In the beginning of 2012, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 35.7 percent of adults and 16.9 percent of children ages 2-19 were obese. Another report released by the Trust of America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projected that half of US adults will be obese by 2030, unless America changed its ways.
Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States, and continues to raise the risk for certain diseases. Reports have projected that there will be as many as 7.9 million new cases of diabetes a year, compared to only 1.9 million new cases in recent years. The number of new cases of chronic heart disease and stroke every year are also expected to increase by approximately 5.5 million.
Another study published in early 2012, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that by 2030, 42 percent of U.S. adults could be obese, adding $550 billion to healthcare costs over that period. Something’s gotta give!
Losing the Weight Starts Now!
It’s no secret that eating healthy and exercising is the key to living a long, healthful life without the threat of obesity and other disease. But how does someone obese begin to manage their diet so they can lose the weight and gain the benefits of a healthy lifestyle?
It’s true that managing your diet, giving up fast food, and beginning an exercise routine, like taking classes at a local gym, can be an expensive change that many may find challenging. But the bigger truth is that making NO change can be detrimental to your health!
Five simple steps to making a change:
- Look at your current food situation. What’s in your pantry and fridge? Can you read and understand the labels on your food products? Chances are, if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it. Begin to change out those processed foods with fresh ingredients, fruit and vegetables, fish and poultry – simple foods that you can make at home.
- Research recipes. It’s a lot easier to swing by McDonald’s and pick up a Big Mac with fries. It sure sounds better too. But we all know fast food is horrible for us. It’s high in fat, low in nutritional content, and even though it may seem inexpensive, you could actually cook a great meal for less than what you would spend eating out with your family or friends. And once it becomes a part of your routine, it’s a lot easier to do.
- Meditate. If you’ve never meditated, you might feel overwhelmed by the idea. When will you get the time to meditate? How will you quiet your mind? The truth about meditation is it takes times to conquer, and it’s OK if you can’t quiet your mind at first. With practice, you will find it is a great and inexpensive way to reduce stress. Reducing stress can prove to be extremely helpful in managing your food intake.
- Exercise. This is the step that is resisted by many! No time. No energy. No interest. And, if we’re talking about joining a gym – no money! Well, first things first – you don’t have to join a gym, though some people find it helpful and encouraging. Exercising doesn’t have to be excessive. In fact, just changing your habits enough to get you moving more will make a big difference. Take a walk on your lunch, instead of sitting in the break room or at your computer. Look up a youtube exercise video at home that only takes 15 – 20 minutes. If you have access to stairs, use them, instead of the elevator. Little changes will go a long way, and you’re worth it!
- Supplement your diet. Losing weight is hard! The good news, finding the right supplements can help make it much easier! Many weight loss supplements work to break down your body’s fat cells, and turn them into energy. Other supplements can help speed up your metabolism which allows you to burn more calories. There are even natural herbs or plants, like hoodia, that simply help suppress your appetite. It is important to also take nutritional supplements for overall health, not just weight loss, so that your body can stay balanced and nourished. Always check with your health care provider before starting a supplementation regimen.
Obesity can be conquered. With the right diet, exercise, and nutritional supplementation, you can begin to get the body you had or always wanted.