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Anti-Aging: Weight Loss Is A Life-Or-Death Decision For An Obese, Aging Nation
Did you know that half of all Americans are considered overweight, and fully a third -- men, women and children -- are clinically obese? This means that there’s a high likelihood that you have a weight problem, and you're at or beyond middle age, you really need to get serious about a weight loss program.
The reason older people need to get a handle on their weight and get rid of those love-handles is the connection between advancing age, excess poundage and degenerative diseases. With each soda, smoothie or coffee concoction you gulp down, the likelihood of developing diabetes or something even worse goes up.
Obesity is at the top of the list of health problems facing America today, contributing to more than 300,000 deaths a year, and nearly $150 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity due to cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and a dozen other conditions either caused by or made worse by insatiable appetites for sweet and fattening foods. We have super-sized almost the entire nation.
The problem gets worse as you get older, because the damage to your body from sugar and high caloric intake increases exponentially with each decade. If you are overweight -- even a little -- avoiding sugary and fatty foods in any amount is the mandatory first step in a weight loss program. But even if you're not overweight, avoiding sweet and fattening food should be part of every anti-aging diet. Sugars and cooked fats also help bring about all those disease conditions when you're at your normal weight too, and they also contribute to the skin problems that make you look older than you ought to.
For example, did you know that just one regular 12-oz soda contains nine (that’s 9) of those little sugar packets they give you in coffee shops? That’s at least 150 calories. And speaking of coffee shops, those delicious blended coffee drinks -- not counting the whipped cream -- can run anywhere from 250 to 500 calories. We should be running on maybe 1200 to 2000 calories a day max, and just one of those coffee drinks supplants a quarter of it. After that, there’s not much caloric space left for the salad, veggies, skinless chicken breast and fruit dessert that you actually need in a healthy weight loss program.
Here are a few ideas for a weight loss program that works:
• Don’t shop on impulse. Make a list and stick to it.
• Get rid of the sodas and stop dropping in to your local coffee house. Invest in a good juicer and make your own veggie, and occasional, fruit drinks. Raw veggie juice is not fattening, and is incredibly good for you, especially the green veggies. Carrots are hi-carb, and so is fruit, so go easy on them.
• Knock off the sweet or fatty snacks, and top up instead with hi-fiber snacks such as fruit, veggies or a low-cal, hi-fiber snack bar. Eat as much raw veggies as you can whenever you want.
• Never use salad dressing unless you dilute it by 50% with vinegar or lemon juice. It tastes just as good and has half the oil. If you’re out, ask for your dressing on the side with lots of lemon slices.
• Alcohol is fattening. Just avoid it, period. It lowers blood sugar and makes you hungry. Alcohol has no useful place in a weight-loss program.
• A full meal should be half raw or steamed veggies, a quarter protein and a quarter starch, and everything low-fat. If you must have a dessert, have a small portion of fruit.
• Add some natural weight-loss supplements to your diet, such as tonalin CLA and chromium picolinate. Weight loss supplements help curb your appetite and block absorption or formation of fat.
• Exercise, exercise, exercise. It doesn’t matter how much or how little, just do it -- as much as you comfortably can. Walks are the best if you have a choice -- just a mile burns 100 calories. And if you can get out, exercise in a park or in the country. [Editor's Note: see Exercise Outdoors to Beat Stress and Depression]
• If you’ve got the bucks, for goodness sakes, hire an experienced personal trainer and do exactly what he says. One with successful experience working with people in your age group is the best.
• Tell your physician, trainer, physiotherapist or any pro in the field that you’re going on a weight loss and exercise program, and you want some help setting realistic goals. How much weight can you lose, and in what period of time? Make these your goals, and try to attain them.
A good anti-aging weight loss program will extend both your life and the quality of that life.
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