Obesity – defined as a BMI (body mass index) over 30 – is a global crisis. And it could be uncomfortably close to our home: a whole bunch of us might step on the scales or take a good look in the mirror after a year of bans due to pandemics and think: What have I done? And what can I do to change it?
It found that traditional ways of losing weight – cutting calories, exercising – didn’t really work well before the pandemic. That’s because it’s over-emphasizing eating less, period instead of eating more really good food that won’t make you gain weight. “A good diet almost automatically leads to better calorie control – you will eat foods with a higher feeling of satiety,” says JoAnn Manson, MD, Dr PH, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief Preventive Medicine Officer at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, contributor on new documentation Betterthat explains how Americans can help reverse the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes.
Like many others, you may be carrying a few pounds more than you would like right now, but there are some simple, science-based steps you can take to prevent obesity. Read on to learn more, and to help ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss out on these surefire signs that you have “long” COVID and you may not even know it.
“One of the best ways to stop obesity is to prevent slow, gradual weight gain that can occur over a long period of time,” says Kirsten Davidson, Ph.D., Professor and Assistant Dean of Research at Boston College. “We are all susceptible to this if we are not vigilant. In today’s environment it is easy to consume 100 to 200 calories over your daily needs – this could be two biscuits, for example – but over a longer period of time it will result in weight gain. “
Davidson’s advice: weigh yourself daily or at least once a week. Track this information over time. “If your weight is on an upward trend, you need to change your lifestyle,” she says. Davidson adds a caveat: while this strategy works well for many people, it may not work for those who have an emotional relationship with food and weight. Check-in with a healthcare provider may be required.
As discussed in Better, Experts have seen the frustration of many dieters pounding on a treadmill for hours and enduring low-calorie diets with little or no effect. That’s because the body seems to be able to rest when it’s withdrawn, so it shuts down its metabolism to keep things stable. The net effect: you don’t decrease and you can gain even more.
“There is evidence that metabolism is changing as part of an evolutionary adaptation to hunger and that the body is feeling the calorie reduction,” says Manson. “You don’t want the body to feel deprived because it will make metabolic changes that will sabotage your efforts to control your weight.”
The hack: satisfy your body, don’t punish it. Eat foods “that lead to satiety, that lead to emotional well-being, and that contain the nutrients your body needs,” says Manson. To find out what some of these foods are, read on.
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“A quality eating plan is something like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil while being low in red meat, processed meat, and processed foods,” says Manson.
The key: focus on nutritious foods that fill you up, not high-calorie processed foods that don’t. For example, grab a handful of nuts instead of chips when snacking. Nuts are nutritious and high in good fats that will keep you feeling full and not make you hungry or queasy. “It leads to satisfaction,” says Manson. “In contrast, after you’ve eaten three donuts, you can feel really sick.”
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Courtesy of Love and Olive Oil
Snacking on non-starchy vegetables and low-fructose fruits can be very satisfying while also preventing the blood sugar spikes and crashes that can fuel starches and sugars. Manson recommends Brussels sprouts or broccoli as a side dish or snack by putting together a bag of mixed vegetables with hummus or a yogurt-based dip. Low-fructose fruits are berries, apples, pears and strawberries.
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It’s important to include resistance exercises in your activity plan. “Exercises that lead to more muscle mass are one way to get your metabolism going,” says Manson. “They’re also really good for your health in terms of improving bone health, bone density, and increasing muscle mass is important in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.”
She adds, “It doesn’t require you to have a training ritual or routine. But just trying to maintain an active lifestyle – being outdoors, walking, taking stairs, doing some resistance exercises, and avoiding long periods of sitting – is all very important to good health. ” And for the healthiest way through this pandemic, don’t miss this one 35 places where you are most likely to get infected with COVID.