CARVILLE: A path to healthy weight loss |

CARVILLE: A path to healthy weight loss

Phil Carville
Fitness Columnist

As you may remember, I am focusing on a weight loss because so many have that as the major resolution plan for 2018.

By now many have probably fallen off the wagon, but that doesn’t mean we have failed. It’s only February. Let’s get back on the wagon.

Remember two basics we have already discussed. The ‘Warren Buffett’ principle: set a realistic weight loss expectation, and ‘Basal Metabolic Rate’ concept: the minimum number of calories to keep you alive.

The calories consumed ‘above’ the Basal Metabolic Rate are the calories that are needed to function in society – move, walk, play, work et cetera. These are also the calories which can create excessive-weight and obesity when consumed in excess.


Basically, weight loss is simple. Start with a healthy diet, control portions and lose weight. But if it were really that simple, almost no one would be overweight.

We all know the dangers of excessive weight, but the fact is the 70-percent of adults in America are overweight or obese.

I have compiled 16 rules for losing weight. I wish I had the space to cite them all in this article. You may remember that I am working on a syllabus where I hope to integrate a Nevada County effective weight loss program.

I can briefly enumerate a few that are obvious and some that are subtle.


Start with a healthy diet: OK, that’s obvious: vegetables, fruit, whole grains, but why is it so hard to do it? For a good reference check out the USDA’s guidelines at It is good resource with lots of links to further information.

Keep an eye on portions: You know that as well. Eat all the broccoli and spinach you want. But remember almost all packaged foods contain too much sugar, salt or fat. Be conscious. Last week, there was an obese, young woman in the grocery line in front of me. She had several cartons of ice cream in her basket along with a lot of other stuff she shouldn’t eat. There were probably 6,000 calories in all that ice cream. I’ll bet she never thought of those calories, just the pleasant feelings of eating that Cherry Garcia.

Don’t rely on will power: You read that right! Starving yourself will not work. Your body will react to a drastic reduction of calories. Instead, control your food environment by getting rid of junk foods, avoid the pantry between meals, use smaller plates, avoid driving by fast food restaurants.

Go for low-density foods: Dr. Rolls of Pennsylvania State University developed a well-regarded ‘Volumetics’ eating plan. Eat those foods which have low energy-density, e.g. fruits, vegetables, soups and grains…. and avoid low-moisture or high-fat foods, e.g. cheese, crackers, cookies, fried foods. For example, snack on grapes instead of raisins because a cup of grapes has 120 calories while a 1/4 cup of raisins has the same amount.

Exercise: Yes, you know that too. Not a lot to say here except certain types of exercise are more effective for dropping weight. I know of individuals who have exercised for years and not lost the weight that they wanted.


I am reminded by a retired local policeman and friend. I’ll call him Sam – not his real name. Sam tried his ‘self-styled program of diet and weight for years without success. He wouldn’t listen to other advice, even though his program was not working.

One day, he pulled over a guy who gave Sam a lot of lip and said, “You’re fat!.”

Well, that did it. He changed his mindset, got on board with a new diet and personal training and then lost all the weight he wanted in six months.


I hope that we all, as residents of Nevada County, can follow though with our New Year’s weight loss resolutions. Yes, it is easy to back off and rationalize falling off the wagon. Yes, sometimes it seems too hard or complicated.

But please remember, your health may be pretty good today, but excessive weight can play some mean tricks on you. You know what those tricks are… low self-esteem, limited life-time earnings and romantic relationships, diabetes, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and the list goes on.

To quote Yogi Berra, “We made too many wrong mistakes.” Now let’s stop making wrong mistakes and make 2018 a better year.

Phil Carville is a co-owner of the South Yuba Club. He can be reached at

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