“If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one piece of definite information: French-fried potatoes are out.” —Jean Kerr.
“My doctor told me to me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people present.” —Orson Welles.
42. A Widening Problem
According to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity rates have almost tripled since 1975. Two main factors are responsible for the increase: an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, and a decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization. That’s not even counting the return of the McRib.
41. Yet Airline Seats Keep Getting Smaller
Based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), 1.9 billion adults in the world are overweight. That works out to be about 39% of all people. Of these people, 13% are defined as obese.
40. Food for Thought
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 70.7% of Americans are overweight and 37.9% are defined as obese. That’s an increase of almost 300% in the last 50 years. That explains the spike in heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
39. That Would Buy a Lot of Big Macs
Americans spend an estimated $42 billion annually attempting to lose weight. That number includes low-fat and low-calorie food, diet aids and products, gym memberships, and weight loss services. The good news is, putting less food on your plate and walking around your neighborhood is completely free.
38. First Dieter
One of the first recorded instances of someone going on a diet for weight loss was William the Conqueror of England. William was, by many accounts, an extremely large man who eventually was unable to get on his horse. He decided to go on a “liquid diet,” consuming almost exclusively alcohol for one entire year. Surprisingly, it worked, and he regained the ability to mount his trusty steed.
37. Humble Beginnings
Weight Watchers was begun by Jean Nidetch in the early 60s in Queens, New York. After losing and gaining back the same 20 pounds several times, Nidetch enlisted the help of a few of her overweight friends, who would meet in her apartment once a week for mutual support. Within three months, she had 40 people crowding into her apartment. She then copied the formula at various locations around New York City, and, within a year, she had incorporated her business, and Weight Watchers was born.
36. Now THAT’S Losing
After the announcement that Oprah Winfrey was acquiring 10% of Weight Watchers, its stock went from $6.69 per share to roughly $26 per share in November of 2015. Shortly thereafter, based on a disappointing earnings report, the stock plunged to under $10. That dip cost Oprah over $117 million. Don’t feel too bad for her, though, the stock rebounded, and is currently trading at roughly $45 per share.
35. Still Something
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the average weight loss of Weight Watchers customers was 5 ½ pounds per year. With the average cost of a monthly plan being about $40, that works out to around $87.27 per pound. That’s roughly the price of American-style Kobe filet mignon.
34. I’ll Just Have the Cornflakes
The Kellogg cereal company was formed after the Kellogg brothers developed their toasted corn flakes to feed to the guests at their Battle Creek Sanitarium Health Resort. Along with a plant-based vegetarian diet, patrons partook in intense physical training, exposure to cold air, and enemas. Personally, a beach in Cancun sounds much better.
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33. Not Exactly Dedicated
18% of the people who join a gym as one of their new year’s resolutions will stop going by the end of February, and a stunning 80% will quit within five months. And by the end of six months, the lines at Chinese buffets are longer than ever.
32. Instant Gratification
Exercise has an immediate positive impact on your heart rate and blood pressure. It also releases endorphins, which boost your mood and help reduce stress. In addition, it helps to level your blood sugar, which helps to minimize fluctuations in your energy level throughout the day.
31. Delayed Gratification
On average, it takes about 12 weeks to see measurable changes to the body after beginning an exercise program. That means the only thing the vast majority of gym members ever notice getting thinner is their wallet.
30. Waiting Four Hours for an Elliptical
Only about 18% of the people who sign up for a health club membership go regularly. In fact, for the clubs to be profitable, they need to sign up at least 10x the number of people who could fit in the gym at one time.
29. It’s 4:20, Time to Hit the Gym
The state with the, ahem, highest gym participation rate is Colorado, with 21% of gym members going regularly. The state with the lowest participation rate? Alabama, with just 10.2% of members taking advantage of their membership.
28. Too Cold to Cook
The country with the healthiest diet in the world is Iceland. Even though they don’t grow a lot of fresh produce, what they do eat is meat, dairy, and fish…lots and lots of fish. What they don’t eat is processed foods. Or starches. Or sweets. The average life expectancy for men is 81.2 years, the highest in the world. That’s great news. The bad news? They have to spend all of those years in Iceland.
27. So, Yoo-Hoo Isn’t a Vegetable?
Based on the percentage of adults who consume fruits and vegetables at least once a day, the obesity rate, and the poverty rate, the state with the unhealthiest diet is Mississippi. Only 69.4% eat at least one vegetable a day and 50.1% eat at least one fruit. That number becomes even smaller if you subtract onion rings, tater tots, and french fries.
26. Bet You Think it’s California
The state with the healthiest eating habits is…okay, it really is California. A whopping 82.7% of adults eat at least one vegetable a day and 69.6% partake of at least one fruit. Probably a lot easier to eat healthy when you can just go to your backyard to pick them.
25. Time to Sell the Car
To lose one pound, you must burn 3,500 calories less than you consume. Since a 200-pound man burns about 106 calories for every mile that he walks, that means he must walk 33.33 miles to drop that one pound. Fortunately, he’ll also lose another pound on the walk back.
24. Super Sweet
A 20-oz. bottle of Coca-Cola has more sugar than a large Cinnabon. That works out to 65g of sugar or roughly 1 ¾ shot glasses of pure sugar. If you combine a Cinnabon and a Coke, you get what I like to call my “breakfast of non-champions.”
23. Skipping the Meating
10% of Americans identify themselves as vegetarian. The cities with the most vegetarian restaurants per capita are Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco.
22. It’s Always Flu Season at the Ranch
In the United States, poultry and livestock used 4x the amount of antibiotics that humans used. They ingested almost 30 million pounds in 2011. So, prime rib should be covered by your prescription drug plan, right?
21. That’s 3 ½ Pounds per Week
The average daily recommended caloric intake for an American is 2,000 calories. That sounds like quite a bit until you find out that our actual daily intake is about 3,800! That’s over 12,000 extra calories per week that must be offset by physical activity in order to avoid weight gain.
20. Please Define a “Serving”
The number one reason most diets fail? People drastically underestimate how many calories they’re consuming every day. To ensure success, check nutritional information and serving size before eating something, and write it down in a daily food diary. It'll give you something to do while you wait in the drive-thru.
19. You don’t Even Have to Break a Sweat
Of the three types of foods (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), protein is the most thermogenic, meaning when it’s consumed, the body burns off up to 35% of its total calories during digestion. Fats and Carbs? Not so much. They clock in between 5-15%.
18. Orville Redenbacher Would Be Proud
One cup of air-popped popcorn contains as many antioxidants as an average fruit or vegetable. Plus, an orange with salt and butter would taste awful.
17. At Least You’ll Be Thin
Deprived of food, a human being will starve to death in 8-12 weeks. As the body shuts down, you experience hallucinations, severe muscle pain, irregular heartbeat, and convulsions. Still better than eating Brussel sprouts?
16. A Juicy Lie to Start the Day
Despite the fact 93% of Americans believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, only 44% of them eat it on a regular basis. Of the people who skip breakfast, half of them are obese. Starving yourself just doesn't work.
15. We’re Number 1!
The worst single food item available in America is the Cold Stone Creamery PB & C milkshake. It clocks in at a gut-busting 2,000 calories, with staggering 131 grams of fat–68 of which are saturated. They also dump 153 grams of sugar in the mix. Even makes that Cinnabon and a Coke look pretty good.
14. You Go Home Now!
A typical meal at the typical Chinese buffet averages about 3,000 calories. Fried foods, calorie-dense sauces, and tons of empty carbs add up to a serious dieting disaster. The best strategy when you arrive is to grab the biggest plate available and hit yourself in the head as hard as possible. After you regain consciousness and you’re sitting in your car bleeding, promise yourself you’ll never go back to another Chinese buffet.
13. Unless You Can’t Find the Cookies
According to a study completed by the University of Minnesota, the more disorganized your workspace, the more likely you are to eat unhealthy snacks. There is, however, something a little sad about a desk that only has a bag of carrot sticks on it.
12. Just Wake Me for Breakfast
The easiest (and cheapest!) way to lose weight is to get more sleep. A lack of sleep disrupts the hormonal balance and causes a decrease in leptin and an increase in ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that makes you feel full, and ghrelin triggers hunger. So, put the phone down and go to bed.
11. Seems So Simple
The vast majority of diet books and plans can be boiled down (or deep fried) to four rules for food: 1) Get your carbs from whole grains, 2) Avoid trans and saturated fats, 3) Eat lean protein, 4) Eat lots of fruits and veggies. That’s it. Follow those four rules, hit the gym a few times a week, and you’ll be well on your way to weight loss success.
10. Saves a Trip to the Gym
Find the gym boring or intimidating? Many healthy physical activities are actually pretty fun. Playing sports, dancing, and hiking are just a few things to do that burn calories and are definitely not boring. And speaking of fun, sex can burn 150-250 calories per hour. Possibly even more with a partner.
9. And How Was YOUR Day?
Statistically, adults who ate dinner with the family in the dining room or at the kitchen table weigh significantly less than those who ate in front of the TV.
8. Seems Like an Easy Choice
Watching TV burns 64 calories an hour. Making out with someone burns 96. However, riding an elevator burns 128. Obviously, the answer is making out on an elevator. While watching TV.
7. That’s Why Owls Look Chubby
People who stay up late are much more susceptible to being overweight than those who go to bed early and get up early. Night owls seem to find themselves grazing in the kitchen during the wee hours and making more unhealthy food choices.
6. Not Going Anywhere
The human body contains roughly 50 billion fat cells–about 7x the total number of people on earth. The good news is, your body stops making them after puberty. The bad news? They don’t go anywhere, and can expand to 10x their original size.
5. Stop Crunching
Because fat cells never disappear, doing exercises to lose fat by strengthening the muscles beneath it don’t work. So stop only doing crunches and sit-ups, and spend some of your workout efforts on cardio and weight training.
4. Just My Luck
The only areas in the human body without fat cells are the eyelids, the brain, parts of the esophagus, and…the penis. The female breast is comprised almost exclusively of fat cells, which is why when women lose weight, the first place for reduction is usually the breasts.
3. Cheer Up
It has been reported for years that 95% of all dieters who lose weight gain it all back within years or even months after losing it. However, some recent studies show that may not be the case. The actual number may be closer to the 12% to 14% range.
2. Puff, Puff, Pass ...The Snacks
Marijuana can not only affect your memory, it can also increase your appetite by up to 40%. Did you know that it can also affect your memory?
1. Florida Does It Again
The state of Florida noticed an influx of patients with infections caused by staples in their ear. They were forced to pass a law once they discovered that people were using the process, bizarrely, to lose weight. The process is loosely related to acupuncture, as many of the pressure points for the stomach are located in the ear. Ear stapling is illegal in Florida and other states have regulated the practice to help decrease the number of infections it has caused.