Monday, November 16, 2009

As if people need another excuse

I read this article in the NY Times that appears to be saying that people are fat, excuse me overweight or whatever the politically correct term of the day is, not because of poor diet and lack of exercise but due to their DNA and their brain. The article almost seems to suggest that the attempt to get Americans to slim down is futile. What a load of crap!! Learn what to eat, how much of it to eat, and get a lot of exercise. There is no magic formula to weight loss and fitness just hard work. When I say hard work I am saying exercise but even more importantly diet. This is hard work too and there are no tricks to it. You are not going to find a cookie, or brownie, or ice cream diet that will work in the long run and just cutting calories is likely to fail as well because your body will go into starvation mode and try to conserve energy. As anyone who has done a really intense workout program will tell you if you are working hard enough you will be able to eat a lot of food and still lose weight.

The article says at one point "First, the federal government told Americans to exercise for half an hour a day. Then, dietary guidelines issued in 2005 changed the advice, recommending 60 to 90 minutes of moderate exercise a day. There was an uproar; many said the goal was unrealistic for Americans. But for many scientists, the more pertinent question was whether such an exercise program would really help people lose weight." Well if you are not willing to put the work into losing the weight then you are not going to lose the weight. We were not designed to sit in front of a computer all day and then come home and sit in front of the TV and when we do we get fat. We evolved as hunter gatherers who did a large amount of "exercising" every single day, much more that 60-90 minutes most likely. As far as will this exercise do the trick, not if you keep eating the crap you always do. You can't just go to McDonald's every day and workout and expect that you are going to lose weight. If it wasn't once alive or you can't pronounce any of the ingredients on the package you probably should not eat it more than once a month or so. Better yet, real food does not need an ingredients list.

They then go on to say "Scientists now believe that each individual has a genetically determined weight range spanning perhaps 30 pounds. Those who force their weight below nature’s preassigned levels become hungrier and eat more; several studies also show that their metabolisms slow in a variety of ways as the body tries to conserve energy and regain weight. People trying to exceed their weight range face the opposite situation: eating becomes unappealing, and their metabolisms shift into high gear." Give me a break! By this logic all the morbidly obese people out there must be genetically designed to be at that weight, I think not. If they weren't then as stated their food would become unappealing and they would simply lose weight with no effort so it must be correct. How convenient that is for the person that wants an excuse to not get up off their fat lazy ass and work hard at their diet and exercise. I will again go back to our evolution as hunter gatherers, if you were that overweight in that environment you are very unlikely to last very long. Toady we don't have to worry much about predators but in the past that was not the case and if you were too fat to run away you would not last too long.

Finally, it is suggested that "According to several animal studies, conditions during pregnancy, including the mother’s diet, may determine how fat the offspring are as adults. Human studies have shown that women who eat little in pregnancy, surprisingly, more often have children who grow into fat adults. More than a dozen studies have found that children are more likely to be fat if their mothers smoke during pregnancy." Really, is this so surprising as suggested. Is it not reasonable to think that a woman who eats little or smokes during pregnancy may be more likely than others to not have as much concern for her overall health and perhaps she does not teach her children proper eating habits over the course of their childhood. I am not saying this is the case or that eating little during pregnancy or smoking during pregnancy makes you a bad mother but I am saying that there is no cause and effect relationship that one can draw from the results of a study like this. There could just as easily be some totally unrelated or maybe related factor or factors involved. This is another case of giving people a way to deny personal responsibility. No matter what your parents or society does you are always still free to make your own choices so don't blame your weight or any of your other problems for that matter on someone else. Step up and take some personal responsibility and work hard. Unfortunately too many people want an easy fix, a pill, that will just make all their problems go away.

I know some people might take offense at some of what I have to say here. I suspect most people reading a P90X blog will be OK with it but who knows. This is largely my opinion but is based on my personal experience with gaining weight as well as my observations of others and the large amount of reading I have done over the past year trying to figure out how to lose weight. If it offends you then perhaps you are one of the people I am talking about and maybe you should think about what I am saying.

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