According to the WHO, obesity figures have tripled worldwide in the past 40 years.1

In France, in 2020, nearly 8.5 million French people suffered from obesity, i.e. 17% of the population.2

What factors are responsible for this increase in the number of overweight people around the world? Our current lifestyles.

  • An increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Many French people spend more than 8 hours a day sitting. Teleworking reinforces this growing immobility since it is now possible to work from home without taking a step.

  • Eating behaviours. People are increasingly less oriented towards fresh and raw products due to a lack of time. It is indeed easier to shop in supermarkets and opt for prepared meals. Nevertheless, the pandemic has made it possible for a large portion of the population to reconnect with cooking and “homemade” meals.

  • Of course, there is also psychological fatigue, particularly due to the COVID-19 crisis of the past two years and daily stress that is increasingly present. When the body is under too much stress for too long, cortisol levels rise, and appetite is stimulated, prompting a shift to richer foods.

Finally, when we talk about the preponderance of obesity, a genetic component should not be overlooked. Some metabolisms tend to store fats and sugars more easily than others.

The Body Mass Index is the simplest and most commonly used indicator to calculate obesity (weight/height2). A person is considered obese when BMI is over 30. Beyond 35, we then speak of morbid obesity, constituting, as the name suggests, a real danger for the person.

Stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea, an increased risk of cancer… obesity is now one of the top three causes of death worldwide3, either directly or indirectly. Nevertheless, in today’s society we hold all the keys for preventing or even eradicating this disease without resorting to curative medicine. A healthy lifestyle, reduced stress levels, a balanced diet, and regular physical activity can effectively prevent the risk of being overweight or obese.

Here are some tips for adopting a healthier lifestyle and preventing weight gain:

  • Get (back) into the kitchen. It is sometimes complicated to get into the kitchen after a day’s work, and many tend to turn to faster, prepared meals. Numerous studies show that the daily time spent in the kitchen has been falling steadily since the 1980s.3 However, it is not necessary to spend two hours in the kitchen every evening to make healthy, balanced, and gourmet dishes. Cooking your own meals means being sure of what’s on your plate and becoming aware of the amount of sugars and fats found in the dishes you usually eat.

Tip: Batch Cooking may be a good option for those who don’t have time during the week. The principle: devote two hours of your weekend to preparing meals for the rest of the week to have healthy solutions ready when you arrive at 8 p.m. Vegetable quiches, legume salads, vegetable pancakes, balanced bowls…there is a multitude of options for healthy indulgence.

  • Take time to eat. It takes at least 30 minutes for the brain to understand that the body is ingesting food. Therefore, it is important to take time to enjoy your meal, eat mindfully, and stop when once you feel satiated. Many studies have shown that people who eat their meals in front of the television tend to eat more and feel a sense of satiety later than those who do not eat their meals in front of the television.

  • Do physical activity. The benefits of regular physical activity are well established. Nevertheless, it is difficult to stay motivated all year round and find time for sport amidst work and family life. To maintain a routine and stick to doing sport time, remember one thing: have fun. It is important to find THE discipline that gets your heart beating and helps you feel better about your body.

Tip: For those who have neither the time nor the inclination, walking or cycling instead of using a car or public transport can increase physical activity levels while doing good for the planet.

  • Listen to your body. There are many studies on the beneficial or harmful effects of consuming two, three, or five meals a day or opting for intermittent fasting (18 hours of daily fasting). Nevertheless, the best solution is to listen to your body and practice intuitive eating. People who practice intuitive eating ensure that they eat when they are full, stop when their body expresses a feeling of satiety, and indulge themselves without frustration.

Therefore, some people prefer to have five meals a day with a snack in the morning or at 5 p.m., for example. The important thing is to opt for snacks that provide energy, fibres, and nutrients, without excessive sugars and fats. In this sense, protein bars are ideal. Some bars have more than 15 g of protein per unit. They provide real energy support during the day and allow to control your weight more easily thanks to of a feeling of satiety that lasts. However, there is now an alternative: healthier crisps for those who prefer salty and crispy snacks. Yes! Protein crisps are low in fat and rich in protein and fibre while still tasty!

Finally, for those who need a boost in addition to a healthy lifestyle, there are natural health products designed to support weight loss efforts. Regardless of the objective (detox, burning fat, spot reducing, etc.), these natural solutions use active ingredients with scientifically proven effectiveness to suit everyone’s overall approach.

1 World Health Organization, published August 2020

2 Study presented by the League Against Obesity, June 2021

3 Why is the time spent cooking decreasing? Study by the Paris School of Economics, 2018