Childhood Obesity: A Growing Problem (cont.)

  • First of all, restrict the calories. If you cut your calories by 500 calories a day you'll lose 1/2 pound a week. With 1,000 fewer calories a day you'd lose at least a pound a week.
  • Consume the calories as follows: 25% for breakfast, 50% for lunch, and 25% for the evening meal, if you need to lose weight.
  • Eat as a family. We talked about that earlier.
  • Try to eat before 7 p.m., because after that you're more likely to store fat.
  • Don't snack unless you snack on nutritional foods, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Exercise at the end of the day, prior to the evening meal. Not only does it help with stress, it helps with the evening meal and helps keep the caloric count down.

If you follow those guidelines, it will work. Remember, regardless of your weight, if you lose 10% of your total body weight that will improve your health. And studies clearly show that people who are fat and fit are healthier than people who are skinny and sedentary. I'm not endorsing obesity; I'm just telling you how dangerous it is to be totally sedentary, and we have at least 50 million adults in this country who are totally sedentary, who are shortening their lifespan, and increasing deaths from all causes in an unnecessary way.

It's your life. I encourage you to enjoy it to the fullest. At 73 years of age I'm still walking and jogging 12 to 15 miles a week, still working 60 to 70 hours a week, and enjoying fantastic health. I hope you all can do the same.

Thanks to Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, for sharing his expertise with us today.

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