As a nation, we are getting fatter and fatter each year. This trend does not seem to be slowing down. Even though the overall trend of increasing obesity might not change for some time, you can still make changes to your own life that will yield some very positive health benefits. Here are some of the reasons that you are overweight and a few ways you can fix the problems.

1. Overeating. One of the main reasons that you are fat is overeating. When you eat too many calories, your body stores the extra as energy as body fat. A calorie surplus is a state in which you eat more calories than you burn. When a calorie surplus is combined with exercise, you gain muscle. When a calorie surplus is combined with physical inactivity, you get fat.

The solution to overeating is simple: eat less. Most Americans rely too much on processed junk food which is convenient but unfortunately high in calories and low in nutrients. A typical fast food meal can have around 1,000 calories which is about half of what some people need in an entire day. Use the calorie calculator to figure out how many calories your body needs each day, start cooking your own food, count your calories and create a healthy routine that you will follow.

2. Physical Inactivity. Physical inactivity is the other main reason why this country is so fat. In addition to eating unhealthy junk, most Americans do not exercise nearly enough. Again, the combination of too many calories and a lack of physical activity will lead straight to obesity.

The solution to physical activity is also simple: move more. You need to exercise 3-5x per week, 45-60 minutes per session. The more weight you have to lose, the more you need to move. There are two parts to the weight loss equation: how much you eat and how much you move. Utilizing both parts of this equation will lead to the fastest and longest lasting results. Get a free diet and exercise routine.

3. Bad Information. Some people are trying to make a positive change in their lives but find doing so is very difficult. Part of the reason for this is because finding reliable information can be tough. There are countless blogs, personal trainers, diet books, infomercials and DVDs that promise to help you get in shape. The problem is that a lot of these sources provide conflicting information. Who do you trust?

The solution to bad information is to remember that famous saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it is.” There are plenty of programs that promise to help you lose 50 pounds in a month or get a six pack in time for your cruise in a few weeks, but unfortunately, a lot of these programs make promises that are unrealistic. Remember that no program will work without significant change on your part. Programs simply tell you what to do. It’s up to you to actually do the work. Also keep in mind that there is only one way to lose weight: eating less and moving more. Any program, person, diet, device, pill or cream that promises you change without eating less and moving more is lying and a waste of money. Get a [realistic] free diet plan and workout routine.

4. Inconsistency. Inconsistency will kill even the best weight loss plan. Remember that only a [consistent] calorie deficit (burning more calories than you eat) will lead to weight loss. Regularly cheating on your diet or skipping multiple workout sessions will not lead to weight loss. If you’re only dieting and exercising 1/3 of each week, you will never lose any significant weight.

The solution to inconsistency is to make slow changes. Anytime you set new goals, you should make slow rather than overnight changes. For example, if you were used to eating 3,000 calories before you started losing weight, it would be unrealistic to drop down to 1,800 calories from one day to the next. Instead of making this huge change right away, cut 500 calories per day during the first week, and another 500 calories per day during the second week. During your second week, you would be down to 2,000 calories and finally down to 1,800 by your third week. This slow and more gradual change would be much easier to cope with than cutting your intake from 3,000 to 1,800 right away.

You should also make slow increases to your physical activity level. Rather than trying to start running, lifting weights and training for a triathlon, make smaller short term goals. For example, for your first week, try to run 1 mile, 3 times per week. During your second week, in addition to your mile runs, join a gym and workout there twice. During your third week, run 1.5 miles, 3 times per week and visit the gym three times. These slow changes are a lot more likely to stick and lead to a consistent workout.

5. Ignorance. While some people have realized the consequences of their unhealthy lifestyles, others prefer to remain ignorant. When you don’t know that your choices are slowly killing you, it’s a lot easier to ignore change. Obesity kills. Obesity leads to heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even cancer. If you stay fat, you will eventually have to deal with one or more of these serious health issues and by that time, the solution will be a lot more complicated than diet and exercise, if there will be a solution at all.

The Bottom Line

Obesity is largely a choice. There are certain choices you make that will keep you fat and others that will help you lose weight and improve your overall health. The choice of changing or remaining fat is yours alone to make.

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