Obesity or overweight is a common problem nowadays. Why is that? What changes took place and made such a radical disposition possible?
Thanks to our contemporary lifestyle revolving mostly around work we have made significant changes to our two most prominent daily activities throughout history – eating and moving. Today, we no longer move nor eat as we used to do in the past. We’ve said goodbye to the wilderness a long time ago and said hello to the office cubicle. As a corollary, we started eating differently too.
Naturally, people were overweight even in the past. However, the rate of overweight people is undeniably higher in percentage than ever before. The percentage of obese adults in the United States alone move from 36% up to 60% of the population, depending on the source. Let us proceed and analyze what exactly are we dealing with here and why obesity rates reach such staggering distances.
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Why do we get obese?
“Obesity results from a disbalance between food intake and its utilization for energy” are the words of Ginter and Simko from the Department of Internal Medicine of NYU. This short yet awfully precise definition successfully covers the essence of this disease. Eating more food than what is needed and not moving our bodies enough will inevitably lead to putting on pounds.
To put it differently,
If you eat more calories than what your body needs for that particular day and if you do not move enough you are likely to increase adipose tissue mass. What you should do is intake a little bit fewer calories than what is needed for one day – energy intake restriction.
You need to find adequate amounts of calories which might not be the easiest of the tasks. It’s not appealing having to calculate every single bit of food you eat, but sometimes it is necessary. Depending on your current weight you need to calculate how many calories you need per day. You can find a calculator on the internet or visit a nutrition expert for further help.
As the door of the room in which we’ve exposed the problem closes, a new one opens. What lies in this new room is raising awareness of the previously scratched topics – food and exercise. The following topics which discuss nutrition and training will get you closer to the healthier lifestyle you want to see manifest in your life.
Improper food choice is just one head of the chimera we’re fighting against. Understanding what to put on your plate and what to refrain from is mandatory when trying to lose weight. What your main goal should be is finding a well-balanced, sustainable and adaptive diet that suits YOU.
Way too often people try out diets which they’ve heard did wonders for others or starve themselves in trying to lose weight only to put that same weight, if not more, back in a matter of weeks. That is not something we consider a viable option. Going on a two-week “miracle” diet is not a long-term solution in any form or shape.
Some of the weight loss programs out there which make big promises more often than not turn out to be disappointing. Why? They lack consistency. In contrast, our idea is the following – getting rid of the cause!
That includes changing your eating habits and taking time to discover what foods are good for you and which ones are simply awful. Developing your lifestyle in a health-conscious manner is key to overcoming obesity.
Before giving particular diet advice it is necessary to make a short reserve beforehand. What will be said might not work for everybody! There are many factors involved when it comes to weight reduction. In this article, in particular, we will deal with the general knowledge that came about as a result of empirical evidence.
Enough of the talk what should I do?
Step one: Get rid of extremely caloric food!
It is really easy to find out how many calories whatever you are about to eat has. Ask around, read the back of the product, search the internet… As a rule of thumb everything heavily processed, deep-fried, and artificially produced has way too many calories. Not only is this food usually full of unhealthy fat and sugar, but regular consumption of the above mentioned correlates with a variety of diseases – high blood pressure, cancer, risk of stroke, heart disease, and the list goes on.
Food filled with simple-refined sugar such as chocolate bars, cakes, pie, pop tarts, muffins, etc. is out of the picture. You can also forget about Coke, Sprite, and Mountain Dew. Fizzy drinks are full of unnecessary carbohydrates and should be discarded immediately.
Step two: Watch out for hidden calories!
Look out for the foods which contain so-called “hidden” sugar or calories. These are exceptionally easy to catch us off guard. Seasonings, dips, sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise are here just to name a few.
Step three: Choose whole foods!
Settle for whole foods like tubers, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and grains. One of the healthiest foods we have is that which comes from nature, practically untouched. Fruits and vegetables cleaned, boiled or slightly cooked are exactly what you need.
Also, getting used to this type of food will naturally lead you to eat less. They are full of good nutrients and your body will let you know when you’ve had enough for that meal since you will feel stuffed. Carbs are deceitful! They can sometimes lead to overeating without us noticing. Eating whole foods helps us avoid that.
Step four: Drink water!
An important part of maintaining and reducing excess weight is staying hydrated. Water removes waste from our bodies, regulates eating cycles, increases calorie burning, and more. Our body is mostly water thus make sure you consume as much as your body needs. Keep in mind that if you are following a regular workout routine you might need more than you think since you lose water during physical activity.
Okay, so you got your diet game up a notch or two. Is there something else you can do to propel your weight-loss fight to another level? Yes, sir! Workout!
Studies have shown that endurance exercise training during a prolonged period of energy intake restriction increases adipose tissue mass loss. A combination of both endurance and resistance is optimal.
Finding a good workout routine and sticking to it will significantly increase the velocity of your weight loss program. Choose an activity that immensely burns calories such as weightlifting, swimming, or running. If these aren’t an option for you then pick whatever activity you like, just make sure you activate your muscles somehow. The accent should be on continuity and sticking to the plan.
Start off slowly, with 2 workout sessions per week. However, as your endurance develops you should increase the intensity and the number of sessions you have. Otherwise, you will stagnate after a certain period.
An integral part of staying on the proper track is staying motivated. We as people need desire and reason to do things. It is nothing different when it comes to weight loss. It’s easy to feel weak, vulnerable, or incapable of making progress. For the results to show up a lot of time needs to pass and a lot of effort needs to be made. But, remember, everybody has to start somewhere. Only by struggle do we become stronger people. There are no shortcuts to a better tomorrow.
We believe that developing healthy eating habits alongside a
good workout routine into a lifestyle is the best way for reaching the goals
you desire to see. That means making permanent changes to the way you eat,
sleep and train, in other words, making changes in your life. Not only does
this method lead towards your weight loss, but it also ensures from recourse
into old habits.
- Brownell K.D. & Horgen K.B. (2003). Food Fight – The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America’s Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It. Big Food, Big Money, Big People, 3-5.
- Ginter E. & Simko V. (2013.). Epidemiology of Obesity and Associated Co-Morbidities. Public Health in the 21st Century (2013). Exercise Therapy in Adult Individuals with Obesity, Chapter 1, 1-13.
- What are the treatments for obesity? (2018. November 14). Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323691.php
- Hidden calories: How to spot and avoid them. (2018. July 22). Retrieved from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/hidden_calories_how_to_spot_and_avoid_them
- Can water help you lose weight? (2018. June 28) Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322296.php
- Hansen D. (2013). Impact of Training Modalities on Adipose Tissue Mass in the Obese 1-13; from Public Health in the 21st Century (2013), Chapter 12, 183-194.