Weight is a measure of our Body Mass Index, also called BMI calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters BMI= Weight / (height) 2. A body mass index or BMI of 25-29.9 indicates overweight while that over 30 indicates obesity. These two conditions are associated with increased risk of developing severe cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, cancer and poor physical appearance. Cardiovascular diseases associated with overweight such as hypertension (high blood pressure), atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat on the walls of blood vessels and heart) and stroke (blockage of brain vessels by fat carried from elsewhere in the circulation) are major causes of death and disability in many countries. It is important to lose weight in order to prevent the development of these complications.
What if you do not lose weight?
If you do not lose weight, you will continue gaining it and the more risk you are putting in yourself. Overweight and obesity distorts body shape, reduces our tolerance to exercise and reduces our work and class output. In its severest form, one can develop heart dysfunction, diabetes mellitus with its associated complications (blindness, loss of legs, kidney failure), stroke, cancers (stomach cancer) and even death. It is therefore important to always check your BMI and institute weight loss programs if necessary.
How can you lose weight?
Weight gain depends on your calorie intake and your general lifestyle. The higher number of calories you take, the more fat you accumulate. This fat accumulation is also exacerbated by relative inactivity. Exercise helps in burning the excess fats because the fat is used to provide energy for muscle contraction. Thus the secret to weight loss primarily rests on minimizing calorie intake and maximizing on physical activity. Reducing caloric intake does not mean that you should starve yourself. There is a wide range of calorie controlled diets which can help you regulate how much you should eat. In addition, there are things you can do in your daily life to always keep you healthy and active.
Tips on how to lose weight
- If you live or work in a multistory building, always chose to take the stairs instead of the elevators.
- Take a few moments (like 20 minutes) to jog around the neighborhood once or twice a week or just stretch every morning when you wake up.
- Have an exercise bicycle in your living room so that as you watch your favorite TV program you can exercise during the commercial break.
- Water has been proven to be pivotal in helping with weight loss. Drink lots of water (about 8 ounce glasses per day) instead of fruit juices.
- If you have to use milk choose semi-skimmed or skimmed milk instead of whole milk. It has lesser fat content.
- Limit the amount of lunch you take or if you have to, take only light meals that have minimal calorie content.
- Sugary tea and coffee have high carbohydrate content and therefore high calorie. Take sugarless coffee and tea and avoid all sugary soft drinks.
- Avoid or limit intake of confectionary, sugary biscuits and crisps between meals. They are major sources of excess calories.
- Avoid excessive intake of alcohol. Alcohol is metabolized in the body to fatty acids which are then deposited around blood vessels and organs.
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