We hear it all the time-lose weight for your health. Few people however, realize the extent to which a healthy body weight is critical to their physical and mental well-being and ultimately, their life expectancy. Just how does obesity lead to disease and death?
At the risk of oversimplifying a complex set of interactions, the typical Western diet - high in saturated fats, sugar and refined flours - which may lead to obesity; may also act to stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
The interaction of diet and the development of cancer is an active field of research and Dr David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. and author of "What Color is Your Diet", says "It appears that diet has its most significant effects after the cancer has already formed, acting to inhibit or stimulate the growth of that cancer".
Women who are obese after menopause have a 50% higher relative risk of breast cancer. This is just one of the notable documented links between obesity and cancer.
It is never too late to improve your health through healthful eating and adopting a more health-giving lifestyle. Here are simple steps to follow which can make an immediate improvement to your health and vitality.
1. Check your Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine if weight has become health risk. A sijmple search on the net will bring up a number of sites offering a body mass index.
2. Match your diet to your body's requirements. If you eat and drink more calories than your body requires you will put on weight. Learn to control calories and portion sizes, make recipes leaner, and eat infrequently from fast food restaurants. Also learn how to snack with healthful choices.
3. Color your diet with a large variety of colorful, cancer-fighting fruit and vegetables. There are seven different color ranges of both fruit and vegetables and by choosing between 5 to 9 daily serves from a wide range of fruit and vegetables, we are extending our consumption of cancer (and other disease) fighting nutrients.
4. Eat lean protein with every meal. Protein provides a powerful signal to the brain providing a longer sense of fullness. The right source of protein is essential to controlling your hunger with fewer calories and necessary to maintain your lean muscle mass. Choices of protein should be flavored soy shakes with fruit; the white meat of chicken and turkey, seafood such as shrimps, prawns scallops and lobster and ocean fish or vegetarians may prefer soy based meat substitutes.
5. Rev up your metabolism with activity. If you want to enjoy a lifetime of well-being, exercise is a key ingredient. Adults should do something for 30 minutes each day that takes as much effort as a brisk walk. It is also helpful to build physical activity into your daily routine: use the stairs instead of the escalator or lift at work, park your car in the parking bay furthest from the super marketing and don't use the remote control to change TV channels.
6. Get support to ensure you develop a healthful eating plan and reach your goal weight. Whilst a small percentage of people possess the discipline to lose weight, you may respond better to some form of consistent encouragement and coaching from a professional weight loss coach.
Being overweight or obese has been identified next to smoking, as the most preventable major risk to developing cancer. Even small weight losses have been shown to have beneficial health effects. So it's never to late to start and you can never be too young or too old to be concerned about your health and do something about achieving a more healthy weight.