Chances are you, like millions around the world, are not satisfied with what you see when stepping on the scale. Our society is obsessed with weight, body type, and size. Most rely so heavily on pre-packaged, processed food that we do not stand a chance of obtaining a healthy body weight. Everywhere you go there is a billboard, advertisement or reminder that you need to lose weight. What is worse is we have a difficult time distinguishing between our weight, body type, and body mass; that is where a BMI (Body Mass Index) is vital. America ranks as one of the largest countries in terms of BMI. Compared to neighboring countries, we are grossly overweight. Countries like Europe and Japan say it is due to a lack of balanced nutrition and discipline.
Being overweight can present several physical and even psychological issues. Health maladies such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression and low self-esteem are synonymous with having weight issues.
Because we are concentrating solely on the weight gain and not total BMI, many never see their desired results. The real objective in healthy living is not only to look thin but be fit. There is a huge difference. The goal should be to reach and control a healthy weight by a regular diet of foods high in nutrition, sufficient fiber, necessary vitamins as well as a routine exercise. This approach will not only cause us to drop a few sizes, but it will prolong our lives and help fight diseases like cancer, fibromyalgia, and diabetes. When reviewing the mathematics behind weight gain you will notice the equation revolves around the balance between calories your body needs vs. the calories you consume.
- If your daily calorie intake is equal to the number of calories your body burns then you should maintain a stable weight and BMI.
- If your daily calorie intake is more than what you burn, you will most likely see weight gain. The calories that are not consumed by your body turn into fat and are stored. This is the real cause of obesity.
- If your calorie intake is less than what your body tends to use daily you can experience weight loss. But remember, to meet the energy demands of your body, it taps into stored fat to burn.
If you turn on the television you will see celebrities like the Kardashians, Jennifer Gardner and even the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama sharing their journey to a healthy lifestyle and tips on how to shed pounds. From a medical and economical stance, the weight loss industry has become a multi-billion dollar business. Through the avenues of infomercials, pills, shakes, body wraps and television ads, the weight loss is booming. But along with its health benefits, there is a dark side as well. Based on recent studies by the American Physicians Journal, eating disorder diagnosis have grown significantly in the last 15 years. Some estimate that two in every six female teenagers are involved in some form of unsupervised weight loss. Unhealthy results like bulimia, anorexia and the abuse of diet pills can quickly become a problem.
Many are left wondering what they can do to promote a healthier life and their desired BMI. A few suggestions would be:
- Become food conscious: Not just the amount we eat, but what it’s made from. We tend to turn a blind eye to the process of how our food is prepared. From hormones, steroids, and preservatives, we are consuming more chemicals at an alarming rate.
- Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine: Adding small changes like taking the stairs, doing a few leg lunges while at your desk and moving more can be the difference in seeing the results you want. By putting these steps into your day, you will do more than just achieve your weight goal. You will raise your metabolism and increase circulation throughout your body.
- Skip the drive-thru: We have fast food restaurants on every corner. The temptation to get something quick and fatty is always in front of us. But with discipline and educating ourselves on better food choices, we can win the war against weight gain and live better.
- Go healthy by packing it yourself: Here’s where preparation is key. By preparing your food a day in advance, you not only control excess snacking but you create better portions. Many complain they don’t have the time or resources to eat the way they should. If we make the effort, our bodies will reap the benefits.
Some have become disappointed with the war on weight gain and accepted the option of surgery. Bariatric procedures have become so commonplace, they are offered as an outpatient service for convenience. While many flock to this, the health dangers are a reality. With things like tummy tucks, lap bands, and stomach bypass surgeries, we must not forget that along with any decision there must also be a change of lifestyle to see results. No matter what method we choose to employ for weight loss, we must not forget that nothing will ever take the place of a balanced diet, healthier life choices and good old fashion exercise.
By Early Jackson
(Edited by Cherese Jackson)
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Top Image Courtesy of Tony Alter – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of RXA photos – Flickr License