By Zeina Moukarzel
Saint-Joseph University
Political Science- 1st year-
May 1999


1- The awareness that you are being heavier than you want to be
2- Thinking about dieting
3- What eating less actually means

1- Historic reminder of why our body has a built in mechanism in the event of starvation
2- The difference between thin and overweight people isn't because of the caloric intake as
    we might think but because of the fat
3- Being careful about choosing a weight loss program
4- The effect of publicity on our weight worries and our expectations towards dieting
5- The truth about weight loss advertisements and how on a long term period none has
    shown success
6- Being overweight can result in serious diseases and health problems
7- The wrongful myth that we are getting heavy as a result of excessive caloric intake
8- Dieting without exercising
9- Selecting the right exercise routine
10- My opinion on the dieting controversy

1- The obsession of dieting is common to every culture
2- We must not forget that we should exercise for health reasons rather than esthetics


When we discover that we are heavier than we want to be, we have a natural inclination to eat less food. We may skip lunch or eat only a tiny amount of our dinner in the hope that if we eat less our body will burn off some of its fat. But that is not necessarily true. Eating less actually makes it more difficult to lose weight.
Keep in mind that the human body took shape millions of years ago, and at that time there were no diets. The only low calorie event in people's lives was starvation. Those who could cope with a temporary lack of food were the ones who survived. Our bodies, therefore, have developed this built in mechanism to help us survive in the face of low food intake.
When researchers compare overweight and thin people, they find that they eat roughly the same numbers of calories. What makes overweight people different is the amount fat they eat. Thin people tend to eat less fat and more complex carbohydrates.
Losing weight is not something one can do overnight. A carefully planned weight loss program requires common sense and certain guidelines. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation floating around and lots of desperate people are easily ripped off.
Everyday one can open a magazine or newspaper and see advertisements telling about some new product, pill or patch that will take excess weight off quickly. Everyone seems to be looking for that magic weight loss pill that will work wonders overnight. We live in a computerized world where everything is faster so obviously we also want to see results in a short period of time.
Millions of people are trying to lose weight, spending billions of dollars every year on diet programs and products. Often they do lose some weight. But, if you check with the same people five years later, you will find that nearly all have regained whatever weight they had lost.
A survey was done recently to try and determine if any commercial program could prove long-term success. Not a single program could do so. So rampant has the solaced diet industry become, with the new products and false claims that some governments have even decided now to step in and start clamping down.
Being seriously overweight and particularly obesity can develop into a number of diseases and serious health problems, and it is now a known fact that when caloric intake is excessive, some of the excess frequently is saturated fat.
The myth is that people get heavy by eating to many calories. Calories are a consideration it's true, but overall they are not the cause of obesity in the world today. People actually take in fewer calories each day than they did in the beginning of the century. If calories alone were the reason we become overweight, we should be thin. But we are not. Collectively, we are heavier than ever. Partly, it is because we are more sedentary now. But equally, as important it is the fact that the fat content of the diets has changed dramatically.
People who diet without exercising often get fatter with time. Although your weight may initially drop while dieting, such weight loss consists mostly of water and muscle. When the weight returns, it comes back as fat. To avoid getting fatter over time, you have to increase your metabolism by exercising regularly.
You have to select an exercise routine that you are comfortable with and remember that walking is one of the best and easiest exercises for strengthening your bones, controlling your weight and toning your muscles.
 In my opinion all the dieting controversy is becoming way too overrated. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter how much you weight as long as you feel good about yourself. The focus should be put on the amount of self esteem you have rather than the amount of pounds you weigh. After all a low self esteem is what drives people to such extremes as eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. Keep in mind that eating moderately and in a reasonable way is an activity that allows us to gather around a table and talk. It seems that in the busy world we are living in the only occasions families have to see each other is in front of a meal so you might as well enjoy it. Eating in a balanced way is fundamental for your body as much as for your soul.
Dieting is an overgrowing obsession for more people everyday and the weight polemic is probably the one thing that is common to every culture.  Esthetics is a preoccupation mostly for women but as surprising as it may sound more and more men start to be concern about their weight also. Maybe not for the same reasons but mainly the thing to remember is that the focus should stay on dieting for health reasons because you can be a little overweight and still be fit !

Common questions on dieting

1- Do you think skipping lunch or eat a tiny amount of your dinner will make you burn more fat ?     YES   -   NO

2- Eating less actually makes it more difficult to lose weight ?

3- Do you think that over the years has our body developed a built in mechanism to survive in case of starvation ?  YES   -  NO

4- What excessive intake makes people overweight ?

5- Thin people tend to eat
a)  MORE   -    LESS     fat
b)  MORE   -    LESS     complex carbohydrates

6- Do you think losing weight is something you can do in a short period of time without gaining it back ?     YES   -    NO

7- Do you think commercial programs can prove long term success ?
YES   -   NO

8- Obesity can develop into a number of diseases and serious health problems ?

9- Do you think we take in MORE  -   LESS  calories than we did at the beginning of the century ?

10- We are heavier than ever ?   TRUE  -  FALSE

11- Are we MORE  -  LESS  sedentary now than before ?

12- Do you think that the fat content of diets today has changed over the years ?
YES   -   NO

13- Do you think that not exercising has anything to do with getting
     fatter ?  YES   -   NO

14- People who diet without exercising often get fatter with time ?

15- When you diet without exercising do you lose
a) fat
b) water and muscle

16- When regaining weight you lost without exercising it comes back as fat ?

17- Does exercising increase your metabolism ?  YES  -   NO

18- Which exercise do you think is best for controlling your weight ?
a) running
b) walking
c) swimming

19- For which reason should you consider losing weight ?
a) health
b) esthetics

Page Created on May 10th, 1999
Last updated on May 10th, 1999
   Copyright (C) 1998/1999 by Nada AbiSamra.

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