Two of the Top Things You Can Do to Lose Weight!
Being at a healthy weight is more important now than ever before. If you are obese and under 60 years old, your chances of being hospitalized due to a COVID-19 infection are doubled. A recent study that looked at COVID-19-related emergency room visits to a large metropolitan hospital found that 49% of the patients under 60 who tested positive had to be admitted to either acute care (37%) or intensive care (12%). For patients over 60, age tended to be more of a risk factor than obesity, but obesity definitely added to the risk.
Another study led by the University of North Carolina examined the available published literature on individuals infected with COVID-19 and found that those with obesity were at a greatly increased risk for hospitalization (113%), more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (74%), and had a higher risk of death (48%) from the virus. Obesity is also associated with numerous underlying risk factors for COVID-19, including hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney and liver disease. Metabolic conditions caused by obesity—such as insulin resistance and inflammation—make it difficult for individuals with obesity to fight infection.
Obesity can even alter the effectiveness of a vaccine. A 2017 study of the efficacy of the influenza vaccine found that vaccinated obese adults had twice the risk of getting an influenza-like illness as healthy-weight adults. If you’re waiting for a COVID vaccine, it would be wise to do everything you can to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Currently 42% of Americans are obese, meaning they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30. BMI is a simple calculation of your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. You can calculate your BMI here.
If you find yourself in the obese category, hopefully this information is motivating you to lose weight. But where do you start? That answer can be confusing. Most people don’t start in the right place. Very few diets work, and most diets end up making people fatter than they were before they went on the diet. In fact, 95% of people who go on diets gain all of their weight back within two years.
At Exercise Inc, we take a different approach. We teach our clients to adopt lifestyle changes they live with for the rest of their lives. Since 2013 we’ve been coaching our clients on the 9 most important habits that will help them lose weight and keep it off long term—we call them the Simple 9©. Our approach is simple but not easy. It has also been so successful that we’ve been able to help our clients lose over 30,000 pounds since 2013.
The first four habits are the most important. Because weight loss is so important right now, I want to share with you the four most important things you need to do to lose weight and keep it off long term.
1. Drink 8 to 12 cups of water a day
The average person is 40–70% water. Your blood is 90% water, your brain is 85%, muscle 70%, bone 30% and fat 10%. If you are dehydrated, you feel it first in the systems that contain the most water. Loss of mental alertness, headaches, and muscular weakness and cramping are some of the first signs of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water will improve your health, your ability to function in daily living, and promote fat loss.
Several recent studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of water can temporarily boost metabolism by 24–30%. The researchers indicated that drinking 8 cups of water can increase energy expenditure by as much as 96 calories a day. They estimated that 40% of the caloric burn originated from warming the water from 71° to 98.6°. That’s significant, but what might happen if the water is ice cold?
Let’s say you drink ice water chilled to a cool 32°F. Your body will need to warm this water to 98.6°F. Calories stored as energy in your body will be used to heat the water. For every ounce of ice-cold water you drink, your body will burn about 1.06 calories to heat the water up. Remember, in the studies mentioned above, heating the room temperature water only accounted for about 40% of the total caloric burn. Drinking 8 to 12 cups of ice-cold water every day will cause you to burn a significant number of calories that are potentially pulled from your fat cells.
2. Eat 2 to 3 servings of fruit a day
Fruits contain the simple sugar fructose in very small amounts. Most servings of fruit contain 50 to 100 calories. Also, fruit is full of water and fiber which will fill you up on fewer calories. Fruit is also loaded with vitamins and minerals. Eating 2 to 3 servings of fruit a day can help you lose weight and keep it off long term.
Fruit is like nature’s candy. I’ve always believed that eating a couple of servings of fruit every day will satisfy your craving for sweets. I’ve had many clients tell me that when they started eating 2 to 3 servings of fruit a day, they no longer wanted to eat sugary processed foods. A recent study proved my theory, and what my clients were reporting, to be true.
A study in 2001 found that adding fruits and vegetables to a diet is a better weight loss strategy than reducing servings of added fat and sugar. The study involved having one group of families increase fruit intake to 2 fruits per day and vegetable intake to 3 vegetables per day, while another group of families reduced fat and sugar servings to less than 10 per week. The group that increased fruit and vegetable intake had the greatest reduction in weight. Additionally, families who increased fruit and vegetable intake also instinctively lowered their fat and sugar intake, whereas families who reduced fat and sugar intake did not increase intake of fruits and vegetables. Focusing on fruits and vegetables in your weight loss program can affect your physiology and psychology.
These are just the first two steps in our Simple 9© nutritional program. It’s the program we’ve used to help our clients lose over 30,000 pounds in the past 7 years. It’s included when you sign up to become a client at Exercise Inc. If you’re not a client yet, click here to schedule a free initial consultation and get full access to our Simple 9© program.
Next week, I’ll share the next two important things you need to do to lose weight and keep it off long term.
Stay Strong and Healthy,