Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can We Beat Obesity?

The numbers don’t lie, the statistics are staggering, and the repercussions deadly. What am I talking about? In the United States alone:

* nearly 70% of Americans are overweight
* almost 4 out of 10 are considered obese
* 14% of children ages six to eleven are obese—think about that!
* being overweight shortens your life
* obesity is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year
* between 1962 and 2000, the number of obese Americans grew from 13% to 31%

What is obesity?

“A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person's height, age, sex, and build.

Obesity has been more precisely defined by the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) as a BMI (body mass index) of 30 and above. (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.)

The first thing we all need to do is find out what our idea weight is. This is something you should know, even if you are not trying to lose weight—given the stats, do yourself a favor and take a gander at these charts:

Ideal Body Weight Chart for Women

Height/ Small/ Medium/ Large

4' 10" 102-111 109-121 118-131
4' 11" 103-113 111-123 120-134
5' 0" 104-115 113-126 122-137
5' 1" 106-118 115-129 125-140
5' 2" 108-121 118-132 128-143
5' 3" 111-124 121-135 131-147
5' 4" 114-127 124-138 134-151
5' 5" 117-130 127-141 137-155
5' 6" 120-133 130-144 140-159
5' 7" 123-136 133-147 143-163
5' 8" 126-139 136-150 146-167
5' 9" 129-142 139-153 149-170
5' 10" 132-145 142-156 152-173
5' 11" 135-148 145-159 155-176
6' 0" 138-151 148-162 158-179

Ideal Body Weight Chart for Men

Height/ Small/ Medium/ Large

5' 2" 128-134 131-141 138-150
5' 3" 130-136 133-143 140-153
5'' 4" 132-138 135-145 142-156
5' 5" 134-140 137-148 144-160
5' 6" 136-142 139-151 146-164
5' 7" 138-145 142-154 149-168
5' 8" 140-148 145-157 152-172
5' 9" 142-151 148-160 155-176
5' 10" 144-154 151-163 158-180
5' 11" 146-157 154-166 161-184
6' 0" 149-160 157-170 164-188
6' 1" 152-164 160-174 168-192
6' 2" 155-168 164-178 172-197
6' 3" 158-172 167-182 176-202
6' 4" 162-176 171-187 181-207

I suggest you also check your BMI. Body Mass Index takes into consideration body fatness and size, giving you a more accurate idea of where you stand.

Now you have a starting point. If you’re like most of America (and the world), you no doubt found your weight, for your height, on the above chart and wasn't pleased. Don’t despair, this is a good thing. No, not being overweight or even obese, but at least taking that first step toward eventually getting you to your ideal weight on that chart.

The next step? Doing something about it! I’ve produced dozens of videos that deal with weight loss, fitness, and nutrition. Here is one that can help you get started:


One of my favorite mantras is: “Count your calories and make your calories count.” By that I simply mean: if you are ever going to lose weight—and keep it off—you HAVE to, must, there’s-just-no-getting-past this one thing: BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU INGEST! While this is easier said than done, this video should help:


While viewing these videos you notice I repeatedly harp on the magic number 3500. Why? Because it IS magic. It is the best way, from my years of experience, to lose weight. Oh, adding an exercise program to your life, eating more fiber, cutting back on fatty foods, and drinking green tea will also help you lose weight, but there is no getting around the cold, hard fact that:

“To lose one pound you must burn 3500 calories more than you ingest.”

To further drive home this point, I wrote this blog post last July: MAKE YOUR CALORIES COUNT

Getting back to the title of this post: Can we beat obesity? The answer to that questions is: Yes, but it will take lots of hard work, proper nutritional education, cooperation between school lunch programs and fast food restaurants, parents and friends, and most of all everyone taking personal accountability for their actions. Especially all you parents out there that have children who are overweight, obese, or bordering on either one of the two.

One of the motivations I had for creating livelife365 was to share my success in weight loss with as many people as possible. Believe it or not, at one time I weighed over 200 pounds, which one glance at that chart at the top of this post let me know that I was well overweight for my height and heading for obesity. I took action, and I am imploring and encouraging anyone reading this post or who knows anyone who needs help to do the same—take action. Take that first step that will change your life for the better. I did, you can too.


Until next time…




Bagman and Butler said...

Boy am I in trouble! You have either inspired me or ruined my weekend, I'm not sure which!

Kathy said...

Great stuff here. Watched the "lose 2 lbs/week" video. I know I'm doing that now (started Weight Watchers), but I hadn't really thought about the importance of fiber. I'm looking at labels more and more now, trying to find foods with more fiber. Thanks for the pep talk. My goal is to lose 30lbs by mid-summer. The thing I have to remember is that I didn't put the weight on quickly, so it can't come off quickly. Two pounds a week is doable and healthier.

Paul Eilers said...


This is a most excellent post.

I believe that though technology is a good thing, it has also contributed to our current obesity epidemic.

It's easier to stay on the computer or watch TV than it is to exercise. It's easier to play video games than to play games outside. People often drive when they could walk. And so on.

Right now, our family is riding bicycles together. Dylan, our 16 year old, plays football on the varsity and is in great shape. He sets the pace for our bike riding escapades and kicks my butt. But it does me a world of good trying to keep up with him! (The other day I did beat him back to the house, and gave him a hard time about it - but I almost died in the process!)

Have a great weekend!


Eat Well. Live Well.

Anonymous said...

I agree Mike, in order to change the current culture of obesity, it has to start at home. We should care just as much as what our kids put into there bodies, as to what they put into there minds. As adults, I believe responsibility falls on the individual, like you say we are solely responsible for what we put in our bodies. I know its easier/faster/cheaper to go through a fast food joint then it is to cook for your family, we all know its easier to plant your kids in front of the TV then going to the park and throw a ball around, but I think as a country we need to realize the upside that comes with good health, it seems health has become a pill and not a lifestyle.

Rod V.

Unknown said...

Thank You. If only I could make my clients understand that concept. It's frustrating...Thanks for the excellent information.

Unknown said...

butler and bagman: hope i didn't ruin your weekend...have a good, bad meal on me...

kathy: good luck with your weigh goal...and try fiber and counting calories, they worked for me...

paul: great story about exercing with your family...just do me a favor and don't push it (we're not as young as we used to be)

rod: excellent points, rod; so true as adults we have to set good examples for the kids.

yira: my thoughts are with you...good luck...



Jena Isle said...

Hi Mike,

You're so healthy and lean. I wish I would be able to reduce my weight. Your post has inspired me and the information you have provided would be useful. Thanks and happy blog hopping.

reallylife said...

i think we can sir

Maude Lynn said...

Great post! We keep looking for something easier than burning more calories than we ingest, and it simply does not exist.

Faisal Admar said...

ah, i guess you haven't seen the Asian stats yet? :) worse... trust me. Asian tend to eat a lot of oily foods and junks... more than other countries do.

i hate looking at myself when i'm fat but now i have been stick to the old routine like playing badminton for 3 times a week and some other sports in between :)

i believe to keep fit and healthy, i need to do sport and take care of my diet even though sometimes its hard to resist.

as far as i concern, everything just work as i plan :)

kRiZcPEc said...

"Boy am I in trouble! You have either inspired me or ruined my weekend, I'm not sure which!"
Arrrgh...both, for me.

Unknown said...

jena: i know you can do it, you've been done it before...good luck

reallylife: in the words of our prez: yes, we can...

mama zen: so true, wish there was a better way...

faisal: sounds like you have a great plan--exercise and self-loathing...

kriz: when you start quoting other comment-leavers about ruined weekends I may start to get a complex...or maybe not...thanks for dropping by



Gopal said...

Most useful blog post. Simple measures will greatly reduce the risks of sudden cardiac arrest and the like. A couple of my friends in my area were introduced to the need for reducing and avoiding obesity and they are greatly convinced. Thanks on their behalf too.

Andrea said...

Nice abs, Mike! I think I'm a little jealous!

I could stand to lose about 5-7 lbs. which I should be able to do now that it's warming up. Between working from home now (instead of teaching 4 yoga classes a week before the studio shut down), my weight crept up on me again. I've signed the family up with a local bicycle club and I'm really looking forward to some of the rides. One benefit of having a child on the spectrum and borderline for ADHD is that because of his constant need for exercise, it keeps the rest of us moving as well.

Susan Blake said...

FABULOUS! Not just the information either ;)

Unknown said...

g. kannan: it's a very serious problem facing most of the world...we can fix it but it will take a lot of cooperation...

andrea: sounds like you lead a very active life--a good thing. and, trust me, we all could lose those last 5-7 pounds.

suzen: i like fabulous, and not just the info either...