Our modern world offers convenience, but it also contributes to our tendency to carry more fat than we need. Research has shown that contributing factors to weight gain include technologies such as email and telephones, which allow us to communicate without moving. Longer commute times often mean we skip breakfast, eat fast food, and eat later at night. Food companies have answered the call for more convenient products by using ingredients that lengthen the life and usability of food rather than increasing the nutritional value of food. And our dependence on cars has decreased the amount of physical activity we do.
A 2007 study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health predicted that three out of four adult Americans will be overweight by 2015 as opposed to 66% of overweight adults right now. If this forecast proves to be correct, it would mark a disturbing trend for Americans, who spend over 78 billion dollars a year in costs directly related to excess weight.
Medicaid and Medicare paid about half these costs. Beyond this, the societal costs include absenteeism, lack of productivity, and health care claims. Personal costs often include workplace discrimination. These are just a few of the reasons that the Bloomberg School called for public health efforts to help Americans trim down, especially at the waistline, which is now a critical indicator of future problems.
According to the National Institute of Health, being overweight means “having too much body fat.” While some of that weight might be from bone, muscle and water, most overweight people carry too much weight as fat. This condition occurs when a person uses fewer calories than they eat.
Public agencies, community leaders, and even some employers have all been deployed to help fight the war on fat. One program, Healthy People 2010, has drawn on a 1979 Surgeon General’s report that established health goals that State and Communities adopted as their own. Some of the goals listed in the plan include increasing quality and years of healthy life, eliminating health disparities, and reducing the problems related to being overweight. Studies show that quality of life can improve even after a 5 to 10 pound weight loss. One of the main goals should be to keep the weight off.
To ensure that the weight won’t creep back, the health agencies suggest following these simple rules:
- Add physical activity into your daily routine.
- Be honest with yourself: Are your portions larger than required? Do you splurge on sweets and salty foods? Could you change your snacks to healthier choices such as fruits and vegetables?
- Keep a food journal to highlight areas where you can make changes.
- Choose a time when you don’t already have added stress in your life. The lifestyle change will take time and adjustment so be sure to have a calm, controlled environment.
- Learn as much as you can about nutrition. Buy a book, attend a seminar or take a community college class.
- Stock the refrigerator and pantry with healthy items. Remove tempting foods.
- Make a plan for “Temptation Moments.” You will want to go to gatherings and restaurants. Decide beforehand how you will order and what would be healthy to eat.
Jumpstart with Forever Nutri Lean
The first step to jumpstart your weight-loss is the new Forever Nutri-Lean Program. The Program is designed to help you live free of yo-yo dieting and unhealthy eating practices. It not only starts you on the right path, it teaches you how to adopt new, healthy habits that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Along the way, Forever Lean (#289) can help you reduce the amount of fat and carbohydrates your body absorbs from the food you eat. It also includes Chromium, which helps the body regulate blood sugar for a normal metabolism. Forever Lean can be the extra push you need as you start a new program of healthy diet and exercise.
Although it may not be feasible to return to all of the traditional healthy habits of yesterday, we can adopt at least a few old-fashioned healthier choices that will make the difference in maintaining good health. By moving more, and eating healthier foods in reasonable portions, we can all win the war on weight!
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