CHEF TIMOTHY: Losing weight is a constant battle some people find difficult to win. It's a problem that affects tens of thousands of people who are on the verge of becoming obese or are already too heavy and in jeopardy of becoming seriously ill.
So, are you in a battle with your weight?
Before I go any further, let me give kudos to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for addressing the obesity problem in Memphis and the Mid-South through its Healthy Church Challenge 100-day weight loss competition. From what I understand, hundreds have taken the challenge to stay healthy and physically fit.
Working out is one way of staying healthy and physically fit. Going to the gym is good, but a 30-minute walk each day is just as good if your intent is to stay healthy and live. But don't overlook the fact that you must eat a healthy portion of fresh fruits and vegetables to see any results.
Some of you have tried every diet known to man – from juicing to drinking lemon water. Some people have gone to the extent of having lap band surgery or gastric bypass surgery. No matter what, the weight also seems to return. Right?
The obesity epidemic is real, but having surgery to whittle away the weight is not going to give you much satisfaction if the weight returns. If you are obese, there are less hazardous and painful ways to slim down. Too many people have gone under the knife and now regret their decision.
If something isn't done immediately to teach people about changing their eating habits and controlling their weight, there will be more overweight people struggling to survive the onslaught of high blood pressure, diabetes, any number of cancers.
Americans, I believe, are too comfortable with being overweight and oversized. Waistlines are expanding too, but the fact remains that it is too unhealthy to be obese. There is no quick fix to the obesity problem, but the solution is already in your hands.
Don't be misled into thinking that weight loss surgery will relieve the discomfort of losing weight and keeping it off. It is estimated there are 220,000 operations a year related to weight loss to remove unwanted fat. The operations come with a staggering cost as well: about $6 billion a year.
Being overweight and obese has been shown to increase diabetes. Cancer risk is up too by 50 percent. So how is this possible?
We have become accustomed to eating highly processed foods, enjoying fructose-infused meals and drinks, and not getting any form of physical activity.
Obesity is a problem and a severe threat to our nation's health and longevity. It should never be taken lightly, because obesity is associated with other medical problems that are known to shorten one's life. As the obesity rate continues to rise, medical expenses also are rising.
The choice of foods that we eat – making sure they supply the body with good and proper nutrients – is required to offset obesity. I give President Obama kudos as well for extending health care to millions of deserving Americans. Still, there are some who won't be able to pay for healthcare.
With all the reports out on obesity, is there really a solution to fighting and winning this epidemic? Sure there is. All the leading healthcare advocates agree that eating a wholesome plant-based diet is the single best thing we can do to protect and preserve our health.
A plant-based diet includes eating plenty of whole grains, legumes, fruits, seeds, vegetables and nuts. It shouldn't be that difficult to switch to a plant-based diet unless you think it won't provide your body with the proper nutrition it needs to fight off impending dangers – high blood pressure, strokes, cancers, diabetes, etc.
Eating a plant-based diet is also known to help treat and reverse obesity. So, in your quest to remain healthy, or regain your health, I urge you to consider such a diet. It's a challenge, but you'd be better for it. Then you'll see the weight come off. I promise you that.