The obesity issue: complacency versus proactivity

The obesity issue: complacency versus proactivity

It’s a sad fact that it is fast becoming the norm to be overweight. Gone are the days where women obsessed about looking like supermodels (not that that was healthy), and made far healthier choices when it came to food. These days, it almost seems like there is at least one fast food take-out joint on every block. You literally can’t go anywhere without running into at least one billboard or advertisement for fast food. It’s because of this overloading of the senses via the media, it makes it difficult to say no to junk food.

Unfortunately, the statistics don’t lie. In South Africa, 7/10 women and 4/10 men are obese or overweight. A worldwide survey showed that South Africans are among the world’s biggest people, and as crazy as it sounds, at least 61% of us are overweight or obese. The researchers discovered that at least 49% of people simply do not exercise.

It is because of statistics like these, that people are dying at a younger age these days than they have in the past. Younger and younger people are suffering with diseases like high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, respiratory problems, diabetes (type II) as well as heart problems, and all of the can be tied to being overweight or obese.

Thirty years ago it was considered a fact of life that only the elderly suffered from things like cardiac arrest. Today (2015) children are suffering with weight related problems like cardiac problems, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and believe it or not, even joint problems. No child should have to suffer with problems like these. In fact, no person, adult or child, needs to suffer with weight related health issues. It is all preventable, and in some cases, reversible.

Unless there’s a medical reason behind your weight gain, there really isn’t an excuse for being overweight anymore. Just about anybody can afford a gym membership, and for those who can’t, walking costs nothing. If you’re one of those people who has tried just about every diet conceivable, yet you continue to either gain weight or simply can’t lose any weight, it’s time to see your doctor.

People need to wise up to the fact that there simply is no such thing as a miracle weight loss program or product. Taking a tablet every day and expecting the weight to melt off is unrealistic and naive. We need to stop buying into the hype of every new miracle product that becomes available on the market. Not even the “homeopathic” remedies will give you the results you want. So whether you are using the HCG injections, taking products like green coffee beans, Raspberry ketones or even Garcinia Cambogia, it’s time to understand that this stuff just doesn’t work.

If you’re really serious about losing weight but find you simply can’t, first understanding why you are unable to lose weight is the first step. Have yourself tested for things like hypothyroidism and diabetes. You may find that you are suffering either from one or both of these conditions and can take the necessary steps to get control of the situation. Both hypothyroidism and diabetes can prevent you from losing any weight, regardless of how hard you try or how healthy you eat. Getting the treatment you need for conditions like this will not only set you on the path weight loss, but also get you physically healthy again.

Once you determine the reason for your inability to lose weight or why you continue to gain weight, the next step is all on you. This is where you need to decide how you want to go about losing weight. There are several ways you can go about it.

One option would be to visit a dietician and give a full history on your weight gain. This will allow your dietician to take whatever steps necessary to help you lose weight. For instance, if you are diabetic or even pre-diabetic, your dietician will be able to give you a “dos and don’ts list” on foods you should avoid and those you need to can enjoy. Your dietician can also (if you prefer) help you draw up a basic menu guide to get you started. Ultimately your dietician will come up with a strategy that is specifically suited to your health and your needs.

Another option would be to try and find a program that is less like a diet and more like a lifestyle change. Try and find a program that is easy to adapt into your lifestyle, also easily sustainable. It’s pointless choosing a program that runs only over a specific time period (usually twelve weeks) since these programs are considered diets. The problem with a diet is that it has a beginning and an end. A lifestyle change means changing your eating habits for life in order to lose weight, maintain your goal weight and stay healthy.

The other alternative is to makes small changes in your current diet over a period of time. Simply changing out one or two things every couple of weeks will allow you to gradually ease into making more permanent changes to your diet. For example, switching out refined sugar for a natural sweetener like honey, agave syrup or Palm sugar (coconut sugar). This would also include cutting things out like most jams and for the most part, pastries and sweets. Stick to only one change for two or three weeks to become accustomed to it before making another change.

Usually the idea of making drastic changes to your lifestyle can be daunting. It’s because of these scary changes that most people simply give up and revert back to the original way of eating. Changing your attitude towards food and food products, is the first step to conquering your problem is obesity. Always remember, when it comes to changes, you need to do it at a slow enough pace so that is comfortable for you, in order for you to be able to sustain these changes for the rest of your life.

The old saying that goes “the best things in life are free” is true. Especially when it comes to your own well-being and health. For example, it comes to working out, if you do not have a gym contract, there is no reason for you to run out and get one. Get outdoors at least once a day and go for a walk. Being outdoors in the fresh air is a great way to not only cleanse your body but also to cleanse your mind. Going for a walk or run costs you nothing, except a little bit of time.

You don’t need fancy gym equipment to get a decent workout, but if you do have a gym contract, but it to good use. If you not entirely sure what to do regarding a workout, start the something that’s easy and is universally good for your body: swimming! The great cardio workout at it works every muscle in your body. If on the other hand you need more structure, speak to someone at your local gym about hiring a personal trainer. Personal trainers come in super useful in more than one way. Not only do they give you a great workout, but because you have an appointment to keep with them, it harder to back out of going to the gym.

At the end of the day, all the information, advice and tips is meaningless unless you are ready to do something about your weight and take it seriously. So while it might seem as if society has accepted being overweight or obese as normal, it is in fact not! Indulging in a take-out meal or a sweet treat from time to time is okay, and even encouraged, it’s good to know when too much of a good thing is bad.


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