I’m going to go on a little rant, here. It’s something that’s been bugging me for ages and it came at me again this past weekend in my booth at the Galactic Expo.
I get countless people asking me for an herb to “cure” this ill or that. They’re on prescription medication(s) but want to get off it/them. I don’t have to do any research to decide which herb would help – their problem is visibly apparent to me. Ninety percent of all these people are 50 to 100 pounds or more overweight! There’s a commercial on TV for a weight-loss plan where one of the participants quotes her doctor as saying, “you need to lose weight or you will die“. It’s not far off the truth.
No, no one is ever going to die from being overweight. It’s the complications from the stress you’re putting on your body that’ll get you. Complications of obesity (from the Mayo Clinic) include cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Let me give you some statistics: if you’re 30 pounds overweight, you’re 53 times more likely to develop diabetes and 30% more likely to develop high blood pressure, both of which can contribute to heart disease. The stress the extra weight puts on your joints (especially knees and ankles) makes you up to five times as likely to develop osteoarthritis.
The people I see in this condition do nothing but get PO’d at me for suggesting they lose weight. “You sound like my doctor,” they say. For a change, I’m going to agree. Losing just 10 percent of body fat can lower blood pressure by the same percentage or more. Same goes with blood sugar levels. The other retort I get is “You’re skinny. You don’t understand.” These people have never seen my little mother with the wide butt and a couple of weight-related health issues. Someone I don’t want to look like when I get to be her age.
So, I’m going to continue to suggest that people quit eating unhealthily and get some exercise. Cutting just 100 calories a day from the diet or utilizing 100 more calories per day leads to a weight loss of 10 pounds in about a year. Changing from mostly meat to mostly vegetables (just rearrange portion sizes) helps. Eat 5-6 small meals a day instead of three huge ones.
I know it’s pretty difficult to move a lot of weight around (we have two obese cats – wish I could have this conversation with them) but just getting up off the couch and going for a 10 minute walk each day, or taking one flight of stairs once a day instead of the elevator is a start. When we moved into our new house (that I designed), I cursed myself for putting my shop in the basement and my office in the loft. Two flights of stairs between each and I make many trips each day. Although I’ve been fairly active my whole life, that was a lot of exercise! However, after a couple of weeks of being forced to take the stairs to work, I discovered my leg muscles had toned and I wasn’t quite as out of breath from each trip. I can now make the trip from office to shop and back easily. The same thing holds true for people who are overweight. When the 10 minute walk becomes easy, make it 15. When the stairs once a day is no problem, do it twice. Just a little bit leads to a little more.
Some herbs that can help with weight loss are noted here. However, you need to be aware that many of these herbs are diuretic or laxative in nature – do your research and think of the consequences before starting on any herbal therapy (talking with your doctor isn’t a bad idea, either). One that’s not mentioned is Hibiscus Hibiscus sabdariffa. A couple of research studies in the last few years have suggested that Hibiscus could indeed help with weight loss. We already know it can help with high blood pressure.
So, instead of hating me for saying the same thing the doctor says, I wish these people would get off their rear ends, pay attention to their diet and start moving a little. I think they’d be pleasantly surprised at the results.