The facts about obesity
Around one in four adults in Britain are obese – and that number is rising! Experts predict that by 2050, obesity will affect around 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women in the UK, and chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has declared obesity to be the biggest risk to British women’s health. So what does being obese mean for you?
What exactly is obesity?
In medical terms, obese means very overweight, with a lot of excess body fat. Most Gps use the body mass index (BMI) scale to determine a healthy weight range. A BMI of 30 or more is classed as obese. Waist measurement also plays a vital role in diagnosing obesity, as carrying excess body fat around the midsection poses the greatest risk to health. For women, measurement of 80cm or more is usually considered obese. For men, it is 94cm plus.
What’s the danger to my body?
Obesity is a serious risk to our health, and our happiness. Research shows there could be more than 7.6m new cases of obesity-related diseases diagnosed in the UK during the next 20 years. This is because being obese is linked to serious conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It also stresses joints, increases blood pressure and reduces fertility in women. Did you know it also raises your risk of breast, bowel and liver cancer? Not to mention the possibility of depression, due to poor body image and social pressures.
What to do first?
Change your mindset. Take it slowly – step by step. ‘A substantial weight-loss goal can be daunting, but breaking it into achievable milestones can help,’ says GP Dr Naomi Potter. ‘Rather than feeling overwhelmed, set time-based targets of 7lb, making the overall aim more manageable.’
Do the ‘What If?’ test
Asking yourself tough question can push you towards a long-term goal. For instance: ‘If I don’t switch to a healthy lifestyle, how will I look and feel in six months?’ Also, don’t forget the non-scale benefits of weight loss. ‘Noticing your health improve can boost motivation,’ says psychologist Honey Langcaster-James.
Overcome emotional eating
Recording what you eat and how you feel could be revealing. ‘Examining your behaviour and coinciding emotions can highlight a trigger or pattern that leads to overeating. Understanding them is key to making a change,’says Honey.
Make your kitchen plan-friendly
A new study found the food people display in their kitchen is linked to obesity. Those with a fruit bowl on show tended to be a healthier weight than people displaying junk food. So don’t just hide foods you are avoiding – make fresh fruit and veg easy to see and grab. Don’t forget about consuming drinking water either as it can help you to drown your cravings. A green tea also could be beneficial for your weight loss program. Read more about Green Tea benefits.
Take advantage of useful apps
Step forward Public Health England’s superstar app Sugar Smart or similar in your country, which scans barcodes to reveal the sugar lurking in packaged foods. If you are a member, the Weight Watchers app is packed full of nutritious meals, great ideas and useful advice to inspire you. Slow your BPM (bites per minute). Research suggests people who eat quickly are more likely to be obese compared to those who savour their food. Focusing on a meal and putting cutlery down between bites can also help you notice when you are full.
Challenge your fitness fears
First of all, do not do it alone. Studies show there’s more chance of successful weight loss when family and friends are behind us. So enlist their support and go for walks with the kids, meet friends at the pool, or try yoga with a work buddy. It’ll make your new lifestyle even more enjoyable.
Cut yourself some slack
Remember, healthy living is a skill to work on and improve at – not something you should expect to be great at from day one. ‘If you have been inactive for a long time, take a little extra care to get your body ready for being more active,’ says fitness expert Jennie Gadsby. ‘Start slowly with everyday tasks, such as walking or gardening, then gradually increase the amount of time you spend doing them.’
Source: Magazine Weight Watchers February 2017 UK