Do you notice that overweight people are more common among passers-by? And that among the children there are more and more “donuts” and they can no longer walk up to the fifth floor without being out of breath? Obesity has become a real problem in the modern world. And it’s not just the high rates, but the frightening speed at which they are growing.
What are “overweight” and “obesity”?
The standard measure for body size is Body Mass Index (BMI). It reflects the ratio of weight to height. According to most official standards, those who are overweight have a BMI greater than 25 and those who are obese have a BMI greater than 30. The same scale is used for both men and women. You yourself can determine your BMI using the table:
Obesity in children
Overweight children face psychological and social difficulties. Children can be rude to each other, and sometimes even the playground can be a cruel place. For those overweight guys, it is more difficult to make friends, they are often perceived as lazy and slow. They are more likely to have problems with behavior and learning, and the low self-esteem that they often develop during adolescence can last a lifetime.
Overweight young people usually face medical problems. They have high cholesterol levels, which can be a harbinger of many deadly diseases. They often have the problem of impaired glucose tolerance, which subsequently leads to diabetes. Today, among adolescents, the incidence of type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing, which was previously observed only in adults. Obese children are 9 times more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Obesity in adults
If you are obese, you are probably missing out on many of the joys in life. You cannot walk a lot, play sports and spend leisure time on the ski slope, find a comfortable seat in the cinema or on an airplane, and have an active sex life. It can even be hard to stand because of the strain on your knees. What can we say about mental health, self-esteem and social life.
Why are there so many “donuts”?
Nobody wants to be overweight, but then why are so many people facing this problem? Eating special diets for weight loss, taking pills to reduce appetite and changing metabolism have become the favorite pastimes of many people looking to lose weight. This is a veritable economic black hole that sucks in our money without giving anything in return. Imagine that you pay a person to repair a leaking sink, and two weeks later the pipe breaks through and drowns your entire apartment and the one below. The costs are increasing significantly! And you will never turn to this “master” again.
But we endlessly try these weight loss programs, books, drinks, energy bars and fall for all kinds of advertising gimmicks, even if they don’t work.
There is a solution!
According to Colin Campbell, author of the book The China Study, the solution to overweight is eating whole, plant-based foods with reasonable exercise. This is a long-term lifestyle change, not a newfangled idea offering a quick fix. Moreover, such changes can provide sustainable weight loss with minimal risk of chronic disease.
Are there people you know who regularly eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and rarely or never eat meat or fast food items such as chips, fries, and chocolate bars? What is their weight? If you know these people, you may have noticed that they usually have a normal body weight.
Where is the proof?
There have been many studies that support Campbell’s theory. During one of them, those who were overweight were allowed to eat any amount of food, consisting mainly of whole, plant-based foods with reduced fat content. After three weeks, these people lost an average of 7.7 kg of weight.
At the Pritykinsky Center for Longevity, 4,500 patients who underwent a three-week program achieved similar results. They found that by eating a plant-based diet and encouraging exercise, their clients lost 5.5% in weight in three weeks.
Published results from other interventional studies that included a diet of predominantly whole, plant-based, reduced-fat foods show a loss of:
- approximately 0.9 to 2.3 kg of body weight in 12 days;
- about 4.5 kg of weight in 3 weeks;
- 7.3 kg of weight in 12 weeks;
- 10.9 kg of weight per year.
And if you are not losing weight?
Of course, some people can stick to a plant-based diet without losing weight. There are several good reasons for this. First and foremost, weight loss from a plant-based diet is much less likely to occur if the diet contains too many refined carbohydrates. Sweets, baked goods, and pasta will not help you lose weight. These foods are high in digestible sugars and starch, and baked goods are often high in fat. The optimal diet should consist of whole, plant-based foods.
The second reason why weight does not drop significantly is due to lack of exercise. Regular exercise can be very beneficial. Third, some may have a hereditary predisposition to being overweight, which complicates their problem. If you belong to such people, then you should especially carefully adhere to your diet and give yourself physical activity.
How to proceed?
1. Forget about counting calories. You can eat as much as you want and still lose weight – as long as you eat the right foods. Restricting carbohydrates and calories is only temporary. This is not what you want if you want to keep your weight low in the future. In addition, it has been proven that those who eat plant-based foods have better heat dissipation. That is, the accumulated calories go into body heating, and for meat-eaters – into fat.
2. Stop associating diet with sacrifice, deprivation and moderation – this is not necessary.
3. Don’t starve yourself. Eat when you feel like it. Feed your body the right food and it will function properly.
4. Give yourself some physical activity. Starting a workout and then stopping it is not a good idea. It’s better to make them part of your lifestyle to get in better shape and maintain it, rather than just burn calories.
5. Ignore the idea that by knowing the genetic basis of obesity, you can control it. The belief that it’s all about heredity makes us think we can’t control our weight. We can control the cause. And it’s at the tip of the fork.
Maintaining a healthy weight requires a long-term lifestyle change. Promotional promises that promise you significant and rapid weight loss are often not long-term guarantees. Don’t treat weight loss like a race. Start right and be the winner.
Based on the book “Chinese Research. Updated and expanded edition “.
Post cover: pixabay.