CWanamaker enjoys reading, writing, and learning about the world around us.
It doesn't take a genius to look around and realize that America has a serious problem. No, I'm not talking about politics and guns. I am, however, talking about obesity. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the obesity rate in America is at an all-time high with well over 37.7% percent of adults having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. Furthermore, the statistics show that more than 70.2% of American adults are overweight having a BMI of 25 or more. The sad truth is that America is the fattest nation in the world.
There are many reasons why America is so overweight and there are probably just as many, if not more, ways to lose the weight as well. Moreover, there are a variety of scientific and fad diets available for people hungry enough to lose some weight. In addition to diet and nutrition programs, a large selection of fitness programs exist to help you focus on melting the weight away through physical activity. Whether you focus on food or fitness (or both), the fact is that the weight loss industry generates more than 66 billion dollars in revenue annually (Marketdata LLC). With that much money at stake one could be led to believe that society might actually want us all fat...
Conspiracy theories aside, losing weight doesn't have to be challenging or difficult. Weight loss simply requires a lifestyle change where you start thinking about food and fitness differently. No diet will ever create lasting positive health benefits, since by definition a diet is temporary. And about that conspiracy theory, the truth is that modern society is indeed designed to make us fat.
If look back on history you'll find that we weren't always this fat. It's only been in the last 40 or 50 years that obesity rates have sky rocketed. So what did we do then that we aren't doing now or vice versa? Well, the solution is obvious when you think about it, obesity is a consequence of modern society which includes sedentary lifestyles and an abundance of cheap, calorie dense foods. Therefore, there is only one way to get yourself to a healthy weight. You must learn to start doing things and eating things "the old fashioned way," like we did before the obesity epidemic. You'll find that your body and your health will start to change when start to drift away from modernity and towards simpler times. To state it more simply, all you really need to do is move a little more and eat a little less than you do now - just like American's did in decades past.
Start moving a little more and eating a little less and you'll begin to see changes in no time.
When we talk about eating less what we mean is that we need to consume less calories. Eating less calories can be easier than it sounds especially if you set yourself up for success. In fact, making healthy choices and eating more natural and unprocessed foods will go a long way to helping you lose weight. When you approach eating properly and surround yourself with the right foods and the right support there is almost no way you can fail. You won't even need to count calories either!
So how do you do this? Again, it's quite simple actually. The first thing to keep in mind is that when you choose foods to eat you simply need to find foods that are as unprocessed as possible. Just 50 years ago, the idea of the modern grocery store was unheard of. Furthermore, processed "instant" frozen and microwave meals didn't exist in the form that they do today. The more processed a food is the more calories it is likely to contain. In fact, any modern food is going to be so calorie dense that, for example, just one fast food meal is often enough to sustain someone for an entire day.
Speaking of restaurants, this is something to avoid if you want to lose weight. Restaurants use a variety of "tricks" to make you feel hungrier and consume more food all in a ploy to get you to spend more money. In modern America you can find a restaurant on almost every city intersection. Access to quick, prepared food is innumerably easier today than it was in the past. In addition to this, restaurants aren't shy with the sugars and salt and often have portion sizes large enough to feed a small family. If you choose to eat a restaurants avoid "quick" and "processed" foods and only eat 1/3 to 1/2 of the meal that you are served.
In order to eat better it's going to require that you really starting thinking about the foods that your eat in a different way. Buy fresh ingredients and cook your own meals and only shop on the outer perimeter of the grocery store. If you can, buy locally grown foods. Pre-prepared meals are full of preservatives, salt, and artificial ingredients which are designed to make them last longer and taste better. The side effects of these man-made ingredients include weight gain, disease, and uncanny cravings for more food. Natural food consisting mainly of lean meats and vegetables are generally the best things to eat.
When you change the way you shop and start avoiding the "modern" processed foods that are making us fat, you will start to see positive changes in your life.
The other side of the weight loss coin is learning to move more. It's a fact that Americans have a very sedentary lifestyle. In our modern society we can easily spend most if not our entire day sitting down. According to JustStand.org, the average person spends 12 hours a day sitting. If you add in the 6-8 hours of sleep people get that doesn't leave much room for walking. While at work we sit in a chair. Much like our modern cities are designed around the car, our working environment is designed around the chair. A chair has become the centerpiece of almost all places of employment.
Sitting down has unfortunately become an American pastime. When we get home from a long day of work we sit on the couch and watch TV before moving to the table to eat dinner. And between all of these things we are likely sitting in our cars while we go from place to place every day. To escape the modern sedentary lifestyle you must make a decision to move more.
As busy as we all are it can be challenging to find a way to move more. Finding motivation can also be tough. However, moving more can easily be accomplished with only a few minor changes in your life.
One of the biggest (and easiest) things I can suggest is to stop watching so much TV. Make a conscience decision to watch less TV each day, it's not good for you anyway. Instead of watching TV you can go for a walk while listening to the radio or audio books. You can also focus on just getting more movement throughout your house as you clean and pick things up. Another easy suggestion is to park your car far away from anywhere that you go. Why fight for a nearby parking spot when you can park 5 minutes away instead? Parking just 5 minutes away from your destination forces you to incur an additional amount of walking. This can quickly add up to more than an hour of extra movement per week.
More often than not, you will likely need to make a deliberate and purposeful effort to get more exercise and movement in your life. Modern society is simply not designed for you to get enough movement throughout day unless you work in the fitness industry or perform manual labor. Making time to exercise is a crucial part to living a long and healthy life. Many people who exercise like to do it first thing in the morning. However, I do understand that this can be challenging. Find anything that you can to get some extra movement each day and the benefits will add up over the long term.
Society compels us all to be overweight - this is a side effect of a modern lifestyle. We must stay vigilant and fight the good fight against obesity and poor health on a daily basis. Make the choice to live an "old fashioned" but healthy lifestyle and you won't regret it.
JustStand.org. The Facts: The Human Body is Designed to Move. 2018. <http://www.juststand.org/the-facts/>
Marketdata LLC. US Weight Loss Market Worth $66 Billion. December 20th, 2017. <https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-weight-loss-market-worth-66-billion-300573968.html>
US Department of Health and Human Services. Overweight & Obesity Statistics. 2018. <https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity>
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 Christopher Wanamaker
Stephanie RMontgomery on March 28, 2018:
Great article. I really enjoyed very much with this article. Really it is an amazing article I had ever read. I hope it will help a lot for all. Thank you so much for this amazing posts and keep update like this excellent article. Thanks you for sharing such a great blog with us. Expecting for your good luck.
Mary Wickison from Brazil on March 26, 2018:
I completely agree, losing weight doesn't have to be difficult. I am shocked when I see the size of the portions of food in friend's Facebook posts. The meat should be about the size of a deck of cards and more often than not, it takes up the majority of the plate.
I live on a farm and wonder if I should advertise this as a weight loss holiday. There is always something which needs doing on a farm. It is heavy work but you're always moving.
Thanks for the logical reminder about losing weight.