Let’s be honest. In today’s age, it’s easier to gain weight than ever before. We need look no further than the sheer percentages of overweight and obese individuals in the United States. Why is this so? Why are we now so much more likely to gain weight? More importantly, what can we do to counter it?
Think about the last time you went to your favorite restaurant. Did the amount of food you were served resemble the size of a plate you’d prepare at home? Or did it look more like a “who can eat the most” competition? Portion sizes have become progressively larger in recent years. Perhaps this is due to a common misconception that more is better, or maybe it’s due to restaurants competing for customers.What this creates is a tendency to overeat and to get accustomed to these large serving sizes.
So how do you clean your plate (like our parents taught us) and still maintain a healthy weight? The answer is simple…limit the amount of food on your plate. Try ordering the lunch-sized portion of the meal if it’s offered. You could also split a meal with your date. The goal is to try and keep the amount of food on your plate to a normal-sized portion.
Adding to the obesity epidemic is the ease with which we can go and grab something quick. There seems to be a fast food restaurant on every corner. These meals are ready-to-eat, typically high in saturated fats, and usually lacking in nutrient density. It’s hard in such a fast paced society to take time out to eat healthy. It usually requires some willpower and a little extra time. One way to ensure you control what you eat is to regularly carry healthy snacks with. When you get the urge to throw down a burger and some french fries, opt for a healthy snack instead.
Another problem today is our lack of physical activity. Things are constantly getting easier. When was the last time you got up to change the channel? We take the elevator or escalator instead of the stairs. We park as close as we can to entrance of the grocery store. Even in the office, we opt for a phone call or email instead of the one-minute walk to our co-worker’s space. And the busier we get, the less time we make for working out. This requires a conscious effort to ensure we set time aside for physical activity. Make the decision to do a little more physical activity instead of a little less.
Finally, most people simply aren’t aware of the negative effects of many foods. Advertisements for unhealthy snacks and foods are abundant, but nutrition education is lacking. Seek credible sources of health and fitness information like Jackie’s Arc and TD Fitness.
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, but small changes can help you make the transition. Your body is the machine you use the most. Do all you can to take care of it and it will take care of you!
About the Author: Terence Taylor is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, founder and owner of TD Fitness. Follow him and TD Fitness on Facebook and Twitter.