The Real Reason America Is Overweight



The alarm clock goes off. You slug your way out of bed, still half asleep. You glance back at the bed one last time and wish that the warm embrace of the covers was an option, but it's not. You jump into the shower, which only half wakes you up. You barely have enough time to get dressed, skip breakfast, and get to work 5 minutes before you're supposed to be there.

On your lunch break, you finally have an hour to yourself. You hustle out to your car and you rationalize to yourself that you can eat a hamburger and fries because "you deserve it, it's been a rough day and you just want something good". You scarf down a McDonald's Big Mac and large fries in almost half the time it took them to cook it. You finish it off with a Coke and then it happens:

You immediately wish you hadn't done that.

On your way back into work, you suck in your stomach because you feel like the high calorie food you just ate added about 10 pounds. You feel full, but not the good kind of full. You feel bloated. You feel like your abdomen is sticking out several more inches than it was before your lunch break.

You tell yourself that this is the last straw. "Tomorrow", you say, "I'm getting a salad. I'm cutting out the soda and I'm drinking water all day."

Your long, hectic, exhausting work day finally comes to an end. You head home from work to your spouse, watch some TV and then dinner time rolls around. You tell yourself the same thing you did at lunch time. "Ya' know what? I work hard. I deserve a good, high fat meal." The pattern repeats itself as you wish you hadn't eaten that dinner.

You finally go to bed, wake up and run through the exact same routine the next day.

Sound familiar? Is this you?

Do you rationalize eating unhealthy, or use the excuse that you don't have time to eat healthier? You're not alone. In fact, millions of Americans are running through this daily pattern all the time. How do I know? I used to be one of them.

It's amazing how much a few small changes in your lifestyle can impact your overall health. Do you want to decrease your risk of hypertension(high blood pressure)? Do you want to become one of the less likely candidates for a heart attack later in life?

If you're a human being, the the answer is 'YES! OF COURSE I DO!'.

But, what can you do to start off on the right track? Well, the first thing you need to do is convince yourself that you're doing this for health reasons. I know everyone wants to look good, but changing your lifestyle for cosmetic reasons can accumulate into long-term eating disorders. The health reasons to get fit far outweigh the cosmetic benefits.

If you can convince yourself that you're doing this for the long-run, and not just to get that waistline down before summer comes, you'll be more likely to keep the weight off.

In this article, I'm going to discuss the nutrition side of the spectrum. I'll talk about the other factors in my upcoming articles.

So, what immediate changes can you make in your diet to start seeing the results? As a personal trainer, the first nutrition advice I always give my clients is "PORTIONS, PORTIONS, PORTIONS". What's that mean?

Eat more, eat less.

That's a direct contradiction, isn't it?

Basically, eat more often. 5 times a day is what I'd recommend. Eat your 3 regular meals with two snacks in between. In turn, this should help prevent you from over-eating. Here's a break down of what your day should consist of:

  1. Breakfast - Start the day off strong! Don't skip breakfast. Even if you only have enough time to grab a banana and chug down an orange juice, then do it!

  2. Snack - Your first snack should be between breakfast and lunch. I'd highly recommend staying healthy with fruit, yogurt, or low calorie crackers. This snack helps you curb your appetite away from those mid-morning munchy cravings you may get. Now that you've eaten breakfast and curbed your appetite with a snack, that Big Mac at lunch doesn't seem as desirable, does it?

  3. Lunch - The goal of eating more often is to drive down the amount of food you eat during your binging hours. If at all possible, go for the more nutritious foods on the menu if you're eating out. If you do happen to order something unhealthy, try to change it up a bit. Substitute a salad for your side. Stay away from the soda and get a water instead. Don't upsize it-- Remember, you've already eaten twice today, so you shouldn't be too hungry at this point.

  4. Snack - Between lunch and dinner, have yourself another snack. This warrants the same reasons as the mid-morning snack. Your goal is to curb your appetite.

  5. Dinner - You've made it this far! Since you've eaten the snack a few hours earlier, your stomach isn't starving for food-- hopefully. This will prevent you from over-indulging at the dinner table.

A few more tips-- Eat slowly. This allows your brain to register to your body that you're full. This process usually takes about 20 minutes.

Try to stay away from or limit your consumption of what I deem the BIG 3: Trans and saturated fats, sodium, and sugars.

Trans and saturated fats are found in most junk food, as well as fast-food and fried foods. Sodium can be found in sodas, several canned goods, and of course, your salt shaker. Cakes, candy, and most sweets contain sugars. Try to limit your consumption of these and you'll have more success in attaining you goals.

1 comment:

  1. It's weird to see that we are not been able to control the way we eat. It's a must to teach good dieting habits to people since they are kids.

    ReplyDelete