Obesity has dramatically increased all around the world especially in the recent few decades. It was once considered to be for the developed countries but currently, even developing countries are also affected. Many changes seem to be the explanation for the trend and what you need to know about weight loss.
For the first time in human history, more people are overweight than underweight. Hunger is not currently killing more people than it used to be and now obesity is the public health issue of concern. The prevalence of obesity is predicted to grow and by the year 2030 it is estimated that more than one billion people will fall into the category of overweight
Carrying some extra body weight (obesity) is associated with multiple health conditions that are life-threatening and reduces the quality of life. Development of these health problems involved interaction with several factors. Understanding the effects of obesity, many people are doing their best to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
Gaining weight does not just happen overnight it’s a gradual process so make sure to check on your body weight status once in a while. Several techniques are available on how you can lose weight, however, some people may still seem to struggle with their weight loss program.
The individual’s knowledge for weight loss matters; it’s hard to make changes if you are not doing it right and not addressing causes linked to your obesity. This article, therefore, seeks to highlight critical information you need to know about weight loss and enables you to prosper towards achieving a healthy weight.
Healthy Obesity doesn’t exist
Many people have tried to get an answer on whether there is healthy obesity or overweight. Referring to people who are obese/ overweight without registering any of the obese related complications and metabolically healthy, can we say they are healthy obese? The answer may surprise you.
For the past years researchers have tried to explore the paradox of healthy obesity, they found that yes it is possible to be overweight and healthy just the same as it may be with an individual with normal weight and unhealthy.
But studies revealed that the majority of people who seem to have healthy obesity still end up developing obese related diseases some years to come in their lives. The young one with a smaller waist circumference took a long before they could develop obese related complications, which may misinformation people.
It reviews that obese individuals even if they are healthy, were more likely to die fast to hearth diseases and other diseases as compared to normal-weight individuals. The studies conclude that the metabolically healthy obese individual is a temporary state and it simply does not exist with enough time of follow up.
Obesity won’t kill you but its complications might
Obesity is never mentioned as the cause of death but its health-related diseases are the ones to blame. What you should know is that obesity is a killer which is silently destroying our communities from within and very little is done to mitigate the problem. Chances for developing obese related health diseases increases multiple times with obesity.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), obesity leads to an estimated 110,000 deaths in American and about one-third of all cancers are directly related to obesity. In Canada data review that obesity resulted in more doctor visits than smoking.
The reason why these complications develop ranges from metabolic dysfunctioning (which causes types2 diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, and lipid problems), carrying extra weight (joints and bone problems), inflammation (cancers) and hormonal imbalance (cancers, sexual problems).
In addition to the above, there are several other complications likely to develop in obese people than in normal-weight individuals including respiration conditions (asthma), sleeping disorders (sleep apnea), depression (due to social stigma and others) pregnancy complications and poor surgical outcomes.
Are you overweight/obese?-why should you consider losing weight?
Carrying some extra weight for your body has many detrimental effects on overall health that threatening your life. More than 50 health problems linked to obesity have been identified and many of these health problems manifest due to factors such as the extra weight itself, metabolism dysfunction and hormonal imbalances
Obese people are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease with multiple conditions such as heart attacks, hypertension (3 out of 4 hypertensive patients are related to obesity), coronary heart diseases and stroke.
Many factors explain why obesity causes cardiovascular diseases, check my previous post on obesity-related health conditions.
Obese people are more likely to have fats build up in the blood vessels that narrow the lumen of blood vessels and increase the blood pressure which then puts extra workload on the heart and the whole cardiovascular system resulting in damages and diseases.
Diabetes Type 2 is another health problem that is very common in obese people. Studies have shown that obese people are 10 times likely to develop diabetes than normal-weight people and also that diabetes can double the risks of death.
Diabetes itself can further lead to other health complications such as heart diseases, impotence, kidneys diseases, blindness and amputation due to impairment of blood circulation. These health conditions further reduce the quality of life and increase the risk of death.
Obese people have reduced lung capacity which puts them at high risk of many respiratory diseases such as asthma (3 to 4 times more common in obese people), sleeping apnea is 60 percent in obese people and the percentage may go high up to 90 percent in severely obese people.
Obese is linked to cancer and is thought to be due to chronic inflammation in obese people and hormonal imbalance caused the fat cells that produce female sex hormones (estrogen). However, the link between obesity and cancer is still not well understood.
Many forms of cancer are known to be associated with obesity including: endometrial cancer (2 to 4 times more in obese), breast cancer (12 per cent high risk in obese), colorectal cancer (30 per cent more in obese in people), pancreas cancer (1,5 more likely to develop in obese people) kidney cancer and esophageal cancer (2times more in obese)
Why some people struggle to lose weight
Often time more than one factor may be the cause of obesity per person in many people. In order to achieve a successful weight loss all the causes of obesity should be identified and addressed.
Diet is considered to be the main culprit for obesity in many people and it’s almost impossible to lose weight while still maintaining a poor choice of foods. Eliminate foods that are bad to your health including sugary especially fructose which is the major cause of obesity and has damaging effects on your health.
The sources and quality of your carbohydrate matter a lot for obesity. It’s not only a matter of reducing the intake of carbohydrates but also the type and quality of carbohydrates you are taking. Consider reducing grain carbohydrates from sources such as potatoes, rice, and pasta.
An inactive lifestyle (sedentary lifestyle) is another great contributor to the cause of obesity. There are many mechanisms in which the body used the energy we get from the food eat. Exercises happen to be the only body energy consumption mechanism that we can voluntarily control and to burn up fats.
Psychological factors that may lead to a condition like depression and eating disorders like binge eating, which some people may have the challenge to get leadoff and may need help from specialist counselors who are able to get to the root cause of the problem and successfully address it.
Some people may simply don’t know why is it hard for them to lose weight despite putting a good effort on exercise and following good dietary choices; it may be something linked to gut bacteria. Studies have revealed an association between probiotics and weight loss, consider checking and maintaining the balance of your gut bacteria.
Myth and facts about weight loss
Myth: you can lose weight by just restricting calories and increase your exercise.
Facts: quality of calories and type of exercise matters, you can eat a small number of calories and still gain weight, the quality, and source of your calories matters. Replace grain and sugar calories with healthy fats and quality proteins
Exercises will also differ in the number of calories that are used up in the same duration of time. For instance, running will burn more fats that walking workouts.
Myth: Weighing on a scale is the best indicator for weight loss
Fact: the water in the body also contribute much to body weight (water weight) and we are constantly losing water during day through sweating, respiration and urination hence water weight always fluctuating throughout the day depending on dehydration status.
Myth: consuming fats will make you gain weight.
Fact: In fact, fats can help you lose weight contrary to what has been said for the past decades. Saturated fats are vital for your health they provide a good source of energy and make you feel full longer, which prevent further eating of caloric food
You can get healthy fats from the following sources of foods: olive oil, avocados, Coconut oil, raw nuts, egg yolks (organic pastured), grass-fed meats and palm oil.
Myth: Going a vegetarian helps to lose weight
Fact: Vegetarians just like any other person can make poor choices of food that can cause weight gain or underweight. Some nutrients are very difficult to get from the plant only based diet such as vitamin B12, proteins, and calcium.
Vegetarian diets should be carefully planned and balanced to get all the vital nutrients. However, studies have shown that a vegetarian type of eating is associated with a low level of obesity, heart diseases, and hypertension.
What strategies promote weight loss?
As already mentioned food is very critical for weight loss and it is three times more important for losing weight compared to exercises. Therefore, proper nutrition is very important for losing weight and we should know that our bodies need all the three macronutrients for optimal health.
The human is well-designed to maintain a healthy equilibrium and weight, what is needed is to provide it with the necessary tools.
Intermittent fasting is the natural strategy that promotes weight loss and it involves skipping meals by following a method. By skipping the meals the body used and deprived the readily available energy of the last meal, which may be in operation for some hours before it starts burning fats for energy.
Fasting has the ability to increase energy expenditure when the body is at rest and reduces insulin levels, which promotes more burning of the stored fat.
The ketogenic diet which is a dietary approach that focuses on taking the least amount of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of proteins and a high amount of fats, is also another strategy that has proven to promote weight loss.
This dietary approach stimulates the body to start burning fats and uses ketones for energy instead of carbohydrates. To fully understand check my article on Keto diet and weight loss
High-intensity exercise which is the way of doing your cardio or strength training exercise as hard work as you can, followed by a period of recovery, is also another strategy that promotes weight loss. Doing exercises this way burn more fats than just routine workouts.
The other reason why high intensity works for weight loss is its ability to stimulate secretion of human growth hormone (HGH) which is a fat-burning hormone and good for your overall health
Therefore combining intermittent fasting and high-intensity exercises have shown to burn more fats and are the way to go for normalizing insulin and leptin levels (an appetite hormone) resistance, losing weight and improving physical fitness.
Drinking plenty of water and keep your self well hydrated promotes weight loss because the thirsty signal in some people may be perceived as hunger resulting in more calorie intake instead of water. The water has also zero calories and it suppresses appetite to some people
Take home message
So what you need to know about weight loss is that a good dietary choice is very critical for losing weight. Learn and develop good dietary choices to help you save from unnecessary calorie intake. It’s easy to eat more calories than to burn them, in fact, you cannot outrun calories. Avoid sugar and increase the intake of healthy fats.
To successfully lose weight you must address all causes of your weight gain otherwise, you will see yourself struggling to lose weight. Consult your physician or dietician if you are not sure of what may be the cause of your weight gain.
The good news is that all the risks of obese-related health problems significantly reduced when you successfully lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, and everyone can successfully lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.