Obesity is a major health problem in the United States. Today, more than 27 percent of Americans are considered clinically obese. Socioeconomic status, age, lifestyle, living environment, and genetics are the key factors that determine whether someone is likely to become obese. Its health repercussions are significant, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and sleep apnea, to name a few, making obesity one of the costliest and most impactful health issues facing the United States today. Today, the estimated annual costs of obesity and obesity-related disease stands at more than $190 billion in the United States. That accounts for more than 20 percent of all spending on healthcare in the U.S.
Ultimately, obesity comes down to a lifestyle choice. Clearly diet, lack of exercise, and an inadequate knowledge of how poor health choices affect one’s overall health play a major role in the rate of obesity. Finding an enjoyable workout routine, getting plenty of sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, addressing mental health disorders, education and consulting with your doctor are all important steps in combating obesity.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight comes down to fewer calories than you will burn every day. If you eat high calorie foods without exercising, your chances of becoming obese go up considerably. Remember that healthy eating is a matter of discipline. Low carb, raw foods and other fad diets are popular for a while but can do more harm than good because they don’t address the root of the problem, namely, the lethal combination of overeating and lack of exercise. Your doctor and dietitian can outline a diet that helps you focus on healthy foods and avoid destructive eating habits. FamilyLivingToday suggests, investing in a good set of knives to help you prepare the right foods in healthy portions.
There’s no way around it: exercise is the key to overcoming obesity. Healthy foods are important, but diet is only one part of the equation. Exercise burns the calories you ingest and is key to building muscle, helping you steer clear of the vicious cycle of overeating and sedentary living. Physicians recommend getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week. If you lack exercise equipment and don’t belong to a gym, walking and bicycling are good ways to burn calories. Free weights, kettlebells and resistance bands can also give you a productive workout without having to spend a lot of money.
Inadequate rest is another chronic problem for Americans. Sleep is important because your body replenishes itself while you’re sleeping, which boosts your immune system. Researchers have found that a lack of sleep (experts recommend 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night) slows your metabolism, which means you burn fewer calories and gain weight. Insufficient sleep also causes your body to store calories as fat.
Nutrition experts recommend eating at the dinner table rather than in other parts of the home. People tend to eat less food and smaller portions at the table, whereas those who typically eat while watching television tend to do so without paying attention to the amount of food they’re consuming.
Everyone has a busy schedule, and finding ways to schedule a formal workout can be difficult. However, that’s no reason to give up on the idea of exercising. Instead, try to find opportunities throughout your day to get in a little physical activity, such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator at work, or walking around the block on your lunch break. If possible, bike or walk to the store instead of always driving. Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can make a considerable difference.
Well-focused actions relating to diet, exercise and lifestyle choices can make the difference for people who struggle with obesity and its impacts. Concentrate on a healthy diet, a regular form of exercise and minimizing your caloric intake. If you’re still finding it difficult to lose weight, consult your physician or a nutrition expert, who may be able to recommend alternatives.