Defy the Odds: 3 Tips for Fighting Obesity

By: StacyAtZeel

When Zeel health and fitness expert and celebrity personality Andrea Metcalf caught wind of the latest obesity forecasts for the year 2030, her reaction was candid and appropriate. "I'm bummed," she said. We couldn't help but agree.

There isn't just one reason for her distress either. "I'm disappointed that we have made picking out great nutrient-dense foods a quandary," says Andrea, "and taken the fun out of fitness." As this best-selling author of Naked Fitness points out, we now work out on treadmills indoors rather than enjoying the fresh air available right in our own backyards.

Andrea goes on to explain that this counterintuitive push toward indoor fitness supports U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin's take on the national fiasco. "Health does not occur in the doctor's office [or] in the hospitals only," she has said. Start in your own backyard. Get out and play in the park; enjoy this country!

Fortunately, there are simple ways to turn it all around-now! As part of our series on tackling future obesity before it has the chance to take over our lives, Andrea offers three simple yet effective ways to stave off weight gain and improve your health today.

1. Walk it out. From boot camp to Bosu, there is often what seems like an endless array of fitness and health terminology to take in on a daily basis. For long-term health and wellness, however, Andrea gives us the go-ahead to ditch the flash cards and instead focus on something we all know how to do: walk! When it comes to maintaining your health down the road, it's all about adopting healthful habits. A consistent 10-minute walk each morning is the perfect way to start.

2. Color your morning. Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to skip over, but it's also one of the most important of the day. If you're not one for elaborate meals like whole-wheat pancakes and egg white omelets, then simply aim to spruce up your breakfast by choosing colorful ingredients. (No, that doesn't mean Lucky Charms.) Fill a plastic baggie or a small plate with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and be sure to include a bit of tummy-filling protein (a little red quinoa or berry Greek yogurt perhaps?).

3. Drink responsibly. Did you know that Americans drink approximately 450 mindless calories from sugary drinks a day? Andrea does, and she wants you to be aware of this fact too! "Switch to water," she suggests. Those who already drink an abundance of sugar-laden cocktails can start slowly, alternating with water and other zero-calorie drinks.