Over a quarter of Canadians are obese – and with that comes many weight-related health issues. Here are the top 10 reasons why Canada has become a country of overweight people – avoid them and you can free yourself from our nation’s “fat trap”:
- Too many processed foods – they are cheap and convenient, but they are also full out sodium, sugar, chemicals and empty calories. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it will crave more food. So the answer to this one is simple just Eat More Real Food!
- Low intake of fresh, whole foods. Real food is nutrient dense, and when your body gets the necessary nutrients, you will have fewer cravings so again Eat More Real Food!
- Sedentary lifestyle – many people are taking in more than they burn so start moving. Doesn’t have to be high intensity crazy workouts, just walking regular will help.
- Supersized portions – the larger the portion in front of us, the more we eat so make sure that half your plate is vegetables, a quarter lean protein and the other quarter carbs such as whole grains, starchy veggies or beans/lentils.
- Supersized dishware – our plates has become larger and larger. We need more food to fill the plate. Our perception of portion size apparently is affected by the size of the plate. A simple solution is using a smaller plate.
- Advertising and marketing – big corporations throw a lot of marketing money on processed foods and making them seem like they are healthy. Don’t be fooled, read the ingredients and nutrition facts to inform yourself as to what you really are consuming.
- Misinformation and disinformation – people are confused what to eat. Unfortunately the labels on process and packaged foods are not always telling the whole story. Can you pronounce the ingredients, are they real food? How much sugar and sodium is in the product? Where are the calories coming from? These are the questions you should be asking yourself.
- Cost of food – processed, massed produced food, and foods made with subsidized crops are cheaper than fresh produce and other sustainably grown whole foods. High fructose corn syrup is a great example – it is found in a lot of food items we get in the store. Unfortunately spending money of food like products such as these are going to lead you to spend more money on your health when you get sick later on. Set a weekly/monthly budget, plan your meals, leave nights for leftovers and make sure you clean out your fridge before shopping. These are simple ways you can save money by purchasing real food.
- Time management – most people are always on the go. They eat while they are doing other things, and this mindless eating often makes people overeat. Many people don’t have time to cook – they depend on fast food, take out, or dining out – most of the time such foods are loaded with fat, sugar, sodium, and hidden calories. Track your time over a day or two and see where you are really spending your time. How much is on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, how much time is spent watching TV? Could you reduce these and put that time into the kitchen?
- Stress – when we are stressed, our body produce the stress hormone cortisol, which packs a triple whammy. Cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, increase fat storage, and promote cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods. Make sure that self care and stress management is at the top of the list. How much time do you spend on you each day or week? Could you go to bed a little earlier? Hit a yoga class? Read a book? Lock the door and take a bath in peace and quiet? What can you do for yourself today?
For this weeks recipe, I wanted to share a super simple option that you can use for breakfast or afternoon snack (just reduce the quantity to half if using for a snack.) Click here for my Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Parfait. Enjoy!