The SWLL is an integrated program. Each part of it supports the others. All of them, working together, achieve the goal of a healthy weight for life. It is important to have a clear understanding of each component of the SWLL and how each relates to the others.
For best results, this book should be read twice. The first time to get a general feel for the ideas and the program. The second time is a more critical reading. You will focus on how the various parts of the SWLL fit together. You will challenge the ideas in this book and seek out external sources to confirm or refute them.
The provided links are an important part of the book. If there is a topic for which you would like more information, just click on the link, if there is one nearby. If you are reading this in a physical book, you will have to enter the URL in your browser. Be aware that much of the linked-to material is very technical.
By challenging the ideas in this book, you will deepen your understanding of the mechanisms of the SWLL. Here are some examples:
Carefully controlled experiments show that an extra pound of muscle mass raises the basal metabolic rate by 6.4 calories per day. Yet, in this book it is claimed that an extra pound of muscle mass causes an expenditure of an extra 30 calories per day.
This book claims that lifestyle is responsible for 65–70% of cancer deaths. If true, this means that by adopting a healthy lifestyle you can reduce your risk of dying from cancer by about 65%.
The Internet is a wonderful resource for researching such claims. Read Appendix 5: Research for some tips on how to separate the accurate facts from the mountain of misinformation.
You can also expand your knowledge of important parts of the SWLL by reading other selected books.
In this book, much is made of the importance of substitution. For example, drink skim milk instead of whole milk to reduce your fat and calorie intake. The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan by Barbara Rolls and Robert A. Barnett is an entire book dedicated to the idea of lowering the energy density of the food you eat. It is packed with information and practical tips.
The chapter on weight training in this book outlines the principles involved and has some suggestions on how to get started. If you read this chapter and start working with a trainer, you will do fine. However, weight training is a technical subject and it is useful to read more deeply on it. You may find the following two books to be especially useful.
Weight Training for Dummies by Liz Neporent, Suzanne Schlosberg and Shirley J. Archer is a complete guide to every aspect of the subject. Contrary to its title, it is not “dumbed down.” It emphasizes safety. Each exercise is described clearly, with tips on what to do and what to avoid.
Miriam E. Nelson has authored a series of “Strong Women” books. Strong Women Stay Young lacks the depth of Weight Training for Dummies but it is suitable for older people and for people who are deconditioned. The exercises are less strenuous and they can be done at home.
Finally, you can gain deeper understanding of the issues presented in this book by reading the provided references. These are in the form “PMID 15640513” and refer to articles in a database maintained by the US government. To access the reference, enter:
in your web browser. This particular reference discusses the adequacy of the government’s recommendation for protein intake.
Other references are in the form “PMC 3227989” and they are referenced as:
If you are reading this book on an e-reader that can access the Internet, just touch the link and the article will appear on your screen.
The companion website to this book is: