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Why Do Americans Have Such A Hard Time Keeping The Fat Off?

Why Do Americans Have Such A Hard Time Keeping The Fat Off? Find out what other people from the message boards think...

By: Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: Why Do Americans Have Such A Hard Time Keeping The Fat Off?

The Question:

Why is it that after all of the studies on how to lose fat, all the articles in magazines and newspapers on how to lose fat, all the diets and supplements for losing fat, and all the constant media attention on how to lose fat... Americans still can't lose their fat and keep it off?

Why do most Americans have a weight problem? What would you tell all overweight Americans if you had five minutes on national television on the subject of getting in shape and staying in shape? What are they doing wrong?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

      Prizes:
        1st place - 75 in store credit.
        2nd place - 20 in store credit.
        3rd place - Free Bodybuilding.com hat.

1st Place - mivi320

Why Do Americans Have Such A Hard Time Keeping The Fat Off?

We all know that obesity in America is a growing crisis. We've all been plagued with persistent media attention on the epidemic our nation is facing. Those fad diets, those supplements, and those articles on how to lose fat and keep it off that you read in misleading magazines. It's all getting old.

It is time to examine this problem that this country is facing, as it seems those struggling to overcome obesity or simply lose a few pounds for vanity purposes are simply misinformed when it comes down to losing and keeping the fat off. Put down that magazine article, and listen up!


1. Fad Diets

    Most of America has taken part in some sort of fad diet in hopes of shedding those unwanted pounds of fat in the quickest amount of time. A fad diet is basically a weight loss program that promises breathtaking results.

    Despite what you may hear about these fad diets, the truth of the matter is that these diets are not very healthy for your body, and don't provide the dieter with long-term success.

    Temporary Results

      One of the main reasons these fad diets are so popular are because there is a plethora of them that actually do work, but for a short time. How can these crazy fad diets work for the short-term, but fail in providing the dieter with long-term success?

      A Short History Of The Low-Carbohydrate Diet.
      The low carb diet has been the diet news story of the last decade. But believe it or not, it didn't start with Dr. Atkins or with Dr. Di Pasquale's Anabolic or Metabolic Diets. It actually started with a London undertaker more than 140 years ago.

      Easy. When most dieters begin implementing these "rules" that many fad diets have (such as food separation techniques, eliminating an important macro-nutrients such as carbohydrates), or sticking solely to a liquid-based diet regimen, these dieters are ultimately eating fewer calories than they normally would.

      With most of these diets, the dieter gives up his or her favorite foods and begins to become more aware of the foods they eat. This is the main reason why these fad diets work in the short-term, and conclusively, the dieter ultimately cannot remain on a program that restricts their food choices and calls for the dieter to monotonously eat the same foods again and again.

      Obviously, these dieters return to their old ways of eating, and end up putting on the pounds they lost in the short-term with these fad diets. In some cases, the dieter ends up putting on even more weight.


2. Living The Sedentary Lifestyle

    What do most Americans do after a long day at work, chauffeuring Susie to soccer practice, and taking little Tommy to his guitar lessons do? That's right. They often sit in front of the television and pound down some junk food. Let's face it, most Americans live sedentary lifestyles, and take part in little or no physical activity.


    Sedentary Lifestyle

    It only takes 30-45 minutes to exercise. Whether that form of exercise is a light stroll in the neighborhood, a jog in the local park, a run on the treadmill, or a weight-training session at the gym, it simply does not matter as long as you get moving!

    Exercise and a sound nutrition program are vital to achieving your dream physique. Now put down that TV remote, and get moving!


3. Fast Food And The Truth About Trans Fat

    You are what you eat. We've all heard this phrase millions of times, but somehow, Americans faced with weight issues don't acknowledge this little phrase. If Americans only knew just how fast food was prepared, and just how many calories and fat it contains, they'd be surprised.

    A burger and fries from your favorite fast food joint will cost you anywhere in the neighborhood of 600-950 calories! What about those awful trans fats? First, let's define what a trans fat is. It is an unsaturated fatty acid molecule that contains a trans double bond between carb atoms.

Trans Fats: Filling The Empty Seat On The Bus.
Dietary fat is a vital nutrient that is essential for health. Like other macronutrients, dietary fat is an important energy source for the body. Find out in this article what fat you want to avoid as much as possible!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Fast food is loaded with trans fat! Diets that contain high amounts of trans fat have been linked to coronary heart disease and even atherosclerosis. Trans fat is not only found in those favorite fried foods at the local fast food joint, but also in baked goods, fried goods, snack foods, and other foods which have been processed.

    Why do many Americans eat fast food and food items with trans fat? Simple. Americans live busy lives, and will chow down on fast food and conveniently packaged goods just because of the fact that these food choices are quick and easy.

    A much better option instead of gorging on these unhealthy food choices would be to simply prepare your own meals. Therefore, you know just what you're eating!


4. Poor Eating Habits

    One of the most obvious examples of these poor eating habits is the collapse of structured mealtimes and snacks. Why is this so? Americans live busy lives. In many homes, families don't even share dinner together at the table, and snacking is prevalent with no limits. Then you have those Americans who skip breakfast for whatever reason.

    The Five Keys To Healthy Eating.
    Many people operate in an either/or mode - either they are following a program perfectly, or they are simply going wild with their eating habits.

    They pile down the calories at lunch to compensate for not eating breakfast. Guess what? The more food the body has to digest at one time, the more food it stores as fat.

    There is only so much the body can digest and process in one sitting. Eating much smaller meals more periodically throughout the course of the day increases the body's thermal effect, which ultimately results in an increase in metabolism!

    Another poor eating habit among Americans is eating too fast. Those who eat fast tend to consume more food because they don't give their brain an opportunity to signal to the body that it is
    satisfied. Chewing often and more slowly can easily avoid this poor habit.

    Another big problem is some Americans looking to get rid of that spare tire try too hard to constantly eat a healthy diet. They simply try too hard. Eating healthy is great, don't get me wrong, but eating too healthy can be a bad habit for those looking to shed a few pounds. Don't try too hard, and follow a nutrition regimen that you're comfortable with.


Finally

Why do most Americans have a weight problem? What would you tell all overweight Americans if you had five minutes on national television on the subject of getting in shape and staying in shape? What are they doing wrong?

Most Americans have a weight problem due to a number of contributing factors. The sedentary lifestyle most live, the frequency of eating fast foods and trans fat, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and lack of motivation. This all correlates to the weight problems many Americans face.

If I had just five minutes on national television to address the issue of getting in shape and staying in shape, I would advise overweight Americans to take a step back and really analyze just what they're doing about their problem.

I would tell them to examine their nutrition programs along with the amount of physical activity they perform daily.

Secondly, I would advise them to simply follow the basics and neglect the thought about following a fad diet. A simple nutrition plan that is based around having an energy deficit by restricting calories and performing cardiovascular activity will overrule any fad diet.

Getting fit and in shape is one thing, but what about maintaining that figure that has resulted in hard work in the long-term? Simple. Continue following a healthy eating plan, but do not restrict calories so severely.

Perform more cardiovascular activity and eat at a maintained caloric level to encourage an atmosphere that will not cause you to lose any weight or gain weight. I would also tell overweight Americans the old phrase, "Rome wasn't built in a day." There are no shortcuts. Breathtaking results require hard work, dedication, and constant devotion.

I would suggest that all overweight Americans apply this principle to their plans to accomplish what they are working for! With a little bit of hard work, determination, and persistence, anything is possible!

Mike


1st Place - bigcalves (Tie)

Why Do Americans Have Such A Hard Time Keeping The Fat Off?

Open a magazine or turn on the TV and all you see is weight loss products. Is America that fat? Last time I checked the magazines, it was full of gorgeous skinny women and in-shape men.

The truth, that's a part of the American Dream, and dream being the main word. Over 60 percent of adults in the United States are overweight, and many are obese. This is like an epidemic. Not so serious to the average person, but the truth is that it's a slow killing disease.


The American Dream

Being overweight is accepted everywhere in the US, also being obese is starting to gain acceptance too, and that should spell out a red signal to our nation. Everywhere you look there is cheap, fattening food, and people eating it.

There is a need for something to get done, so our whole nation gets healthier. America is already known as the fattest nation in the world. We need to do something drastic before the life expectancy starts to shorten.

There are a lot of topics on why Americans are fat. Confusion is one of them. Although America seems to know the general diet rules, and how to look up calories, the confusion is everywhere.

In magazines, on the Internet, and in the gym. People simply don't know what they are talking about, and those that do are a minority and they get mixed up with all the other wrong advices.

Magazines offer bogus routines and diets, while TV commercials promise results from magic pills. Infomercials bombard our society with the newest machine that will get you 'ripped' and 'toned'.

Even though Americans might be confused or not sure how to loose fat, there is a bigger problem. Americans are lazy. Laziness and sedentary lifestyles are the norm. Everywhere you see, people are driving cars, and not walking. There is an elevator in the gyms and that should be a concern.

Living a sedentary life is easy, cheap and many Americans choose that. Americans are lazy and don't feel like committing to a life long journey of fitness, and at the end you reap what you sew.

There are tons of excuses on genetics, health problems and family tragedies. All of those can be put behind. I was in the gym and saw a man in a wheel chair working out. It was his arm day, he was doing dips and then cable curls.

It was inspiring to see a man that can't walk go up on the dip station, independently get out of his wheelchair, do his set and go back to the cable station to superset with cable bicep curls. It was amazing.

This guy is one of the few handicapped people compared to the many overweight Americans, but he had something in him. Courage. The courage and discipline to change his body and not rely on excuses to be lazy.


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It's a scary fact that being overweight and having a spare tire is okay. Accepting fatness is becoming more and more common in the US. By doing that, our kids see that being fat and lazy is okay, and that there are no consequences but fun and tasty food.

Soon they become adults and follow the unhealthy footsteps of their parents and end up like them and so on.

This process needs to be changed in order to prevent future disasters. People will start dying younger and younger and that will cause an economic disaster. Our country has made an effort to prevent obesity, but it's not working. Sure you can't force anyone to run, but providing more information and giving a slight 'push' to our society might help.

How long before our nation does something? There is a organization called NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance) that says fat is ok. If you go to their web site (www.naafa.org) you can find their views and beliefs.

Organizations like that promote fat acceptance and show how common being overweight is. This should be a wake up call for our nation. Our government needs to do something drastic to help prevent the loss of more lives due to obesity and related diseases.

  • Over 60% of adults are overweight.
  • Obesity is slowly creeping up to be the #1 cause of death in the US.
  • More and more kids will grow up to be fat.
  • Food companies are increasing serving sizes, due to popular demand.
  • By being fat, people will be more open to diseases and their longevity will go down.


Things That Confuse The American Population

Fad Diets

    Fad Diets are the worst and most confusing aspect of getting in shape. They can be worthless and damage your health and well-being. Diets such as the latest low-carb craze are worthless and bad for your health.

    By eating no carbs, your body goes into Ketosis, and you are trying to save up your fat and people burn up their muscle, which results in decrease of metabolism and a vicious cycle. People then get depressed and soon quit and gain all the weight back, and that's not worth it.

    What Is Ketosis?
    Ketosis is an excess of Ketones in the body.

    Okay Smart Guy, What Are Ketones?
    Glucose is the body's main energy source. But when the body can't use glucose for energy, it uses fat instead. When fats are broken down for energy, chemicals called ketones appear in the blood and urine.

    This can occur when not enough food has been eaten to provide glucose for energy, or it can occur in diabetes, when the body can't use glucose normally.

    There are other fad diets that say you cannot eat fat. Well, fat is essential for fat loss, so the whole diet is wrong. By eating carbs and protein only, you body is left out of the EFA (Essential Fatty Acids) that are needed for fat loss.

    Again the dieter gets frustrated because there is no fat loss and soon returns to the old, unhealthy lifestyle of consuming tons of unhealthy and artery clogging fats.

    Diets that tell the dieter to consume no meat are bogus too. Protein is the building block of tissue in your body. Without it, you cannot build or maintain muscle, which will cause a metabolism drop, and futile results.

    By not eating protein, you are starving yourself from amino acids that are needed and your body will be unhealthy. You will loose muscle and look flabby, and that will frustrate you.

    Again, try and avoid all Fad Diets. Foods are made for us to eat and we need a balanced diet to survive, and complete our fitness goals. By trusting the next fad diet you are giving yourself a false hope and soon you will crash down.

    Failure is the most common thing I see when I talk to people on the diet. As soon as they start they loose a lot of weight which is mostly water and muscle. After a few weeks the body is fighting back and they feel and look unhealthy. Fad diets are a part of the confusion that is on our nation. And with confusion, we will stay fat.

The Media

    No matter if it's the radio, magazines or TV, the media plays a big role in America's fat loss failure. Our society is bombarded with wrong information. Infomercials that show pills and machines that require no exercise are full of confusion. Our society is centered towards comfort and sedentary lifestyle.

    By advertising products that require nothing out of you, the confusion gets bigger. People blame their fat on genetics and busy lifestyles. They are buying magic pills and get ripped while you watch TV machines.

    It is a billion dollar industry that promises a better lifestyle, but at the end, just gets your money and leaves you in frustration. Ignoring the media is one of the best favors you can do for yourself. You will focus on healthy lifestyle, and a long term goal and not the 6 weeks, get the body of your life machine.

Lack Of Education

    Not knowing what you are eating and getting fat is a part of an uneducated society. By the time a person finishes high school, they have learned very little, if anything about nutrition. Nutrition needs to be taught at the levels of middle school in order to prevent obesity. Even in elementary, basic education should be taught.

    Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle should be considered as the norm and should be enforced on our children. Otherwise they will grow up to be fat and unhealthy. Being fat is not only about how you look.

    If that were the case, I wouldn't be writing this. Being fat is bad for your health. There are tons of deadly diseases caused by excess weight and that can be not only harmful but deadly.

    Educating children that being fat is not only about self image, but about your health and can have a positive benefit on how they look at it and enforce it in their own lives.

    By educating children and adults alike, our society will become more careful about their health. As one man once said, "Being fat is not a sin, but staying fat is". By educating ourselves we will eliminate our nation's problem.


Why Do Most Americans Have A Weight Problem?

Most Americans are lazy and don't go out much. They enjoy life via the Internet, TV or newspapers. They have no desire for life and are stuck in a routine of staying at home and going to work. What kind of fun is that? You end up being unhealthy, unhappy and have a negative view on life.

You have no goals, and your body feels bad. You feel low on energy and stuff yourself up with the daily fast food meal. The media is portraying skinny people that always have fun and never exercise.

The average American thinks that exercising is weird and it's a thing that the government advises you to do 3 times a week for 30 minutes. They think that people that exercise daily are self-centered and obsessed about how they look.

That is wrong. That is another great excuse to not do anything and hide your spare tire(s) under your XXL sweatshirt.

The conveniences of daily life distract the average American. Television and video games are too addictive and more fun than pushing yourself in the gym. Most people prefer to relax after school or work rather than work out physically all over again. Mix that with a diet high in bad fat, and unhealthy food and you have the average American.

Everyone has a routine in their life. And when you leave out exercise, it gets very hard to get it back in. Same thing with exercising daily, and on weekends you feel like you wasted your day not doing anything physical. Americans are overworked and have no time for working out and that plays a huge impact on how they look, feel and act.


Finally

What would you tell all overweight Americans if you had five minutes on national television on the subject of getting in shape and staying in shape?

If I can have 5 minutes on national TV to talk to people about being in shape I would talk about the health aspect of it. There's no other way to feel healthy, alert and have a good energized day. Working out gives you so much in return. I would tell the people about the tons of energy and positive feeling you get from being fit. Having good days everyday is very nice.

Stress is reduced dramatically, and longevity is increased by 5-15 years. After hearing this, I would explain how important nutrition is. Calories, protein and carbohydrates might sound foreign, but I would explain it to them and help them find a good nutritional program.

I would also give them the link to Bodybuilding.com, so they can have more time to investigate. Since most people are so confused about routines I would give them a simple, yet effective routine that they can use. Something that will get them in shape, keep them energized and healthy.

Beginning Routine

    Monday - Weight Training
    Tuesday - Running (30 min.)
    Wednesday - Weight Training
    Thursday - Running (30 min.)
    Friday - Weight Training
    Saturday - OFF
    Sunday - Running (30 min.)

What Americans do wrong is follow someone else's advice. They expect miracle results and are not persistent enough. Consistency is the key to being fit and healthy. Never try to do something fast.

Cutting more than 1-3 lbs. per week is bad and damaging to your health. Be careful, and do not over exhaust yourself, or let yourself float into the routine, and not push yourself.

Give your body rest, to recover and rebuild itself. Always keep health as a priority over image. With this being said, I want to inspire you, give you hope and most importantly set you on the road of success.

Being fit means being healthy and being healthy is what everyone should strive for.


2nd Place - Ifrit

Why do americans have such a hard time keeping the fat off?

I would first like to get a few things off of my chest as I ask myself this question everyday when I train my clients or lack thereof. No one can be helped with any of the best possible diet, supplements, or training if they do not want to apply themselves everyday or do the work.

I deal with clients calling me up telling me a friend is in the hospital or they have "personal" problems and they can't make it in or even worse they don't call me at all for months.

Sometimes they never do because they don't have the nerve to tell me why they failed. It's a hard thing to care about someone's fitness when they dismiss you as a priority in their life day after day.

I try to yell at clients to get them into working out and encourage them but sometimes they don't show for sessions because it was too much for them, this 'sometimes' makes me want to go easy on them so they will come back but at the same time that is not the way to get results, as nothing good comes easy.

We have become too impatient in America today, whether it is waiting in line at Starbucks or sitting at a light and cussing at it until it changes. Everyone wants change in their lives but with no work, hence they never change (sorry kiddies any change is not easy). I don't want this to become a rant but I just wanted readers to know how strongly I feel about this subject and why.


1. Laziness

Let's face it, it's much easier to eat pork grinds while watching comedy central than to get on a treadmill and sweat. I have friends that sometimes don't even want to get up to get water despite the fact they are thirsting like they ran a mile in the Sahara.

Just think of pizza, pizza is one of everyone's favorite foods and not only is it loaded with sugars and trans fats but it's delivered so that makes it even easier to be lazy.Most people would rather pay an extra five dollars for a tip than put their shoes on and make that long drive 1/2 a mile around the corner.

One of the most popular things to do now is for people to pretend how busy their lives are in attempts to make themselves seem exciting to others "cough, cough, cell phones" but in reality it creates a false sense of reality and people begin to believe their own lies and really think they are too busy for things such as working out.

If most people would just open the door and get to the gym and just begin to do cardio they would easily be able to complete 30 minutes because after 5 minutes on the cardio machine it becomes a lot easier as endorphins begin to rise and the muscles become warm. I can't tell you how much I hate cardio but I do it simply because I use this tactic myself.

I felt really tired today and had no drive whatsoever but as soon as I did 5 minutes and put on the headphones I was good to go. If people would shut off that little voice in their heads that says "Cardio sucks, run for the door" they would all be in much better shape because of it. Take action, think less and don't make things out to be a bigger deal then they are, it's only cardio for the love of god! It is not a medieval torture device invented to make you sweat blood.


2. Excuses

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Annoying as hell isn't it? Don't you hate it when you tell someone that you can't do something and they tell you the same thing? Most people do but that guilty feeling leaves very quickly, actually too quickly.

No one in America really feels guilty for the things they lie about nearly as much as they did 50 years ago. I'm only 25 but just watch "Leave It To Beaver" and see how he would cry about lying to his mom for not making his bed.

Most people go out on the weekends to clubs or bars and hang out with friends and basically get blasted, this is one of the lamest excuses for eating crap and falling off the diet especially when you have things like low carb beer (It was all pretty much low carb before the commercials anyway).

That's putting the emphasis and blame on your friends and surroundings instead of yourself.

Hey, I just survived my grandmas house for god sakes and her fat brownies too. Of course their is the ole "not enough time" excuse, most workouts only take 30 minutes so come on now.

How about "How on earth do I take food to work?" Bars, shakes, tupperware, lol. Oh, oh "I can't cook." Can ya read a label? Most things can be cooked in a pan pretty easily just try turning on that scary hot stove top and put something on it. You don't have to be Emeril Lagasi to eat well.

Learn how to cook chicken, turkey, hamburger meat (low fat of course) and you are pretty much set, just add some spices or vegetables. This doesn't just pertain to fitness but if you continue to make excuses people will soon figure you out to be a liar and that is not one of the best traits to have as a person so stop lying to yourself and others and make no excuses, ever if possible, lol.


3. Acceptance

Accepting who or what you are should never be a good thing. What the hell, did he just say that? Yes but not in the way most people think. Sure you should never change who you are "as a person" to suit others but you should never accept what you currently have in your life no matter how much or how little that may be.

If you have an awful job that you dread everyday but stay because of the money don't accept that. Find one you like with the same or better pay and don't let anyone tell you what you are worth.

By accepting the weight and telling yourself you are just like the rest of the people in the U.S.A and that is ok, you are setting yourself up for accepting the things I mentioned and more. Being unhealthy and obese is not cool, sexy or admirable and even if you can never look exactly like a fitness model that is no excuse to not try.

People always revert to the saying "It's what's inside that counts' well guess what, the things that are going on inside most Americans like high cholesterol and high blood pressure are not good.

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Some people may have pair shapes and think it isn't worth working out because you can't change the bone structure you were given which you may hate so why bother. There are certain body parts you can workout to accentuate the good parts about your body and narrow the parts you may not like.

If you have a pair shape then work harder on your shoulders it's certainly better then accepting the things you don't like about your body. Listen to yourself when it comes to what your life should be like.

No one is holding a gun to your head telling you where to live and where to work. The boundaries that are the highest are the ones you make for yourself.


4. Realization

I think the general population doesn't realize how many calories they consume or how the fat and sugar intake effects them. They are so used to eating fast food that it has become abnormal to eat at home anymore; I can't think of any moms that cook out there.

Simple sugars and trans fats are the biggest reason for obesity and people have even been told they are bad for you but not EXACTLY how.

Food is looked at as entertainment now instead of simply eating to stop feeling hungry. People don't realize how they are emotionally tied to the food they eat and blindly eat more by their feelings than by facts of nutrition labels.

I'm shocked when people tell me they don't know how to read the labels on the back of foods and they say they don't know how to count calories. I think there are many people out there that believe the people in fitness ads were blessed with what they have and probably don't even work out; this has a lot to do with misleading marketing by some supplement companies although I do believe it has gotten better.

I like simple things with caffeine and yohimbine HCL like Lipo 6. Yohimbine has been shown to decrease fat synthesis in the body by increasing fatty acid mobilization.

Realize that it takes hard work, dedication and self discipline to achieve your fitness goals. Read about others experiences on how they reached their goals so you don't have to go through the Chinese water torture to get into shape.


Finally

What would I tell overweight Americans if I had five minutes on national television on the subject of getting in shape and staying in shape? What are they doing wrong?

I would tell Americans they should think less and act more. Do your thinking in the gym working out with weights or while you are doing cardio. Stop worrying about what diet is best and simply try to diet. Watch your portion sizes and eliminate fast food almost completely. Simple sugars are the devil and so are trans fats.

If you hate working out then get a friend to go with you and it won't be so bad. Try and push yourself in the gym and in everything you do in life everyday and good things will follow. It doesn't matter how much you have to lose because if you lose anything then that is further than where you were as if you did nothing.

Stay positive and surround yourself with positive people because life isn't as hard as most people make it out to be. Look at the things they had to do 100 years ago and think how lucky we are to have what we have and how easy we really have it.

There weren't nearly as many out of shape people back then because they were far more active. Don't hate the things you can't change and do what you can to push the positive.

I would like to close with my favorite quote from Bruce Lee "Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation." Which basically means there is no one way to do things and the limitation "you" set is the limits you shall receive in everything you do.


2nd Place - live4this13 (Tie)

Why Americans Are Generally Obese.

Americans are obese because they choose to be. Now while this statement may not be true for all, it is the main reason Americans have weight issues. America the great... land of fast food, endless hours of T.V. and time spent on the computer. It all comes down to choices.


Time - Planning:

One major factor in obesity is time and planning. Many Americans do not want to take the time to cook a nutritional meal.

They tend to just order in a pizza and dozen of wings, or drive two blocks down the road to the Burger King.

I think if Americans would follow these tips they would have a much better chance of losing the fat:

  1. Plan your meals - It's as easy as that. Take the time to write down your meals, and leave yourself a reasonable amount of time to cook and eat them. You will be far less likely to cheat this way.

  2. Plan your gym time - For the same reason as planning your meals. You will not have to worry about 'will I have 45 minutes to hit the gym today or not,' you will already have it planned out. You are also far less likely to miss if you plan ahead.

  3. Track your progress - Write down your workouts in a notebook or log. You will be able to keep up with your progress and better stay motivated.

    Being able to visually see your bench press going up 5 pounds each week will keep you into it. I suggest this log from bb.com or a simple notebook will be sufficient.

  4. Take the time to visit the grocery store - This is very important due to the fact that if you go grocery shopping weekly you will ensure there is always health foods at your home.

    Be sure to make a list and get items rich in vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and low in saturated fat. It is also key to avoid high sugar snacks, reach for some fruit or some mixed nuts instead.

  5. Have a planned out routine - Planning out a routine will take a lot of the guess work out of going to the gym. You will know what you are doing on which days.


Fad Diets, Miracle Drugs & Lack Of Knowledge

To many Americans fall victim to the "Lose 30 pounds in 30 days" or the "6 inches off your waste in weeks." This is just the people being lead on to believe these results are obtainable. It fits Americas style, like high speed internet, wireless instant calling, Americans think diets can be instant to.

False Advertisement & Lack of Knowledge

    With all the ads you see on T.V. it is nearly impossible to take it all in on your own. Most ads tend to target middle aged men and women, who do not necessarily have the time to go to the gym.

    They show these people with amazing results to confuse people. Now stop for a second and think. Does the company really care if I lose weight? The answer is no, they are making their money either way.

Fad Diets

    With all the fad diets out it is nearly impossible to choose the one right for you. Should I do the South Beach Diet?, what about Atkins? Or maybe No Carb? The answer is none of the above! Your diet should contain a proper ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat based on your goals.

Fast Food

    Possible Americans biggest problem is fast food restaurants. They seem to be on every corner these days, tempting in Americans with their time efficient , unhealthy food. Fast food is the perfect downfall for hard working American people.

    They are running late to their meeting, more than likely because they didn't plan everything out, and are hungry, they see a fast food restaurant and say "oh what the heck a few extra calories won't hurt me." However, it turns out their idea of a few extra calories could turn into a lot. I have included a chart of calories in fast food for your convenience.


Click To Enlarge.


Motivation & Goal Setting

Americans like results and they like them quickly. Many tend to get frustrated quickly as well. Motivation seems to be a big problem. Many people give up after a week if they don't see results.

Motivation

    Hang posters up, look at pictures of men and women that you think look ideal. These things will help you in the long run. Keep notes on cabinets and refrigerators doors, reminding yourself not to cheat, or to eat healthy. This will help you produce results in the long run.

Goal Setting

    Nothing will kill your motivation like not losing that fat. Many people expect to lose 5 pounds in a week. Our bodies are not designed like this, our bodies are made to hold on to that fat in order to fuel the body if you are every without food.

    Set reasonable goals for yourself. Aim to lose 1-1.5 lbs a week. This will be best in the long run because it will leave less stretch marks as well as minimize muscle loss.


What Are Your Goals?
>Lose Fat
>Build Muscle
>Improve Energy
>Other

    Nothing will kill your motivation like not losing that fat. Many people expect to lose 5 pounds in a week. Our bodies are not designed like this, our bodies are made to hold on to that fat in order to fuel the body if you are every without food.

    Set reasonable goals for yourself. Aim to lose 1-1.5 lbs a week. This will be best in the long run because it will leave less stretch marks as well as minimize muscle loss.

    As with goals come rewards, if you meet your goal, have that slice of pizza you've been craving just remember keep it to a minimum and only once every week or two. Also make sure you only weight in weekly or every two weeks, as weighing in everyday can kill your motivation. Remember fat loss doesn't happen overnight.


Finally

If I could talk on national television for 5 minutes what would I say?

I would tell Americans that fat loss is not an overnight thing. Like a wise man once said,

"Everything has a price, you must pay the price to get to a point where success is possible, and most importantly you must pay the price to stay there" - Vince Lambarty.
Louis Dorman Fat Loss Combo.
Get the exact products Louis used during his transformation at a discounted price.

Meaning that while having that rock hard body is your goal, you must pay for it. It is not going to come easily otherwise we would all be supermodels. Also, most importantly, once you get those abs of steel, you will have to continue to work to maintain them.

I would advise Americans to stay away from "Fad diets" and "Miracle drugs." I would recommend they put the money they would have spent on miracle pills into food. Anything that sounds to good to be true is more than likely that, to good to be true.

I would recommend them beginning a beginners split. A three day routine, with cardio, building up to a four day split with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). I would also stress the importance of not missing workouts and meals.

The final thing I would stress on would be the importance of eating your meals at the table. Too many people eat in front of the TV or computer, or even worse while lying down.

Eating while lying down tricks your body into thinking you are not full when really you are. It takes your body longer to fill your stomach when you are lying down. Plus when you eat at the table, you are less likely to grab that extra snack afterwards.

Thanks


3rd Place - MantisShrimp

Causes Of American Obesity


Television

The growth of television and especially the growth of cable and satellite television. Now more than ever there are programs on television which cater to every niche possible, so people are watching much, much more TV than they used to.

TIVO, recording systems, VCRs, and everything about TV these days is geared toward maximizing the vicariousness of our culture, at the expense of activity.

Increasingly, the pop media culture is becoming so self-referential (reality TV) and socialization is becoming so dependent upon understanding of pop culture, that divorcing oneself from TV and such idling activities is becoming more and more of a risk to reputation, popularity, happiness, and successful integration with others. This slovenly pastime is eating our culture.


The Internet

The same case with the internet and its growth, as above. More specialist entertainment catering to people's specific needs, the end result is that they spend more time sitting on their butts.

The internet tends to attack the weaknesses of those of higher intellect, because it is based mostly around reading. So those missed by dumbed down TV, are swept up by the internet.


Sprawl

Most European towns and structures are within relatively close proximity of one another. The towns are closer, and within the towns, the buildings are closer. This tends to create a more pedestrian and biking oriented culture.

Here in the USA, we have so much land available, that we tend to try and stretch out and develop as much of it as we can.

As a result, very little actually ends up being walkable, and we get less incidental exercise. Everytime we need something we hop in our cars, and steering, no matter how hairpin the turn, is not an aerobic activity.


Longer Work Hours

An American worker gets far less vacation time (2 weeks) than his European counterpart (typically 6 weeks.) While at work, he/she eats more poorly, in order to deal with the stress of being worked like a dog.

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Education

Education in the USA can legally end at age 16, and college is increasingly less and less realistic as an option for the working poor and lower middle class, as tuition rates skyrocket.

In many other socialist and semi-socialist countries, college education is built into the tax structure, and everyone has the right to tack 4 more years of learning onto their high school years. Statistics almost always seem to indicate that the more educated people tend to be the thinner people, so here we have a direct link.

This doesn't even cover another scourge, which is poor physical education programs. Your physicality is at least half of your life, and has a profound and direct impact on the rest of it - aka your mentality, attitude, mood, etc. Why then, do we consider grade school to be a full, rounded "education," when the physical aspect of education is typically a laughable joke?

When I was in school, we did things like bean bag tossing, hula hoops, maybe some racing around cones, basic mindless idiocy with very little groundwork. The academic, critical, and causal aspects of physical education - nutrition, lifestyle management, basic physiology, etc., were never even touched.

Almost no emphasis was placed on the routine of exercise; phys. ed. was treated more as a second recess or playtime. Often times the actual rules to games played, like basketball, weren't even taught.

I don't know if it is like this everywhere, but judging from the fact that very few kids are picking up healthy physical habits, I'd wager that phys. ed. is not sticking, and that it sucks almost everywhere.

(And while we're at it, why don't we overhaul health, and home economics classes, and add personal finance management, because these critical aspects of real life we're missing from unreal school as well...)


Health Care

Again, health care is not socially mandated in the USA as it is in places like Canada, and as a result, the average person gets less inexpensive and incidental exposure to doctors and medical practitioners, and less exposure to their knowledge and aid.


Convenience Oriented Culture

Capitalism is a service oriented venture. Service tends naturally toward convenience. A capitalist state within which invention and consumerism are running at hyperactive levels, such as America, is going to place tremendous importance on convenience.

The problem arises when people and marketers both lose the ability to discern between good conveniences and bad conveniences (for instance, a can opener is a good one, but using a Segway transporter to go to the store within walking distance is a bad one.)

Our convenience oriented culture has misled people to believe that athletic bodies can be had without athletic levels of perseverance and courage. This simply isn't true. Even if surgery could make you look athletic, it can't accomplish the 100 other benefits exercise provides. So convenience is marring people's perception of cause and effect, and eroding our work ethic.


Peer Pressure & Suggestion

If everyone else around you is fat, then there must be nothing wrong it, right? This factor becomes more and more influential as time passes. People are far more likely to go with the flow than to question the masses.


Junk Science

Everything from "pro-Genetics" or hereditary arguments for slow metabolism, to even the FDA's most recent relaxation of their standards of obesity points toward a tangible fat industry in the USA, one which is increasingly interested in manufacturing fake or questionable science, skewing statistics, and re-enforcing lazy myths in order to keep people eating and spending.

Let's face it, a carrot nibbling anorexic just isn't good for the food industry, and thus is not good for the people in government, whom they constantly lobby. Great examples: muscle turns to fat, men become muscle bound, women don't want to lift because they will automatically look like men.


Trans Fats

Trans fats are present in aisles and aisles of American foods. These hydrogenated oils are used as a shortcut to congeal these fake foods, but the problem is, the body stores them almost immediately as fat.

Dietary Fats!
There are many different types of fats and they can be conveniently divided into four main categories: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fatty acids. Learn more about them!
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Unlike saturated fats and cholesterol, which are often demonized and still needed, trans fats serve absolutely no purpose other than to lower the financial bottom line on certain products, and they ought to be banned ASAP!


Fast Food

Not only does fast food have trans fats, fast foods in general contain an alarmingly high percentage of saturated [bad] fat, well in excess of the RDA. Additionally, portions are typically way too large (encourages eating too few meals per day, results in more fat storage), and they add sugar to things that don't even need sugar, thus spiking insulin and increasing the body's receptivity to fat storage.

Then again, people have the freedom to choose. It's the consumer's fault, right? Why blame places like McDonalds? They've only been flooding us with courtesy advertising and deviously linking their terrible food to the concept of playtime and recess (aka, their evil playgrounds) in the minds of all of us since we were vulnerable little children going on vacations with our parents, we must certainly have the free will to decide. Fast food is a menace.

Click On Your Favorite Restaurant To Learn The Truth!
© © © ©
© © © © ©

In summary, form follows function. The United States hasn't been seriously sieged in land warfare since the Civil War. Geographical isolation and a general feeling of superiority (whether deserved or not is another discussion) among the average prideful citizen, in tandem with banal, information oriented job functions that consist mostly of using some small portion of the brain, as well as private/personal life functions which consist of mainly consumer and buyer behavior, have very directly influenced the average American to become a physically dilapidated, indefensible slob.

You can choose to blame the individual, or you could choose to blame the culture, but in truth it is really a delicate combination of both elements, a feedback cycle between media and culture, which contributes to the making of an obese American.

So long as Americans continue to have it easy while thinking they have it hard, they're going to stay fat, lazy, and decrepit. When you're coddled, gratitude is something you must cultivate internally; there is very little true adversity to make you feel grateful for the privilege of life, the opportunity to keep the basics like fitness in tact.

This is what movies like "Fight Club" were all about. Ultimately, it takes a strong parental unit with strong values for athletics and self-maintenance. And as they say, it takes a village.

When function de-emphasizes physicality, when insular sprawl, suburbanization, and lack of foreign invasion protect people from violent conflict, when convenient, technological weaponry replaces hardy fists and hard knocks as the primary form of street self-defense.

All but the most self-aware and individualistic of people will also allow their form to follow their function, and for the human body, this neglect spells nothing but atrophy and decay.

It's like in the movie "The Matrix," America has become a vast wasteland of untruth, of simulacra and simulation, nothing but a virtual reality, and of course the body is left behind; unlike in the movie, there is no farm conveniently maintaining the body--the maintainer is you.


Final Question

What would you tell all overweight Americans if you had five minutes on national television on the subject of getting in shape and staying in shape? What are they doing wrong?

I would tell them that the fact that they have one life to live, the absolute worst nightmare they could possibly live would be to reach the end of it, or even the end of their prime, and realize that they had squandered their most valuable assets, health and vitality, (two things which ultimately take not much more effort than leaning over a vanity every day to apply all manner of creams, makeup's, and hair care products) due to a fundamental lack of discipline, and of course a lack of energy.

I would ask them what they are truly pursuing in life, some final goal, or a good journey. I would interview a terminally ill, oversexed millionaire with lung cancer, or one with diet induced diabetes, or one who was a recovering heart attack victim, or a stroke victim, or a wheelchair bound person whose limbs had deteriorated from carrying around excess weight.

I would ask this millionaire, who presumably had all of the things our media feedback cycle and our people are constantly telling themselves they need what he felt was truly important.

And he would say "health." And of course it would fall on deaf ears.


3rd Place - doggiejoe

America: The Home Of The Fat

"Lose fat now!" it's a worldwide slogan, which everyone has heard. Everywhere you turn, everywhere you look, all you see are ads on how to lose weight. Every week there's a new fad diet on how to lose weight. "Low-Carb" this, "Fat-Free" that. And Americans still find a way to be the fattest people in the world. It's truly a crying shame!

Despite the millions of dollars spent on obesity research and on quick weight loss diets, Americans are heavier than ever. A mind-boggling statistic is that 65 percent of Americans are overweight. That's up 45 percent from 20 years ago! And that's about 2/3 of every American.

With all the stress put on the public to look their best I still wonder why people are overweight. Sure no one wants to be overweight, but how many of those overweight Americans do something about it? Mostly every American has had a gym membership at one point of their life. But with little dedication, almost all of them quit after a month.


Spoiled With Technology

We are a spoiled society that wants everything "Now, now, now!" with the patience of a five year old. We live in a society were everything is done fast and efficient. We have been spoiled because our lives have become easier as technology processes. We have been gradually spoiled with technology.

We don't work on the fields like we use too. Farms have now been replaced with corporate buildings. 30 years ago people were getting exercise in their daily routines. Today, technology has made our lives easier, but it also made us lazier. Everything can now be done with the touch of a button from the comfort of your chair. Mostly everyone owns a car so you don't have to walk or ride a bike to get places.

Artificial Intelligence Factor

    Everything around us is turning artificial. Every flavor of food has been cloned into artificial flavors. It's a rarity to see a fruit juice that is 100 percent now a days.

    Chemicals are now turned into flavors and the things you eat aren't really what you think they are. Next time you eat that blueberry muffin, make sure to read the ingredients, the last thing you're eating is blueberry.

    Kids now a days would rather stay inside playing video games than playing a game outside. Video games are really disturbing our youth, not only with weight problems but also with school grades.

    You definitely don't see kids playing sports on the streets like they use too. All you here them talking about is about the "new cool videogame" that's coming out.


Overeating & Underexercising

The main reasons Americans are overweight is due to the fact that we eat too much and exercise too little. It is certainly a lot easier to stay at home watching television while surfing the web, than going to the gym and busting your ass off.

It is also easier said then done. There's no doubt that being fat and sluggish is a lot easier than being fit and active. It's a lifestyle many Americans choose, but I am not one of them.

The foods that we eat are highly processed, loaded with sugars, and fatty foods. These foods are also being marketed by giant corporations that mostly are out to brainwash children, setting them up for high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Over $34 billion is spent yearly on these types of advertisements. American's extra pounds have also cost the nation as much as $93 billion on annual medical bills. That's even more than smoking bills, which were estimated at $76 billion a few years ago.

The reason we eat these foods is because they are convenient to us. They are already prepared and don't take any work to do. As I mentioned earlier we are spoiled and want every to be fast.

Families now a days would rather eat at a fast food restaurant than making a good old fashioned dinner at home. These foods are filled with trans fat and our contributing to the growing epidemic of obesity in America.


5 Minutes On National Television

If I were given the opportunity to address the American people on national television about their health I would deliver the following speech:

    "My fellow Americans, I am here to warn you about a growing threat to our great country. Don't worry; no troops will be needed to deal with this threat, so put the baseball bat down. It's a more serious threat that you might not be aware off. It's the 2nd leader of death in the United States.

    "It is obesity, which leads to multiple illnesses that will lead to an early death. As a country, I want you to look into the mirror, and tell me what you see. 2/3's of you will see an overweight person. Please don't worry, there's still hope for you everyone.

    "To begin with, I want everyone to examine their diet, is there any way you could eat healthier? If so, please do so. You could eat healthier by choosing unprocessed foods, lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and whole grain products. You can also speed up your metabolism by not having the traditional 3 meals a day, and splitting your meals in smaller portions for 6 meals a day (this is very important).

    Deciphering The Food Label Code!
    To some people trying to manage chronic disease like heart ailment or diabetes, label reading is a critical and lots of times a life saving matter. Learn how to read food labels and not get fooled!

    "Also you should educate yourself about food labels. If you see a label saying "Fat-Free" it doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you. Furthermore you should implement some sort of exercise to your every day routine.

    "Make time for exercise. For example, you could walk to the grocery store, instead of going in your car. Not only will you get a workout, but also you'll save some money on gas. Another way is by walking up the stair rather than taking the elevator.

    "Getting in shape isn't an easy task. It will take some dedication and hard work. Don't set unrealistic goals for yourself either. Drastic changes won't happen overnight.

    "As many times as you've read "lose 25 pounds in a week", it is not possible without damaging your body for the worse. Think realistic like dropping 10 pounds every month.

    "You need to remain consistent and not give up, the changes in your body will occur and you will thank yourself later. Without any goals, this great country wouldn't be were it's at now. I know none of you want to be a part of this growing threat so this is the time to do something about it.

    "You could do something about it by making little changes to your daily lifestyle, which I mentioned earlier. You need to make these changes for yourself, your children, their children, and so on, if not this great country will be in great danger.

    "So get off that coach and run some laps around the house. Remember you don't have to be an athlete to lose weight!

    "Goodnight and God bless America."


Why Do Americans Have Such A Hard Time Keeping The Fat Off?
topic@bodybuilding.com

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