Just about every “health expert” on television, in magazines and on the web talks about the obesity epidemic in the U.S.
Dr. Brent Gear, D.O., an emergency room doctor at Payson Regional Medical Center and weight loss specialist, discussed the topic at a recent Lunch & Learn program at the Senior Circle.
He said only 20 percent of us are “normal weight.” The average body mass index (BMI) went up only 4 percent between 1900 and 1970, but between 1970 and 2014, it increased 400 percent.
There are multiple culprits behind that staggering jump — the digital lifestyle (i.e. computer time on and off the job); supersized portions at fast food and traditional restaurants and on our own dinner plates (the typical size of a dinner plate used to be just nine inches in diameter, it is now 12); 90 percent of food being genetically modified; and an aging population (metabolism slows down 1 to 2 percent every year we grow older).
Gear’s weight loss expertise is not just something he learned from books and lectures — he has lived it. He ate the typical U.S. diet and his weight reached in excess of 250 pounds. While Gear is a tall man, that was too much weight for his frame and good health.
He discovered a program and checked himself into a clinic and lost 60 pounds in three months and has kept it off for two years.
Obesity can lead to heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and death.
The key to Gear’s weight loss and what he recommends to others: being mindful of food choices.
The protein we eat is stored in the liver for one to two days.
The carbohydrates we eat are stored in our fat cells for a lifetime. Carbohydrate consumption is directly related to diabetes. They make blood sugar rise.
Gear recommends not eating carbohydrates or starchy foods. However, there are carbs in a great many things (including vegetables) so he suggests not eating more than 50 grams of carbs a day.
Proteins should be limited to 30 grams a day.
Fresh vegetables are a good choice, along with salmon. Almonds (about 15) are the best snack. Eat small meals several times a day (i.e., breakfast, lunch and dinner, with two or three snacks thrown in as needed).
Gear’s recommendations, in addition to losing weight: exercise for 30 minutes a day — and exercise like you mean it, if you’re walking, strive for burning thighs and some slight breathlessness; don’t smoke; and keep a food diary.