Here’s a headline for you:
Pandemic Shows Risk of Obesity, and Challenge of Weight Loss
And, well… with a lead like this, you know I have no choice but to rip it to shreds.
Buckle up folks, because I’m about to take you on a little ride from my perspective today. And call me biased, but the view has never been more important.
Hammering the message home
I’ve made it very clear by now that we need more accountability if we ever hope to conquer the obesity crisis. Our country’s collective weight problem was crushing our healthcare system long before COVID-19 came on the scene.
And yet, we do nothing but wring our hands while installing larger seats on wheelchairs, gurneys, airplanes, theater seats, you name it. All because we can’t admit to ourselves that Americans just refuse to stop eating.
Needless to say, the pandemic didn’t help. Even though it should have. (Thanks, in part, to a lack of direct public health messaging outlining the many health risks that come along with being overweight—from cancer to COVID. And if only some of the messaging surrounding COVID aligned with my own, maybe we wouldn’t be in this boat…)
For example, I had patients who were already obese, pre-diabetic, and who didn’t have their blood pressure under control. They were concerned about the possibility of getting really sick, should they be infected with COVID-19.
And you know what? With the right support in place, it finally gave them the impetus to start taking their health more seriously. (One patient of mine simply started walking three hours every day—and we saw great improvement in their health.)
Obviously, I was thrilled. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that this simple early message—that obesity and all of its related conditions were serious risk factors for severe COVID-19—was actually heard and taken seriously.
That’s something I tried to focus on in my writings throughout the pandemic. Because the truth is, preventing obesity can—and will—save your life.
Weight loss is worth the effort
Now, while some have had a successful weight loss experience throughout the pandemic, the news is considerably less rosy across the country.
Many of my patients complained about being stuck at home, moving less and eating more because of stress, anxiety, boredom—or just plain having the refrigerator nearby. And these conditions were less than ideal for a lot of people who may already be struggling with their weight.
But when researchers say things like, “it takes a lot of effort and energy to eat healthy and then to lose weight,” you’ll see me rolling my eyes every single time.
Because, duh! Of course it takes effort and energy to eat healthy and lose weight—but the concept of it all isn’t complex. And for the record, anything else that’s worth doing takes effort and energy, too!
Did you graduate high school or college? Did you build a career? Did you raise children? All of those tasks are challenging and require an immense amount of effort and energy. And yet most of us have undertaken at least one, if not all of them.
Forget baseball—overeating is America’s greatest pastime. And it’s got to stop.
I get that weight gain often creeps up over time. Most people don’t really see the consequences until it’s too late. So I urge you not to wait for a catastrophe before doing something about your health.
An ounce of prevention is worth at least 30 pounds of cure. Don’t ever forget that.
In fact, all you have to do is:
1.) Adopt a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh, delicious, whole foods. And stop giving yourself permission to stress eat.
Shop the outer perimeter of a grocery store—or make your way to a local farmer’s market. Then, consider teaching yourself some simple homemade recipes to help combat boredom. You can even cook alongside me! (Be sure to follow my new cooking show, Cooking with Dr. Fred, on Instagram TV and YouTube.)
2.) Get up and move, to the tune of 20 minutes each day. Walk, bike, swim, take the stairs… whatever it is, just do it. And keep doing it—even during social isolation.
As always, consistency is key. It really is that simple.
P.S. Healthy obesity is not a “thing”—so don’t be fooled by an idea the mainstream calls the “obesity paradox.” In fact, I report on all the risks these extra pounds pack on in the June 2017 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one today!
“Pandemic shows risk of obesity, and challenge of weight loss.” AP News, 06/09/2021. (apnews.com/article/obesity-science-coronavirus-pandemic-lifestyle-pandemics-81c680197b6a98a7f5426a29d4fe6d7b)