Defeating obesity into submission
Why can’t we address the obesity problem in this country? We are not the only ones. The United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Hungary and Australia are on par with or behind the United Kingdom in the fight against obesity. Obesity and the diseases it causes are well documented on television and online. Why doesn’t the message arrive? The information is there.
The cultural shifts towards fast food have had a great impact on our eating habits. 30 or 40 years ago, fast food was only accessible in fish and chip shops. McDonald’s was just getting started in the UK at the time.
‘Apps’ like ‘Hungary House’ make ordering food a breeze. One click on the button on your mobile and that’s it. You just have to make the effort to get up from the couch and walk to the front door. What hard work!
Eating habits are the key to a healthy diet. It starts from the day you are born. The food your parents present you establish your eating habits for life. If you have a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and meat from the beginning, you will get used to that. Going the other way, if you are presented with a lot of sweet foods high in sugar at a young age, this becomes your norm. Sugar, of course, has that added appeal for kids. The sugar rush and sweet taste are just too hard to resist. Food markets know this and do their best to tempt everyone, especially children. The sweets are always close to the box, at a height that is just under the noses of the little ones.
What can be done?
We are creatures of habit. It is in our nature. It is not easy to change addictive habits like sugar or smoking. Ads focused on the harmful effects of smoking changed people’s perspective. The desolate images of blood clotting from the tip of a cigarette brought ill health effects.
This type of advertising applied to high sugar and salt intake can be powerful … but it has to be a sustained campaign. The campaign against smoking has been going on for more than 20 years. The “truth” campaign to eliminate teen smoking in the United States began in 1999. The teen smoking rate at the time was 23%. In 2016, the figure dropped to 6%.
The government must invest in the campaign against sugar. The NHS faces even more pressure when dealing with patients with food-related illnesses.
With the population increasing steadily, the next 50 years could be a healthcare nightmare. It could be avoided, but only with the will to do something about it.
Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancers, depression, and anxiety. People with severe obesity are three times more likely to require social care than those of normal weight. This includes hospitalization and associated health and social care costs.
The NHS estimated the cost of obesity for 2006/7 to be £ 5.1 billion. The costs represent obesity medications, increased use of bariatric surgery, and new equipment to fit older people.
Education is key
My son is a personal trainer. He leads what is known as “Weight Shift Classes”. It is interesting what he has to say from his experience teaching these classes.
He says, “We like to keep a variety of exercises to keep interest there. One week, it’ll be push-ups and push-ups, shoulder press and leg press. Next week more cardio with some free weights like dumbbells and kettle bells. Another week could be kettle bells and TRX in a circuit training format, it’s still weight based, but you keep the intensity high and the heart rate high.
He says about diet: “I really try to educate them about how bad sugar is and too much ‘carby’ foods … too much pasta, rice, chocolate candies, sodas. The number one reason for obesity is sugar. . Don’t monitor and measure what they eat, but give them an understanding of what they ingest into their body. Whether they change their diet or not is up to them. I just plant the seed in their mind, give them the knowledge they need, so they have the option to follow it or not. “
Do you measure their weight loss?
Yes, we do weigh-ins regularly. Typically, the clients who see improvements are the ones who stick with the program. I have clients who have listened to what I have advised them and have seen good results. At the same time, I have given advice to other clients and they have found it more difficult to follow.
How long does it take to lose weight?
Some clients lose up to 2 pounds per week. Some can even lose 4-5 pounds per week.
A basic goal of 2 pounds per week over a 3-4 month period is a huge loss. About 1¾ stones.
Do you look at their fat percentage?
Yes, it is very important to look at the percentage of fat, not just the loss of body weight. If you weigh 60 kilograms, you must ask the question, 60 kilograms of what? You can break that down into body fat, muscle mass, bone density, and water retention. We can measure all of that, so you can see all the parts that make up total body weight. That’s why we focus much more on body fat, because you could lose muscle mass. That would not be healthy. This is why we focus on weight training to retain muscle mass … that and encourage a high protein intake to maintain muscle mass.
So after, say, 6 months, surely your clients should be able to get out on their own without your help?
Sure, 6 months later, you would have learned a lot, experimented with different exercises, recorded the exercises, so you have to follow them. For 6 months, you would have done these exercises so many times, it would be like second nature … So after so long you no longer need to be taken care of, you know what to do, you can go out on your own. , so it’s like a lifelong lesson.
So you don’t encourage people to starve to lose weight?
“Oh no, starving yourself is like a quick fix, but it’s quite harmful to the body. You have to see food as fuel. It’s like putting fuel on a fire. It will keep your blood as fuel. Fire goes out, your metabolism shuts down. Keep your metabolism high and you’ll be burning calories all day. Look at the bodybuilders, they are constantly burning calories, but they are never hungry, but they have hardly any body fat. “
Keeping the weight down is something that requires dedication, self-determination, and self-discipline.
With a little help from knowledgeable professionals, it is very doable. Self-control is needed to achieve weight loss goals. Today there is a lot of help from places like YouTube and articles online. You never have to feel like you are alone with losing weight. To stay healthy into old age, it pays off. We are much happier. We have never been as informed about health as we are today. There should be less obesity than 30 years ago, not more!