Especially in the last few decades, obesity has increased dramatically around the world. It was once considered a problem for the developed countries but now is also the problem in developing countries. Some modifications seem to justify the phenomenon, and here I will present what you need to know about weight loss.
More people are overweight than underweight, for the first time in human history. Hunger isn’t killing more people at the moment than it used to be, and now obesity is a public health concern. The prevalence of obesity is expected to increase and by 2030 over one billion people are estimated to fall into the category of overweight.
Carrying some extra body weight (obesity) is associated with several life-threatening health conditions that reduce the quality of life. Although the nature of these health problems involves multiple factors. Many people, knowing the consequences of obesity, are doing their best to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
Gaining weight doesn’t just happen overnight, it’s a gradual process so make sure you check your body weight status once in a while. There are several techniques available on how you can lose weight, but some people may still seem to be struggling with their weight loss program.
The individual’s knowledge of the weight loss matters; if you don’t do it right and don’t tackle factors related to your obesity, it is hard to make improvements. Therefore this article seeks to illustrate critical information that you need to learn about weight loss and helps you to progress towards maintaining a healthy weight.
Healthy Obesity doesn’t exist
Many people have tried to find an answer as to whether there is healthy obesity or overweight. By referring to people who are obese/overweight without any obese-related complications and metabolically healthy, can we say that they are healthy obese? You may be surprised by the answer.
Researchers have been trying to explore the paradox of healthy obesity for the past few years, they found that indeed it is possible to be overweight and healthy just like it can be with a normal weight and unhealthy person.
Nevertheless, studies have shown that for some years to come in their lives the majority of people who tend to have healthy obesity often end up with obese-related illnesses.
The research reported that obese individuals, even if they are healthy, are more likely than normal-weight individuals to die early of heart disease and other illnesses. The findings suggest that the metabolically healthy obese person is a temporary condition and simply does not exist with ample follow-up time.
Obesity won’t kill you but its complications might
Obesity is never mentioned as the cause of death but its health-related illnesses are the ones to blame. What you should be aware of is that obesity is a murderer which is quietly killing our societies from within and very little is done to mitigate the issue. Odds of having obese related health problems rise with obesity multiple times.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), obesity results in an additional 110,000 American deaths and nearly one-third of all cancers are directly related to obesity. Analysis of evidence in Canada that obesity contributed to more visits to doctors than to smoking.
The reasons for having these complications vary from metabolic dysfunction (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 problems that are likely to develop in obese people, including respiratory conditions (asthma), sleeping disorders (sleep apnea), depression (because of social stigma and others), complications of pregnancy and poor surgical outcomes.
Are you overweight/obese?-why should you consider losing weight?
Carrying extra weight for your body has many adverse health effects that endanger your life. More than 50 obesity related health problems, many of which manifest due to factors such as extra weight, metabolism and hormone imbalances, have been reported.
Obese people are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases with multiple conditions such as heart attacks, hypertension (3 out of 4 hypertensive patients are obese), coronary heart disease and stroke.
Several reasons explain why obesity causes cardiovascular problems, check my previous post on obesity-related health conditions.
Obese people are more likely to have fats built up in the blood vessels that decrease blood vessel lumen and increase blood pressure, which then put extra workload on the heart and the whole cardiovascular system resulting in damage and disease.
Type 2 diabetes is another health issue very common among obese people. Studies have shown that obese people are 10 times more likely than normal-weight people to develop diabetes and also that diabetes can double the risk of death.
Diabetes itself may also lead to other health complications, such as heart disease, impotence, kidney disease, blindness and amputation due to blood circulation disorder. These states of health further reduce the quality of life and raise death risk.
Obese people have reduced lung capacity which puts them at high risk for 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 can go up to 90 percent in those who are severely obese.
Obese is linked to cancer and is thought to be due to chronic inflammation in obese people and the hormonal imbalance induced by the fat cells releasing female sex hormones (estrogen). The relation between obesity and cancer is not yet well known, however.
Many forms of cancer are known to be associated with obesity including: endometrial cancer (2 to 4 times higher in obese people), breast cancer (12% higher risk in obese people), colorectal cancer (30% higher in obese people), pancreatic cancer (1.5 times higher in obese people), kidney cancer and esophageal cancer (2 times higher in obese people)
Why do some people struggle to lose weight?
Many people experience more than one factor as the cause of obesity per person. Both causes of obesity should be recognized and addressed in order to achieve a good weight loss..
Diet is known among many people to be the main cause of obesity and it is almost impossible to lose weight while making poor food choices. Eliminate unhealthy foods such as sugar, in particular fructose, which is the main reason for obesity and has negative health effects.
The sources and quality of your carbohydrate are very critical for obesity. It’s not just about lowering carbohydrate intake, but also about the type and quality of carbohydrates you’re taking. Consider reducing carbohydrates from sources such as potatoes, rice and pasta.
Another big contributor to the cause of obesity is an inactive lifestyle (sedentary lifestyle). There are many ways in which the body utilizes the energy we get from eating the food. Exercises happen to be the only way we can willingly regulate body energy consumption and burn fats.
Psychological causes that can contribute to a disease such as depression and eating disorders such as binge eating, which some individuals may be overwhelmed to become leadoffed and may need assistance from professional physcians who are able to get to the root cause of the problem and tackle it effectively.
Many people may simply not know why it is difficult for them to lose weight, even if they do exercise regularly and follow good food choices. it may be something linked to gut bacteria. Studies have revealed an association between probiotics and weight loss, consider checking and keeping the intestinal bacteria healthy.
Myth and facts about weight loss
Myth: You can lose weight by strictly minimizing your calories and increasing your exercise.
Facts: you can eat a few calories and still gain weight, the quality of calories and forms of exercise matters. Substitute healthy fats and quality proteins for carbohydrates and sugar calories
Exercises will also vary in the number of calories taken up over the same length of time. Running for example uses more calories than walking workouts.
Myth: Weighing on a scale is the best indicator of weight loss
Fact: water in the body still contributes greatly to body weight (water weight) and we are constantly losing water during the day through sweating, breathing and urination, therefore water weight is always fluctuating all day depending on dehydration status.
Myth: you’ll gain weight by eating fats.
Fact: Fats will actually help you lose weight as opposed to what has been said over the past decades. Saturated fats are important to your wellbeing, they provide a good source of energy and make you feel full longer
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: Becoming a vegetarian helps to lose weight
Fact: Just like any other human, vegetarians can make poor food choices that can cause weight gain or underweight. Many nutrients, such as vitamin B12, proteins, and calcium, are very hard to get from plant-only diet.
Vegetarian diets should be carefully planned and balanced in order to obtain all vital nutrients. However, studies have shown that vegetarian diets are associated with low levels of obesity, heart disease and hypertension.
What strategies promote weight loss?
As already stated, food is very critical to weight loss, and it is three times more important than exercises. Proper nutrition is therefore very important for weight loss and we should know that for optimal health our bodies need all three macronutrients.
The human being is well-designed to maintain a healthy and balanced weight, what is required is to give it the necessary tools.
Intermittent fasting is the natural weight loss technique, and it involves skipping meals by following a plan. By avoiding the meals the body used and deprived of the last meal’s readily available energy, which could be in use for several hours before it begins burning fats for energy.
Fasting has the ability to increase energy expenditure when the body is at rest and raising insulin levels, thus encouraging further fat burning.
Another technique that has proved to encourage weight loss is the ketogenic diet which is a nutritional approach that focuses on consuming the least amount of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of proteins and a high amount of fats.
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 to do as hard work as you can in your cardio or strength training exercise, followed by a recovery period, is also another strategy which promotes weight loss. Exercising this way removes more fats than just routine workouts.
The other explanation that high intensity works for weight loss is its ability to induce human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is a fat-burning hormone and beneficial for your overall health
Hence, the combination of intermittent fasting and high-intensity workouts has shown burning more fats and is the way to normalize insulin and leptin (an appetite hormone) resistance, weight loss and physical fitness improvements.
Drinking plenty of water and keeping yourself well hydrated encourages weight loss because in some people the thirsty signal can be perceived as hunger leading to more calorie intake rather than water. The water also has zero calories and this suppresses certain people’s appetite
Take home message
If you want to lose weight effectively you have to tackle all the causes of your weight gain otherwise you will find yourself struggling to lose weight. If you are not sure what could be the cause of your weight gain, consult your doctor or dietitian.
The good news is that when you successfully lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, all the chances of obese-related health problems reduced significantly, and everyone can successfully lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.