- Excess weight, measured by body mass index (BMI), is any amount beyond one’s ideal body weight.
- Being overweight harms health and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke.
- Reasons for excess weight include diet, genetics, medications, and psychological issues such as stress and depression.
- Managing excess weight through specialized diets, physical activity, and treatments such as fat mobilization or weight loss medications.
It is well known that obesity can have a significantly negative impact on one’s health. But what about excess weight? How much does being overweight affect your health and well-being? Here’s a look at the health impacts of excess weight and how they can be managed.
Effects of Excess Weight on Health
Excess weight is that kind of weight that is more than your ideal body weight. It is usually measured by body mass index (BMI). This is a simple way to compute your BMI: BMI = kg/m2, where kg is your weight and m2 is your height. You are overweight if you get a BMI score of 25.0 or more. The healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9.
Excess weight can put you at risk of many health conditions, such as the following:
Being overweight increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke. It can also increase your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, leading to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. This is because the extra fat can cause the narrowing of the arteries, leading to a buildup of plaque and eventually clogging.
Being overweight can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and make it harder to manage if you already have it. Excess weight changes the body’s hormones and metabolism, making it difficult for the body to effectively use insulin.
Being overweight increases your risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast, colon, endometrial and prostate cancers. Excess fat cells release hormones that can increase cancer cells’ growth and impair the immune system’s ability to fight them off.
Stroke is a serious condition that can occur when the blood supply to your brain is blocked, resulting in a lack of oxygen and nutrients. Being overweight increases your risk for stroke by putting added strain on your heart and arteries and increasing cholesterol levels.
Reasons for Excess Weight
There are many reasons why people might be overweight or struggle to maintain a healthy weight. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Diet: Eating too much food and not getting enough physical activity can lead to excess weight gain.
- Genetics: Certain genes may make it harder for you to lose weight or increase your risk of obesity.
- Medications: Some medications can lead to weight gains, such as steroids or certain antidepressants.
- Psychological issues: Stress, depression, and other psychological conditions can lead to unhealthy eating habits or increased comfort eating.
How to Manage Excess Weight
If you are overweight or struggling with excess weight, you can take steps to manage your weight so that you don’t put yourself at greater risk for these conditions. Here are safe and effective weight loss programs that will give you the best chance of success:
Diets such as low-carb, low-fat, and high-protein diets can help you lose weight. A low-carb diet reduces carbohydrates and replaces them with healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables. On the other hand, low-fat diets focus on reducing calories and fat intake to lose weight. High-protein diets are high in protein but low in carbohydrates and can help promote muscle growth, which will help you shed unwanted pounds.
The key is portioning your food by measuring with your hand or on a plate to get an accurate sense of what you are eating. A good guide is to aim for a plate filled with vegetables, proteins, and grains.
Incorporating regular physical activity into your life is another great way to manage excess weight. Exercise not only helps you burn more calories, but it can also help reduce stress levels and improve overall health. Aim for 30 minutes of daily physical activity, such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, or even cleaning your house.
You can also have fun with activities such as playing a sport or participating in an exercise class. This will help to keep you engaged and motivated while also helping you build muscle strength and aerobic fitness. The key is to find activities you enjoy and can stick to maintain a consistent routine.
Weight Loss Treatments
In case it’s hard to manage your excess weight on your own, other treatments can help. One is the fat mobilization system, an FDA-approved treatment that helps break down fat cells without surgery. This treatment burns up to 1,000 calories per session by stimulating the fat cells and releasing them as energy. This is safe and painless and can help you lose an average of 2 to 3 pounds per week.
Excess weight can significantly negatively impact your health, but with the right tools and dedication, you can manage it. By making smart lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk related to excess weight and improve your overall health. Talk to your doctor if you need help getting started.