Maintaining a healthy weight is important for our wellbeing. Excess weight can make it difficult to carry out day to day activities and contribute to the development of serious health conditions.
If you are overweight, losing even a small amount of weight can be very beneficial to your overall health. However, trying to lose weight can be frustrating and stressful. Below, we've detailed some of the factors behind weight gain as well as an overview of various weight loss methods.
Obesity is a condition where an excessive amount of fat tissue in the body presents a risk to an individual's health. A 2019 NHS report found that 36.2% of UK adults are overweight, and 28% are obese.
Obesity is correlated with serious health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain cancers. It is a result of taking in more calories than are burned through daily activities, but is also influenced by lifestyle, environment and genetics.
How is obesity diagnosed?
Obesity is diagnosed through a number of measurements and tests.
The most commonly known test is body mass index (BMI), a rough measurement which is used to determine whether a person's weight is healthy in proportion to their height.
BMI measurements are classified as follows:
Medical professionals use BMI as a screening tool, however it is not sufficient for an obesity diagnosis, as it does not take other factors, such as body composition and fat distribution, into account.
Your doctor will use other tests, such as waist circumference, blood tests (including cholesterol and liver function tests), as well as information about your health history and a general physical exam to guide treatment decisions.
Obesity can be caused by a number of different lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors. These factors will differ from person-to-person, however, the driving factor behind obesity usually involves consuming more calories than are used.
Influences that contribute to obesity can include:
Obesity can increase the risk of developing other health conditions, including:
In addition to the serious health conditions listed above, excess weight can make it difficult to carry out daily activities. People with obesity may experience increased tiredness, joint pain and breathlessness. Weight loss can improve quality of life as well as overall health.
A balanced diet combined with regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight long-term. Speaking to a doctor or dietitian can help you develop a diet and exercise plan that best suits you.
It is important to consume a diet full of nutrient-dense, high fibre foods and lean proteins.
Healthy eating habits are the key to long-term change. While there are many fad diets that claim to help you lose weight more quickly, a safe rate of weight loss is 0.5kg and 1kg, or 1lb and 2lbs a week.
Rigid diet plans are not necessary to lose weight. Try to consume a well-balanced diet that includes:
It is also important to keep in mind portion control. You do not need to weigh or count everything that goes on your plate, but it can be helpful to read labels and understand serving sizes. Drinking water with meals, eating food more slowly and using smaller plates can also help you reduce your calorie intake.
It can be helpful to keep a food diary to begin with so that you have a record of your starting point and can better monitor your progress.
In addition to focusing on healthy food choices, you should also try to reduce your intake of certain foods.
Try to limit:
Eating a healthy diet can help keep your body nourished while helping you manage cravings.
You need to burn more calories than you consume in order to successfully lose weight, making regular physical activity an important component of weight loss.
NHS guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week.
Moderate intensity activities include:
Vigorous intensity activities include:
Start off with just a few minutes of physical activity per day. As your fitness improves, you can increase the time that you spend exercising.
Strength training is also important to maintain your muscle mass as you lose weight.
A strength training routine will usually involve exercises such as:
These can be done with added weight or as bodyweight exercises.
While there are some forms of exercise which claim to speed up fat loss in certain areas, fat will generally be lost evenly all over the body.
If diet and exercise have not been enough for you to lose weight, you may be prescribed a medical weight loss treatment.
euroClinix offers three different prescription weight loss treatments:
By reducing your appetite or preventing calories from being absorbed, these medications help you absorb fewer calories. While prescription medication can help, it is essential that you continue to maintain a healthy diet and exercise program while on prescription weight loss treatments. These treatments work by preventing your body from absorbing the foods you consume, or by preventing you from eating as much food, meaning that you will need to continue to maintain these healthy habits in order to maintain your weight loss.
Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is used to treat people with severe obesity.
The most common types of weight loss surgery are:
All forms of weight loss surgery work by restricting the amount of food that can be eaten.
Surgery is highly invasive and expensive and involves long recovery times, which is why it is only available on the NHS to those who fit certain criteria.
There are many over-the-counter treatments which promise an easy weight loss. While some can help, others may do nothing or even be harmful.
Some over-the-counter options include:
You can buy Saxenda, Xenical and Mysimba online from euroClinix. To order online, you will need to complete an online consultation, which will be reviewed by one of our registered doctors.
If they feel that the treatment is appropriate for you, a prescription will be issued. Our UK pharmacy will then dispatch your medication in discreet packaging via our next-day delivery service.
Prescription-only weight loss treatments are not available over-the-counter. Only an authorised UK-qualified doctor will be able to prescribe these to you. Our doctors will review your consultation and prescribe an appropriate dose if they feel that this medication is suitable for you.
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