If you are like me and over 35, you may have noticed over the years that it gets more and more difficult to stay fit and lean every year. I anticipated a few grey hairs and some wrinkles… I did not anticipate my pants getting tighter and having the metabolism of a snail! As my friend once said, “When I was in my 30’s, I could walk briskly to stay fit. Now, in my 40’s, I have to run…!”
We work long hours, eat junk, and sit around! We surf the web and shop online, play video games and check email and texts. We are not as active as our ancestors and this sedentary lifestyle leads to loss of muscle. Muscle burns calories. The less muscle we have, the less calories our bodies burn, and the more likely we are to get fat! Combine that with the high sugar, high calorie American diet and this is a recipe for disaster!
The rates of obesity in America have been on the rise for decades. In 2012, it is anticipated that nearly 70% of adults and 30% of children in the U.S. will be considered overweight or obese. Not only does this mean the average U.S. dress size is on the rise, but these statistics have serious and potentially tragic health consequences! Being overweight increases one’s risk of major chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke.
Studies show that even a modest weight loss of 5-10% of one’s body weight can have tremendous impact on health and overall well-being.
So, how does one control this madness? Here are 5 helpful tips:
- Eat less – especially sugar! This includes most carbohydrates from cakes and cookies to white breads and pastas. These types of foods are quickly turned into glucose, causing the body to make a surge of insulin for energy. When this happens, we stop burning fat and start storing it.
- Eat more Protein. Multiple studies show that a diet high in protein causes more sustainable weight loss – it curbs our appetite, resulting in decreased calorie consumption. (Notice how you can’t eat just a few potato chips or fries?)
- Drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day. If you’re busy drinking all that water, you won’t have room for that Frappuccino or sweetened tea!
- Exercise. Try to fit in hour of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. In general, lead an active lifestyle. Change it up. Ride your bike one day, run the next, participate in seasonal sports & activities. AND, don’t forget to WEIGHT TRAIN to add back some of that muscle!
- Lastly, get enough sleep. When we are sleep deprived, we seek out quick energy fixes and are more likely to consume those chocolate covered donuts in the break room!
If you’re still looking for some weight loss guidance, talk to your medical provider or schedule an appointment with a registered dietitianfor nutritional counseling. If your a patient of Nova Medical Group, you may also be interested in reading more about Nova’s 12-week Integrative Wellness & Weight Loss Program – check it out!