It is a statistically proven fact that obesity is on the rise in America. According to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, there has been a steady increase in the number of overweight and obese men and women since the early 1990’s.
Since then, the percentage of overweight or obese men has risen from 63 to 75 percent. Women mirrored this trend, with a twelve percent increase from 55 to 67 percent. So the question remains, why are American’s weighing in at increasingly unhealthy numbers and how can you avoid being a part of this growing trend?
- Problem: Today’s world contains a multitude of electronic gadgets that provide convenience, but also contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. Physical labor is less and less prevalent as machines are replacing human labor. Even office jobs have become more sedentary, as people participate in meetings virtually without even having to leave their desks. Children engage in virtual, sedentary play instead of live, active play. Being sedentary burns less calories throughout the day and inevitably results in extra pounds to contend with.
Solution: If you’re working in an office, use technology to your advantage by setting a reminder on your phone to get up and walk around in regular intervals throughout the day. Use a fitness tracker to set daily goals and track your progress. Incorporate small changes into your daily rituals, like taking the stairs and parking further away. Set limits on children’s video game time and instead go for a daily walk or bike ride with them.
- Problem: In our fast-paced society, convenience is key! Therefore, people resort to grabbing the quickest form of sustenance they can get their hands on. This often means high fat, high calorie options lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients. While convenient, these options are going to promote neither good health nor fitness.
Solution: Plan ahead and have healthy options readily available both at work and at home. Have fresh cut fruit and vegetables at your desk and in your refrigerator so that when the munchies strike you’re prepared to combat them with low-fat, healthy options. Dine out less frequently and when you do order items without heavy sauces or dressings. Save both calories and money by splitting a meal with your dining partner. Skip the empty calories of alcoholic beverages or high sugar sodas and have water or non-caloric beverages.
- Problem: Marketing has foods appear much healthier than they are in reality. Items advertised as low fat or low calorie may actually be labeled that way due to a significantly reduced portion. Therefore, consuming a large enough portion to satiate one’s appetite may not provide any savings in calories. Beware of items marketed as low-fat, as they may compensate by adding significantly more sugar for flavor. So while your intentions may be good, misleading marketing can ultimately add excess pounds.
Solution: Know what you’re eating! The FDA requires nutritional content labeling on all retail food sales so learn how to use these labels to help you make better choices at the grocery store. Pay attention to things like serving size and sugar content. Whole fruits, vegetables and proteins are always good options, as they contain no hidden fat, calories, or sugar.
Yes, the incidence of being overweight or obese is going up, but you don’t have to contribute to that statistic. Call the caring professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers. Their guidance and expertise can help you achieve your weight loss goals.