Weight Loss Wednesday: Obesity–Not Just Another Seven-Letter Word

 Ready to be shocked? According to the CIA World Factbook, America is the sixth fattest country in the world. Right in between Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates. One in three American adults is affected by obesity. Childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years. Every two minutes someone dies of weight-related causes. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death, second only to smoking. 

How do you know if you are obese? Overweight and obesity is measured using the body mass index, or BMI. Take a moment and use this link to calculate your BMI.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bmi-calculator/NU00597

If your BMI is 30 or higher, you are obese. Why should you care? With a BMI above 30, risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and joint problems increase. Risk of all types of cancers also increase.

People become obese from maintaining a sedentary lifestyle, taking in more calories than they burn, thyroid issues, innate physiological set points, and genetics. People also become obese because of familial reinforcements such as having a bad day and reaching for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. There are also environmental factors such as high levels of toxins in every plastic container and household cleaning product.  So what can be done?

If you are aware that you are obese, are you guilty of engaging in very low calorie diets? Fasting? Gastric bypass surgery? The Atkins Diet? The Blood Type Diet? HCG diet? A weight loss body wrap? You already know that these fads won’t bring your BMI down to the healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9. The only way to reach that goal is by making over your lifestyle. By educating yourself about healthy nutrition and experiencing the miracle drug called exercise–there is no generic.

What are the characteristics of a healthy person? It doesn’t mean that they wear a size 6. Healthy people have a BMI of 18.5-24.9. Their blood sugar levels are between 60-100. Their resting pulse is between 60-100 beats per minute. Their weight is proportionate to their height. They exercise for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. They usually display clear skin and clear eyes.

Here’s the good news. No matter what your BMI is today, it is never too late to change it. Whether you are 18 or 78, the health benefits of regular exercise will not only lower your BMI, but decrease your risk of illness and injury from daily activities.  Take a moment to be totally honest with yourself and calculate your BMI, or come on down to see us at Novato’s Power Squadron for a free body composition analysis. Your journey to a healthy weight starts today. It’s all about your health.