Just last month, CBS reported that in a poll of 3013 Americans, 61 percent said they had experienced, “undesired weight gain”. While the average scale showed an increase of 29lbs, some 10 percent report an increase of 50lbs. And while the only news report I could find for weight gain in Canada was from CBC where they referred to people's expanding waistlines as, “the Covid 19lbs”, posted on April 15 of last year, I think it's safe to assume that robust midriffs are indeed a weighty concern.
No doubt that regardless which media or channel you turn to for updates and information on what's happening for today, doubtless you've heard someone talk about co-morbidities. Co-morbidities are any number of conditions that decrease our health while increasing our risk of contracting other diseases. Including Covid-19. Turns out that being overweight or obese can significantly increase a person's risk at any age, but particularly concerning for our more mature folks. The CDC website under data and statistics reports, “obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a Covid-19 infection.... Obesity is linked to impaired immune function... models estimate that 30.2% of these hospitalizations were attributed to obesity”.
So, if waistlines have continued to expand, and that extra weight around the middle puts us at risk for a plethora of diseases and conditions – diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, acid reflux, cancer, and Covid too, it's time we start asking, “What are we weighting for?”
Those who have been following this column for a while can maybe guess what I'm going to say about this. But for all the newbies, food is your foundation. When you can get your food in line, health happens. It really is that simple. I've coached and spoken to many people over the years who have tried to lose weight simply by working out like crazy, burning off as many calories as they can and continuing to eat what they want. And although that may work for a time to keep the weight where you want it, I always ask them what they think would happen if they were suddenly not able to exercise in the same way. We are now seeing first hand what will happen. Because it did.
Locally and across Canada gyms and fitness facilities have been randomly closed for periods of time – some more than they are open. And while the state of openness of these facilities is not something many of us can do anything about, we do have total control over our food. Great news considering that it's your weight and internal health that is made in the kitchen. It's your fitness level that's made in the gym, or wherever you exercise. In fact, food is about 70 to 80 percent of your results when it comes to health and weight loss.
Since last fall, I've coached many clients back to health and healthy weight. Almost every client shared how the changes in the world as we know it contributed to their current weighty situation. Many hovering in “limbo” waiting for things to go back to how they were. And with things lasting longer than anyone expected, well, you get the picture. So, regardless of what is happening or not happening in the world around us, it's time to stop weighting, and do.
A few tips that will get you going on the right track and have you start seeing results are; 1. Replace the alcohol and soda pop with water. And then drink more of it. You'll have more energy, sleep better, ditch the mood swings and your body won't be storing fat like it does every time you crack a cold one. 2. Limit the fast food and take out to one meal per week. Many people are eating more out meals than home meals and by bringing that down to one per week you will drastically reduce sugar, sodium, gluten and vegetable oils. All of which are toxic and cause bloat and waste to collect in your body. Ew. 3. Eat colourful foods. Fruits and veggies with lots of colour also have lots of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, are high in fibre and low in calories. Things that are white/beige have just the opposite, high calories and very few nutrients. If you're prone to munchies, make a wise choice. Which leads into the last one. 4. Eat PFC. When we eat to balance meals, choosing a healthy protein, fat and carbohydrate (aka fruits and veggies) and we do this in smaller portions every three to four hours throughout the day, our body is able to release stored fat and the muscle takes it up and burns it as energy. This is how to turn your metabolism on and keep it on. You're welcome.
So I challenge you. If things of the world are literally contributing to excess weight around your middle start making some healthy changes today. My good friend and fellow health guru, Mark Macdonald always says, “There are a lot of things we can't control in life. Your health and how you take care of your body are not one of them.” And he's right.
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.