Despite the many options we have to lose weight that never even existed before, America is currently in the midst of an obesity epidemic. More than 50% of people are overweight and heading in the wrong direction. Even looking at even the most conservative numbers should cause concern, not just for our health as a society, but also the growing health care costs that we all can look forward to.
One look at the majority of people walking through any given shopping mall informs us that things are not as they should be. We need to reverse this trend because even though people are living longer, their lives are of less quality. Being issued a handicap sticker from your doctor because you are fat is not a goal you should be striving for in life.
Fight Obesity Epidemic Tip #1: Limit or Eliminate Fast Food
Fast food is a major reason people became so fat in such a short period of time. All you have to do is look on any given street corner to find the worst possible food to put into your body. What used to be one McDonalds per neighborhood is now 5 fast food restaurants all competing for your hard earned money. You say you do not feel like eating a Big Mac today? How about a fatty taco or a piece of fried chicken? The options are as endless as your ever-expanding waistline.
The only way around this is to start taking the time to prepare meals at home again. If you can not trust a fast food restaurant to provide proper nutrition, do it yourself. You say you do not have the extra time to cook? One solution is to drink a soy-based protein meal replacement shake. It only takes about 3 minutes to add the ingredients to a blender, and another 3 to drink it. If you do not have 6 minutes to give your body proper nutrition, you need to re-set your alarm clock as well as your priorities.
Fight Obesity Epidemic Tip #2: Practice Simple Exercise Daily
Even with the addition of Big Macs and Super Size fries, caloric consumption is not going up as much as exercise levels are coming down. Our society is consuming about 3 percent more calories than we did in the 1970s, but getting about 20 percent less exercise. The sad part is that these statistics include children too, and obese kids are 70 percent more likely to become obese adults.
It does not take an expensive gym membership and several hours a day to exercise. A simple half mile walk down the street and back burns more calories than sitting on the couch with your remote. And speaking of remotes, get up and change the channel like you did as a child. Revert back to the more active lifestyle that you had before technology convinced you it is OK to be lazy. Even though you can lose weight without exercise, it will do nothing but enhance your weight loss efforts and quality of life.
Fight Obesity Epidemic Tip #3: Don’t Be A Victim Of Media Hype
The obesity rate is growing the fastest among Americans who make more than $60,000 a year. This is strange considering that it usually costs more for health foods than pre-packaged nutritionally void foods. Our society, unfortunately, is falling for every trick the biased media plays on us, and it goes beyond food. We fall for any pill, piece of equipment or food that promises us the magic of watching our fat disappear without work or will power. When are we ever going to learn that cheaters never prosper?
The amount of money we spend on technology is also playing a role in this economic twist. Children with access to television, computers, and video games have more excuses not to get outside and move. Privilege eliminates the benefit of walking or biking to and from school every day for the sake of playing a Game Boy in an SUV. Save that gas money and invest it into a bicycle or a good pair of walking shoes. Parents, that goes for you as well.
Fight Obesity Epidemic Tip #4: Develop The Proper Mindset
Living a healthy lifestyle is not about spending all day in the gym with the goal of having a ripped body. It is not about eating bland salads and bean sprouts at every meal either. People who need to lose weight get stuck in front of an imaginary wall they build in their minds that does not even exist. It is too much work. Nothing will taste good. It takes too much time. It costs too much. In order to fight obesity, you must develop a mindset that sees all of these things as lame excuses.
Start to think about why being obese is not an ideal way to live. Appearance aside, it increases your risk for a number of diseases you do not want to encourage. Start to believe that the consequence of eating a fatty donut is more painful than the two minutes of taste you will get from experience. Those who remain healthy do so because of the way they think, SImply because that leads to action in the right direction.
If you are overweight or obese, or you want to help someone lose weight to become healthy, the first step is to develop a plan to overcome the obstacles listed above. I lost 70 pounds in four months and have kept it off for over 15 years. Was it easy? Not at first, but the more I practiced the art of living a healthy lifestyle, the easier it became. For things to change, you have got to change.