Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Easiest way to tackle obesity

Narada Desk | June 11, 2016 5:41 pm Print
A multi pronged approach.

Eat better or eat real food as Michael Pollan would say.

Know that the multinationals use our want for sugar, salt and fat to get us to eat more.  Eat more veggies and fruit obviously.  Getting rid of some of the junk food in school vending machines is a start.  Make real food more readily available and affordable in low income areas. Michelle Obama is doing something about this. Eat an orange or a pear instead of ice cream. I’m not saying don’t eat ice cream, but moderate yourself.   Undecided on the soda tax though.  Reduce restaurant portions.

Exercise more. 

This is tough due to computers, video games and cars and a sedentary lifestyle.  Eating well by itself isn’t going to make you the healthiest you can be, you need to get some cardio to keep the heart and lungs in better working order, weight bearing exercises to strengthen the bones.

Change the culture.

We’re exporting our junk food and sedentary lifestyle to the world and it’s not only us that’s getting fat.  Is it that big a deal to find the absolute closest parking space to the office? Do you really need to take the elevator one or two flights instead of the stairs? It’s not easy, but you can find that extra 20-30 minutes to run 3 miles. You’ll live if you forgo that episode of 30 Rock (sorry Tina Fey.) People need to realize the benefits of being fit and how good it feels and the higher health care costs an overweight society bears.

There are several reasons for the obesity epidemic in America and each individual must assess what is influencing their weight and desire to overeat. Overeating is the real problem.  America knows the formula for weight loss…eat less and  exercise more and yet the obesity numbers continue to rise.  There are three reasons an individual overeats.

1.  Addictive: Addictive overeating is in response to an ingredient, additive or preservative which stimulates the addictive area of the brain (the amygdala) and creates an addictive type desire to continue eating beyond full.  Some ingredients include sugar, hfcs, aspartame, etc.

2.  Physical:  Physical overeating is in response to deprivation such as fasting, dieting or lack of a particular nutrient.  The body triggers a pendulum response in which it will stimulate overeating to compensate for the semi-starvation the body encountered.

3.  Emotional: Emotional overeating is used to enhance or mask emotions or feelings.  Food will temporarily alter brain chemistry giving a short-lived mood boost.  Overeating ensues as an individual tries to keep the feel good hormones going.

Regardless of where, when, or how much you overeat the true cause of overeating falls into one of the categories. In order to stop overeating you must identify the reason and the solution which matches that reason.