Obesity will not only make it difficult for you to find clothes that flatter and fit properly, it can get you into serious health complications as well. Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Obesity does not occur overnight. Unhealthy lifestyle choices and poor diet are the main culprits. Should you wait for your weight to become a health problem before taking action?
What Causes Obesity?
Obesity mainly results from consuming calories more than your body could burn through physical activity. If you’re the type of person who regularly splurges on pizza, fries, and soda but would barely get your ass up to do any type of physical activity, you could expect your waist size to turn from 27 to 31 in time.
These sugary and fatty foods are high in calories, a term used to measure the energy they provide for your body to utilize. If you fail to burn the calories you take in, your body will store them as fat which can add up over time and then translate into excess pounds.
To curb obesity, perhaps you need to look into your diet. Soda, pastries, doughnuts, ready-to-use salad dressings and fried foods are some of the top high-calorie foods people consume. These foods usually lack nutrients and are more harmful than helpful.
Another type of food that contributes to weight gain you would find in almost every menu is meat. Meat is a good source of protein and other nutrients your body needs; however, a recent study showed that meat consumption is as responsible as sugar in the growing prevalence of obesity around the world.
Interestingly, unlike previous studies, this recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Adelaide found that the major factor of weight gain from meat consumption is not the fat in meat but of protein.
One of the researchers, Wenpeng You, a Ph.D. student said, “Whether we like it or not, fats and carbohydrates in modern diets are supplying enough energy to meet our daily needs. Because meat protein is digested later than fats and carbohydrates, this makes the energy we receive from protein a surplus, which is then converted and stored as fat in the human body.”
Will Going Vegetarian Curb Obesity?
Is it really necessary to ditch the meat to maintain a healthy weight?
When it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, the common approach people practice is calorie restriction. However, experts say this approach may not be a very effective long-term solution. Calorie restriction means monitoring the calorie count of every food you put in your mouth. This method can be troublesome for many people and could turn them off. Experts say that a well-planned meatless or plant-based diet may be more effective and easier to adhere to than calorie restriction because you only have to focus on eating certain types of food.
Moreover, a cross-section analysis of data gathered from a cohort study of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition or EPIC-Oxford showed that vegan, vegetarians, and fish-eaters had lower BMI than those who consume meat. It also showed that low intake of fiber and high intake of protein were the primary factors of higher BMI in meat-eaters.
Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that going meatless will not automatically make you lose weight. A well-balanced diet along with regular exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices are necessary to keep your weight in check.
When Do You Consider Yourself Problematically Overweight?
Obesity refers to a health condition of having excess adipose or fat tissue in the body. One of the most commonly used methods for determining if a person is obese or not is the BMI or body mass index. It is essentially a mathematical equation that helps measure tissue mass, such as fat, based on your height and weight.
However, BMI is not always a conclusive method used to determine obesity because some people who are muscular tend to have higher BMI even when they have a less adipose tissue.
Another reliable method that could help you determine the presence of excess fat is measuring your waist circumference. In general, men with 37 inches waist circumference and women 31.5 inches waist measurement are more likely to develop illnesses associated with obesity.