Researchers have been baffled for years on why people gain weight, and for those who are obese, why it is so difficult to lose the excess pounds. I am here to tell you that since I have been involved in medicine, this topic has been a medical challenge, and yet no clear-cut explanation exists. Unfortunately, America is becoming more obese and the incidence of associated chronic disease onset is rising at a comparable pace.
There are literally hundreds of diets and diet programs that claim to be the answer to the problem of obesity. Dieters are constantly being bombarded with the latest and greatest diet or products.
It is apparent that a successful program for obesity or weight loss is consistent with the basic tenets or premise of naturopathic medicine/holistic medicine – a proper diet with adequate fiber, plenty of good pure drinking water, moderate exercise and a positive mental attitude. Remember, mind and body do not stand-alone; they work together.
Weight Management & Health Maintenance Should Be A Year-Round Priority
Just as the New Year inspires many of us to make the New Year’s resolution to lose weight, the advent of summer tends to inspire us to make a concerted effort to revise our dietary and exercise habits in order to wear our summer clothes comfortably.
Unfortunately, this type of motivation and enthusiasm has the rather annoying habit of waning as time progresses, causing us to yet again hide in the clothes we normally reserve for the fall and winter months. If you did not achieve your weight loss goals, do not lose hope. By making several realistic lifestyle changes which you can incorporate into your daily regimen on a permanent basis, your body will be more equipped and prepared to handle future weight loss goals. The holidays will soon be here and the temptation to overeat and slack off from exercise will be greater. Resist the temptation to over-indulge during the upcoming holidays, this way, your weight and health targets will be much more attainable.
“Over 300m adults are obese worldwide, according to latest statistics from the WHO and the International Obesity Task Force. About one-quarter of the US adult population is said to be obese, with rates in Western Europe on the rise although not yet at similar levels.” – Nutraingredients-usa.com, 7/31/2006.
The statistics outlined above are indeed alarming. By making the effort to incorporate at least some of the following tips into your lifestyle, you will be making some progress in avoiding becoming one of these statistics:
- Eat raw fresh fruits and vegetables several times a day.
- Eat plenty of fiber in the course of the day, especially beans.
- Eat breakfast regularly.
- Try to eat small meal portions and healthy snacks in between meals to boost your metabolism.
- Avoid soda or any overly sugared drinks.
- Drink plenty of purified water.
- Avoid foods with saturated and trans fats, high sugar content and high levels of salt.
- Cut out as much refined carbohydrates as possible (white starches).
- If you feel like indulging in a desert, try to make wise choices and stick to a small portion.
If you make these lifestyle adjustments weight loss will be achievable, but more importantly you will be healthier.
Most of us are well aware of the fact that exercise is a fundamental element in any weight loss program. A common excuse for not exercising is that we simply do not have the time. The common misconception that effective exercise regimens require a large investment in time is what prevents most of us from even making an attempt to include it in our daily routines. By dedicating as little as 15-30 minutes of your day to exercise, you should be able to reach your weight loss goals.
Deciding to exercise more does not automatically mean you have to invest in a gym membership. There are several simple lifestyle changes that can cumulatively achieve the desired effects. This includes:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Going for walks with family members or loved ones.
- Close your office door (if you have one) and do some sit-ups on your lunch break. Repeat this routine a couple of hours before you retire in the evening.
- On the weekends, instead of going to a movie or renting one, try something more active such as bowling, golfing, swimming, roller skating.
Make room for your health at the top of your priority list year-round, not just after New Year’s or just before summer.