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Lifestyle ... For Good Health


Obesity-prevention for a better quality of life

From Richard Lewis, Vitality-Retirement.com

Obesity-prevention may save your life and improve the quality of your life. Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide and it is one of the most pressing health issues facing our society today. An obesity-prevention effort is just as important to the health and well-being of persons within the so called normal weight range as it is to those struggling with a weight problem.

Carrying excess weight increases the risk of many chronic diseases. Staying lean can help you live longer and importantly enjoy a high quality of life. Staying lean can help prevent the following chronic diseases:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

As a society we have become more and more sedentary because we enjoy modern methods of transportation and many distractions such as television screens, computers, and games. We have entertainment that requires little or no physical effort. Obesity is a problem that is impacting both men and women of all age groups.

Inactivity is a significant risk factor for obesity. Inactivity makes problems with diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight more likely. The solution is to participate in moderate aerobic exercises such as swimming, walking, biking, rowing, or jogging. Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days per week. Moderate walking just 30 minutes per day can significantly cut the risk of heart disease and is an important part of our obesity-prevention effort. Before starting any exercise program it is advisable to consult with your personal physician.

There are many factors that can influence body weight but nutrition and aerobic exercise are essential for good health. What we eat is as important if not more so than how much we eat. Our nutritious diet should be low in salt and sugars and include a lot of whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables. Vegetables with the highest concentrations of nutrients include cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. Avoid foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Foods high in fiber and protein help to restrain overeating and should be a part of your obesity-prevention program. Foods high in fiber help you feel full and cause you to eat more slowly and to eat less. Protein provides three advantages to help in controlling weight. These are:

  • It takes less protein to satisfy your hunger than low fiber carbs.
  • Protein helps to moderate the changes in the insulin cycle.
  • Unlike sugar and fat, excess protein in your diet is not stored as fat.

We do not have to starve ourselves to control our weight. Our obesity-prevention effort should include:

  • Participating in moderate aerobic exercises such as swimming, walking, biking, rowing, or jogging. Before starting any exercise program, be sure to consult with your personal physician.
  • Make an effort to avoid foods that are:
    • High in animal fat
    • Low in fiber
    • Low in Omega 3 fats
    • Low in plant based foods
    • High in sugar or salt (you would do well to avoid these altogether)
    • High in unnatural substances (chemicals) such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate(MSG). This includes diet sodas because the artificial sweeteners are sucralose or aspartame.
  • Eat foods high in fiber and protein including a lot of whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables.
  • Don’t rush through a meal. Slow down and enjoy the food. Chew your food thoroughly and slowly. The faster you eat the more that you are likely to eat.
  • Use smaller plates and take smaller helpings. Even if you go back for seconds, you are likely to eat less. I am sure that you have noticed and been motivated by the copious advertisements on television and in magazines portraying delicious foods of all sorts. This is, of course, intended to make you hungry enough to slip out into the kitchen and find something to eat or remember the product on your next shopping trip. Research proves that the more food we see, the more we are likely to eat.
  • Eat large salads at the beginning of the meal but avoid a heavy dressing. Vegetables are nutrient dense and high in fiber. This will help in eating less of the main course. Nix the dessert.

References

William Sears, M.D., Prime Time Health, Pages 341 thru 365, Little, Brown & Company


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