Obesity is a common problem mainly in the western world and is a growing epidemic which affects people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. However, being obese is a major health risk and there are many health issues connected with obesity which could harm short and long term health. So what is obesity and how do we combat it so that we can live happy and healthy lifestyles?
What is Obesity?
Obesity is the condition that someone has if they have a high level of body fat and a high BMI (Body Mass Index) i.e. 30 or more. Obesity is a state of being severely overweight and therefore an obese person may struggle with simple activities or suffer from additional health issues that a person with normal weight would not. Obesity is most commonly caused by eating more calories than you can burn off.
Dangers of Obesity
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Development of Cancers
- Coronary heart disease
- Liver disease
- Osteoarthritis Stroke
- Breathing and sleeping problems
How to Combat Obesity
One of the most effective ways of combating obesity is to make some major diet changes. This can consist of switching unhealthy foods such as fast foods, snacks and alcohol for much healthier, low fat options.
Fats – This means eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and a good balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to totally cut out fat from your diet, as unsaturated fats in controlled quantities are still good for you. However, it is important to avoid large quantities of saturated fats as these are responsible for increasing your cholesterol levels which can lead to various health issues.
Portion Control – Dieting is also about portion control. Rather than starving yourself, look at normal quantities that you should be eating on a daily basis for guidance.
Water – Keep yourself hydrated and aim to drink 12 x 8oz glasses water per day. The majority of the time when you think you’re hungry, it is usually thirst. This means that you could be raching for snacks to pile on unnecessary calories when in fact all you needed was a glass of water (ZERO calories!).
Take up an exercise regime that you enjoy whether it is aerobics, swimming, jogging, walking, kickboxing or cycling. Just keep your workout routine varied so you’re body is constantly challenged in different ways and continues to burn the calories. Also, if you’re not used to exercising start by exercising 3 times a week and have rest days in between so that your body can get used to being active.
Get into healthy eating habits from a young age and take multi vitamins for immunity support if necessary. Don’t totally rely on supplements though – focus on getting your nutrients from your diet.