By: Dr. Samuel A. Mielcarski, DPT
Published in Oracle 20-20 Magzine, Jan 2010 Edition
A new year is upon us and many people will set good intentions on improving their health and well-being. As such, weight loss will be one of the most common goals set for this endeavor. Many people know that losing some excess weight can improve health and well-being in many ways (physically, mentally, and spiritually). However, what many don’t realize is that the problem with a goal of “weight loss” or “fat loss” is that it’s symptom-based.
Our society appears to be obsessed with weight-loss programs. Every week a new method or program seems to make its way into the media. These programs are often full of unsound advice and false promises. The trouble with most of these programs is that they are focusing on the wrong thing. The excess weight is not the real problem-poor health is.
When it comes to weight loss, one of the keys to being successful is to focus on building better health, as opposed to focusing on burning fat or losing weight. Excess body weight is a symptom of decreased health. Therefore, instead of treating the symptom with dangerous drugs or supplements, or trying to take short-cuts or using quick-fixes, efforts would be better spent on treating the cause(s) of this symptom (excess weight). Bottom line: If a person is healthy, he or she will not be overweight.
All too often, people try make up for a lack of one aspect healthful living by implementing more of another one. For example, trying to make up for eating poorly by going to the gym. Unfortunately, health doesn’t work this way. ALL aspects of healthful living deserve equal attention and consideration in order to become and remain healthy. Losing excess weight is no exception.
There is no doubt that many of the weight loss programs being promoted do work when it comes to weight loss. However, they don’t work when it comes to building better health. So, what good is losing weight if one loses vibrant health along the way?
A “gain health” program (a.k.a. weight-loss program) should be comprised of the following:
Proper Nourishment- A diet that is comprised of primarily whole, natural, raw and living plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts, legumes, tubers, and herbs). Adequate calories and nutrients must be taken in. Remember, the goal is to gain health. Starving oneself will lead to weight loss, but to poor health as well. Eating only when hungry, avoiding overeating, and not eating right before bedtime is recommended as well. Clean water to drink and bathe in is a must. Adequate fresh air, sunshine, and good hygiene habits are imperative too. Healthy weight loss will be very difficult to achieve when deprived of all these nutrients.
Proper activity and rest ratios- Both exercise and rest are important factors in a health building program. Exercise is simple. Pick something that is desirable and do it. Make it fun and enjoyable. Playing instead of working out is the key to staying committed. Rest is just as important. Besides sleep, quieting the mind every day is also valuable (e.g. meditation). Without proper rest, the body can’t repair and transform. Inadequate rest leads to elevated stress levels, which can lead to weight gain. Harmonizing the body with the ‘master rhythm’ (up with the sun, and down with the sun) is important. This will help to keep the body’s weight-management hormones functioning correctly.
Loving Relationships- One of the biggest reasons people fail with their New Year’s resolutions is a lack of loving support. People are often a product of their environment. Loving support from family, friends, and others on the ‘better health journey’ can act as the spark that helps to keep one on track. So, get the support you need and you will be more likely to succeed.
Dr. Samuel A. Mielcarski, DPT, is a speaker, author and health consultant specializing in rehabilitation and health transformation. Samuel has a doctoral degree in physical therapy with over 15 years of clinical experience. He’s the creator of “Dr. SAMs Revolutionary Rehab Manual,” and a healing system called: Raw-habilitationTM. Website: www.DrSamPT.com