Cover of Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton who’s well known and documented love of things fried and fatty (no offense intended Monica) had literally turned over a new “leaf”.
Mr. Clinton in an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta says that he has eliminated eggs, dairy and meat from his diet and now ” I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat”
Since leaving the White house the president has lost more than 20 pounds but unbeknownst to him at first his health issues were more serious than just being over weight. He was genetically predisposed to heart disease and his old ways of eating what ever he wanted was about to kill him.
Less than 4 years after leaving office he complained about tightness in his chest and had to undergo quadruple bypass surgery to restore blood flow to his heart. In 2010 he had another operation to install 2 stents.
Since then the ex-president has been working with Dr. Dean Ornish, who had created a diet and lifestyle that he claims can actually reverse heart disease.
Dr Ornish is well known in the medical community because prior to his findings it was thought impossible to reverse heart disease without doing a medical procedure.
Says Mr. Clinton, “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy,”
From omnivore to vegan: The dietary education of Bill Clinton – CNN.com.
First let me be straight with you. This is NOT about losing 10 pounds over the next week or 30 days. As the title suggest it’s more of a simple approach that if done honestly WILL guarantee that you lose 20 pounds or more over the next year. Sure your results could come quicker if you simply tweeked the program a little but my intent is to make it as easy and “do-able” as possible.
Before we get into the details I’ll take a moment to share with you the over all picture so you can see what we’re up against and why making just a few simple changes in your every day living can add up to major weight loss over time.
What is “fat” anyway?
We all know that body weight or more specifically “fat” is the result of consuming more calories over time than you are able to “burn off”. One pound of body fat contains 3500 calories of energy. This is the body’s natural way of storing energy for future use. Of course in man’s early history when he spent a great deal of his time hunting, foraging and later working the land this stored energy or calories were constantly expended during the normal course of his day. Even in today’s world some people in really manually intensive occupations such as construction may burn as much as 500 calories in a single hour!
20 pounds = 70,000 Calories!
Okay so given that one pound of fat is 3500 calories 20 pounds would add up to 70,ooo calories! So even our aforementioned construction worker would have to work an extra 140 hours to lose 20 pounds without dieting. Seems like a lot right? But if he were to spread out this 140 hours over a years time it would be about 20 extra minutes a day!
Well believe it or not the same holds true for you. You see the key is the extra calories that we either burn or consume that really make all the difference. What’s “extra” for you of course isn’t the same as whats “extra” for the construction worker. He may use up 5000 calories a day on the job so any calories burned above 5000 would contribute to weight loss and anything consumed over 5000 calories would contribute to weight gain. Simple isn’t it.
The key is finding out how many calories YOU burn in the normal course of your day and how many you CONSUME. If you’re currently consuming more than your body needs to perform it’s daily duties than your next order of business is to either cut back and consume less or find ways to increase your expenditure or whats called your Basil Metabolic Rate.
Part 2 – Determining Your Basil Metabolic Rate
Image via Wikipedia
Understanding the role of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates come in three different types, simple, complex and dietary fiber. The last of these, dietary fiber releases very little energy to the body when digested so for this article we will limit the discussion to simple and complex carbs.
Simple carbs are made up of either one or two units of sugar. These are found in fruits, milk and table sugar. They can also be found in may processed foods like cakes and candy. Of course the carbs found in most processed foods come along with a lot of calories.
Complex carbs have more than 2 units of sugar. These are found in vegetables and starches like pasta, potatoes and rice.
How the body uses carbs.
Carbohydrates are converted to energy for the body. This is done in the mitochondria. Simple carbs convert faster and can give you a quick burst of energy for exercise while the complex carbs take longer to digest and turn to energy.
Following this line of thought it would stand to reason that eating plain table sugar or candy right before working out would be beneficial to physical performance . While it would boost your energy level candy and sugar also pulls water from body tissues into the intestines thus speeding dehydration which can lead to nausea. That’s where the sports drinks can play a big role in your workouts. Many of them are sweetened to give you the needed sugars and also contain sodium chloride to replace the salt your body loses while sweating.
Admittedly consuming too many carbs and not working them off will be stored as fat. A proper diet that gets 45 – 65 percent of it’s calorie from carbohydrates should work well for people that have a regular workout routine.
High Fiber intake reduces death risk by 23 percent.
A scientific analysis of a nine year study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP has found a meaningful link between high fiber intake and longevity.
The analysis studied the results of over 400,000 people over fifty. The participants between 50 and 71 years old had fiber intake that ranged from 12.6 to 29.4 grams per day in men and from 10.8 to 25.8 grams per day in women.
The average dietary fiber for most Americans is about 12 grams a day, current US dietary guidelines recommend 28 grams for the average person eating a 2,000 calorie a day diet. This would suggest that the people in this study of people over 50 with the highest fiber intake are simply in line with the recommendations. The study excluded people with extremely high fiber intake.
Men with the highest fiber intakes had a 23% reduction in the risk of dying while women experienced a 10% reduction when compared to those eating the least amount of fiber.
It’s important to point out that the greatest benefits came from particular sources of fiber, whole grains and beans. While vegetable fiber had a small impact on longevity fruits showed no effect at all.
Fiber is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Most researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory effects of eating more fiber is possibly part of the reason for lower numbers in cardiovascular, respiratory, and infectious disease death.