Rid of Your Gut

Weighing in on a Healthier Lifestyle

How to Get Rid of Your Gut

Rid of Your GutWith all of the fast food restaurants within miles of one another and the abundance of unhealthy food people put in their bodies every day, obesity has become an epidemic among Americans. According to the National Bureau of Economics, as the number of fast food restaurants increase, so does the percentage of the population suffering from obesity. Although there are also many health risks that can cause a person to become overweight, poor diet is partially to blame for the rising rate of obese Americans.

“Healthy foods cost more money, and fast food is cheap and easy,” said Kimberly Price, freshman student and track athlete. “Some have such busy schedules that they do not even have time to exercise.”

James Konopack, health studies Coordinator, said, “Positive energy imbalance, which is when calorie intake exceeds calorie expenditure, is obviously a major reason. This is related to the that we’re eating as well as a disturbingly high rate of physical inactivity. Many people recognize that high-calorie foods area part of the problem, but we sometimes overlook the dangers of excessivesedentariness. We’re sitting more now than in the history of our species.”

Researchers noted that children whose school is close to a fast food restaurant may be more prone to obesity. One’s proximity to unhealthy food increases their chances of obesity, especially if the individual lacks self control and dietary discipline.

John Jackman, fitness center coordinator, said, “High protein burns fat, and carbohydrates are much higher in calories. People should eat more protein than carbohydrates, but don’t neglect them all together. High fiber is also important. You will trim your waist quicker by eating small meals more times a day than large ones all at once. Stay away from high sodium foods because of water retention. Also, drink plenty of water.”

Students should not feel that they have to spend a lot of money in order to eat healthy foods. According to Jackman, there are many things University students can do and eat in their very own backyard.

“Students can find a lot of good food on campus, including in the dining hall, to help them stay fit,” Jackman said. “They should try to stick to grilled chicken, fish, green vegetables and salads, but watch the dressings for high sodium. The food you need is there, but you must be a smart eater.”

Inactivity is also a great contributor to obesity. Americans are spending less time exercising and more and more time on entertainment. Today’s youth no longer spends enough time outdoors, running around and getting fresh air. Instead, video games, television, and other electronic devices have a heavy influence on how people today spend their time.

Medicalnewstoday.com reported that a study of 900 children at risk of obesity discovered that “a lack of vigorous physical activity is the main contributor to obesity for adolescents between 11 and 15-years-old.” Researchers also noticed that children within their normal weight groups incorporated at least two to four more minutes of consistent physical activity per day than the children who were overweight.

“When it comes to the average person today, it’s much easier to become overweight in part by the pattern they have adopted in their everyday lives,” Jackman said. “People tend to be much less active than in the past. Too much time is spent sitting on the internet or watching their favorite movies.”

Although most people know that they should exercise and make the effort to stay in shape, it can be difficult to actually make it to the gym and work out. According to webmd.com, motivation is one of the many reasons why people do not exercise.

As an athlete, exercise and fitness is a ritual part of her daily routine, but Price encourages those who are busy and do not have the time to exercise every day to “map out a day and time to exercise and follow that schedule; plan to do certain workouts on certain days in order to develop a fitness plan that works.”

Whether it is to lose weight or to stay in shape, people need to have a reason that is important to them in order to exercise. People also have to set realistic goals and be focused. Distractions need to be put aside for a consistent amount of time to get an effective workout.

“Every day I see students too distracted by their cell phones while their doing their cardio workouts,” Jackman said. “They are either checking it every other minute or texting. This is a problem because they are too focused on that than the exercise at hand. Lack of focus affects energy output which affects overall calorie burn-up.”

In an effort to change their lifestyles and become healthier, people should take the “baby steps” approach. It starts with setting a realistic goal and making a genuine effort to stick to it. People often try to take on too much too quickly, and they are then disappointed with the failed result.

“People in general would love to have an athletically shaped body,” Jackman added. “An athlete, however, is focused on his practice or workout with no distractions. Thus, their body becomes a product of their activity.”

Jackman encourages people to do a little bit every day because it is important to note that exercise should be a lifestyle change and not a temporary hobby, and making exercise fun is also recommended.

“If your exercise program is too hard and boring, you most likely will not be consistent with it, and consistency is key. A little every day is more productive than a lot all at once,” Jackman said.

Obese people are encouraged to take it slow and gradually reach their target heart rate, while also incorporating weight training into the routine because developing muscle tone will aid in fat loss.

However, in some cases, it may be best for certain people to get professional help from an experienced trainer, especially at first.

Exercise can be an issue of mind over matter. As Jackman said, “you need to visualize what you want to look like. If the mind conceives the body will achieve.”

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