According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “during the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.”

While the CDC indicates that the number of preschool children who are obese has gone down slightly over the last couple of years, I find it sad that children that young are obese in the first place! It’s concerning that kids as young as five are being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and being given drugs for weight related problems like hypertension.  In addition to the physical concerns, kids are emotionally affected, ostracized, exposed to more and more toxic foods and being set up for lifelong health issues. In fact, it has been predicted that this generation of school age kids will be the first not to outlive the life expectancy of their parents.

Here are the top 10 reasons why America has become a nation of overweight people – avoid them and you can free yourself from our nation’s “fat trap”:

1. Time management – most people are always on the go. They eat while they are doing other things, like working during lunch, watching TV, reading a book or surfing the net and this mindless eating often results people overeating. Packing your lunch more often, setting aside a block of time to sit down to take time to nourish your body and your mind with the focus on your food and your wellbeing, chewing slowly and eating out less are all ways that will support less mindless eating.

2. Sedentary lifestyle – many people are taking in more calories than they can burn.  Get at least 20-30 minutes of walking or cardio exercise a day.

3.  Cost of food – process, massed produced food, and foods made with subsidized crops are cheaper than fresh produce and other sustainably grown whole foods. Refer to the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  If you can’t eat all organic, at least choose organic for the foods on the “dirty dozen” list.

4. Not drinking enough water – most Americans are dehydrated. They don’t drink enough water, reaching for sodas or coffee instead.  Often feeling hungry is actually being thirsty. Drink more water.

5. Supersized dishware and supersized portions – our plates has become larger and larger. Our perception of portion size apparently is affected by the size of the plate: we need more food to fill the plate and the larger the portion in front of us, the more we eat, especially if we were brought up to finish everything on our plate.  Start with a salad or make half your plate salad or steamed green veggies.

6. Advertising and marketing – big corporations throw a lot of marketing money into pushing processed foods. Coupon shopping can save you money at the register, but if the food isn’t help keeping you healthy, processed food may not be worth the medical bills down the road.

7. Misinformation and disinformation – people are confused what to eat. Unfortunately the labels on process and packaged foods are not always telling the whole story. Learn how to read labels for the “hidden” ingredients. High fructose corn syrup is a great example – it is found in many food items we get in the store.

8. Stress – when we are stressed, our body produce the stress hormone cortisol, which packs a triple whammy. Cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, increase fat storage, and promote cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods.  And, stress is toxic to hour health.

9. Too many processed foods – they are cheap and convenient, but they are also full of sodium, sugar, chemicals, and unhealthy fats, not to mention empty calories. Many people don’t have time to cook – they depend on fast food, take out, or dining out – most of the time such foods are loaded with fat, sugar, sodium, and hidden calories. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it sends a signal and we “crave” more food.  Unfortunately, most respond to the craving with less nutritious food.

10. Low intake of fresh, whole organic foods – Whole foods are nutrient dense, and when your body gets the necessary nutrients, you will have fewer cravings. Choosing organic food means less toxic exposure. Conventional foods are laced with pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics. Our bodies respond by creating fat and water cells around toxins resulting in a buildup of toxins. Eating more fresh fruit and veggies, learn to eat more seasonal foods and learn what foods best support your individual body sets you up for a healthy lifestyle.

Bonus: ditch the diet! Learn to eat clean –in fact, did you know you can jump start your metabolism, get more energy, lose toxic fat and feel amazing with a whole food detox? Learning how to detox safely with whole fresh foods can mean the health and weight loss breakthrough you’ve been looking for!

Learn more about my 11 day program which includes a 7 day detox HERE..

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