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Not Just Talkin' The Talk

Diet Wars

By Linda Goldfarb
Certified Physical Fitness Specialist So many choices. Should I try Atkins? Sugar Busters? South Beach? Low Fat? No Fat? Or, should I just say “forget it” and buy a package of Oreos? Aaaggghhh!

Everyone wants a simple answer. Sorry to say, there is none.

As individuals, we have to make this life changing decision on our own; it’s called being accountable for your actions, and it has to fit your current lifestyle if it is going to be successful.

Let’s start off by getting rid of the negative feelings that the word “diet” brings to mind. According to the Random House College Dictionary, diet is described as “the usual or regular foods a person eats most frequently." This means everyone is on a diet!

Responsibility for our actions is the key to success. When we ask others to make up our minds for us, we take ourselves off the hook. Asking, “So, what should I do to lose weight?” gives another person charge over areas that we need to care for by ourselves. Do you have to go it alone? No! Not at all. The decision has to be your own. The means to achieve success should involve knowledgeable discernment, support groups, friends, and family members who can provide positive input and constructive criticism without nagging or goading.

I truly believe that a person has to be willing to approach the barrier that has kept them from being successful in this area of health, be it emotional, physical, or spiritual. Then they need to look past the barrier and see the victory and do whatever it takes to claim it.

As found in Deuteronomy 20:4, “For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” With God as our companion in any battle, how can we not be successful? This includes our battle to be in the best health possible.

Dietary Weapons of Choice

All right! Now that we know the battle is won, the next step is what we will use as our weapons of choice for the fight.

Once again, we praise an awesome God, who, in His great wisdom, has created all of us uniquely. That means what works for one person may not work for another. Trial and error is tedious work, but sometimes it is necessary in order to find the answer.

Special needs of individuals—medical condition, activity level, time allotment, desired effect or results, willingness to make a change, and support of family and friends—are all factors we should consider when choosing a new diet.

Sometimes a drastic change can kick-start a metabolism into high gear. This can occur with the Atkins, South Beach, and Sugar Buster diet plans. (Each plan has its own variables.) The main premise is to consume protein and fat, limiting carbohydrates and sugar (glucose*). Many people have lost large amounts of weight on these plans, but it can be difficult to stick with the program for an extended period of time. Used as a diet plan for the whole family would be difficult because children need carbohydrates as fast fuel. Adjustments will be necessary for eating in restaurants, but it is possible.
In the recent past, more people turned to the Low Fat, No Fat plans. First note that our bodies require fat as an essential part of our digestive system. Many of the Low- or Non-fat items have artificial ingredients, which may or may not make a difference in your body (research is ongoing in these areas) or your taste buds. There are a variety of menu options for this type of plan.

Of course, there is the traditional pyramid plan that says if you take in X amount of dairy, X amount of protein, X amount of fruit, X amount of veggies, and X amount of grain, you will be just fine.

Also Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutri-Systems, and many more are available in the marketplace, starting you off on their pre-packaged foods and then weaning slowly to a diet of regular food once you have grasped the concept of self-discipline and the “calories-in, calories-out” rule of weight loss.

The choice is yours. What works for one doesn’t always work for another, so research your options carefully.

Here is the big question: What is your main desire for a change in your body? Is it health, looks, energy, or medical challenges? Good health should be the ultimate reason. In order to be the best we can be—and we are asked to be by our Lord Jesus Christ—we must acknowledge our responsibility, look at the options, and take action.  If your health is not at its peak performance level, try something – anything. Just take action!

*Glucose in our system stimulates the brain to produce insulin to carry the glucose into our cells, where it is absorbed as fast food (energy). There is a limited amount of glucose that can be absorbed by our cells, and the liver has only so much space to store the glucose as glycogen for future use. Any glucose surplus will be converted to fat and stored as such. Let this serve as a reminder that when you eat an excess of carbohydrates, you are creating a lack of desire on your body’s part to cook off any existing fat, because it can easily live on the newly introduced carbohydrate. Meaning, if you choose to feed your body what it doesn’t have to work hard to break down for fuel, it won’t.

Linda GoldfarbLinda Goldfarb is a certified physical fitness specialist, speaker, and syndicated radio talk show host. You can download her weekly “Not Just Talkin’ the Talk” radio broadcasts, a one hour variety talk show based out of San Antonio, Texas, at Linda’s show encourages listeners to “walk the walk” spiritually, physically, and relationally each and every day. Contact Linda to speak at your next event: (Photo Copyright © Lisa Pittman Photography).   

NOTE: Before beginning any new fitness program that requires a change in diet or exercise, it is recommended that you consult your physician for input. This informational series is not intended for medical or nutritional claims dependent on substantial clinical studies and FDA approval, and should not be construed as a claim for cure, treatment, or prevention of any disease.  It is intended solely for information and educational purposes. Linda is not a physician or expert in the medical field. She has been involved in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for numerous years. The information given in these sessions have been derived from  books and materials brought together over the years from many sources, including her personal life experiences.


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