How Do We Approach Fit and Fat?

Article by Dr. Paul Kennedy
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Doctor Paul Kennedyby Dr. Paul Kennedy, Wellness Outreach Doctor – September 2013 Topic of the Month

Over 46 years ago, the first “Fat In” demonstration was launched at the Sheep Meadow in New York’s Central Park in an effort to “protest discrimination against the fat”. The leader of the demonstration weighed 210 pounds and stood 5 feet 11 inches tall. In today’s world, he would be literally unnoticed and possibly considered as being just a bit overweight. But it was perhaps at that event where “fatness”, rightly of wrongly, became part of the national nomenclature. The message to the public at that time was that fat people-and this was the term they preferred-were not necessarily gluttonous or purposely inactive (lazy?). In the intervening 46 years, the level of “fatness” in our nation (now known as obesity) has gone to a whole different and UN-healthy level. As a corollary, it should be understood that many (most?)“fat rights” advocates still prefer the term “fatness” to the term obesity. In one sense, obesity has become the term for a medical condition rather than a description of “fatness”.

So where do we go from here? Fitness professionals are constantly searching for ways to promote weight loss as a means to improved health and wellness. order viagra canada Indeed, ideas about controlling and/or reducing unwanted fat weight is one of the major components of my five-part lecture series here at Leisure Fitness. But the truth is that everyone is different when it comes to the fitness and health issues surrounding excess body fat. Is it possible to be fit AND fat? The answer is yes but comes with a few little details or caveats that are worth considering. The first and most salient detail is that of genetics. But the first idea concerning the fact that genetics DOES play a role in excess body weight is that it is used as an excuse to NOT be FIT! In other words, those habits and activities that allow us to remain healthy can and will allow us to keep our natural weight under control. And the components of such a “program” are simple and easy to execute. They are “eat a little less” and “exercise more”. And the results of such a simple plan are multiplicative rather than just additive.

FOR example, the current weight loss research literature has demonstrated that, if needed, even a loss of just 10% of one’s body fat-as I have described in previous articles and in my book- can reduce the chances of a list of chronic conditions and diseases by nearly 60 %! Additional fat weight loss beyond the arbitrary 10% level (which I recommend for significantly overweight individuals) coupled with lean body tissue increases (muscle) can result in an even greater level of health and wellness. If we use the example of the Central Park protestor back in 1967, his initial weight loss target would be around 190 pounds instead of his then current weight of 210. In other words, if he lost just 1 pound per week, he would reach the above-described healthier body weight in about 5 months. And the gradual rather than rapid weight loss “program” would significantly increase his chances of KEEPING the unwanted pounds from returning. Of course, every person that embarks on a fat weight loss “program” should endeavor to make those lifestyle changes permanent rather than ONLY for weight loss.

So IS it possible to be fit and fat? Sure, but only with a reasonable eating plan, regular exercise to promote and/or maintain a lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and, generally, lower blood glucose levels (blood sugar). Also, one of the most common responses to fat weight loss that I have heard over the years is (and I’m paraphrasing), “Gee, I just seem to have so much more energy!” But the message is clear, regular “brisk” exercise and a reasonably healthy eating plan is the most sustainable path to a healthy body and more active lifestyle.

I’m Dr. Paul Kennedy and that’s the “Be Fit, Stay Fit” Topic of the Month for September 2013. Good luck with YOUR program! I KNOW you can do it!

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