lose weight

The Staircase of Obesity- Why We Are Fat

Obesity

Obesity among Americans has skyrocketed over the past few decades. Recent studies show that over 2/3 of adults in the United States are either obese or overweight. This wasn’t always an issue in the United States. Between 1962 and 2014, the among of overweight Americans stayed constant. A new trend emerged. While 40% of men and 25% of women were considered overweight, the percentage of obese American’s skyrocketed. Obesity in men exponentially grew from approximately 10% in 1962 to around 35% in 2014. Similarly, women ranged from mid-teens in 1962 to over 40% in 2014.¹

Why do we have vast growth of obesity in the United States over the last 40+ years?  This is the staircase of obesity, Why are we fat.

Genetics

More often than not you have heard someone say, “I can’t lose weight, it’s in my genes!” An article by Harvard University proves that there is some merit to this claim. Over 400 genes have been identified that cause fat accumulation. There are also some Americans who have “thrifty genes”. Scientist believe these these genes allowed some early man to store fat easier and made them superior to others. Early men could survive longer without food, however, these genes are still present in some of us today, causing an undesired trait.²

Genetics definitely play a factor in the development of fat accumulation, however, it is just a stair in our staircase of obesity. The issue with genetics is that although there is some proof that genetics play a role in obesity, the exponential incline in overweight and obese American’s can’t blame genetics for this growth. Genetics can make weight harder to lose, however with proper nutrition and exercise, you can lose weight (Note, if you try dieting and exercising and can’t lose weight, you should talk to a doctor).

Outside Forces

If what’s inside our DNA doesn’t explain the rise in obesity and overweight Americans, it must come from an external factor. These external factors can be food, chemicals, lack of free time, stress, and other factors.

Food Portions

Between 1971 and 2000 the American women increased their calories by 335 (on average) and men increased by 168 calories each day. If we average these numbers and apply them over a year, that is nearly 92,000 additional calories. Studies show that 3500 extra calories more than our body’s need cause 1 pound of fat accumulation. That’s over 26 pounds of fat that our bodies take on due to this increased consumption.

What is causing this increased consumption? Portion sizes are expanding, Americans are eating out more than ever, and we have an addiction to sodas. An example of portion sizes from the Harvard study showed that the single portion calories of french fries from McDonald’s have increased by 3 times over the years from when they first introduced to their menu. Americans are also choosing to dine out much more than ever. Nearly 50% of our food budget accounts for out of house dining vs just 27% in 1970. Food portions at restaurants are far greater than at home portions, contributing to more calories.

A study using data from the USDA and Beverage Digest showed production of 12-ounce servings of soda per American went from 100 12 ounce cans of soft drinks in 1957 to over 600 12 ounce cans annually in 2000. That is 5 more cans per person over 40 years. ³ These sugary drinks can cause weight gain, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.

Another study from USDA showed that Americans aged 2 and over only drink 3.9 cups of “plain” water a day. That is 31 ounces of water per day. ⁴ Water is known to increase metabolism, decrease appetite, and increase overall health. Most studies say that 8 glasses of water each day, a total of 64 ounces.

Exercise

Americans don’t exercise nearly enough, however, studies show that nutrition is a bigger component of weight gain than lack of exercise. Only 25% of Americans get the recommended hour of moderate exercise per day. There are various reasons why we don’t exercise like we should. Television has changed our lives over the last few decades and more and more time has been dedicated to watching television, however, there is a new technology that is taking our attention away from exercise; the internet. A Zenith study showed that we spend nearly 5.5 hours a day on either television or internet.⁵

Budget cuts to gym and extracurricular activities have made it hard for our children to exercise. With exercise not being promoted at a young age, it is hard for children as they become adults to become and stay active. Childhood obesity has increased to 1 in 6 children.

Stress is another factor that is rising obesity levels in America. Employees have been working been working long hours and also haven’t been using vacation time for downtime. Studies show that those who sleep less than 8 hours suffer from obesity more than those who get 8 hours of sleep. Whether it is work-related stress or lack of sleep, both contribute to obesity.

Other Outside Forces

Smoking during pregnancy, gestational diabetes, and babies breastfed for greater than 3 months all increase likelihood of obesity later in life. Our culture is also programming our youth to be lazy and to consume more food than needed because of technology and advertisements. When obesity is forced upon our children at a young age, it makes it even more difficult to living a long and healthy life.

Summary

With over 70% of American either overweight or obese, this epidemic is causing increased costs in healthcare, decreased productivity, and shorter lifespans. It is essential that we as individuals do our part to lower this trend because the government hasn’t been able to curb the explosive growth of obesity in our population.

 

Sources:

¹https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity

²https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-people-become-overweight

³https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-diet-sodas

⁴https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400530/pdf/DBrief/7_water_intakes_0508.pdf

⁵http://www.businessinsider.com/tv-vs-internet-media-consumption-average-chart-2017-6

Descriptions and Benefits of Different Diets

Adkins, Paleo, Vegetarian, Zone, there are a ton of different diets out there. What are the benefits and key characteristics of each?

Adkins Diet:

share-logo

The Adkins Diet was created by nutritionist Roger Adkins. The diet is a classic example of a low carbohydrate diet. The goal is to limit the amount of carbs and promote ketosis, the process in which the body uses fat as the primary fuel, instead of carbohydrates.

Benefits/Issues with the Adkins Diet:

Adkins doesn’t impose calorie limits, and early versions allowed the dieter to eat unlimited meats and cheeses. Lower carbohydrate diets tend to see a decrease in water weight, which will help the person lose weight faster early. Lower glycogen levels in the muscles will help clothes feel loser because of the lack of carbohydrates that your body is eating. This may make you feel good at first, but long term may restrict the amount of muscle growth. The Adkins diet does help people lose weight and I feel is an easier diet to understand because you are really only concerned with the amount of carbohydrates that you can ingest, however can be hard to follow because of the cravings.

Paleo Diet:

paleo-diet

The Paleo Diet was created by Loren Cordain, PhD, who believes that humans are genetically made to eat specific foods that our ancestors (early humans) had readily available. This means that no preservative foods such as lean meats, seafood, nuts (no peanuts!), fruits and vegetables (no potatoes or beans!), and plant based oils are approved. Eating non-preservative foods including lean cuts of meat, fruits and vegetables, and nuts can be heart healthy.

Benefits/Issues with the Paleo Diet:

My biggest issue with the Paleo Diet is that we are told to eat like early humans who had an average lifespan of 25-30 years. Also look at the list of approved foods, there are no oats, breads, pastas, or dairy. It is super restrictive and takes away a ton of healthy options. It is known to be expensive to be on this diet because the food needs to be preservative free and the options are limited. The diet does work and has a ton of followers.

Vegetarian Diet:

vegetarian-diet-plan

Probably my least favorite diet. Why? Not because of the diet itself, just the fact that I love meat and seafood. I’m sorry, I just got to have it in my diet. The vegetarian diet is what it sounds like, eating nothing but fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, legumes, oils and starches. No meat, no seafood.

Benefits/Issues with the Vegetarian Diet:

The vegetarian diet is great for the heart. The vegetarian diet can help with many other conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure.  However, the vegetarian diet can also lead to some deficiencies. Calcium, vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, complete proteins, and other deficiencies happen with vegetarians. It is also hard to eat a high protein diet so if your goal is to increase muscle, it is harder to do so. It is hard to find someone who is obese who is on the vegetarian diet. It works.

Zone Diet:

zone-plate

The Zone Diet, created by Dr. Barry Sears, is a restrictive diet that the dieter has to stick to 5 meals (3 full meals, 2 snacks) all with a 30%-40%-30% ratio per meal. This means that each meal/snack needs to have 30% fat, 40% carbohydrates, and 30% protein.

Benefits/Issues with the Zone Diet:

The Zone Diet is probably my favorite of the bunch. I typically like to keep my clients to a ratio of 20%/40%/40% (20% fats, 40% carbs, 40% protein), so this is more in line with my philosophy. It is hard for the average dieter to stick with this plan because the diet believes that all meals should stick to the  30-40-30 ratio. I believe that by the end of the day you should see that as your total macros versus a per meal basis. It is essential when on the Zone Diet to find recipes to use because it is extremely difficult to follow.

The Dustin Diet:

cropped-11148550_10101441137286543_6386554659440631957_n.jpg

The Dustin Diet, is a diet that I advocate with the majority of my clients. This diet, which is high in protein, helps produce lean muscle and burn fat. This diet is restrictive in calories and when you can eat certain macros. Sample: Breakfast should be high protein, moderate carbs. Snacks between breakfast and lunch should be high healthy fat, low carbohydrates, moderate proteins. Lunches should be low carb, high protein. Snacks between lunch and dinner should be high healthy fat, low carbs, moderate proteins. Dinner/Post Workout should be high protein, high carbohydrates.

Benefits/Issues with the Dustin Diet:

The Dustin diet gives your body the fuel it needs at the appropriate times. You eat carbohydrates upon waking and post workout/dinner, however you restrict carbohydrates during the middle of the day. This prevents insulin from spiking while you are sitting at your desk. Insulin either creates fat, or creates muscle. You want to spike insulin around workouts, and not when you are sitting at your desk.

Summary:

Almost all diets work. This is because it restricts the amount of calories/junk food that you can eat. Whether you use any or all of these diets, as long as you follow them, they will work. Some are easier than others, and some have extra health benefits when compared to one another.  All of these diets promote high protein meals, and nothing is better than Level-1 protein by 1st Phorm. For $1.66 you get a full meal of high quality protein, low carbs, low fat. Order today with free shipping: 1stphorm.com/nutritiontrain 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Dustin Holston

 

 

Eat Healthy and Cheap at Work!

BannerCommander

How to Eat Healthy and Cheap at Work!

Summary: I have broke this down to three different recipes (they are almost identical). You can either use this recipe to lose weight or to gain muscle.

CHE5DAoWwAAjvO4

What you need (Lose Weight):

1. 2 packages of Simple Truth Organic Spring Mix Salad from Kroger: $6.00
2. 3 pounds of chicken breast (grilled). $6.00 
3. Kroger Brand Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing. $1.00
Total cost: $13.00 or $2.60 a day

What you need (Gain Muscle):

1. Already cooked rice in cups: 3 packages $6.00
2. 3pounds of  Chicken breast (Grilled). $10.00
Total cost: $16.00 or $3.20 a day

Even Easier Way to Lose Weight (and cheap!)

1 Scoop of Level-1 Protein w/water or almond milk ($1.66)

Even Easier Way to Gain Muscle (and cheap!)

2 Scoops of Level-1 Protein + milk ($3.32)

 

Order Level-1 Protein and all 1st Phorm here with Free Shipping!

10635775_10101327193001803_6162033483918045694_n

Why I like this:

I try to eat carbs in the morning and right before and after I work out. I try to stay away from carbs in the afternoon. I do not need my insulin to spike while I’m sitting at my desk (insulin spikes either add fat, or add muscle, won’t add muscle if you are sitting on your ass.) Level-1 Protein by 1st Phorm is the best tasting protein with the highest quality ingredients. It is muscle in a bottle. 1 serving is less than 140 calories and 24 grams of protein! If you want further diet and training advice, or some motivation, check out the rest of my blog! You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to ask a question feel free to email me: nutritionandpersonaltraining@yahoo.com

Kick ass and take names,
Dustin Holston
Certified Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist