If you or a loved one has thought about this over and over again, don't feel isolated; you're not alone! Nearly 75% of American adults are trying to lose weight. The problem is that when we recognize we have a problem, most of us aren't sure what exactly we can do to reduce and then control our weight, short of some drastic diet and workout scheme. We need a solution that will fit into our own busy daily schedules and will allow us to gain permanent control of our bodies.
- Bad News From the Doctor!
- More and more of us are being told, "For the sake of your health, you've got to lose weight, probably 20 pounds or more!" The doctor is right because excess body fat can contribute to medical conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, digestive diseases and even some forms of cancer. And we're not alone! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of the American adult population is overweight or obese (too much body fat). And approximately 300,000 Americans die of health problems related to obesity each year - second only to cigarettes as a leading preventable lifestyle related cause of death.
- Managing Weight With a Busy Schedule
- Contrary to popular opinion, radically reducing calorie intake by drastic dieting may not promote the loss of fat alone, but, instead, can cause increased loss of muscle and water. Many people try to shed pounds in such crash programs, but these usually cause much more mental anguish and results are rarely permanent.
- Unfortunately, many are not aware that there is a healthy, permanent course of action. To lose (and keep off) excess body fat, a person has to be convinced of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. This can be attained by modifying eating patterns and committing to a regular, but reasonable, exercise program. Then by the regular monitoring of their body fat, a person can see progress - reinforcing their commitment to continuing the effort.
- Why Monitoring Body Fat Is So Important
- Body fat is vital to daily body functions; it cushions the joints and protects the organs,
helps regulate body temperature, manufactures hormones, stores vitamins, provides a source of
energy when food is scarce and helps maintain normal reproductive function.
Everyone needs some body fat to operate efficiently and be healthy.
- Occasional weighing on a bathroom scale or looking in the mirror may not indicate a "fat" problem. A person may have an acceptable weight and figure, but if their body contains too much or too little body fat, their health could be at risk. By comparison, someone who works out every day may weigh-in at the same weight, but their body is composed of dense, lean muscle and less fat. Neither appearance nor weight alone can tell you your fat-to-muscle content.
- The problem is that most people think their weight, when in fact, fat content is a better indication of fitness. But during a well-rounded diet and exercise regimen, weight may fluctuate while body fat will decline in a slow, steady rate. Monitoring changes in both body fat and weight gives a more dependable picture of fitness and is more encouraging because it is a true indication of positive healthy change, compared to monitoring only weight or appearance.