Overweight and obesity are defined as an excessive accumulation of fat. As weight increases, the risks of different types of conditions that can be detrimental to health also increase.
To do this, the body mass index (BMI) is taken into account. This indicator is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilos by the square of their height in meters (kg/m2).
What is obesity
Obesity is a state in which a person has an unhealthy amount or distribution of fat in the body.
As we have commented before, to measure obesity, the body mass index (BMI) is used as a measure. The body mass index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. This measure, the BMI, is a reliable indicator of being overweight and is used to identify weight categories that can lead to health problems.
Another of the measures that are most used to measure obesity is the distribution of body fat, that is, the amount of fat accumulated around the hips or abdomen. These measurements include waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.
Root cause of obesity
The fundamental cause of overweight and obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. At present, due to our pace of life, globalization, culture, and society, two important points have happened that affect all people worldwide:
- A decrease in physical activity. Due to our type of work carried out mainly in the office, new modes of transport, and the growing urbanization, a more sedentary nature of the human being has emerged.
- An increasing increase in the intake of foods high in calories and fat.
Changes in eating habits and physical activity are often the consequence of environmental and social changes associated with development and the lack of support policies in sectors such as health.
Who can be affected by obesity?
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), 52.7% of the Spanish population aged 18 and over is above their normal weight. This overweight problem occurs to a greater extent in men (60.7%) than in women (44.7%).
In fact, various investigations suggest that in the last four decades, the number of obese men has tripled, while the number of obese women has doubled.
Being overweight and obesity can affect people of any age, sex, and racial or ethnic group.
In fact, obesity and being overweight is one of the leading causes of death. Nearly three million people die as a result of being overweight and obese, the fifth leading cause of death worldwide.
What to do if I am obese
The key goal to avoid obesity is to reach a healthy weight and maintain it. If we manage to have a healthy weight according to our body and lifestyle, we will improve the state of our health in general, and we will reduce the risk of developing complications related to weight and obesity.
For this, it is not necessary to be on a diet for life. Ideally, we develop and install healthy habits in our day-to-day and our lifestyle; and break with the thought of “being on a diet” when what we do is eat healthily.
If you have doubts about how to start, we recommend that you start accompanied by a nutrition professional. This professional will be able to guide you throughout the process and will teach you how to eat healthily.
What diseases can obesity cause?
As we have mentioned before, currently one of the most common problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle is excess weight. This becomes one of the main risk factors in the development of many diseases that have become chronic and accompanied the person throughout their lives, such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, hypertension, some types of cancer, and even premature death.
Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood sugar levels (glycemia) due to:
- Or to the lack of insulin production in the pancreas, which is what is called type 1 diabetes.
- Or to peripheral resistance to the action of insulin due to being overweight, which is colloquially known as type 2 diabetes.
This disease in turn is a frequent cause of premature death, heart disease, stroke or blindness. In fact, a surprising fact is that 90% of diabetics are type 2.
Obesity contributes to hypertension by mechanisms such as insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, increased adrenergic activity and aldosterone concentrations, sodium and water retention, and increased cardiac output.
This produces that a person who suffers from obesity has a greater probability of suffering arterial hypertension than those people within normal weight.
Heart disease arises at first due to the formation of “atheromatous plaques”, which are accumulations of fatty matter attached to the inner face of the coronary arteries, which are where nutrients and oxygen pass to the heart. These conditions produce an increased possibility of suffering from a lack of oxygen, which can lead to heart failure.
In addition, another clear statement is that when body mass increases, the cardiac effort necessary to meet the needs of the body also increases, which worsens heart failure.
Sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder in which people experience shortness of breath while sleeping. Overweight people have additional tissue in the back of the throat, which in turn accumulates, considerably favoring airway collapse. Apnea causes metabolic stress with the alteration of certain molecules that cause an increase in appetite, and this ends up becoming a vicious circle since obesity generates greater apnea, and apnea does not facilitate weight loss.
How to avoid obesity?
As we have mentioned before, the key is to have a healthy lifestyle, with healthy eating habits, and forget about the concept of “diet for life”. We can eat responsibly without going hungry. If you don’t know how to start installing healthy habits in your day to day, we recommend that you be guided and supervised by a nutrition professional at the beginning of the process; However, we leave you some recommendations:
Resort to the increase in foods of plant origin and soluble fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, or legumes, since these help lower cholesterol.
Take into account that the contribution of calcium, vitamin D and K, and magnesium is sufficient, to improve bone health. This can be improved by increasing the consumption of non-whole dairy, oily fish, green leafy vegetables, or fortified foods.
We cannot forget about proteins. In this sense, it is advisable to have a correct protein intake, and if it is through vegetable protein, the better. This does not mean that animal protein is less good, but rather that meats may contain more fat.
Reduce or moderate the consumption of fatty foods, especially saturated fats, and increase the consumption of polyunsaturated fats, such as the famous omega 3, a key nutrient for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
These are some of the tips that nutrition experts give us, but if you decide to change your habits, it is recommended that you do so accompanied by a specialist who adapts to your profile and your progress at all times.
Physical activity to avoid obesity
Although we have discussed how important nutrition is to avoid obesity, the other great protagonist is physical activity.
At first, it is enough to focus on the so-called aerobic exercise, which is the one that makes the body have to use more oxygen. For the prescription of physical activity to be carried out coherently and effectively, a series of specific recommendations must be taken into account so that it can be adapted for each type of person. These specifications are:
- Type of activity.
The benefits of physical activity in people with obesity and overweight would be, among others:
- Improvement of the lipid profile.
- Insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.
- Prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- Maintenance of bone density.
- The reduction of the abdominal mass deposit.
- Increased respiratory capacity.
As physical capacities improve, daily physical activity can be progressively increased until these habits are modified in the way of life in the long term, and permanently incorporated.
A sedentary lifestyle is not only combated by playing sports, but it is essential to make changes in your daily life to keep us moving, such as walking to work or the educational center, climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator, and countless other activities. daily changes that will provide you with a better physical conditions.
Electrostimulation to combat obesity
Electrostimulation is a key ally to combat obesity in training, especially what we call electrofitness.
“EMS training is an ideal tool to strengthen the muscles and promote weight loss.”
Using the Wiemspro electrostimulation suit, we send electrical impulses to the largest muscle groups, and this “electrical discharge” penetrates the deepest muscle fibers creating a powerful muscle contraction. The more we work the muscles, the more we favor the acceleration of the metabolism, which makes training with EMS an ideal tool to strengthen the muscles and promote weight loss.
It especially reduces fat, and this is because EMS technology promotes a high level of metabolic activity during the training session, and for up to 72 hours afterward. A high metabolic level will considerably favor burning fat and building lean muscle mass. This technology can access the most common areas much easier, such as the waist, hips, or thighs, considerably reducing it and helping to lose weight and combat obesity.
In conclusion, to combat obesity, it is essential to change habits and re-educate ourselves. This means that to have a healthy life we have to start taking care of our diet, start doing physical activity at least 2 days a week and be more active in our day-to-day.
If we add electrostimulation training to this, we can have visible results more quickly.
If you liked this post, you will like this success story of Marta, a case of thyroidism whose objective was fat loss.