TO LOSE WEIGHT
A long term study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shocked scientists. The study showed that 1/4 (25%) of Americans were seriously overweight in the 1960s and 70s.
The number of seriously overweight Americans jumped to 33% (an increase of over 30%), during the 1980s and 90s. The figures show an even more dangerous trend in the younger generation. 15 percent of teenagers were seriously overweight in the 1970s. In 1991, the figure was 21 percent, a 40 percent increase in fat teenagers. Usually, most people don't get fat until they become adults.
The average child watches 10,000 TV commercials a year advertising food. The commercials are not advertising fruit and broccoli either.
They are watching pizza commercials with rubbery, sticky, cheese that behaves like a very strong rubber band (and we wonder why constipation is so high). Can you imagine that cheese trying to get through your stomach and intestines? They are watching hamburger commercials with two, three or four fried greasy patties, greasy bacon piled on, greasy sauce, served with a super large order of greasy fries, washed down with a gigantic sugary drink. They are watching candy commercials with cute talking candy pieces and breakfast cereals that contain up to 50% sugar.
Even the portions of the food have drastically gone up. A large order of french fries is a meal (although an unhealthy one) in itself. You can order soft drinks that are 64 oz., that's two quarts of sugary drink for one person. And we wonder why we are getting fatter. In addition, the cost of junk food has gone way down. A hamburger and fries are cheaper now than they were 10 years ago.
You can buy a large double patty burger cheap. A meal from a fast food restaurant, large burger, large fries, and large drink costs less than a wholesome meal prepared at home. Junk food has become cheap, and health care has become expensive. You pay on one end or the other.
Why are we so fat? We are being advertised to, cajoled, tempted and then given super fattening food to satisfy our desires. Social conditions even play a part.
The CDC study found the highest rate of obesity, up to 70%, among some Native American (American Indian) groups. Next in line were Black and Mexican-American women, with nearly 50% of the adult women fat. White women had a rate of 33.5% fat.
In 1965, a study showed that the rate of obesity among the poorest groups of people was five times as great as among the richest. America has a backwards fat rate.
In some cultures, it is the rich people who are fat and the poor people who are thin. In America the rich are thin and the poor are fat. Being fat as a sign of prosperity still exists in some cultures of the world.
In those cultures, it is understandable. Food is money and having food is a sign of having money. In the Bible when a depression hit the land, they called it a famine and their major concern was food. In America, we are concerned about many things, but starving is not one of them. You can go to the poorest of any American community, white or black, and you will see a large amount of people that are grossly overweight. There may be a shortage of proper nutrition, but there is no shortage of food.
The pressures of life undoubtedly pile up higher on the lower socioeconomic end. Food has always been an outlet, almost like a drug. Much obesity is traceable to depression. When we feel bad, or alone, or unloved, or abused, or discriminated against, or powerless or poor, we often eat to ease the pain.
But fatness in America ultimately has its roots in our inability to control our flesh. And it's getting worse. This nation needs control. This nation, like the ancient ones, needs to fast.
The waistlines are steadily moving up. America is getting fatter and fatter, among the young and the not so young. The technical term is "obese" but I will cut through the politically correct word and call things as they are. America is getting fatter.
America has a weight problem. More precisely, an eating problem that manifests itself as a weight problem. That's a critical point to understand. The problem is not the weight. The weight is the result or the fruit of the problem.
The problem is:
WE CANNOT CONTROL OUR APPETITE.
If we control the appetite, the weight is automatically controlled. I am not talking about the small percentage of Americans that have a glandular problem. I am speaking about the vast majority of us that cannot control our diet.
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Prov 23:1-2
The NIV translation puts it this way:
When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
When we cannot control our appetite, we literally are putting a knife to our throats (the ancient symbolism for killing yourself). Being fat puts you at a greatly increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, gout, arthritis, many forms of cancer and a host of other ailments. The knife at our throats may be a surgeon's knife on the operating table.
We are trying to diet, but failing miserably. Only 5% of people who go on a diet and lose weight keep the weight off for five years. What happens to the other 95%? They remain fat or get fatter.
Is it that the diets don't work? Yes, and no. . . The diets work, we don't. We lack the discipline to control our diets and eventually slip back to old habit patterns.
There was plenty of dieting in the Bible. It was called fasting. Fasting is simply the restriction of our usual eating. Whether a fruit fast or a water fast or a fast from meat, or beef or sweets, fasting is a restriction of our food, a diet.
People have had the same temptations and weaknesses throughout recorded history. I do not see that changing any time soon. Food has always been one of those weaknesses. Fasting is a way to overcome the food weakness.
Fasting can be a real life saver for the overweight person. The benefit of fasting is not in weight loss. Fasting will make you lose weight. A water fast will result in an average of 1 to 2 pounds per day of weight loss. But that is not the benefit of fasting for weight loss.
"I think that will benefit me," you may say, especially if you are overweight. But that is not the total truth of fasting and weight loss.
Fasting can actually make you fatter.
The power of fasting is not in losing weight during the fast, but in gaining control of your appetite, which is the REAL problem.
During a fast, the body burns its own fat. As the body burns its fat there is a release of chemical compounds called "ketones". Medical science claims this is the source of "bad breath." That is partially true. I am familiar with the smell of ketones from my chemistry training. When ketones are released, I did smell them, but the other stuff that was on my breath was NOT KETONES. The stuff that came out in the enema was NOT KETONES, it was M.E.S.S.
As the body burns fat, eliminates M.E.S.S. and cleanses itself, two things happen that can make you fatter.
First, after several days, your metabolism slows down. If your body were being described as a car, metabolism would be all of the engine and battery processes. The body slows its metabolism approximately 20% after several days on a fast. Medical science describes this as a survival mechanism.
If the body is not getting food, then it slows down so that it needs less food, that makes plenty sense. This way, you can live much longer with no food if your body slows down.
Second, your digestive system is cleaner. The villi in the intestines are cleaner, the stomach lining is cleaner, the colon is cleaner.
When a car engine gets dirty, it uses more gas per mile. If the spark plugs are dirty, the carburetor or fuel injectors clogged, the wires corroded, and the air filter is clogged, the engine does not run efficiently.
Clean up the car engine and your gas mileage will improve. You can go farther from the same gallon of gas. The same is true of your body.
If the lungs are clogged, the intestines coated with filth, the colon stopped up, the blood thick and sluggish, fat surrounding the heart and in the arteries, the body is running inefficiently. Clean up the body, and you will get more miles to the gallon.
A fast cleans up the body.
A fast slows the metabolism.
When you combine those two elements, a cleaner more efficient body with a slower metabolism, you need less food for the same level of activity. Food is absorbed and utilized better in a clean digestive system. It does not take a research team to spend years testing, analyzing, taking surveys and doing clinical trials to prove that. That is common sense.
If it takes less food to do the same thing, it means one of three things:
1. You need to cut down on the food you were eating before the fast since you do not need as much food for the same level of activity.
2. If you eat the same amount of food after the fast as before, you need more physical activity to use the extra efficiency and slowed metabolism.
3. If you eat the same, and have the same activity level, you may get fatter!
I am trying to tell you the truth as I understand it. I will not lie or make fasting sound like something it is not. Fasting can make you fatter if you don't change after the fast.
Fasting will allow you to gain control of your appetite. There comes a power of self-control after you have completed a long fast that is like nothing else. You may not get the self-control that you seek on your first fast. But, do you master anything else on your first try?
Fasting on a periodic basis allows a person to gradually gain control over their appetite. Do not gorge before or after the fast! Learning to control your desire for food as you break your fast is a great aid in controlling it daily.
You will find that you are not hungry when you end your fast (after three days, hunger usually abates). You are not hungry, but the desire to eat is there. There is a big difference between actual hunger and desire for food.
Learn to control the desire, learn to eat only when you are physically hungry. This is the ONLY way any type of permanent weight loss becomes effective. You must have a change of thought pattern and a change of lifestyle.
A diet is always viewed as a punishment. We don't like punishment. I don't care who you are, eventually you will move away from punishment to that which is rewarding.
The only way to successfully lose weight is to CHANGE what we view as rewarding. As long as stuffing yourself with food, eating three or more clogging meals per day and sweets and fattening foods are your idea of reward, you will remain either fat or on a constant weight yo-yo.