Walk to lose weight – Don’t eat fat free food and don’t diet – just eat healthy

Dr Terry Simpson weight loss surgeon

Good morning! Today is kind of a special day for me – today is my son’s birthday. Four years ago he was born, and these have been the best four years of my life.

I’ve been struck by the number of diets that are out there. With every diet there is some vague reference to it being a lifestyle – or that it will lead to some lifestyle change. But it is the misinformation that the diets spread that seem to stay with people.

Steak isn’t a diet food, peanut butter isn’t protein, and yogurt isn’t healthy.

Did you ever hear about the Maasai of Africa? They walk more than the average American, they eat a relatively high fat diet, and they don’t become obese until they move to the cities to adopt a sedentary, Western diet.

There are two messages to get from this:

You need to walk more. I don’t mean just park that car further from the office, and take the stairs – do that – but start to walk more. Did you ever put a monitor on yourself to see how much you walk? When patients tell me they walk a lot in their jobs I ask them to put a pedometer on – and the busy ones barely make 1700 steps a day. You have to walk a lot to get 10,000 steps a day.

Second message is this: Don’t get fat-free anything. Don’t get anything that is called “diet food.” To make something fat-free means you have to replace that with some taste, and typically it is sugar. How much sugar- well, check out the fat free vs. regular items in any grocery shelves. Besides – don’t diet, dieting has not worked in the past, it won’t work now. What does work is changing what you eat to things that you like and making the food healthy for you.

When the studies of athletes came out and said they should have 30 grams of protein three times a day to rebuild the muscle – put that in some perspective – those are athletes. But 3 ounces of fish contains about 30 grams of protein, as does two cups of lentil soup, or one cup of egg whites. So, what about someone who is sedentary – how much do you need – well, less because you are not repairing muscle. But look at the amount of food that is – not much. So how, you ask – do you keep satisfied – you need to add some vegetables and a lot of them.

Final message here: my son is named after my brother who died in 2006. He was 55, and at age 50 stopped smoking, because of a heart attack, he was not overweight, stopped working to cut down stress, and started to walk. Sadly lung cancer took him – a good man, childless but loved children – and my best friend. Do me a favor – if you are thinking about changing your life do it today. If my brother had stopped smoking five years before he might be alive today enjoying his nephew. Make your changes today, please. Start walking – add more healthy vegetables into your diet, and start living.

For my patients – we have a private site for discussion on Google plus. Find me and put me in your circles: http://plus.google.com/+TerrySimpson and we will get you into the group. Lots of great discussion there.