But in the following year, I began to put it to practical use. I restricted my calorie intake. I moved more. Within a year, I was in the normal weight range for my cm 5ft 9in height; and a few months later I weighed 63kg 9st 13lb — the least I had weighed since the age of 12 or Fat logic is not just a problem for fat people; I have never met a person who was completely free of it. Here are a handful of the most persistent myths, debunked.
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The amount of energy we need is influenced by various factors, but the main ones are body mass, and what that mass is made up of. The only information you need is height, weight, sex and approximate daily activity levels. The bottom line is that most people use far more than 1, kcal a day, but even people with extremely low consumption still need significantly more energy than 1, kcal. Despite the common cliche of the fast food-guzzling, fat person, my favourite meal used to be a large mixed salad with salmon. I ate it regularly, and in my mental calorie journal I would estimate it contained about kcal.
When, after many years, I finally weighed out all the ingredients and calculated the actual number of calories they contained, I discovered that the dressing alone, with three tablespoons of olive oil, contained about kcal. The number of calories in the salad itself — tomato, cucumber, red pepper and lettuce — was within reason. Mozzarella, though, added considerably more to the total, and the fact that the salmon was fried meant the final tally for this meal was 1, kcal — three times the amount I had estimated, and equivalent to the entire daily energy requirements for a small, slim woman.
People can hugely misjudge their calorie intake, and overweight people have a strong tendency to underestimate the calorie content of their food. These people claimed not to be able to lose weight, despite restricting their calorie intake to fewer than 1, kcal a day.
This is the fat logic argument I encounter most often, and which I believed myself for many years. It is also the one I kick myself about the most, in retrospect. Now, I argue the opposite whenever I can. This is not about whether your bum looks better as a size 36 or a size For someone who is naturally prone to lung problems, it might take five years. A comparison between healthy people of normal weight and healthy but obese subjects showed the latter group had a significantly higher risk of dying or developing cardiovascular disease.
A study confirmed those results. It followed supposedly healthily obese subjects over 20 years and found that more than half became unhealthily obese during that time. Their risk of becoming ill was eight times higher than that of the healthy group with normal weight. Once at the top, I would sometimes pretend to cough or laugh to hide the fact that I was out of breath.
Our society makes it very easy for us to delude ourselves. But I can imagine lots of people fall prey to a similar kind of distorted thinking as I did: I used to consider even relatively normal things to be great sporting achievements. In , she ran a marathon and published an article about it with the title My Big Fat Finished Marathon.
She wrote about how, after five months of training, she covered just over 40km in 12 hours and 20 minutes. It is an achievement for a severely obese person to walk the entire length of a marathon in one go. The marathon had officially ended hours before she crossed the finishing line — the stands removed, the organisers gone.
The last participant to complete the race, several hours before Chastain, was a woman in her 70s. Of course, everyone has to start from their own fitness level. When I weighed kg and was more or less unable to move for six months, average sporting achievements were as likely for me as breaking Olympic records. In the first few months, I was proud of reaching various milestones, such as walking for half an hour without stopping, or spending 20 minutes on a bike for the first time in years. But declaring your own, below-average performance to be an objective record, and therefore to claim that any improvement is unnecessary, will only stop you — and others — from tackling the problem of excess weight.
This statement is fat-logical only when referring to people who are not underweight or for whom losing weight would mean they would become underweight. Let me start with my own experience. When I weighed kg, there was no one who seriously claimed that losing weight would not be a good idea for me.
But apart from my mother, as far as I can remember, in all those years nobody ever asked me about my weight. My weight was the elephant in the room, which no one mentioned — until I brought it up myself. I lost my first 40kg 6st in secret, without anyone noticing. At over kg, I was still very much within the obese range, but others saw it quite differently.
You need to do your homework before taking any supplement, and make sure to tell your doctor everything you're taking — natural substances included. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Shop Books. Some myths contain a grain of truth. Try to focus on what you actually need by tweaking your diet and, in special cases, by supplementing with specific micronutrients — such as vitamin B 12 if you are vegan or a senior, or vitamin D if you seldom get enough sun exposure on your skin.
I must be done with my diet now, right? A neighbour who saw me gardening worriedly asked my husband how much I now weighed and asked him please to make sure I ate more. It was ironic: when I was sick and almost bedridden at kg, no one ever expressed concern or commented on my weight in any way. Annual checkups are obsolete Having ourselves checked on a regular basis is a vital step and if we all did it, diseases could be prevented or detected at an early stage, when treatment is most effective. The annual checkup gives us a chance to establish and build a relationship with a doctor — a connection that can prove vital if you are ever ill.
The annual checkup also gives your doctor a sense of where your health stands from year to year. This yearly conversation can also be used as a form of self-monitoring regarding your habits and lifestyle and is one of the most important talks you can have. Note: Each annual checkup should be tailored to your own personal needs, your health and your family history.
Vaccinations are just for kids Vaccines are the greatest medical breakthroughs of the past century. It's easy to disregard them because they no longer seem modern or jazzy … with all the modern advances we have at our disposal, it is easy to forget what life was like before the dawn of vaccinations. And they're not just for kids.
Immunity from vaccines may not last a lifetime — we may outlive the initial protection of the vaccine — which is why you need "booster" shots, particularly after And as we get older, our immune systems are not as strong, which is why diseases like influenza can be so life threatening to people in their 80s. There are also new vaccines that have come out, such as the HPV vaccine, that females should talk to their doctors about. And just last week the CDC recommended that all people 60 or over should get immunized against shingles, even if they've had the disease before.
And often it's the neediest of people — the elderly, women and members of minority groups — who cannot get help and are disenfranchised from the health care system. So is a new class of the medically denied: The working poor — those who are in the workplace but make too much money to qualify for federal assistance, yet not enough to cover their own insurance premiums.
These people fall through the cracks of the health care system every day. We know this is true because disease rates and survival rates among minorities and whites convey something less than a level playing field:. So if we are to take care of ourselves, we need to know how to access the best health care, how to talk to our doctors, and how to demand respect and appropriate treatment from a system that is not always kind to everyone in it.
Finally, the best revenge is to just live better and take matters into your own hands. A study from Harvard University found that you can add about seven years extra to your life by eliminating certain preventable risk factors, and doing so could be more important than access to medical care in terms of our longevity. Some have real cures and others are agonizingly frustrating to detect and treat, but we know more now about preventing cancer than we ever did before. What's more, treatment of cancer has shifted from not just trying to cure it but also to controlling it.
The fight against it has been on the national agenda since , when President Richard Nixon officially declared war on this dreaded disease. Since then, medicine has made great strides, and consequently your risk of being diagnosed with cancer and the risk of dying of cancer have decreased significantly. Fewer than half the people diagnosed with cancer today will die of the disease. Some are completely cured, and many more people survive for years with a good quality of life.
Cancers such as Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute lymphocytic leukemia in children have largely been defeated and for the most part are now considered curable. Since the s, researchers have amassed a wealth of information about the innermost secrets of malignant cells and how they evolve — which means better methods of targeting treatment are being developed. How we live can have a great affect on our risk for many cancers.
Lung, colon, skin, breast, prostate, esophagus and others can often be linked to our behaviors. According to the American Cancer Society, , Americans die of cancer and one-third of these deaths can be linked to poor diet, lack of physical activity, being overweight or other risky behaviors.
Myth: Only old people get heart disease and stroke High cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, stress, lack of exercise and obesity can all lead to heart disease and stroke at any age. The American Heart Association now recommends that young adults have a heart check beginning at the age of 20, and every two years afterward. For somebody who's heading for a heart attack in their 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s, there's arteriosclerosis building up in your teenage and young adult years.