Exercise & Health Tips, Pharmacy
Women’s Weight Loss
Losing The Misconceptions Along With The Weight!
Excessive weight is a concern that plagues a large percentage of women worldwide. Obesity is defined as severe excess body fat. Diagnosis is usually based on Body Mass Index (BMI)*. The BMI is a ratio of weight (kg) divided by height (m2) A less than ideal body image can affect a woman’s psychological health in a number of ways however physical complications of obesity include cardiovascular disorders, diabetes mellitus and many cancers.
Obesity may be affected by a number of determinants:
How you eat
Overeating – eating large meals easily lends itself to weight gain. Eating smaller meals more regularly is usually more suitable when attempting to lose or maintain ideal weight.
Eating at night – an individual’s metabolism is slowest at night-time; therefore heavy meals at this time will quite likely lead to weight gain.
Eating slowly – it has been proven that eating slowly helps an individual to eat less and therefore aid in weight loss.
Starving – when individuals starve themselves, this forces the body into starvation/survival mode. The metabolic rate slows down and when the individual returns to normal eating habits, the body is forced to store food (as fat) in preparation for the next period when food is not available; therefore the individual gains weight drastically.
What you eat
Diets high in fat and refined carbohydrates promote weight gain. Those high in fresh fruit and vegetables, fiber, and complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grains, beans, and peas) minimize weight gain. Modest calorie restriction (to 1000 to 1400 kcal/day) and the substitution of some protein for carbohydrate appear to have the best long-term outcome.
Individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle are usually prone to weight gain. Exercise helps an individual to burn excess calories. Exercise also seems to regulate appetite to more closely match caloric needs. Increased muscle mass also helps to increase an individual’s basal metabolic rate. Exercise causes the body to release endorphins; the body’s own pain and stress reliever. Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to gain weight easily; infant or childhood obesity makes weight loss in later life more difficult.
Drugs are indicated if BMI is > 30 or if BMI is > 27 with complications (e.g., hypertension)
All medications should be taken in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise regimen.
*It should be noted however that Muscle is denser and therefore heavier than the same volume of fat, therefore BMI comparisons are not usually ideal for athletes or individuals with high muscle mass.
** There are limited studies available to confirm the effectiveness of most herbal preparations.
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of every individual’s life; not only because of the self-confidence it helps to instill but also because of the responsibility we each have to our personal health.