For both men and women obesity rates continue to climb in the United States. It is now estimated that over 36% of the population is obese. This is a major health care concern when you consider that obesity is the leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The Obesity Epidemic
What is driving the obesity epidemic? Most people are aware that being overweight is a health hazard and yet obesity continues to rise. Knowing that obesity is a major health concern does not seem to make any difference.
The American Heart Association
One problem according to the American Heart Association is that trying to eat less calories ramps up the bodies appetite. Losing weight increases the body’s desire to eat more and we find ourselves caught in a negative loop. If you add in low insulin levels and stress the desire to eat more becomes overwhelming.
Good News Regarding Exercise
The good news regarding exercise is that studies show it increases the body’s metabolism. That’s good news if you’re trying to lose weight. It seems to me it would also be important to examine the quality of your food rather than the quantity of food eaten. Eating foods that have low nutritional value are sure to leave you hungry and wanting more.
No Sugar Please
Foods high in process sugar. Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates, especially those high in process sugar will make it difficult to lose weight. For the most part the body will take the carbohydrates for fuel and the excess will be stored as fat.
Fruits and Veggies
Eating unprocessed food such as fruits and vegetables along with some meat is a much better dietary plan. You want to stay away from anything that would spike your blood sugar. Foods that have a high glycemic index should definitely be avoided.
The American Heart Association offers several different strategies for losing weight. They suggest that you keep a food diary and that you eat foods that are more filling and are high in fiber. They also suggest that you go through your pantry and remove any foods that are not in harmony with your dietary plans. Their final suggestion we have already mentioned, avoid foods high in carbohydrates. They may provide you with a spike of energy but they will leave you feeling tired, stressed and hungry.
Some other ideas that you might be able to use to help you lose weight include setting realistic goals. Don’t give into the one time wont hurt me thinking or a little bit will not matter. Find friends who will support you with your dietary goals. Ask your friends to not encourage you to eat foods that are not beneficial for your diet.
Eating for many people is part of a social engagement. People want you to enjoy the food that they are prepared and they want to share their food with you. What you want to realize is this is not about bonding with friends. This is about your health and your life. Take it on seriously and you will be able to win back your health and overcome obesity.