I didn’t stand a chance

Some people get hooked on American Idol, I apparently get hooked on UCTV. That’s University of California Television, for those not in the know (I wasn’t, until my biochem prof sent a link). I don’t want to tell you how many hours I spent over the last two days watching recorded lectures on nutrition and obesity. Let’s see…three lectures at 90 minutes per lecture. I’ll let you do the math.

Oh, that’s not very many hours, you say? Well, that’s only the tip of the iceberg, my dear readers. I know how I’ll be spending my spring break. And my summer. I am so jonesing for grad school!

OK, you can stop yawning. I will share a good little tidbit I gleaned from the lecture “Obesity: Ten Things You Thought You Knew,” given by Robert Baron, M.D., M.S. Actually, there were way more than 10 things, and I did already know some of them. For example, he discussed research that indicates that if you are a normal weight couch potato, your risk of dying is a lot worse than that of someone who is obese but physically fit. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Our bodies are meant to move, people, and I don’t mean from the couch to the refrigerator. He put it more diplomatically than that:

“One of the goals of weight management, and life in general, is that you want to be as fit as you can possibly be at the weight you’re at.”

Amen to that. As a big advocate of controling one’s food environment, I practically cheered when he mentioned the importance of food stimulus control when trying to lose weight. He likened it how when someone is quitting smoking, they make sure there are no cigarettes around. So why tempt fate by having tempting foods around when you are trying to eat healthier and/or lose weight?

Here are Dr. Baron’s three goals of weight management:

  1. Be as fit as possible at your current weight.
  2. Develop a strategy to prevent further weight gain (because if you continue to do nothing, you will continue to gain weight)
  3. If successful at 1 and 2, then begin a weight loss program.

He also pointed out something that is near and dear to my heart: There are many ways of eating healthy that can help people achieve weight loss. Low-carb, high-carb, low-fat, moderate fat, vegetarian, vegan. All of these ways of eating have the potential to be healthy OR unhealthy depending on what foods you choose. The important thing is finding a way of eating you can stick with, then following it by choosing foods that are as unprocessed as possible.