obesity-993126_1920.jpgDoes your belt need a new hole or two? Has that spare tire made it hard to see your toes? If so, there’s a good chance you’re among the 60 percent of Canadian now considered overweight.

You may have attempted a diet or two in the past – any diet – and tried your luck at the game of losing weight. But if you’re like most people, permanent weight loss has eluded you.

Most diets are simply too restrictive and unhealthy to be of any long term benefit to the body. They may have short-term results, but in the long run, the weight comes back in spades. Many nutritionists now promote the only regimen proven to work 100 percent of the time. Hold your breath, because here it is….wholesome food and exercise.

If this sounds too simple, it’s because we’ve strayed too far into self-delusion. There’s simply no magical answer for our weight problems. We’ve been blinded by misleading advertising, dishonest authors, unhealthy pills and wacky gadgets.

Just 60 minutes of daily exercise; a small portion of our overall weekly time, is associated with substantial reductions in body weight. Couple this with a wholesome diet and you provide the elements needed to win the battle. Here are some guiding principles to consider for good health and a leaner body:

  1. Eat a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, nutritious grains like whole brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat, dairy, grass fed beef chicken and eggs, legumes, seeds and nuts. Organic or naturally raised are best, as they’re richest in nutrients.
  2. Stay hydrated.  Water helps to burn fat and speed up your metabolism. Pop, or other sugary drinks with their inherent high sugar content, are extremely unhealthy.
  3. Change your oils. Monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fats found in cold water fish, avocados, raw nuts, seeds and olive oil dramatically improve health.
  4. Avoid refined and simple sugars, and high glycemic load foods including sugary drinks, white flour, or white rice.
  5. Avoid canned, boxed, fried and junk foods which are loaded with chemicals, starches and unhealthy fats. Even those with low fat claims should be avoided, as they lack the enzymes, nutrients and co-factors necessary for long-term good health.
  6. Don’t supplement a poor diet to make it healthy. Wholesome foods cause specific hormonal responses which are healing to the body. Whole food supplements (made from concentrated whole foods) should be used to augment an already healthy diet.
  7. Exercise for health and weight loss. Include resistance training, functional exercises, core training and stimulating cardio in your program.

We can continue to debate the merits of different diets, but until we start abstaining from unhealthy foods and stop living sedentary lifestyles, we’re going to increase in national girth.

Losing weight in the long run requires sensible changes, not restrictive fads. Not only is this a healthier, more energetic way to live, but it’s an investment in yourself.