Residents of New Jersey have a number of diverse options to satisfy their appetites. Some of the best foods New Jersey is known for are associated with weight gain if not eaten in moderation. Overindulging can lead to obesity, a health condition characterized by having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. In 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 28% of residents struggle with obesity.
What causes being overweight or obese?
Obesity and being overweight are influenced by a number of factors in the day-to-day lives of New Jersey residents.
Genetics and family influences
Genes affect how much fat your body stores, as well as how it is distributed. Genetics influence your metabolism and appetite as well. This, in part, is why obesity and being overweight tends to run in families. Obesity and excess weight also run in families as a result of shared lifestyle habits, which makes healthy changes even more difficult.
Ultimately, excess weight and obesity are caused by taking in more calories than you burn. Contributing factors include
- Unhealthy diet – In addition to taking in too many calories, a diet that lacks essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables can also contribute to weight gain. Vitamin deficiencies can negatively impact body function, which can impact metabolism, making it more difficult to burn calories.
- Dehydration and liquid calories – It is easy to drink far more calories than you need without feeling full, especially when drinking alcohol. Sodas and fruit juices also can result in high calorie intake. Consuming excess amounts of sugar can impact body function and how your body stores fat. They can also contribute to dehydration, which has further negative impacts on the body, making it more difficult to burn calories.
- Lack of physical activity – Sitting for long periods of time and not engaging in physical activities regularly is a strong contributor to weight gain. Excessive sedentary screen time is strongly associated with weight gain.
Certain health conditions and medications
Some people can have medical conditions that predispose them to obesity, such as Cushing Syndrome. Other health issues, like arthritis, lead to obesity due to decreased activity. Certain medications are also associated with weight gain, like steroids, antidepressants, anti-seizure medication, or beta blockers. Age, pregnancy, and gut bacteria health are also tied to weight gain as well.
There are a number of other factors that contribute to obesity, like social and economic issues, stress, sleep issues, and more. It’s important to note that having these risk factors does not mean you will definitely become obese. Staying aware of your health and managing those things you can control, mainly diet and exercise, can help prevent obesity.
What methods can New Jersey residents use to lose weight?
If you are looking for ways to lose weight, it’s important to note that without making permanent lifestyle changes, you are unlikely to keep weight off. This is why you should avoid fad diets or supplements making claims that they can help you lose large amounts of weight fast. If you have been making efforts to lose weight and are still not achieving the goals you want, consider trying Wegovy weight loss in New Jersey. This prescription medication is designed to enhance the effects of healthy diet and exercise, helping you to lose more weight.
Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrate intake
Refined carbohydrates like white rice, bread, and pasta go through heavy processes that remove fiber and other nutrients. They digest quickly, and are converted to glucose. When too much glucose enters the blood, it stimulates the production of insulin, which promotes fat storage and weight gain. Healthier food options include:
- Whole grain bread, rice, and pasta instead of heavily-processed white versions
- Fruit, nuts, and seeds can replace unhealthy snacks
- Herbal teas and infused water can replace high-sugar sodas
Eat a protein-rich meal for breakfast
Protein helps manage appetite hormones, causing the hunger hormone ghrelin to decrease, and stimulating production of the satiety hormones cholecystokinin, GLP-1, and peptide YY. These effects can last for several hours, especially in young adults. Good high-protein options for breakfast include quinoa porridge, eggs, oats, chia seed pudding, and seed and nut butters.
Track diet and exercise
In order to ensure you are burning more calories than you consume, you should track what you eat and drink each day. You should also track how much physical activity you engage in each day to track calories burned. While some people opt to do this using traditional journals, online trackers have soared in popularity in recent years. Consistent tracking of physical activity has shown to promote weight loss.
Water is an excellent aid in weight loss. It is entirely calorie-free, increases calorie burn, and may even reduce hunger if taken before meals. It is absolutely essential to fat burning. Water also helps remove waste from the body and shed pounds. Increasing water intake also lessens the amount of high calorie beverages you might otherwise consume. Staying hydrated helps avoid the muscle cramps and fatigue that often discourages people from sticking to their workout routine.
Take steps to manage stress
Stress sends the body into fight or flight response, triggering the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Chronic stress leads to the constant presence of cortisol, which tells the body it should replenish nutritional stores from its preferred fuel source- carbohydrates. As previously stated, if unused these carbohydrates will be turned into sugar and stored as fat. If you struggle to manage stress effectively, you may want to seek help from a mental health professional who can teach you strategies to better manage stress and lessen the toll on your body.