It’s hard to follow the news without reading or hearing about obesity and the risks associated with it. The United States is still trailing behind most industrialized countries, as over 65% of the population is now suffering from being overweight or obese.
As a nation, we need to reallocate more of our resources towards health programs and education, and provide incentives to companies that promote good health. Physical education in schools should reflect changing currents in sports trends to keep kids interested in staying fit. However, even without any help from our government, we can all take serious steps to ensure the safety of the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the quality of our food.
To be healthy, you must think healthy. To lose body fat, think positively about losing the extra pounds and give yourself the time you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Frantic overly restrictive dieting prevents the delivery of essential nutrients needed to maintain good health.
Here are 5 steps that I recommend to help you reach your goal:
- Purchase fresh and organic food products whenever possible, which means food that is free of nitrites and other preservatives, pesticides, chemicals, and hormones.
- Cook at home with whole foods. Each whole food contains one ingredient; it is unprocessed and unrefined. Over 75% of the diet should come from whole foods, with a good balance of foods from all the food groups and from a variety of textures and colors.
- Consume low-fat yogurt and foods rich in fiber (such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) on a daily basis. These foods will keep your digestive track in good working order by eliminating the toxic by-products of digestion. Adults need 25-30 grams of fiber per day. For children, a good way to determine how much fiber they need is to calculate their age + 5.
- Replace red meat with wild caught salmon or small fish, nuts, and legumes at least two times per week.
- Consume small portions (3-4 ounces) of meat or poultry three times a week. Unless you’re a muscle-bound body builder you don’t need more. Also, remove the skin from the chicken and all visible fat from meats prior to cooking. Eating small portions and maintaining ideal body weight may help prevent the onset of Type II Diabetes.