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Let’s stop the talk about this and that diet being best…
Currently, America sits at a 40% obesity rate, and about a 75% overweight rate. Here are the cold hard facts from the CDC itself:
- Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death.
- The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 US dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
So what caused this?
Well depending on where you get your information, or what Netflix documentary you decide to confuse with a factual, educated report, it could be anything!
Sugar, fat, carbs, processed foods, toxins, meat, etc… have ALL been blamed!
Those documentaries always will have an agenda. The people they interview are usually trying to sell something, and they will cherry pick their studies only to support their beliefs. Just like a political debate, you are only getting one side of the story. Remember that the next time you watch a food doc, and decide you need to change your whole life based on one movie.
Here’s what some pretty smart and unbiased people have come up with:
We eat too much, and we move too little…this is it.
Yes, sugar has contributed (even though consumption is actually DOWN over the last 10 years). Yes, fat has contributed (stop putting butter in your coffee, please!) Yes, processed foods have contributed…
But it all comes down to eating too damn much, and not moving enough.
AND studies have also shown that you can lose weight while pretty much eating whatever you want AS LONG as you are eating less than you are burning aka a calorie deficit.
But what about internal health, like blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure?
These markers will ALL improve with a loss of fat. If you are currently obese and have a high marker for any of these, stop wasting time reading about the XYZ diets that are best for you, and just start focussing on losing some weight.
Internal health markers all show significant improvement with body fat loss regardless of what diet you use. Yes, even high fat keto diets improve cholesterol, and high sugar diets have improved blood sugar levels WHEN they are used in a calorie deficit eliciting a fat loss effect.
What about exercise? Don’t I need to punish myself for my gluttony?
That’s the last thing you need to do. If you are obese, and not active, doing some crazy hardcore boot camp or HIIT training will destroy your body, joints, and soul.
It may LOOK like that is what you need based on commercials and outdated TV shows… but truthfully you need to first focus on diet, then just start walking.
Walking is free. Walking is low impact. Walking has many other great benefits:
- Blood sugar control after a meal
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Joint mobility
- Improved mood
- Free dog interactions (if you like dogs)
If you are NEW to exercise or have any form of chronic pain because of your severe obesity – PLEASE DO NOT sign up for a crazy high impact Bootcamp class. Find a good personal trainer who will work with you and where you are at.
What Foods Should You Never Eat Though?
The internet and gurus love to use these lines as click bait. Truthfully, there IS NO MAGICAL FOOD that will make you fat by itself. It doesn’t work that way.
There are no good or bad foods, they have no morals. There are only good and bad portions or good or bad reasons as to WHY we are eating.
Good reason to eat: you are hungry and need nourishment.
Bad reason to eat: any other time, really…
But even this is only partially true. Think about the coffee shop. You sit down and order a large cappcifrappecoco and a scone because, duh, its a coffee shop, without even thinking.
How many people go there because they truly need a meal vs. meeting up with friends, hanging out after a kids baseball game, or magically appearing in the drive-thru because we are stressed?
So it’s not so much about WHAT we eat, but truly not knowing WHY we eat that we need to be focussed on.
What About Fancy Workout Programs to Boost Fat Loss?
Again – not that simple.
The very popular at home, the P90x program is a great example.
Independent researchers looked at three groups:
- People who did the program.
- People who did the program, and the nutrition plan that came with it.
- People who did the nutrition plan that came with it, and their own workouts of choice.
Guess what? Groups 2 and 3 had the same results, while group 1 had worse results.
This shows two things: nutrition matters and exercise modality kiiiiiinda doesn’t…
I say that with a grain of salt, but it’s really just like a diet – you need to find what works for YOU and what you can do safely.
Now, that being said, if you are after a certain LOOK, there are certain ways you will need to train.
You can’t train like a cross country runner and end up looking like a bodybuilder.
But you still don’t need to make training so darn complex. Find a solid program, stick to it for at least 12 weeks, and then assess if you are better off now than you were when you started.
I hope this helps clarify some things for you, and I hope that you can use this knowledge to either help yourself in the right direction or someone you know and care about – so feel free to share it along!
Until next time, stay healthy my friends,
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Stay healthy my friends,