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A compromise with extra pounds is no healthy choice

I'm sure you've heard the cliché that a man would rather have a woman with a little "meat on her bones" than a woman who is rail thin. Depending on whom you ask, the size of a woman does matter. So does the size of a man. It's one thing to be appealing to the opposite sex, but it's another thing if that appeal compromises your health.

If you are unhealthy, it wouldn't matter if you are thin or carrying around the extra pounds. But one thing I know for sure: If you are overweight, you're most susceptible to any number of diseases. The old folks used to say, "Everybody needs a little meat on their bones." But they didn't tell us that the extra "meat" would cause a healthcare crisis of epidemic proportions.

Lugging the extra weight is much more detrimental than rail thin. The extra weight often leads to obesity and, consequentially, chronic illnesses. Weight gain is a problem for a lot of people. You don't need more weight on your frame, or less weight for that matter, to be appealing.

Mary, for example, is comely, middle-aged and carrying around a little too much weight. Realizing that her weight is an issue, she thought like the majority of overweight Americans that fad dieting is the key to weight loss. She tried every diet known to man and invented some herself in an effort to shave off a great deal of her 254 pounds.

Fads come and go. There are plenty of them – some touting quick fixes; others making fraudulent claims. For Mary, the Daniel Fast, Weight Watchers, Slim-Fast and lemon water weren't the cure-all that she was looking for to shed the extra pounds from her 5-foot 4-inch frame. Nothing she tried worked to lose weight and keep it off.

This weight loss epidemic is causing us to become easy prey for advertisers promoting or suggesting their newest food item. Low-fat bacon, for example, is considered fat-free and calorie-free. But in reality, we fail to examine the ingredients, believing we are actually eating a different kind of bacon that will not cause weight gain.

It's a safe bet that most Americans think as long as they're losing weight, it really wouldn't matter what they eat. This misconception is one of the reasons why two-thirds of Americans are obese. What you consume does play a major part in your overall health. The majority of health problems stems from being either too thin or overweight – all because of overeating or lack thereof.

What if calories didn't count? Would it be more satisfying if you didn't have to worry about calories? Well, a plant-based diet is the solution to enjoying your favorite dish so you won't have to worry about calories and subsequent weight again. Here's a suggestion: If you are sincere about your health, your diet needs to be high in healthy carbohydrates, which comes from eating vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and unrefined foods.

Processed foods, for example, are loaded with saturated fats and calories. When you consume less fat, you also consume fewer calories. Remember, 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories. So the more fat you consume, the more calories you take on. That's why a diet loaded with fat can cause weight gain, obesity and catastrophic diseases.

Losing weight is the hardest thing to do for some people. Just ask Mary. The latest diet craze didn't help her, neither will it help you unless you eat the right food, exercise and drink plenty of water. A low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may be a quick fix for losing weight, but a new study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that a low carbohydrate-high protein diet can induce cardiovascular disease.

Nearly 44,000 Swedish women ages 30-49 participated in the 15.7-year study.

The idea of losing weight quickly might be appealing to you, but are you willing to deal with the consequences if it leads to cardiovascular disease? It's really simple: Eat a plant-based diet and live. In fact, such a diet can prevent and reverse most health problems.

Try it for yourself. The new you that emerges will be more appealing than the weight you'll gain if you choose to eat recklessly.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He is the author of "47 Tips To Reverse Your Diabetes." He can be reached by email at ­This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , visit him at www.cheftimothymoore.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

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