I Am Working With Two Women…

To have them lose a significant amount of weight. NOT for looks, beauty, other’s eyes. Rather for the sake of their health. To decrease tremendous suffering as they age. One is in her mid-late 50’s. The other is 10 years my junior, 65.
Presently, neither of them suffer pain or any major health problems, but without the weight loss, without the change in how and what they eat, without the increase in physical activity….they will.

It is always amazing to me how poorly American’s eat. Even vegetarian restaurants still serve refined bread and grains. Still serve white, white, white. When they can just as easily serve whole grain pastas, bread, noodles, or just whole grains: farro, amaranth, quinoa (amaranth & quinoa are technically seeds).

A new study: “Feeding climate and biodiversity goals with novel plant-based meat and milk alternatives” in Nature Communications (12 September 2023) showed that just halving the consumption of meat/animal products (port, chicken, beef & milk) would stop deforestation and loss of natural lands and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a third.
Tremendous, tremendous benefits just by eating HALF of the animal foods you presently eat.

And the two women who I’m helping to lose weight, they’ve each lost 20# in 3 months. Slow and steady.

How? First by staying conscious of stopping eating when they reach SATIETY; that point when you are satisfied, when you take the deep breath before you dig in and restart eating. That point that ALL babies and toddlers know. They stop eating when they are satisfied, and if their mother, father, other one feeding them tries to get them to eat more…..they will shake their heads, turn their heads, do what they can to not have to take another bite.
Watch people of normal weight eat and you’ll see that they stop eating long before others at the table stop.
They’ll often leave food on their plate. Especially in a restaurant, where portions are most often too large.
Second, by eating s-l-o-w-e-r. Slowing down our eating allows us to feel our bodies, allows us to stay conscious of when we reach that point of satiety.
And Third, by assuring that the meals they eat provide sufficient protein with emphasis on legumes (beans, lentils, dahl, tofu) which can be added to meat or fish dishes to help decrease the animal protein. An emphasis on cooked vegetables (which provide more fiber – cup for cup, than raw veggies); and an emphasis on whole grains. Yes, the brown farrow, amaranth, quinoa, whole wheat, whole corn, brown rice; NOT the white.

More cooking time? No.

More satisfaction? Yes.

Weight loss? Definitely YES.

Question Posed to Editor of New York Times

The following is my question to Jill Abramson, Executive Editor of the New York Times (sent today, October 17, 2012):

Hello Ms. Abramson,
Thank you for providing this forum for NY Times readers.
My question has to do with the epidemic of “lifestyle” diseases: diabetes, gastro-intestinal disorders, heart disease, hypertension, gout, etc., whose etiology stems from Metabolic Syndrome, which stems from obesity.

I am asking if the Times is willing to commit to a concerted effort to have reporters investigate what specific and practical/real things we as a society can do to begin to lessen the incidence of these related diseases.  Can we begin a real dialogue with the food industry (all aspects of the food industry from farming to manufacture to distribution to fast food/leisure dining), with Congress, with big pharma, with large and small corporations being willing to change the vending and food available to workers, being willing to have paid exercise breaks, etc.; to see what can be done to reverse these deadly and very costly diseases.

Would fast food be willing to begin to serve all of their bread products with 30% whole wheat flour, increasing over a 10 year period to 80% whole wheat flour?  Will Congress be willing to investigate the rise in obesity with the increase of sugared drinks (including the juice provided by the WIC program)?  Would Big Pharma be willing to devote half of their advertising time to prevention of the GI, erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, diabetes for which they tout their medicines?

When I hear the Presidential and VP debates mention the rising cost of Medicare…..no one, not a one mentions the need to control and reverse our obesity/Metabolic Syndrome problem.
Medicare costs will not begin to be checked unless and until we do.

Thank you again for your willingness to read and respond to our questions.
Mary Farkas
(I hold an M.S., and M.A. and am a retired Registered Dietitian)