Are you fatter than this time last year?

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If the answer is yes, ask yourself if you’re also sicker, in pain, taking more medicines, are moving less, and eating poor quality food?

When I sat down to write this article I was thinking about how I process diet information. As a Fitness professional my training is to discuss BMI, calories, body fat measuring, measuring body parts, and macronutrient intake. Have I lost you yet?

I enjoy food and I don’t want to be constantly counting calories or have the time or inclination to research all the scientific knowledge available. Trends, change as fast as I process the information. I have been through a few exercise decades, taken aerobics in bare feet, worn Reeboks in the 8o’s, done my share of running and pushing my body to pain levels that have sent me to the chiropractor or osteopath. Today like many adults I just want to feel good and live a long healthy life.

My concern today is not about training people to reach their minimum body fat but to help prevent obesity and morbidity rates. Younger people and children are gaining weight and older people are making excuses. There are ways to avoid weight gain while still enjoying food. An awareness of what you are consuming daily in the form of calories, healthy fats, as opposed to low fat, and avoiding artificial sweeteners is important and should be taught at a young age so that it becomes ingrained. For me food means pleasure, cooking for people I love, sharing conversation, food, and the occasional glass of wine!

Supposedly our quality of life has improved but are we really any healthier than our great grandparents, who were eating less processed foods, moving more, drinking less toxic fluids, and consuming way less sugar?

It isn’t hard to be healthy, it’s a choice. January is the time of year when New Year’s resolutions are made and gyms become packed. Many resolutions don’t last longer than a month, possibly because people choose to exercise more than they can fit into their life or choose rigid diets that can’t last longer than a few weeks. Unfortunately for many people, they are also given unrealistic goals, especially if there has been a lifetime of obesity or other conditions and medical reasons that make weight management difficult. If a person has increased their fat cell number it will make maintaining an “ideal,” weight extremely hard.

If we bring sugar into the picture and consider that less than one hundred years ago we were eating about four pounds of sugar a year per person, compared to today when the Department of Agriculture reports that the average American now consumes between 150 to 170 pounds of sugar each year. No wonder diabetes, depression, obesity, cancer, tooth decay, and premature aging are becoming more prevalent today.

I have been a Personal trainer since 2002 and I have taught Pilates since 2007. I have seen people gain weight, lose weight and I have seen various diets and weight loss programs. I have also seen many people stay around the same weight.  I am writing from my observation but those people are rarely on diets. They eat in moderation, drink in moderation, and stay active. They may go to a form of exercise 3-4 times a week but they also garden, take care of their homes, walk their pets, stay active with family and grandchildren and many are involved with helping others.

When you consider your new year’s resolutions for 2017 think about the changes you can make that will really fit into your daily life. We are a generation who will possibly have a shorter life expectancy due to the quality of food we are eating and lack of movement. As well as exercising take the time to read labels at the grocery store, or ask if your meat contains hormones and antibiotics when eating in a restaurant.

There are the usual, don’t fight for the nearest space but instead park your car further away, take the stairs more frequently and don’t stay seated for hours advice. In the Houston climate, it is not always pleasant to be outside for long but we have beautiful weather for the next few months, compared to many parts of the US, so why not take a walk with a friend or family member in the evening. A fifteen-minute walk after dinner will help you digest food better than sitting, you’ll sleep better and it is social unlike headphones or staring at a TV screen. You can still go to the gym a couple of times a week but you’re more like to stay with twice a week long term than five times a week unless you have no other commitments such as ………a life.

Your body is made up of 80% water, so consider that before drinking another coffee, soda or brightly colored sports drink. Also, drink water when you think you’re hungry as we can live longer without food than we can water. My new year’s resolution is to drink more water and for those of you who like apps, download a water Ap’ on your smartphone. It will help with cellulite, headaches, clear skin, constipation, and hunger.

Try and buy fresher, organic food from the periphery of the store and keep the packaged, processed foods to a minimum. Read your labels for sugar; be aware of how sugar is disguised in foods as corn syrup, honey, fructose, and artificial sweeteners. Choose antibiotic-free food, avoid growth-enhancing drugs in food and animals, avoid pesticides and junk food. Check sodium, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats.

There are thousands of diet and fitness books, a billion-dollar a year supplement industry, yet in 2015 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) gathered between 2007 and 2012, revealed a prediction by John Hopkins, that around 75 percent of US men and 67 percent of US women would be either obese or overweight.

Contact Our Cypress Pilates Studio Houston at West End Cypress Pilates

If you are trying to lose 20lbs or less I will be offering a weight loss exercise class and weigh in at my studio starting on 11th January at 9.00 am for 8 weeks.  The total cost for this commitment will be $120 with no refunds. For private pilates sessions in Houston please text or call: Katharine at 832 867 1059