Simply put, obesity is when someone carries an excessive amount of body fat. While the terms 'obese' and 'overweight' are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. An individual's total weight is comprised of body water, fat, bone, and muscle weight. There are many factors that contribute to weight such as overeating, the kinds of food one eats (high-fat foods being a particularly common problem), lack of physical activity, and of course genetics.
The good news—losing as little as 5% to 10% of your total weight can make a dramatic impact in decreasing your risk for certain health problems, so make a goal to get there, and then strive for more as you meet that goal.
Typically, a diagnosis of obesity is based upon an individual's body mass index, often referred to as simply, BMI. A body mass index is a factor of your height in relation to your weight, and other body type indicators. In general a high BMI can indicate obesity. There are many BMI calculators online and figuring your BMI is simple. So find a good BMI calculator and take the first step to weight loss by figuring out exactly what you need to lose to get to a healthy weight. In most BMI assessments, a BMI of 30.0 or higher is classified as obese.
What can you do if you’re obese? The answer is—a lot! Obesity is within your control. While the task of losing weight may seem daunting it is absolutely something you can do. A healthy diet and exercise is what you will usually hear from experts, and it is true that both are important, but losing weight is largely based on the 'you are what you eat' philosophy. Regular exercise is important for good physical health, but losing weight is most easily accomplished by understanding how your body uses calories (the food you take in). It really is as simple as eating less than you are burning on a daily basis. If you can get an understanding of how many calories you burn daily by exercising, going to work, walking in your office, etc. then you will know what you have to do. Estimate this number, then eat a healthy diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, etc.), and leafy vegetables that amount to 500 (or more under doctor supervision) calories less than you are burning daily and you will have your formula for weight loss. It is within your reach and you can do it. Don't wait till tomorrow, start today, and if you stick to it you'll see the pounds dropping and you'll be decreasing your health risks significantly!
IMPORTANT CAUTIONARY NOTE: While weight loss for overweight or obese individuals is recommended and important, no weight loss program should be initiated by anyone without first consulting their doctor for advice on how to lose weight safely.
For some patients, their doctors may recommend supplements to help with the weight loss process—conjugated linoleic acid, essential oils, probiotics, chromium and others may be helpful for some. Talk to your doctor about which, if any, supplements may be useful during your initial weight loss consultation with her or him. Compounded medications and supplements may be ideal for some patients as they are often easier on the body and in most cases can be crafted without sugars and other ingredients that are not helpful or necessary.
"It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."