In today’s world, surrounded by highly palatable, heavily marketed, cheap processed food, it’s
easy for people to eat more calories than they need. Overeating coupled with insufficient
physical activity is obviously leading to the obesity epidemic. Statistics from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the problem of obesity affects more than 40% of
American adults, placing them at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and
certain types of cancer. While the causes of this epidemic are multi-faceted, the USDA’s Dietary
Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 tell us that losing weight and overcoming the obesity
problem requires adults to reduce the number of calories they get from foods and beverages
and increase the amount expended through physical activity.
” To maintain good health, adopt the right balance in your life and limit the consumption of empty calories. “
1/ Know Your Food.
Eating food is something necessary because it provides nutrients and the nutrients are
substances that provide energy for activity, growth, and all function of the body such as
breathing, digesting food and keeping warm. Many studies support the idea that what we eat
highly affects our health. So, It’s quite important to know about the food we are eating, we need to know what does it consist of? How many calories will it provide? What kinds of nutrients will it give to our bodies?
Knowing that a piece of grilled tuna with some veggies will provide so many nutrients which will
reduce your blood pressure, improve your immune system, lower triglycerides, strengthen your bones and prevent cancer, whereas a hamburger contains a huge amount of cholesterol and
saturated fat that increases the risk of heart disease can eventually aid you to see your food
differently and let you choose the best for your health.
2/ Count the Calories you Consume.
“Our bodies use energy derived from foods we consume, similar to how a car uses gallons of
gas per mile “, says Stacey Pence, RD, a registered dietician at the Ohio State University Wexner
Medical Center. Calories are not something bad for the health, in fact, they don’t only provide you
with energy but are necessary for your survival. Additionally, calorie consumption that is too low
or too high could eventually lead to health problems. For this reason, it is important to track the
calories you’re consuming. Using a food diary to track what you eat can be useful to lose weight
simply by bringing awareness as well as identifying the eating patterns you may need to modify.
3/ Reduce the Environmental Impact on your Food.
New research from The University of Oxford has revealed that the more often people eat with
others, the more likely they are to feel happy. But unfortunately, there are other statistics that
confirm that eating with a group of people encourages eating more food than the body
needs. Imagine that your friends ordered a big cheeseburger with some fries and soda, this will
surely smell delicious and you’ll eventually order the same as them. All that means that our
society highly affects what we eat and how much we eat. For this reason, it is quite important to
take some steps to change our own food environment as best as we can. With some proper planning and minimal upkeep, you can manipulate your environment in such a way to cause you
to think about food a little less, reduce the number of extraneous temptations you face and also
make it easier for you to make better choices.
Keep a wide variety of foods you want to eat more of like fruits, and veggies, and keep a narrow
variety of junk foods. Try to eat meals in a non-distracted setting like a table without a television.
If you are at a social event, creating physical distance from certain foods can be quite helpful as
well. If you are hanging out with your friends and it is time to eat, try to order healthy food
immediately before they order, in this way they may change their minds and order like you.
4/ Sleep Satisfaction is Crucial.
The amount of rest and sleep a person gets has a huge impact on their vigilance, concentration, and production. If we don’t get enough sleep, we will produce lots of Cortisol-the body’s main
stress hormone. However, too much cortisol can lead us to a number of health problems like
anxiety, depression, heart disease, sleep disorder, weight gain, and diabetes. For this reason, we
should get enough sleep for a healthier heart, mood boost, a sharper brain, germ-fighting, and weight control.
Imagine that when you’re well-rested, you’re less hungry. Being sleep-deprived messes
with the hormone in your brain that controls appetite. And when you are tired, you’re less likely to
cook or move your body, all together, it’s a recipe for gaining more pounds.
Try to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep at night, go to bed, and wake up at the same exact time
daily, this will improve your quality of sleep and boost your overall energy levels and motivation
that you need along your day for more productivity.
5/ Be Conscious of What You’re Eating.
According to a 2011 report from the US Department of Agriculture, the average Americans spend
two-and-half hours a day eating, but more than half the time they’re doing something
else, too. They may be reading, working, driving, or watching tv. This mindless eating may lead to
the national obesity epidemic and other health issues, says Dr.Lilian Cheung, a nutritionist at
Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health.A couple of interesting studies by the University of
Surrey found that how we eat and view our food, affects how much we consume. For
For instance, having lunch while watching tv will automatically lead you to consume more food
because in this case, you’re not fully aware of what you’re eating and how much you are
eating. All the previous points mean clearly that eating on the move and viewing food as a snack
encourage us to eat more than we need to across the day and this will lead to gaining weight
6/ Identifying Your Triggers is Key.
How many times have you absentmindedly noshed on too many chips or chocolate during a
stressful day? How many times have you opened the fridge when you are bored and lonely? In
these cases, you are definitely eating just to escape, number or change your feelings “, says
psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD. So, you should pay attention to your personal triggers and deal
with them in a healthy way. There are other strategies you can use when you’re feeling
bad, anxious, sad, or lonely, it’s all about replacing eating with healthy alternatives and new habits
which are good for your mental and physical health. For instance, you can move your body
by running or practicing your favorite sport. If you are depressed or lonely, call someone
who makes you happy and relaxed or play with your pets. If you’re bored, read a book or a novel, watch a comedy show, or go for a walk. It’s crucial to keep doing these new activities when
you go through bad experiences until they become your natural healthier habits instead of
running towards the fridge or towards the market to get chocolate and chips.