5 things you need to know about Obesity & Weight Loss.
1) Obesity is a disease, although it can be derived from poor lifestyle choices.
So when it comes to the topic of being overweight or obese, you may have heard of people saying that it’s merely a choice, not a disease!
That inferring that obesity was the accumulated result of bad decisions and just poor self management.
As a dietitian or any health care professional for that matter, we are always taught to be judgement free and always practice caution when dealing with people’s lives.
In the case of obesity and overweight, the same applies, while there is some truth in the sense that for many, it is derived from poor dietary lifestyle habits, there are another huge group who actually, well have no choice.
An example, for people with hypothyroidism or certain hormonal disorders where their bodies just naturally causes themselves to gain weight much more effective than any others.
There’s also people who have certain biological inheritance like the Hawaiians who are more prone to storing more energy in their bodies!
To really understand obesity and how it can be derived, just take a look at the “obesity system influence diagram”, it’s not as simple as “you’re eating too god damn much!”
2) It doesn’t end with just an extra size shirt.
Anyways, why is it that all us healthcare professionals are so hell bent on curbing obesity? After all, it’s just more fluffy people with nicer hugs right?
The problem arises when obesity further progresses to other disease.
Being overweight/obese currently is one of the major risk factor to developing type 2 diabetes.
Not to mention, increased risks to certain type of cancers as well.
Heart diseases, liver cirrhosis, kidney failures, and many more can be traced to this disease resulting mostly from poor dietary lifestyle habits.
To make things worse, child obesity is also on the climb along with type 2 diabetes among children.
If you’ve seen Jamie Oliver’s “Food revolution” in Huntington Virginia, it does cover a bit of these problems.
If you view it from a bigger fractal, these are incurring billions of dollars to healthcare, which is why people like me are trying to prevent issues like this by means of education and practical habits which are so doable!
3) Reminding people that they are overweight doesn’t help.
Yes, sometimes we all have good intentions, but unfortunately, intentions don’t matter but the consequences of the actions do.
Pointing out that obese people are obese, is really not helping. So is discriminating them.
While I’m not a fan of using body image positivity as an excuse to accept obesity, I’m am one for accepting people for who they are along with their problems in life, especially in health.
Being child obese, it was extremely shameful when all the boys had to change our shirts in the open for PT classes and it was even more disturbing that every single kid at school, at any tuition centre or any birthday party would call me “fatty” or a “ball”. And no, to all the aunties and uncles, calling a fat kid so bouncy and round does not help.
My childhood days were filled with poor self esteem and the only football position I ever got was the goal keeper, cause quite literally, I’d “fit” right in, if you get me.
Coming home, being told by your relatives and friends, slantishly that you’re fat and need to lose weight, otherwise no one will like you, it was real real tough.
So be kind to these people, very often the best thing you can do to a diseased individual, is to just lend an open ear and create an open and comfortable environment for them to share their struggles and frustrations.
Most times, people don’t need the obvious advice. People need a helpful ear.
4) Sustainability is key to promising results.
So what’s the deal? There’s so many weight loss programmes and methods out there, which one works?!
Well, all of them and none of them.
The nuance to weight loss is to create a deficit in caloric intake that will lead to usage of fat stores as energy.
However, the issues is which one lasts.
Many of these get slim fast programmes, do deliver results (although some maybe dangerous), but the question is always what happens to those participants after 6, 12, 18 months?
The biggest loser was a prime example of how losing weight fast does not guarantee sustainable and permanent weight loss, 80% of their participants gained back their weight and many even put on more compared to when they first started!
So the real secret? Slow and steady, Daiata, the original greek work for diet, means the way you live, it’s about embracing a wholesome package not just for today but for your life.
5) Consult and seek out an expert to guide your weight loss journey.
Now, while I’d like to generalize and say, ohh just cut out 500-800 kcal from your normal intake plus exercise.
The truth is, everyone is different, everyone has a different lifestyle and dietary preferences which makes every individual different from one to another.
So the thing is this, if you really wanna lose weight, if you really want sustainable result, if you really wanna be healthy, stop wasting time trying out different products or packages from MARKETERS and perhaps you might wanna make an appointment with a proper profession, sayyyyyy a DIETITIAN???
With proper guidance and mentoring, anyone can achieve their health and fitness goals!
Stay Healthy & Lovely