From new diets, to government policy, to television shows, the emphasis on the importance of “losing weight” is prominent. But it’s become more and more obvious that we are approaching the issue incorrectly.
The percentage of U.S. adults who are obese continues to increase, reaching 27.7% in 2015. Americans previously classified as overweight moved into the obese category, while the percentage who are at normal weight (35%) has remained the same since 2013.
About 77% of Americans do want to, and try to, lose weight. However, around 70% of Americans are obese. By focusing only on losing weight, people forget the real goal is really to live a healthier life. This includes not only losing weight, but changing the way you eat, changing the way you move and changing the way you look at life.
Since 2008, Americans aged 65 and older have seen the sharpest increase in obesity, followed by increases among 45- to 64-year-olds, Americans living in the Midwest, and women.
If we adopt a broader approach to losing weight – that we want to become healthier and live happier lives, we will give ourselves more space, and the flexibility to change our habits. Successful weight loss is the byproduct of a healthy and active lifestyle.
So what should you do? These simple tips will direct you to a healthier lifestyle.
Structure Your Food
Shape your environment so it becomes easier to eat the right things. Structuring your life to create predictable meals may sound boring, but the repetition creates healthy—and pleasurable—rituals.
Eat a Big Breakfast
Did your mother tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, People who eat a bigger breakfast are more likely to be physically active throughout the day, and research shows they are more likely to keep weight loss off. Eating a big breakfast is a common characteristic in those who live healthy, active lifestyles.
Use Smaller Plates
Eating on 10” plates promotes eating in smaller proportions. Over the last 20 years, the average U.S. dinner plate has grown to over 12 inches. In the same time frame we are eating 22% more calories. The easiest, mindless way to eat less is to eat from smaller plates.
Get Up and Stretch.
Stretching is a relaxing and rejuvenating activity that can help you unwind and release tension after a stressful day or increase your energy levels during times of fatigue. Stretching helps you use energy more efficiently because a contracted muscle requires more energy to move than a relaxed muscle. If you haven’t had a great night’s sleep or you’re feeling a bit fatigued during the day, stretching exercises can help you feel a renewed sense of energy and invigoration.
Did you know that simply placing a sign at the bottom of the stairs at your workplace can help you burn more calories? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that 5% more women and 2.5 percent more men chose the stairs when a sign statin “Use the Stairs” was placed by the elevator! Over the course of a year, choosing the stairs over the escalator helps people lose almost a pound—mindlessly! And that’s just in public spaces, like malls. Imagine if you did it everywhere!
Are you ready to get off the diet merry-go-round? Are you finished with fad diets and quick fixes? Have you had it with beating yourself up over what, how much, when, and why you aren’t making healthier choices? Contact me to talk about starting a healthier lifestyle today.