If you have an excessive amount of fat in the body, you have a condition known as obesity. It is a health issue that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible as it increases your risk of various medical problems and diseases, lowering your quality of life.
How do you know if you are overweight or obese?
The body mass index or BMI is usually used to determine if a person is overweight, obese, or not. It is computed by finding the quotient of your weight in pounds and the square of your height in inches and then multiplying it by 703.
Below are the different BMI values and their classifications:
- BMI that is less than 18.5 = underweight
- BMI that is between 18.5 and 24.9 = normal
- BMI that is between 25 and 29.9 = overweight
- BMI that is between 30 and 34.9 = Obese Class 1 or low-risk obesity
- BMI that is between 35 and 39.9 = Obese Class 2 or moderate-risk obesity
- BMI that is greater than 40 = Obese Class 3 or high-risk obesity
For example, if you are 72 inches tall and you weigh 240 pounds, your BMI equation should look like this:
- BMI = [240 pounds / (72 inches)^2] x 703 = 32.55
With a BMI of 32.55, you fall under the Obese Class 1 or low-risk obesity category.
What are the risks of being obese?
Having more than the ideal amount of fat in the body is very detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing. It makes you prone to different diseases and health problems that can impair your vital organ and system functions. Below are examples of common medical conditions linked to obesity:
High cholesterol can be brought about by poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, and high blood sugar levels. It can cause fatty deposits to form in your blood vessels, restricting blood circulation in your body and increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common health problem that can stem from not getting enough exercise, smoking, eating a high-sodium diet, excessive alcohol consumption, high stress levels, and certain chronic problems, such as diabetes and kidney disease.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells resist insulin and your pancreas becomes incapable to create sufficient insulin to cope with this resistance. As a result, sugar accumulates in your bloodstream, increasing your blood sugar levels to higher than normal levels. This can cause several signs and symptoms, including increased hunger and thirst, frequent need to urinate, sudden and unexplained weight loss, and slow-healing cuts and sores.
Heart disease refers to problems that involve the heart. It usually happens when the blood vessels are blocked or narrowed, leading to a heart attack, stroke, or chest pain. It causes numerous signs and symptoms, including chest tightness and pain, shortness of breath, numbness or weakness in the arms or legs, reduced or increased heart rate, and pain in the back, neck, throat, or jaw.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by breathing that stops and starts repeatedly. It has several kinds, with obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome as the three primary types. Among its common symptoms are loud snoring, gasping for air while asleep, waking up with a dry mouth, trouble staying asleep, and feeling extremely sleepy during the day.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that usually affects the joints in the spine, knees, hips, and hands. It is more likely to affect people who are older, overweight or obese, have had joint injuries, with bone deformities, are suffering from diabetes or other metabolic diseases, and have a family history of the disease. Some common signs and symptoms are stiffness and tenderness, swelling, limited flexibility and mobility, and pain and grating sensation in the affected joint.
Mental disorders such as clinical depression and anxiety can cause symptoms that can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Some people who suffer from these mental health problems may experience low energy levels, overeating, and loss of motivation to exercise.
Sexual dysfunction can be caused by overweight and obesity too. Problems like low testosterone levels, reduced libido or sex drive, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, and infertility can happen if you have so much extra fat in your body.
What should you do to lose weight?
To protect yourself from the dangers of overweight and obesity, you should start losing weight now. It will be a long and challenging journey, but the rewards that you will reap at the end will all be worth it. Below are some weight loss tips to help you get started:
Reduce your sugar and starch intake
Foods that are high on sugar and starch tend to contain lots of calories, and in order to lose weight, you need to cut down on your calorie intake. So, the next time you go to the supermarket or eat out, try your best to stay away from soft drinks, cakes, burgers and fries, and others.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
You can replace your sugary and starchy foods with fruits and vegetables to give your body the vitamins and minerals that it needs to carry out its job efficiently. Some highly recommended fruits and vegetables are broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, watermelons, apples, bananas, cauliflower, and spinach.
Eat more protein
Your body needs protein to build strong and healthy muscles, and chicken breast, salmon, shrimp, eggs, lamb, beef, and trout are just a few examples of healthy, high-protein foods that you can include in your daily diet.
There are several types of exercises that you can do to get down to your ideal weight faster. If you are a beginner, you can start by doing cardio exercises, such as running and swimming, or weight training three times a week for about 30 minutes a day, and eventually increasing the duration and frequency of your regimen.