Every newspaper you open, every online publication you browse and every television news segment you watch you’re likely to see or hear new words of wisdom concerning our country’s ever-growing obesity epidemic. Let’s step back in time to the year 1985 where the highest percentage of obesity in the entire country was only 14 percent. Fast-forward 25 years and approximately 30 percent of our nation is now considered obese—that’s twice as many people in just two short decades.
While proactive people seek out change and turn to medical weight loss programs in East Brunswick to help reverse the unhealthy effects of their former lifestyles, for others the health implications of their expanding waistlines have already resulted in irreparable damage. So how did this happen? When did our nation become the land of the obese rather than the free? As experts and physicians alike weigh in on this detrimental epidemic, there seem to be several plausible answers to this question.
Here are some commonly accepted reasons why so many Americans are suffering from obesity today:
- Poor health habits developed on behalf of a society that makes it easy to be sedentary
- Busy lifestyles limit time for preparing fresh meals at home and engaging in physical activity
- Food habits change as many Americans are now programmed to take the drive thru or order takeout because there just isn’t enough time in the day
- People are misguided in terms of what constitutes a healthy diet and active lifestyle thanks to celebrity endorsements and food label misinformation
Thankfully, you have the guidance of your medical weight loss doctor to weed out the truth from the lies where a healthy lifestyle is of concern. For others, learning what’s right from wrong isn’t so easy and many people aren’t aware that the solutions to their health problems are much more accessible than they realize. In general, the key to achieving and maintaining proper health is to eat healthy, engage in daily physical activity and manage stress. Unfortunately, for many Americans these three simple changes are easier said than done. However making some simple adjustments along the way can easily help people to accomplish their health goals in no time.
Here are some common healthy lifestyle changes you can make to foster a new, healthier mindset.
- Never rely on the front of the package to tell you what’s inside. Many so-called “healthy” foods are in no way what they appear to be. Manufacturers are sneaky and have learned ways to trick the consumer’s eye into thinking their product seems healthy when it actually is not. Practice being an educated shopper and always read the label of the product you’re buying carefully. Reading over the label helps you avoid the packaging gimmicks and go straight to the nutritional content and ingredient information so you can make an educated, healthy choice.
- Turn your environment into a healthy one. Most people are unaware of how their environment affects the foods and amount of foods they eat. For example, studies show that when people consume foods on smaller plates or bowls, they tend to eat more slowly and consume less. Also, think about your home environment—though you may be the only participating in a medical weight loss program, do you still keep unhealthy snacks and treats for other family members in a easily accessible place? If so, you may want to think about storing the foods somewhere out of sight or even avoid purchasing them altogether.
- Don’t overeat foods because they’re low-calorie. Studies show when people eat lower calorie options of certain foods, they tend to consume more calories overall because they believe the food they’re eating is “healthier” than its high-calorie counterpart. Just because we believe a product is healthier than another version doesn’t mean it’s okay to consume more of it.
Leading a healthy lifestyle may not come easy for some, but can be attained with small, step-by-step changes over time. Always stick to your medical weight loss doctor’s guidelines and do your best to make healthy decisions each and every day. The nation’s waistline may continue to expand, but this doesn’t mean yours has to as well.