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January 14 , 2005

Uncle Sam's Fat Loss Plan

US Gov. 2005 Dietary Guidelines Report

Not exactly a revelation. Nor is it a change in the tune health experts have been properly whistling for decades. So what's new in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005?

Highlights from key 41 recommendations:

  • To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.
  • To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.
  • To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a healthcare provider before participating in this level of activity.
  • Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
  • Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

If some of these recommendations don't seem new to you, that's because they aren't. These are excellent recommendations though. The fact that they continue to be issued with greater emphasis on exercise and veggie and whole grain intake testifies that in fact there is not a disagreement amongst legitmate experts on how to eat and exercise healthily.

The divergence in diet and exercise advice that we witness in slick product adds and from "personal trainers" comes only from opportunists trying to sell you something that disagrees with this standard advice. Opportunists courting your desire to eat more and exercise less - and still be lean and healthy. That's right, 20 minutes on an 'XFlex' machine will not and cannot make you lean and healthy.

I don't look at the 2005 guideline's as mundane or old news at all; I see them as an ever-present confirmation of what eating and exercising healthily really entail.

What is new? The emphasis placed on the recommendations. Finally exercise recommendations are more realistic, stating that in fact 60 to 90 minutes of dedicated daily exercise above and beyond normal daily activity is needed for effective fat loss and fitness gains and health maintenance. The old recommendation for 30 minutes of daily exercise has been properly relegated to the minimal amount required to reduce risk of some disease. 30 minutes of exercise is not enough for effective fat loss or fitness. - Of course Rhino Fitness has been saying this for over 15 years..

There will still be many people making the irrelevant argument that they don't have time to do this much exercise (60 to 90 minutes daily). This lame excuse really sticks in my craw. What needs to be understood is that we are what we are; our cells respond to a degree of exercise intensity and a certain duration of exercise; our personal schedules have zero influence on changing how our cells respond to exercise.

Like it or hate it, we need about an hour of exercise just about every day, as the research behind these 2005 recommendations proves. Exercise isn't a product that we have consumer power over. We can't call customer service and demand to have our exercise requirements fit our schedule. We can't threaten the manufacturer that we will switch brands if our customer service demands aren't met. But this is exactly how many people treat not only exercise needs, but dietary needs as well.

If I only had a nickel for every time a person has emphatically told me, "There is no way I have time for this. No one has time for this! Less is just going to have to do!", speaking as though they are the CEO making company policy statements.

News flash - You're not the boss. Your diet and exercise needs are coded into your DNA, and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it. We need a certain quantity of vitamins, minerals, and calories to run our machinery, and a certain amount of exercise to stimulate our cells to respond in the most effective way to keep our body fat reasonable, and to keep us fit.

So now that we know this, what next? Do we dig in our heals and treat healthy living as a burden; "healthy living interferes with my sedentary lifestyle". Or do we turn it around, "I sure was wasting my time believing potato chips and giant steaks were everyone's life ambition, it's time to escape those habits and get real".

Get Real

How long is the population prepared to live in the contrived benefit system? How can we let our selves believe that over eating and eating crappy food is a reward? Good gracious we're dying for gods sake. Children now have high blood pressure because they are overweight - kids!

Over half the population is unhealthily overweight from eating too much and not exercising enough - and this is killing people. I guess that fat laden cake and the 10 oz steak really are "to die for".

A 10 oz top sirloin steak broiled to "perfection" has 728 calories, 76 g of protein, and 44.5 g of fat. Is your mouth watering? Can't wait to eat 200% more protein than your body can absorb at one time? How about consuming 90% of your fat intake in one sitting? No wait, that's not right. More than the steak alone would be consumed. A typical meal with a 10 oz steak will have more than 100% of your fat intake for the whole day in one seating, and close to 2000 calories total.

It's almost like we're living out a science fiction movie where the population is brainwashed into believing living unhealthily is a reward; all part of a diabolical alien plot to rid the earth of humans and take over the planet. How can we actually sit back and say, "Ahh, this is the life, overweight, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea… With any luck I'll be up for coronary bypass surgery soon. If I play my cards right I'll die before I'm 60." If that sounds ridiculous, then perhaps we can begin to see how the actions that cause these health problems must be ridiculous as well, and must be avoided.

Lets take these 2005 diet and exercise recommendations to heart, literally.

No goofy diet, no quick fix exercise program. Eat healthy everyday, and make exercise a healthy rewarding part of your life. Many are summarizing the Dietary Guidelines report with the now ubiquitous healthy living catch phrase;

"eat less, exercise more".

It really is that simple.

Go here for more info on the 2005 US Dietary Guidelines report

- Cris LaBossiere

2003-2005 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness

Copyright 2004 Rhino Fitness. All rights reserved.
For more information contact: clabossiere@rhinofitness.ca