Think about your body like you would your bank account. If you take in a certain amount of money and you spend exactly the same amount of money, your bank account stays flat.
If you take in a certain amount of money and you make commitments for more than you take in, you end up in trouble. You do not have sufficient resources to cover your expenditures.
But if you take in more money than you spend, gradually the savings will start to pile up. The money will start to compound; it will earn interest. Your bank account will get fat.
That’s a good thing for your personal economics, but a very bad thing for your body.
If you take energy in (by energy we mean calories) and you spend the same amount of energy going about your active life each day, you will stay flat. Your weight will be balanced.
If you bring in more energy than you need, it will start to build and compound and over time, you will gain weight or fat.
If you decided to change the way you eat and live, and you decrease the amount of energy in and increase the amount of activity to use that energy, you will start to lose weight.
Too much in, too little out. In general, this is one of the most common explanations for the extra pounds you are carrying.
Assessing your BMI
Body Mass Index is an indication of whether you are simply overweight or actually obese.
Aldolphe Quetelet of Belgium figured out this scale somewhere between 1830 and 1850. He discovered that your BMI is your body’s mass in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters.
If you missed math class as well as nutrition class or if you haven’t seen cause to master the metric system yet, use the Google search engine to convert your pound weight to kilograms and your height to meters.
Of course there is a simpler way. You can use a chart.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has an excellent BMI chart on their website.
Most neighborhood gymnasiums and your family doctor will also measure it for you.
What else makes you overweight?
Keep in mind that your body, like your car, is composed of many moving parts. One of the first complications is that these parts aren’t moving as much as they should be!
Convenience can kill!
The world of our ancestors was a harsh, physically demanding one.
They had to plow their own land, plant their own seeds, weed their own gardens by hand, and grow their own food. Then they had to preserve that food and make their meals from the simple ingredients they had accumulated.
There were few tools to make the business of survival easier. Even washing clothes was an all-day chore using rocks and river water.
Homes were built from the trees felled on their own property and repaired by their own labor.
When there was time to socialize, it meant a walk to a neighbor’s home, or in some circumstances, hitching up the horse and cart for a bumpy ride in the fresh country air.
Our world has gotten better in many ways. There is a plentiful supply available at supermarkets we drive to. Food that is all processed and cooked and just needs to be warmed is also a boon to our busy society.
We are indoors a lot, having automated many of our most tedious chores. Instead of working all day in our fields, we now sit for hours in front of computer screens or attend meetings in board rooms or handle endless streams of telephone calls at service centers. We are sitting down and indoors.
This sedentary lifestyle is just as guilty of those extra pounds you are carrying as the food you eat.
It is tough to go against the general flow of society around you. It is difficult to change the amount of physical activity in your life. But you must if you are to change your body mass.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, in their report on overweight and obesity, reports that watching television just two hours a day can prompt you to gain weight.
If you couple that with driving to work instead of walking, with using the convenient way to do everything that surrounds the preparation of your food and your household chores, and do not include in your daily routine some hours of physical exercise, you will gradually gain pounds that stay with you all your life.
Be a Healthier and Better you
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