Fighting the Good Fight: How to Combat Obesity Without Surgery
For the severely obese who are physically unable to lose weight, bariatric surgery is an option, albeit one that carries significant risks. For the vast majority of overweight people – even those considered clinically obese – surgery isn’t a viable option. If you’re looking for ways to lose weight without invasive medical intervention, keep reading for advice on how to shed a few stone, which can kickstart a healthy way of life.
Obesity in the UK
According to the NHS, obesity is a significant problem throughout the United Kingdom. One in four adults and, even more alarmingly, one in five children between the ages of 10 and 11 are considered obese. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of higher than 30, although waist circumference may be a more accurate indicator of whether a person is at risk of developing obesity-related health problems.
The Weight Can’t Wait
If you’ve tried to lose weight in the past but failed, it’s never too late to revamp your efforts. According to Dr. Roger Henderson, a diabetic specialist at Linden Hall Surgery in Newport, losing a single stone (14 pounds) may reduce the symptoms of diabetes and high blood pressure. And whether you realize it or not, your weight has a significant impact on your quality of life and can even harm your relationships. The University of Oxford explains that moderate obesity can reduce life expectancy by 10 years – the equivalent of being a lifelong smoker.
When it’s time to make a change, small adjustments to your lifestyle can have a big impact. It starts with your diet. Losing weight, however, is not as simple as consuming a smaller quantity of calories than expended each day. The calories you eat must be derived from foods your body can turn into sustainable energy. Instead of mindlessly snacking on potato chips, consider eating a handful of almonds instead. Almonds are full of protein and will fill your belly with fiber, an important component in a healthy diet. When you’re craving something sweet, reach for an apple instead of a candy bar. Apples contain pectin, a chemical that encourages fullness and slows the digestion process so you don’t feel hungry shortly after eating.
Most experts recommend sticking to a diet of approximately 2,000 calories per day. This meal plan by EatingWell.com was designed by registered dietitians and is a good place to start. Notice that it includes fatty foods such as avocado, salmon, and peanut butter but is beautifully balanced with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, such as turkey and chicken.
In addition to watching what you eat, you must also pay attention to your activity level. Strive for 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular activity and supplement with strength training workouts. If you can’t get to the gym regularly, consider creating a workout room in your home. HomeAdvisor notes that a home gym is just as effective as a traditional fitness center and may be accessed any time of day – or night. Your equipment may be placed anywhere in your home with adequate ventilation and ample space to complete your workout regimen. You can even place equipment in different rooms, which may help break up the monotony and encourage you to work out more often. A few basic items to consider are an elliptical, weight bench, and resistance bands. A weighted hula-hoop makes for a fun workout.
Working out and eating a healthy diet can only take you so far. In order to enjoy sustainable weight loss, you must also make sure to practice positive self-care habits, such as getting enough sleep, managing stress, and seeking help for mental health concerns (low self-esteem, depression, etc.) that may discourage your attempts to get healthy.
Losing weight isn’t easy – it requires hard work and a commitment to yourself each day. But it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only will you look better, you’ll have more energy and enjoy a better life. And that is certainly worth fighting for.
by Brad Krause