I've never worried about my weight; I've always been slender and my metabolism is very fast. However, in general my eating habits are bad. I love junk food.
Chocolate is the sixth food group to me. I also eat very irregularly every day and if there's a candy bar within my immediate reach, I will have it for breakfast. I almost never eat lunch, and sometimes I'll eat dessert instead of lunch or dinner. I eat fruit when it's around but I don't go to any trouble to make sure it's always in the house.
I'm not concerned about gaining weight, but I am wondering how negatively my love of junk food will affect my physical health down the road. How can I go about incorporating healthier foods into my diet and eliminating the junk? I can't imagine having to give up junk food entirely.
Also, is it really true that you should drink eight glasses of water a day? Future Fatty
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Dear Future Fatty
There are so many different things wrong with your eating habits. I am not sure how old you are, but you must be of school age and should know the facts about food and nutrition. You are walking on the yellow brick road toward clogged arteries (heart disease), dehydration and a multitude of diseases associated with malnutrition such as: pancreatic insufficiency, pernicious anemia and kidney disease.
Also, I hope you aren’t afraid of the dentist’s chair either. Eating consistent amounts of junk food and chocolate lead to tooth rot. That sweet tooth doesn’t sound so sweet anymore, does it?
Although you are a member of the lucky club who doesn’t have to obsess over calories to be slim, it doesn’t mean that you can completely negate the importance of the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals you can find in the five food groups.
It may be no big deal now to eat chocolate bars and skip meals but wait until your body begins to change. First there is puberty, but then there's the second change in your 20's ... 30's and so on.
Your hips begin to widen a little bit and your body composition shifts. You will find “padding” in areas you never thought possible and you literally start to look like a couch potato even if you aren't one. What’s worse is that it becomes harder than ever to lose the weight. All of the little tricks you once used to maintain your figure no longer work, and exercise becomes more of a chore than fun.
It also sounds like you are a person who indulges in immediate gratification and no self control. Maturity will help curb that, but deep down, I know you know that junk can not be substituted three times a day for: proteins, carbohydrates and HDL fats. Plus, don’t you find yourself getting moody when your sugar high wears off? That’s a result of poor eating. You can change that.
And yes, drinking water is very important. Human survival is dependent on water and it has even been ranked by experts as second only to oxygen as an essential for life. The average adult body is made up of 70% water. Water aides in digestion, regulates body temperature, blood circulation, cushions joints, protects tissues and organs, removes toxins, and carries nutrients and oxygen to cells.
The body needs about 2 1/2 quarts each day. Without it, you risk suffering from dehydration, hypertension, asthma, allergies, and/or migraine headaches.
Here’s what I recommend.
- Get into the habit of exercising regularly. There are innumerable heath benefits associated with being physically fit.
- Exercise psychological self control. If you are thinking about grabbing a bag of chips in the middle day - stop yourself.
- Force yourself to eat balanced meals and treat yourself to dessert once a day. If you don't allow yourself to eat what you crave, then you are going to wind up binging. Remember that anything in moderation is relatively ok, but dessert is only acceptable after you've eaten a portion size of real food.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day...no matter what!
If I sound like I am being harsh it’s only because I care about your well being. You always hurt the ones you love and I love my readers!