Our modern culture bombards us with a plethora of factors that contribute to excess weight. There are a number of theories for why so many people are overweight, but when you start to have entire populations tipping the scales toward obesity, it does suggest that something is fundamentally wrong.
Among the theories that are, in my opinion, most plausible are the following:
The modern-day diet: It encourages eating big portions of high-fructose corn syrup, refined grains, processed foods and artificial sweeteners, a perfect recipe for weight gain.
Sedentary lifestyles: Generations ago people had no choice but to exercise; they did it for their very livelihoods or at least to get from one place to another. Today, many people sit behind a desk for most of the day then get in their cars to drive home. Leisure time involves more sitting, either in front of the TV, computer or video game system.
Stress and negative emotions: It is very easy to get caught up in using food as a security blanket, a distraction from boredom, or a way to cope with stress -- and once you get used to using food to feel better, it's hard to break your routine.
Exposure to environmental pollutants: Exposure to low levels of pesticides, dyes, flavorings, perfumes, plastics, resins, and solvents may make you put on weight.
The make-up of bacteria in your gut: This is related to your diet, but if you eat a lot of sugar and grains, it can negatively influence your bacteria in your gut and contribute to obesity.
Lack of sleep: This disrupts vital hormones and proteins in your body, which may also increase your risk of obesity.
Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss
Nordine Zouareg is a former Mr. Europe, Mr. World and Mr. Universe, and was a the fitness director at Miraval, the number one rated spa in the US, from until 2005. He is currently working as their Professional Fitness Coach. Zouareg has written Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss Is All in Your Head.You can also check his website www.nordinez.com and his Online Wellness Center at www.EcorporateWellness.com.
It is very clear that losing weight is not an easy process. If it were, two-thirds of the U.S. would not be overweight. That is why a comprehensive strategy that actively engages your emotional elements is so important. Nordine's mind-body centered medicine approach, as detailed in his book Mind Over Body, is a solid strategy to achieving success in your weight loss efforts.
The Amazing Power of Intention
People spend most of their time thinking about what they don't want and then wondering why it keeps showing up over and over again in their lives.
Unfortunately most people remain in this vicious cycle because they haven't done the hard work of exploring how they got there. Mind Over Body examines the powerful connections between what we believe and what we become, with a chapter called "Identify Your Core Desire." Nordine helps you understand the most serious crisis in your life, and to identify the deep roots of the foundational causes that have led to your weight loss challenges.
Nordine understands that simply wanting to be thin is not sufficient to achieve weight loss success, so he spends much time on the use and power of intention, positive talk and affirmations, which allow you to connect to your higher power and self. He provides 100 specific affirmations you can use to help achieve your weight loss goals.
These affirmations are particularly valuable if you incorporate them with a self EFT program, which will only increase the effectiveness of the excellent recommendations in this book.
Once you identify your core desire, and your beliefs as to why you are overweight, he helps you develop an action plan designed to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Nutritional Recommendations Can Be Improved
If you have been reading my site you will know most of the foods you need to eat. But knowing the right foods is nowhere as crucial as addressing your underlying emotional factors, and implementing the right exercise program.
Nordine devotes a lengthy chapter to the 40/40/20 fat loss plan, which will help many people, but I believe food choices can be significantly improved by understanding your nutritional type and customizing the ratios of protein, fats, and carbs based upon your specific genetics and biochemistry.
For example, some individuals will rapidly lose weight on a low carb diet while others will actually gain weight. I am firmly convinced that a universal diet recommendation simply doesn't exist. Fortunately, this is not a major issue as the details of nutritional typing are easily obtained from a variety of resources including my web site.
Exercise is the Key
I am a major fan of exercise and have been actively exercising for over 40 years. I have been documenting the benefits of exercise for the last ten years. More recently it has become very clear that one of the most effective ways to lose weight is not simple cardio aerobic exercise, but a more comprehensive strength training program that can be done in an interval-type fashion to achieve anaerobic muscle metabolism.
An important principle Nordine advocates is that when you combine strength and cardio training, your strength training should always precede your cardio workout. Avoid doing it afterwards. This is because to achieve maximum results with your strength training program, you need to have your greatest strength and energy available to do your workout.
Nordine explains that strength training is especially important as you age because people typically lose up to 50 percent of their muscle mass between 20 and 90 years of age. Your body will typically replace lean body mass with fat. The way to prevent this is to incorporate an active strength training program into your exercise regimen.
Mind Over Body also provides a comprehensive set of instructions so you can safely start your exercise program. It also includes 50 pages of simple, yet effective, strength training exercises that are demonstrated with clear photographs so you can easily incorporate them.
Nordine preaches that the quantity of exercise is not as important as the quality. Spending more time working out is not necessarily better. The key is to do the right routine with the proper amount of focus and intensity.
If you have been unable to achieve your ideal weight goals, then I would strongly recommend you pick up a copy of Nordine's Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss Is All in Your Head to help you achieve your ideal body weight and develop a strong body.
What many people fail to understand about having an ideal weight, is that the cosmetic benefits of looking good pale in comparison to the health benefits. Having a strong and flexible body will help you prevent many of the chronic degenerative diseases that plague our culture.