August 2006

We all have heard by now the new federal government report that used actual body measurements stating that one in three Americans are obese. A 2000 survey that relied on people’s own assessments put the figure at one in five.

On every continent, even in regions of malnutrition, the number of people who are overweight or obese is rising.

The major culprit worldwide is a combination of high-calorie diets and lifestyle changes, the same as in the U.S.

In Australia and Great Britain, obesity rates have tripled to 21 percent since 1980, says the department of international health at Emory University in Atlanta.

In Mexico, the percentage of people ages 18 to 49 who are overweight or obese has risen to 60 percent. As in the U.S., obesity in children is soaring.

What can we do about? 

First and foremost, we can start with ourselves and our family.  We alone cannot change the whole world, but we can start making a difference in our own families and communities.

We have also heard the many claims about this program or that – eat all the carbs or protein you want and still lose weight.  However, it is important to understand about nutrition and that every body has different needs.  We are not “one size fits all” when it comes to our nutrition and fitness/weight loss requirements.  Like it or not, we still have to count calories.  There are also numerous factors built into our genetic makeup ahd our daily habits that need to be taken into consideration. For example, how active are you?  Do you have any food intolerances?  How much sleep do you get? Do you take time to relax?  Are you stressed at work or home?  Did you know that your favorite food may actually be making you fat?  How many times do you eat out?

These are just a few things that need to be considered when we start are journey to getting healthier and fit.  Of course, your very first step is getting a complete physical to be sure that you are healthy enough to start a wellness/fitness program.

As you may or may not know, protein is the corner stone to a healthy body.  Protein is an important part in the production of blood hemoglobin, antibodies, new muscle tissue and virtually every metabolic process in the human body!  Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. 

Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called “micronutrients.” But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore, has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.

Without enough protein in your diet, the body cannot repair itself and new muscle cannot be formed if essential amino acids are not present. 

In addition, without the required essential amino acids found in protein, the body will attempt to glean what it needs from incomplete dietary protein and release it back into the blood stream.  If the essential amino acid is not delivered soon enough, the incomplete protein is transported to the liver where it is separate from its nitrogen base.  The amino acids remaining are then converted to glucose (blood sugar) and used as energy or stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue.  These leftover amino acids can also be stored as fat –yuk!

How do you know how much protein you need?   Here is a chart to help you compute how much protein, a day, you should be consuming.  Just find your activity level and multiple your weight by the number next to that level to determine your daily protein requirements. 

Are you eating enough?!!  Example, if you are an adult – recreational adult exerciser, you would multiple your weight by 0.5 – 0.75.

For example, you weigh 250 lbs. and consider yourself a recreational athlete:

        0.5-0.75 X  250    =   125-188

So, you would need to consume approximately 152 – 188 grams of protein a day

Current RDA for Inactive Adult 0.4
Recreational Adult Exerciser    0.5-0.75

Thank you for stopping by the Health and Fitness Nut Blog!  I started having an avid interest in health and fitness before my first child was born.  I wanted to be sure that I gave my baby the best start possible.  From there, I began to train for a marathon and things just escalated from there.  Learning about one’s body and your own fitness requirements (remember, everyone is different, one method may work for you and not for someone else) is a fascinating journey and I hope to educate you about staying healthy and fit.  I will be posting articles, product reviews, tips and news about health and fitness here.

You are welcome to comment on anything I post here and if you have information to share about health and fitness, I would love for you to post it here.

Thank you for stopping by and if there is any information about staying healthy and fit or running your first marathon, that you would like me to cover, please let me know.