I hope you enjoyed the last 2 articles on Obesity. In this article let me explain to you in detail about the causes and effects of obesity.
What do we need to do
The best way to manage obesity is to eat a healthy, reduced-calorie diet and exercise regularly.
To do this, you should:
- Eat a balanced, calorie-controlled diet as recommended by your doctor or a dietitian. To lose weight at a safe and sustainable rate of 0.5 to 1kg a week, most people are advised to reduce their energy intake by 600 calories a day. For most men, this will mean consuming no more than 1,900 calories a day, and for most women, no more than 1,400 calories a day.
- Eat slowly and avoid situations where you know you could be tempted to overeat.
What about diet programs..
Avoid fad diets that recommend unsafe practices, such as fasting. These aren’t sustainable because they don’t teach you long-term healthy eating habits.
A responsible diet programme should:
- educate you about issues such as portion size, making behavioural changes and healthy eating
- not be overly restrictive in terms of the type of foods you can eat
- be based on achieving gradual, sustainable weight loss rather than short-term rapid weight loss, which is unlikely to last
Very low calorie diets (VLCD)
VLCD is where you consume less than 800 calories a day. Usually they are taken as a meal replacement and these diets can lead to rapid weight loss, but they are not a suitable or safe method for everyone, and they aren’t routinely recommended for managing obesity.
Maintaining a healthy weight requires physical activity to burn energy.
Exercise can help prevent and manage more than 20 conditions, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40%.
- Take up activities such as fast walking, jogging, swimming or tennis for 150 to 300 minutes a week.
- Join a local weight loss group. There are facebook groups and tweeter groups which will feed important information about weight management. Make sure these groups are moderated by a responsible professional and is linked to a reputable practice.
You may also benefit from receiving psychological support from a trained healthcare professional to help change the way you think about food and eating.
Change of lifestyle and other strategies
Evidence has shown that weight loss can be more successful if it involves things like:
- setting realistic weight loss goals
- eating slowly and being mindful of what and when you’re eating
- avoiding situations where you know you may be tempted to overeat
- involving your family and friends with your weight loss efforts
- monitoring your progress – for example, weigh yourself regularly and make a note of your weight in a diary. There are several phone apps to help and some fitness trackers are useful too.
Avoid putting it back on..
After the good work is done avoiding weight regain is important.
If you go back to your previous calorie intake once you’ve lost weight, it’s very likely you’ll put the weight back on. Increasing physical activity to up to 60 minutes a day and continuing to watch what you eat may help you keep the weight off.
Visiting your doctor
As well as calculating your BMI, your GP may also carry out tests to determine whether you’re at increased risk of developing health complications because of your weight. These could include measuring your:
- blood pressure
- glucose (sugar) and cholesterol levels in a blood sample
- waist circumference (the distance around your waist)
Your GP will guide you to a dietitian and surgeon if indicated.
Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is sometimes used to treat people who are severely obese.
Only a small percentage of people will require weight loss surgery.
- BMI of 40 or more, or between 35 and 40 and another serious health condition that could be improved with weight loss, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure
- Where all appropriate non-surgical measures have been tried, but the person hasn’t achieved or maintained adequate, clinically beneficial weight loss
- The person is fit enough to have anaesthesia and surgery
- The person has been receiving, or will receive, intensive management as part of their treatment
- The person commits to the need for long-term follow-up
In conclusion it is not a secret that obesity is a significant problem in our region. Both preventive as well as active strategies by both the healthcare professionals and the public is required to manage this emerging epidemic.