Though many Americans are in the diet and weight-loss craze, the population as a whole is still considered overweight (Lemonick). This may be due to many factors, such as lack of nutrition in food and having a slothful lifestyle. Also, as people pursue other interests, such as careers and family life, they ignore keeping themselves healthy and fit. To maintain health and life span, one must exercise, eat moderately, and eat foods that have nutritional value. If one follows this plan, one can successfully lose weight and be healthy. Exercise and having an active lifestyle is an important component to maintain in order to lose weight.

Some people may think that if they skip a few meals a day and cut down on snacks, that they will lose weight without having to exercise. However, this is an incorrect assumption. To lose weight in a way that doesn't damage one's body, one has to make time to exercise. Skipping breakfast and ignoring when your body tells you it needs energy from food is not the way to safely lose weight. When one exercises, he slowly burns off fat, which helps the body function smoothly and effectively. Though, nowadays, people don't have time to go to the gym or take aerobics classes, simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a way of keeping oneself active and can make a huge difference in one's health.

People must learn to eat moderately to effectively lose weight. It seems as if as the American population increases, so do our appetites. In the past, a simple, leafy sandwich with a glass of milk was enough to satisfy our hunger. How, however, to fill ourselves up, we eat huge portions, large side entr " ees, and a gargantuan carbonated drink. If one walks into some fast food restaurants, one can get their meal enlarged or "Super sized." We must go back to our old ways of limiting our food intake. One should eat until there are full, not comatose.

We must not eat too much, but we should eat just enough to maintain our body's need for energy. Overeating has bigger ramifications than most people think. However, Americans became aware of this "overeating epidemic" when they "flocked to see Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock's documentary about what happens when you eat nothing but McDonald's food for a month. Now McDonald's is discontinuing its Super Size option" (Lemonick).

Eating nutritional foods is necessary in order to successfully lose weight. A misconception people have is that they think it is okay to eat a whole box of chocolate chip cookies after enjoying a 5 K run in the afternoon. This can be one of the worst things a person can do to his body. Although one exercises everyday of his life, one also has to eat healthy.

Eating healthy requires smart thinking and will power. To lose weight, one must eat nutritional food that have a positive result on the body, such as eating an orange to supply the body with Vitamin-C. Drinking apple juice instead of black coffee in the morning, having a carrot instead of a bag of chips for lunch, and eating lentils instead of fried chicken for dinner are just some examples of how one can change his lifestyle to lose weight safely (Fruit and Veggie Diet). However, eating junk food is not totally out of the picture; one just has to be able to control "junk food intake." Suddenly changing one's lifestyle will not help one lose weight safely; it might even harm one's health. If one changes his lifestyle too quickly, he might be able to stay with his eating / exercise plan, and fall off the plan as quickly as he got on it.

Changes in activeness and eating habits must be done slowly, but progressively to make sure the commitment is for the long run. One must remember to exercise on a daily basis, eat reasonably, and eat foods with nutritional value. The key to losing weight safely is to make a personal plan (what exercises to do and what foods to eat and when) and to stick to it. With the right motivation and determination anyone can safely and successfully lose weight and improve their quality of life.

Works Cited:' Fruit and Veggie Diet.' Nutrition Action Health Letter. Dec. 2004: EBSCO - Academic Search Elite. Lemonick, Michael D. 'The Year of Obesity.' Time. 27 Dec.

2004: EBSCO - Academic Search Elite.