Why Americans are Overweight
Wondering if your scale is broken? You are not alone in your frustration with unwanted pounds. Today in America, two out of three adults are considered overweight. With that staggering statistic, as much as Americans diet, they are still missing the boat when it comes to how to keep the pounds off.
It’s not just lack of discipline though. Many of the foods we eat contain artificial sweeteners, which have been shown to actually increase your appetite. So with good intentions, dieters choose foods that are sugar free because they know that extra sugar leads to gaining weight. However, in the end, eating sugar free foods with sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose backfire because they make you want to eat more food and more sweet food. These artificial sweeteners are very prevalent in America and can even be found in multivitamins, chapstick and toothpaste.Moreover, artificial sweeteners have been linked to diseases and conditions like cancer, diabetes, allergies, IBS, headaches, aches and pains, hives and anxiety.
Another hurdle for dieters is that the foods they consume contain preservatives. When your body encounters a preservative, it doesn’t quite know what to do with it and how to process it. Eating preservatives results in slowing your metabolism down because your body is designed to process natural foods. As preservatives build up in your system, dieting and working out are not going to be as effective and you’ll have to do more. Preservatives are also linked to the diseases and conditions similar to that of artificial sweeteners.
The third big issue we are contending with is the advertising for high calorie foods, junk food and fast food that we are exposed to on a daily basis. We see fast food commercials when we watch our favorite TV shows at night. When we are driving in our cars we notice billboards with advertisements for unhealthy foods. And then when you see a family member or friend eating these foods, you find yourself also partaking. When you eat fast foods, junk food and high calorie food you are going to go over your daily calorie intake, which causes weight gain. So, even if you are dieting but you find yourself having these treats, they can do damage to your diet plan very quickly and usually cancel your diet plan out.
Lastly, the lack of exercise Americans experience further contributes to the storing of extra fat and specifically abdominal fat. The eight to five job of sitting at your desk all day long lowers your metabolism and does not provide an opportunity to burn off what you are eating. Then, many people with desk jobs don’t regularly schedule 30-minuteworkouts, which would balance out them being sedentary for a good chunk of their week. But even if you are not working, it used to be part of our culture to do more physical activity such as walking to a friend’s house, performing yard work, and biking on the weekends. Modern conveniences and Americans being excessively busy have made us forget these habits we once had.
What Can I Do About It: Never Go Over Your Calorie Limit
The good news is that there is a lot you can do about the excess weight and confusion when it comes to dieting. It’s called a healthy lifestyle and it can be a whole lot of fun! The first thing dieters need to do is relax! You didn’t gain the weight overnight and you’re not going to lose it overnight, but you can make steady progress and reach your goals in a number of months.
Your number one new goal should be to never go over your calorie limit for the day or the week. So figure out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. How many calories you need to maintain your current weight depends on your height, age, sex and current physical activity level. For women, if you’re overweight, you’ll end up getting a number from around 1700-2200 calories for weight maintenance. For men, you can add around 400-800 calories to those numbers.
The next step is to create a calorie deficit. When trying to lose weight women should be eating 1400-2000 calories a day depending on their height and physical activity level. Make sure you’re not going under 1400 calories a day or your metabolism will actually slowly down. Also, if you go too low, you’ll end up binging or overeating the next day because you will be overly hungry. Men, should plan on eating 1600-2500 calories for weight loss and more if they are trying to gain muscle. Make sure you create a calorie deficit that you feel comfortable with. If you are at the lower end, it should be a day of little physical activity; if you are at the higher end, you should be exercising to see results. Aim to create a calorie deficit for five days a weeks. In addition, make sure you schedule at least 20 minutes of physical activity on most days.
The other two days of the week just meet your weight maintenance calorie number, but don’t go over it. To make sure this happens, you’ll have to cut out fast food, junk food and high calorie foods that serve no nutritional purpose. But you’ll still be able to help yourself to a dessert, pasta, or nice restaurant meal. Make sure you save up your calories for the most important meal on that day: breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Now that you’ve thought about it, I bet you’re realizing you can actually eat more then you thought as long as you cut out the foods that are really bad for you. Also, you want to avoid as much as possible the foods with artificial sweeteners and preservatives as mentioned in the first part of the article.
As you stick to this plan, your metabolism will gradually increase everyday and eventually skyrocket. You’re consuming minimal artificial sweeteners and foods with preservatives that slow down your progress and you’re not going over your daily calorie limits. Also, you’re making sure to get 20 minutes of physical activity in on most days.Now that sounds like a good healthy plan! Make sure you’re still eating the foods you love and you’ve got the perfect healthy lifestyle that fits your needs.
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