In we ring the New Year with hopes and expectations and lots of resolutions for 2018. Some we will keep, some we won’t, and some we completely fail at doing. One resolution that needs to be on your list for 2018 is an absolute resolve to reduce carbohydrate intake for the coming year. Unless you are working out several hours a day, running, or work in a demanding physical job, YOU ARE KILLING YOURSELF WITH EXCESS CARBS.
First of all, what are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are a necessary food group that provides fairly instant energy to the body for normal metabolism and daily activities. Therefore, it is a necessary part of your diet, but in moderation. Carbs consist of breads, cereals, sugar, everything made with sugar (including sodas and sweet tea), potatoes, rice, and pasta just to name a few. Carbs as I stated provide the energy for metabolism and the breakdown of protein in your diet. However, in most of our normal sedentary life styles very little carbs are required to drive that metabolism. As a matter of fact some studies show, as little 600 calories per day are required to run the basics of your daily function. On average as little as 1500-1800 calories is enough for a moderately active person. Now on to the problem. Look at how many calories you intake just in one day. Most everyone averages about 3000+ calories of daily food and drink intake. If you are not active, and I’m not talking about moving your chair around the office, you are going to store at least half or more of those calories. That storage is called FAT. Now repeat this intake day in and day out and you can see why fat accumulation can occur and why the obesity rates are climbing rapidly all over the US. In fact, SC is now 12th on the list of the most obese states in the US. To our credit that is a change from 8th the year before. (Mississippi is #1)
Obesity has been classified as a disease and excess carbohydrate intake has been pegged as one of the main causes. With the almost exponential increase in obesity rates over the years there has been a parallel increase in Type 2 diabetes where the size of the body and the calorie intake outstrips the ability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to metabolize the sugars. This leads to more requirements for medicine to increase the insulin output. Ongoing elevated blood sugars can then lead to an increase in heart and vascular disease resulting in poor circulation to the extremities and eventual numbness and possible loss of a limb.
Obesity appears in some studies to have a negative effect on cancer risk, recurrence, and mortality. In a position statement by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as many as 84,000 cancer diagnoses each year are attributed to obesity with implications of 15-20% direct mortality related to obesity. There has been a direct link to an increase in breast cancer due to obesity. As it relates to orthopedics and joint problems, THE KNEE AND THE HIP JOINT WERE NOT DESIGNED TO CARRY SEVERAL HUNDRED POUNDS and, therefore, are prone to wear out earlier in life.
What can be done? Understand that Carbs are the most addicting food group. Simple carbs have a way to drive your appetite center to want to eat more and order more food. That good smelling bread that is put on your table at the restaurant can drive your appetite to order more food. As fat builds up, a hormone in the fat called Ghrelin can further drive the appetite center to crave more and more food. See the endless cycle? Control is not easy. When going on a weight loss diet the hardest thing to do over the first week or two is to not eat carbs. Once that time frame has past it seems most patients aren’t grabbing for the carbs.
Drinks have carbs and count in the overall calorie intake. Many patients think drinking several sodas daily doesn’t count. A 12-ounce regular soda has 135-150 calories, all from carbs. A 20-ounce soda has 250. Drink 2 or 3 a day and you are at 300 -750 calories of that total intake. Add some sweet tea (usually 120 plus calories per glass) and you may exceed any recommended total daily intake for food and drink.
It’s a New Year, a new beginning. Make determinations that an obese life does not have to happen to you. Stop the Carbohydrate poisoning that is ruining your life. Look for ways to decrease your carb intake and take advantage of every opportunity to eat smaller portions and healthier choices. If you don’t exercise, don’t commit to a gym that will only be a memory in a month. Start small by short walks where you live. Park away from the door at work. Take the stairs at work or at church instead of the elevator. Do multiple small things each day and then work toward a longer walk or workout. Most of all commit to be healthy. Get the grilled chicken without the bun, use the vinaigrette dressing instead of the Ranch and don’t get fries with anything. Water is good too especially with a little lemon squeeze. If you must get dessert, only a bite or two will do. Remember, GET LEAN IN ’18.
Live lean, Live happy