Tagged with: awareness education family fitness health life Nutrition Obesity
Overweight and obese Americans regularly experience various forms of discrimination in many social settings and even at the workplace. For instance, on average, obese men and women earn $2 and $4 less per hour respectively at the workplace compared to non-obese workers. Sadly, a weight-based stigma can have a negative impact on a person’s health, self-esteem, and performance at work or school. This notwithstanding, 154.7 million Americans aged 20 years and older are overweight or obese. Fortunately, you can fight obesity and maintain a healthy BMI by doing the following:
A good starting point is adopting a healthy diet. This means shunning foods and beverages that contain a lot of fat, sugar and salt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends replacing such foods with fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lean meats, beans, eggs, nuts, fish, as well as fat-free or low-fat dairy products. If you can, cook and eat fresh foods. Alternatively, go for frozen or canned healthy foods. When buying canned fruits, pick those packed in their own juice or water. A healthy diet will reduce the risk of developing weight-related diseases and shouldering associated healthcare costs. Obese people spend 42% more on health care than peers with healthy BMI.
To achieve your weight loss goals, engage in physical activity to burn calories at a faster rate. Such activities include jogging, swimming, brisk walking, pushing, skiing, jumping rope, running, aerobics, snow shoveling, cycling and handcycling. Team sports such as basketball, football, or soccer are also helpful. If you have been inactive for long, start at a slow pace and build up your endurance until you can complete at least 150 minutes of moderately to vigorously intense physical activity in a week. You could do so by completing at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
To start with, focus on serving and eating smaller food portions. An effective way of achieving this goal is serving meals using smaller plates. Follow the same rule even when eating snacks. For instance, eat smaller chocolate bars. Moreover, eat low calorie comfort foods to avoid adding more weight than you can shed via healthy eating and exercising. In addition, eat less often than you did before because the higher the eating/snacking frequency, the more fat your body will produce and store.
Besides the tips discussed above, monitor your progress on a daily basis. This includes monitoring calorie intake, physical activity levels, and slips such as gorging on comfort food to satisfy your body’s cravings. This is necessary because weight loss should be a long-term rather than a short-term effort. If you have a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or have suffered a heart attack, consult your physician before engaging in strenuous physical activities, dieting, or taking weight loss supplements.
Weight discrimination in the workplace is rampant in the US. In fact, Eastern Kentucky University found that 93% of employers would select a job applicant with “normal weight” over an equally qualified but obese candidate. Nevertheless, obese and overweight people can take measures to shed excess fat and maintain healthy weight. Such measures include shunning unhealthy foods for a healthy diet, engaging in physical activities such as jogging and swimming, adopting healthy eating habits and monitoring weight loss progress.
How do you stay active with a busy schedule? Let me know in the comments below!