10. Losing weight, like really losing weight, is a matter of what you do in the long run, not in the next 12 weeks. Weight Loss And What You Should Know by Health Genius

Only about 10 to 20 percent of individuals who lose weight are able to maintain a long term loss of 5% of their body weight. In other words, this is a war of attrition, so-to-speak.

Two things are important here:

  1. Perspective — Realize that there will be short term setbacks, but that the decision to keep moving forward is always in your hands.
  2. Discipline — Understand that changing your life requires changing your habits. You will never change your life without first developing self-discipline.

[…] allowing only ordinary ability and opportunity, we may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!! Not transient and fitful effort, but patient, enduring, honest, unremitting and indefatigable work into which the whole heart is put […]
There is no royal road to perfection.

Frederick Douglass

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9. Make sure to set your goals in stone (writing) and tell your friends and family about them. Weight Loss And What You Should Know by Health Genius

As social beings, we are easily influenced. We even exert a strong influence over ourselves if that makes sense. Think of the last time your bribed yourself..

Writing your goals down substantiates them to some extent. Telling our friends and families about our goals serves to hold us accountable. No one wants to be asked whether they’re still trying to lose weight while they stuff pizza in their mouth.

Before you write your goals down though, make sure they fit within the SMART model:

  • S — Specific
  • M — Measurable
  • A — Attainable
  • R — Realistic
  • T — Time

The best approach to accomplishing your goals are to create a master list of the things you’d like to achieve in the next 3 months, i.e. stop drinking soda, eat more vegetables, etc. Once you’ve done this, choose ONE goal/habit a week to address.

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8. When it comes to weight loss, eating habits will play a bigger role than exercise. Weight Loss And What You Should Know by Health Genius

There is a subtle balance here of course, but the limiting factor here will always be your diet. Physical activity is more of a concern for long term weight management. See the National Council on Strength & Fitness' opinion paper for more on where physical activity fits in.

Eating habits refer to how we interact with food, not necessarily what type of foods we interact with. Most people can lose a considerable amount of weight just by changing a few health behaviors:

  • Consuming fewer processed foods.
  • Drinking water with lemon instead of carbonated beverages.
  • Eating 4-6 smaller meals a day.
  • Writing down what you eat.
  • Taking more than 20 minutes to finish each meal.

For more nutrition help and advice on planning meals, check out My Plate.

Sample Meal Plan

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4. Weight loss =/= fat loss. Weight Loss And What You Should Know by Health Genius

Weight loss essentially occurs out of your body’s need to break itself down to form energy. The body has a number of choices in its pursuit to create energy. Short overview of our 3 energy systems:

  1. ATP-PCr — Rapidly creates energy from creatine-phosphate stores in the body. Can only provide PCr for about 1-10 seconds of 95% max effort activity.
  2. Anaerobic Glycolytic — Creates energy from glucose (muscle glycogen) at a moderately quick pace. Capacity of about 90 seconds of 95% max effort activity.
  3. Aerobic — Creates energy by oxidizing glucose, protein, and fat (depending on supply). Unlimited capacity.

There is no guarantee that the weight you are losing is from fat. Water weight, which can fluctuate 4-5 lbs a day, is a common source. Also, eating a caloric deficit also triggers muscle wasting which is, again, why resistance training is so vital.

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3. Don't do anything you wouldn't be comfortable doing for the rest of your life. Weight Loss And What You Should Know by Health Genius

The most important aspect of a weight loss program is sustainability. You’ll notice no mention of “diets” here, because we are talking about lifestyle changes. Key words:

Long term

As per the NIH’s comprehensive guidelines (starting on pg. 42):

  • Low-calorie meal plans can reduce total body weight by an average of 8 percent over 3 to 12 months, resulting in a decrease in abdominal fat.
  • Very low-calorie meal plans produce greater initial weight loss than “low-calorie”, but do not differ in the long term (>1 year)
  • Lower-fat diets coupled with total caloric reduction produce greater weight loss than lower-fat diets alone.
  • Physical activity in overweight and obese adults results in modest weight loss independent of the effect of caloric reduction through diet.

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Can produce significant health benefits. Weight Loss And What You Should Know by Health Genius

This amount of weight is enough to put you into a whole different risk stratification as far as BMI. That could mean a lot less exposure to serious chronic risk factors for mortality. According to Catherine Champagne, from Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center:

We have seen a consistent pattern in our weight loss studies that when patients lose 5%-10% of their body weight, they lower blood pressure, reduce LDL [“bad”] cholesterol, improve glucose tolerance, and in general, lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Not only will you directly lower your health risk factors, but weight loss will open up a whole new lane of physical activity and have a positive effect in all dimensions of your health.

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1. Modest weight loss - as little as 5-10 percent - Weight Loss And What You Should Know by Health Genius

Female: 150 lbs x .10 = 15 lbs

Male: 200 lbs x .10 = 20 lbs

This is a pretty good estimate of the most you should think about losing when you first start to make changes. No matter what your goal may be in the long run, it’s important to break your goals down into attainable segments and to modify your behavior in a sustainable way.

Resources for understanding weight loss:

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Evgeny Morozov Bitcoin Bet by NPR Planet Money (Ft. B Horowitz & Felix Salmon) 1

Evgeny Morozov is a doctorate candidate in the history of science at Harvard, and an outspoken critic of tech-centered thinking, especially as it pertains to “the Internet”.

Most of his contrarianism regarding internet technology has to do with the fact that it’s often looked at as some unequivocally positive force, destined to save the world. In reality, it’s little more than a neutral tool, which can be used for evil just as quickly as for good, depending on the person wielding it.

https://twitter.com/evgenymorozov/statuses/430719583730032640

https://twitter.com/evgenymorozov/statuses/430474402074202112

https://twitter.com/evgenymorozov/statuses/429372052529627137

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The Rothschilds have your money. Doubling Down on "Liberals are Nazis" Meme by Ruth R. Wisse

Again, Wisse uses a fringe conspiracy theory (“Jewish bankers rule the world”, Illuminati, etc.) to undermine the fact that poverty is very real and precisely due to the decisions made by those in power. To get an idea of how ignorant the U.S. power structure is when it comes to dealing with poverty, look no further than the massive cuts to food stamps and unemployment benefits carried out by Congress, at a time when the safety net is more important than ever. Noted intellectual Noam Chomsky very plainly referred to these actions as “pure savagery”.

More to the point, the big banking cartels do have your money. The banks that were bailed out in 2008 have fully recovered, and are now even bigger. However, due to a general aversion to risk, as well as a much smaller ROR compared to hedge fund trading, banks are refusing to lend much of this cash out. From Zero Hedge:

The final item of note from today’s JPM release […] once again serves as evidence of all that is broken with the US financial system. To wit: deposits held by JPM rose modestly to a new all time high of […] $1.2 trillion. What about the flip side of this key bank liability: loans. As of June 30, 2013, total JPM loans declined from $729 billion to $726 billion, the lowest since September 2012. But more disturbing, this number is $35 billion less than the $761 billion at September 2008. It means that JPM’s excess deposits have now risen to a new all time high of $477 billion, up from $474 billion last quarter.

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Is your family mired in poverty? Doubling Down on "Liberals are Nazis" Meme by Ruth R. Wisse

U.S. poverty statistics are striking. A few key points from the most recent data:

  • Over the 36-month period from January 2009 to December 2011, 31.6 percent of the U.S. population was in poverty for at least 2 months, an increase from 27.1 percent over the period of 2005 to 2007.
  • By 2011, 5.4 percent of people who were not in poverty in 2009 had entered poverty.
  • From 2009 to 2011, the median length of a given poverty spell was 6.6 months, up from a median length of 5.7 months over the period of 2005 to 2007.

The most concerning numbers on poverty relate to the percentage of children living below the poverty line, as well as how far below the poverty line they live.

  1. Children living in poverty = ~23%
  2. Gap between relative poverty line and average income of poor families = 36%

So, not only are there far too many children living in poverty, but the average child is supported on an income that is 36% below the poverty line…Both these numbers qualify the U.S. for 34th place out of 35 developed countries when it comes to poverty (#35 being the most poverty-stricken).

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