It's no secret that the general American public is increasingly more overweight. In fact, there seems to be a direct correlation in the last decade or so between the size of our cars like sport utility vehicles, the size of our meals ("Could you supersize that?") and the size of our waistlines! In 1980, 46 percent of adults in the United States age 20 or older were overweight or obese. By 1999, the number had increased to 65 percent. In 2013, 70 percent of adult Americans were either overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
We all know that it's not good to be overweight. But it's not just a matter of how we look. Did you know that being just 10 to 20 pounds overweight increases your risk of premature death? Those excess pounds increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma and other illnesses. In fact, every two-pound increase in weight increases the risk of arthritis by at least 9 percent, and a woman who gains just a pound a year after age 20 can nearly double her chance of postmenopausal breast cancer. I have found a weight gain of just 11 pounds will double the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes.
The Truth About Fad Diets
Finding the true solution that will work for you to lose weight requires cutting through the confusion that is presently in the public forum on this issue and taking a look at the facts.
Most of the new fad diets that are on the market today are actually harmful to a person's health. They tend to run to one extreme or the other, containing excessive amounts of cholesterol, saturated fat or animal protein. They also tend to be lacking in many key nutrients necessary to counter disease. Other potential dangerous effects that have been noted include:
- Mild dehydration
- Sleep problems
- Increased risk of osteoporosis
- Inability to maintain weight loss
- High blood pressure
Freedom From Fad Diets
So what is a person to do? I have good news: Through the combination of eating the right foods, burning calories through physical exercise and supplementing the diet with the proper nutrients, it is possible to lose weight and keep it off. Not only can you do it without any detrimental effects to your body, but also your health will actually improve as a result of the changes that you make.
Foods That Increase Metabolism
As scientists continue to study the chemistry of the human body, five common groups of foods have been proven to increase metabolism and block the fatty acid uptake in the body's cells, thus causing a person to lose weight.
The fiber found in common oatmeal has an incredible impact on the insulin levels in the bloodstream. When you eat sugary foods, the insulin converts those carbohydrates into fat storage and slows down your metabolism. But the fiber present in oatmeal blunts that insulin response. Anyone who is struggling to lose weight should fix themselves a bowl of oatmeal, or another type of oat bran cereal that is high in fiber, for breakfast. Fiber supplements such as apple pulp concentrate, citrus pectin and glucomannan, from the konjac plant, can also have the same effect.
Spicy foods such as salsa, jalapeño peppers and cayenne peppers have been shown to increase the body's metabolism and burn more calories, even when the body is at rest. The chemical capsaicin, which actually causes the spiciness, is the key. One study showed that a single spicy meal increased people's metabolism by 25 percent, and the effect lasted for three hours. I mention salsa in particular because the tomatoes contain lycopene, another helpful component in the prevention of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
- Green Tea
Certain chemicals within the green teas commonly found in Asian countries have been shown to increase the body's metabolic rate and increase the breakdown and elimination of fat. The polyphenols present in the tea have a thermogenic effect on the body, which means they cause the body to begin to burn its fat reservoirs. The amount of caffeine that is present in green tea doesn't cause jitters, unlike the amount found in coffee, but it does increase metabolism and allows the body to burn more calories while resting.
Diets that restrict protein intake are missing one important fact: Protein requires more calories to digest in the body than do carbohydrates or fats. To a certain extent, shifting to a higher protein diet will burn more calories and cause you to lose more weight. It is important not to go to an extreme with this, however, because too much protein can be harmful to the kidneys. It is also better to obtain protein in your diet from low-fat sources such as poultry and fish rather than red meats.
The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, cod and sardines have consistently been shown to increase body metabolism.
Increased body metabolism is important because it increases the rate at which the body can burn fat while at rest. In other words, you can be working off those calories just by sitting in your chair. In fact, approximately 70 percent of total calories that you burn are burned while at rest, just to keep the heart beating, your intestines working, your food digesting in your system and other automatic processes, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, if you hope to lose weight and maintain good health, burning metabolic calories alone is not enough. Physical activity should be an important factor in any weight-loss plan.
In conclusion, it is a myth that it is impossible to succeed at weight loss. You can succeed by finding God's pathway to healing and weight loss designed just for you!
This article is an excerpt from Hidden Bible Health Secrets by Reginald Cherry, M.D. Copyright 2017 by Reginald Cherry, M.D.
Reginald Cherry, M.D., has practiced diagnostic and preventive medicine/alternative medicine for over 40 years. Frustrated with the limited number of people he could help, he was led to expand his outreach through ministry with weekly television, books and other materials. He is the author of numerous books, including The Bible Cure and The Doctor and the Word.
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