i usually like to focus on nutrient dense foods/meals and how they affect your health and NOT on weight loss, even though it is an enormous issue in this country, but i saw a blurb on msn website after i signed out of my hotmail account that caught my eye and i thought i would expand on it and provide my insight!  check out my agree factor...1-5 at the end of each tip (5 = i fully agree with the argument
here is the article
5 signs...
1. the all-powerful scale, i think it could be king! - in general, i do not like the scale.  i don't like hearing when women (and occasionally men) weigh themselves everyday.  i don't like it when people focus too much on a number and nothing else and they base their happiness on that number alone.  the scale is, of course, one way to measure progress, BUT i highly encourage you to have other measurable outcomes, like fitness level and blood markers.  because like i always say, it isn't only about how you look, it is also about how you feel!  plus, nobody is going to know your number unless you tell them!  come up with a way to measure your fitness level, like cardio programs you can do on your own and improve on each week, or work with a trainer and increase your strength, flexibility, and balance.  get a blood panel done at your next physical and compare the numbers every six months or so, using nutrition and exercise(not drugs) to better them.  research on your own ways to improve your cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides.  one thing i agree with totally on this tip is that men and women these days have a misconstrued idea of "ideal body weight."  it seems that we are now idolizing those who are underweight and those who are overweight!  and since our county has such a high % of overweight people, that seems to be the new norm!  so women who are 5'5" weighing in at 150 are considered normal and are many times praised for their size, when really this IS overweight in most cases, and can be accompanied by increased disease risk!  wow, i think i could keep going and going, but will stop there.  lesson, use the scale occasionally, but do not base your happiness on that number!  it is so much more rewarding to improve your fitness and health markers!
my agree factor = 3
2. fitness- i climbed some stairs today, woohoo, i am FIT - this one is right on the money!  i see it day in and day out!  people think they are getting exercise in if they walk up a flight of stairs!  COME ON!!!!  but ya know what, i totally understand why they would think that!  we have escalators EVERYWHERE!  i get so peeved when people stand on an escalator!  i hate it...well, let me rephrase, i highly dislike it when there are only escalators!  walking up stairs should be a normal everyday occurrence, not an added activity!   there should be stairs and elevators(for those who REALLY cannot use the stairs), no escalators!  ok, ok, everyone has to start somewhere, and for some people walking up stairs can be a huge deal, but most of us should be able to do this no problem.  i think a very high percentage of people would classify themselves as "moderately active" because they climb a flight or two of stairs a day and do 50 regular crunches at night in front of the TV!   to me, moderately active is walking a lot during the day as a normal routine PLUS 30-60 minutes of structured exercise most(5-7) days of the week.  so, which "moderately active" are you?  i agree whole-heartedly with this paragraph...
    What’s behind the disconnect? “People often choose exercise that they hate, so each minute of it seems much longer than it actually is,” Castillo explains. “People want instant results that exercise doesn’t give. They want to be able to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes and lose 5 pounds by the next day. This unrealistic expectation leads them to exaggerate their effort and to quit.”
get realistic with your fitness!  and that's all i have to say about that!
my agree factor = 5
3. tricking you with fancy wording, that's what's hot today! - this is everywhere these days.  my favorite of the moment is "made with whole grain."  when this is placed on a box, people think the food item is heads and tails above the rest and possibly less calories.  hate to bum you out, but i give that term a big thumbs down!  another one i love is "natural."  what in the world does that mean?   so chicken breast is labelled natural....what the hell else would it be!!!  people are always looking for the new fad diet and/or food item and all these additions to labels are just digging a deeper hole for you to climb out of, don't get sucked it!  remember, the best foods are the ones with no labels!  and like it says in the tip, just because a food is organic (which is good when it comes to pesticides and genetic modification) it doesn't mean it is lower calorie, you still need to be portion conscious!  don't let food rule your world, let food enhance your world!  pick the most nutrient dense items and stick to moderate portions. 
my agree factor = 4
4. oh the short term junkies, will you ever learn?! - cleanse, fast, lose 5 lbs in a week, how can i do this?...i have been asked it all!  you know how long it has taken me to get to the place i am now in my nutrition lifestyle?....i would say 5 years!...making bigger changes in the last year.  and i am still learning!  and i want to keep learning and growing!  you don't have to change everything all at once.  don't fall victim to the "all or nothing" approach.  besides, what will you do with yourself once it is over?  you need to keep working on it all the time.  slow and steady.  make mini goals every month.  and don't focus too much on "the lists" (check out the last part of this old blog).  i love this tip!
my agree factor = 5
5. "healthy"  what does this really mean? - on the same lines as tip 2, you may think your diet is healthy because you use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, don't eat certain fruits or vegetables because of their "high sugar content" and you "cut carbs at night."  well, this may get you to the body weight you want, but after reading all of my discussion and bringing everything together, is this the smart way to go about weight loss?  i don't think so!  you have got to take "dieting" out of the equation.  focus on what you need to add into your nutrition lifestyle rather than what you need to take out!  yes, of course, like i mentioned earlier, portions are still a big deal, you shouldn't (in most cases) eat 10 servings of fruit, a pound of salmon, and 5 cups of quinoa a day, but increasing variety of nutrient dense foods is the route to take.  based on my personal experience, when i started focusing on this, i became less and less stringent about portions.  and you will too!  once your diet is packed full of nutrient dense ingredients, you are truly "moderately active", you quit focusing on the number on the scale, you learn knew things and add new ingredients to your diet each and every month, and you don't fall victim to "label lingo", you will know what i am talking about!  it doesn't all need to be done today, just start today!
my agree factor = 4

end note....the new DIETARY GUIDELINES came out about 2 weeks ago.  i actually like that they didn't give you an overload of info.  my initial impressions are good.  i think people need to read over these and then do some research on their own to figure out how the guidelines can and should fit into their lives.  of course, i like that they emphasized nutrient density!

would love to hear your thoughts on the "weight loss" tips and the dietary guidelines.
what are some of your experiences?
do you use the scale a lot?
are you "moderately active"?  which one?
do you eat "made with whole grain" or TRUE "whole grain"?
have you done a cleanse, fast, or short term diet in the last 6 months, how did it go?
are you a "healthy" eater?  how so?