The statistics are shocking.
The World Health Organization labels obesity an epidemic. The International Obesity Taskforce labels it a fully global epidemic – a pandemic.
Two out of every 3 Americans are overweight. One out of every 3 is obese. Even our kids are affected. An estimated 17% of North American kids are now considered seriously overweight.
Every day new statistics surface showing that rising numbers of North Americans are overweight – and gaining.
And yet it’s not like we WANT to be overweight. We all know the health consequences.
Doctors tell us that excess weight:
And we’re only beginning to understand what it does to our children in their fragile developmental years.
But there are more than just physical hazards. Psychologically, being overweight can:
– destroy your self esteem
– drain your self confidence
– hold you back from taking risks
– significantly reduce your quality of life
Should we be scared? You bet.
But what can we do?
It’s important to realize that we CAN do something.
First of all, let’s recognize what is CONTRIBUTING to the problem so that we can take steps towards a healthy solution. Here, in my opinion, are the top 3 contributing factors to the growing weight epidemic:
Surprised? Examine the evidence:
>> We have more diets on the market than ever before, more diet food, more diet books, more diet information. And yet we’re BIGGER than ever before.
>> It’s a proven fact that diets make your body more efficient at fat storage so that when you go back to eating ‘normal’ food, you will actually GAIN weight.
>> Diets boast a dismal 2-5% success rate. Looking at it another way, that’s a 95% FAILURE rate.
I believe that diets actually make the problem WORSE:
#1 by slowing your metabolism
#2 by teaching us to value highly calorie dense food (the food that is restricted on diets – and what is restricted ALWAYS takes on more value so we want more of it)
#3 by teaching us that we can lose weight with a temporary quick-fix, not a lifestyle change.
Diets are one of the TOP reasons we’re in such a weight loss mess today – and yet they will stay as long as they make money.
#2) Lack of Exercise
Elevators, escalators, reduced gym classes in schools, television, video games, computers, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines…
We’re a society of energy conservation. I love convenience as much as the next person but there also needs to be a balance. Compared to our ancestors, we’re putting out less energy and taking in more. It doesn’t take a genius to do the math.
#3) Too Much Misinformation
There’s so much weight loss MISinformation out there that people are doing MAJOR damage by following it.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best of intentions: if you eat according to WRONG information, you WON’T lose weight.
For example, if you believe you need 2500 calories a day to lose weight but the ACTUAL TRUTH is that you only need 1500 – you’re not going anywhere but up if you follow that belief.
Another great example of the misinformation out there is the belief that ‘a calorie is a calorie’. I guarantee you that your body will respond differently to 2000 calories of Mars Bars a day than it will to 2000 calories of fruits, veggies and lean protein. Convenient though this belief may be, it will wreak havoc if you set your weight loss plan by it.
So what can you do?
Well, first realize that you are NOT doomed to be overweight. You can lose weight and reclaim your naturally slim body, but it will involve changing your thinking and maybe even your lifestyle.
Stop dieting and start listening to your body. Observe what it’s telling you. Seek out information and then EVALUATE this information. Does it make sense? What does the evidence say?
You can lose weight in a world that is skewed against weight loss, but YOU have to make up your mind to do it. It won’t just fall on you. Figure out what works for you in weight loss and do it – for your health’s sake.