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||Dr. William Parson's
Eating for Health, Happiness & Weight Control
Before beginning any type of diet, I strongly
recommend that one should understand what their appropriate, healthful body weight should be.
Use the calculator below to determine your current height / weight ratio
or Body Mass Index (BMI). Once you have calculated your BMI, refer to the chart
(established by the National Institute of Health in 1995) for an assessment of your weight
and your potential risk for health problems.
Body Mass Index
May not work in older browsers
Underweight. The lower the BMI the greater the risk
very low risk
overweight, some risk
Overweight, moderate risk
overweight, high risk
obesity, very high risk
Don't Diet! Just Eat, Be Happy and
First, the following "diet" is
really not a diet, in the conventional sense, but a nutritionally sound
eating plan. It allows one to eat essentially anything one wishes while
attaining weight loss or weight control goals and consuming the necessary
nutrients for a long,
healthful life. There is no need to give up all your favorite foods or
drastically change your lifestyle, because doing so is a recipe for failure. The term "diet" implies restrictions by
either eliminating or radically reducing the intake of certain foods or food
groups. Most diets are inappropriate, unhealthful (even
dangerous) and ultimately doomed to fail.
important objective of eating any food is to provide the body with all
the essential nutrients for a long and healthful life. Almost every food
provides some element needed by your body. If you do not care about being
healthy, avoiding sickness and disease and living a long life, then this
of eating is not for you.
The second most important reason for eating
any food is because you enjoy it and it makes you happy. It is highly unlikely
that you will consistently, and for long term, eat foods that you do not enjoy.
Similarly, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to completely
eliminate foods that you do enjoy from your diet. Many diets and
dieticians expect a person to continually keep count of every calorie,
carbohydrate and/or gram of fat that enters your mouth! Again, what is
likelihood of being able to maintain this tedious ritual for any meaningful
length of time? Nothing could be more depressing and stress inducing as the
constant monitoring of calories, carbs or fat. Therefore, if
enjoying your meals is not important to you, then this natural way of eating is
probably not for you.
Finally, you should eat food to maintain an
appropriate weight for your height and frame. Being over-weight or
under-weight is not conducive to a long, healthful life nor does it promote a
positive self-image. If being too heavy or too thin is not
important to you, than this natural way of eating may not be for you.
Tips for Successful
gain weight because you want to and not to please others. Otherwise, you will not
be sufficiently motivated to change your bad eating habits. In fact, when
the inevitable happens and you fail to achieve you goal, it will reinforce and,
most probably, escalate the inappropriate behavior (over-eating,
exclusively eating junk food, bulimia, etc.)
begin this natural way of eating with a positive outlook and the belief that you can achieve
your goals with a minimal amount of effort. If you lack the self-confidence and
motivation, or you do not believe that you can lose or gain weight,
you will not!
It is extremely important for you to learn about the nutrients contained in the foods you eat (vitamins, minerals,
amino acids, antioxidants, etc.). This is the only part of this natural way of
eating that requires some effort on your part. The only way to
accomplish this is to read. The internet is probably the best and easiest
venue for obtaining this type of information. The following are excellent
sources of health and nutrition-related information:
- Medline Plus - http://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/foodnutritionandmetabolism_health.html
- Food and Nutrition Information Center - http://nal.usda.gov/fnic/
- McKinley Health Center - http://mckinley.uiuc.edu/
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory - http://nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/
Remember, the key to weight control is to be healthy, happy and
fit. Beyond the recommendations to be provided later, you must
understand which foods will provide these three, all-important elements.
Believe it or not, there are foods you enjoy that are actually good for you!
Incredibly, many overweight people actually do not eat enough! Listen to your body,
not your mind. Your body knows when it had the appropriate amount of
food and, more importantly, the appropriate amount of nutrition. Because
many people do not understand nutrition, they eat food that does not supply sufficient nutrients to the body. They will feel hungry even after
a large meal because theirs bodies are "starving" for proper nutrition.
For this reason, most diets do not work or the individual cannot stay with the
diet because it is an unnatural way of eating. Your body literally
believes it is starving; therefore, it will take actions to survive the
famine. It is a self-preservation mechanism, if you will. The body begins
drawing off your muscles and stores the fat for later use in the event that it
does not receive the necessary nourishment for an extended period of time. When
a person finally falls off the diet (which is inevitable), they gain back all
the lost weight and, in many cases, even more! The reason is because it
takes the body sometime to adjust from its self-preservation mode, so
all the food that is consumed is stored as fat while your body continues to draw from muscle.
There is no
such thing as losing weight fast. It will take 3 to 6 months (or more
depending on the amount of weight loss needed), to lose a significant amount of
weight. The good news is that once you have lost the weight, you should
not gain it back because you will have learned about the food you eat.
Yes, you have
heard it before and you are now going to hear it again - exercise!
Even a small amount of exercise (˝ hour per day, 3 days per week) will greatly
accelerate weight control. Weight training, when done properly, is the
most effective way to change one's overall health, energy level, strength, conditioning and physical appearance.
If you feel
like having a snack or something sweet, have it. Your body is telling you
it needs something. Of coarse, it would be better to eat a piece of
rather than a candy bar. However, either is preferable to over-eating at your next
meal or constantly agonizing over the decision to indulge the urge.
in moderation. In other words, do not over do any one food or food group. A
varied diet is the best diet.
A Way of Eating
mind that not completely adhering to every detail, everyday, of this natural way of eating is not a
sin. There will be certain situations or circumstances that will prevent
you from following one or more of the guidelines. Do not worry
about this and do your best!
There are a number of
recommendations that are very easy to understand and apply to your everyday life. They are as
Do not eat or drink anything before noon except fresh, organic fruit, raw fruit
juice and/or water. Distilled water is ideal for cleansing and
detoxification however, consuming distilled water for more than a few weeks is
unwise. Most tap
water contains chlorine, and varying amounts of other chemicals, and should be
avoided whenever possible. Filtered water or a pure spring water are the
Avoid processed foods, processed sugar, white
flour and cheese. If you do not know which foods are processed or are
unsure, a good rule of thumb is anything in a can or a box is
processed. Processed foods have little or no nutritional value and tend to
be loaded with sodium (salt), processed sugar and chemicals used as
preservatives. Ideally, you only want to eat raw organic foods. Once any
food has been heated to temperatures above 116 degrees Fahrenheit, all enzymes
necessary for proper digestion have been destroyed. Additionally, many of
the vital nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) have been lost or altered during
the cooking process. (Note: Pasteurization is simply another term
for "cooked.") Generally, most people eat too much processed sugar because
they are unaware of the amounts in so many processed foods. Foods that
contain white (bleached) flour such as pasta, bread, bagels and many cereals are
loaded with simple carbohydrates that have little nutritional value and can cause
rapid weight gain. Pasteurized cheese is loaded with fat and offers very
little nutritional value.
Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you
consume. Generally, most people eat too many carbohydrates and the more
carbs you ingest, the more you will "crave" them. Carbohydrates exist in
most foods with the exception of meat, poultry, seafood and some vegetables
(broccoli, asparagus, spinach, etc.). As previously stated, some foods have
extremely high amounts of carbohydrates. When you eat bread, cereal,
pasta, rice and other high-carb foods, try to choose whole grain products.
The fiber content and nutritional values are much higher.
Eat fresh, all-natural foods (again, raw is best) instead chemical-laden
"diet" or "fat-free" products. For example, it is better to eat butter than margarine.
Due to the mineral depletion of the farming soils around the world, most foods
lack the minerals necessary to sustain our bodies. Plants can manufacture vitamins but can
only draw minerals from the soil in which they are grown. You should take
either colloidal (liquid) minerals or Coral Calcium in order to provide your body with
vital minerals. Once your knowledge of food and their nutrients increases,
you should begin to see the need for other all-natural health supplements.
Do not mix starches and proteins in a meal or
snack. For example, do not have a sandwich with meat or cheese.
Also, do not have spaghetti with meat sauce. Your body has
difficulty properly digesting food when starches and proteins are consumed at
the same time. Consequently, much of both foods will be stored as fat. Separating starches
from proteins initially will require some thought and knowledge of exactly which
foods are starches and which are proteins. Unfortunately, strict adherence
to this recommendation could possible eliminate some of your favorite foods such
as cereal (cereal is a starch and milk is a protein). Remember, if you
feel a strong desire have a particular food such as cereal, have it. Do try, however,
to minimize the meals or snacks that mix starches and proteins. Proteins
are largely derived from animals, animal by-products, seafood and beans.
Starches are primarily flour, grains, corn and potato. The following
table reflects some of the starches and proteins.
cake, pie crust
Drink 7 to 9 glasses of filtered water or pure spring water per day. Drink one glass of water as soon as you
awake in the morning. Besides assisting with metabolism and proper digestion,
this will also help control appetite.
Eating several smaller meals is better than
one or two large meals. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Eat a couple of grapefruits and apples everyday.
If you feel the need for something sweet and
fruit simply will not satisfy the craving, try to have something that at least
has some nutritional value, is low-carb and has fewer chemicals. For
example, eat Breyers all-natural ice cream or organic chocolate. Also, there are many
organic nutrition bars available that taste
exactly like a candy bar.
grown foods is preferable to foods containing pesticides, preservatives,
steroids and other chemicals.
Do not eat after
7:00 p.m. Your body's digestive system needs time to rest also. All
the undigested food in your system at night will go to fat.
Other Tips for Health and Well-Being
1) Eat Organic Fruits and Vegetables - Fruits and vegetables are great for snacking. They can
reduce cravings for sweets, plus they are good for you! Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
They can also help prevent diseases such as cancer. Try to get 5 - 9
2) Keep Moving - Incorporate activity into your daily routine.
This does not necessarily mean going to the gym for an hour every day (although
the more exercise the better). Keep busy by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of taking the bus, get up to change the TV station and do sit-ups and jumping jacks during TV commercials. Being more active throughout the day
will help increase your metabolic rate. An increase in metabolic rate will help you burn more calories during normal daily activities.
3) Give Your Food the Attention it Deserves - Take time during meals and truly taste every bite you eat. Eat slowly and have meal times be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. Recharge mentally while you refuel physically!
4) Snack from a Plate, Not a Box - Eating directly out of the box or package can lead to overeating. Take time to put a serving of food on a plate or bowl. Eat that portion. If you are still hungry for more, put more on the plate to eat.
Do not just keep grabbing handfuls out of the box!
5) Listen to Your Body - Let your stomach tell you when you are hungry and full. Eat when you feel hungry, stop when you are satisfied.
6) Address Emotions - Eating to soothe your stress is a
recipe for weight gain. Try other ways to relax. Talk with a friend, take a hot shower, go for a walk, meditate or do some yoga.
7) Leftover are Good - You do not have to clean your plate. Save the leftovers for another meal or snack. Try to pay attention to your body. When you feel satisfied or full, stop eating. If you want to stay at the table and talk after a meal, remove your plate so you are not tempted to keep nibbling.
8) Treat Yourself - An indulgent treat or a day without exercising is
okay. It is better to satisfy a craving than to be consumed by the thought of it. Occasional treats are acceptable.
Remember that all foods can fit into your eating plan. The guideline for aerobic exercise is 3 - 5 times per week for 20 -
90 minutes. Taking a few days off throughout the week is okay!
9) Take Things Slowly - The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to lose it slowly, by making lifestyle changes. Rapid weight loss may feel good in the short term, but usually that weight comes back - plus some. Focus on healthy living and feeling good versus losing weight!
10) Take Digestive Enzymes - Enzymes break down and digest food so the body can use it. Fresh, raw foods contain plenty of enzymes to help with digestion, but with today's diet of cooked and processed foods, many of the natural enzymes are cooked out. Without the enzymes needed for proper digestion, the body may not digest the valuable nutrients it needs.
Follow the above
recommendations, be patient, confident and happy and you should find
weight control to be a fairly easy goal to attain.
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