Weight Loss

Being overweight can lead to serious health conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease. If you are overweight, working with your doctor to develop a plan and monitor your progress is the first step to better health!

Ideal Weight & BMI

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an estimation of how much body fat you have based on your height and your weight. There are calculators available on the internet, but you can also do the math yourself. First, multiply your weight (in pounds) by 703. Divide that answer by your height (in inches) and then divide the answer that you get by your height again.

If your BMI is below 19, you’re probably underweight. 19-24 is a healthy BMI of. 25-29 denotes that you’re overweight, and 30 or higher indicates obesity.

However, BMI isn’t always completely accurate. Athletes (who have more muscle), older adults, and children need to have their BMI calculated differently.

To find out whether you’re overweight, you can also measure your waist. A waist measurement of over 40 inches (in men) or 35 inches (in women) means that you’re at an increased risk of developing conditions related to your weight.

While these guidelines are helpful, only your doctor has the tools and experience to accurately calculate your BMI and determine your true ideal weight.

Diet

When you eat food, your body converts it into energy, which is measured in calories. Calories that aren’t immediately put to use, however, turn into body fat. One pound of body fat is approximately equal to 3,500 ingested calories.

To put it simply, the fewer calories you eat, the more weight you will lose. Nutritionists recommend cutting 250 calories from your usual intake to lose half a pound a week—losing more than two pounds per week is considered unsafe and unsustainable.

Eating a variety of food groups will also help you in your quest to become healthier.

Other recommendations include:

You should keep in mind that there is no “one best diet” for everyone because we all have different lifestyles, genetics, and needs. Your doctor can help you decide what diet changes are best for your unique situation.

Fad Diets

Beware: fad diets are often unsafe or don’t work at all. You may be fooled by short-term changes when you first begin the diet but remember that many people who develop these fad diets are getting paid to do so. Lifestyle changes are the best way to ensure long-term success.

Exercise

Increasing the number of calories you burn can also help you lose weight. Exercise also has the advantage of making you stronger, increasing your endurance and reducing stress. Experts recommend doing 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five days a week.

Some other recommendations include:

Prescription Medications

Some people with obesity who weigh 20% more than their ideal weight, can be prescribed weight loss medications to use for up to 12 weeks to help them manage their weight..

These medications include:

Diet pills not prescribed by a doctor are unhealthy and a bad way to lose weight because they don’t help you maintain a lower weight once you have achieved it. Pills that are not tested by the FDA  can have harmful side effects.

Surgery

Weight loss surgery, usually a last-resort option, involves reducing the size of your stomach so your body doesn’t absorb calories as effectively. There are several different types of procedures, each of which can be explained to you by your doctor if you decide to pursue this option.

One type, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, is one of the more common procedures used to deal with obesity. A belt-like band is placed internally  (using a tiny incision) around your stomach, and its tightness can be adjusted by a doctor. Your stomach’s effectiveness at absorbing calories can be adjusted as you lose weight.

Other Factors in Weight Maintenance

Some reasons you may be overweight include:

For more information on healthy weight and how to lose weight effectively, it’s important to speak to your doctor. No one else could know your individual health needs as well as your general practitioner!

Author
Kairos

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