The series will cover subjects such as the health risks of obesity and excess body fat, the growing problem of childhood obesity, the best scientific evidence on losing weight and inspirational stories about communities that are working together to fight obesity.
Vegetarianism has always been touted as a great way to eat a healthy diet and to maintain a healthy weight. I know that I have struggled far less with my weight since becoming a vegetarian. However, I didn’t start winning the war against those ten or fifteen pounds that came and went until I started making sure I was eating the right kind of vegetarian diet.
A Vegetarian, but Not Necessarily a Healthy One
I struggled with portion sizes, skipping meals and with eating foods that were vegetarian, but not necessarily healthy. A big part of my problem was sugar. In an interview with National Public Radio, John Hoffman, HBO Vice President and executive producer of “The Weight of the Nation,” said their three years of research says sugar is one of the biggest causes of obesity in America.
There are strong recommendations about what people can do in their daily lives. I think the loudest one is that sugar-sweetened beverages, whether that be in juice, in sports drinks, in energy drinks, in sodas, that there is no reason for these to be in our lives. They are not something that were part of the human diet until recently, and we don’t have the biology that knows how to compensate for those – that fast rush of sugar. So we have many experts who say that this is the number one change that should happen in the American diet.”
How Healthy is Your Vegetarian Diet?
I had been a vegetarian for a couple of years before I finally got scared about the amount of sugar in my diet. It was extremely hard for me to give up my favorite cola and to cut back on sweets, even those that were low in fat. However, once I did, I never looked back. I lost several pounds over the course of a couple months, stopped going through that 3pm energy slump and I also got headaches less frequently.
Sugar wasn’t the only thing I had to cut back on – I also limited fried foods, white flour and starchy vegetables. But the sugar issue got me to really take a look at my diet and realize that eating a vegetarian diet wasn’t enough; I had to eat a healthy vegetarian diet.
I’m looking forward to watching the documentary. You can see the trailer and get more information at HBO’s webpage for the program. You can also read the NPR interview with John Hoffman at the NPR link.
If you’ve had to revamp or improve your vegetarian diet, I’d love to hear what your problem areas were and how you worked or are working through them.