Everybody knows that obesity is a serious disease, and it is getting worse. It is getting worse in two ways: those that are obese tend to get heavier; and the number of obese people in our western world cultures is increasing rapidly.
In the USA in particular, death from obesity is fast approaching cancer as the number one killer. The tragedy is that those who died of cancer had no choice, but those that died of obesity did have a choice but elected not to exercise it.
The puzzle that we all need to answer is why? Why did those overweight or obese people not make that simple decision? What stopped them?
The answer is probably many fold. Lethargy, laziness, an over fondness of food or certain foods possibly head the list. But there may be other factors too. As the weight builds, it becomes easier to sit and watch a movie than take some exercise.
Also, the person feels ashamed and embarrassed about their size and their looks, so they tend to look for solace usually (or should that be always?) in the refrigerator.
So the overweight person is now battling two forces that are gradually taking them into a down hill spiral: less and less exercise; and more and more food, mostly junk food at that. The ultimate end is then inevitable. It is only a question of when.
Of course as the weight builds, so do the medical problems. Heart attack and stroke are the most likely, but cancer, diabetes, angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heaps more are all common, so even if the patient lives, he or she battles a plethora of health problems.
The good news is, it is never too late to make a start back to full health. Plus there are many things you can do right now which will make a difference.
Start by cleaning out your refrigerator of anything that is pre-prepared or processed which is in a packet. Stock up with fresh fruit and vegetables instead. Then try doing these simple things.
1. Take some exercise every day, at least thirty minutes daily, but if you are not used to exercise, start with ten minutes and work up slowly. When you are fit to it, an hour is marvelous. Walking and cycling are both great.
2. Avoid takeaway food like the plague. This also includes ice cream, chippies, cake, chips, fries or anything cooked in oil or fat and anything from the bakery. Treat yourself to the very occasional chocolate.
3. Eat at least two and preferably three or four pieces of fruit every day. Fruit is non fattening and delicious and makes an ideal snack.
4. Eat at least five serves of vegetables daily. Vegetables are completely free, absolutely non fattening and very satisfying. Preferably cook them lightly, or even eat them raw. The more they are cooked, the less nutrition is left in them.
5. Limit meat to two or three serves a week, especially red meat. Try eating more fish, or not have meat at all on the other days.
6. Cut out all sugar. Sugar is the biggest scourge in our modern diet and must be avoided at all costs. This especially applies to soft drinks of all types.
There are thirteen teaspoons of sugar in one 375 ml can of Coca Cola. Likewise, do not go for diet coke, the artificial sweetener in that is carcinogenic which is almost worse for your health.
Also, coke is loaded with caffeine, and too much of that is bad. Cut back on jam and marmalade, these are typically 60% sugar or more.
7. Be as active as you can through the day, every little bit helps. Leave the car at home for short trips, walk or bike instead. Use the stairs rather than an elevator whenever practical.
8. Cut down on alcohol. Your body turns alcohol into sugar which then ends up as fat.
9. What ever else you do, don't ever allow yourself to be hungry. Starving yourself will NOT make you lose weight! In fact, amazing as it may seem, that will actually cause weight gain.
10. Snacking on fruit during the day is great, it stops hunger pangs and every time you eat something it gives your metabolism another spurt, which will hasten your weight loss.
If you just do those simple things, you will find that you will make headway in reducing your weight. Every tenth day or so, allow yourself a naughty treat!
There is something else you can do that will make the whole process much easier and more effective, and that is to join a group of other people who have the same problem and share the same goal, because there you can find a buddy so you can encourage and help each other to success.
This has been proved by Harvard University and published in the New England Medical Journal. So see if you can find a group online that you can join for a better result.