B. Change the Way I Eat to Break the Vicious Cycle
You are correct in wanting to change the way you eat to break the Vicious Cycle. Obesity or even being just a few lbs. overweight can have an adverse effect on your quality or life and your overall health.
Let's learn more about Obesity.
Help you crave fewer high-sugar and high-fat foods. Obesity causes you to have altered taste perceptions, leading to eating more in general and eating more of the wrong foods. Losing weight has the opposite effect.
Reduce joint pain, improve movement, and help you avoid osteoarthritis. It's not just that overweight people put more weight on their joints and those joints degrade over time. There also seems to be a relationship between the presence of excess fat tissue and inflammation in women who are overweight.
Help you sleep better. Fat around your airway narrows the space available. Excess weight in your upper body puts weight on your lungs and reduces the space available to them, too. All this adds up to not getting enough oxygen to sleep well. And a good night's sleep helps you feel, think, and live better right away.
We measure obesity with a system known as body mass index, or BMI.
Supplied by BMI Calculator USA
Weigh yourself regularly and log it. Weighing yourself every day is a useful feedback system to see what you're doing right and to motivate you.
Plan healthy snacks and meals. Use a calorie calculator to estimate how many calories you need to lose weight. If you want to lose a pound a week, you'll need to cut your current calorie intake by 500 calories per day. Now plan each meal and snack to fit within your calorie limit.
Slow down your eating. If you scarf down food, you may have a tendency to overeat. It takes about 20 minutes for our brains to get that message that we're full.
Serve portions the size of your fist. Here are some helpful hints for portion sizes:
- A ½-cup serving of chopped vegetables or chopped fruit is the size of a half a baseball, or enough to make a rounded handful in an adult hand.
- A one-cup serving of leafy vegetables is the size of an orange, or an adult fist.
- A ¼-cup serving of chopped fresh fruit is the size of a lime, or a small handful.
Read food labels. If you read food labels over time, you'll find it easier to compare foods and find the foods that are the best for you and your family. It can help you start to limit the amount of fat, sugar, and cholesterol in your food. You can also find foods that are higher in vitamins.
More than 82% of African-American women are overweight. That's FOUR out of five African-American women.
You may not think of being overweight or obese as a negative thing until you get a dreaded diagnosis like diabetes or a heart condition. Changing your eating habits may seem like it's easier said than done. You may lack easy access to healthy foods or feel that you don't have time to prepare them. Eating out at restaurants and fast food places, especially with all the current value menus, might seem like an easier option to feed you and your family. Instead of getting frustrated that your healthcare provider is getting on you about your weight, discuss the obstacles or roadblocks that you face in trying to lose weight so that he/she can have a better understanding of your situation.
Try not to shop when you're hungry, as that tends to make you select less healthy food choices. Perhaps you and a friend or relative can car pool together to get to a grocery store that offers fresh fruits and vegetables if your neighborhood lacks one. If you feel that your neighborhood is not safe to walk in, see if a nearby church or recreational center has programs for you to participate in.
Newly arrived immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries are healthier. As their duration of residency in the U.S. increases, so does their obesity.
You are on the right track. Weight loss is difficult but it may be easier if you adopt healthier habits that preserve your culture. You may even consider your weight gain as a loss of a cultural norm and a side effect of living in the U.S. If you moved here from another country, you may have arrived at a healthy weight. Perhaps the way you ate and your activity levels were much different from the way they are now. The longer you've been in the U.S., the higher your risk for being overweight.
You can begin to solve these problems by beginning to think about the cultural barriers to weight loss and inactivity.
- Avoid the so-called "American food," like fast foods and processed foods.
- Cook healthier traditional foods with more vegetables and salads, and less meat.
- Eat smaller portions. Stress may make you want to eat more, so watch how much food you serve on your plate.
- Sit down and have your meal with the family.
- Relax. Take a walk after your meal or put on the radio and listen to music and dance.
Little changes can make a big difference in how you feel and may even bring your family closer.
You're on your way to solving the puzzle and breaking the cycle. Now you know the importance of avoiding obesity and maintaining a healthy weight. If you would like to go back and follow choice A, please click here. If you are ready to move forward, let's take a look at the next piece of the puzzle by clicking on Increased Pressure on Knee Joints …