Have you ever thought, Hey, if I’m overweight and I want to get rid of fat, I’ll just eat “low fat” and fix the problem?
Did you go out and buy lots of “low fat” foods? Scale way back on your calories? Buy those little pop-in-the-microwave freezer meals that say “Healthy” all over them?
It seems like that would all make sense right?
If you did any of those things, how did that work out for you? Unfortunately, it may have helped for a short period of time but I suspect it failed to produce lifelong lasting results for a healthy weight and healthy body. So what’s the problem?
Here in the U.S. we have an obesity epidemic. Obesity is defined by 20% over your ideal weight when you look at a standard height/weight chart and a BMI of greater than 30%. In 1980 it was estimated that 35% of Americans were overweight to obese. So we looked for a solution.
It is estimated that over $46 billion were spent by consumers on weight loss diets and foods. Wouldn’t you think that with all that money spent we would have progress in the fight against obesity? Let’s take a look at the stats now: 65% of Americans are overweight to obese, that percent includes over 12.5 million children. After billions of dollars spent and many thousands of “diet” and “low fat” foods developed, we have an even greater problem than before.
Where did it all go wrong? We got busy and looked for a lose weight, get healthy quick scheme. I have gotten roped in myself. I am wife, mom, work part-time and also run my own health and wellness business. I get it. It’s overwhelming and we are busy. The convenience factor of some of those low fat, prepackaged fast foods look like our saving grace. They are not.
So what should you do? Just say no!
Say no to frequent trips to fast food restaurants. Fast food sales have increased by 2,000% in the last 30 years. Our unhealthy bodies are a by-product of that. Fast foods are filled with saturated fats and calories that are void of nutrients. These unhealthy foods produce inflammation in your body that increase your risk for many diseases. Research shows that just two trips to a fast food restaurant per week increases your risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
Secondly, say no to prepackaged processed foods. Yes, I mean those low fat, diet, “healthy” convenience foods. Marketing lures you in, but they are filled with sugars and artificial ingredients (aka chemicals) that your body doesn’t know what to do with. It inhibits weight loss and slows down your metabolism.
Now we are to the YES part. Say yes to getting back to the basics by eating real food. I always tell my clients to shop the outside perimeter of the store. Think about the foods that are there: fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grains. I know, I know, this will take some planning. You and your health are worth it.
Pick one or two new foods or recipes to try each week. Buy those fruits and veggies and don’t put them away right when you get home. Take the time to rinse, cut and package them to be ready to eat right from the fridge. Cook up that chicken breast you bought, dice it up and put in a container for a topping on your salad for lunches for the week. Make your own convenience foods. You can do this.
My next suggestion may shock you: Say yes to fat; the right kind of fat. I’m talking about monounsaturated fats. These foods include avocados, olive oil and almonds. In my next article I will be elaborating on the many benefits to having these types of healthy fats in your diet and how they can actually aid in your weight loss.
I have given you a lot of information. It may seem like common sense or it may be a surprise to you. You may even already know the right and wrong things to do. Whatever the case, I hope this is a call to action for you. Now is a great time to get off the fence and take steps to do something different. Remember, each day you get to choose whether to help your health or harm it.
This is a process and it will take time to implement. Eating healthy will become a new habit or way of life with practice. Be patient with yourself. Don’t allow feeling overwhelmed or the fear of change stop you from getting started. Ask for help from others to make you accountable to these new healthy choices. One step at at time you can create a healthy, happy, hopeful life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Waggoner is a wife, mom, nurse and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Survivor. Her passion is to come alongside others, encouraging them to create healthy, happy, hopeful lives. Kim is the owner of Waggoner Health and writes a blog, www.kimwaggoner.com to educate and inspire others.