ANALYSIS: Facts About Obesity Survey

Healthy diet plans are defined by eating foods you enjoy in satisfying quantities that allow you to reach and maintain your ideal weight.

  • There are no cravings with a healthy diet plan because you eat the exact same foods you're eating now. Only leaving an unnoticeable amount.
  • No emotional roller coaster. You don't diet, change habits or lifestyle. You don't go without. You don't deprive yourself of your favorite preferred foods. What's to get emotional about?
  • There is no dieting embarrassment or ridicule. No one can tell you're on a diet because you are eating what you always have.
  • Healthy diet plans are devoid of control issues. Do what you have always done. So there is no need to be in control. No cravings and no hunger equals no control issues.
  • No need to motivate yourself to do what you have always done.

The difference between a crave and cave diet and a healthy diet plan is a diet ends when you reach your weight loss goal. You then regain weight.

Healthy diet plans do not end when you reach your ideal weight. It's the beginning of living thin naturally for life. Free of all weight loss issues. You don't regain lost weight because you never dieted to lose weight in the first place. It's natural. It's organic and it is especially designed for sensible people who enjoy eating and hate dieting. A healthy diet plan takes you from losing your first ounce to maintaining your ideal weight for life. If it's not permanent weight loss, it's not successful weight loss. Diets don't work. Healthy diet plans do.

The following questions were asked to determine my participants knowledge of healthy diet plans and includes questions 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 17, 20, 40, 47, 51-58, 66, 68 and 75.

2. Which of these diet tips would work best for you?
  • reduce portions (26%)
  • reduce soda consumption (29%)
  • reduce fast food (19%)
  • reduce sweets (26%)
20. Which of these easy diet tips would benefit you most?
  • 30 minute daily walk (70%)
  • use low calorie sweeteners (2%)
  • eat breakfast (19%)
  • drink more water, fewer soft drinks (9%)

Compare these two questions and their responses and another contradiction jumps out. In question #2 participants voted 29% for soda reduction. In question #20 only 9% voted for fewer sodas. Participants ranked soda highest in question #2 as foods to reduce. While FEWER SODAS in question #20 ranked a distant third behind WALKING (70%) and EATING BREAKFAST (19%). Why did people scoff at fewer sodas in #20 while lauding reduced sodas in #2 with the highest score? Again compare the questions and the answer should become obvious.

Healthy Diet Plans

Question #2 asks, WHICH WOULD WORK BEST FOR YOU? Question #20 asks WHICH OF THESE WOULD BENEFIT YOU MOST? Soda worked best for a food reduction. But compared to walking and eating breakfast, fewer sodas was not perceived to benefit the participant's MOST. My survey participants hit the nail on the head.

When you analyze questions #2 and #20 as one question, survey participants identified several important components of healthy diet plans including portion reduction, walking daily, eating breakfast and reducing empty calories like soft drinks. My heart soared like a hawk! My survey participants GET IT!

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4. What type of weight loss food do you dislike most?
  • sugar free (42%)
  • low fat (26%)
  • low sodium (23%)
  • high fiber (9%)
17. Describe the low calorie foods you have eaten while dieting.
  • boring, hated it (83%)
  • exciting change, enjoyed it (4%)
  • it varied from good to bad (12%)
  • all of the above (1%)
40. What kind of food would you eat if weight was not an issue?
  • diet food (low cal, low fat, low sodium food) (2%)
  • health food (hummus, soy bean and tofu products) (21%)
  • natural food (meat, fruit, vegetable) (48%)
  • junk food (burgers, pizza, chops, beer, soda) (29%)
47. Which of the following foods do you prefer most?
  • sweets (33%)
  • salty (18%)
  • fast food (35%)
  • raw fruit and vegetables (14%)

These four questions were designed to identify participants food preferences. Dislikes and feelings about low calorie diet food. The top score in every question reveals a distinct dislike of "diet" food. 83% said in question #17 that they HATED low calorie food. SUGAR FREE FOOD is the most disliked weight loss food. While a combined 77% said NATURAL (48%) or JUNK FOOD (29%) is what they would eat if weight wasn't an issue. Now question #47 reveals the smoking gun.

My survey participants most preferred foods. FAST FOOD (35%) followed closely by SWEETS with 33% of the vote. A combined 68%. No wonder the least preferred food category was RAW FRUIT AND VEGETABLES at only 14%. This group of questions not only suggest that overweight folks dislike diet food, it validates it as well.

Healthy Diet Plans

The message here screams. My survey participants and I found each other only because previous diets and attempts at genuine weight loss failed. You can't lose weight if you're constantly craving, feel deprived or starved. I can guarantee no matter how much you're willing to starve, crave and wade through the misery of self-deprivation, you will never convince yourself you ENJOY TASTELESS and BORING DIET FOOD. It's not going to happen!

Diets fail because people cannot endure low calorie diet food. Diet food and low cal "pretend" food was overwhelmingly rejected by my survey participants and clients as a real, viable and workable solution to the real problem -- maintaining ideal weight once reached. Dieting as painful. Being overweight hurts but not as much as the diet itself. If this is not true, everyone who has ever dieted would be thin. How about you? Do you hate diet foods and dieting? Why?!

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57. How many non-diet, 12 ounce soft drinks do you drink per day?
  • 0-1 (20%)
  • 2-3 (39%)
  • 4-5 (25%)
  • 5 or more (16%)

This question offers huge weight loss opportunities. 80% admitted to drinking a minimum of two cans (24 ounces) per day. 41% said they drank more. The average American drinks 1.5 cans of soda (18 ounces) per day equaling 225 soft drink calories. Eliminate 1.5 sodas from your diet, don't replace the calories, and you lose 23 pounds in 12 months time. No other changes required. Mathematical fact. 16% of survey participants said they drank in excess of five soft drinks (60 ounces) per day equaling 750 calories. Eliminate the soda completely, don't replace the calories with something else, and you lose 78 pounds in 12 months. No other changes required. Mathematical fact.

Healthy Diet Plans

Loaded with empty calories and because we drink oceans of the stuff, makes this a perfect storm for easy weight loss. Eliminate soda and win the weight loss super lottery. Or cut back 50% and still lose weight.

Enjoy your soft drinks? I do, but I don't abuse it. No more than two or three a week. Many of my successful clients did two things, reduce soda and bag snacks in their diet. By making small concessions on high calorie products, like soft drinks and Fritos, you reduce enough calories to avoid a diet completely in many cases. Reducing soda and bag snacks make weight loss easy and painless. It's a good place to start defining a healthy diet plan that will work for you. Many of my clients lost every pound and reached ideal weight doing just three things. Reduce soda and bag snacks. Walk 30 minutes five days per week. Certain weight loss will result. Not hard, difficult or painful.

66. How much water do you drink per day? (8 ounce glasses)
  • 0-1 (11%)
  • 2-3 (49%)
  • 4-5 (22%)
  • 6 or more (18%)

Compare water consumption data in question #66 to the soda consumption we just discussed in question #57. Revealing isn't it? Very similar responses. 22% drink 4-5 glasses of water per day. In question #57, 25% say they drink 4-5 sodas per day. There's only one thing we are not considering when analyzing similarities in responses. Drinking water is a good thing. A necessary thing. It has no calories. Drinking too much soda is a harmful thing and averages approximately 12 calories per single ounce. The lesson here is clear and definitely not new. More water, less soda and sweetened drinks.

Healthy Diet Plans

82% drink less than five glasses of water per day. The recommended amount is eight glasses. 80% said they drank more than two cans of soda per day. An important component of any healthy diet plan is to emphasize water, iced tea, coffee and other drinks where you control sweetness. For instance a 12 ounce glass of sickening sweet iced tea with five teaspoons of sugar has only 80 calories compared to 140-150 in 12 ounces of America's favorite soda. Five teaspoons of sugar at about half the calories of a same size soda drink. Drink more water, tea, lemonade, coffee, 100% fruit and vegetable juice with a heavy emphasis on gulping down eight glasses of H2O everyday.

One of the most beneficial and useful weight loss strategies in existence is to drink an eight ounce glass of water ten to 15 minutes before eating a meal. The results are surprising. People eat slower and generally less. Another good H2O strategy is to have your glass of water before the meal followed by coffee and a broth based soup as an appetizer. Start your meals like this and your total calories consumption number should drop significantly. Water is an essential for life itself. A cornerstone of any healthy diet plan.

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11. Do you use a diet and exercise plan together or separately to lose weight?
  • together (59%)
  • separately (14%)
  • both (27%)

I wanted to see how many people did one without the other. No lasting weight loss can be achieved without a reasonable degree of physical activity. An effective and fun exercise program is an essential component of all healthy diet plans. Yes, you can lose a lot of weight by eliminating soft drinks and snacks. But to keep weight off you must replace existing fat deposits with fat burning muscle. 59% got it right. You cannot separate the two and expect lasting success.

Healthy Diet Plans

My survey participants are a living, breathing testament for the need to exercise regularly. Most rarely do. All are overweight.

Many people attempt to lose weight without increasing physical activity. They regain every ounce and a little more for the effort. The definition of "sedentary lifestyle" would include "not burning calories because your body is becoming a lump of fat and fat doesn't burn calories!" If your desire is to reach ideal weight and remain there for life, daily physical activity is in your future.

8. Do you use specific weight loss recipes as part of a healthy diet plan?
  • yes (73%)
  • no (8%)
  • sometimes (18%)
  • rarely (1%)

91% of my survey participants, all overweight or obese, admitted using "specific weight loss recipes." There is a vital connection between being overweight and throwing your metabolism under the bus with weight loss recipes that encourage eventual weight gain instead of weight loss. That's how many of my participants said they gained weight.

Healthy Diet Plans

Let's be frank and face facts. Diet and weight loss foods are EVENT foods! The event is your weight loss. When you step into the weight loss winners circle for a standing ovation, the show is over. The diet ends. Weight is always regained. I've seen it happen so often to so many good and gentle people it breaks my heart. I've seen the damage chronic dieting does to people physically and emotionally. Diet Disease is an insidious disease that leads to a miserable life and all too often, an early demise.

Healthy diet plans have no place for foods that you do not enjoy. That's a primary criteria for any lasting weight loss effort. Bottom line -- if you don't like what you're eating you won't eat it for long. See my idea of weight loss recipes when you visit Real Food Recipes and Sandwich Solutions on this web site. Then you will have a clear understanding of the difference between diet food and real food.

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51. What type of vegetables do you buy the majority of the time?
  • fresh (28%)
  • frozen (23%)
  • canned (49%)
52. How often do you eat fresh fish per week?
  • 0-1 (55%)
  • 2-3 (27%)
  • 4-5 (12%)
  • 6-7 (6%)
68. Do you pay attention to your vitamin intake?
  • yes, always (2%)
  • no, never (61%)
  • sometimes, when I diet (6%)
  • I take a one-a-day multivitamin and forget about it (31%)
75. How often do you eat fresh, raw nuts?
  • frequently (13%)
  • sometimes (28%)
  • rarely (38%)
  • never (21%)

I contributed this block of questions to determine the degree of natural vitamins and omega-3 fats my client were consuming. I also wanted to use the data to inform my clients about the dangers of vitamin deficiency. Frankly, many people I see are physically miserable. No energy, poor sleep habits, dry scaly skin, poor vision, constant muscle aches and pains plus several other symptoms of vitamin deficiency. Get your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. Not only are they necessary for an efficient metabolism and lasting weight loss, but life itself. This is not my rule. It's Mother Nature's and it's non-negotiable. I asked a physician friend what is the worst possible condition caused by vitamin deficiency. She responded, "vitamin deficiency is the first stage of dying." You have been warned.

Healthy Diet Plans

72% buy frozen or canned vegetables which suffer nutritionally compared to fresh vegetables. Best sources of essential omega-3 fats are fresh fish and raw nuts. 55% eat fish 0-1 times per week. While 83% eat less than three servings of fish per week. Combine that with only 13% who eat raw nuts frequently and its valid to assume many of the survey participants were suffering some form of vitamin deficiency. This assumption is validated in question #68 where 61% said they never pay attention to vitamin intake.

Stop focusing on weight loss and dieting and focus on a healthy diet that provides all of Mother Nature's required vitamin goodies. You need vitamins and minerals to live!

53. How frequently do you eat seconds?
  • frequently (34%)
  • sometimes (38%)
  • rarely (16%)
  • never (12%)

There is a direct relationship between eating two meals at every meal and being severely overweight. Worse, studies now show that people who eat seconds don't do so because of hunger, but habit. Effectively increasing calorie intake 30-100% at every meal. This is the abuse of which obesity is made. 5,000 survey participants said 34% eat seconds FREQUENTLY while 38% eat seconds SOMETIMES. That's 7.2 people out of ten who regularly make a habit of eating two meals at once. Only 12% said they NEVER ate seconds. Now here's the million dollar question. How much weight would you lose if you joined the 12% that never eats seconds? Skipping seconds can be a valuable asset when reducing calories.

Healthy Diet Plans

I have had literally thousands of conversations with people attempting weight loss. What people said convinced me that seconds are rarely caused by hunger. People eat seconds because they are seeking pleasure. The taste, touch, feel, smell and emotional satisfaction good food provides. They simply want more of a good thing. Eventually this behavior can become habit. What some refer to as food addiction. Not being able to say "No thank you, I've had enough."

Having seconds, an occasional full blown pig-out is normal human behavior. We enjoy eating so every now and then like Thanksgiving or Christmas, we stay home or visit family and pig-out as one united nation. If you do this on a daily basis, eat uncontrollably, I recommend speaking to your family physician. He could help you in many ways. Including discovering specific medical reasons for weight gain or the need for quality counseling if necessary.

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54. Do you know what actions are necessary to transform an inefficient metabolism to a more efficient one?
  • yes (23%)
  • no (52%)
  • not sure (25%)

I'm not going to dispute my survey participants answers but there it is staring at us. 23% of the participants said YES. If they knew how to make their metabolism more efficient why are they overweight? 52% said NO and stated the obvious. Here's two easy ways to painlessly increase calories burned by improving metabolism…

  • Depending on your level of physical activity you can increase calories burned by 100 -150 a day by drinking two cups of coffee.
  • Two alcoholic drinks can reduce calorie burning efficiency by up to 70%. When you drink alcohol your natural metabolic process is interrupted. Your body burns the booze and less fat.

Healthy Diet Plans

When I questioned my clients, most had no clue how to improve metabolic efficiency. Those who had the knowledge didn't practice what they knew. Healthy diet plans are an obvious component necessary to improve your metabolism as well as a good physical activity routine. Ignoring these facts is to accept a mediocre metabolism instead of a mighty metabolism. I'm not exaggerating.

An efficient metabolism is a top priority for genuine and lasting weight loss. Without an efficient metabolism losing weight is like running on a tread mill. You expend a lot of effort and get nowhere. Believe me, I've seen the truth with my own eyes. Weight loss is not hard or difficult. Living thin naturally is not beyond your reach. You have been lied to, mislead and deceived. Improving most peoples metabolism simply requires a decision to do so. Eat right, sleep good and move!

58. What type of food preparation is mostly used in your household?
  • broiled (20%)
  • baked (14%)
  • grilled (4%)
  • fried (42%)
  • baked (20%)

42% of survey participants rated frying as the preferred method of food preparation. Big surprise, huh? However, most people aren't aware that you can easily reduce the consequences of frying. You have to know what and how to fry to minimize the many consequences of frying. I fry every week. I like it. But I don't deep fry chicken in bacon grease. Overweight people do not rebel when they reduce soft drinks or bag snacks. Fried food is another story. Cut out frying and you almost insure some form of emotional rebellion based on cravings and deprivation.

Healthy Diet Plans

People like fried food. This is a burger and fries nation. When a diet outlaws frying, it gives the dieter one more favorite food to crave, miss and go without. One more reason to fail.

Frying does not have to be unhealthy. Use your smarts. Don't eat fried food everyday and use an oil with a high smoke point (peanut or Canola) and maintain the proper temperature when frying. Fluctuations in oil temperature cause both poor results and more oil absorbed into food. Also check out the ancient Asian art of stir frying.

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18. How much time per day can you allocate to exercise or physical activity?
  • 30 minutes (34%)
  • 60 minutes (32%)
  • 90 minutes (29%)
  • no time (5%)
19. What would be your preferred exercises for losing weight?
  • walking (67%)
  • aerobics (14%)
  • jogging (8%)
  • bike riding (11%)
20. Which of these easy diet tips would benefit you most?
  • 30 minute daily walk (70%)
  • use low calorie sweeteners (2%)
  • eat breakfast (19%)
  • drink more water, fewer soft drinks (9%)
25. Has walking for weight loss helped you lose weight?
  • yes (73%)
  • no ( 8%)
  • worked when I walked (19%)

This block of questions determines what type of physical activity my clients preferred. What they believed to be the most beneficial, and if the lack of time interfered with participating in meaningful physical activity. 95% said they had at least 30 MINUTES a day they could allocate to exercise. 67% preferred WALKING with AEROBICS a distant second at 14%. Participants show a distinct preference for walking that is validated by the response to question #25. 92% of the participants saying walking helped them lose weight when combining those that said YES walking helped and WORKED WHEN I WALKED

Healthy Diet Plans

The overweight folks who filled out my surveys, questionnaires and attended my focus groups have a distinct preference for walking because most have had varying degrees of success using walking as a valuable weight loss strategy.

The heart of ALL healthy diet plans is reliance on quality physical activity as a strategy to speed up weight loss as well as maintain ideal weight. Good physical activity is necessary to prevent creeping corpulence, the phenomena of bones deteriorating, muscle loss, testosterone (for men) and estrogen (women) loss due to aging. We burn less calories because we're less active and have lost vital fat gobbling muscle. The end result is creeping corpulence. The average American woman gains 1.5 pounds per year or a whopping 15 pounds every ten years. That's just the average. Some folks gain up to five pounds a year every year. The only answer is to build fat burning muscle. The most effective and least intrusive way to accomplish this is... walking.

The all time #1 most important and omnipotent factor to living a naturally thin life, is living a physically active life.

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