Gained Weight – Why American’s are Battling the Bulge
If you have gained weight over the years and want to lose it, you will need to change what you do.
Americans especially, eat a high calorie diet and don't get enough exercise, which is a good recipe for packing on the pounds!
There's actually been a steady increase in weight in America since the 60's which can be blamed on a variety of things.
In 1960, 20 percent of American adults were overweight. By 1980, 40 percent were overweight. By 2007, 66 percent of all adult Americans were overweight, with 30 percent of them being categorized as obese. The upward trend in gained weight is apparent, but why?
There are many reasons that account for the upward progression in weight but three things ring true; 1) an increase of calories consumed, 2) the addition of preservatives and additives in foods, and 3) the lack of exercise to burn off the calories of the foods consumed.
Why American's Have Gained Weight
There are some basic reasons that people have gained weight over the years. When you eat fatty foods, you get fat because they contain added calories. It's not the fat exactly that makes you pack on the pounds, its the extra stuff that's been added to it.
Processed foods are full of toxins your body doesn't appreciate. When they enter your body, they are surrounded by fat cells, and then get deposited deep in the visceral fat that surrounds organs. Stubborn belly fat is also the hardest fat to lose!
Entitlement is a large part of why people have gained weight too. Many people think they should be rewarded at the end of a hard day, which may be true but the real caveat is this. Instead of eating one piece of chocolate cake and being satisfied, many folks consume far more than their fair share. For example, many Americans sit down and eat an entire pizza by themselves, which is far too much food at one time!
People who aren't working a 9 - 5 job, tend to sit at home and eat all day to make up for their lack of success in other areas. They end up eating more to compensate for inadequate feelings. It’s had a spiraling effect that's bound to have a grave effect on their waistlines!
Stress is another contributor to gained weight. Right now, people are financially stressed out! The more stressed you feel, the more your body holds onto fat. The more fat your body holds onto, the more you pack on pounds. Emotional eating is responsible for tipping the scale to heavier people in general. That's why exercise is so important. If you're not utilizing the calories you consume, then you will surely trend the scales higher.
So lets get real. One pound (of body weight) is equivalent to 3500 calories. Walking at a fast pace for about 30 minutes might burn 150-200 calories. To burn off 3500 calories, you’d have to walk briskly for 9+ hours. In this day and age, how many people do you think are willing (or able) to walk for that amount of time? However, you simply cannot lose gained weight if you continue to eat fattening foods and don’t burn off the excesses!
Back in the 1960’s, a typical American farmer for example, might have walked 15 or more miles a day. That number’s been slashed because of newer technology and advances in science. Tractors of today are also a lot more efficient; seeding is done by machines, pesticide and insecticide dispersal has improved, and watering systems are more advanced. All of the new technology is keeping farmers from having to work the fields as much. Of course, advances in technology haven’t only affected farmers. It’s reached out and grabbed us all.
In the past decade or so, there has also been a big change in employment patterns. Agriculture and manufacturing jobs have been replaced by office and service industry jobs, and most of us are no longer fortunate enough to have jobs where we get enough exercise. Consequently, many people need to schedule time to exercise. Work, family, and other commitments give folks an excuse not to get moving.
Even recreational activities and chores are much easier to do nowadays! Ride on mowers have replaced push mowers, leaf blowers have replaced using a rake, motorized boats have replaced row boats, and 4 wheelers and golf carts have replaced walking.
By accepting technological advances, we have worked very hard to take exercise out of our daily lives, which has only helped pack on weight!
Another alarming fact is that statistics also show that if adults at home are overweight, then their children will most likely also be overweight. Children learn by example and are great imitators!
*When my son Lars was a young child, I found a small quote in a magazine and clipped it out. It was fairly simple but held great meaning. It simply stated that 'your children are watching you'. I posted in on my frig so I'd never forget it.
When adults are not physically active at home, children won't be either. Studies have confirmed that both good and bad eating habits are developed early on by examples set by parents and caregivers. There is a definite connection between what adults allow their children to eat that is contributing to an overweight crisis.
Another basic reason people have gained weight is because of the excess of fattening foods and sugars available today. Super sized larger portions are expected, processed foods are consumed regularly, and fewer fresh fruits and vegetables make it to the table. Add sugary beverages which American’s consume at alarming rates, and you’ve got a new wave recipe for disastrous consequences!
One single 12 ounce serving of soda for example, contains up to 150 calories and has no nutritional value. Of course, most people don’t stop at 12 ounces. Many times twice or even three times that much are consumed regularly. Those extra calories quickly add up to excess baggage.
However, if you replaced just two 12 ounce soda’s a day, with water, by the end of the year you will have lost 20 pounds, just from liquids. Weight loss occurs only when you give up calories and/or burn them off regularly.
There are also expensive and detrimental side effects when you've gained weight. An Obese person is 40 times more likely to become diabetic. Diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, and limb amputation. It also contributes to heart disease, certain types of cancers, and osteoarthritis. Obesity patients cost health care insurers thousands of dollars extra to care for than non-obese patients, and drive the costs of health care up for everyone.
Part of the solution has to do with lifestyle choices. Choosing to eat less fattening foods more of the time, and more fattening foods less of the time is a start. In some instances, surgery may be required to achieve weight loss goals, especially for the morbidly Obese. Prevention is key for future generations.
To be a normal weight and be healthy, Americans need to get back to basics and start moving more and eating less. Moderation is the key! Finding the time for more recreational activities that get you moving is also a good avenue. Walking in malls, swimming and basketball, or simply riding a bike can all contribute to weight loss.
If you're struggling to lose weight, a healthy lifestyle full of healthy choices is always the best way to lose gained weight. You will find that long term healthy goals will help you shed pounds and live as the slimmer person you were meant to be!
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