Monday, February 6, 2012

Staggering Obesity And What To Do About It by George Hutton

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Most people would change their weight, if given the opportunity. Fifty pounds here, twenty pounds there. But why is losing weight thought of as some magical transformation that is out of our control? Can't we control our weight through simple exercise and diet? If these are so simple, why are they so hard?

Well, if you consider our lifestyle, then the answer may be more obvious. Fifty or a hundred years ago, most of would have had jobs that were much more physically demanding, so we would have burned a lot more calories over the course of a day. Compare that to our jobs today, and you can easily see the difference. The vast majority of people today work at jobs that don't require much physical labor.

One other major problem leading directly to obesity is the amount, and the quality, of the food that we stuff ourselves with. We simply don't eat nearly as healthy as we used to. Back in the good old days, we would eat home grown, local food that was cooked fresh every night. Nowadays, it's almost impossible to go even a couple days without hitting up the burger joint or the pizza place.

It's pretty obvious, then, why it's so easy to get fat and out of shape in modern society. But what do we do? Obviously, we need to increase the amount of exercise that we do, and decrease the amount of unhealthy food that we eat. What's the best way to do this? Most experts believe that slow and steady is the best way. Sure, we'd love to take that magic pill and wake up looking like those models on the covers of magazines, but we need to be realistic. Slower and steadier is always better (unless you are being chased by a tiger).

When it comes to eating, simply skip the burger joint a couple times a week, and try to eat a smaller bowl of ice cream at night. Stay away from red meat, and sugary carbohydrates. Eat more lean protein and complex carbohydrates like oatmeal and wheat pasta. You'd be surprised how quickly these seemingly small changes can add up.

As far as exercise goes, walking is likely the best that you can do. It's easy, it's natural, and you're probably already pretty good at it. Special shoes, or expensive equipment isn't required. Just whatever sneakers you own now, and an open stretch of sidewalk, and you're good to go. Many people are surprised at the positive effects that only ten or fifteen minutes a day of walking can provide. Pretty soon you'll be building up some good momentum, and you'll have automatically develop some pretty healthy habits.