Sugar is the largest contributing factor to obesity today. Sugar and its 40 or so associated friends are hidden in everything these days. It is estimated that almost 80% of the foods today contain some form of sugar. Sugar is used to make food taste better, substituted for missing ingredients such as fat and also used as a preservative. Sugar creates problems for the body because it raises insulin levels which drive increased fat stores. This is also true for sugar substitutes, these can actually be worse for you because of their chemical composition and very little is known about the long term effects to our bodies.
2. FatDietary fat does not equate to body fat! Fat in your diet is not a bad thing; our bodies actually need fat to stay healthy. How long have we been told to eat low fat foods only to see a huge increase in obesity in America! Eating fat should take place in its natural form; nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, butter, cream etc. When you see products labels "low fat" or "fat free" then buyer beware, there is usually sugar or some other chemical hidden in the food to make up for the taste.
3. Fast FoodIf you eat fast food then you will most likely struggle with your weight! Fast Food today is essentially a product devoid of most of its nutritional value, it is chemically processed and for the most part it does nothing but add empty calories to your diet. Think about it this way, how can McDonald's serve a “Big Mac” for the same price it did 20 years ago? They only way they can do this by using a food that is completely altered and is no longer a real food.
4. Nutrition LabelsNutrition labels have become a long list of unrecognizable chemicals and food derivatives. If you read food labels, do not focus on calories or fat, but focus on ingredients. Any product with more than six or seven ingredients should be avoided. Any food label with ingredients you have never heard of then stay away from them!
5. God’s Food PlanGod does not make junk! We have been taught this in Sunday school, by our religious leaders and our parents from an early age and they are all right! This also applies to our food. If you eat the foods that God gave us in nature then you really cannot go wrong. Our challenge is the “Big Food” companies, they have altered the food so much that it lacks any resemblance to what came out of the ground. Go back to eating all natural foods as close to a natural state as possible.
6. ExerciseExercise is very important today because of our lifestyle and conveniences. Our bodies are designed to move. Because we sit at desk, drive cars, go through drive thru’s and use elevators our bodies are not moving like they used to. To make up for this just get out the door and exercise. Whether it is running, walking, hiking, cycling or going to the gym, get out and move every single day!
7. Calorie In / Calorie OutWe are taught that a calorie is a calorie. This is not true, if it were, then we could eat 2000 calories of sugar and be done for the day right? Not so fast! If you use calories restriction to lose weight then you will quickly find that it is not sustainable. Your challenge is to eat high quality foods and the calories will take care of themselves. The problem is when we eat foods devoid of nutrition, i.e. processed, then the body is still hungry and we eat more. When you eat natural, high quality foods, you will actually eat less food but be healthier in the process.
8. DietsDiets do not work, lifestyle changes do! If you continuously chase the latest fad, diet, new report about supper foods etc. then you will continue to get frustrated. Diets are temporary and usually create stress on the body because your body thinks that it is starving. When you starve your body, your body will do everything it can to retain the fat stores for survival. We cannot change the basic instinct to survive. The only way to lose weight and not starve your body is to change what you eat.
9. AlcoholThere are only a few real befits to alcohol to our bodies. Alcohol is a poison and will work against your efforts to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Wine turns to sugar then fat, beer turns to fat as empty calories and distilled liquors require mixing with sugar to drink them which then turns to fat! Alcohol will also derail your workouts because they reduce your metabolism which is usually raised by exercising. Lowing metabolism lowers the fat burning mechanism in our bodies.
10. Sodas & JuicesOur bodies are not designed to drink calories. Sodas, juices, sport drinks etc. are all filled with sugar or even worse, fake sugar. When you drink these products you are still thirsty and you have not given your body any real food to sustain itself. The best and easiest way to lose weight? Drink water, water and then more water. We do not need to drown ourselves in it, but if only drink water, then you cannot go wrong.
11. Drug ProblemWe have a huge drug problem in America. We get sick, we take a pill, we have a chronic illness, we take a pill, we cannot sleep, take a pill. How about this approach: if you are sick then take a look at what is causing it. Chronic illness such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, impotence, sleep disorder, headaches etc. can almost all be alleviated or at least reduced to manage levels by changing our diet. Not only can we cure these diseases we can also have a huge impact on long-term illness such as cancer and obesity.
12. HealthcareDoctors and hospitals today are not about healthcare, they are about sick care. We must be responsible for our own health because our Doctors and hospitals are too overwhelmed and ill equipment to really get in to preventative care. We have seen such a dramatic increase in illnesses that we are overloading the system and it will become even worse as we continue to become a nation of fat and sick people. Healthcare professionals get very little training on nutrition and prevention; they are trained to fix people. That is great if you are sick, but if you want to stay healthy then you are own your own.