Friday, January 19, 2007

Losing Weight the Natural Way

Obesity has become one of the leading health concerns in the US. The statistics are shocking. Take a look at these numbers:


  • 58 Million Americans are Overweight; 40 Million are Obese; 3 Million are morbidly Obese


  • Eight out of 10 people over the age of 25 are overweight


  • 78% of Americans don't meet basic activity level recommendations


  • 25% are completely sedentary


  • In 1982 4% of children were overweight; by 1994 that figure had risen to 16%


  • In 2001, 25% of Caucasian children were overweight and 33% of African American and Hispanic children were overweight.
    And, this is not just a problem of vanity. This obesity rate is having a significant effect on our health. Again, the statistics are very alarming.


  • There has been a 76% increase in Type II diabetes in adults between the ages of 30 and 40 since 1990


  • 80% of the incidences of Type II diabetes is related to obesity


  • 70% of cardiovascular disease today is related to obesity


  • 42% of breast and colon cancer diagnoses are in obese people


  • 30% of all gall bladder surgeries are related to obesity


  • 26% of obese people have high blood pressure



    So, clearly, if you're overweight, you have reason to be concerned. It's time for a wake up call for getting your life on track. If you want a long and healthy life, it's critical to get moving and change the way you eat.



    In recent years, the rate of weight loss surgeries have increased dramatically. Over 65,000 people have weight loss surgery each year, and the numbers are growing. But, is it really necessary to have surgery to lose weight? In addition, millions turn to weight loss drugs each year. It makes us wonder; is it even possible to lose really lose weight the old fashioned way any more?



    Well, the answer is yes. Certainly, there is a portion of the population that really needs surgical intervention to lose weight. However, these are primarily the people who are at least 100 pounds overweight and who are experiencing significant health problems because of their weight. For these people, weight loss surgery if far less risky than continuing to carry their excess weight.



    For most people, however, natural solutions still work. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you reduce the weight and improve your weight related health problems. For those who have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but have not yet experienced serious problems such as a heart attack, the problems you're having are almost certainly reversible. So, let's take a look at some of the most effective methods to help you get that weight off and start living a healthy life.



    Change Your Diet



    Of course, this is obvious. However, many of you are thinking that you need to drastically cut calories to lose the weight. However, this isn't necessarily true. What you're eating may be just as much to blame for your weight problems and health issues as how much you're consuming.



    Research has shown that going on very calorie restrictive diets leads to yo-yo dieting, which, in the long run, slows your metabolism, making it harder than ever to lose the weight for good. So, it's wise to focus first on what you're eating; ensuring that your diet is made up of foods that can give you the nutrients you need without too many calories or too much fat. To do this, focus on eating:




  • Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables


  • Lean sources of protein – primarily fish and poultry


  • Only whole grains – this means no white flour – only 100% whole wheat and 100% whole grain products


  • Low fat dairy products



    This means ridding your diet of processed foods that contain simple sugars and refined flour. Avoid anything processed. If you focus on eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones, you can lose weight while still eating enough to feel satisfied.



    Exercise



    Your exercise routine should consist of two parts: aerobic training and weight training. Aerobic training will help you burn calories and exercise your heart. Weight training will help you build muscle, which will make you stronger and make you burn more calories even when resting.



    Walking is an excellent way to get your aerobic exercise – and it strengthens the muscles in your lower body, too. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise about 5 times a week. Your strength training sessions should be about 3 times a week for about 20 minutes session.



    Drink Green Tea



    Research has shown that green tea can be extremely effective in helping to control weight and weight related health concerns. A study reported by the UK Tea Council showed that tea has been shown to help regulate insulin, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, burn fat and help turn off the receptors that make us want to eat.



    Most of the research on green tea's effects has been performed on animals, but there's every reason to believe that the results will translate to humans, as well. In addition to green tea's ability to help lose weight, it has also been shown to prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's. So, by adding green tea to your diet, you'll likely not only reduce your weight, but reduce your chances of serious illness, too.



    Green tea is loaded with anti-oxidants, which are known to keep us healthy by fighting our body's free radicals. Free radicals are created when we process our food; but they can wreak havoc on our bodies if we leave them unchecked. Free radicals damage our cells and DNA, which eventually leads to disease.



    So, you see, it is possible for most people to lose weight naturally. However, it requires long term changes in your daily life. But, if you can learn to incorporate healthy eating along with regular exercise and the potent anti-oxidants found in green tea, you'll be well on your way to taking control of your weight and your health.





    About The Author:


    Marcus Stout is the President of the Golden Moon Tea Company.
    Golden Moon Tea carefully selects the finest rare and orthodox
    teas, which are processed slowly and handcrafted with extreme
    care. At their website, you can learn more about their current
    tea offerings, including their exceptional green tea,
    white tea, black tea, oolong tea (also known as wu-long and wu long tea) and chai. Visit http://www.goldenmoontea.com for all details concerning the Golden Moon Tea Company's fine line of teas.



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