Overweight and Unhealthy – Ways To Fight Fat and Obesity

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In my first article I covered several things you might currently be doing to stay fat and obese along with tips to implement into your life in order to help you avoid staying overweight and unhealthy. We discussed things ranging from what to eat at breakfast, how to eat during the day, how big your meal should be late in the day along with happiness in other areas of life and your overall sleep patterns. So in part 2 of my opposite test of what I call “How To Become Overweight or Obese”, we’ll talk about a few more important things relating to success in weight management.

The first thing we will cover is the consumption of beverages. Make sure to drink your calories if you want to go down the path to packing on the pounds. I recommend high fructose corn syrup and drinking a lot of calories to two types of people. This includes people who are either doing strenuous training or elite athletes. It can be very beneficial at the critical times after a workout to have a recovery drink. But the other people I recommend it to is for anyone who is going into hibernation. High fructose corn syrup is great for putting on a lot of body fat. You don’t really want to consume it if your goal is to manage your weight and be healthy. If you want to be overweight or obese, drink a lot of your calories from juice, soda, giant smoothies and things like that.

Eating out at restaurants frequently is another key indicator. There’s a nice positive association between how much we eat out and our BMI (body mass index). It’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting when you order food from restaurants. Fortunately, some restaurants are getting a little bit better in terms of posting what exactly is in their food, but it’s hard if you’re going out to eat twice a day, seven days a week and you’re interested in knowing exactly what you’re getting in terms of macronutrients, calories and any added sugar, salt and fats. So you always want to be extra careful when you go out to your favorite restaurant for a tasty meal.

The next area to cover is refined grains. I don’t think this is going to be earth shattering information for anybody but whole grains are really the name of the game when it comes to “clean” and healthy carbohydrates. I have a hard time finding a lot of people who tend to overeat on the real natural sources of carbohydrates. You know, clean carbs like barley, oats, yams and brown rice. You rarely hear people complain about not being able to control themselves from a massive overeating binge on barley. That usually doesn’t happen. Actually, I don’t think it’s ever happened. When your grains are unrefined, whole and unprocessed, you usually won’t run into problems. It’s when they become manmade and refined. That’s when the carbs tend to get more of those addictive properties where people begin to overconsume them. So, be careful on the refinement of the grains in your diet.

Basic food preparation skills is another key indicator whether you will be overweight or obese. If that’s your goal then don’t learn basic food prep skills. I’m not talking about being a professional chef either since you just need some simple basic skills. You know you have a problem if your only food prep skill is memorizing the number to your local pizza place.

It’s important to have some basic stuff on hand in your kitchen. Buy some frozen veggies and heat them up in a pot or in a stir-fry pan. Throw in your favorite protein like lean chicken or steak and you’re good to go. It doesn’t have to be a crazy 4-hour marathon in the kitchen for an elite meal. Keep it very simple. Just a few basic food prep skills can be really helpful in keeping a slim waistline.

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Being overconfident is another factor to being overweight. A lot of times when people embark on a weight loss program they tend to think they can do everything by themselves. By the time they know it, the weight has started creeping back up and they are in trouble. So, make sure to develop a support system to help you along the way. Whether it’s on websites like here on ShapeFit.com or your own dietitian, trainer, strength coach, friend, or workout partner. Whatever it is, have some sort of support system that you can check in with and that will hold you accountable.

It’s really when life gets in the way when we’re embarking on all these new things, when the problems come up. At first, you have your blinders on and you’re trudging away. Life is all good and you’re doing amazing on your weight loss plan. But then your family says, “Hey, what about us?” Your job says, “Hey, what about this project?” That’s when life gets in the way and that’s when you need your support system to help brainstorm and troubleshoot some things to get you around those obstacles.

Television is a big factor for gaining weight and staying fat. A lot of people need to cut down on TV, period! If you’re watching more than 2 hours of TV per day and you’re complaining about not getting your healthy meals in, not getting your workouts in and not getting enough sleep, then something’s wrong. I have people sit in my office every day and say they are only getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night, none of their meals are ready for the day and they can’t fit any exercise into their busy day. When I ask them what their obstacle is, they say they have no time! I wonder what’s actually taking place in their 24 hour day? There’s 1,440 minutes in a day, so what exactly are they doing during this time? So, I highly recommend cutting down on your television viewing to just a few hours per day. Try to DVR your favorite shows and then queue them up later at night for 1-2 hours of TV watching.

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Social support is huge. The people you hang out with rub off on you. Ask yourself if that’s a good or a bad thing. Make sure and surround yourself with people who are like-minded. It’s much easier to eat healthy, stay active and get adequate sleep when the people around you are doing the same thing. If the people around you are doing the exact opposite and discouraging you on your path to health and weight management success, it’s going to be very difficult for you to succeed and it’s going to be a difficult uphill battle. Ask yourself, “What are people around me doing to help me, and what are they doing to hurt me?” And talk to them about that. The only way it really comes out is when you confront them and deal with it.

Using food to manage feelings is another big one. If you’re unhappy with many areas of life, it’s easy to use food as a way to mask that unhappiness. So if you use food to manage feelings, it might not be a good situation most of the time.

Multitasking while eating will never help you stay fit and trim. Satiety cues (feeling full) really don’t come into place when you’re doing other things and eating at the same time. Whether it’s watching TV, reading a book, working on the computer, or driving, that’s more of a multitasking situation. You want to try to avoid that.

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The final thing we will cover is the issue of rigorously counting calories. The problem with regular dieting is that it can make you preoccupied with food. This tends to result in detail oriented thinking and not taking a step back and looking at the big approach of good nutrition. The same thing can happen when you’re counting calories.

Dr. John Berardi gave one of the best analogies I’ve ever heard and he said when people are making bad food choices and just relying on counting calories, that’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The ship is going down and everything is bad. But people tend to be worried about whether or not they hit their calorie quota! Another problem with calorie counting is it can result in dietary displacement. People might think they met their 1,500 calorie goal for the day but then they mentioned that they had 2 frappuccinos and a brownie. Well, that’s simply bad nutrition! Don’t worry too much about counting calories and just try to keep it simple. Try your best at keeping your food choices centered around nutrient dense whole foods on a regular basis and you will be just fine.

That’s it for part 2 in my opposite test on “How To Be Overweight and Obese”. Hopefully you have some things to think about and reflect on in your own life. Maybe you have some things you can modify and improve on to get you closer to reaching your ultimate health and fitness goals.

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About Author

Ryan D. Andrews

Ryan has a BS in Exercise Science, a Master of Arts in Exercise Physiology, a Master of Science in Nutrition, and graduated from a dietetic Internship. He specializes in exercise and sports nutrition. See my profile page for more information!

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