Let’s face it. You know when you’re seriously overweight…

If you’re obese, you’re more than overweight and critically endangering your health and reducing your life expectancy.

More importantly, you’re probably not very happy or enjoying your life.

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Basically if your weight is considerably more than what is considered healthy for your height, you’re in jeopardy.

The World Health Organization defines overweight in terms of body mass index (BMI which is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters – kg/m2) being more than 25.

Obesity is a BMI of 30 or more.

Here are a few surprising facts about obesity

1. More people in the world are suffering from obesity than from hunger

In fact 65% of the world’s population live in a country where being overweight and being obese kills more people than people who are underweight.

Obesity is becoming the fastest-growing and most troubling health problem in the world.

2. An elevated BMI is a major risk factor

There is a higher risk of developing many health issues from cardiovascular diseases (including stroke), diabetes, asthmas, sleep apnea, disabling degenerative joint diseases to some cancers.

3. Research has found that nutrients in today’s crops are from 10 to 25% lower than they were 50 years ago

Most likely, this is a result of crops being bred for higher yield so many are genetically modified (GMO or GE). Norway found disturbing results when they researched the impact on rats.

“Translated to humans, the study suggests: if you dine on meat from an animal which was fed GE grains or consume products made from GE grains like corn, you could get adverse life altering effects. You could get fatter faster and retain the weight.”

4. There is a strong link between sleep loss and weight gain

The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep every night for optimum performance and proper brain function to avoid mental fog and poor decision making.

Without adequate rest, the body’s metabolism changes, higher levels of the stress-hormone cortisol are released and the need to consume more calories increases.

It should be obvious that if you’re awake for more hours during the night, you need more food to keep you going

facts about obesity_3But interestingly, studies have shown that most sleep-deprived individuals crave certain kinds of foods—namely calorie-rich sugary desserts, potato chips and other unhealthy carbs that can lead to obesity, diabetes and a variety of illnesses.

One study revealed that lack of sleep can cause weight gain of 2 pounds (.9kg) in under a week.

5. Artificial sweeteners and many diet products can be detrimental for obese people

These contribute to changes in the way the body breaks down glucose and aren’t digested, impacting millions of bacteria in the gut creating major imbalances. Some researchers suggest that sucralose, aspartame and others can actually dupe the body into triggering fat-storing mechanisms.

6. Causes of obesity can be psychological as well as physical

Unhealthy processed foods, lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyle and hereditary factors can all contribute.

But obesity is also linked to the mind-body connection of how we think and feel. Anxiety, stress, questions of self-worth, sadness often lead people to stuff down their emotional discomfort by enjoying the pleasures of eating more.

But the short-term satisfaction can lead to long-term problems. Obesity is often accompanied by depression and each can trigger and influence the other.

Steps to a path out of obesity

1. Start moving

Get up and walk or do some easy stretches for 10 minutes twice a day. Slowly begin to increase the time you devote to exercise so that you’re doing at least 150 minutes of movement a week.

facts about obesity_4Get one of the new devices that track your steps to help you be motivated. Or get a dog that requires walking religiously!

2. Reduce the stress

Take time out for a few minutes a day to quiet your mind and allow yourself to shift from thinking so much to just feeling and being. Close your eyes and notice your thoughts without judgment. Just let them float by. Take a beginner yoga class, learn to meditate or try my free audio

3. Podcasts 

To find great de-stress podcasts, connect with me on my WatchFit Expert page. It will help you relax your mind and encourage your body to function more optimally by reducing anxieties, fears and worries for a mental reset.

If you’re ready to commit to a 21-day coaching plan that can help set you on a healthier path, consider using my “Stress-Anxiety Buster” at WatchFit.

4. Eat mindfully

Rather than cutting calories, consider being more mindful about your food choices.

Introduce more vegetables, fruits, nuts and salads into your daily regimen. Avoid processed foods and GMO-grown produce. Stick with whole foods and, if possible, locally grown.

Eliminate sugar; which has been shown to be eight times more addictive than cocaine and has absolutely no nutritional value. Read labels and avoid high fructose corn syrup and other sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners.

Go cold turkey and get it out of your system.

Within a week, you’ll not only feel better and begin to lose weight but what you eat will taste better. If you must have some sweetness, choose honey or stevia.

Recruit friends and family to support you

Get rid of toxic friends who might be “feeding” your insecurities and choose to be around people who will be encouraging and will help you adapt a new approach to wellbeing.

You can do it and choosing to do so is extremely empowering. And that’s the biggest fact about obesity is that you have the power and potential to change it!

Connect with WatchFit Expert Peggy Sealfon

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And they can do the same for you.

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