Learn Simple, Strategic and Healthy Ways to Lose Weight
By Guest Author, Marc Werschem
Obesity, in this country, is growing at an alarming rate. When we become overweight, we subject our bodies to become a host to a number of illnesses and health problems.
According to Medical News Today, published in October of 2017, the following are the statistics. Of all Americans, 36% are considered obese. That is greater than 1 in every 3 people. In men, 38.7% are overweight while 35% are obese. Of those who are obese, 5.5% are considered extremely obese. In women, 26.5% are overweight while a whopping 40.4% are obese. Of those who are obese, 9.9% are considered to be extremely obese.
In children between the ages of 6-11, 19.6% are obese and in ages 12-19, 20.6% are obese.
Sometimes, the term “morbidly obese” is used. When a person is considered to be morbidly obese, it simply means that there is a very high probability that they will die early of some illness brought on by being overweight.
How Did We Get to Become This Obese?
Actually, it is a combination of things that has brought this on. First of all, we live in an age of technology. Everything we do is on a device held in our hands and we very rarely have to get up and move around. We play games on it, we shop on it and have the goods delivered to our front door, we communicate on it, and many of us work on it. All of this brings on a very sedentary lifestyle which means we burn fewer and fewer calories than our ancestors did who walked most places and had much more physical activity than we do today.
Another problem that contributes to our being obese is the food we eat. I would want you to understand this: our body looks for nutrition (vitamins and minerals) in our food in order to feed the body and its systems. When we are in need of nutrition, our bodies signal the brain that we are hungry. When we eat, the body expects to receive this nutrition. When it doesn’t, it sends out the signal that we are not full and must eat more.
What do you think would happen if the food we eat is grown in soil that has no vitamins or minerals left in it? That’s right. We eat and eat and eat; always thinking we are feeding our body but never getting the nutrition it needs, therefore, never be satiated. It is this fact alone that contributes to so much obesity in this country. If we would concentrate our eating on nutrient-rich foods instead of eating empty calories, we could actually feed our body and live on eating so much less yet, never get very hungry.
It isn’t entirely our fault though. Technology has brought more modern ways of farming which means the soil has now been depleted of the vitamins and minerals that were once in the soil feeding the plants we eat for food. It has been suggested that our plant food sources contain less than half of the nutrients that they once did. Take into account that this is also true of grains that are used for animal feeds.
Our entire food system is lacking in nutrients and many of us have to supplement these nutrients in order to have a healthy life. The catch 22 is that if we want to get our vitamins and minerals from food, we have to eat twice as much – or more, which makes us obese. If we wish to not become obese, we must be satisfied with not getting enough nutrition to keep us alive in a healthy manner – or supplement what we need in other ways.
What is Your Perfect Weight?
So, how can we experience healthy weight loss? First of all, you need to know what the perfect weight is for you. I’m not saying you have to be a skinny stick but, I’m also not suggesting you learn to accept yourself the way you are either. If you are overweight and have resolved yourself to say you are simply big and beautiful because losing weight seems like such an impossible task, I would suggest you stop kidding yourself.
Your quality of life and your body’s good health is worth the effort. There are a number of websites that will help you figure out the perfect weight for a person of your age and sex. Find the weight that is most likely the best fit for you. Ideal Weight Calculator can help you determine the proper weight for you, though I caution you that it does seem to lean a bit on the low side.
How Many Calories Do I Need?
Next, to have healthy weight loss. you want to know how many calories you need to eat to “sustain” that perfect weight. Again, there are many websites that will help you with that. As a registered health and nutrition counselor who helps others experience healthy weight loss, I have a rather lengthy formula I use to determine this but, it is way too lengthy and difficult for the layperson to understand. Instead, here is another website that will give you some guidelines in that area.
Caution: Just like the previous website was a bit on the low side, this one seems to suggest way more calories than are necessary. For instance, for my size and weight, I should be eating about 2200 calories per day. This site would suggest I eat a little over 2800 calories.
500 Calories Makes a Difference
In achieving healthy weight loss, you need to realize that 500 calories a day will make a difference. If you eat 500 calories a day over what it takes to sustain your perfect weight, then you will gain 1 pound per week if you do it every day. Likewise, if eating the amount needed to sustain your weight is 500 calories per day less than what you have been eating, you will have a weight loss of about 1-1.5 pounds per week.
Cutting back can be hard because the food industry has addicted us to sugar. Nearly everything we eat, even those foods we think would not contain sugar, do contain sugar. Foods like ketchup, we kind of suspect will have some sugar.
How about French fries though? Many do. Dextrose is simply another name for sugar.
Foods contain sugar because sugar is highly addictive, even more so than cocaine. If we are addicted to sugar, then we will continue to eat those foods which contain it (and we will continue to become more obese).
Cutting sugar out of our diets, however, can be a very difficult thing. It can give you headaches, make you low on energy (for a while), and cause other withdrawal symptoms.
Sometimes, the easiest way to break the addiction is to wean yourself off of sugar a little bit at a time. Yet, for others, cold turkey works best. You know your body better than anyone else. Listen to your body and work on a diet plan that is best for you.
Start the Day with High Protein
What else can you do to achieve healthy weight loss? Have a diet plan that starts the day off with a high-protein breakfast instead of one full of fats and sugars. You will begin the day feeding your body and giving it what it needs to get you off to a good start.
A breakfast high in protein will keep you from getting hungry later on and help control your appetite. Another benefit of eating high protein in the morning is that it will help you to burn off belly fat.
Avoid Processed Sugars
Make sure your diet plan avoids all processed sugars.
Sugar is responsible for many health problems of which fatty liver disease is one of the biggest. When a person has a fatty liver, it upsets their body in many ways. First of all, it has a bad effect on their blood sugar and insulin production leading to type 2 diabetes. This is further complicated by raising blood pressure. Not to mention, the other health problems that come of consuming too much sugar such as tooth decay and poor nutrition.
Read the labels on all the foods you purchase and learn the catchwords that mean sugar. Avoid buying those products and opt for a healthier diet instead. Here is a website that will show you other words that mean “sugar” on your food labels.
Drink Lots of Water
Any plan for healthy weight loss will include drinking lots of water. Drinking water can help to suppress your appetite, especially if you drink before each meal. If your stomach is full of water, there isn’t much room left for food and you will fill up sooner.
Water is also necessary for digestive functions. A study done back in 2014 would seem to suggest that drinking sufficient amounts of water will help raise your body temperature and help you burn off calories quicker than if you don’t drink any water. Of course, drinking water will also help remove waste from the body, which will reduce weight.
Eat Your Fiber
Make soluble fiber, as opposed to insoluble fiber, a regular part of your healthy weight loss diet. Soluble fiber will help to absorb some of the fats and waste products that your body has been having to store.
Fiber also helps to curb your appetite and promote body system health. The best forms to use are natural sources of fiber such as what is found in beans and legumes and other fibrous foods. Fiber supplements don’t do much towards weight loss with one exception and that is the fiber derived from the konjac root. This is the only fiber supplement which may help in weight loss.
Have Healthy Snacks Available
Keeping healthy, low-calorie snacks available to eat when you have a craving or get hungry will keep you from reaching for a candy bar, soda or cakes.
There are many healthy, low-calorie snacks that you can keep on hand such as granola bars, fruit such as an orange or a banana or even a small packet of nuts.
If you will grab one of these when you suffer hunger pangs, you will be less likely to want to run to the corner store and grab a snack that is high in calories but has zero nutrition. Planning and being prepared is key to any healthy weight loss plan.
Keep Track of What You Eat
If you want to watch your food intake more closely, there are many apps (such as MyPlate Calorie Tracker found on Google Play or Apple Store ) that can help you with that. Many of them will help keep track of your caloric intake as well as let you track your progress day by day.
If you feel you need a more “hands-on” assistance, such as the service I offer, feel free to visit my website and contact me. I’d be happy to work with you and help you achieve your goals.