|Submitted by Elteto on Thu, 02/11/2010 - 05:51|
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 36 percent of Americans are overweight, and 26 percent are obese.
WebMD has more detailed statistics that shed light on some relationships between dietary habits and obesity, and on how health issues such as diabetes, cholesterol levels or depression affect weight.
Clearly, being overweight is turning into an epidemic, and many are quick to blame everything from resataurant chains to the government, often not even bothering to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
The truth is, people are becoming lazy. Yes, there is no nice way of putting it: many overweight people are making poor health, lifestyle, dietary and exercise choices.
This in no way is meant to be an in-depth article on weight loss, but here are a few poor choices people make:
-Driving around in circles or blocking traffic to wait for a close parking spot at the grocery store or mall.
-Drinking "fruit juices" that are nothing but sugary water with coloring and preservatives mixed-in.
-Eating heavily processed, pre-packaged foods. Anything from vending machines, for that matter.
-Throwing one's weight loss hopes at worthless fad diets or “magic” pills. This is particularly troubling. How obvious can (should) it be? If there was one solid, no-fail diet plan or magic pill, the secret would be out and everyone would be using it. Yet people keep getting fatter. How hard is that to figure out? Save your money, make better choices.
-Not drinking enough water because it makes one feel bloated, which some incorrectly equate with being fat. Talking about not being well-informed! Hydration means increased metabolism.
-Not eating. Consuming food, more frequently but in smaller amounts, stimulates metabolism.
-Not sleeping. Lack of sleep leads to more stress and weight retention.
-Sitting around too much. Whether it is the use of remote controls for everything or, instead of getting out, relying on cable and Internet for all sources of entertainment and social life, the lack of physical activity and contact with the outside world lead to depression and weight retention.
-The vicious cycle of “I am too depressed to exercise”, but lack of exercise leads to more depression. A significant percentage of depressed people are suffering from a psychological, not biochemical form of the illness. A recent study showing improvement from placebo drugs in depression patients confirms this as well. Many Americans choose to medicate themselves to fix their health, instead of actively pursuing a healthier lifestyle. This puts more money in the pockets of big pharma, while keeping the population growing ever bigger.
-Turn off the TV. No, really. Turn that evil thing off. Even better, cancel cable or take your satellite dish down.
-Skipping breakfast. What a huge mistake. Calories in the morning provide the fuel to the body and to the brain. Breakfast also kick-starts metabolism, and instead of overeating later in the day due to increased hunger, only smaller subsequent meals are necessary to maintain metabolism and supply a sustained source of fuel for the body. It is fine to eat (in moderation, of course) eggs, cheese, bacon or other sources of fat in the morning when metabolism is high. Consume whole wheats, fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water with all meals. I am sure there are those out there who claim “I do not have time for breakfast.” If you are committed to live a healthy lifestyle, arrange your daily schedule accordingly. Skip the hour or so you spend on living a not-so-social life online, go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier. Have a royal breakfast. As a general rule: no cereals with vibrant colors or cartoon characters on the boxes!
Health and nutrition. Such complex, yet easy to implement subjects. There is nobody else but yourself to blame for poor choices. Make better ones.