Overweight and Obesity are two conditions that are common in our world today. In fact, they never really became an issue until the end of the 20th century up till now. But what has caused the massive increase in overweight and obesity?
A lot of this is as a result of improvement in food technology. There are now lots of processed food than there has ever been. Lots of fast food companies are present today, and new ones are emerging.
Stress also plays a vital role. Nowadays, people are more stressed than ever.
If you want to lose weight and you’re serious about it, this is possible! A lot of people have gone from overweight and obesity to normal weight. You see this on social media and the news. There is no one-way method of losing weight but there are some basics you should know about “weight loss” that will help you lose some weight.
Overweight and obesity predisposes you to several health conditions due to the high percentage of body fat, high cholesterol — these conditions include, high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, liver diseases, breathing problems to mention but a few. It makes you get tired easily and not as productive as you should be.
Also, it reduces your exercise tolerance rate.
All these will deteriorate your health, if not checked.
Causes of Overweight and Obesity
Several factors result in overweight and Obesity. Some are beyond your control while the others are as a result of your habits. The ones beyond your control include your metabolism, genetics, and environment while the ones as a result of your habits include eating too much, drinking and smoking, eating at night, eating too much sugar, stress, depression.
In addition to this, there is an increase in the hormone “leptin” in overweight and obese. This hormone normally should inhibit hunger but in the overweight and obese there is a decreased sensitivity to leptin — resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high levels of leptin.
Don’t feel bad if you are in this category. So far you’re actively committed to losing weight. Even if you don’t eventually end up in normal weight, you’re fine.
A lot of overweight and obese people act in self-defence. They make all kinds of excuses for being overweight and obese — “I’m big boned”, “Who cares?”, “Don’t judge me” etc.
While this will make you feel good temporarily, you must know it won’t solve the problem and will only compound it.
First of all, you have to admit that you’re overweight or obese. How do you do this? By calculating your BMI.
To do this, divide your body mass in kg by your height in m² i.e. kg/m²
Normal is less than 25kg/m²
Overweight is 25 – 29kg/m²
Obesity is above or equals to 30kg/m²
Secondly, you have to work on losing weight… It’s as simple as that. Weight gain is the reason for overweight and obesity.
Losing weight might seem daunting and frustrating. A lot of people simply give up. I know how difficult it is.
The truth is losing belly fat takes time — in some cases even years. But come to think of it, you didn’t gain the weight in a few days or weeks. It probably took months and years too. So why are you complaining?
- Set a goal: Simply admitting and telling yourself you want to lose some weight won’t work. You need to have goals you plan to achieve. Make sure these goals are achievable and not unrealistic. If you don’t know where to start read here.
- Set out to achieve your goal: Now that you have set a goal, you think that’s all? No. You need a plan. Your goal needs to be broken down into achievable pieces. You need a workout and diet plan.
- Work, Work, work:
- Are you new to fitness? Start with the basics(here)
- Calculate the calories you eat (here)
- Break your bad eating habits (here)
- Have an addiction problem, break it (here)(here)
- Drink water often (here)
We have enough articles on this site about specific habits and ways to be fit, to lose weight, so I won’t be going into details. They have been highlighted above. After all, that’s what we are committed to.
KEEPING IN SHAPE
Now you are working to lose weight, you have lost some weight, that’s great, you’re happy, but that’s not all.
You see, if you were once overweight or obese, there is a high tendency that after losing weight, you might still go back to being overweight and obese.
But why is that? This simply has to do with the way your body has been programmed. Your body wants to resist change, it’s used to being overweight and obese and wants to go back to that.
Remember the hormone “leptin”? which functions to reduce hunger but is now high and has lost its sensitivity. It doesn’t go back to its normal level, and your body still isn’t sensitive to it. This makes you want to eat more and go back to your old ways. It’s the body’s way of trying to protect you. It is used to you being obese and overweight.
So how do you prevent this? Seems like it’s a more mental process than physical so I suggest we use a mental approach.
- Realize this is happening and why your body wants to resist change. By realizing this, you prepare yourself early and can be able to prevent it.
- Resist the urge to go back to previous habits no matter what. You can do this by treating it as an addiction. Replace the urge with something else e.g. fitness, love, eating fruits, whatever that is healthy and works for you.
- Stay true to your diet plan. You should have had a diet plan by now. If possible avoid people and places that will make you want to go back to previous habits. If you got your additional weights from going to certain places like the bar or restaurants, you want to avoid these places. Likewise, watch the people you surround yourself with. Are they influencing your health positively? You are the average of the people you surround yourself with.
- Be persistent. You will be surprised at how many people will tell you “ Oh, you’ve lost some weight, hope you’re fine”. They are not hating on you. They are not just used to seeing you this way. It happens in all forms of success. Don’t let this break you but be a motivation.
- Don’t give up. No matter how difficult it may seem, just keep going and you will see some results. Sometimes you will feel like quitting, sometimes, it will hurt. These are all part of the process. Like the famous Zig Ziglar said… “You don’t pay the price for success, you enjoy the price”.
- Celebrate your success. No matter how little be happy about what you have been able to achieve. This will give you the motivation to set new goals and accomplish them.
Overweight and Obesity are difficult to get out from, but trust me, it is possible. A lot of people have done it and enjoy its benefits. So why not you? Don’t give up, Don’t break down, Don’t be angry, keep trying and working towards losing weight and I can guarantee that success will eventually be yours!