Cheeseburgers, large fries, chocolate shakes, and fried chicken. These are just a few of the choices available at fast food restaurants throughout the states and abroad. There is a minimum of 350 calories in a cheeseburger, and depending on the side dish and beverage; the calorie count could reach close to 1,000 per meal.
People are pressed for time and not always able to eat nutritious meals, so going to the local diner is the choice they make after a 12 hour work day. There isn’t anything wrong with dining out or pulling up to the drive-thru window, but when that is the usual choice, it takes a drastic toll on the mind and body. Because of the hectic schedule, there isn’t enough time devoted to exercise which will balance the calorie intake or burn off the unwanted calories that were consumed.
In previous years, the majority of overweight people were adults. But today’s society shows that children are struggling with obesity now more than ever before. Yes there are things that we do to cause an unhealthy lifestyle, but there are also things that can be done to change it.
Fast Food-Fast food or other means of dining out can be horribly unhealthy. Foods are fried, portions can be up-sized, and buffet restaurants are packed with patrons. Although dining out is more convenient, it can be very unhealthy and add more weight than a home cooked meal.
Exercise-The United States is known to be one of the most overweight countries and that’s due largely because of lack of exercise. Taking a walk or hitting the gym takes up too much time for some people. But for others they just lack motivation. This is apparent when visiting school aged children from grades 1-12. Many of the schools have cut their P.E. programs and no longer offer a “recess” as part of the school day. Without gym class there isn’t exercise during the day.
Recreation-As a child we were rarely indoors. Actually we loved being outside so much that our parents had to go looking for us just to reign us back in. We were however in really good shape, we didn’t have medical issues, and we were pretty energetic. Kids today are indoors 90 percent of their day. After the school day they are in front of the T.V. playing video games, on the computer, or watching television. They aren’t interested in being outside because they have so much entertainment indoors.
Even though obesity is a big problem in the states it can be changed. We can do things for our self and our families.
Home Cooked Meals-Instead of dining out, prepare meals at home. This enables you to save money and also control portion sizes; this helps the parent that has a child that likes to up-size their meals.
Family Activities-It’s easy to want to make a change but actually following through is the hard part. Having a partner or a group of people doing it with you will help you succeed. Get the whole family involved by going to the park, throwing the football around, or taking a walk instead of a car ride.
Journal-Keeping a record of your thoughts, feelings, and goals is a great way to keep on track. Having the information in front of you reminds you of what is important and when your goal is reached you can look at how far you’ve come.
Loosing or maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is something that most people want. In life there aren’t any “do over’s”, so having a plan and making a commitment to your self and the people that care most about you will give you the motivation to make a change and reach your goal.