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Obesity is, quite simply, an excess of body fat. Usually, anyone who is 20 percent over the normal weight for his or her age, sex, build, and height is considered obese. How much a person weighs is only part of the story, however. Perhaps more important than weight is the percentage of fat in the body. For healthy women, fat can account for as much as 25 percent of body weight; 17 percent is a healthy percentage for men. Most of the extra calories we eat that we do not need for immediate energy are stored as fat.
Obesity, even moderate overweight, puts an undue stress on the back, legs, and internal organs, and this can eventually exacerbate many physical problems and compromise health. Obesity increases the body's resistance to insulin and susceptibility to infection, and puts one at higher risk for developing coronary artery disease, diabetes, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, stroke, and other serious health problems that can result in premature death. Obese persons suffer psychologically as well as physically, because our society tends to equate beauty, intelligence, and even success with being thin.
The most common cause of obesity are poor diet and/ or eating habits and lack of exercise. Other factors that can lead to obesity include glandular malfunctions, diabetes, hypoglycemia, emotional tension, boredom, and a simple love for food. At least one third of Americans are 20 percent or more overweight. Even though this country is going through several fitness crazes in recent years, Americans today are fatter, more stressed out, and no likelier to get regular exercise than we were ten years ago.
Americans spend more than 30 billion dollars each year on diet aids and remedies. Unfortunately, even those who lose weight often put it back on.
Drink 8-10 glasses of distilled water a day. Herbal teas can also be added to the water count.
Pay particular attention to the fat in your diet. Some fat may be necessary, but it must be the right kind. Avocados, olives, olive oil, raw nuts and seeds, and wheat and corn germ are sources of good fats that contain essential fatty acids. Use these foods in moderation-no more than twice a week. Eliminate saturated fats from the diet completely. Never consume animal fat, found in butter, cream, gravies, ice cream, mayonnaise, meat, rich dressings, and whole milk. Do not eat any fried foods.
Do not eat any white flour products, salt, white rice, or processed foods. Also, avoid fast food restaurants and all junk foods.
Follow a fasting program once monthly.
Do not consume sweets such as soda, pastries, pies, cakes, doughnuts, or candy. Omit all forms of refined sugars - white sugar, brown sugar, and corn sweetener
If you must eat snacks occasionally to ward off hunger, make sure they are healthy.
celery and carrot sticks Low fat cottage cheese topped with walnuts
Natural sugar-free whole muffins Freshly made unsalted popcorn
Rice cakes Watermelon, fresh fruit
Unsweetened low fat yogurt Granola
Do not consume alcohol in any form.
As much fruits and veggies as possible.
Be active. Take brisk walks every day before breakfast or dinner to burn off fat. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving a car. Exercise increases metabolic rate, as well as, burns off calories.
Be sure to get regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, bicycling, or swimming, and do excercises for strength and flexibility, such as yoga or stretching excercises. Exercise is better than an overly strict diet for maintaining your health and controlling your weight. It is the best way to rid the body of fat and maintain muscle tone.
Eat 5-6 small meals a day, never skip a meal. This only intensifies hunger and food cravings.
Make your main meal lunch.
Do not chew gum
Do not grocery shop on a empty stomach
Avoid crash dieting-Repeated crash dieting is not healthy and can increase the risk of heart disease.
THE BASIC ARITHMETIC OF WEIGHT LOSS IS THAT OF EACH POUND OF BODY FAT IS WORTH 3500 CALORIES. THUS, TO LOSE 1 POUND A WEEK SAFELY YOU MUST TIP THE CALORIE EXPENDITURE BALANCE IN YOUR FAVOR BY 500 CALORIES A DAY. TO DO THIS, YOU CAN, FOR EXAMPLE, LOSE 250 CALORIES BY DRINKING A GLASS OF WATER WITH LEMON JUICE INSTEAD OF A CAN OF SODA AND LEAVING THE CHEESE OFF YOUR SANDWICH, AND THEN MAKE UP THE OTHER 250 CALORIES BY WALKING FOR A HALF HOUR.
THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT - AND VIRTUALLY THE ONLY WAY TO MAINTAIN WEIGHT LOSS- IS TO ADOPT A MORE HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE. A LIFESTYLE THAT INCLUDES A NATURAL, HEALTHY DIET AND REGULAR EXERCISE WILL KEEP YOU HEALTHY.
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