Obesity: Genetics or Environment?

overweight

Does it matter?  No.  Of course genetics play a role, but since you cannot control them, let’s focus on the environmental factors of obesity!  Genetics haven’t changed much in the last few decades, but our diets have changed markedly. So I’m going to venture a guess that environment plays a HUGE role.  Get your environment under control, and you’ll get your weight under control too.

No one ever got fat eating vegetables.  Eat your vegetables, cut down on the crap, and lose weight.  The problem is that you never see advertisements for vegetables.  All day, every day, you and your children are bombarded with commercials and advertisements for ice cream, dairy products, colas, pre-made pot roasts, chips, candy, cereals, etc.  But how many do you see for fresh fruits and vegetables?

In the last century alone we have seen the rise and proliferation of so many diseases.  It’s terrifying to think what will happen to the human race in the next 100 years.  It has been said that our generation will see their children live shorter lives than their parents, and I agree completely.  Poor diets and sedentary lifestyles are affecting our health and happiness at alarming rates.  We used to live in a world where malnutrition was the biggest problem – in North America and spreading elsewhere, it’s malnutrition coupled with obesity!  Yes, you can be fat and malnourished, and it’s more common than you think.

Obesity is very difficult to treat when the diet stays the same.  People go on diet after diet, trying – sometimes successfully losing weight, but dieting is not enough.  Until you realize that dieting is not the answer, you will remain fat and unhealthy.  A lifestyle change incorporating good quality whole foods and a consistent exercise schedule is the only way to get trim and fit – and stay there.  For some people, this may mean strict avoidance of processed foods, while others may be able to incorporate some of their favourite foods back into their healthy diet once they’ve gotten their cravings under control –  but for everyone, it means a diet high in fresh vegetables and some fruits – for life.

If you are a sugarholic, as many people are, you may find strict avoidance of sweets the only thing that keeps you dedicated to your healthy lifestyle.  Those who are addicted to sugar are the most likely to suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and are also the people who should avoid sugar altogether.  Research has shown that people who eat sugar go through withdrawal symptoms, similar to drug abusers.  When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels spike and insulin is released to store the sugar into your cells.  Some will be used as energy, some will be stored in the muscles, but the excess will be stored as fat.  Once the circulating sugar is stored, your blood sugar levels will be low, and you will crave another sugar fix.  As long as sugar is in your diet, the cycle will continue. 

There is not one person that would not benefit from the avoidance of refined foods and the resulting blood sugar stability that comes with a wholesome, sugarless diet.  And while you may never be able to completely escape the advertisements and the bombardment of useless CRAP (Coffee, Refined Foods, Alcohol/Acidic foods, Preservatives…etc.), you can keep some awareness as to what you and your children are seeing on a daily basis.  The best advice I can give you is to keep CRAP out of the house.  You cannot eat what you don’t buy!

If you blame genetics for your problems, stop right there.  Genetics may give you the ability to become overweight, but it is your environment that causes it to occur.  Don’t give up like Oprah did either – when she started blaming her thyroid for her weight problems.  She had a thyroid problem because of her poor diet!  If you give up, you’ll never change your circumstances.  Whether it’s your weight or any other disease condition – they can all be improved – and often completely eradicated – by a healthy lifestyle.  You can blame food companies for your troubles all you want, because they are for sure part of the problem, but that too will not solve your problem.

What you simply cannot do is keep avoiding your dis-ease any longer.  After all, how many overweight seniors do you see on a daily basis?  My guess is not many.  So take control, get the help of a nutritionist if you need the support, and get healthy starting this second!  It’s never too late to change your diet – you’ll notice the effects of a healthy diet within days, and a huge difference within weeks!  The changes will be so evident that you’ll never want to go back!

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