How Does Weight Gain Affect My Health?
Being overweight or obese can bring a lot of problems to the table; from mental health issues related to low confidence right through to serious health problems that can be life-threatening.
It’s extremely important to understand how weight gain will affect your health in order to ensure that you keep up with a healthy lifestyle. Within this guide, we will be taking you through the relationship between health problems and weight gain. We will also explore plans of action for achieving a healthier, happier weight.
The Relationship Between Health Problems and Weight Gain
Unfortunately, being overweight or obese can cause several health problems. While results are likely to vary between individuals, the following health problems are known to be the most common and severe.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Some people suffer from type 2 diabetes as a result of hereditary, but for many people, it occurs as a result of excessive weight around the waist and an unhealthy lifestyle. To put this into perspective, over 85% of adults with diabetes are overweight or obese.
Through losing weight, you are at a better chance of delaying or preventing diabetes altogether. You will gain back control of your body, keeping blood sugar levels at a healthy point and eliminating the risk of a fatal incident from happening.
Cancer: Perhaps one of the scariest parts about weight gain is developing a higher risk rate of getting cancer. It has been found that those who are overweight are more likely to develop breast, colon, gallbladder and kidney cancer in particular. While it is still uncertain as to what exactly encourages the growth of cancer cells, many experts believe that it's due to too many fat cells releasing hormones and affecting cell growth.
High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure occurs when the blood pumping through your arteries pushes too hard against the artery walls. As your body is larger when overweight, your heart needs to work harder to pump blood around, resulting in added pressure.
In a worst-case scenario, high blood pressure can result in heart disease or kidney failure. You may even suffer from a stroke. This is why it is all the more important to maintain - or achieve - a healthy weight to ensure that your heart is never overworking.
One of the easiest ways to reduce blood pressure levels is by monitoring your diet. Cutting out salty foods in conjunction with exercising frequently will be sure to contribute positively.
Heart Disease: Heart disease is an umbrella term for a whole range of issues that can affect your heart. Having high blood pressure and high cholesterol (which are both health issues encouraged by weight gain) can lead to heart disease. If untreated, heart disease can result in a heart attack, heart failure, cardiac arrest and so on. Losing weight will help your body to pump blood more easily, preventing such a disease from occurring.
Fatty Liver Disease: If you can’t tell by the name, fatty liver disease is a problem that occurs when too much fat builds up inside the liver. This type of issue can result in severe liver damage or liver failure. Everyone who is diagnosed with fatty liver disease is encouraged to reduce their body weight in an attempt to lower the quantity of fat in the liver.
What Causes Weight Gain?
So - what causes weight gain? Each body is different, and while some people can eat for England without putting on weight, others have a hard time maintaining a healthy BMI. The main causes of weight gain include:
- Genetics - this usually determines how easily you gain/maintain weight
- Medication - some medications (eg: antidepressants) have a side effect of weight gain
- Poor diet - overeating on fatty and sugary foods
- Misinformation - a lack of understanding surrounding nutritious diets
How To Find Out If You Are Overweight
One of the easiest ways to establish whether you are overweight or not is by measuring your BMI. Your body mass index (BMI) is worked out by taking some basic information about height, weight and age. From here, your BMI is placed onto a chart to establish whether you are underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight or obese. These guidelines are as follows:
- Healthy weight: BMI ranging from 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight: BMI ranging from 25 to 29.9
- Obese: BMI of 30 and above
You can use a BMI calculator to find out more.
How To Lose Weight: Minimising The Risk Of Developing Health Problems
If you are classified as obese or overweight, it is advised to lose around 5% of your weight to lower your risk of developing health problems.
To lose weight healthily, it is advised to lose around 1-2lbs per week. This can be achieved through a combination of techniques, revolving around:
Eating Healthily: Through eating regular meals, plenty of fruit and vegetables and cutting back on snacking, you’re at a higher chance of experiencing weight loss. Resist junk food and replace it with high fibre alternatives, instead. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too!
Exercising: Alongside eating healthily, exercising regularly is a huge contributor to healthy weight loss. It is advised to complete around 150 minutes of moderate activity per week to promote weight loss.
Taking Supplements: If you are eating healthily and exercising regularly yet still struggling to shed the pounds, your doctor may recommend weight loss pills. These pills are used alongside the above methods to speed up weight loss and get you back to a healthy weight. However, to ensure that you aren’t harming your body, never take weight loss pills that aren’t supplied by an accredited doctor or pharmacy.