Keeping the Weight Off for Good
Many Americans struggle with weight loss. In fact, obesity has risen to be one of the world’s greatest factors of premature death and the cause of many secondary diseases – arthritis, cancer, breathing problems, heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Even obesity tops the list for health concerns for children!1
Obesity is a rising pandemic – a pandemic that can be controlled through proper food intake, consumption of healthy foods, and proper physical activity. Fighting the obesity crisis will occur one person at a time – one success at a time.
The following are some excellent tips to help achieve success in losing weight and fighting the obesity crisis:
Drink abundant “good” water – Water provides the necessary environment for metabolism, flushes the body of toxins, lubricates the cells, and provides a full feeling. Sadly, thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger; when one should be drinking water, they turn to eating and continue to eat when eating was not even necessary.
Avoid excessive salt – In high quantities, salt throws off the osmotic balance of the body and can cause leaching of calcium from the body. Moreover, a mineral imbalance can slow or halt biochemical reactions.
Avoid processed and modified foods – Processed and modified foods are prevalent in today’s society. Processed foods are laced with unneeded chemicals that serve as artificial coloring, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. Remember that modified and processed foods are designed with the food manufacturer in mind – increased shelf-life, enhanced flavor for more sales, and enhanced colors for more sales. The best foods for the body grew right out of the ground.2 In addition, when food labels state that they are “fortified” or “enriched”, it means that the wholesome food-based nutrients were extracted during the processing of the food and were later added back in to attempt to restore nutritional value; “fortified” and “enriched” nutrients are not as easily absorbed and may be petroleum based.
Avoid sodas / soft drinks – Soft drinks are terrible for the body and for overall health. One 12 oz. can of soda supplies 7 teaspoons of sugar – a diet soda supplies excessive amounts of toxins from the artificial sweeteners. In addition to the toxic load of aspartame, splenda, or high doses of sugar, soft drinks contain phosphoric acid and carbonic acid which leach the body of calcium. Calcium is needed in the bones for hardness, in cells as a co-factor in biochemical reactions, and for activation of immunity. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average American consumes 424 pounds of carbonated beverages each year! Ridding the body from the consumption of soft drinks is almost just as beneficial as taking out a new health insurance policy.3
Spread caloric intake throughout the day – The body burns calories at a rather constant rate, unless activity levels are dramatically increased or decreased. When excessive calories are consumed in one setting, the unneeded energy sources are converted into fat and stored for later use. It is best to eat smaller meals throughout the day than to eat two or three large meals. Also, it is best to have the largest meal at lunch when metabolism is at its peak; having the largest meal for dinner at the end of the day is not beneficial as metabolism will be dropping off by bedtime.
Eat moderate portions – Most Americans consume 2-3 times what is necessary. The main reason for this phenomenon is how quickly we eat. Eating is usually done on the run or in front of the television. The body requires about 15 minutes for a feeling of satiety to reach the brain. Eating small portions slowly is an excellent tip for consuming less – plus, the flavors can be enjoyed much longer!
Count nutrition, not calories – A calorie is a measure of heat. Anything that burns contains calories. Apples have calories; asphalt has calories. Modern propaganda always touts the importance of counting calories, but calories are only part of the story. Excessive calories will cause weight gain, but the more important factor to consider about food consumption is nutrition value! One could eat a whole truck load of donuts and still feel hungry; the truck load of donuts do not supply the body with sufficient nutrients. On the other hand, one can eat an apple and a carrot, be supplied with thousands of nutrients, and no longer feel hungry as the body has acquired all necessary life-sustaining nutrients. Count nutrients, not calories.
Exercise – It is sometimes easy to put off the exercise for later when more time is available. Yet, exercise is excellent at decreasing stress; the physical outlet allows the body to not only utilize excess calories, burn fat, and build muscle, but it actually soothes the mind and allows for improved focus. Be sure to not make exercise a chore – make it a fun lifestyle habit.