Though some environmental and heredity factors can contribute to obesity, poor lifestyle choices remains the prime culprit for obesity. With increasing rate of obesity, people are indulging more into rigorous diets; without realizing that the results are short-lived, that the wretched fats will return to your body in no time and that they are contributing to a Weight-Loss Market worth $60.9 billion* (in the USA alone).
Effects of obesity
Apart from distorting your appearance, obesity has far more hard-hitting effects on your body. Some of them are:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Heart disease
- Early death
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Metabolic syndrome
- Fatty liver disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gallbladder disease
Apart from the direct impact on your health, obesity places a burden on family and puts your social acceptance in jeopardy. Obese people often fall victim to harassment and outright discrimination, thus leading to mental trauma and low self esteem.
In order to get rid of their daily ordeal, obese people often fall prey to fad diet plans, as a result of which the popularity of such programs are soaring every day. Along with the overwhelming amount of dieting information available, there is also a list of diet myths.
Myth #1 Eating fat makes you plump.
Truth: Even though loading up on pizza and ice cream can certainly contribute to weight gain, still there is no need to avoid all fats. Some healthy fats, like those found in fish and nuts, can make an essential part of a healthy diet and help the brain to function more efficiently.
Myth #2 Carbs are bad
Truth: Not all carbs are bad. Eliminate those high in sugar, but include foods made with whole grains, high fiber carbs and fruits and vegetables for a well-rounded diet.
Myth #3 Skipping breakfast saves calories
Truth: Those who have lost weight and maintained a lean body on a long term basis are found to eat breakfast every day. Skipping breakfast only leads to increased cravings and possible binging later in the day.
Myth #4 You can lose weight by switching to sugar substitutes
Truth: Fake sugar tricks your brain by giving it sweetness without the calories. Your brain signals to the body that it hasn't acquired the calories yet and your craving for foods continues, which leads to overall higher intake of calories.
Myth #5 Dieting is the only way to lose weight
Truth: Dieting might help you to lose some weight initially, but the only way to truly transform your body and stay healthy is to combine it with exercise. Regular exercise will boost your metabolism, build muscle and change your BMI, as well as look after your heart.
The Cost of Diet Plans vs. Healthy Eating
Some may argue that the cost of healthy eating is higher than your average meals due to the high cost of lean meats and fresh foods. However, following a healthy meal plan on your own is much cheaper than following a commercial weight loss program. While diet plans like Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig ranges within $230 – $500 per month, healthy foods will cost you on average only $150-$200 per month.
Develop Healthy Habits
Experts say that yo-yo dieting is worse for your health than not dieting at all. The best bet is to stay away from fad diets. A healthy lifestyle includes a balance of nutrient-dense whole foods, including lean meats, low fat dairy, whole grains, healthy oils, fruits and vegetables. Combining a healthy diet with daily exercise is the only long term solution to lose weight and keep off from ailments. While the idea of a diet plan may be a first step towards developing a slimmer, healthier self, long term success comes as a result of embracing a continued healthy lifestyle that will last a lifetime.
NOTE: Always consult with your physician before embarking on any diet and exercise program.