Nearly three-quarters of adults in America are considered overweight or obese. It’s not just a geographically large nation – the people are large, too.
According to the Body Mass Index scale, the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination found that 73 percent of American adults are classified as overweight or obese.
Body Mass Index, or BMI, measures height and weight to determine whether a person is underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. It isn’t a perfect measurement, but it can provide some insight.
Carrying too much weight increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. But it also affects daily life. It can be difficult to stay active, get good sleep, or maintain adequate energy levels when you have extra pounds.
Several factors contribute to weight gain, including psychological ones. But the most obvious are poor diet and too little exercise. Age can also be a factor.
It is easier to gain weight and tougher to lose it as you get older. Lean muscle mass steadily declines over the years, and the change becomes more noticeable after age 40. Muscle burns calories all day and night, so having less muscle can lead to easier weight gain.
You can usually feel it if you’re gaining weight. You’ll feel your pants fit a little more snug before you have to move your belt notch, for example. Just like the medium T-might look a little smaller before you upsize to the large.
If you’ve noticed your weight creeping up lately, don’t wait until you’re overweight to do something about it.
Begin focussing on limiting unhealthy carbs and excess calories. Research suggests that reducing carbs, particularly sugar and refined starches, makes the body burn more fat for energy.
A few small changes can curb intake. First, look at what you drink. Soda, fruit juices, specialty coffees, and other sweetened beverages can add up calories fast. They also don’t typically register for people the same way that food does.
You can also try switching refined grains to whole grains, like whole wheat toast and oatmeal, instead of white bread.
Some other habits that may help curb calorie intake caused by overeating include:
Using a smaller bowl or a mug of cereal, or a smaller dinner plate
Using measuring cups to control servings of food
Not eating in front of the television and instead focusing on mindful eating