If you are like most people, you lead a fully-scheduled life, with barely enough time to eat, much less cook, well-balanced meals. There is a good chance that you find yourself in a fast-food drive-thru at least once a day, if not more, to eat meals that are ordered not by name, but with a number, with no fruits or vegetables in sight- besides the occasional lettuce and tomato found in burgers. It is time to make a permanent lifestyle change.
Of course, the human body is built to withstand these kinds of eating habits every once in a while, but constantly eating like this for more than just a short period of time will, at some point, catch up to you. For almost all people who have let proper eating habits fall by the wayside, their poor eating habits will eventually manifest themselves through raised levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and the like, or through substantial weight gain. A good amount of people will experience both substantial weight gain and unhealthy changes in the levels of chemical components from which your body is composed and regulated. There is indeed some truth to the saying “You are what you eat”.
However, if you developed unhealthy eating habits- filled with innutritious foods and have found yourself experiencing the unwanted consequences of poor eating and lifestyle habits, it is not too late to educate yourself on the importance of eating a nutritious/well-balanced diet, change those bad eating habits, and get on the road to weight loss as well as an overall, healthier you!
What is the importance of Nutrition?
Nutrition essentially describes all the materials that are necessary for organisms as well as their cells to survive. For humans, nutrition is a broad term describing any and all substances and nutrients, as found in the food we eat, which are required to survive and thrive.
On the most general level, nutrition is crucial because without the most basic and necessary substances and nutrients, you simply would not be healthy. Beyond simply surviving, however, nutrition plays an incredibly important role in proper mental and physical development, how many health problems individuals suffer, and the overall well-being of a person.
The human body is a miraculous thing- all the processes in your body innately know what to do, without you having to even be aware of it. All that is required on the individual’s part is to supply to those processes the nutrients they need to properly function and keep the individual healthy. And the way an individual can do this is by eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
When an individual does not get the nutrition he or she needs, a great variety of health problems can occur, ultimately reducing an individual’s life expectancy. Health problems that can arise from improper or a lack of nutrition are, but not limited to:
- Metabolic Diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Obesity (or on a milder level, being Overweight)
Of all these health problems being overweight or obese is perhaps the most disconcerting. The state of being obese tends to not only bring about all the aforementioned health problems, it also tends to exacerbate them. In fact, about two-thirds of Type-2 Diabetes and two-thirds of heart disease cases can be directly linked to the state of being obese.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is the description of an individual who has enough excess body fat to weigh 20% more than what is considered a healthy weight for a person of his or her height; weight gain occurs when an individual consumes more food energy than his or her body can use. This measurement of excess is most commonly estimated by calculating an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a numerical representation of the relationship between the individual’s weight and height. Individuals with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.
You should keep in mind, however, that the BMI does not measure the actual amount of body fat an individual has. In order to conclusively determine whether or not an individual is obese, further tests will have to be done and additional measurements will have to be taken. Some common, more definitive tests that are performed to conclusively determine whether or not an individual is obese or not are: measuring the thickness of folds in the skin, measuring the circumference of the waist/the waist-to-hip ratio, and performing ultrasounds or magnetic resonance images (MRIs).
Obesity is a rapidly-growing epidemic causing a myriad of different health costs and concerns. To put the costs of obesity into perspective, take for example the fact that in 2003, the total healthcare expenditures for obesity-related health issues was an estimated $75 billion, with roughly half of those expenditures being covered with taxpayer money through Medicare and Medicaid.
In fact, obesity-related healthcare costs account for more than 20% of all healthcare costs in the United States, with total costs reaching upwards of $190 billion in the past year alone (a rise of more than 150% since 2003) – that there are now more taxpayer funds being used to relieve the healthcare costs of obese people than the healthcare costs of people who smoke cigarettes.
And to put the concerns of obesity into perspective, between 1995 and 2005, the obesity rate of Americans jumped 60%, with a little over one in three American adults now being clinically obese.
In order to win the war against obesity, the first step an individual must take is educating him or herself on exactly which foods are nutritious. However, without actually putting into practice what was learned about nutrition, the first step will always be futile.
Weight Loss after Obesity
Although some level of excess weight can stem from hereditary or genetic factors that predispose certain individuals to have a hard time losing extra weight or to simply be a bit heavier than the average person, a great number of other factors have caused the majority of obese people to pack on the pounds, particularly the prevalence of bigger portion sizes and “value” meals encouraging the consumption of improperly-balanced, rarely nutritious foods on a constant basis as well as the ever-increasing sedentary lifestyle of modern society.
However, whatever the cause of an individual’s obesity, the only way the individual can begin to lose his or her excess weight, and keep it off, is to learn which healthy, nutritious foods will help promote weight loss as well as exercising on a regular basis. Basically, what an obese individual will need to do in order to lose weight is to make an overall positive, healthy change in daily living and lifestyle habits.
To make sure that you lose weight in a healthy, steady fashion, it is recommended that you enroll in a personalized, comprehensive weight loss program as given by a healthcare professional. The purpose of weight loss programs is to help obese individuals learn how to eat healthier foods (especially foods that are low in fat and caloric content), to be more physically active, and to determine changes in daily routines and activities that encourage weight loss and discourages lost weight from returning.
Weight Loss and Nutrition
One of the most important factors in losing weight in a healthy manner is to incorporate a nutritional, well-balanced diet into your life. In general, foods that are low in fat and calories are most frequently recommended. More specifically, individuals looking to healthily lose weight should eat:
- More fruits (not fruit drinks): It is recommended that the typical 2000-calorie/day diet contain at least 2 cups of fruit
- More vegetables: Dark, leafy greens, the different types of peas and beans, and “orange” veggies (carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, etc.) especially promote healthy weight loss
- Lean Proteins: Lean meats and poultry that has been baked, broiled, or grilled
- Less saturated fats and salt: Less than 10% of your daily calorie intake should be from saturated fatty acids; salt intake should be limited to about one teaspoon per day
Although these are the most common ways to change up the foods you eat in order to bring about weight loss, you should consult a healthcare professional to see which foods will best encourage weight loss for you.
Weight Loss Program at Complete Healthcare for Women
At Complete Healthcare for Women, we understand that each person’s case of obesity is different. The causes of and solutions for obesity differ from one individual to the next. For each patient, we will design a comprehensive, personalized weight loss program that will best promote healthy weight loss as well as a healthier lifestyle change in general.
We are pleased to offer a thorough, medically-managed weight loss program that educates individuals about the importance of having a healthy diet and properly exercising on a regular basis. For qualified individuals, Adipex-P® (generically known as Phentermine) may be prescribed to assist with the weight loss.
To find out more about how our personalized, medically-supervised weight loss program can help you win the battle against your obesity, please call 614.822.4343 to set up an educational consultation about the benefits of enrolling in our specialized weight loss program. Same day appointments are available!