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What to Eat May 17, 2010

Posted by The Barefoot MD in : Diet, Health , trackback

When I stop to think about it, I find it amazing how much money people spend on this diet or that trying to trim off a few pounds here or there.  I do understand wanting to make eating, or rather figuring out what to eat, a little easier.  I don’t know the most recent numbers, but I’m pretty sure the money spent on “diets” is in the billions annually.  Here’s the problem I see.  If you’re not changing your lifestyle, it’s not going to last.  Think of this like exercise . . . if you don’t like it, you’re not going to do it.  What you need to do is develop a lifestyle you’re willing to live.  Eat certain foods and exercise a certain amount . . . then stick to it.

I had a conversation with my father-in-law over the holidays.  I explained to him that our bodies burn a certain amount of calories per day.  This number, often referred to as our basal metabolic rate (BMR) or basal metabolic expenditure (BME), is a function of our age, height, weight, and daily activity.  If you want to know your true BMR, you need to get hooked up to a machine that measures how much oxygen you burn.  Another way is to visit a website that has a BMR calculator and enter your information.  This will give you a good guide as to how many calories you burn in a day.  If you eat less calories than you burn, your body uses energy it has stored to make up the difference.  If you eat more calories than you burn, your body will store the excess energy.  Our bodies have an incredibly efficient way of storing energy . . . it’s called fat.

Now, what should you eat?  My recommendation comes from multiple articles I’ve read recently that talk about the benefits of a certain type of diet.  The Mediterranean diet.  It’s not a diet that has been put together by any company to make money from you, but rather a style of eating that has been shown to be very beneficial for your health.  Check out this site.  It’s a guide of how to adopt the Mediterranean diet and is from the Mayo Clinic.  So, there you have it.  Eat less calories than you burn and use the Mediterranean diet to make sure you are eating food that’s healthy for you.

By the way, since my conversation with my father-in-law, he’s lost 25 lbs.  It’s totally inspiring!

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