Health is a big problem in America. And the picture of the overall health of the United States is not a pretty one: Our country lags behind many other developed nations in vital health metrics, including obesity. America is fat and growing fatter, and many of us would count ourselves among those who could stand to take a bit better care of our health. And even our self-critical assessments may be understating the case: Studies consistently show that Americans are less healthy than they think they are. If you think you’ve been doing a mediocre job with your health, the situation may be direr than that!
Health can be tricky, though. A big part of the reason why is the fact that we separate so many different aspects of our health into categories. Is health about going to the doctor? Or is it about eating right and exercising? The truth, of course, is that it’s about all of those things and more. We do ourselves a disservice when we stick to just one approach to health. If we focus solely on medical solutions, we might think that we can only meet weight loss goals with the help of weight loss surgery — or, worse, with the help of questionable supplements and weight-loss products. If we think that we can only address health issues through better eating, though, we can harm ourselves in other ways; perhaps you really are a good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery! To really make a difference with your health, you’ll need to approach it from multiple angles.
Nutrition and Exercise
You are what you eat, as the old saying goes. And it’s not far off. Put processed junk into your body, and you’ll get poor health results back.
It’s important to note that the amount of food that you eat is often less important than the nutrition involved. Food intake is a factor in weight, but it’s not a huge one; there are fewer calories in a typical pound of vegetables than there are in a single Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. This concept is calorie density, and it’s a big part of understanding healthy eating. Eating a diet primarily comprised of whole (unprocessed) foods is a great way to get your nutritional bases covered and keep calorie densities low.
Exercise matters, too. While no amount of exercise can undo a bad diet, a regular habit of exercise can go a long way toward helping you achieve your weight loss goals. It will also make you stronger, more injury-resistant, and even happier.
Supplements, including multivitamins and natural health supplements, can play a key role in your health. The key once again is to understand the importance of taking multiple approaches. A multivitamin is absolutely not a substitute for a balanced diet, but focusing on both at once can give you better results.
Supplements can do things that many foods can’t. Take CBD, for example. CBD is a massively popular supplement right now, and it has got little, if anything, to do with food and nutrition. CBD is a cannabinoid, which means that it is a chemical found within the hemp plant and the drug marijuana (“hemp” is generally used to refer to the plant, while “marijuana” is the dried hemp flower and intoxicating drug). But it’s CBD’s fellow cannabinoid THC that is primarily responsible for marijuana’s high — CBD, by contrast, is non-psychoactive. That means that CBD on its own won’t get you high. But CBD on its own will help with medical conditions and mental health issues. Studies suggest that CBD can be used to address everything from nausea to anxiety. CBD is easy to acquire (it’s de facto legal nationwide, unlike marijuana and THC) and ingests (you can choose from CBD gummies, CBD tinctures, and CBD vape oils, among other options). For more on CBD, look to a trusted resource like BloomandOil.com.
Medicine and Professional Care
To stay healthy, you need to visit the doctor. But too many of us draw distinctions in our minds between what can be addressed professionally and what we must handle ourselves.
Take weight, for example. Most of us are conditioned to believe that our BMI is our responsibility — our “fault” — alone. But this is an unhealthy, inaccurate, and unfair attitude. Being overweight is often due to overeating, but there are many factors at play, and it’s hardly helpful to look for ways to distribute blame. The best approach is to fix the problem, and doctors and surgeons can have important roles to play here.
Surgical options like a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy may be worth considering. When you eat a large amount of food, you don’t just gain weight; you actually stretch your stomach out. Over time, that makes it harder to feel full without eating too much food. The cycle continues, and soon your new stomach is much bigger than your old stomach. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is one possible solution. In a sleeve gastrectomy, a surgeon enters a patient’s abdomen and excises a portion of the stomach, effectively reducing the size of the stomach left behind. A trained bariatric surgeon can use this surgical procedure to reduce appetite, making it easier for patients to feel full while eating less. Massive amounts of excess weight can then be shed within just the first year.
But that first year still involves dieting, exercise, and other efforts on the part of the patient, and that’s a reminder that weight loss surgery alone is no cure-all. A good candidate for weight loss surgery will understand what we’ve been talking about here: When it comes to health, multiple approaches are key.