In a recent radio interview, Acting Philippine National Police Chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa bared that 46 percent of the country’s 190,000 strong police force are either overweight (37 percent) or obese (9 percent), with 54 percent at their ideal body weight. This, as he ordered PNP members to get in shape, even warning obese and overweight members that they may not get their promotions if they fail to lose weight.
Indeed, our policemen, most particularly beat cops who patrol the streets and respond to crimes, must possess a certain level of fitness in order to effectively carry out their functions. Fighting crime will entail running after criminals and, at times, using force to physically subdue them.
Here are some tips for our police officers that can help trim their waistlines and shed a few pounds.
1 Eat whole foods—To stay healthy, whole grains, meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables must be your primary source of food. Avoid processed and canned foods. When on duty and bringing a packed lunch, make sure it’s a home cooked meal and, preferably, not something out of a can.
2 Cut the liquid calories—Staying hydrated while on duty is important for cops, especially those working under the heat of the sun. The temptation to hydrate with iced teas, sodas, processed fruit juices and sweetened coffee drinks is always there given the easy access to these products. However, lurking behind these sweetened beverages is a high-calorie content that may contribute significantly to weight gain. My advice is to cut the liquid calories, a.k.a. sweetened beverages, and go for the ultimate thirst quencher, zero-calorie water. Cutting out liquid calories, and instead taking plain old water, alone, may help you lose weight.
3 Lift weights—When attempting to shed body fat, it is always a good idea to include resistance training or lifting weights as part of the total program. Lifting helps burn calories and, if done with the proper intensity using medium to heavy loads, builds lean muscle mass. When we want to lose weight, we don’t just want to shed fat, we should also work toward firming up our muscles to achieve a tight, toned, crime-fighting physique.
4 Get adequate sleep—Most weight loss advice centers around diet and exercise. Often overlooked is the need to get adequate sleep in order to lose weight. Studies have shown that lack of sleep makes us crave more food. Also, being sleep deprived tends to make us feel less energetic, affecting our ability to exercise. A restful sleep is essential to losing weight.
To be clear, all successful weight loss programs have one thing in common: achieving a calorie deficit. This means that the amount of food we take in must be less than the amount of energy that we expend. These tips will help us achieve a calorie deficit, and safely lose weight.