Not only does controlling your weight make you feel and look better, but there is also abundant evidence to show that keeping your weight within healthy limits decreases your risk of developing a variety of serious medical conditions, including high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, other cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
Why weight is control important?
Weight control means maintaining a healthy weight that is just right for your body.
If advertising for weight-loss diets and equipment is to be believed, weight control is primarily about improving your appearance. While it is true that keeping your weight in check can make you look better, it is even more important for your health and life expectancy. Being overweight increases your risk of developing a number of serious medical conditions.
Build activity into daily life
Regular exercise is one of the keys to weight control for adults and children alike. Walking is a great activity for the family to enjoy together.
In 2002 the Health Survey for England found that between 1993 and 2002 the proportion of men who were overweight or obese rose from 62 to 70 per cent; in the same period the proportion of overweight or obese women rose from 56 to 63 per cent. These kinds of statistics highlight the importance of weight control.
Changing your ”set point”
To maintain a healthy weight for your height and frame, you need to adopt a strategy that will work for you in the long term. Many slimming diets promise quick results, and while these may help you ”kick start” weight loss, they are not suitable for long-term weight control. The reason for this is what scientists identify as ”set point” – the level at which your body defends its current weight.
If you consume extra calories (for a short period), your body will use these by generating more heat. If, on the other hand, you use more calories than you consume, your body will become more efficient at turning those calories into energy, to prevent short-term weight loss. This means that if you are trying to lose or gain weight, you have to make a serious commitment over a long period of time in order to retrain your body and readjust your set point.
Health risks of obesity
The more overweight you are, the higher your risk of disease and premature death.
- Carrying too much weight places greater strain on your heart and other organs as well as on weight-bearing joints, and puts you at greater risk of developing a range of serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, respiratory disease, osteoarthritis, gall stones, and certain cancers.
- Being obese increases your risk of complications during surgical procedures as well as creating extra difficulties for the surgeon performing the operation.
Since being overweight makes it more difficult to engage in regular exercise, a downward spiral into increased health risk and lack of fitness is likely to ensure. A weight loss of just ten per cent can reduce the risk and improve your health.
The benefits of controlling weight
Keeping your weight in check is critically important for your health. The more overweight you are, the higher your risk of developing various medical conditions and the more probable that your excess weight will shorten your life. Conversely, if you are overweight, losing weight will greatly benefit your health and well-being.
- Research shows that losing just ten per cent of excess body weight lowers blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke.
- Losing weight lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both of which are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight reduces blood glucose levels and decreases the risk of developing diabetes.
- Loosing weight will not only reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis, but will also reduce the stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, and lower spine, that are already affected by osteoarthritis.
- if you are considering surgery to replace arthritic hip or knee joints, you will almost certainly be advised to lose weight before the operation and to control your weight afterwards to optimize the chances of a successful outcome.
- Obesity and being overweight are major risk factors for certain cancers. These include cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovary, breast, gall bladder, and colon in women, and cancer of the colon, rectum, and prostate in men. Losing weight will produce a corresponding reduction in those risks.
- Sleep apnoea is a serious condition that is closely associated with being overweight. A weight loss will usually improve this condition.
- In addition, controlling your weight leads to enhanced self-esteem and a sense of well-being, as well as improving your appearance.
Source: Nutrition for life