What Makes Us FAT?
By Nurse Kimberly Hickman
This morning while I was having coffee and breakfast I read at article titled “The Moments That Make Us Fat” on CNN. The article highlighted the “Top 5 Moments” that make most people fat, which were:
2.) Watching Television
3.) Break Ups
4.) Buffets/Restaurants with large portions
5.) And Parties
To some extent I agree with the articles top 5 moments that make us fat, but at the same time I strongly disagree. The article made me evaluate what made me so fat and if the reasons I continued to gain weight were closely related to these 5 things.
1.) Lets look at vacations. Vacations should be a free-be. Vacations allow you to rest, relax, and indulge. You might gain one or two pounds but if you are eating and living healthy the rest of the year you will shed them quickly. Last year I went to Mexico for the first time. The resort was all inclusive and there were savory dishes everywhere I turned! Every morning while at the resort I would go to the gym in their spa and get a good sweat in. Then for the rest of the day I splurged when I wanted to. Come on, you can’t be in Mexico and not have homemade guacamole and chips. So when you go on a vacation enjoy yourself. I disagree with vacations being on the top 5 moments that make us fat.
2.) Watching television I agree with. If you are staring at the tube from your couch and your only movement is shoveling food in your mouth, you can gain weight. It becomes easy to get wrapped up in a great movie or sitcom and loose track of how much food you have consumed. This doesn’t mean that family movie night should be without popcorn or a little chocolate. It does mean that the tube and food combined should be reserved for that special family night. A routine of nightly indulgence with fatty foods after dinner is not going to help the size of anyone’s hinny! If you need that third snack of the day between dinner and bedtime, have a peach with some yogurt or celery sticks and peanut butter. You can never go wrong with a small snack of fruits and veggies. Sometimes watching television is how people unwind at the end of their day. If this is you try doing some sort of activity on commercial breaks like squats, lunges, kicks, or push-ups. Every little extra thing you do to make your body move will burn calories. So enjoy your television but switch up your routine. The other night I tried grappling during a commercial break. What do you do during yours?
3.) Break ups can also be in the same category as anything someone feels is traumatic, sad, or makes them feel down. This one I will also agree with because I know in the past it was one of the moments that contributed to my weight. If I had a bad day, was stressed over money, got in an argument with a friend, was upset over something at work, or just felt bad about myself- I would eat. People who use food for comfort is nothing new, it’s fairly common. It happens without people even recognizing that’s what it is. Before you know it you could consume thousands of calories. When sad and bad things happen, and they will, you need to have a plan. My plan used to be ice cream. I love ice cream but I didn’t love what came with it. Instead of stuffing my face after a bad day or when something sad happens I sweat. What better way to turn your mood around then a natural high from a deluge of endorphins? The first step is recognizing you are having a down moment and then immediately taking action with something other than food. Don’t sit in the house and don’t go through a drive-thru or to the store. Pick something that does not involve food and do it.
4.) Buffets and restaurants with large portions on a regular basis absolutely pack on the pounds. My last visit to a buffet was at the Mexican Resort I visited last July. They are nothing but trouble if you are trying to lose weight. Most of us don’t have the willpower to only have one serving. You know how it is. They put 100 different foods in front of you that you love. Then they give you a limitless amount of time to try anything and everything they have to offer. Willpower does not last forever. Sometimes you just need to make lifestyle changes. That is what I had to do. The only time I go to a buffet is on vacations and if there is a special occasion like someone’s birthday or special celebration. As for the portions served at restaurants- they are ridiculous! Ask for a to go box before your food arrives. Better yet ask the server to package half of your meal in a box for you. This eliminates your temptation to eat all of it. If you start being conscious of your actions and implement these tips you will notice a big difference in your overall health.
5.) The last of the article’s top five moments that make us fat was parties. The reason parties present a problem is because they commonly have yummy appetizers and high calorie drinks, especially if they are catered. The article offered a simple solution. If you are going to a party eat dinner before you go. You will arrive ready to chat and mingle instead of trying every goody you see! In all I thought this article was good. Everyone is in control of his or her own health and the decisions that determine it. Being aware of what we do and the consequences is the first step in making change and leading a healthier lifestyle. What did you do for your health today?