It’s your body and it’s your health, yet why are so many American’s afraid to make healthy choices? In February of this year the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study indicating the prevalence of obesity rose from 30% to a staggering 42% over the past 18 years. Here are just a few figures to consider;
- The CDC defines an adult as “obese” if Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 30
- The CDC defines an adult as “overweight” in the BMI is over 25
- Obese Americans incur an average of $1,429 more in medical expense per year
- Obesity is proven to lead to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even cancer
- More than 70 million Americans are obese and more than 100 overweight
It’s Not Education…
Twenty years ago it would be easy to blame knowledge for obesity. We just didn’t know was an easy excuse, almost like living under a rock. Today however, health and wellness information is everywhere literally at the touch of our smartphones. There are hundreds of apps to support wellness, workouts, diet and exercise.
It’s Not Convenience…
Fast food drive-thru, snack foods and soft drinks were always the go to excuse for “I didn’t have time to have a healthy meal. Much like the knowledge aspects above, technology has helped change all of this for the better. Yesterday afternoon I logged into my Amazon Prime account, placed my order, and left the office. By the time I got home and settled in, the delivery guy was dropping everything off at front door. If anything, the new COVID economy has proven just how easy it can be to access almost anything we need from Uber Eats to local produce delivery.
What’s the Reason?
We just don’t care. Let that sink in for a minute. We have become an instant gratification society of people who want to feel good NOW, and worry about the consequences later. That’s problem number 1. Better yet, there must be a pill to take or something that can help me drop weight later, or feel better when we decide we do care. That’s problem number 2. It is estimated that over 4.5 billion prescriptions will be filled in 2020 as US spending on prescriptions far exceeds any other country in the world. We the worlds most medicated country.
Five Ways to Make Healthy Food Choices
- Start Simple A good friend gave me advice years ago and it’s always stuck with me. If it was a food 100 years ago, you can eat it! Fruits and Vegetables? Yup, they were here. Chickens, cows, etc.*(if you are a meat eater!)…yup, they were here too! Nacho chips, soft drinks, and other processed foods…sorry, no go!
- Pick 1 Thing You can’t change your lifestyle overnight or in one day, so start by choosing one thing. You already know what that one this, as you probably thought of it as you were reading this. Instead, replace that one thing with something healthy that you know you already like. Say it out loud and while looking in the mirror! Today I will stop eating Snicker’s bars, and start eating avocado!
- Self-Esteem You will feel better when you make healthy choices. It won’t be instant, and it’s counter intuitive if you need a quick fix but I promise, every time you make a healthy decision you will feel a little better about it. Resist the urge to step on a scale a week or two after you make these changes. It takes time, but do think about how you feel. Do you have more energy, are you sleeping better, and do have find it easier to concentrate on things? After a while, this kind of healthy behavior starts to become a way of life, and as your health changes, so will your attitude, and your self-esteem, and your total wellness!
- 1% Better – Remember the expression Rome was not built in a day? Neither was your body. It takes time to make changes but don’t try to set unrealistic goals. If you can be just 1% better today than you were yesterday, that’s progress! Over time, those 1%’s add up and will have a tremendous impact on your wellness.
- Surround yourself with people who share the same goals – This is important not only for your physical health, but your overall total wellness. Likeminded people will encourage, support, and help each other to make smart decisions which improve their lives. If someone is not supportive of your personal goals, you really need to rethink why that person is in your life. Negativity has no place when it comes to making healthy choices for you! Good luck and stay the course!