Just about the entire U.S. population is either obsessed with their weight (or should be?) Hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake with tens of new diets a year, all of them claiming to work the magic of dropping pounds easily and with as little effort as possible. Here are a few of the fundamental principles that I subscribe to:
1. If a diet doesn't result in a life-long change in eating habits, it's not going to help you weight-wise in the long term. A diet doesn't fix a weight problem, a lifestyle change for healthier living does.
2. Discover what works with or for your metabolism. Individuals are unique. Different food combinations work with different types. There is no such thing as one size fits all. Also, mixing up the combinations (e.g. more carbohydrate, less protein and vice versa on another day) tends to stir up the metabolic pathways so everything doesn't settle in the hips, belly or thighs.
3. We each have a narrow food list window that is all OURS. It's usually comprised of about 20 foods. If you're unhappy with your weight, it's likely due to the wrong 20 foods for your type. Also, food sensitivities/allergies are common culprits that cause weight gain. Chances are HIGH that you are allergic to the foods you eat the most of, or for which you have the strongest cravings. Can't tell you the number of people with wheat allergies who have pounds fall off just by not eating wheat.
4. Exercise. Sad to say but plateaus are a way of life and while changing one's food intake can drop some pounds it won't do it all. Exercise is needed -- be it 20 minutes of walking or something more strenuous, like Dr. Sears' PACE program.
5. Water. Some silly "doctor" awhile back tried to float the notion that water wasn't necessary for health and that you were wasting your time to drink it. That's a hoot. A human body is 80% water and thrives on an exchange of those fluids. The movement of water into and out of the body is one of the principle ways the body flushes toxins and keeps you from going stagnant and turning into a walking cesspool. So drink up! 6-10 glasses a day, or a third of your body weight in fluid ounces every day.
6. I'm a subscriber to the Ori Hofmekler way of thinking when it comes to the timing of food intake. It's a radically different program than most of the diet programs out there. Basically it reserves dinner (evening) for the largest meal of the day with a carefully planned nutritionally dense light (almost fasting) way of eating during the day. You can search for his books: The Warrior Diet and The Anti-Estrogenic Diet if you want greater details.
7. Elimination of sugar from the planet would single-handedly be the best help to the health of the human race. It would stop the diabetes epidemic. It would massively help weight management. It would reduce cancer. It would reduce infections and illness. Nobody needs it -- period. The fact that so many think they'll die without it is a testimony to the effectiveness of the food manufacturers brainwashing, advertising, and stupid recipes; and a human body's propensity for addiction.