Countless health studies now conclude that people are getting bigger, and if I may be so blunt, fatter, every year. Over half the population are overweight. No longer is obesity a rarity, it is commonplace and places an enormous burden not only on those who suffer with it, but also our health system.
Some of the many health issues caused directly or indirectly by being overweight include skeletal diseases, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and sleeping disorders. Common sense also tells us that there is a clear inverse relationship between obesity and longevity which is also backed up by many health and medical studies. An increase of 10kg in a persons body weight is enough to adversely effect both the individuals quality of life as well as their lifespan.
Obesity has serious consequences, but there are options and treatments that can reverse it’s effects. The detrimental health issues and complications brought about by obesity can be fought successfully with good outcomes. Preventing and fighting obesity can be undertaken in several ways.
1. Diet quality and management.
2. Striving to lower fat and cholesterol levels.
Most diets fail, it’s a sad fact. Most people find dieting very difficult. Sustainable, successful diet regimes are possible, but what is the key to success?
The resounding answer is in changing your lifestyle. For most people suffering from obesity, most contributing factors are lifestyle related. Change is required. Change what you eat, how you eat, and why you eat, and you will change your life.
When dieting, change the foods you regularly eat that are detrimental to your health with healthier, better alternatives. Exchange the fast food and junk you consume with fresh foods. Vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and fish. Create a record of the calories you consume and track them over time.
FAT AND CHOLESTEROL
Cholesterol and body fat levels are elevated by a bad diet and a sedentary lifestyle with limited activity.
Cholesterol is not our enemy, it is actually an essential part of normal, healthy body function. But when in excess, it can cause serious problems with our arteries and circulation. Excessive cholesterol build up can lead to artery disease in the heart and in the worst case, heart attack.
The most common and often the most effective way to combat high cholesterol is through controlling the level of fat intake in your diet. Cholesterol levels can usually be controlled by good management of dietary habits and other lifestyle factors.
FOODS THAT PRODUCE HIGH CHOLESTEROL TO AVOID
Dairy – Substitute your high fat cheese and other dairy products for low fat alternatives. Most dairy products are now available in low fat or even no fat versions.
Meat – Be very selective with meat and choose lean meats. Avoid meat where you can visually see the fat, or diligently trim the fat yourself.
Oils – Most of us know by now to select oils low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is a great choice.
Junk Food – Needless to say, avoid junk foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and any deep fried foods. They are high in saturated fats and low in fiber and nutrition. Save them for rare occasions only, or better still, eliminate them all together from your diet.
Quantity – Apart from making better choices, you should also generally reduce the quantity of your food intake. People need less food than they think, and most people simply eat too much.
Also, when you eat better quality foods with higher nutritional value, you are getting higher quality so you can do with lower quantity.
Naturally, guidance from a medical physician in dealing with cholesterol issues will help manage the problem in a safe and effective way.
The other major factor along with diet is exercise. It is paramount to achieving a high level of vitality and well being. Walking, jogging, bike riding and swimming are the most common forms of cardio vascular exercise. Choose one or more that you enjoy and is sustainable as a part of your lifestyle.
The essential thing is to make it a habit and a regular part of your life. Regular exercise will help you prevent and deal with many issues such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Regular exercise will help maintain and build strong and healthy muscles, bones and most importantly a vital and robust immune system.
Diet and exercise are the cornerstone of achieving, building and maintaining a strong body wrapped in good health. Having a good diet or a great exercise program is a big step in the right direction, but they are by far most effective when combined with each other where they will have a synergistic effect.
When combined and sustained in a healthy lifestyle, good diet and exercise can not fail to create wonderful and vital changes to an individuals health, vitality and overall quality of life.