Obesity is on the rise.
Your weight is often an indicator of what you eat and how active you are. Eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising have so many physical and mental health benefits. Managing your weight is not just about looking a certain way or wearing a certain size, it is about overall physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
Maintaining a healthy weight is not just a great new goal to set for yourself, it is an important way to take care of your overall health and potentially prevent future disease. Right now is a great time to begin taking your health seriously and learning how to manage a healthy weight.
But, because there is such a big industry around weight loss, fad diets will continue to come and go, making it hard to know what really works and how to address true obesity. We’d like to help explain the issues and suggest better strategies.
But am I really obese?
You can’t just go strictly by your weight to discover whether or not you’re obese. The CDC uses Body Mass Index (BMI) as a screening test. This takes your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters to indicated body fat. If your BMI is less than 18.5, then you are within the underweight range. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is normal. A BMI ranging from 25 to 30 signifies you are overweight and a BMI that is 30 or higher indicates obesity.
If you’re curious about your current BMI, you can use this simple BMI calculator.
However, a diagnostic of your body fat and overall health can only be determined after an evaluation from your doctor.
What causes obesity, and how do I change it?
Your weight is determined by the difference between your calorie intake and your energy expenditure. When you consume more calories than your body metabolizes, you will gain weight because your body stores that extra energy as fat.
This basic understanding can help us begin to make decisions that can help accomplish our goals. But it’s not as simple as calorie intake. What types of food those calories are derived from matters. For example, consuming a diet that is high in carbohydrates is more likely to cause gain weight because carbs raise your blood glucose levels which stimulates an insulin release. Insulin encourages fat tissue to grow. Simple carbohydrates like sugar, fructose, desserts, soft drinks, beer, and wine seem to cause more problems than complex carbs such as brown rice, pasta, raw fruits, and vegetables.
Also, a sedentary lifestyle prevents your body from burning the extra calories. Some form of exercise for at least 20 minutes 3-4 days a week is a great place to start if you need to develop a habit of physical activity. Find something you enjoy doing and take a friend with you! In some cases, weight is difficult to lose and obesity occurs as a result of genetics. If one or both of your parents are obese, it’s likely to affect you. This may be linked to a leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone produced in both fat cells and the placenta. Leptin signals to your brain to eat less when your fat stores are high. When your body cannot produce enough leptin, or if leptin cannot effectively tell your brain to eat less, your control over caloric intake is lost and obesity is likely.
HOW CAN THE WOMAN’S CLINIC HELP?
We understand that weight wellness looks different for everyone, and it’s our goal to help you discover a fitness plan and diet that helps you successfully manage a healthy weight. Don’t wait any longer to begin taking care of your overall health and reaching a healthy weight. If you have concerns about your weight or your risk for cancer, schedule an appointment with The Woman’s Clinic today.