There are a number of reasons for the increased incidence of obesity and overweight individuals, as suggested by American statistics, but also a number of workout and nutrition tips that can counter the effects of each bad nutrition and exercise habit that we have:
* It has been estimated that for every high-sugar drink you consume, you increase your risk of obesity by 60%! Soft drinks provide 33% of all added sugars in American diets.
Tip #1: Avoid drinking calories!
* In the USA, sugar consumption has increased from 26 to 32 teaspoons (between the 1970's and 1998).
* Americans eat an extra 150 kcal per day now in comparison to 1980. In theory, this could lead to 15 lbs. of weight gain per year!
Tip #2: Avoid over-eating treats at parties. If you can't have just one, don't have any at all!
* Your obesity risk increases 6-fold if you watch more than 2 hours of television each day.
Tip #3: Stay active. Walk around the mall a couple extra times if it means you'll avoid the couch and overeating at home. Stay busy, stay active, stay lean.
* Only 25% of individuals exercise moderately for 30 minutes each day, whereas 25% of the population does no exercise at all.
Tip #4: It's not all or nothing. If you can only do 15 minutes of exercise, that is still better than nothing. Don't stop all exercise just because you can't do 30 minutes that day.
* Obesity continues to increase in the USA despite a continued decrease in the consumption of dietary fat. In 1994-96, fat accounted for 33% of total calories compared with 40% in the late 1970's.
* In 1994-96, just over half of the population reported eating fruit each day while the consumption of processed carbohydrates (such as bread, snack foods, and cereals) has increased 110% since the late 1970's.
Tip #5: Avoid processed carbs. Hit the veggie tray, the protein offerings, and the calorie free beverages at parties. If its rolled in pastry, don't eat it.
* Milk consumption has decreased in children by 16% since the late 1970's, while consumption of soft drinks increased by 16%.
Tip #6: Don't keep soda in the house. If you don't buy it, neither you nor the kids will drink it.
Stick to these 6 simle tips and you'll stay lean over the holidays. Add in a little more exercise and you could do the impossible - lose fat over the holidays!
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Mens Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com