Has your scale steadily increased since COVID-19? You’re not alone. Gaining weight this past year has been epidemic, causing major setbacks to health and happiness. Many dine-in restaurants closing, gyms shutting down, and unprecedented stress has resulted in a lot of stress eating and comfort foods! Consequences were inevitable.
4 out of 5 Americans are now medically overweight! And those with a BMI over 30 (obesity), even if under age 60, are twice as likely to end up in critical care from COVID-19 as those of normal weight. This news is a wake up call that being overweight is even more dangerous than previously thought.
And, although a vaccine is an option during 2021, vaccines work best in young, normal weight individuals. Being overweight impairs the body’s immune system, making COVID-19 infections more common in the obese and more serious, while also reducing the antibody response to vaccines.
With COVID-19 in our midst, it’s never been more important to control our weight! However, most Americans are overweight, in spite of the health risks. Why would something as illogical as excessive weight gain occur? Because weight gain is automatic, while significant, lasting weight loss through calorie restriction and exercise is virtually impossible for most people.
Consider these facts:
Fact # 1. Women, since the 1970’s, have gained over 1 lb per year on average!
The typical woman in the 1970’s weighed 135 lbs at age 25. Thirty years later, at age 55, that same woman weighs 170 and has gained 35 lbs! Ugh! That much weight gain can be devastating when clothes don’t fit, knees hurt, and self-confidence dwindles. Current weight trends for both men and women are devastating to good health.
Fact #2. An excess of just 13 extra calories per day causes over 1 pound of fat gain each year!
The average adult burns about 2,100 calories each day. The weight gain epidemic is the result of storing an extra 1% or 13 calories per day EXTRA per year over 30 years. (JAMA, Jan 6, 2010. Vol 303, No. 1, p. 65)
Note: Adding 13 calories to your day’s diet is simple, just eat an extra ¼ of a small cookie or just 1 potato chip.
Unfortunately, food intake tends to “creep” upward over time! Research shows we tend to eat a little more year after year… and sometimes we eat A LOT more… if that’s the case, the situation can get scary! On the other side of the calorie equation, with aging, our bodies tend to burn fewer calories each year. No wonder people are gaining 1, 5, 10, or more pounds per year.
Fact #3. Significant weight loss IS possible with powerful tools and strategies!
It is quite easy to experience “the calorie storage disease”, resulting in chronic weight gain. For most people, it’s simple. Just eat what sounds good and get a year older. The weight gain is automatic. However, to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight long term, there are 3 key areas that must be managed.
#1: Appetite control
Appetite is anything that motivates you to put calories in your mouth. Stomach growling hunger is obvious. The tempting smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies is another. TV commercials, candy bars at the check out counter, or watching a friend eat a favorite snack can all be temptations. Enjoying high calorie comfort foods after a tiring, stressful day are a reminder that we “love” our food and we may be using food as our antidepressant and stress reliever!
These common cravings and desires for favorite foods and drinks often sabotage dieters. Fortunately, with modern medical science, we now know more about controlling appetite and cravings than ever before! And each person’s appetite is different. Your personal appetite must be understood and controlled! Whether it’s stress eating, sugar cravings, out of control eating, or just plain hunger, we can help!
#2: Metabolism Support
Many factors slow the metabolism and decrease calorie burning. For example, Americans are becoming a bit less active each year. Over time, there are fewer sports activities, less manual labor, and more opportunities to sit rather than walk. To add to the problem, age, hormone deficiencies, certain medications, nutrient deficiencies, stress, certain diseases, fatigue, and lack of sleep all slow the metabolism.
If you have low energy or have had unwanted weight gain, you likely have had a slowing of your metabolism. An unhealthy metabolism must be addressed from a biochemistry standpoint for successful weight loss. Your metabolism is unique to you and is different from your friends. I believe thoughtful evaluation of metabolism tendencies is essential when I design personalized weight loss plans for my patients. Your metabolism is a powerful health factor, and it matters when It comes to weight loss!
#3: Nutritional Intake
All calories are NOT the same. “Junk food” is called that for a reason! Nutritional deficiencies are a common reason for weight gain. Determining your personal nutrition needs and then designing an individualized plan with high quality foods and supplements will give you the best chance of becoming trim, fit and healthy. Many self-diets cause worsening of malnutrition. Your nutrition needs are unique to you. Knowing your nutritional needs and using nutritional science to design your plan is a first step in determining a path to success. And trust me, just eating what sounds tasty is NOT a good plan!
If you are like many of our patients, life is generally well managed… except in the area of weight! If you are struggling with unwanted, progressive weight gain, consider how an excessive appetite, a sluggish metabolism, and poor quality nutrition have played a role. These factors can be and must be understood and managed for success.
Being trim, fit and healthy are keys to living a great life, while avoiding the common epidemics in America! Don’t settle for less! Great health is ALWAYS worth the effort.
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M.
P.S. – Remember, at the Center for Nutrition, we have over 25 years of experience assisting overweight individuals in their pursuit of weight loss and health. Let our experience with over 30,000 patients losing well over 500,000 lbs go to work for you. Call us for a free initial consultation to learn more.