Obesity is a major problem in our society. More and more adults and especially more young people are becoming overweight. Below I will explain what obesity is, how it occurs and you will get tips on how to get rid of it.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a term to determine whether you weigh too much according to the normal weight. This is determined according to the Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI therefore indicates whether you have a healthy weight, are overweight or a too light weight. This is measured by the calculation: divide your weight (in kilos) by your height (in meters) x your height (in meters). A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25. If you have a BMI between 25 and 29.9 you are overweight and a BMI above 30 you are obese. Being overweight or obese can have several negative consequences for your health.
How does obesity develop?
Obesity has many causes, but it is often a combination of a number of things. These are often too little exercise, unhealthy nutrition and overeating, poor sleep, stress, a genetic cause or a medical reason. If this has a diagnosed genetic cause or medical reason then you should listen carefully to the advice of your doctor, but in most cases this is due to too little exercise, unhealthy and overeating, stress and poor sleep.
Nowadays we are more and more behind the computer, we no longer feel like exercising. Eating should be easy so we go for the fast food. We have a lot of distractions or noises around us that prevent us from sleeping well and we all get stress. Stress in turn affects the previous three. Stress often causes us to eat less healthily and exercise less. Stress produces a hormone (stress hormone) in our body, this is called cortisol. This is an incredibly good and important hormone. The function is to alert you when danger threatens. For example when you come across a bear. Fortunately, this is almost no longer the case, but we still make this hormone. Nowadays this triggers when we have a deadline or need to do a presentation. Cortisol is very good for your body whenever it is, but as soon as it becomes chronic it is less pleasant. This release of cortisol can lead to a greater appetite for sweets and can also lead to insulin resistance. The storage of fat around your waist is also often the result of being overweight due to stress: your liver converts the excess into sugar into fat and the first place where your body stores fat is around your waist.
This is especially evident in children, more and more children are becoming overweight. I read in an article from the WHO that 80% of children between the ages of 11-17 do not exercise enough.
How can you lose weight?
If you want to lose weight, a change will have to occur in your lifestyle. As I have said before, obesity can be due to exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress. So a change must occur here. I understand that this is all very easy to say, but I still want to give you a few tips.
Movement is necessary. We know moving is good for your muscles. But exercise is also good for your bones, joints, organs, immune system and to reduce your stress. Find an activity that you enjoy. You really don't have to become a top athlete, as long as you can move.
As I have said before, poor sleep and experiencing stress are causes for obesity. By relaxing more you will reduce stress. Of course very easily said nowadays, but by working on it this can be to your advantage. You can talk about your problems with a psychologist, but you can also do other things like mindfulness or yoga. If you want to learn more about this, read my posts about it.
Consider your eating habits
I've learned from my own experience that strict diets don't work. At least for me. it doesn't. A strict diet can help you lose your weight quickly, but try to stick to it. That is almost impossible. You keep it up for a while and a month later you are back to square one.
Also be aware of what you eat. What worked for me was writing everything down. I wrote down everything I ate each day. This was very confronting, because I found that it was not very healthy or useful. So by writing things down I learned to eat more consciously.
What also helps me well is to eat from a small plate. After all, the same portion appears to be much larger on a small plate than on a large plate. This makes it seem like you're eating more and you probably won't want to scoop up a second serving.
Take your time with the food. Today we all eat fast. Everything has to be done quickly. By gently chewing your food, you will also partially reduce stress at work.
Drink plenty of water. We all need to stay hydrated. This is good for your metabolism and muscles, but it also makes you feel full. On average, we have to drink about 2 liters of water per day.
And most importantly, know what you are eating. Your body doesn't need soft drinks or fast food. We need healthy food. If you want to know more about this, you can make an appointment with a dietician.
Questions, feedback, ideas for new posts? Message me.
Sascha Bargi BSc. Pt. &. MSc. Ost. in training