The media loves to throw around the word “epidemic” because it gets eyeballs on the television screen and clicks onto pages. Because of this, you may have heard that there is an “obesity epidemic” in America. It’s true that more Americans than ever are obese. However, no body is perfect and self-worth should not be determined by the physical state.
There are health risks associated with a high percentage of body fat. Obesity is linked to:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Gallstones and gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Bone and joint disease
And these are just the physical risks. There are also several psychosocial effects to being overweight or obese. Societal disapproval can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. People who are obese often suffer disadvantages such as having fewer romantic relationships and lower incomes.
If you or someone you know is struggling with complications associated with weight gain and want to do something about it, there is hope. The trick is approaching your wellness plan in a holistic way– that is, not just addressing the physical effects of obesity, but also the mental and emotional effects. Read on for some helpful advice for overall wellness.
Find exercise you like
We could all use more exercise as 80 percent of Americans do not meet recommendations for overall activity. The fact is, sitting or laying around is more comfortable (and therefore enjoyable) than going for a run or biking 20 miles. If you want to incorporate more activity into your life, you have to find something you truly enjoy.
The American Heart Association recommends adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least fiver day a week– that’s it! That can be a 30-minute walk or 30 minutes doing laps in the pool. You may not even know what it is you like to do, so try out various types of exercises until you find the kind that makes you want to go back every day. If you enjoy yourself, it’s easy!
So much of our calorie overconsumption is due to convenience foods and restaurants. They are made with extra fat, sugar, and salt to get you addicted so you keep coming back for more. By cooking your own meals, you control the ingredients so you know exactly what you are putting in your body. Look up healthy recipes online and spend the money you used to waste in restaurants on getting groceries delivered to save time and make cooking more convenient. Invest in proper cookware and knives to ensure your cooking process goes smoothly so you stay motivated.
Address the stress
Stress is a huge culprit when it comes to weight gain. Unfortunately, many of us become stressed out when we see the scales go up, creating a nasty cycle. When you’re experiencing a lot of stress, the body releases excess amounts of cortisol, a hormone that makes you feel hungry while also signaling the body that it needs to hold onto fat. Beating stress isn’t a simple thing — it takes a holistic approach.
- Get enough sleep. Your body needs seven to nine hours every night to function without excess anxiety.
- Quit consuming caffeine. If you are getting enough rest, you don’t need the jolt. Plus, caffeine is connected to excess anxiety.
- Exercise releases feel-good neurotransmitters that help beat stress and anxiety.
- Tackle any mental health issues you have. Talk to your doctor and consider going to a therapist where you can discuss your anxieties and work on healthy ways of dealing with them.
Your body weight does not determine your self-worth. However, if you want to avoid the health risks associated with obesity, you can do so with simple lifestyle changes. Find an exercise you want to do so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Take control of your diet by cooking more so you can control the ingredients that go in your body. Finally, address stress in your life with healthy coping mechanisms to prevent unnecessary weight gain due to increased cortisol levels.