Let me start off by saying that if you know anyone who is overweight or obese, forward this to them because it may just save their life.
Recently I’ve had an epiphany regarding weight loss and exercise. It is that individuals who are overweight or out of shape know that it is a problem, but have no real idea of the long-term repercussions of what excess weight does to their health.
A study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that over 65 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. As this figures rises, so do the associated health problems and accompanying medical costs, estimated to be at nearly $150 billion annually in the United States.
With more than 15 percent of American children currently obese, it’s obvious that this situation is not going to stop anytime soon.
The problem with these staggering statistics is that the average overweight person is willing to just live with their situation and make no serious changes.
I need to make this clear – being overweight is one of the most dangerous things a person can do to their health.
Here is a list of the four conditions an overweight person is almost guaranteed to eventually face if they don’t make some serious changes:
1. Being overweight causes heart disease: The number one killer in the United States is not Roseanne’s show being canceled, Donald Trump insulting Hilary Clinton, or any of the other media distractions we see every day. The number one killer in the U.S. is heart disease, and there is a direct link between heart attacks and how much a person weighs.
As scary as it is to consider the links between weight and heart disease risks, one positive is that even losing 5 percent to 10 percent of your extra weight will lower your danger risk significantly and put you on the road toward healthy body chemistry.
2. Being overweight causes cancer: The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that concluded that virtually all forms of cancer are more prevalent in people with a higher body mass. With increased body weight, the adipose fat tissue can offset the body’s natural hormonal balance, making the body a more hospitable host for tumors.
3. Being overweight causes strokes: The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study showing that people who are overweight by 20 percent or more carry a 50 percent increased probability of suffering a stroke. The narrowing of the arteries can also be compounded by hypertension, low exercise level and a greasy, fried, fast food and soda pop diet.
4. Being overweight causes diabetes: An individual who has Type 2 diabetes should focus on eating healthy and losing weight. The number of overweight people rises in our country every year, and so does the number of people with diabetes. Coincidence? I think not! At present, there are more than 75 million Americans who either have diabetes already or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
There is an upside however; the American Diabetes Association states that with three hours of exercise each week and a five percent to 7 percent body weight reduction, you can lower your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
The Truth About The Scale!
When trying to lose weight, the scale often becomes the only measurement of success a person uses. The scale, however, discourages and deters many people from their weight loss efforts.
Having that one determining factor makes it difficult to remember that every time you step on a scale, it is measuring every part of your physical being at that moment in time. Which means it measures your fat, muscles, organs, tissue and water weight. Body fat is not being measured at all.
A person can weigh exactly the same or more and look smaller if their body fat is being reduced. While organs and tissue don’t change much, fat, muscle, and water do change, which can result in fluctuating numbers on the scale.
Water weight can affect your total weight anywhere from one to five pounds and sometimes even more. It is important to understand what kinds of dietary factors can make these fluid shifts happen.
To start, many of the high protein, low carbohydrate diets can cause a dramatic shift in your water weight. This is because as you cut back carbohydrate intake, your body starts breaking down the stored carbohydrates (glycogen) to use as energy and this breakdown causes the body to excrete large amounts of water.
Once the body begins to use stored fat for energy, weight loss slows. This is the reason why most people lose a significant amount of weight right away on a low carb, high protein diet: Fat loss = water + oxygen (from cardio vascular exercise).
There are three top ways to know if you’re really losing weight (reducing body fat) however and they are:
• Clothes – If your pants or shirts give you more room, then it’s obvious that there is a shift in your body weight.
• Friends – Most people won’t tell a person that they are looking smaller unless they really feel they are. Now, don’t go around asking people if they notice something different about you, of course, because this could lead to you getting your feelings hurt. Let them come tell you if they think you are.
• Your Body – If you find that you can lift more weight, perform more repetitions of an exercise or engage in cardio for longer periods of time without feeling tired, then your body fat is being reduced.
(N’DIGO’s health columnist Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer” Muhammad is a Certified Professional Trainer, motivational speaker, and author of How Are You Fat and Saved?! He is also co-creator of the house music workout class and exercise series titled You Would Think I Invented Sweat. For booking information or more fitness tips, visit www.chicagofit4life.com.)