Probably no topic is more fraught with controversy than weight management. A basic problem in most approaches to nutrition and dieting is the “one size fits all” assumption. Human beings are extremely diverse in their biological predispositions as well as in their family and cultural backgrounds. There is not a universal eating formula, any more than there is a particular way to exercise that is optimal for everyone. This chapter reviews a multitude of factors bearing on the relationship among fitness, nutrition, and weight management. Information is provided to help you control your body fat level while maintaining a satisfying eating and exercise pattern.
Have you, or a member of your household, recently been on a diet? The proportion of overweight children and adults in the United States is epidemic. Preoccupation about the need to lose weight is widespread with more than half of the population on some sort of diet at any one time. However, from a health perspective it is much better to focus on improving fitness and life satisfaction rather than on simply losing weight.
Do you really need to lose weight or body fat or both? You may even seem to be quite thin yet still be very unfit with respect to body composition. Regardless of your outward appearance, more than 20% body fat for men or 25% for women is a potential health risk. On the other hand, some rather stout-looking