The Effects Obesity Has On Your Health
Obesity has several life threatening health effects that can be dangerous to everyone – young or old.
The most serious dangers include heart disease, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleeping problems, and more. Also the mental and social hardships from obesity can be very distressing.
Heart disease is currently the number one cause of death in the United States. About 600,000 people die each year, which is one in every four deaths from heart disease alone – as stated by the Obesity Action Coalition.
Hypertension is a serious risk condition which affects 7 out of 10 obese men and women. It develops as follows:
As we gain more weight, the amount of fat tissue increases, causing the heart to pump harder in order to move more blood around the body to meet the extra demand for oxygen and nutrients.
This extra blood passing through the arteries increases pressure on the arterial walls, which in turn leads to higher blood pressure.
Hypertension, which is otherwise known as “the silent killer”, is a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease.
Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, with almost 70 percent of diagnosed cases occurring in obese individuals.
The occurrence of atherosclerosis (a hardening and narrowing of your arteries) is 10 times higher in obese individuals. It can put blood flow at risk as your arteries become blocked, reducing your blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack.
Obesity is also a known major cause of type 2 diabetes, with almost 85% of type 2 diabetics being overweight.
Even mild obesity increases the risk of diabetes significantly.
A slow steady weight gain after our teenage years is usually how it starts.
Obesity has been closely connected with insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels and pre-diabetes.
Stomach Fat is Very Dangerous
While obesity is a major factor of serious health problems, abdominal obesity (excess fat around the stomach) is an added dangerous health risk. This is usually a bigger problem for men as they typically store most of their body fat in the stomach area.
Individuals that have lots of stress in their lives are doubly at risk, as stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, to help your body deal with the stress. However, when cortisol levels get too high for a period of time, this hormone can hurt you more than it helps you. Over time, these high levels may cause additional weight gain and high blood pressure, disrupt your sleep patterns and contribute to diabetes.
Abdominal obesity is one of many linked conditions such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol that comprise the condition known as metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a dangerous health condition that puts people at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and diseases related to fatty buildups in the arterial walls – American Heart Association.
A shocking estimate that 61% of obese and 33% of overweight people have metabolic syndrome.
These numbers alone should be enough to motivate people to seriously start thinking about their health.
Modest Weight Reduction Can Bring Many Health Benefits
Even modest weight reduction can bring many noticeable health benefits, as well as the benefit of feeling much better.
For example, a small weight loss of as little as 10 – 25 pounds can eliminate the need for certain medication for hypertension or type 2 diabetes.
In addition, it can also help raise HDL cholesterol (the good fats) while at the same time reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (the bad fats) thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes.
The more weight you can lose in a steady sustained way to get your body weight more in line with regular guidelines, the greater your health improvements will be, especially if the fat around your waist is being reduced.
Control Your Diet
A nutritious calorie and macro controlled diet is the foundation for real weight loss. Remember, you didn’t gain all that weight over night, so expecting to lose it real fast in not very realistic. Instead of trying to correct things very fast, focus on a steady progression towards your ultimate goal.
In the beginning you will crave for all your favourite high fat or high sugar foods. I sure did.
But in my experience, this craving dramatically falls within a couple of weeks of healthy eating.
Eating Healthy Saves You Money
Instead of simply cutting calories and thinking I must diet, make a point of changing your lifestyle and choosing healthy foods as well as your way of thinking. Focus on the mindset of I want to eat healthy.
Perhaps thinking about the money you will save by reduced illness and junk food costs, may help with your motivation.
Create Your Own Eating Plan
There are many different diets out there, but no single diet fits everybody.
If you try to eliminate all your favourite foods, it will make adhering to your diet plan very hard to do. You need to focus on making it as enjoyable as possible to create a winning weight loss strategy.
As long as your regular daily diet is calorie & macro controlled, and contains enough healthy foods, you should be able to include a treat occasionally while sticking to your plan.
But remember, sugar is your worst enemy.
Guidelines For Healthy Eating
As a general rule, try to choose foods which have no refined sugar and which are low in fat – especially the dangerous saturated trans-fat, low in sodium, and less refined.
You should try and eat at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, the more the better. Try and eat a wide variety of both fruits and vegetables as they contain different nutrients important to your body.
Stick to whole wheat bread and brown rice, rather than white bread and white rice.
Whole grain foods are richer in nutrients and higher in fiber compared to processed products.
The extra fibre content helps to maintain healthy glucose levels, which helps to reduce appetite swings and cravings.
Stick with low fat dairy products and remember that cheese is a huge source of saturated fat. Also stay away from mayo and sour cream.
Processed snacks such as chips and other high fat, high sodium snack foods should be avoided always, as they have no real nutritional value.
Do You Enjoy Red Meat
Red meat, like beef and pork are highly nutritious. Unfortunately, they are also one of the main sources of saturated fat, the type associated with atherosclerotic heart disease.
If you enjoy red meat like I do, do yourself a favor and remove all visible fat before eating, and limit your weekly intake to 3 or 4 – 3 ounce servings.
Fish is a healthy alternative protein source, as is skinless chicken and turkey.
Eating out when trying to eat healthy is much harder than eating at home. You need to be extra cautious when dining out.
Here are some important tips:
- Avoid all deep fried foods
- Order light appetizers, such as salads (watch out for the salad dressing), non-creamy soups, fish platters
- Avoid entrees with sauces, they are loaded with sugars. Choose broiled lean steak, plain fish or tomato-based pasta.
- Make sure you plate contains vegetables, without added oil, butter, or sauces.
- For dessert, choose any fresh fruit dish without the cream topping
If you feel tempted to stray from your diet plans when dining out in your early days, it may be best to skip eating out until you feel more confident in your diet.
Do You Enjoy Alcohol and Smoking
Quitting smoking should be a top priority for anybody with weight related health problems.
For many of us, giving up alcohol is not something we are willing to consider. So let me share some facts so you can choose accordingly.
To begin with, alcohol contains zero nutrition. So drinking is really going against your ultimate goals.
In addition, alcohol has a high calorie content, about 7 calories per gram.
Drinking one regular Canadian beer per day adds up to about 54,020 calories per year – which is the equivalent of gaining about 15.5 pounds of body fat annually.
Alternatively, if you consume one cooler (Smirnoff Ice Vodka) per day adds up to about 83,220 calories per year – or the equivalent of gaining almost 24 pounds of body fat annually.
As you can see, drinking alcohol alone can really add up the pounds over the years.
In my experience, overweight drinkers who gave up alcohol experience weight loss and a reduction in stomach size due to the decreased calories they consume daily, which is very good news for your health.
Most adults typically find it hard to incorporate regular physical exercise into their daily schedule. Not because they don’t have the time, but because exercising hasn’t been a priority so far in their lives.
A report from the National Center for Health Statistics says just 23% of Americans are meeting all federal physical activity guidelines. This is horrible news because the medical benefits of regular exercise are compelling.
Keeping active is one of the most effective ways we can protect ourselves against serious disease, while maintaining a good quality of life.
People who don’t exercise run a much higher risk of serious disease, as well as an illness-prone retirement.
Considering all these factors, the only rational decision would be to make exercise a high priority in our life.
Before starting any new exercise routine, I would recommend that you see your doctor for a check-up to make sure everything is ok.
Then, if your Doctor says all is well, I would advise you start with 30 minutes of light exercise per day. Continue this for 3-4 weeks (everybody is different so this can vary) or until you notice obvious benefits such as changes in breathing, sleeping and appetite.
Then gradually increase the duration and intensity of your training routine up to 60 minutes a day.
Remove Stress From Your Life
Stress is a major problem many of us have to deal with. and finding ways of reducing stress should be a priority, or at least finding ways to better deal with the stress.
This is because any stress which makes you feel that your life is out of control, becomes a major contributor to excessive alcohol intake, drug abuse, compulsive eating, disease, as well as family problems.
Perhaps changing to a less stressful job, reducing your work schedule, and making time for regular physical exercise are useful ways to reduce stress, and will definitely assist in your weight loss and general health.
Spending more quality time with your family can also help in reducing your stress levels.
How Can I Help You?
If you are a busy person who’s gained unwanted body fat over time. which is now causing poor general health and fitness, please feel free to get in touch with me at BodybuildingAfter55.
I specialize in helping and guiding people to become healthier, more efficient in their exercising routines, and to ultimately have extra energy to go out and enjoy life once again.
I offer online personal training programs which are custom tailored to even the busiest and most time challenged people around the world.
Join Us Today to get in the best shape of your life!
Founder / Personal Trainer at BodybuildingAfter55
What approach do you take to control your body fat? Let me know in the comments below!
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