We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Want to be fit and trim, attractive, high-energy, light on your feet, and signaling that you have your act together?
You know the popular approaches:
- Low-carb Atkins-like plan. This means fats, protein, and non-root vegetables and greens, with nuts and berries to complete the nutrition. This makes physiologic sense because it trains your body to burn your fat for energy instead of the carbs you shovel into it normally.
- Small but ordinary meals. Eg, a hard-boiled egg and coffee for breakfast, half a sandwich for lunch, a couple of slices of cheese for a snack, and a half-portion of supper. This is a sustainable approach for most people, but it still might not work for you. It works great as a maintenance program for me, but I do not need to lose any fat and I do not have a voracious appetite. By the way, eating "until full" is disgusting and has nothing to do with nutrition. It's just a measure of how much you have stretched your stomach or ignore satiety signals. Normal people eat until satisfied, not until full. "Stuffed" is for the Thanksgiving turkey, or on Thanksgiving.
- Keep a nutrition calendar. Write down everything you put in your mouth. It's even more effective if you include Why you ate that donut. Bored? Tempted by flavor? Anxious? etc. Best idea: When those things happen, do something else as a diversion. If you are overweight, your subjective appetite is a liar because your body is lazy and doesn't want the hassle of burning your fat.
- Exercise is basically useless for fat-burning in any ordinary time frame unless combined with a nutrition program of caloric or carb restriction. However, this is not an argument for a sedentary life. Furthermore, intense exercisers should have a small dose of carbs/sugar before a session to be most effective at pushing the effort.
I have written about the "False Hunger" of the overweight in the past. Paradoxically, the people who least need food experience hunger more than fit people, and consume food more avidly. I think it's usually an effect of being overweight, not a cause, but everybody is different.
Often forgotten: Fruit and fruit juices do not really belong on any fat-burning program. A glass of OJ or apple juice is the same as a Coke. The Big Fruit industry somehow convinced people that there was something "healthy" about fruit. There is not. Fruit is dessert, a treat. Neither do cereals or grains, except minimally, belong on a fat-burning plan.
While I'd agree with most of your statements and recommendations here, I'd disagree slightly with your statement about exercise.
While I'd agree that aerobic exercise won't do much to burn fat (contrary to what we were told 20 or 30 years ago), weight and resistance training is a different story. The more muscle one builds and retains, the higher one's metabolism, and that results in more fat-burning, even when sedentary. I've got a naturally lean body type and so I don't retain a lot of fat normally, but within a few weeks of starting on a weight training program (which I've done a few times over the years and which I need to do again), I'm amazed at how much leaner I become, particularly around the waist.