Health

Obesity

November 22nd, 2013 by

The official definition of ‘obesity’ is carrying 20% more weight than an ideal ‘healthy’ body weight for your height. In terms of BMI this would be 30 or above.

The complications of obesity go above and beyond the reflection that peers back at you in the mirror. Obesity is a major risk factor behind deadly conditions like heart disease, Stroke, Type 2 Diabetes and cancer.

childhood obesityBeing overweight also poses a threat for your joints and skeleton, due to the additional pressure placed on carrying the consequences of your penchant for fast food around each day. Arthritis and osteoporosis are common structural conditions associated with obesity.

And it is your mind that is affected too. Depression is a condition that is more likely to affect you if you are an unhealthy weight, and sleep problems commonly strike those carrying too many extra pounds too. Furthermore anxiety and low self esteem are more likely to dent the confidence of an obese person than one at a healthy weight.

Action really does need to be taken if you are falling into the deep end of the obesity spectrum. But do not embark on a panic-stricken crash diet. This will only propel you into further trouble, as your metabolism will creep to a halt.

The only way to successfully burn fat and drop excess pounds for good is to embark on a new lifestyle which addresses your diet and activity levels.

Focus on building your meals around lean protein foods, which include fish, meat, eggs, pulses, nuts and natural yoghurt. The majority of your carbohydrate intake should consist of a variety of vegetables and some fruit. Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, millet and quinoa are recommended in small quantities, and refined carbohydrates like white rice and bread are best avoided. Ensure that you are getting a good intake of essential fats found in oily fish like mackerel and salmon. These fats actually help to aid weight loss, as they fuel your inner fat-burn mechanisms.

It is important to note that fat is absolutely essential to good health and maintaining a healthy weight, therefore a low-fat diet is not advised. It is more a question of the types of fat that you are eating. Polyunsaturated fats rich in fish, seed oils, nuts and avocadoes are essential. Fat found in animal foods like meat and butter is beneficial in moderation. The only fats to avoid entirely are Trans fats found in processed foods and confectionary. Low-fat versions of natural foods like yoghurt and hummus are packed with sugar and artificial chemicals to compensate for loss of flavour so it is always best to opt for full-fat versions. Consumed in moderate quantities, these foods will not lead to weight gain.

Sugar turns to fat rapidly in the body, so it is important to avoid high sugar foods. It is always best to cook from fresh and prepare your own meals rather than relying on ready-meals and convenience food in a bid to avoid hidden sugars. Soft drinks are flowing with sugar too, even the seemingly innocent looking fruit squashes.

Move more! Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk rather than drive, take up an exercise class or buy an exercise DVD series to follow at home. Power walk with friends! Find what works for you and stick to it. The more you think about exercise, the less appealing it can sometimes become. Just do it!

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