Why It Is Important to Lose Those Excess Pounds

An airman seasons his ground turkey with taco seasoning at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, chooses black beans and rice to accompany his ground turkey, which he seasons with taco seasoning, May 5, 2020, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. (Senior Airman Anne McCready/U.S. Air Force photo)

Several people have emailed me concerned about their general health, because they have had family members suffer from diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure or cholesterol. These were people seeking a beginning fitness program so they could get back into shape without hurting themselves in the process.

Though I focus primarily on more advanced fitness writing, beginning fitness has become an issue in the past 10 years as pre-teens and teenagers who want to sign up for military or law enforcement first have to overcome a huge weight problem. The good news is that there are programs on the Military.com eBook Fitness Store that can help you if you are a beginner. Also in the article archives, you will find many articles on starting a program that fits your requirements and health goals.

Here are some statistics from the surgeon general and Journal of American Medical Association that are meant to alarm you and hopefully get you moving:

They report "that poor diet and physical inactivity could soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S." Obesity is now recognized alongside heart disease, cancer, AIDS and drug abuse as among the nation's most expensive public health problems. More than $132 billion will be spent this year on treating afflictions related to obesity.

When more than 2 million kids are now clinically obese and an additional 25% are categorized as overweight, you cannot help to wonder that if this trend continues, how are we going to find fit people to serve in the military and other public services?

It concerned me enough that I created an organization designed to help young men and women who wish to serve to "get over the hump" and get fit for duty. It is called HeroesofTomorrow.org, a site dedicated to preparing young men and women physically for duty, as well as honoring those fallen heroes and donating proceeds to fallen hero funds each month. If we ever need to go to war on a large scale, like during World War II, the United States would have a hard time finding soldiers out of its young citizens.

So if you want my advice, do not try surgery, do not take diet pills and do not starve yourself. Instead, just start moving more and eating better. Notice that I said better and not less.

It is true. You can eat to lose weight simply by cutting out sugary drinks, like sodas and juices, and limiting the amount of fats and empty carbohydrates that you ingest. My father lost 25 pounds in one year by not drinking sodas anymore and drinking water instead. He did not change anything else. 

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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