It’s official. In June the American Medical Association officially declared obesity a chronic disease moving it from the category of a major public health problem into the arena of a “real” medical issue, deserving of all the firepower the medical, public health and private-sector communities can provide. It is hoped the new designation will increase the range of medical interventions available and encourage insurance companies to increase coverage for treatment for the more than one-third of Americans now considered obese. The great news? Obesity is a disease we can all fight and win.
So what can people who suffer from obesity or who want to take preventative action do now to take control of this disease? There are plenty of options, but no single, silver bullet solution. Start by trying some of recommendations below until you find the combination of factors and motivators that work best for you. And keep trying. Like any chronic disease, obesity requires persistence to overcome.
- Increase your calorie and nutrition knowledge. Do you know how many calories are in your favorite meal? If you do, do you understand how many calories you should ingest per day to help you lose or maintain weight? It’s important for you to know what calories are and how they are utilized by your body. Everybody is different. Learn how your body works and what foods work best for your body. That includes understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats, white flour versus whole wheat and more.
- Move. Simply move. Prolonged sitting, like many Americans face in the workplace every day, can cause health problems including obesity. Take a break every hour to simply stand and stretch. Think about making a lunch time walk the most important part of your lunch break. Simple movement can have a big impact on the amount of calories you burn every day. When you realize how healthy the simple movements of everyday life are to your long term health, they don’t seem as dull or loathsome as they once were. So the next time you have to do the laundry, clean the house or work in the garden know that with every movement you are giving your body the gift of better health. You’ll feel better too.
- Challenge yourself. It’s proven that short term challenges can have big results and serve as the tipping point to a healthier lifestyle. There are lots of ways to participate in weight-loss and fitness challenges. ViSalus believes in the concept of challenging yourself to achieve weight-loss and fitness goals through its Body by Vi™ 90-Day Challenge. Research shows the opportunity to win cash rewards together with competition and teaming up with others can boost weight loss. That’s the centerpiece of ViSalus’ success and one of the reasons it is the number one weight-loss and fitness platform in North America. No more excuses. Get moving today.
Attribution: Steven A. Witherly, Ph.D, ViSalus Scientific Advisory Board