One of the curiosities in America is WHY so many people are overweight. We all know that excess weight is damaging to health, self-esteem, relationships, and the pocketbook. So why don’t more people simply decide to lose weight and be done with it? After all, we’re the nation that first put a man on the moon. We are perhaps the most productive, knowledgeable, and capable group of people that has ever existed on planet earth. Yet rates of obesity have skyrocketed. On the surface, it doesn’t make sense.
Did you know that 100% of Americans, eating common American foods, are NOT getting recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals? Did you know that those same Americans who obtain the lowest amounts of vitamins and minerals gain the most weight? Both of these facts have been proven through research, and they are not going to change any time soon.
Stress… We feel it frequently, and, if we are honest, we often accidentally “invite it” into our lives. Yet one thing is certain…. no one likes stress!
I suspect you have felt unwanted stress in your life this week. Think about it… Maybe it has been every day this week? Or, perhaps you are the rare individual who has managed life so well that unwanted stress stays at a distance and peace and joy are your “norm”.
Regardless of stress in your past, know that if unmanaged stress prevails in your future it will almost assuredly take its toll on your health. In fact, I’ve seen this happen with such regularity in my patients, I’ve nicknamed stress as the health and weight loss “Terminator”. You see, stress (without a preventive plan) “terminates” optimum health and weight control through 4 relentless hormonal assaults that must be managed!
Ever experience a “consuming desire” or “yearning” for a particular food or snack? Maybe even when you absolutely “know” you are not hungry? But still, you just can’t get the thought of your favorite treat out of your mind until you indulge… If so, you have experienced what researchers call a “food craving”. Cravings for “wrong foods” (chocolate, salty snacks, crunchy treats, sweets, sodas, high fat items, pasta, etc.) are one of the most challenging and disturbing symptoms of my patients seeking weight loss. And until food cravings are controlled, meaningful long-term weight loss remains only an illusion.
Appetite goes far beyond the stomach-growling ache we know as “hunger”… you know, the gnawing feeling when our stomach is “crying” for food. Appetite is actually any motivation or desire to put calorie-containing substances into our mouths. It is increasingly rare for us in the U.S. to be so “hungry” that our stomach is in pain. Since food is literally everywhere and readily available, we choose to avoid that feeling by eating in advance.
Calories (the measure of energy contained in food) are the ONLY source of power for humans. In fact, calories energize human metabolism and human function in all its glory. Whether building muscle and bone, thinking thoughts, growing hair, or fighting disease-causing viruses and bacteria, only calories can meet our energy needs.