I was always a fat kid. As far back as I can remember, I was overweight. Grade school, Junior High and High School. It is tough being an overweight kid. Parents, don’t let a child’s apparent happy attitude fool you. It is tough.
Children are resilient, and they always strive to make their parents happy, so even if they are unhappy, they rarely let on. That’s what I did. I pretended everything was ok and my parents never pushed the issue and I never complained.
You don’t get picked for neighborhood games. Games like baseball, basketball, tag, it doesn’t matter, you are always left behind, or chosen because there is no one else. Dating…What? There were no dates. You get very self conscious as it goes on, so you stop trying to fit in. How much rejection can you take? This went on through high school. We are talking about 17-18 years of this right? I decided to go to college, but I would chose a college away from home. My parents worried about me, it turns out they always felt they were protecting me by keeping me close and not pushing me to exercise and letting me eat whatever I wanted
The Facts are in:
According to the CDC’s National Center for Health, over 70 million adults in U.S. are obese (35 million men and 35 million women). 99 million adults are overweight (45 million women and 54 million men). Additionally, the CDC reports that among children obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds. They report that 13.7 million children are obese or overweight.
Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese. 38 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2019. Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016 and the numbers are increasing.
Obesity has been upgraded to a chronic disease. However, thinking about obesity as a disease could make you seek medication for this condition.
It is important to note that when you talk about obesity, you’re also talking about being overweight. Being overweight is a stone’s throw from being obese.
The difference between overweight and obese
Kidney.org states: Being overweight or obese are both terms for having more body fat than what is considered healthy. Both are used to identify people who are at risk for health problems from having too much body fat. However, the term “obese” generally means a much higher amount of body fat than “overweight.”
They further go on to state: More people are overweight today than ever before. In fact, almost 70 percent of Americans aged 20 and older are overweight. And of those, about one third are considered obese. Unfortunately, the problem has become much more common in children, too. Surprisingly, 17 percent of children aged 6-19 are obese, and 10 percent of children aged 2-5.
Causes for Obesity
Kidney.org again states that people become overweight or obese from eating more calories than they burn up. Some things that may lead to this imbalance include:
- Poor diet / Poor food choices
- Lack of exercise
- An inactive lifestyle (spending a lot of time watching television, playing video games, working on a computer, working late hours at the office, driving rather than walking)
The CDC adds: that food and physical activity environment, education and skills, and food marketing and promotion are also causes for obesity
Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. Obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. If Obesity is serious, then being overweight is also just as serious because, if unchecked or not attended to you can easily move from overweight to obese. Thus it is important to Diet Rite at an early age and continue on through your adult life.
How to fight Obesity and Overweight
With the daily crush of media coverage about obesity, weight, and health, it’s easy for people to feel overwhelmed. Part of the reason is there are so many “experts” on the subject, but almost no two say the same thing or say it simply enough so it’s easy to implement and follow.
There are simple steps you can take to help get and keep your weight in check and lower the risk of many chronic diseases. The first step is to educate yourself. Information is power, and good information is invaluable.
First you educate yourself on healthy food choice. If you educate yourself on healthy food choices, you will begin to adopt a healthier eating lifestyle. Educating yourself will teach why certain foods are healthy, what benefits they provide your body. Once you are aware of the benefits you’ll receive, it will make incorporating these foods into your eating habits easier.
This is a great website to begin. Diet Rite will always keep your information simple, easy to understand and consistent. Often we get so wrapped up in what experts are saying that we miss when they contradict themselves. Diet Rite doesn’t contradict themselves. Your information will be consistent and consistency is key to accomplishing your goals.
When adopting a healthy eating lifestyle often keeping your motivation is cited as one of, if not the hardest part of achieving your goal. However, Diet Rite understands this simple fact. As you educate yourself, you will naturally begin to motivate yourself.
If you understand why you are doing something, it makes it easier to do. Understanding for yourself and not because someone is telling you to do it. Thus, as you educate yourself more about why certain foods are helpful to you, it becomes easier to incorporate them.
I myself hated beans. As a child I took every opportunity to avoid beans. Rather I opted for all the things you shouldn’t eat and I didn’t practice portion control and moderation. The results, I remained overweight for decades. I’ve had years of poor eating habits that seemed hard to break.
As I educated myself and continue to educate myself it gets easier. Writing articles like this not only helps you, it helps me to learn and stay motivated. It really is that simple. It helps me and I hope you as well to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and avoid unnecessary doctor visits.
Healthy eating is a key to good health as well as maintaining a healthy weight. It’s not only what and how much we eat but also, it seems, how we eat is important.
What to Eat
- Whole grains (whole wheat, steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa)
Why? According to WebMD Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium).
A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cance
- Vegetables (a colorful variety-not potatoes)
Why? According to Choose my plate.gov Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C. Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic disease
- Whole fruits (not fruit juices)
Why? Again, according to WebMD Fresh fruits are loaded with fiber, antioxidants and other great nutrients.
Studies show that eating fruit whole gives you the most of this food group’s potential benefits, like helping to prevent heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
- Nuts, seeds, beans,
Why? As per Cooks cook: Beans, nuts and seeds are all plant-based sources of protein. We, DRS, promotes this as the best eating plan to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia.
Along with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and olive oil, the plant-based proteins round out this healthy diet. Beans are loaded with fiber, which is one of the reasons they are so healthy.
In addition to keeping you ‘regular,’ fiber can help stabilize cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Nuts and seeds are well-known for their healthy fat, and should be used to replace less healthy trans fat in the diet. Nut butters are a better option for toast than hard margarine!
- Plant oils (olive and other vegetable oils)
Why? According to Choose my plate.gov Oils are the major source of MUFAs (Monounsaturated) and PUFAs (Polyunsaturaated Fat Acids) in the diet.
PUFAs contain some fatty acids that are necessary for health – called “essential fatty acids.” Because oils contain these essential fatty acids, there is an allowance for oils in the food guide. Our personal choice is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.. cold pressed and the go to oil.
- Fish and Poultry
Why? According to the Department of Health Eating fish is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential nutrients keep our heart and brain healthy.
Two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Our bodies don’t produce omega-3 fatty acids so we must get them through the food we eat. Diet Rite recommends oily fish.. Salmon, Sardines (in oil) Mackeral/
According to Better Health: Eating chicken regularly can actually help you lose weight in a healthy way. Apart from protein, chicken is also chock full of calcium and phosphorous. Both these minerals help keep your bones healthy. Eating chicken regularly also cuts the risk of arthritis.
Remember to eat baked or roasted chicken, preferably skinless.
Drink water or other beverages that are naturally calorie-free.
Foods and Drinks to limit or avoid
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks)
Why? Healthline states Drinking large amounts of sugar can lead to serious health problems. Sugary beverage intake is significantly associated with weight gain and obesity.
Women who drink one or more sugary beverages daily have almost twice the risk of developing diabetes as those who drink less than one sugary beverage daily.
- Fruit juice (no more than a small amount per day)
Why? According to UC-Davis Fruit juice is a more concentrated source of sugars than whole fruit.
A 2013 study in the British Medical Journal found that the more fruit juice you drink, the higher your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whereas eating whole fruits was associated with a lower risk of the disease.
- Potatoes (baked or fried)
Why? Better Nutrition.com States: Potatoes seem like a harmless vegetable, but they are quickly converted to glucose (sugar).
They can spike blood sugar and insulin levels, and may contribute to weight gain, which is why many people on low-carb or low-glycemic diets avoid potatoes
- Red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed meats (salami, ham, bacon, sausage)
Why? Again WebMD statesFor heart disease, the answer is pretty clear. Some red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease.
- Other highly processed foods, such as fast food
Why? According to the Department of Health: Eating junk food on a regular basis can lead to an increased risk of obesity and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and some cancers.
Many fast foods contain high amounts of trans fats and sodium. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Trans fats can be found in many foods – including fried foods like doughnuts, and baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and other spreads as well as burgers and French Fries
There are many sources of an overall healthy diet. Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Pyramid and Healthy Eating Plate. The Nutrition Source, a companion website to The Obesity Prevention Source, also offers a quick guide to choosing healthy drinks, as well as recipes and quick tips for eating right.
Naturally, we recommend the Diet Rite System as a great source of education, inspiration and meal ideas. Diet Rite also offers it’s Meal Tracker and Weight Tracker tools that helps you track your meals and create healthy meals for yourself.. Try our tools when you have a chance. You will also find the best inspiration and support for you.
Like a recovering alcoholic fight against the urge to drink every day. Like a recovering drug addict fight against the urge to indulge every single day. So it is with poor eating habits. You must fight against poor food choices every single day, you must be stronger than your excuses every day.
…Back to our story
So I head off to college. I was supposed to stay with “Family friends” (Part of the protection)… They never showed up at the airport. Here I am in the middle of Texas with no one around. no money and no where to stay.
The luck of youth and college, I urge everyone to go. I find a job on campus, I find a place right off campus in walking distance and a two mile bayou nearby. Because I was young and out to prove to myself, my parents and everyone never picked me growing up, I worked hard.
I lifted weights and I ran that two mile bayou every day. I lost more than 100 pounds (Yeah!) but because I never educated myself about proper eating, I gained a lot back… smh. I’m older now and I’m working to lose it again.
I have lost a lot of it again (I was 179 before the pandemic), but this time I did it through educating myself and like the recovering alcoholic and former drug addict, I fight against bad food choices everyday. I have beaten most of my bad food choices and poor eating habits.
I joined Diet Rite! I believe in Diet Rite with all my heart and I thank them for allowing me to share my story with you.
Let Diet Rite help you by reminding you and me to Look before you Eat! This will allow you to make better food choices. Let them help you be stronger than your excuses.
Eating Lifestyle (Diet Rite)