in the yard. Something to get your body moving.

How in the world could you possibly be healthy without some movement in your body? You can't. "Exercise is just not for me," is just an excuse. These bodies were made to be used. Activity is part life. You've got a body. So use it.

It takes too long to lose weight

Weight loss too slow? It's taking you months, and you want it off today?

Well, think about it. It took you a lifetime to put it all on. How about giving it the time it takes to do it right? Successful weight loss is not dramatic. It's not five pounds a week or thirty pounds in a month. Do that and you are just fighting your body. And your body will fight back. You'll stay overweight.

Work with your body. Ease into your ideal weight. Adopt the food intake and activity and all the other things that you would do at your ideal weight.

Do these things now. Adopt the nutrition and activity that you would have at your best weight. And then just maintain that.

You don't need to anything drastic.

And what will happen? You'll lose weight -- smoothly and gradually and in the easiest way possible. And then when you hit your ideal weight you don't have to change a thing. You'll already be there.

"The future has several names. For the weak, it is the impossible. For the fainthearted, it is the unknown. For the thoughtful and valiant, it is the ideal."

Victor Hugo

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

Most popular pages:

These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

You can always reach us:

  • 28960 US Highway 19 North, Suite 115
  • Clearwater, FL 33761
  • (727) 771-8282

  • Or to use our contact form click here.

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