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America is Overweight and Unhealthy

I was watching television this morning and actually watched the commercials being aired. During the first break, four out of five of the commercials were food related. None of them were advertising or attempting to sell ANYTHING healthy. Not ONE! Additionally, the actors used in the ads were all vastly overweight. I can remember people complaining about how unrealistic actors and models use to look on television, magazines, and movies and how physiologically damaging and harmful it was to try and emulate those unrealistic images. Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung too far the other way. When did letting yourself go become of source of pride? Almost 70% of Americans are overweight and 37% are obese. It’s not just trendy or acceptable to be overweight now, it’s celebrated. The ubiquitous idea that ‘I’m perfect just the way I am” and “I don’t want to be judged for how I look” is literally killing people. I am NOT suggesting that everyone needs to aspire to look like Barbie and Ken, or that we should judge people on their appearance. Is there a middle, healthy alternative to the two extremes? Being overweight is the number 1 cause of mortality in this country. It leads to and is a main contributor to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. These 3 SIMPLE things can help you get started down a healthy path and will help reduce weight and body fat.

  1. Cut your portion size by 25-30%. No need to eat kale and broccoli 3 times a day; instead try reducing how MUCH you eat. Too many dietary changes almost never work in the long term for individuals trying to lose weight. People inevitably go back to eating what they want and enjoy.

  1. Drink at least half of your body weight in water every day. Nothing complicated here. I will suggest drinking a glass of water before eating. It will help with satiation (the feeling of hunger.)

  1. Walk. Try two 30-minute walks a day. If time allows, do three 20-minute walks a day instead (one after each meal.) Research indicates that a walk after each meal helps with digestion and reduces glycogen storage.

These are easy habits that anyone can implement into their lifestyle. No need to join a gym or start shopping at Whole Foods. Just a few little changes can affect how you feel and your overall health.

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