Very few obese people live to see age ninety. The simple reason is that optimal longevity and excess body fat just don’t mix. Being obese effectively ages you 20 years, placing an obese 30-year-old person in about the same risk category as a normal weight 50-year-old person in terms of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Arthritis, gout, acid reflux, insomnia and many other disorders are also linked with excess weight.
According to a recent report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, about one third of all Americans are classified as obese. Another third are not obese but overweight, while the remaining third is either normal or below normal weight. So although the U.S. obesity rate seems to have reached a plateau over the past decade, as a nation we’re still way too fat.
The purpose of this article is to provide some practical insight for the 150 million-plus Americans who are either overweight or clinically obese. Improving your body composition—which for most people means losing fat and gaining muscle—is actually easier than most folks realize. You just have to have the right tools and a good understanding of what it takes to get lean and stay lean.
So here’s the scoop. Though we’ve always been told that the only way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more, this is clearly not the key to weight loss. There are people in this world who are naturally thin. These individuals can consume five times more calories than their overweight counterparts, and yet they don’t gain weight. The secret, of course, lies in their metabolism. Simply put, naturally thin people are at a metabolic advantage compared to overweight people.
What matters most is not the number of calories you consume but what your body does with those calories and with the nutrients you consume that provide those calories. This is why we see overweight people lose weight initially when they cut down on calories, but then gaining the weight back later on.
Three key factors determine what happens to the calories you consume. First, the composition of those calories is important. Eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates can definitely help people lose body fat, but it’s only a short-term solution. Just as important is consuming primarily plant-based, whole foods—those that are packed with vital nutrients and support all the requirements of a healthy body and mind.
So yes, as our grandmothers have long admonished, eat your vegetables! The trouble is that most people find it too inconvenient to get enough vegetable matter into their bodies on a daily basis. Thankfully, there is a very simple, practical solution to complement your dietary efforts: The use of green superfood concentrates that can be consumed as a ready-made shake and used as a tasty, nourishing, low-calorie meal replacement.
The plant-derived nutrients from the shakes I recommend are easily digested and help keep your brain happy while also nourishing your whole body. When you consume these phytonutrients in their natural proportions (i.e., from the superfood concentrates or from whole foods), it’s much easier to consume a diet low in calories.
The second factor that determines the metabolic fate of your calories is exercise. And it’s not just what type of exercise, but how long and how frequently you exercise. Exercise at a moderate level of intensity is actually better for weight loss than highly strenuous exercise. This is especially true for people who are out of shape to begin with.
The final factor is also the most cutting-edge of the three: How to actually access the fat on your body and how to burn it more efficiently to create energy. Green tea, omega-3s, and other nutraceuticals have been shown to influence fat metabolism in ways conducive to a lean physique. These supplements can greatly enhance the effects of your diet and lifestyle, and vice versa.
I believe it’s our birthright to live long, healthful, and productive lives—to enjoy deep sleep, enduring vitality and stamina, increased body strength, strong immunity, positive moods, and healthy functioning overall. As your personal nutrition coach, I will help you attain these goals with relative ease. And if you count yourself among the 150 million other Americans who have excess body fat, I would be delighted to help you reclaim or establish the leaner body you’ve been wanting for years.
Over the years, I’ve developed a program centered around these superfood shakes that has been extremely successful in helping people improve their body composition. The most nutritionally balanced shake I’ve used is LOV Super Meal (LOV stands for Live Organic Vegan) , a superfood-based meal replacement for more moderate weight challenges or to maintain a leaner physique. Another is the Gluten-Free Power Shake, which an ideal complement to any exercise program, especially if combined with a high-quality whey protein, rice protein, hemp protein, or pea protein.
With the help of these superfood-based shakes, you’ll be getting nutrient-dense, low-calorie nutrition on a daily basis, and doing so with ease. This is among the most practical and effective strategies for establishing and maintaining a leaner physique over the long term.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a health coaching session for creating a leaner and lighter body, please reach out.
© 2017, Mark Nathaniel Mead