Why America Is Gaining Weight And What You Can Do To Break The Pattern
10:41 27 August 2019
America is gaining weight as a whole. The key to understanding how to successfully lose weight and keep it off lies in understanding why the phenomenon is impacting the entire country. Obesity isn’t just about not looking or feeling good about oneself; it has a drastic impact on your long term health outlook. From raising the rates of Type 2 diabetes to being connected to an array of cancers, the amount of extra weight carried can raise your risk of chronic illness and early death. For as many reasons as there are for people becoming overweight, there are as many ways for people to lose weight and keep it off.
What role does the modern lifestyle play in sustaining weight?
The modern American tends to work in a job that is sedentary. They have interrupted sleep, a gift from all of our technology. They also have longer commutes to work. Time pressure and lack of sleep combine to make the diet of choice one that embraces convenience. Lack of sleep means the body’s chemical processes are not up to the task of properly using food and will crave high energy foods, such as sugars and fats, to keep going.
Processed foods are the mainstay for many Americans. Even healthy processed meals contain more salt, fat, and sugar then our bodies can adequately use, creating increased fat stores. Exercise is often an afterthought and doesn’t meet the standards required for daily minutes to make a difference. Part of the work done by clinics, such as the Chicago Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic, is to try and bring into balance the needs of your body and mind to be healthy with the demands of the modern lifestyle.
The issue of portion size
It is no secret that Americans tend to serve themselves larger portions than any other country in the world. It is important to realize that our consumer-based society has set this up to be. By increasing plate size, the food industry was able to promote a greater rate of consumption of their products. The bigger the plate, the more inclined we are to fill it. Given that one of America’s greatest social pressures is to "clean one’s plate" lest we are perceived as wasting food, an equation has been created that promotes weight gain while securing the economic success of the food and drink industry.
Is being overweight determined by your genes?
Scientists have found that there are over 400 types of genes that can determine whether or not you are predisposed to being overweight. These genes work in different combinations to create how your body processes food, your basal metabolic rate, and, sometimes, even the types of foods that you crave. Studies have found that genetic profiles indicate both physical and environmental changes to DNA that can then be passed down from generation to generation. For example, if you come from a family in which your grandparents and great grandparents were obese, chances are you will struggle with obesity too. One of the hallmarks of genetic obesity is the difficulty in losing weight even with appropriate diet and exercise modifications.
The genetic propensity for weight gain can also be created in any generation. If you are obese due to poor diet and lack of exercise, you can modify the DNA that is then passed to your children. This is a form of environmental heredity. Interrupting the DNA cycle can force a change in your lineage that can remove the genetic propensity for obesity from your family tree too.
Understanding BMI as a guideline
The body mass index (BMI) has long been used by the medical community to determine obesity. It is a flawed system that can dub a bodybuilder morbidly obese. It does have its use as a guideline. If it is combined with the waist to hip ratio, you can get a more complete picture of where you lie on the obesity scale. Using these tools, it can become easier to track one’s process towards a healthy weight goal.
Structuring a plan that promotes success
To be successful in losing weight, you have to follow a structured plan. That plan needs to include following healthy portion sizes, minimizing high processed foods, and increasing the amount of physical activity you do on a daily basis. Working with a nutritionist and weight loss coach is highly recommended. They can help you assess the impact of your family tree on your life as well. The more you involve knowledgeable persons in creating your weight loss plan, the better able you will be to lose the weight and keep it off.