headshot-ianhartThere is good news and bad news about the latest U.S. obesity statistics.        

The good news, according to the just-released Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey, is that, for the first time in three years, the number of obese and overweight people in this country has declined slightly.         

The bad news the study found, is that nearly 26 percent of Americans are still obese, and another 36 percent are overweight.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines adult obesity as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. An overweight person’s BMI ranges between 25 and 29.9.

What this means is that over 60 percent of our entire population – that’s roughly 180 million people – need to lose weight, If they don’t, they could end up with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, arthritis, physical disability, and many other medical conditions that can be caused by obesity and overweight.

In fact, CDC says that about 112,000 Americans die each year from illnesses related to obesity.

However, there is hope for people who want to lose weight – or prevent dangerous levels of weight gain in the first place.

Most people become overweight because of poor eating habits and lack of physical activity. So forget any ‘miraculous’ slimming gimmicks or crash diets that you might have seen advertised on TV, and focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a lower calorie diet consisting of lean proteins, plenty of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and quality carbs along with regular exercise.

Tips for a achieving a lasting weight loss, the healthy way:

•   Make a mental commitment to getting fit and healthy – and be determined to stay on track!

•   If you already have obesity-related health problems, ask your doctor whether it is safe for you to exercise.

•   Start slowly and increase the intensity of your workouts gradually over time. A fitness instructor can show you how to achieve this and keep you motivated as well.

•   Once you become more adept in your fitness program, focus on exercises that help you achieve weight loss quicker and more effectively – the ones that will continue to burn fat and calories for many hours after your workout is finished. Here too your trainer can guide you.

•   For the holidays join my 6-week fitness program “The Christmas Crunch Challenge” to prevent the average 5-12lb weight gain during the holidays.


Once you reach your goal, remember to continue eating sensibly and exercising, so that you can maintain your weight loss. You will not only look and feel better, but also develop positive habits that will, hopefully, replace your old, unhealthy lifestyle.


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