The alarm is ringing!! It’s time to make a change! .African American women have the highest rate of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about four out of five African American women are overweight or obese. That’s means almost 80% of us are losing the war on weight. This must end. It’s time for a new you!
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight will agree that it’s not easy. In fact, most would say it’s a struggle. There are hundreds of diets and exercise programs to follow (some work and some don’t) and hundreds more books to read and videos to watch (some work and some don’t). However, the key to losing weight it simple….eat less and move more (less calories and more exercise). How you do that depends on several factors 1) available time 2) available money 3) how much weight you need to lose 4) what aerobic activity you are willing to do, and 5) health limitations (if you have any).
First things first, make a decision that it’s time for a new you! Don’t allow yourself to lose the war on weight. Losing weight will make you feel better (and look better) and most importantly, it decreases your chances of having heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes.
Time—Next, think about how much time you have to invest in yourself. Busy mothers have the challenge of trying to keep all of the balls in the air, particularly those who work outside of the home. But you must give at least 30 minutes to yourself daily, even if it means getting up earlier than usual for a workout, to eat a healthy breakfast, and/or to pack a healthy lunch.
Money—Eating healthy can cost more money than eating garbage but don’t let that discourage you (even if your funds are tight). To save money buy in bulk, pack healthy lunches instead of buying healthy take out, cook frozen veggies instead than fresh (although fresh is highly recommended, frozen has its benefits too), or buy generic. You should also consider playing the swapping game—where you swap one expense to make room for another one.
Amount of Weight Loss—How much weight you need to lose will also determine your weight loss plan. If you only have 10-20 pound to lose, then you might not need the assistance of a weight loss program. However, if you have more to lose and/or do not have the motivation, (and you have the money and have consulted with your doctor), then you may want to consider one.
Exercise—-The kind of exercise you are willing to do is another factor in your weight loss goal. Exercise is as equally important to weight loss as reducing your calorie intake. But unfortunately, for far too many African American women it’s an obstacle that stands in the way. It’s estimated that approximately 55% of black women are physically inactive (meaning we don’t do anything). It’s critical that you find 30 minutes each day to do some type of exercise. If you can’t, at least start with 30 minutes 3-4 times per week. Also, incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle by taking the stairs, parking father from the door when you go to the store, walking the mall first before you begin shopping, or even walking/jogging in place during commercials while you’re watching TV.
Don’t give in to an unhealthy you!! No one should love you more than you so if you’re not as healthy as you should be, it’s time to start. It’s time for a new you!!