Obesity has become a real concern these days. Currently, it is one of the major health issues in the USA. In an article published in August 2015, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that two in every three American men are obese and in case of women, the rate is actually far worse than men. So, there is no doubt that as a society, we are in trouble when there is solid proof that the United States has the highest obesity rate in the world, hence our search for the best way to lose weight.
Whether you are obese or not, you surely are well-aware of this problem. But what you probably don’t know is that many greedy corporations have been fooling us for years and the food values given in their processed food are entangled in a web of misinterpretation. This predicament actually dragged us to this obesity epidemic. There are hundreds and thousands of articles about how to lose weight, which is just a click away. But unfortunately, most of them do not talk about the real deal regarding how we got into this mess in the first place and what we should do to get rid of it. Instead, they just suggest exercise plans that are very hard to maintain on a regular basis or give you diet plans that leave you hungry, unsatisfied and dull for the whole day.
In this article, we would try to understand the core problem of getting overweight without being too technical and propose little yet effective changes in your lifestyle so you could figure out the best way to lose weight and we as a society could become healthy again. So, bear with us even if some parts of this discussion seem unorthodox to you.
How Our Digestive System Works
Before knowing how to lose weight, you first need to get familiar with the functioning of your digestive system. Our digestive system is responsible for breaking down the food we eat into many parts so our body cells can use them. There are mainly 7 types of nutrition group that is found in our food which is; Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fat, Fibre, Vitamins, Minerals, Water. Every nutrition group has certain roles in our metabolism process. Although you may have heard that some nutrition groups like fat is totally harmful to your health, believe us. It has certain positive roles and our body system has evolved to ensure our survival in the best way possible. However, there should be a balance and it is true for all the nutrition groups.
Our nerves and hormone system work together to control our digestion system. Together, they send and receive signals within our gastrointestinal tract and keep constant communication with our brain to ensure the effectiveness of the whole process. After breaking down the food items, our digestive system provides our body cells the necessary nutrition to live off and filter out waste and toxins through liver and kidneys.
Best Way to Lose Weight: Breaking Down the Problem First
The extra amount of calorie we eat but don’t burn is stored as fat for future provision of our body cell in case of emergencies. It is important to know that our insulin level has an important function in this fat storage process. A higher insulin level speeds up the fat transformation process of food calorie more than we need. Insulin also affects another hormone called “leptin,” which is very essential to the body. Leptin functions as our appetite suppressor. In other words, it signals the brain that we are not hungry when we are full and so we should stop eating. In the long term, unnatural insulin level tends to develop a condition, named Leptin-Resistance which makes our brain ignore the message of “stop eating” and so we end up eating more than we need and gain weight, as a result.
A Loophole in Our Eating Habits: Where Are We Failing?
As we identified that an imbalanced insulin level and consumption of added sugar are some of the main reasons behind the problem, let us examine why we are unable to get out of this problem and where exactly we are failing. Insulin is released by the pancreas as a reaction to an increased glucose level in the bloodstream, which is the aftermath of sugar consumption. Sugar is important since it has some positive effects on your body. However, these days, we are consuming way much sugar than we were supposed to take under the normal conditions.
Well, you might be taking a breath of relief as you’re reading this since you don’t take sugar on your tea, coffee or whatever you drink, thinking that you are safe. But the irony is that we don’t even know the exact amount of sugar we’re taking everyday because it is not branded or labeled as sugar to us. Almost every processed food marketed by the manufacturers contains added sugar, whether the product tastes sweet or not. Chips, cakes, sauce, yogurts, carbonated soda, and even chili sauces have lots of added sugar. The problem is, sugar is marketed in many names for different reasons. Added sugar (sugars which don’t come from nature) also have many names, such as fructose, dextrose, glucose, fruit juice concentrates, invert sugar, maltose and many more. However, these aren’t listed in the sugar category by the FDA to mention them in the nutrition label of a product. Instead, these added sugars are shown in the ingredient list in a decreasing weight order, not by the percentage of calories of the product.
As you know, many corporations are exploiting these rules very unethically. Some of them even use added sugar of various kinds in their products although the function of all these is the same. They do these with an intention to drop the name of the sugar far below in the ingredient list since the ingredient list is published in a decreasing order. If they had to use one kind of sugar, they would have been placed the sugar item’s name on the top of the ingredient list. So, the government has assigned the responsibility of checking and spotting these sugar names to the consumers and it can be said without any question that we consumers have failed in this matter.
Also, all the special categories of processed food marketed, healthy drinks like zero sugar beverages, and low-fat food are nothing but clever techniques used by the manufacturers. But in reality, they have all the harmful sweeteners similar to normal products.
How to Know If You Are Overweight?
How would you be able to know that whether you are overweight or not? Do you belong to the overweight group or are you just fine? There is no specific weight limit to determine this since your weight can vary according to your age, height, and race. But calculating your Body Mass Index is an efficient way to determine this matter. BMI is a mathematical formula that takes into account both a person’s height and weight to determine if they are overweight. To determine your BMI follow the formula stated below:
Your BMI= ((Your Weight in pounds ×703)÷Your Height in inches)/(Your Height in inches)
If your BMI is 25 or above then you are considered to be obese. If the BMI score is 35 or above then you are at high risk of obesity-related medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases.
How to Lose Weight Fast and Effectively – Key Solutions to the Problem
As we have we have broken down the core issues of the problem of gaining weight and how to determine if you’re overweight, now we can think of an exit strategy that could help us avoid these issues.
1. Avoid Fake Food and Cut Down on Sugar Intake
This is probably the best way to lose weight and stop the vicious cycle of sugar craving by consuming added sugar. You must completely cut down on all the fake foods and added sugar out there. In simple words, don’t consume any type of processed foods. This also includes all types of fast foods and drinks. Eat or drink homemade products only, if possible and only buy foods that are produced locally. Always check the ingredient list of every food you purchase and stay away from items that have any of the added sugar names listed here.
In case of natural sugar, you may have some every once in a while. But to get the best results, try to stay away from them. Trying natural alternative of sugar could be a viable option. Some natural substitute for sugar are:
- Raw honey
2. Reduce Your Consumption of Starchy Foods
Starches are complex carbohydrates that contain a high amount of calories and fibers. Starches are not harmful for us and some starches are actually beneficial to our health if consumed in moderate amounts. Examples of starchy foods are beans, rice, and potatoes.
However, if you are overweight, we would recommend that you avoid starchy foods because this will allow your body to burn down the stored fat muscles. When you will see some improvements, only then you can enjoy starches in a good portion. Actually, there are many healthy foods to eat when you can easily avoid starchy foods. But always remember that in the first two months, try to reduce your starch intake as much as you can. One easy strategy is having “a cheat day” every week when you could actually enjoy starches without any worries.
Also, you don’t need a calorie-calculator to lose weight. If you follow our recommended steps you can do that easily. However, it is good to take account of what you are consuming to balance the number of calories you are taking and the number of calories you are burning.
3. Eat Natural and Healthy Food
Always try to eat natural foods such as vegetables that have low carbohydrates. They are excellent because they have a very positive effect on our body. Some low-carb vegetables are Cauliflower, Broccoli, tomatoes, Cabbage, and Lettuce. You can check out the full list of low-carb vegetables here which are also the right type of food for diabetics.
4. Burn Calories
We all know we need to exercise at least 3-4 times a week. However, mere exercise is not the solution to the obesity problem as many people suggest. We are not discouraging exercise by any means. It works as a complementary course to your diet plan by burning down the extra calories you eat. Just, don’t over exercise since it will make you exhausted.
5. Never Skip Your Breakfast
Many people try to skip breakfast in an attempt to lose weight fast. However, you need to know that breakfast is the most important meal of your day and so skipping it would make you less energetic for the whole day. Moreover, it has been found that people that skip breakfast tend to eat more calories out of hunger throughout the day.
6. Beware of Unnatural Hunger
Since you already know a bit about the Leptin-Resistance effect of taking added sugar for a long time, you should also be aware of the fact that whenever you are feeling a sense of hunger, that actually could not be a natural hunger. Sugar is actually more addictive than drugs and the hunger you feel may be the effect of sugar craving. So, be aware of this type of unnatural hunger and avoid eating because of this urge. Generally, when you are truly hungry you can feel little growling on your stomach.
7. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle for Reduced Stress
It is also important to be stress-free in order to combat obesity. Depression and high stress are highly correlated with heavy eating and obesity-related issues. Leading a healthy lifestyle can help relieve any personal or occupational stress. Getting up early in the morning, sleeping early, exercising regularly and routinely traveling can help a lot in releasing any unnecessary stress.
Finally, it can be said that a positive attitude, some knowledge, and your willpower can help you fight obesity. Be hopeful about your future and don’t take any mental stress. Eat natural, stay natural and we can hope that we can get rid of this obesity epidemic together.