Obesity has a common cause (overeating the wrong foods and not getting enough exercise) as well as a universal solution (eating the right amount of the right foods and exercising). That's the truth you can take to the blood bank, I assure you. FALSEHOOD: Once you reach a certain age, you can't get in shape. TRUTH: You can improve your health and energy, at any age. You can improve your physical fitness, boost your energy and even improve your mental performance at any age, when you start feeding your body the right way. See the success stories beginning on page 345 for proof! FALSEHOOD: To be healthy, you just stop eating bad foods. TRUTH: Your health is enhanced by eating the right foods. There is so much emphasis in diet books on what not to eat and so much misinformation in the media about how "bad" food is for us I'm increasingly concerned that what's being overlooked is the truth that health is enhanced and our energy enriched by eating the right foods. Your body needs essential nutrients every day, and it's vitally important to understand that food is the ally, not the enemy. FALSEHOOD: You should not eat for "emotional reasons." TRUTH: You should enjoy eating, and it should be a pure pleasure! The idea that you should not enjoy eating — that you should somehow find a way to eat that doesn't feel good is absolutely ridiculous. I can't help but laugh when I hear these so-called "nutrition experts" insist, "Food should be used only as fuel for the body." That's like saying the only reason to have sex is to procreate. That's silly and it's not realistic. I wholeheartedly believe that you should enjoy food, and it should be a pure pleasure. There's absolutely no reason you shouldn't look forward to your meals and count on them to help you feel good. A delicious dinner can settle your nerves after a hectic day. A great breakfast can lift your mood and help you get ready to take on the day ahead. And a sweet, satisfying dessert can put a smile on your face. It does mine! There's really no reason not to honor the tradition of making food a part of the process of celebrating holidays, birthdays and special occasions as well. I think it's perfectly fine to reach for a bowl of chicken soup when your body's aching and you're feeling under the weather too. Through Eating for Life, you'll learn all about the right foods — the ones that are healthy and nourishing. And when you make those the mainstay of your meals, you can and will enjoy them. And you can eat to fuel your body, while also feeding positive emotions. FALSEHOOD: To stabilize blood sugar, you have to stop eating carbohydrates. TRUTH: Eating protein and carbohydrates balances blood sugar. Today's carbohydrate confusion began years ago when we fell for the low-fat fad. When food manufacturers began removing fat from foods and replacing it with highly processed carbohydrates, our collective blood sugar went through the roof, and the problems began. As it turns out dietary fat wasn't really the problem after all. However, in somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction, now the food fad is to cut carbs in an effort to bring blood sugar levels back into balance. Ten years from now, I guarantee we'll be looking back at this current craze and seeing some very serious side effects. The truth is, cutting carbs is not the healthiest way to stabilize blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are essential to eating right. The solution is to eat meals balanced with protein, quality carbohydrates and the essential fats your body needs. You'll see 150 examples of balanced meals in this book. And I'm sure you'll get the idea. When you eat balanced meals consistently, you will find energy you might have thought you lost forever. And you'll lose bodyfat you may have believed you were stuck with. FALSEHOOD: In order to be satisfied, you need to eat large portions. TRUTH: Quality, not just quantity, produces healthy satisfaction. Our bodies crave quality nutrition, not merely massive quantities of food. So many people in America today have it completely backwards, though. They believe the more they eat, the better they'll feel. Supersized portions at restaurants, fast-food chains and packaged goods at the grocery stores are obviously all playing into the falsehood that more is better. Yet so many people are stuffed but still "starving" for nutrition. The truth is, our bodies are satisfied by high-quality meals, not just big quantities of junk food. FALSEHOOD: To make a change, you need to wait until you're all ready. TRUTH: Don't wait until you're "ready." Please, do it now. You need not wait until you are "all ready" to make a change in your style of living. Don't fool yourself into believing now is just "too soon." If you wait until everything is perfect in your life before you make a change for the better, you'll be waiting forever! Truth is, the time to do it is now. The longer you wait before you take action, the more you delay the rich rewards that are rightfully yours. Energy, strength, renewed health and decreased bodyfat… please begin feeding these benefits now.