Weight loss is a key contributor to the state of our health. The prevalence of obesity in adults has increased dramatically worldwide since the 1990s. In the UK men's obesity prevalence has increased from 13.2% to 24.3% in 2004. In women it increased from 16.4% to 26.8%.
These are large jumps in prevalence which are mirrored by our children. Weight loss is of great concern to health professionals who see the large increases as an epidemic.
Obese means very overweight. An obese man or woman will have a lot of body fat.
Obesity is calculated using the body mass index scale (BMI). This table shows whether or not your BMI is healthy:
Sometimes a person with a high degree of muscle will find themselves in the overweight or even obese category. It is not a fit all calculation, but one that gives an indication of your combined height and weight.
Sometimes health professionals choose to measure obesity by excess fat around the waist. Men who have a waist measurement of over 94cm (37 inches) and women with a waist of over 80cm (31.5 inches) are more likely to experience conditions affected by weight.
It's a calculation of your height and weight. The formula is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres. BMI = Kg/M2. Or to put it in a simpler way, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres and then divide the answer by your height once more.
If your BMI is over 30 then you are at risk of health problems due to excess weight. This includes heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A BMI of 30 and over is classed as obese for medical purposes. If your BMI is over 40 then you are severely obese and at higher risk.
Obesity is caused by taking in more calories than you can burn off. The best way to rid yourself of excess weight is to eat well and exercise regularly.
Eating well includes reducing the amount of salt, sugar and fat you consume. Pay close attention to food labels as a lot of these ingredients are hidden. Try to eat freshly prepared meals each day that include a majority of vegetables, fruits and low-fat meat. Limit dairy, fatty meats, pastries and biscuits.
If you need help speak to your doctor or enquire about weight loss clinics at your local surgery. The Eatwell Guide is a document produced by the government that explains what you should eat to consume a balanced diet and stay healthy. It's worth reading if you need help understanding what you should eat. In general, you should aim for:
When you eat your food, do so sitting down and pay attention to your meal. It's easy to over-eat when watching the television or using the internet. Eating your food slowly and pay attention to its flavour. This will help you feel fuller and more satisfied after eating. Choose fruit for dessert and wait at least twenty minutes before serving extra. It takes the body at least twenty minutes to feel full.
Exercise is an important weight loss tool. Sedentary lifestyles leave much of the population sitting in front of a computer screen all day followed by watching TV or using the internet at home in the evening. Exercise is not a daily part of life any longer.
To lose weight you need to exercise for two and a half to five hours a week. You don't need to pay for a gym membership. Walking and jogging are free and help you burn away excess fat as well as improving your circulation and mood. Classes and group sports are social ways to stay active and you are more likely to do it if others are relying on you. Try teaming up with a friend who wants to lose weight too. This is particularly helpful in the cold winter months.
You should try to fit exercise into your daily routine so it becomes second nature. Walking children to school, climbing the stairs, walking during your lunch break, gardening and bike riding at the weekend are all forms of exercise that will help you lose weight.
As well as losing weight exercise will benefit you by:
If you struggle to diet and exercise join a weight loss group for encouragement and support. Your doctor can tell you where they meet. Online groups be a huge support too, and don't cost anything.
There isn't a lot of research into hypnotherapy for weight loss. It may be suitable for some people, but for others it will have no noticeable effect. Ask your doctor for a recommendation if you want to try hypnotherapy.
There are many over-the-counter pills and herbal remedies that may help with weight loss. These are not clinically proven but there is anecdotal evidence they have aided weight loss in some individuals. These types of medicines can cause diarrhoea. You should always follow the instructions to avoid side effects and complications.
Sometimes obesity can be caused by a medical condition such as an overactive thyroid. Individuals who have painful diseases such as arthritis find it difficult to exercise. Ask your doctor for a check up if you can't lose weight and for a referral to a specialist who can help you formulate an exercise plan that takes into account your pain levels.
If you have tried all natural methods of weight loss and are still obese, your doctor may prescribe you Orlistat. Orlistat is the active ingredient found in the prescription weight loss medicines Xenical. It's the only proven one available in the UK. Xenical works by blocking fat absorption. It prevents to 30% of the fat you consume from digestion so it is simply flushed straight through your body. It must be used in conjunction with a healthier lifestyle to take effect.
You may be prescribed Orlistat if your BMI is over 28 and you have weight-related issues, or your BMI is over 30 meaning you are severely obese.
Usually you'll take one capsule with water before, during or straight after your meal. A maximum of three a day can be taken. If you lose 5% of your body weight in three months you can continue with the treatment.
Prescription medicines start working within two days but if you have diabetes the dose may need to be altered. This also applies to high blood pressure and kidney disease cases.
Orlistat isn't suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
At the extreme end of the scale, weight loss surgery is only undertaken in serious cases of morbid obesity. A BMI of over 40 and accompanying serious ill health such as diabetes or high blood pressure is required for surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery and gastric bands make only a tiny part of your stomach available to store food, meaning you are full almost immediately. There are all the usual risks of surgery implicated with weight loss surgery, and it should only be considered under your doctor's recommendation and when all other options have failed.
All types of weight loss treatment require support and follow up. It's important to remember that no method is magic or going to produce quick long-lasting results. They need to be used alongside a healthy diet and frequent exercise. Additional weight loss support is an invaluable way to stay on track. These services can help you:
Losing weight will take time. Diet programs that promise rapid weight loss are best avoided. Rapid weight loss can cause illnesses such as anaemia and gallstones and you are more likely to put weight back on. Often the quick weight loss diets rely on a very low calories intake which makes you liable to cheating through hunger.
The best way to lose weight is steady but slow with support and lifestyle changes. This type of weight loss is the kind that stays with you for life. Losing a small amount of weight each week is an achievement and reduces your risk of obesity-related health issues.
Prescription medicines such as Xenical can show noticeable results within two to three months of treatment. To achieve this you must also live a healthy lifestyle with managed diet and exercise.
Cravings are usually the reason why people fail to lose weight, or they lose weight but regain it quickly. Here are some tips for losing weight without the cravings.
As you progress into your new healthy lifestyle your stomach capacity will grow smaller and you will feel less hungry. It's likely you'll stop craving bad foods once you have avoided them for a time. The extra energy and compliments you receive for will help you resist bad foods.
Filling up on fat-free foods is a good way to prevent hunger pains and cravings. Fill up on fruit, nuts and low-fat yoghurts. Don't allow yourself to become hungry. Eat some fruit in between meals and drink lots of water. If you can keep hunger at bay you're less likely to eat bad foods.
Sugary foods are often the ones that lead to the cravings. Chocolate, in particular, gives you a quick boost of energy that is quickly followed by a corresponding down in which you will feel the need to snack on sugar again.
If you usually buy your lunch during the working day take a lunch box of fresh, low-fat foods. Choosing food in a rush with limited options leads to bad choices and can start a new craving cycle.
When you start to think about foods distract yourself. Exercise is the obvious choice; go for a brisk walk or start gardening. If exercise is not on the agenda then read or throw yourself into a task that requires concentration. The craving will pass.
Each pound you lose will contribute to feeling healthier and happier. The more you lose the easier moving around and exercising becomes. Losing a single pound can reduce the complications of high blood pressure and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Psychologically, the impact of losing weight is immediate. Losing weight is not easy and the sense of achievement when you have managed to lose your weekly target is a huge boost to your self-esteem.
If you have been used to spending a lot of money for pre-prepared foods, snacks and takeaway such as high-fat lunches you will find that eating fresh, preparing your own lunch and avoiding snacks saves you money.
Obesity is the number one problem facing the world today because of the effects it has on health. Being obese leads to serious life threatening disease. It's thought obesity reduces your life expectancy by three to 10 years.
Serious illness that obesity contributes to include:
Alongside these life-threatening and life-limiting diseases obesity reduces your quality of life. The kind of daily problems obesity causes are:
The psychological impacts of obesity can be underestimated. Being obese and unable to involve yourself in activities can lead to isolation and a feeling of rejection. Low self-esteem and depression are reported by people with obesity along with a tendency to dislike themselves and feeling disappointed with their size. These psychological impacts affect relationships with lovers, family and friends.
Obesity is an all-around health problem that affects mind and body. Losing weight is a big factor in feeling healthy, limiting your risk of serious disease and being happy.
If you are overweight or obese losing body fat will undoubtedly improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of serious disease. You can get treatment from your doctor or your local weight loss clinic to get you started. The first step is eating well and exercising. If this has no discernable effect on your health, and if your BMI is high or you are at risk of complications like type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe Xenical.
Xenical is a prescription treatment because it has precautions and may potentially cause side effects. Once you have been prescribed Xenical you can order it online from a reputable company that delivers genuine medication.
Over-the-counter herbal remedies are not likely to help you lose weight if you are unable to reduce your BMI through diet and exercise.
Whatever method you use to lose weight the important aspect is to keep going. Everyone has days when they slip up and eat bad foods, but don't let this ruin the rest of your healthy eating plan. Keep at it to lose your weight steadily and safely.
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