Weight management control is possible when two key rules are consistently applied. Unfortunately, these two rules for weight management control are broken the most.
The result is that over the last 10 years the corn belt of the Midwest has been replaced by the elastic belt of our expanding waistlines. According to the National Center for Health Statistics:
This means that:
Being overweight increases your risk for all the major diseases that cause death and disability. Currently, the health care costs for being overweight and obese have now overtaken the health care costs for smoking. That’s significant. And, just as people struggle to stop smoking so too are people struggling to control their weight.
This article will give you two rules to help you with weight management control. I firmly believe that if you consistently apply these two rules you will stop the weight gain and may even see your weight return to a more normal level.
Rule 1 – Drink Water Not Soda or Other Soft Drinks!
This is the number one rule for having success in weight loss, weight management control, and improving your health. Not to date myself but I remember when I was a kid playing in the suburbs of Chicago. A soda was a treat not an everyday drink. If we were thirsty then we were told to get a glass of water from the tap or use the hose outside the house.
Today, the average American drinks 1.5 cans of soda per day. That represents 230 calories per day. You might be thinking “BIG deal it’s only 230 calories!” Well, it is a “BIG DEAL” as the following example will illustrate.
Let’s say you’ve experienced a 2-pound weight gain over the last 4 weeks. There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat. By using the following formula you can calculate (on average) how many extra calories you are consuming on a daily basis over your caloric expenditure:
# of pounds gained times 3500 divided by 28 days equals # of extra calories per day
2 x 3500 divided by 28 = 250 calories per day
By switching from 1.5 cans of soda, to water which has zero calories you could almost wipe out your extra 250 calories per day. Just this one simple rule applied on a consistent basis would stop your weight gain and provide you with weight management control.
Maybe you’re thinking that you’ll switch to diet soda. While this sounds logical the sad reality is it doesn’t work. There are numerous studies linking weight gain to diet soda consumption so even though you have reduced your caloric intake you haven’t satisfied thirst or hunger. This causes people to overeat.
Additionally, most diet products contain artificial sweeteners, colorings and ingredients which stress your liver. To compensate, your liver needs the water contained in your diet soda to help detoxify your system. This water cannot go to the rest of your body’s cells causing them mild dehydration which lowers your metabolism and energy levels. The result is you burn less calories which makes it easier to gain weight.
Water has zero calories, no cholesterol, no fat, no artificial chemicals and sweeteners, low in sodium and is not acidic. Water will act as a natural appetite suppressant and aid your body in metabolizing stored fat. Water will also provide proper hydration to reduce joint and muscle soreness, decrease back pain, improve energy and muscle tone, and help to eliminate mental confusion and disorientation. In this fast food world of “Super Size Me” portions it’s time to switch from a “Super Sized” soda to a “Super Sized” intake of water.
Rule 2 – No Calorie Consumption Two Hours Before Bedtime!
The second most important rule is not to eat or drink calorie containing items just before bedtime. I recommend a two hour window as a rule of thumb. If you go to bed at 10 pm then 8 pm is your cut off point. Why? Because if you stop consuming calories two hours before bedtime you will force your body to use its stored fat while you sleep. Let me illustrate this rule for weight management control with some numbers.
A typical snack for many people could be a microwave bag of popcorn and a can of soda to wash it down. A 3.5 ounce bag of microwave popcorn is 170 calories. Wash this down with a 12 ounce soda at 150 calories and you have a caloric intake of 320 calories. A 175 lb. individual will expend approximately 70 calories per hour while they sleep. Assuming the national average for sleep, which is 6.5 hours, their caloric expenditure would be 455 calories. Most of their snack calories ended up fueling their caloric sleep needs. And, if they had eaten a large dinner meal then the majority of their snack calories would have been stored as fat instead of being used up during sleep. This is not a good recipe for weight management control.
However, let’s repeat this scenario but with two changes. First, you replace the 12 ounce soda with water. Second, you eat your bag of microwave popcorn at least two hours before bedtime. Total caloric consumption is now 170 calories. The average 175 lb. adult expends 40 calories per hour watching TV in the lying down position. However, if you sit up your caloric expenditure increases to 72 calories per hour!
By watching two hours of TV in a sitting position you would have burned up 144 calories, almost all of your snack. This would allow you to enter your sleep phase with only the calories remaining from your dinner meal. Unless you really overate for dinner, your body will use up all your dinner calories supporting your caloric expenditure during sleep. The result would be no weight gain.
Better yet, if your evening meal was light, then at some point your body would begin using its stored fat as an energy source. This would result in loss of body fat and helping you to lower your weight!
Weren’t Rules Made To Be Broken!?
These two rules for successful long-term weight management control can be broken but not on an everyday basis. If you want to make an exception on a Friday or Saturday night to enjoy time with family and friends, then go for it. Just don’t do it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday! If you overeat on one day, then learn to under eat for the next couple of days.
Once you are at the weight you want to be, these two rules are even more flexible. However, in the beginning, the consistent application of these two rules for weight management control will result in helping you stop the weight gain. They may even reduce your weight to a healthier level. They definitely will have a positive effect on your overall health and wellness.
The choice is yours.
Choose rules 1 & 2 for a healthier life or continue to violate them leading to an increased risk of poor health and potential disease.
Until next time, may we both age youthfully!
P.S. I recommend the following articles to help you understand the keys that will empower you to properly manage your weight, slow your aging, and improve your overall wellness:
The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.