Addressing the Weight of the Nation

By: StacyAtZeel

If you're just tuning in, we at Zeel have decided to follow in the footsteps of HBO's Weight of the Nation and dedicate this week to addressing obesity in America by reaching out to our very own health and wellness experts.

One way to make a difference is to pledge to commit to reversing the obesity epidemic via a click of the mouse. But then again, that'd also mean you're probably sitting at your computer right now-at this very moment-instead of doing something that's positive and actionable.

In 2030, 42 percent of the U.S. population is expected to be obese. "The sad thing is those stats are no surprise to me at all," says Zeel Fitness Expert Frank Baptiste. "We all suffer from what I call the "Sitting Disease."'

He continues: "The fact is, even those of us who are active are part of a sedentary society. The general perception of fitness and exercise is much like dieting-it's something you do to attain or maintain a look. The mission of FranklyFitness is to educate, enlighten and empower others to move well, feel well and be well. This requires a mental shift from look to lifestyle, and from vanity to vitality."

In other words, beating the odds is going to require a whole lot more than simply changing our fitness or nutrition habits. At the end of the day, combating obesity is really about balancing both.

Frank helps us get started today with what he believes are the three most important changes for a fitter, healthier tomorrow.

1. Eat lean, green and clean. Protein helps build and maintain lean body mass, which is the key to elevating our Resting Metabolic Rate. Aim to have protein from a lean source at each meal.

Eat green. Carbohydrates are our primary fuel source and should make up the majority of our intake, so go for colorful veggies and fruit.

Eat clean. If you can't recognize the ingredients on the label (or if it comes in a package for that matter) skip it; it's a food product, not real food. Also remember, as foodie author and activist Michael Pollan says, "You are what what you eat eats too," meaning it's important to know how your food was raised, what it was fed, etc.

2. Stop eating like a sumo wrestler. This isn't about quantity of food, it's about meal timing. As a strategy to gain fat, sumo wrestlers skip breakfast, eat their first meal at 11am and second and last meals at 6pm. They know that two meals per day will slow their metabolisms, and in turn their bodies will store fat.

Too many Americans follow a similar schedule claiming, "I don't have time for breakfast," or, "I'm just not hungry in the morning." In many ways, this is a disordered way of thinking. Instead, I have clients follow the three-hour rule: Eat breakfast and every three hours after. Aim for five meals per day, with your last meal three hours before bed.

3. Move well. Then move more. Start by creating a movement practice. Even as little as five minutes per day can do your mind and body wonders. Try "The Big 3," three dynamic flexibility drills that will help regain lost mobility, challenge the core and encourage more efficient bio-mechanics.

Whether or not movement is already part of your daily routine, the most important thing is to plan play. The best exercise you can do is something you love, and you'll be encouraged to move more if it's fun. Love dancing? Recruit a friend and take a Zumba class. Personally, I just bought a new bike (everyone is NYC needs one!) and today I just joined a co-ed flag football league!