Could it the that the word swine in swine flu is some kind of metaphor for the epidemic of fattiness that has swept across the nation in recent times? Have you taken notice of how many of us are overweight?

Our fat is everywhere. Loose fitting clothing has become the rage. Sedentary lifestyles are more the norm then the exception. Does anyone walk anywhere anymore other then to and from the car?

As restaurant meals have become more expensive and menu prices have increased, have you noticed that food portions have gotten bigger as well. When we eat out, our plates are stuffed with far too much food.

Worse yet, the foods subject to ever increasing portions are not the ones that are good for our health. It is not the fresh fruits and veggies that cover our plates, it is the potatoes, breads, rice and other carbohydrates that have gotten super sized.

Not to mention the sauces, gravies, dressings and other calorie as well as fat laden extras. Far too often, the salad is swimming in some creamy (and of course very tasty) dressing. And don’t forget the chips. Or the butter.

Best of all, in most places you get the bottomless large water glass of popular soft drink of wash down all those fats and carbs. Nothing like a major dose of sugar to make it all go down easier.

Far too often, eating at home is not a whole lot better. The groceries we buy at the supermarket are for the most part heavily preserved, loaded with far more sugar than meets the eye, heavy with the kind of calories that turn into fat once in the body or are feature lots of dairy fat.

Most people are good at the carb consumption game at home as well. And lots of us like our deserts. Second and even third helpings are common. Fresh foods are few and far between in a fare dominated by processed foods.

Then there is sugar. We are such a sugar consuming nation that ever increasing numbers of us are turning into diabetics. We are doing so at all ages. In fact, diabetes will become the health epidemic of the future and will overwhelm our health care system. The costs in terms of both health and dollars will be staggering.

All because we not only overfeed our faces, we do much of it with the wrong kinds of foods. The time has come, in fact is long overdue, to put an end to obesity.

Given our love of a good meal and our propensity to eat way too much of it, how are we to take on such a Herculean goal?

Answer: intelligently, gradually and in a process that does NOT force us to become suddenly self-disciplined in an area where we are so completely comfortable. The answer is not to:

-starve ourselves by cutting back on consumption and somehow hanging on through the associated misery and unhappiness; -do the usual take off the weight and than put it back on routine; -pursue fad diets that come and go and thereafter leave us where we started; -spend inordinate time, effort and money on prepackaged foods delivered to our homes that we most certainly cannot sustain forever; -suddenly become an ultra-marathoner overnight; -take pills and other drugs that are just flat dangerous for our well being.

What makes sense is to get into a weight loss program that provides an easy to follow, step by step process and leads us to healthy, permanent weight loss. Particularly a diet system that focuses on reducing fat so that we have flatter bellies, smaller hips, slimmer thighs and far fitter bodies. Not to mention much healthier hearts.

That kind of diet program requires that we eat foods we like, not foods that we have to force ourselves to consume. Further, it would have us eating more often during the day rather than binging on three meals per day where we tend to overeat because we get too hungry. The traditional routine of eating a meal and waiting 4-6 hours before eating again encourages our system to get used to eating larger portions at each sitting.

The result is more fat stored around our mid-sections, backsides, hips and upper legs. Not to mention other undesirable locations as well. In other words, the standard three meal a day routine is one of the best pathways to obesity.

Enough! The time has come to draw the line. Let’s get smart, get slimmer, get healthier and do it all in an effortless manner that ends up helping us look and feel much better.

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