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Diet and Exercise by JayHew

Today diet and exercise are being bantered about because of statistics showing greater numbers in society, including children are becoming obese. All manner of reasons are given for the phenomena, but these are not the issue to be discussed here, we are just pointing out the need for proper diet and exercise for a healthy life style.

The following information is general in nature , but gives enough guidelines that if followed will help individuals maintain a healthy body. It must be pointed out though; no one or two things done in life are absolute guarantees that you will have perfect health, as there are a number of factors that decide that overall, but it will help reduce the risks of disease.


Contrary to popular beliefs, "diets" for weight reduction overall do not work! The main reason for this is we change our eating habits while on the diet, but as soon as we achieve our goal, we drop the diet and return to our old eating habits, and regain the weight lost and may even pack a few more pounds on.

The main impact on our diet is our attitude and what we were taught or experienced at a younger age. We all need to adopt the adage "We eat to live" not "We live to eat". Unfortunately those likes and dislikes established while an infant and toddler pretty much are a part of our "imprint" and may never change, but we have logic and intellect to re-establish eating patterns and likes and dislikes and it will just require reminders throughout life to keep the "imprint" from taking over once again.

The next impact is the quality of foods we eat most often. Refined flour, sugar and fats seem to be the bane of our modern society as these are quickly converted to fat and stored in the body unless there is a near immediate demand for fuel (long distance run or demanding athletic competition). The majority of convenience foods, fast foods and even some "staples" on the store shelves are loaded with refined flour, sugars and fats.

So how do we deal with all these things concerning diet and make a life change of value to ourselves regarding it? Below are discussed methods of making changes in our attitude, selections and manner of eating. Keep in mind in establishing new habits it requires conscious effort for a period of time (minimum of two weeks) but if it can be kept with for up to three months, a new habit regarding things can be well established. Also remember, those things imprinted upon us within the first two years of life will always be there and if some tastes run to the sugars or fats, you have to have reminders established and review now and again with your new habits to keep from slipping back to the "imprint".

Attitude Towards Diet

How we use food in our daily life can affect our overall health and appearance . In many instances, food is use as a "comfort" item or soothing balm to our ego when things are rough, difficult or threatening.

Along with the idea of food being something of comfort is the consistency of the food. Most comforting are the soft, chewy, fatty or high caloric foods because when ingested causes a release of brain chemicals that bring about calming and feel good sensations. Removing food as a means of comfort, finding something else to reward you for various deeds or accomplishments will be key in changing attitude s towards food. Do not eat when bored, upset, tired or just because.

Portion Control

What works best is not so much a diet per se, but allow for eating of whatever foods are available or capture your fancy at a particular time. The catch is to control the portions of what you have. Example: If eating at a party, instead of using a dinner plate to place your food, use a salad plate.

After eating, before attempting to go back for seconds, wait at least twenty minutes, as it takes the brain a while to send the signals to the body that hunger is no longer a problem. Do not eat if you do not feel hungry.

Eat to Control Diet and Lose Weight

First thing to remember in your diet adjustment is do not starve. To do so sets the body up to store fats whenever eating takes place. To keep the body from thinking it is in a starvation mode may require eating up to six times a day. The meals are very small and spaced through out the day. As long as the body feels "safe" in regard to nutrition weight loss can be achieved. Eat when truly hungry, do not starve but instead of eating the chocolate cookies, try an apple or pear.


Moderate exercise is encouraged for everyone. Okay, that is said a lot and then promptly dropped. What is moderate exercise? That question has for years been left to the exercise junkies and others with a bit of what I call a twisted sense of what is good for us overall. Moderate exercise is a sustained movement of the body over a period of time ave raging 30 to 60 minutes a day.

What does it consist of? Just about anything that keeps the body moving. Gardening is mode rate exercise believe it or not. The idea is to demonstrate that "exercise" does not mean training as a gold medal seeking Olympic Champion, which many years ago was pushed and encouraged.

Exercise can take many forms from weight lifting to triathlon endeavors. The idea is to do what you can enjoy and to start out slowly and work into it gradually. Most of us didn’t get out of shape overnight, why is it we expect to get back into shape overnight? Pushing too hard sets up your system for failure. If we don’t look forward to something, eventually we will give it up. If we establish a work out routine that we can enjoy, eventually we look forward to it and the chances increase it become s a permanent thing in our daily life.

Some examples of good exercise:

  1. Walking – start out at a level you can be comfortable with or feel limited to, it could be 10 minutes a day, fine, just do it. Work gradually up to an hour a day if you can. Walk fast enough to make yourself slightly out of breath but you can still carry on a conversation with someone or sing a song. Sustain that pace for the time needed.
  2. Swimming – doing laps at a pool or just swimming in a lake for an hour or so, having to tread water over the time.

It does not require a lot of expense or equipment required to have a good exercise program. Most often it requires an attitude and a pair of cross trainers shoes. The most important thing is to do it and be consistent. On those days you do not feel like working out, do it anyway but with the attitude you will take it easy (many times these particular days turn out to be your best work out days). Just listen to your body and don’t push it too hard. Exercise your body according to the level it can handle with out being battered and above all, exercise your body and not your macho.


Originally published in Full Spectrum 1.0

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