How many morbidly obese people do you know who are 78.9 years old or older? You more than likely do not know any. Unfortunately obese people live a shorter life than the general population, and 78.9 is the average age expectancy in the United States.
It might be more than a coincidence that in the middle of the word Death, are the letters E A T. So how do we change our mindset from a life revolving around food to a life of moderation where food is primarily thought of as fuel for our bodies? Of course, food is something to enjoy, but it is not something to die for.
Here are nine things you can do to live longer.
- Change your mindset. You’ve probably heard it before, but your motto should not be, “I live to eat.” It should be, “I eat to live.”
- Quit dieting. More than 90% of people who go on diets gain the weight back, plus some. To be successful you have to change your behavior permanently, or you are doomed to failure. Slow and steady weight loss gives you the best chance at success. This is what has helped me lose a little weight over the past seven years and keep it off.
- Make small, incremental, positive changes. You can do this with your eating behavior over time. It does not have to be a dramatic change. Small changes are best so they can be incorporated easily into your life.
- Choose foods wisely. Select mainly whole, healthy, nutritious food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean protein
- Sit down to eat. Never eat while standing up. One big reason for this is that it’s easy to prowl and binge on snacks if you’re standing in the pantry or buffet table. If you’re sitting down, this will be less likely. In other words, “Sit or Spit,” as I like to say.
- Eat food slowly. If you master this skill you will enjoy food more, improve your digestion and eat less. After eating for 20 to 30 minutes, you begin to feel comfortable and satisfied. So have one nice portion and stretch it out for 30 minutes if at all possible.
- Enjoy every single bite you eat. Enjoy the texture, taste and smell. This is the best part of a lifetime eating plan.
- Recognize the feeling of fullness and stop eating sooner. On a hunger/fullness scale of 1 to 100, keep your satiety level between 30 and 66. Only eat when you feel hungry at a 30, and stop eating at or before level 66 when you feel satisfied. This will help you avoid the uncomfortable feeling of fullness forever.
- Have a sweet taste. This can be optional, and could be easily avoided for those who don’t have a sweet tooth. For those of us who do, allow yourself up to 100 calories only at night, after dinner. This will signal finality for the day. Try to eat more fruit for this treat when you can and less foods with sugar.
Not only will adopting these nine habits help you lose weight, getting healthier will also have a positive financial impact on your life. Eating just a little less food and being a little more frugal in the grocery store will save the average American a few thousand dollars a year.
It’s also important to note that people who are obese spend 40% more on healthcare expenses during their lifetime. If that’s not a good reason to start losing weight, I don’t know what is!
Lose weight and get out of debt. Sign up for our monthly newsletter (Opt out at any time).
Martin Sher, Co-CEO of AmSher Compassionate Collections® is on a mission to help 5 million people lose weight and be debt free.
Martin is past president of ACA International, and author of the Collector’s Pledge — hundreds of thousands of collectors all over the world have signed this unique document committing to treat people with dignity and respect.