The Weight Loss Problem
Everyone knows that, since about 1970, Americans have been getting fatter and fatter.
As of 2010, 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight or obese (based on BMI, Body Mass Index). If current trends continue, by 2020, 3 out of 4 Americans will be overweight or obese. And by 2030, the figure will be 86%.
New studies are showing that obesity is not just an American problem. While Americans are leading the way, many of the richest nations are also becoming more obese.
This chart shows past and projected future overweight rates. The trends are both clear and alarming.
The Weight Loss Solution
OK, we’re getting fatter. We all know that. The important question is “What can we do about it?”
No doubt, there are big changes that have to be made to help combat these frightening trends. We need legislative and policy changes that reward healthy habits and discourage unhealthy ones. Generally, the health care system must focus more on preventing illness than simply treating it.
However, at the individual level – the level we can affect most directly and most quickly – the solution is clear and simple.
When you take in more calories than you expend, you gain weight. For every 3600 unburned calories you take in, you gain one pound.
To lose weight, you have to burn more calories by exercising regularly and take in fewer calories by eating better foods and smaller portions. It’s that simple.
Suggestions For Getting Started
Yes, losing weight is simple. It’s just not easy. It requires lifestyle changes.
Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of making those lifestyle changes. Here are two tips that will make it easier:
1. Get started now. Not next month. Not when the kids go back to school. Not after the big report is finished. Not even tomorrow. TAKE ACTION NOW.
2. Don’t expect perfection from yourself, just improvement. Understand that it took a while to gain the weight and it will take time to lose it. If you have a bad day, forget it. Do better the next day. Be patient but persistent. Don’t give up.