According to the latest statistics from the United States’ Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- 66% of adults age 20 years and over are overweight (including obese)
- 32% of adults age 20 years and over are obese
- 17% of adolescents age 12-19 years are overweight
- 19% of children age 6-11 years are overweight
Those are really horrifying statistics. We have become an oversized bunch of people, but we lie to ourselves to try to find peace with it by saying things like: “I’m comfortable with the way I look,” “I’m not as big as she is,” or joke about it by saying “I’m shakin’ what my Momma gave me.” I have news: your Momma did NOT give you that. But she may have given you some bad eating habits.
There’s no magic bullet behind weight gain, and there’s a myriad of reasons for why we may suffer from it more or less than those around us. But there is some simple advice and nutritional knowledge I can give you that can help you. Since most people don’t like to read loooooong articles, I’m just going to keep this as simple as I can:
1. Stop Eating White Trash!
White trash is typically refined sugar, white bread, white buns, bagels, white rice, white flour, tortillas, white potatoes, white corn, etc. But I like to expand this definition to include what foods I’d expect to find at a typical American BBQ (I call it the “White Trash BBQ”): hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, macaroni salad, fried chicken, potato chips, fries, baked beans (sugar!), corn on the cob (metabolizes down as sugar and starch!), and then – of course – the pies, cakes and muffins for dessert. And the beer and sodas to wash it all down with.
The first glaring mistake with these white trash foods is that many of them are not “food” at all. They’re refined and processed, taking nutrients out in some cases (to preserve shelf life), adding synthetic nutrients back in, adding nitrates and nitrites as preservatives, sugars, corn syrup, etc. While many of us will avoid butter or real Mayonnaise in the attempt to lose weight, we still will eat these other non-food offenders all the time. At least our bodies know how to handle a “real fat” or “real food” such as butter. With adulterated food products, our body has difficulty knowing what to store and what to burn.
The second glaring mistake with the white trash foods is that most of them metabolize high on the Glycemic Index and elevate your blood sugar, thereby triggering insulin to be released in your body; in turn telling your body to store any excess as fat or to create new fat cells. This response occurs BEFORE you ever get to the gym. So next time you think you’ll be burning it off at the gym later on, remember that your body is busy storing it hours earlier.
Since your body isn’t getting the right nutrients from “whole” foods (unadulterated, non-processed, non-canned, non-processed), it holds onto every bit that it can.
2. Know the health-history of what animal you’re eating.
Do you know if you salmon was farmed, pumped with antibiotics and fed corn-feed and given pink food coloring? Many farmed salmon are. The vast majority. Are your chickens injected with saline to plump them up or (again) fed with corn feed and caged so they can’t move (so they gain weight quickly), and pumped with hormones and antibiotics? Be sure… sometimes they’re raised without the antibiotics, but they’re pumped with them en route to the meat processing plants.
Same with beef. It’s still America’s favorite meat. But the vast majority of cows are kept in pens and fed only corn feed – AGAIN with the corn. They’re kept confined so they gain weight quickly. They continually feed on what is NOT a part of their natural diet. They are brought to full weight within 1 year (by making them obese) so they can be slaughtered BEFORE they die from the ulcers they receive on the corn feed diet (which, as I said, is not a part of their normal way of eating).
So we eat obese and sickened animals. It’s no wonder that we are sick and obese ourselves!
The reason why this is so important also, is because of toxins and how they relate to fat cells and obesity. I was working in a Women’s Fitness center recently, and EVERYONE there wanted to lose weight. But their eyes would cross if I told them they had a glaring gallbladder problem. So I know that to get people to listen, the “weight is the bait” — and so I’m going to tell you now why you should care about the health of the animal you’re eating.
Simply and succinctly put, toxins are stored in fat cells. Those two things are married. So if you can de-toxify yourself, you will have an easier time losing weight. Women – pay attention to this: we carry a higher percentage of fat in our bodies naturally. So we are even MORE susceptible to toxin storage. And again, it creates the vicious cycle of difficulty and/or inability to lose weight. Meats have a higher percentage of fat, and are therefore more important to pay attention to when considering its origins.
It is also widely believed (by myself included) that these stored toxins are largely responsible for many of the cancers in our reproductive organs.
I’m not a vegetarian myself, but I do advise people to take caution when buying their meats. This is a huge reason why we have such a sickened society. We demand cheap foods, but we are most definitely getting what we pay for. Believe me, I’m very budget conscious myself these days and I can’t always buy the highest, elite quality of food. But I HAVE decided to cut down a bit on meat so that I can eat better qualities of it.
THE GOOD NEWS
As more and more people in the USA are exposed to the truth about the food supply, the vendors listen and give us what we want. We have more access to Organic foods than ever; we have Farmer’s Markets, we have the internet so these things like “unhealthy farming practices” are no longer a secret for very long. We can go to our local Trader Joe’s and request grass-fed beef. We can easily find “cage free/allowed-to-graze” chicken. The more people demand it, the more the economics of supply and demand will bring the prices to a more affordable range.
But awareness is key, and we must make the changes ourselves AND tell our families and friends… that way, we not only encourage each other and gain support, but we create the kind of demand for healthier foods that will help our bodies be able to metabolize better.
In conclusion, those are 2 simple things you can do immediately for your health and the health of all your loved ones: eating foods in their natural states (more vegetables of all kinds & colors – not white trash!), and being conscious of the health of the animal who’s meat you’re eating.
Guarding your diet on both those fronts addresses two KEY issues behind difficulties in losing weight for just about absolutely everyone: insulin and toxins. I guarantee you that if you follow those two tips, it’s worth more than all the calorie counting, food weighing and lap-band surgeries in the world.