Obesity has ballooned into a worldwide epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and 700 million will be obese by 2015. Over 20 million children are overweight today. The reasons for these distressing figures are common knowledge: The international switch to high sugar, high fat, low nutrient processed junk foods prompted by global fast food chains and their advertising; the increasingly sedentary nature of jobs; children playing video games instead of engaging in sports & other outdoor activities, etc.
With the skyrocketing number of obese people, there is an accompanying increase in the maladies caused by obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer - and in the astronomical medical costs of treating these.
Of course, apart from the dire consequences for physical health & longevity, there is also the negative effect obesity has on the emotional, psychological & social lives of obese people: Fat children are bullied at school, often getting lower grades and subsequently less success later in life; it's far more difficult for obese adults to get dates & have satisfying sex lives, on & on.
Well now: That's the problem and its basic causes spotlighted - but what about a common sense, real-world solution to it?
The key to ending this "fat curse" once & for all lies in getting control of our intake of processed sugar, particularly in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), and carbohydrates. And of course getting more exercise.
"Hey! This guy promised a FAST & EASY way to lose weight!", you might be saying to yourself after reading that. Yes I did - and I still do! The fact is that the changes I'm about to recommend are no hardship at all: You can STILL enjoy satisfying meals and even desserts - without any buying into any expensive diet courses with their pre-packaged meals, or other gimmicks. Just take these few simple & painless steps, and you'll be on your way to a new you:
1. STOP DRINKING SODAS. Soda and other soft drinks are the single worst thing we can consume: They're the biggest source of HFCS in our diet. SUBSTITUTES: Drink water, no-sugar-added fruit juices, low-fat milk and iced tea or lemonade sweetened with sucralose (Splenda-type sweeteners) or stevia. Doing this makes a tremendous difference by itself - and you'll be amazed how easy giving up soda really is.
2. STOP EATING WHITE BREAD & POTATOES. These have a particularly high glycemic index, which means they hit the bloodstream with sugar fast & hard, causing the pancreas to pump out large amounts of insulin to deal with it. This is what eventually causes diabetes. The sugar from them is stored as fat rather than burned off, as it is with foods with a low glycemic index. SUBSTITUTES: Eat pumpernickel, rye, sprouted & whole grain breads, and al dente pasta. Whole wheat breads are acceptable - but make sure the label specifies "no HFCS added". Replace potatoes with sweet potatoes: The taste of a baked sweet potato beats a regular one any day of the week.
3. EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES. Again, choose low glycemic ones, like oranges, apples, plums, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, lentils, butter beans, pinto & lima beans, black-eyed peas, parboiled & brown rice, and leafy green vegetables.
4. GET MORE EXERCISE. I can almost hear the groans with this one....;o) I'm not talking about some drastic "no pain, no gain!" nonsense that no one sticks with; just take a vigorous walk after dinner, or take the stairs instead of the elevator, that sort of thing. Did you know that simply standing instead of sitting all the time up has great health benefits? Work standing whenever you can, and watch tv while standing sometimes.
4. HAVE THAT DESSERT OR SNACK. There's no need to deprive yourself; after all, life is to be enjoyed, not merely endured - and a satisfied sweet tooth helps to make healthier eating a lasting change. There are now many delicious sugar & fat-free treats out there: Just be sure to eat a sensible amount, since they still have calories. One of my personal favorites is sucralose-sweetened popsicles made with fruit: 20-30 calories apiece.
Well, there you have it. None of that sounds hard, does it? It sure isn't. Just give it a try, and you'll soon be losing weight, looking good & feeling great.
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