Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, especially in Florida. The passion for fast food, lack of activity due to sit-down jobs, and children’s video games has the whole family putting on the pounds. To conquer obesity it will be necessary to recognize and accept the problem, and then to make the lifestyle changes to correct it.
If your BMI is too high, you will fall into the overweight or obese category. These categories are measured by the following percentage rates of BMI:
- 18.5 % – 24.9% = Healthy weight
- 25 % – 29.9 % = Overweight
- 30% or greater = Obese
You can calculate your BMI yourself by applying a simple mathematical formula. By using a calculator multiply your weight in pounds by 703, divide the answer by your height in inches, and then divide that answer by your height in inches again. This will give you the BMI.
If you or a loved one lands in the obese category, please be aware that this is considered chronic. Even if you aren’t suffering any noticeable symptoms right now, you will eventually, from the stress you are putting on your physical body. Some of the more common problems related to obesity are hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, breathing problems, sleep apnea, physical discomfort, fatty liver disease, gout, cancer, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder disease.
Those who fall into the overweight category will only have a slight adjustment to make, such as adding thirty minutes extra of physical activity per day, eating healthier meal choices, watching the size of the portions, and skipping a dessert once in a while. For those in the obesity category, a stricter approach must be taken to get back to a healthy weight. This can be accomplished by changing your eating habits, working with a nutritionist, following a calorie-based diet provided by your doctor, or joining an organization such as Weight Watchers.
Although a good healthy diet will help you meet your weight-loss goals, if you are obese, you will also need some additional exercise to make your weight loss quicker and easier, plus this will help tone your muscles and make you stronger and more flexible. You can be sure that walking an hour, swimming strokes in a pool, playing a few rounds of tennis, or riding a bicycle for forty-five minutes each day will help tremendously. Small activity changes will move you to your goal much quicker by using the stairs instead of the elevator, parking the car further from the store, working in the yard as much as possible, and pushing away from the table when dessert is served to avoid temptation.
Like most things in life, being obese is a choice. You have the power to change this condition, and you’ll see as you slowly transform into the new you that physical tasks will become easier to do, you’ll look better, and gain the confidence and energy you’ve longed to have.