Over 2/3 of Americans are either overweight or obese.
Think about that for a second. Go anywhere in public and just look at people. A majority of them are overweight, and there’s a good chance that you are, too. For far too long, we’ve gone around the issue and said things like, “he’s just a bigger guy,” or “she’s just got a big frame,” or “they are big-boned.” No – they are overweight or obese.[box type=”note”]I will pause for a half-second and say that there are medical conditions that can cause weight gain, but that is NOT the case for the vast majority.[/box]
We need to take responsibility for our actions, and only YOU can change the way you live you life. But there are many reasons why we are overweight.
First of all, we’re not designed to say “no” to calories. Imagine you’re a caveman or woman. You haven’t eaten in a couple of days and you find a tree of oranges or you kill a woolly mammoth. You are going to pig out (or wholly mammoth out). Your body is saying, “Hey, I don’t know when I’m going to eat again, I better get it while I can.” And guess what it does with the calories you can’t use? It stores them as fat – so you can use the fat later. But that’s the biggest problem today: we never need to use the stored fat. Our bodies continue to store more fat because we can’t turn down calories and we get fatter.[box type=”info”]
We’re biologically designed to never turn down calories.[/box]
We never use our calories because our society has designed all the effort out of our every day lives. We don’t walk anywhere, we drive. We don’t take the stairs, we use the elevator. We don’t even walk over to someone’s office, we email. We never have a chance to use the energy stored in our fat.
In 1969, over 70% of kids walked or rode a bike to school. Today, less than 13% walk or bike to school. The problem is starting early.[box]
Obesity is the result of many small societal changes that have made a huge difference in our weight.[/box] Here are some super-easy small steps to make that can add up to great results:
- Don’t drink your calories. Try to not drink anything with calories. This includes juice.
- Start your day by walking outside for 20 minutes. You’ll get the blood flowing to all parts of your body and you’ll get some vitamin D. I recently started doing this – it has done wonders for my creativity and attention throughout the day.
- Drink lots of water. Nothing bad comes from that – and you’ll eat less.
- Eat a real breakfast, or no breakfast at all. The worst possible thing you could eat for breakfast is carb-filled pastries or cereals (I’ll write a whole blog post on this), if you must eat breakfast – eat something with a lot of protein and fat. I’m a huge fan of intermittent fasting. I’ve found not eating makes me extremely focused and motivated to get things done, especially since I’m not worrying about food.
- Don’t eat anything processed. This is probably the hardest thing of them all to do, because so much of what we eat is processed. Just look at the ingredients. If it has stuff on it you can’t read, don’t eat it.
- Have a great cheat day. One day a week (mine is always Saturday), I eat crazy. I eat processed foods, sweets, liquid calories, everything that’s bad for you. That way you never have to say goodbye to foods, it’s just “see you Saturday.”
It’s ok that we’re fat, but it’s not OK to not do anything about it. I guarantee that if you do these six, small things you will look and feel better. Don’t try to tackle the list all at once, but start one at a time.