In a paper that collected research on adult obesity, the authors found 42 variables that played some role in body type. Of these 42 variables, only seven came from childhood factors. Of these seven, most were related to the parents’ behavior rather than the child’s. The main takeaway from this is that unhealthy childhood behaviors can be overcome later in life although genetic factors will continue to play a role.
Tip: It’s never too late to make a change. Much of the damage unhealthy behavior causes can be undone.
Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins and minerals that have a host of health benefits. But when it comes to losing weight, they aren’t a miracle pill. Fruit and veggie consumption may make you less hungry throughout the day which will help with weight loss. But if you don’t eat fewer calories overall, you will keep gaining weight.
Tip: Eat your fruits and veggies before your meals. They’ll help you feel full more quickly.
Weight gain and then loss does not impact long term health. Researchers working with rats found that rodents who gained a lot of weight and then lost it lived as long as ones who didn’t experience weight gain and loss. They also found that rats who gained weight and kept it on died much earlier than the obese rats who lost weight.
Tip: BMI is a major factor in quality of life, especially as you get older. Lower BMI is better for heart and joint health, leads to better quality of sleep, and lower injury rates.
More calories will cause weight gain, but snacking isn’t to blame. Researchers studied the effects of junk food on energy intake and found that people did consume more calories when they snacked on junk food. Once they had the participants start counting their calories though, the participants reduced their intakes based on how much junk food they were consuming. Being aware of how many calories you’re eating is much more important than how much you snack.
Tip: Snack on low calorie foods and pay attention to how much you eat throughout the day. Protein, fruits, and veggies are great for keeping you full while keeping calories down.
There isn’t a lot of research on what role your environment plays on your body. Of the articles that are out there, many are just observations and don’t have numbers based research behind them. The few articles that do take a numbers based approach were less likely to say there is a relationship between your environment and your body.
Tip: Get out and get moving no matter where you live. Even in the heart of Houston, there are miles of trails and dozens of parks. If you can’t go outside, then hit the gym. Something is always better than nothing.
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