How to Combat Being Overweight

Dr. David B. Baron

This is Doctor David Baron. Most people have a pretty good sense of whether or not they’re overweight. They don’t need a doctor to tell them their belly is hanging over their belt or a nutritionist to tell them they’d be better off eating an Apple instead of a bag of chips. But our society is so obsessed with thinness, how do you know when enough is enough? Let’s put it this way, if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, back pain, high cholesterol, a family history of heart attacks and strokes, or you smoke, you’d probably better make the effort to find out what your healthy target weight would be and then take some simple steps to start moving in that direction.

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Here’s what I mean by simple, don’t try to make drastic changes. Those are like New Year’s resolutions, and they don’t tend to stick. And for gosh sakes, don’t go on a diet. The word diet means what you generally eat, not cabbage only or grapefruit juice with Cayenne, pepper or Atkins Zone, South Beach Sugar Busters or whatever else you heard about on Oprah this week. And if what you generally eat is mostly whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meats and grains is low in saturated fats.

Includes the healthy saturated fats, like the ones in almonds, avocados, salmon and olive oil, then you’re eating healthfully. Avoiding fast foods, saturated and trans fats like you find in junk foods in many prepackaged snack foods. Avoiding simple sugars and sweets, including most Colas and sports drinks. Decreasing your alcohol consumption and eating smaller meals more frequently will likely get your waistline headed in the direction you’d like to see it going, which is down now. It would certainly help a lot to add some moderate exercise most days of the week, like walking, biking, dancing or swimming, for example.

Losing even a few pounds, no matter how overweight you may be, turns out to have dramatic benefits for your health. And by the way, I know that losing weight is really difficult. If it were easy, you’d have done it already, but it’s worth it. So keep trying. And whether you lose weight or not, if you eat better and exercise more, you’ll be a healthier person.

At Primary Caring of Malibu, we have returned to old-fashioned style family medicine to bring our patients the personal care and attention they deserve. It’s not a new idea — it’s just an old concept brought up to date, with modern methods and technology making it even better.

Primary Caring of Malibu | 22601 Pacific Coast Highway | Suite 240 | Malibu | CA | 90265