In the United States and Canada, obesity has become a serious health problem.
Per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, almost one-third of adults are considered obese. An adult is considered obese if their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. An adult who has a BMI of between 25 and 29 is considered overweight.
Various factors may cause obesity to develop including a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. Genetics may also play a role. Whatever the cause may be, obesity can lead to several health complications.
People who are obese have a higher rate of acquiring certain medical conditions, including sleep apnea, diabetes, and heart disease. Being overweight or obese can also increase a person’s risk of certain types of cancer. Obesity may not only cause physical complications, but it can also lead to emotional ones as well. Obesity may lead to reduced self-esteem and a decreased quality of life.
How Nutritional Counseling Can Help
Achieving a healthy body weight can decrease a person’s risk for several obesity complications, and may improve their overall wellbeing. When it comes to treating obesity, one of the most important steps to take is to learn more about nutrition and healthy eating. Nutritional counseling is a great place to start.
It can be difficult to understand what foods to eat, what to avoid and what a normal portion size looks like. Nutritional counseling can teach you how to read food labels and calculate adequate calories for your age, height and activity level.
A nutritionist will help you develop a diet including fiber-filled foods, lean meats, fresh fruits, and veggies, along with healthy fats. You will also learn what foods to avoid, such as those containing refined sugar, trans fats, and simple carbs.
Supplements for Obesity
Although there is no magic potion to treat obesity, there are certain supplements that may help make losing weight a bit easier.
Keep in mind, supplements are usually not subject to the same studies and regulations as medications, and the weight loss benefits may not be conclusive. It is also important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Consider some of the following supplements, which may aid in weight loss:
- Chromium: Chromium is a supplement that may help keep blood sugar levels steady, which may decrease cravings and overeating.
- Green tea: Green tea may help your body burn fat more efficiently, which can aid in weight loss. Green tea is also an antioxidant and has additional health benefits.
- Conjugated linoleic acid: This supplement may help you feel full and curb your appetite, which can lead to weight loss.
- Pyruvate: Pyruvate is a supplement that may aid in weight loss by slightly increasing the body’s metabolic rate.
Exercise is one of the key components for successful weight loss. It also increases the chances you’ll keep the weight off. Ideally, you should find some type of exercise you enjoy, so you’ll stick with it. Exercise to lose weight and keep it off should include a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Cardio burns calories and strength training helps build muscle. More muscle mass means you will burn more calories even at rest.
It’s also helpful to change things up occasionally. Changing your workout routine can prevent boredom and continue to challenge your muscles, so you will see results. Also, be sure to keep to a workout schedule. Make it a priority to exercise on most days of the week.
Safety and Motivation
Losing weight takes a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort. It’s also critical to do it safely and stay the course. Consider the tips below to lose weight safely and stay motivated.
Get the green light from your doctor: Before starting a weight loss plan, it’s important to get the green light from your healthcare provider. Your doctor will determine what an effective weight loss rate is for you. He or she will also determine if you are healthy enough to start an exercise program.
Start slow: Making dramatic changes in your diet all at once may be overwhelming. Consider making a few small dietary changes at a time, then gradually adding in more healthy habits. When it comes to exercise, it’s also important to start slow and increase your workouts as your endurance improves.
Avoid fad diets: Fad diets may be popular, but they may not be your best bet for long-term weight loss. Fads, such as dramatically restricting carbs or only drinking liquids, may lead to weight loss, but the diets are hard to maintain.
Have realistic expectations: In most cases, losing one to two pounds a week is a healthy weight loss rate. Expecting to lose more weight all at once may lead to disappointment. Slow and steady is best when it comes to weight loss.