The numbers don’t lie, the statistics are staggering, and the repercussions deadly. What am I talking about? In the United States alone:
* nearly 70% of Americans are overweight * almost 4 out of 10 are considered obese * 14% of children ages six to eleven are obese—think about that! * being overweight shortens your life * obesity is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year * between 1962 and 2000, the number of obese Americans grew from 13% to 31%
What is obesity?
From medterms.com: “A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person's height, age, sex, and build.
Obesity has been more precisely defined by the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) as a BMI (body mass index) of 30 and above. (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.)
The first thing we all need to do is find out what our idea weight is. This is something you should know, even if you are not trying to lose weight—given the stats, do yourself a favor and take a gander at these charts:
I suggest you also check your BMI. Body Mass Index takes into consideration body fatness and size, giving you a more accurate idea of where you stand.
Now you have a starting point. If you’re like most of America (and the world), you no doubt found your weight, for your height, on the above chart and wasn't pleased. Don’t despair, this is a good thing. No, not being overweight or even obese, but at least taking that first step toward eventually getting you to your ideal weight on that chart.
The next step? Doing something about it! I’ve produced dozens of videos that deal with weight loss, fitness, and nutrition. Here is one that can help you get started:
One of my favorite mantras is: “Count your calories and make your calories count.” By that I simply mean: if you are ever going to lose weight—and keep it off—you HAVE to, must, there’s-just-no-getting-past this one thing: BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU INGEST! While this is easier said than done, this video should help:
While viewing these videos you notice I repeatedly harp on the magic number 3500. Why? Because it IS magic. It is the best way, from my years of experience, to lose weight. Oh, adding an exercise program to your life, eating more fiber, cutting back on fatty foods, and drinking green tea will also help you lose weight, but there is no getting around the cold, hard fact that:
“To lose one pound you must burn 3500 calories more than you ingest.”
Getting back to the title of this post: Can we beat obesity? The answer to that questions is: Yes, but it will take lots of hard work, proper nutritional education, cooperation between school lunch programs and fast food restaurants, parents and friends, and most of all everyone taking personal accountability for their actions. Especially all you parents out there that have children who are overweight, obese, or bordering on either one of the two.
One of the motivations I had for creating livelife365 was to share my success in weight loss with as many people as possible. Believe it or not, at one time I weighed over 200 pounds, which one glance at that chart at the top of this post let me know that I was well overweight for my height and heading for obesity. I took action, and I am imploring and encouraging anyone reading this post or who knows anyone who needs help to do the same—take action. Take that first step that will change your life for the better. I did, you can too.