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Roadblocks To Wellness
by: Suzanne MacDonald
Have you noticed that as we live in the 21st century, health and wellness is becoming the 'in' thing. Ever wondered why, with the heightened awareness of being healthy, 1 out of 2 Americans are overweight, and 1 out of 3 are obese. In fact, 1 out of 5 children are obese. If we are all eating 99% fat free food, why are more than 60% of the western world either obese or overweight?
There seems to be several roadblocks that make paving our way to wellness difficult. They are real and they are working. Never before in our history have we as a nation been so fat! And it's not just about how you look. It's about your life and how long you will live.
Let's look at some of these roadblocks and how changing our thinking can help pave the way to weight loss:
1. Marketing for profit not fact!
The snack food industry's main concern is profit. Last year alone the snack food industry racked up $50 billion in sales. Let's face it, when taste and nutrition collide, taste always wins. These types of foods such as soft drinks, potato chips, corn chips, peanuts, french fries, pretzels, cookies or candy bars, where taste prevails and you can't just eat one are know as trigger foods. This occurs at the expense of our health and wellness. Nutritional research has documented that these types of foods, high in carbohydrates, trigger the brain to crave more, thus the name 'trigger foods'. Trigger foods are a huge roadblock when trying to lose weight and get healthy. Learn to have control over these foods rather than allow them to control you.
Diets today are confusing! Creators of such diets will tell you anything to sell you everything! One reason diets fail is because they may promise something that doesn't really happen. They may offer a little secret that you can do some trick like eliminate all sugars or fats and you'll keep the weight off. When the weight doesn't come off it becomes frustrating and discouraging. You move onto the next diet fad you've heard about and the cycle starts over again. The fact is, there IS no secret to weight loss and maintenance. If you are eating a diet with the appropriate protein requirements and the right carbohydrates, avoiding trigger foods and staying within your resting metabolic rate you will lose weight. It is always about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.
3. Obscene proportions!
Have you ever noticed when you eat at a restaurant servings are no longer a plateful but rather a platterful? Portions have exploded since the 70's. There is constant competition in the restaurant industry today. Why are portion sizes expanding? People may spend $6 on a dinner but they want to take home a doggie bag. They want a big portion so they feel they have got their money's worth. Many would agree that if they went to a restaurant and got a small portion, they would not be satisfied and would likely go to another restaurant next time. This leads to constant competition for quantities of food for low cost. And the cheapest way to make more food is to add more hidden fat and sugar. In fast food restaurants, supersized servings of french fries and sodas are often two to five times larger than when they were first introduced. Jumbo portions appeal to our pocketbooks, but assault our waistlines! It really contributes to the obesity epidemic!
4. Unrealistic Expectations!
Fashion focuses on beauty, glamour and extreme thinness. Less than 10% of the population genetically fit the professional model height and weight charts. Yet men and woman are sold this image everyday. They are told this is normal, this is attainable, but it is a lie! It is psychologically unhealthy. The fact is 70% of women feel depressed after looking at pictures of models. When trying to reach a model-like shape as your goal it often feels unattainable and impossible, it makes weight loss and wellness more difficult and frustrating. Learn what your healthy weight range for your height is and strive for that!
5. Instant Quick Fix Society!
Ironically, society is perhaps one of the biggest roadblocks to wellness today. We live in a quick fix, lipo-suction, instant-coffee convenience world. We are a society that craves fitness, beauty and loathe fatness. We want instant, convenient results. We don't welcome delayed gratification. Lipo-suction, while definitely helpful for some, in general terms is the dieter's instant coffee. The truth is, quick fixes often are short term. For example, on a typical diet, losing 45 pounds in 3 weeks is not nearly as healthy as losing it more slowly and stands a better chance of being put back on. Patience and understanding can be a virtue and mean permanent wellness.
These roadblocks now find themselves not only in America but extending into countries all around the world. Take a look at a few world wide facts:
Countries that traditionally had healthy diets, like Japan, now have an incidence of obesity that has increased from 5% to 20%, suggesting that the obesity epidemic doesn't solely lie in America.
In poor countries around the world, as soon as they are introduced to American foods, the richer classes become obese and the poorer classes remain malnourished. In fact, in some parts of Africa, obesity afflicts more children than malnutrition! McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Hungry Jacks, and Pizza Hut are only a few of the fast food companies leading western countries into obesity.
There are 158,000,000 Type 2 diabetics in the world today. This disease is closely related to obesity, because 95% of diabetics are obese. It is estimated that in the next ten years, there will be 212,000,000 diabetics in the world and 80% of all heart disease will occur in Type 2 diabetics.
Wellness is a way of life that changes everything; the way you feel, the way you relate to people, the way you look, and how long you will be around for your family. The problem is people don't know what to do. With these roadblocks they are overwhelmed, they think there is no answer. The good news is there are answers! Begin by educating yourself with a few health and nutrition tips. It doesn't have to be difficult. Weight loss and wellness is a process that not only gives you physical results but changes your thinking and ultimately your behavior forever. With the right information, there is no roadblock strong enough to stop you on your way to lasting good health!
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