Losing Weight, the Healthy Way

Being overweight, mostly obese, is not something to take lightly. Studies show that obesity is a serious health challenge, that continues to impact more and more of the population with each year. In December of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), released a study from 2017-2018, stated the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in adults was 42.4%. Another study from 2019, showed about 18.5% of children ages 2 to 19, living in the United States, were obese. In a Harvard study from 2020, it had referenced an average of one out of every three adults is obese, which is about 36% of the population in the United States alone. 

What’s your BMI?

What does it mean to be obese? 

To be diagnosed as obese, the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference measurements, and other symptoms are measured. The BMI factors in the height, body weight, gender, and age. Normally, a BMI of 30 or higher, and a waist measurement of over 35-40 inches, often indicates obesity. Obesity is considered a medical condition, which is a result of the excess amount of body fat. Having too much body fat can increase the risk for health problems and contributes to problems of its own. 

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

What causes obesity? 

The most common and well accepted reasons linked to obesity is due to reduced physical activity and fast food. But there is evidence the main causes of obesity is largely circumstantial. To understand more about the causes of obesity, read my article, “10 Possible Causes of the Obesity Epidemic.” Most causes can be reduced and even eliminated. Regardless, obesity is a serious issue that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Can it be prevented? 

One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.  

Here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:  

  • heart disease 
  • stroke  
  • diabetes 
  • cancer 
  • arthritis 
  • hypertension 

Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.  

The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. Often, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplements or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary.  

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You must set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.   

Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way: 

1.   Do not starve yourself.  

The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet.  

You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up every day.  

If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So, if you just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. highs, buttocks, hips).  

2.  Start your day right.  

As the say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.  

Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long. 

3.  Eat small, healthy meals frequently.  

Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent overeating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.  

4.  Decide on how much weight you want to lose.  

Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life.  

Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.   

5.  Drink lots of water.  

Your body needs enough water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.  

6.  Avoid too much sugar.  

Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein rich foods. Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only. 

7.  Watch your fat intake.  

Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.  

There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which is good for the heart.   

8.  Exercise.  

Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activities and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities.  

It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is that you set realistic goals for yourself.  

Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.  

Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result in a new, healthier you.  

A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle is Key to Fighting Obesity

===== 

DISCLAIMER:  

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. 

===== 

10 Possible Causes of the Obesity Epidemic

It’s well accepted that reduced physical activity and fast food are linked to obesity. But the evidence that these are the main causes of obesity is largely circumstantial. To stimulate debate, experts suggest 10 other possible causes of obesity, outlined in the International Journal of Obesity.

  1. Sleep debt. Getting too little sleep can increase body weight. Today, many get less shut eye than ever.
  2. Pollution. Hormones control body weight. And many of today’s pollutants affect our hormones.
  3. Air conditioning. You have to burn calories if your environment is too hot or too cold for comfort. But more people than ever live and work in temperature-controlled homes and offices.
  4. Decreased smoking. Smoking reduces weight. People smoke much less than they used to.
  5. Medicine. Many different drugs including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can cause weight gain. Use of these drugs is on the upswing.
  6. Population age, ethnicity. Middle-aged people and Hispanic-Americans tend to be more obese than young European-Americans. Americans are getting older and more Hispanic.
  7. Older moms. There’s some evidence that the older a woman is when she gives birth, the higher her child’s risk of obesity. Women are giving birth at older and older ages.
  8. Ancestors’ environment. Some influences may go back two generations. Environmental changes that made a grandparent obese may “through a fetal driven positive feedback loop” visit obesity on the grandchildren.
  9. Obesity is linked to fertility. There is some evidence obese people are more fertile than lean ones. If obesity has a genetic component, the percentage of obese people in the population should increase.
  10. Unions of obese spouses. Obese women tend to marry obese men, and if obesity has a genetic component, there will be still more obese people in the next generation.

These other contributing factors deserve more attention and study. Even more explanations include: a fat-inducing virus; increases in childhood depression; less consumption of dairy products; and hormones used in agriculture. What do you think can be attributed to the epidemic?

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

===== 

DISCLAIMER:  

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. 

===== 

A Healthy Guide to Good Nutrition

Healthy Nutrition

Whether you are at your ideal weight or striving to reach your weight goal is it simply a matter of burning more calories than you take in? The answer, I suggest, is no! Overall body health improvement as well as weight gain or loss must be factored into the equation or you could be heading for problems. Correct nutrition can help to reduce the risk of a myriad of health-related problems, the most frightening of which are surely heart disease and cancer. Proper nutrition, however, entails eating many different foods, monitoring your consumption of some food and beverage items, and counting calories. Good diets offer balanced nutrition that reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, and helps with weight control.

To function properly, your body must have the correct combination of nutrients:

Carbohydrates. They are the primary source of ammunition in your diet. The body uses carbohydrates to build glucose which can be used immediately or stored in your body for later. Too much glucose, however, is stored as fat. There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Starches and fibers are complex carbohydrates.

Proteins. Proteins help your body build and maintain muscles and other tissues. They also function in the creation of hormones. Like carbohydrates, excess protein is stored as fat.

Animal and vegetable are the two major types of proteins. Too much animal protein can cause high cholesterol, as it is high in saturated fat.

Fat. Strange as it may seem; fat is another nutrient your body requires. It comes in both saturated and unsaturated forms. Saturated fat puts you at risk of health problems. Unsaturated fat is healthy, but if it goes through any type of refinement process, it can become saturated fat.

Vitamins. These are also required nutrients. Different vitamins perform different tasks within the body. They can work with the metabolism to help with energy levels for any task you can think of that you need your body to perform. It has also been noted that certain vitamins can prevent disease.

For example, vitamins A, C, and E, also called antioxidants, can assist with the prevention of coronary artery disease by keeping build up from occurring on artery walls. Vitamin B-1 is needed for digestion and proper nervous system function. Vitamin B-2 is needed for normal cell growth. Vitamin B-3 helps to detoxify your body. Folic acid assists with production of red blood cells. Vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium. Vitamin K helps your blood clot.

Minerals and trace elements. These are another nutrient your body requires. Both are used in many different body processes. Minerals like chlorine help make your digestive juices. Phosphorus helps build strong bones. Both can be found in the foods we consume, but with a trace element, your body just needs a tiny amount. Salt is one final nutrient your body requires. You should not consume more than 2400 milligrams per day, though, as it might raise your blood pressure.

Healthy Food and Nutrition

You should follow several guidelines to create a well-balanced, nutritional diet. First, try to consume two- and one-half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. When making your selections for each day, be sure to choose a good variety. A good rough guide is to eat as many different colors as possible, this will help you to select from all five vegetable subgroups at least four times per week.

You should eat at least three ounces of whole grain products each day. At least half of your grain intake should be whole grain based. Your total fat intake should only be between ten and thirty percent of your calories. Most of the fats you consume should be in the form of unsaturated fats, as saturated fats can do much to damage your health. Choose lean vegan, plant-based proteins. Less than ten percent of your calories should come from saturated fats, and you should always try to avoid trans-fatty acid.

Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be a regular part of your diet as should potassium rich foods. Alcoholic beverages should only be consumed in moderation.

Excellent nutrition is the basis of a healthy diet.

=====

DISCLAIMER:

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

=====

7 Reasons to Grow Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden

During the last decades there has been a change towards mechanization and homogenization of farming, which uses pesticides, additives, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and mass-production techniques. All this is clearly affecting mankind’s health, and new diseases are spreading rapidly amongst humans and animals (bird’s flu being the most recent one).

The World Health Organization produces reports to show how the use of chemicals and other products on food, coupled with the manufacturing processes involved, are a threat to our health.

If you have space for a few pots or even a small piece of land, it is a wise decision to grow your own organic vegetable garden. Today I’m presenting you with seven reasons for doing this:

In the end, eating organic products only means that we do not add anything else to them than they would naturally have. As you can guess, additives, fertilizers, pesticides or hormones are not components of naturally grown food. To better care for your health, grow your own organic vegetables -and a few pots is all you need.

Peace! 🙂

Debbie

=====

DISCLAIMER:

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

=====

10 Small Steps To Improve Your Health

Many of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighborhood health club. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health.

“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.”

Here are 10 to try:

1. Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra lbs. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.

3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, top a bowl of whole grain cereal or granola with fresh fruit slices, and non-dairy milk, such as almond, coconut, or oat.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

4. Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. If you’re like the average American, you eat less than one whole grain serving a day.

5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

6. Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Cook with minimal healthy oils, such as avocado or coconut. Better yet, try cooking with water only. Reduce the amount of high fat, processed vegan alternatives, adding more fresh plant-based foods instead.

7. Consider calcium by including two or more daily servings of green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra. Add sesame seeds and tahini to your salads and sandwiches.

8. Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat.

9. Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

10. Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less. Consider using a food tracking app, such as myfitnesspal.com. It’s a great resource, and easy to use to keep on track and improve your health.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

=====
DISCLAIMER:

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.