More than 130 million Americans are overweight. That’s nearly 42 percent of the U.S. population and more than double the entire population of France. Even worse, 40 million Americans are clinically obese or “seriously” overweight. That’s almost double the entire population of Australia. Three million Americans suffer from life-threatening obesity, otherwise known as morbid obesity. That’s 60 times the number of soldiers who died in Vietnam.
Obesity is a life-threatening epidemic. Today’s fast food restaurants, processed foods and soft drinks, poor eating habits and lack of exercise have contributed to American’s abundance of body fat. According to U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, “overweight and obesity may soon cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking."
That’s correct. He said “preventable disease and death.” Obesity is not a disease; it is a self-induced health problem that causes disease and death. And because is it self-induced, it is reversible, preventable and, therefore, curable.
There are different causes of obesity, including genetic predisposition, constitution, age, diet, emotions, level of daily physical activity and lifestyle choices. Our lifestyle choices play the major role in obesity. You see, how much we choose to eat, when we choose to eat, what we choose to eat, how much exercise we choose to engage in or we choose to avoid… often determine how much weight we gain, carry and maintain.
The answer, then, is to maintain an attitude of temperance when it comes to everything. In other words, don’t engage in too many stressful events that can cause you to eat or drink in excess. Choose not to eat too late at night. Make the decision to exercise enough every day to burn what you put in. And the list goes on.
In short, controlling food and exercise levels will provide the greatest results toward preventing or reversing obesity, and avoiding serious diseases associated with obesity, like heart disease and diabetes.
In terms of exercise, brisk walking for at least 30 minutes per day is a great way to begin. For those who have more time, joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer will help you create a program based on your personal needs. Where diet is concerned, the answer to what NOT to eat should be obvious by now. However, there are foods you should eat more of that not only make you healthier and more livelier, but also assist in weight loss.
Water is so very essential to every aspect of optimal health. It is the liquid substance of blood, keeps the body cool, the skin moist, the fluid in the synovial capsules between the joints, the digestive fluid in the stomach and intestines, urine for toxin elimination and fluids to counter dehydration from exercise and diuretic beverages. You need to consume two quarts (a half-gallon) of purified water every day for weight loss and optimal health. Iced teas, sodas, beer and so on do not count toward this quantity!
Soy products are a good way to get enough protein and are also a good substitute for fattening dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
Cooked green leafy vegetables are wonderfully dense in nutrition and also help restore proper alkaline levels in the body. They are high in iron and fiber, so they help strengthen the blood and eliminate toxins through the bowels.
Cherries, grapes, raspberries and beets are all good sources of vitamins and minerals, and don’t spike blood sugar levels. (High blood sugar is a cause of weight gain.) These foods also help purify blood.
Lean beef broths and soups are terrific sources of natural protein and enzymes. By eating beef in soups, you get the benefit of the protein but eat less of it than when consuming it as the main meal focus itself.
Ginger is a great dietary addition, as it aids digestive function. It is also a diaphoretic, which means it induces sweating and breaks up phlegm and mucus.
Garlic is also great, as it works on the stomach, blood and small and large intestines and strengthens the immune system.
By eliminating weight-gain foods like sugar, dairy and fatty and processed foods, by eating more of the foods that support wellness and bodily functions and also engaging in daily exercise, you can lose weight. In fact, you can reverse and prevent obesity. Again, obesity is not a disease; it is the cause (the preventable cause) of serious life-threatening diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
–Dr. Mark Wiley