Need to lose weight?


It’s no secret that many of our locals are grossly overweight and need to slim down. It’s not easy to do.

I don’t mean to single out the Chamorro people or other islanders, but if you look around, they are fatter than most others. You rarely see a fat Chinese person, or a Filipino, or even an American (former Attorney General, Edward Buckingham, was an exception).

Being fat wouldn’t be so bad, except that it contributes to a broad spectrum of disease, primarily diabetes, heart disease and (most likely) cancer.

American Samoa takes the prize for the fattest island people, but recent research has shown that people on American Samoa have a “fat gene;” that is, a genetic disposition to becoming obese.

You may remember the wonderful Hawaiian singer, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, who sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” with his ukulele. He was of American Samoan ancestry.

“Throughout his life, Kamakawiwoʻole was morbidly obese and at one point weighed 757 pounds. He endured several hospitalizations because of health problems caused by his weight. Beset with respiratory, heart, and other medical problems, he died at the age of 38 on June 26, 1997.” (Source: WikiPedia).

Although I know of no locals in the “700 club” many are still fat, and this needs to be addressed. It’s a matter of life and death, truly.

Today I will share with you some tips on how to get rid of the excess baggage, and this will not only improve your overall health, but you will feel better. You’ll have more pep too.

I write this because my deep concern for our beautiful islanders; they are killing themselves by the amount they eat and drink.

Much has been written about the benefits of exercise, and it certainly is beneficial. But it’s not the best way to shed the flab.

Eat less
That’s the secret. If you want to start dropping excess weight, eating less is essential.

The notion that each person needs three meals a day is out-dated, especially for people who are overweight. The fat they carry is an excellent source of energy, and will break down if the body can get into “survival mode.”

The best way to accomplish weight loss is to eat only one meal per day, preferably breakfast or lunch. Eat nothing after 6pm (You may drink all the water you like, and have any other sugar-free beverage, such as tea or coffee. Do not drink any “diet” beverages either).

How it works
When you eat food, your body spends the next 3 to 6 hours breaking down the nutrients and then sending them out to the bloodstream. At the 12-hour mark, the body switches into “survival mode” because no more nutrients are available. As a result, the body begins to break down fat for energy, and this is good.

If you can go an entire day—24 hours—without food, your “survival mode” will shift into high gear and the fat will begin to disappear. You won’t die, and you won’t starve, but yes, you will be hungry. When that happens, drink a big glass of water; it will fill you up and it will temporarily block the hunger cravings.

It takes a strong-willed person to do this, but it’s not impossible. I dropped 30 pounds this way, and I have kept it off.

It’s important to state that, this is a permanent change—once you achieve your weight goal. It may take some months, but after you lose all that weight, you can’t go back to your old unhealthy eating habits. Big mistake! No, this new diet is for life: one meal per day, and no snacking at parties.

You might think that eating fresh vegetables, such as celery, carrots, or lettuce is OK. This is incorrect, because it starts the cycle of digestion all over again, and you won’t lose an ounce.

As Dr. Tony Stearns has often said, eat all the vegetables you like—they won’t cause any weight gain. But the trick is to eat the vegetables with your meal, not as a snack.

Some weight loss aids
There are two health products I use every day. I call them “fat blockers” and “starch blockers.” The real name for the fat blockers are Chitosan, or Liposan—which absorbs fats in the digestive tract and then carry them out of the body, unabsorbed.

Starch blockers are known as “Phase 2” and they are made from white kidney beans. They are especially helpful if you are eating rice, noodles, bread, or anything else starchy—even corn. They will help to prevent the starches from entering your bloodstream and help to keep you fat-free.

Although these products are not available locally, you can certainly find them on the Internet. If you’re serious about shedding some flab, they can help greatly.

Cut out most sugar
A piece of chocolate, or a can of Coke, won’t kill you, nor will a slice of birthday cake. What will negatively impact your health and weight-loss regimen is the amount of sugar you take in. This also includes alcohol, which converts to sugar in the digestive tract.

If you truly want to slim down, avoid anything with sugar, especially soft drinks. If you’re thirsty, drink water. If you want something tastier, then add a squeeze of lemon to the water. This is a very healthful drink and tastes good. You can drink this any time, day or night.

The real problem
The real problem for those who want to lose weight is willpower, or lack of it. It’s so easy to cave in to a buffet full of wonderful food, and then go back for seconds.

Whenever I see a fat person I think, “That person has no will-power.”

You might think, “Well, I can pig out this one time.” No. Sorry. Those days are over. If you’re really determined to shed the flab, it takes courage and self-discipline. Learn to eat a healthy meal, once a day, and then stop.

If you can do it, the health benefits are enormous. If nothing else, you will significantly cut your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and (probably) cancer.

As a friend of mine once observed, “Nothing tastes as good as slim feels.” He was right.

Russ Mason (Special to the Saipan Tribune)

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