The reason why you shouldnít worry about a being fat

Friday 5th Sept, 2014 

  • Does obesity ring your bell?

  • Donít let the media get carried away about being fat

  • Why making three small changes will make all the difference Ė get fat and fit

Obesity Ė the scourge of the modern age we are led to believe.

But let me ask you a question.

Are you too fat?

Interestingly about 95% of you will say yes, in the same way that Dr Pavlovís dogs started to think about dinner when a bell rang.

You see we are conditioned to think of ourselves as being overweight.

And by the same dogma also unfit.

Something else Iím prepared to have a small wager on as well. (When I say small Iím talking a wine gum rather than anything financial you understand!)

Iím willing to give odds that someone has assessed your Body Mass Index (BMI) and found you wanting.

Youíll have been in the overweight or obese sections of the pretty coloured graph and an earnest look will have crossed the face of the health professional as they ask you to consider your lifestyle.

Ring any bells, as the good Dr Pavlov may once have said.

Well I want to introduce a new concept to you that might just save you fretting and worrying about that bit of mid-life spread that sits over your waistband.

Itís time we all celebrated Ďfat and fit'.

This concept isnít a new one, what with the BBC making a big fuss about it in 2012 when a study was published by the University of South Carolina.

Basically they concluded that being overweight didnít pose a health risk per se.

Over half the 43,000 people in the trial were in fact metabolically healthy and were at no greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or other problems than those of an ideal weight.

They also found that you can be thin and unhealthy as well.

Last week the Daily Mail reported that the research had been repeated with over 30,000 obese patients...

...and found the same results.

The danger of the spare tyre

I donít want to give you the go ahead to start eating gut busting fry-ups and mountains of chocolate though.

Because there is something else you need to understand about these studies.

What the experts found was that the key to health wasnít the waist size of the individuals but their level of activity.

Where someone was taking a more active approach to life it dramatically changed the level of risk.

A brisk twenty minute walk every day was more likely to give you benefit than a two month starvation diet, if you wanted to avoid diabetes.

Which is an interesting thought if you look at the way the newspapers and our GPs focus purely on our Body Mass
Index to evaluate risk... and ultimately a life of drugs.

The irony of how obesity and associated health problems is reported was not lost on me when I looked at page 4 of the Daily Express from August the 13th this year.

The main headline was ĎHow to shed middle-age spreadí for an article about how Ďa podgy tummy can be a killer because it is packed with bad fatí; a second self explanatory piece entitled ĎNHS spending £2.2m a day on prescriptions to treat diabetesí was next to it...

...then right underneath an advert from Waitrose for their full fat ice creams!

Each of the products in the ad carried enough calories and fat to provide for about a quarter of your recommended daily intake.

Sheer hypocrisy!

Batter the nation for pigging out on rubbish food and then costing the taxpayer millions to treat their Ďfat diseaseí whilst raking in a few thousand pounds from a supermarket who want us to buy nothing of any nutritional benefit.

On one page everything that is wrong with how the world treats food.

How to make a change for the better

There are three things that will make a difference for every single person no matter how fat or thin we are.

First, a change in how we approach food; second, a bit of sweat and third, donít rely on a quick fix from the GP.

So food; forget the fad diets and magical cures and think more about fresh, wholesome and natural food.

Just this week scientists in Copenhagen found that a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit, foraged herbs (including dandelion leaves) from the wild, lots of fish, less meat and more game was healthier than even the Mediterranean diet.

We donít need to get all Bear Gryles about this though, just increase the fresh element of your daily intake Ė and the fresher the better.

If you know someone who has an allotment or a well stocked garden ask if you can buy from them Ė get carrots and potatoes fresh from the ground not ones that have travelled halfway around the world and been sat in a warehouse for a month.

Try local wild meats such a pheasant, pigeon and venison.

Most butchers stock it and youíll be surprised by how cheap and tasty it is Ė if you are lucky enough to live in the country speak to the local farmers, theyíll be glad to drop a brace of birds off for you for the price of a pint.

Choose natural ways to prepare your food to ensure that the goodness stays in, things like making gravy from the roasting pan juices returns both flavour and essential nutrients back to the meal.

Next, the need to exercise.

As the studies showed, the size of your waist isnít the critical factor, itís more about getting the blood to pump.

Walking is THE best exercise in the world. A good twenty minute walk every day is all that we need to get our bodies in better shape, but if you can manage an hour then the rewards are multiplied ten fold.

Swimming is another low impact way to boost your health, even if you take a float into the pool and kick your legs to get around you will be doing yourself so much good.

Just doing the gardening will get the pulse quickened.

None of these things need to involve gyms, lycra or personal trainers so donít let the media tell you how to exercise Ė simple is best.

Lastly, donít go looking for a quick fix.

Heart medications, statins and pain relief all come at a price to your health as I wrote about last week, so avoid them if you can.

There are some brilliant natural ways to change your metabolism that Iíve written about before like lemon juice, Bergamot orange extract and honey, garlic & vinegar so make use of these without taking unnecessary risks with prescription drugs.

Above all, donít look down at your body with worry or disgust Ė delight in your skin and celebrate your still beating heart.

Keep a smile and a laugh close by, after all happiness is by far and away the best medicine.

Yours, as always

 

 

 

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