The connection between health and weight is challenging. Weight refers to the total weight of your body, which includes not only fat/adipose tissue but also bone, water retention, organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues.
What makes up a healthy weight varies by person. While being overweight is a cause of obesity and, like overweight, higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, you can be fat and still be healthy, especially if you do not have chronic diseases including diabetes or high blood pressure.
However, many studies have found a link between excess fat and poor health outcomes and shortened life spans, mainly if your waist measurement is greater than 39 inches for men and 34 inches for women.
Body mass index, or BMI, is yet another way to classify how we think about weight.
- How Effective Is BMI?
- Health risks of being overweight
- Healthy Foods to Control Obesity
- What should I do to keep my Healthy Weight?
How Effective Is BMI?
The body mass index (BMI) has overtaken the old height and weight charts as the most popular method for analyzing a person’s healthy body weight. Men and women adopt the same height-to-weight ratio formula that determines whether they are underweight, average, or overweight.
The BMI is a good indicator of body fat, overweight, and health risk for most people. However, the BMI may be inaccurate for those who are muscular, short in high standing, or elderly. According to BMI standards, someone 5 feet 10 inches tall and 220 pounds with 12 percent body fat would be considered obese. A person with 12% body fat is not obese.
A doctor may recommend The Thyroid test for abnormal weight loss/ gain, pregnancy, general checkups & many other suspected diseases.
The BMI should be used per waist size to determine your risk for obesity-related illnesses, i.e, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. People with BMIs of 25-29.9 (overweight) and 30-34.9 (level 1 obese) should have waist sizes. No bigger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men to reduce their risk of obesity-related diseases (for people with BMIs over 35, the waist measurement is not a valid marker of risk factors).
Health risks of being overweight
Obesity and being overweight may increase your risk for specific health issues related to social and emotional problems.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure, i.e. also known as hypertension, is a condition wherein blood goes more forcefully through your blood vessels than usual. High blood pressure can cause heart strain, blood vessel damage, and an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, and death.
Heart disease is a wide range of issues that can affect your heart. If you have heart disease, you could have a heart attack, heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, angina, or an irregular heartbeat. High blood pressure, inconsistent blood fat levels, and high blood glucose levels can increase cardiovascular disease risk. HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides are examples of blood fats, also called blood lipids.
Weight loss may decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood circulation. Dropping 5 to 10% of your body weight may reduce your risk factors for heart disease. If you consider 200 pounds, you could lose up to 10 pounds.
Type 2 diabetes
When your blood glucose, i.e. also known as blood sugar, is too high, you get type 2 diabetes. 8 High blood glucose levels cause heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, nerve damage, and other health issues over time. Eight out of ten individuals with type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight.
When you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, losing 5 to 7% of your body weight and participating in physical activity may help you avoid or postpone the development of the disease.
A common disorder called sleep apnea causes irregular breathing while you are sleeping. For brief periods, you may stop breathing entirely. Your risks of getting other health issues, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, may increase if sleep apnea is left untreated.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of circumstances that increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. These are the circumstances.
- high levels of triglycerides in your blood
- waist with too much fat
- low HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) levels in your blood
- high levels of blood glucose
- higher blood pressure.
Kidney disease means your kidneys have been affected and cannot filter blood as successfully as they should. Obesity raises the risk of higher blood pressure and diabetes, the two leading causes of kidney disease. Obesity may encourage and accelerate the progression of kidney disease even if you do not have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Obesity and overweight increase the likelihood of pregnancy-related health issues. Overweight or obese pregnant women may have a higher risk of
- Obtaining gestational diabetes
- needing a cesarean section, or C-section, and therefore taking longer to recover after giving birth
- Developing preeclampsia and high blood pressure during pregnancy that, if unchecked, can have serious health effects on both the mother and the unborn child.
Healthy Foods to Control Obesity
Good nutrition is a journey formed by many variables, including age, weight, metabolism, food choices, access to food, culture, and traditions; gender; and the individual decisions you make over time. All of your food and beverage options are important. A healthy food plan to control obesity consists of the following components:
- fat-free or low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as similar products like soy beverages
- Consume fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, oats, whole-wheat bread, and fruits.
- Shellfish, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), almonds, seeds, and soy products are a few of the many protein-rich foods.
- Oils, such as olive and canola oils,i.e. are found in nuts and avocados.
A nutritious diet also includes
- consuming fewer refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and salt-containing foods and beverages (sodium)
- controlling food portions
- Restricting foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as those found in desserts and fried foods
What should I do to keep my Healthy Weight?
Keep track of your weight
Regularly check your weight. Keep records of your weight to ensure that you keep your weight loss and not gain it back.
Maintain your healthy eating routine
Make healthy food selections moving forward and create the regular habit of sticking to your healthy eating plan. Discover healthy food options you prefer and enjoy so you can stick to your regular diet.
Maintain your regular physical activity schedule
You may be able to prevent regaining lost weight by engaging in regular physical activity. To avoid gaining weight again, adopt a weekly goal of at least 300 minutes of high workout. Make participating in regular exercise a regular habit.
Participate in a weight-loss maintenance plan
If you are overweight or obese and lost weight, your doctor may advise you to participate in a program to help you keep the weight off. You can monitor your progress and stay on track with the program as you continue your healthy eating and regular exercise routine.
I am Kate, a dedicated health advocate. My purpose is to educate you regarding the most current wellness trends, offer science-backed insights to enhance your understanding, and present actionable tips to support you on your journey towards a healthier and happier life. Let us commence this wellness path together!