It’s no secret swimsuit season starts early in Florida. But getting in shape to look good in a bathing suit shouldn’t be your only concern when it comes to weight loss. Approximately two thirds of U.S. adults and one fifth of children are obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins predict if the obesity problem continues to climb at this rate, by 2015 75% of adults and nearly 24% of children and adolescents will be overweight or obese. It’s estimated obese Americans spend about 42% more than healthy-weight people on medical care each year.
Research shows obesity can increase the risk for several conditions including and not limited to:
· Coronary heart disease
· Type 2 diabetes
· Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
· Hypertension (high blood pressure)
· Liver and Gallbladder disease
· Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
So how can you fight back? Here are ten tips to get you in gear in the fight against obesity:
1. Watch your portion sizes. Most servings are larger than the standard portion size, so we’re all getting extra calories we don’t need. For example a serving size of meat, poultry or fish is 2-3 oz.- about the size of a deck of cards.
2. Cook with less fat. Use egg substitutes or egg whites instead of whole eggs, applesauce in place of oil or try plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream.
3. Don’t hit the drive-thru. Fast food may be quick and less expensive, but one meal at one of these chains is often enough calories and fat content for almost the entire day. If you do stop, avoid supersizing, skip the fries for a small side salad and skip the mayor or other sauces.
4. Never shop hungry. If you go grocery shopping while you’re hungry, you’ll wind up with foods in your cart you might not otherwise buy. Eat first, make a list and stick to it.
5. Don’t forget those fruits and veggies. Apples, oranges, bananas, baby carrots and beansare more nutritional snack choices and inexpensive too!
6. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water isn’t just good for you, but it gives the stomach a feeling of fullness- helping reduce the tendency to overeat.
7. Skip the soda. Carbonated beverages are loaded with sugars, which have calories you don’t need.
8. Avoid late night snacking. Don’t eat when you’re up late and bored, only snack on nutritious options during the day when you’re actually hungry.
9. Lace up those sneakers! Moderate exercise several times a week can help you lose weight, is good for your heart and reduces stress.
10. Get the whole family involved. It’s easier to follow all of these tips if you aren’t going it alone. Cook healthy meals together as a family and instead of hitting the movies on the weekend head out to the park.
Before beginning any exercise or diet plan, you should consult a physician. Call our free Consult-A-Nurse hotline at 1-866-442-2362 for a doctor referral.