Festival Figure

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Already in October the Christmas shows in the stores were set up to entice you to buy all the ornaments to decorate your home and business. Decorations and figures of a fat, red Santa are available, promising to put anyone in the Holiday Spirits. Medically, when I take a look at the store Santa figure, with his large rotund belly and red face that sports a bulbous nose I see many signs of heart attack candidate. Not that Santa Claus could have heart problems, not allowed.

As cute as round Santa seems to be, most people want to enter the Holiday Season looking fit and trim. In the next two months many people, especially women, are going to pay good money to join commercial weight loss programs in hopes of dropping a size or two. Unfortunately, people tend to regain the weight they lost following a program because once it’s finished, they return to their normal eating habits. Furthermore, the body is always trying to fend off what it perceives to be starvation, and losing weight triggers hormone changes that make it difficult to keep shedding pounds.
In the last eleven years in our grass- roots clinic we have seen all kinds of lose weight schemes. This year I have listed all the erroneous beliefs that I have heard from our patients.
1. “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days.” Any commercial weight loss programs or any other gimmick that pledges massive weight loss quickly is certainly not healthy, and not true. Permanent weight loss requires lifestyle change, not a quick fix. Loosing weight very fast usually means dehydrating your body and loosing muscle.

2. Lose weight by not eating. Without question the worse way to try to loose weight. Starving deprives the body of the nutrients it needs for life and can lead to serious illness. Plus you lose muscle mass, not fat. Even if you do lose pounds, you gain them back almost immediately when you start eating again.

3. Carbohydrates are bad for you. First it was fat, now carbohydrates are the bad guy. Insulin, stimulated by the excess simple carbohydrates in our overabundant consumption of grains, starches and sweets, together with sedentary lifestyles is responsible for all those bulging stomachs, fat thighs and chins. However there are healthy complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, whole brown rice and quinoa, which provide vital vitamins, and fiber to aid digestion.

4. Fat is bad for you. Your brain is eighty percent fat; not fat you want to loose. Some fats like trans-fats found in processed foods and sweets are unhealthy, but many called essential fatty acids are good and necessary for your health. Your body is not going to be able to make your hormones without these fats.

5. Drinking Diet sodas help you loose weight. There’s not one study that shows diet sodas help you lose weight. Meanwhile while you are drinking your liquid candy you are consuming chemicals that have shown to cause cancer.

6. Salad bars are healthy. Lunch meats with chemical salts, cheeses, oily dressings are not healthy choices. You have to choose foods at a salad bar wisely to loose weight. Meanwhile, “Iceberg” lettuce has absolutely no nutritional value.

7. Don’t eat after 6 p.m. Europeans eat at 10 o’clock at night and they’re half the size of Americans and Arubans. It is not what time you eat, it’s what you eat and staying active for at least three hours after you ezat. The worse eating habit here in Aruba after a night of drinking is to eat a late snack at a food truck and then home to bed.

8. Check your weight on a scale daily to check your progress. Checking your weight on a regular basis is an obvious way to gauge your progress and alter your diet accordingly; however, that scale tells you very little. I encourage patients to keep track of hip, thigh and stomach tummy centimeters and dress sizes that are much more enlightening.

9. To lose weight take a pill or have an operation to have your stomach made smaller. Wow, your insurance company may even pay some of these. You cannot replace healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle choices with a pill or operation. Drugs are not new, they have been tried for many years and both drugs and operations can be dangerous and have horrible side effects. A better choice includes natural dietary supplements which can safely balance nutritional deficiencies, aid in managing unhealthy eating, support restful sleep and increase energy.

10. You have to join the gym. Actually, 30 to 60 minutes per day of moderate physical activity is all it takes to balance healthy food intake. It does not have to be strenuous exercise, just move your body by gardening, walking, swimming, SCUBA diving, flying, dancing or having sex; just get of the couch.

Get The Point! Worldwide, more and more people are overweight, and an alarming number are clinically obese. In countries addicted to convenient processed foods this obesity is no coincidence. It is not the fat in the foods we eat but, far more, the excess simple carbohydrates from our starch and sugar loaded diets. These nutritionally deficient diets not only contribute to increased weight but lead to a whole host of health problems. Want to enter the Holiday Season being fit and trim? That belly might look cute on Santa, but on you it is a major health risk. Call to make an appointment for a professional, safe, sensible weight loss program.q

CARLOS VIANA, Ph. D. is an Oriental Medical Doctor (O.M.D.) having studied in China; a US Board Cert. Clinical Nutritionist (C.C.N.), an Addiction Professional (C.Ad.), Chairperson of the Latin American Committee of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a Rejuvenating Cell Therapist specializing in Age Management, has a weekly radio program, writes and lectures extensively. For information: VIANA HEALING CENTER, Kibaima 7, St Cruz TEL: 585-1270 Web Site: www.vianaheal.com

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