Lose Weight, Exercise More, Live Healthier, Longer
If you have been watching the news and your waistline more closely these days, you are not alone. More Americans are now getting serious about losing extra weight, and Santa Clarita weight loss experts are providing the information and resources local residents are looking for.
It is about time we got serious. More than a third of adults in the United States are now obese, or grossly overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, according to the latest statistics available from the National Centers for Disease Control (2010).
California’s obesity rate is about 23.8 percent, 15 percent lower than the national average. Yet statistics show the national weight-gain trend sped up significantly, even in California and the Santa Clarita Valley, from 1990 through 2010.
Check out the CDC maps showing adult obesity growth from 1985 to 2010. They dramatically illustrate Americans’ battle with the bulge.
Obesity is Dangerous and Expensive
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, among the leading preventable killers. The key word here is “preventable.”
Overweight or obese people have much higher medical costs. In 2008, obesity-related medical costs reached an estimated $147 billion, according to the CDC. People who were obese paid $1,429 more in medical costs than people who were not obese. Treating obesity and diabetes are huge moneymakers for the medical profession and pharmaceutical companies.
At the same time, losing weight and staying fit is becoming more important to Americans. Many are less willing to eat anything just because it tastes good. They are reading labels because they want to know what good nutrients and bad chemicals are in their food. They want full disclosure about where and how the food we all eat is grown, raised, caught, butchered, processed and prepared.
Recent reports showed McDonald’s market share had dropped by 1 percent while competitors Burger King and Wendy’s increased theirs. McDonald’s has been slower to respond to public demand for healthier choices on the menu, and paid the price.
Other recent figures have shown soft drink manufacturers are experiencing flat or lower profits now compared to just a few years ago, and consumers sell healthier alternatives without high-fructose corn syrup and/or artificial sweeteners.
No Magic Bullet to Weight Loss
While it has long been a national pastime to try to speed up weight loss by using sketchy pills and fad diets, most are no more effective than the dieter’s self-discipline and willpower. Worse, losing weight in a crash diet can cause all kinds of serious health side effects, and the weight loss often does not last.
Other dieters are getting serious about losing weight the safe way – by changing their attitude, lifestyle, eating habits and exercise habits. Health experts say the best way to lose weight is gradually and safely.
There is no magic bullet, no secret sauce to losing weight. Foods such as “diabetic brownies” cater to obese, pre-diabetic and diabetic people looking for an easy, fast result.
Losing weight safely and for the long term requires a change in mindset and a commitment to following through.
It could mean committing to as little as eating smaller portions, or eliminating a select few weight-gaining foods in your diet, and maybe replacing them with a few healthier items. Then stick to the change. Before you know it, good new habits will have replaced the old.
Organizations like Weight Watchers have developed successful weight-loss programs, methods, goals, incentives and rewards over many decades. These programs have shown they work when the dieter sticks to the program. Weight Watchers has three chapters dedicated to Santa Clarita weight loss.
Losing Weight Can Be Fun
Losing weight does not have to be a total drag. It can be fun, especially when you do it with others on your mutual support team.
You can get together with a group and challenge yourselves to lose so much weight in a given timeframe. These “Lose-a-Ton” contests are popular among employee and church groups, school organizations, civic groups and others. They make good fund-raisers, too.
In fact, KHTS co-sponsored a “Lose-a-Ton” Santa Clarita weight loss campaign in 2005 with Curves. Other local sponsors and even then-Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth and Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Marsha McLean joined in, and the grand prizewinner won a beautiful diamond ring.
U.S. and Santa Clarita Weight Loss Resources
For lots of U.S. and Santa Clarita weight loss resources, click here.