All You Need Know Before Starting a Weight Loss Program

Obesity is, and always will be, one of the greatest problems of our time. Take a look at this mind-blowing number produced by a survey: half of the adults of the good old USA are suffering from obesity. Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t end with the adults. Childhood obesity? The numbers skyrocket daily, especially in the USA. So, what is obesity, exactly? A dictionary definition: Obesity is an imbalance body fat ratio, i-e a person is obese when his or her weight exceeds 20% of the normal weight. If you’re diagnosed with obesity, it’s time to start taking action. Treat it immediately. Even if you’re only a few pounds high (or maybe a few more than a few pounds high), take initiative! Choose a weight loss program! But, first of all, we need to go over how to prevent obesity. What causes weight problems?

What Causes Weight Gain or Obesity?

Weight gain is caused by you consuming more calories than you can burn. It happens to the best of us. If you eat too much and exercise too little, you’ll find yourself putting on pounds whether you like it or not. There’s other factors too, of course. Here are a few of them:

Age

Unfortunately, how old you are can affect your weight indirectly. As you slowly move forward through life, your body starts to work slower and slower. This includes your metabolism and your calorie requirements. So, not only does your body want to eat less, it’s using it slower! Once you pass the age of 40, you should probably reduce your diet. This will help counteract weight gain.

Genetics

Yes. You can blame your mom and dad for your obesity. Both weight problems and thinness are partially genetic issues. Feel free to glare at the family tree, but don’t despair. Even if you’re genetically obese, you can eat healthy and fight the problem.

Gender

For all you women reading this: yes, it’s harder for you than most men. Obesity is unfair. Because of women’s slow rest metabolism rate, women are more likely to be overweight than men. Men also require more calories, making it harder for them to eat food they won’t burn off. On top of this, women can also gain some pounds after menopause.

Physical Activity

Everyone knows that exercise helps fight obesity! But why, exactly? Well, mainly it accelerates your metabolism and burns off those calories. Don’t avoid physical activities. Maintain a healthy weight and work out!

Medication or Illness

Medical conditions also play their part. Do you have diabetes, depression, or hypothyroidism? All of these can lead to an increased body weight. You could even gain weight because of drugs you’re taking. Antidepressant medication and steroids can cause obesity - be careful.

Psychological Factors

Anger. Sadness. Depression. These negative emotions cause physical responses. Your psychological state often determines your physical state. For example, binge eating? That comes from emotional disorders. Instead of overeating the next time you feel down, let your emotions out in another form. Perhaps exercise?

Why Start a Weight Loss Program?

Don’t back off from starting your own weight loss program. It’s very important to lose weight and keep it off. You’ll feel better, look great, and be healthy when you’ve finally lost those pounds. If you try losing weight without your own program, you’re going to run into roadblocks. Many people have tried and failed to lose weight on their own, and come up with the perfect solution: start a weight loss program! A weight loss program is basically a well designed plan that will help you lose weight with a well-balanced diet and some exercising techniques. There’s no way that the importance of your own weight loss program can be stressed enough. Why?

Attaining An Improved Health

The biggest, overall benefit of your own weight loss program is your health. You’ll be much less at risk. When you’re overweight, you’re in serious danger. You can develop diabetes, a stroke, heart attack, or back pain. Not to mention gallbladder diseases, sleep disorders, pregnancy complications, fatty liver, and some cancers, which are linked to obesity! The list goes on and on! It’s important to start your weight loss program today so that you can enjoy the benefits tomorrow.

An Increased Weight Loss Rate

More than one survey have come out with great results. Just participating in a weight loss program or maybe going through weight loss surgery (probably a last resort) will increase your rate of weight loss. If you’re trying to lose weight on your own, well, you’re a lot less likely to succeed in your attempts at weight loss.

An Easy-to-Follow Structure

If you have a proven weight loss plan, it’s automatically easier to lose weight. You don’t have to waste time coming up with your own. You don’t have to worry that it’s not going to work. And you don’t have to make as many choices, either. A well-designed weight loss program will give you a list of calorie controlled food choices. It’s all done for you!

Support

Social support is very important. It’s way too easy to just give up on your weight loss goals if you don’t have people cheering you on. A weight loss program keeps you motivated and often has the option of support via email, phone, or chat. It’s great to have somebody who will celebrate when you do and help you get through the tough moments. Your support team members will be your own personal cheerleaders. They’ll keep you optimistic as you push your way forward!

Healthy Weight Loss Takes Time!

Weight loss is not instantaneous! Weight loss programs will cut down the time you take signifigantly, but it’s not exactly a quick process. If you look around, you’ll see tons of ads claiming instant or quick weight loss. Unfortunately, these weight loss programs - if they’re actually as fast as they say they are - rarely produce results that last. In fact, once you’ve finished with that weight loss program, you’re more likely to gain more weight than you had before. Persistent effort and patience is what will bring real, solid, lasting results. A healthy, successful weight loss program will keep you at the rate of 1-2 pounds lost per week. This means that thirty pounds will take a half year’s struggle. Don’t be discouraged! These are going to be thirty pounds that won’t come back! On the other hand, if you try to lose weight instantaneously, it hurts your health. Obesity causes common diseases like gallstones, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and malnutrition. If you attempt a rapid weight loss program, you’re likely to experience severe headaches, irritability, fatigue, constipation, menstrual irregularities, muscle loss, hair loss, and dizziness. Sound bad? That’s because it is. Before starting a weight loss program, convince yourself that quick weight loss isn’t safe.

How do I Know if I’m Obese or Just Overweight?

Many people use the words ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ interchangeably. However, they’re two completely separate things! True, both can apply to someone who weighs more than the normal individual, but the similarities end there. Body mass index, commonly called BMI, can determine whether you’re obese or just overweight.You can also use body fat percentage.

What is BMI and How is it Calculated?

BMI is a measure of your body composition. It’s calculated by dividing your weight by the square of your height. For example, if your height is 2 centimeters and your weight is 70kg, you will divide 70 by the square of 2, which means your BMI is 17.5. If your BMI is between 25 to 29, you’re overweight. On the other hand, if your BMI is more than 30, you’re obese. As simple as that. Body fat percentage, on the other hand, is slightly more complicated.

Calculate your BMI using our Free BMI Calculator .
Note: BMI is a standard unit to measure obesity level.

What is Body Mass Percentage and How is Calculated?

Body fat percentage is the amount of fat in your body as compared to your organs, muscles, bones, water, tendons, and other things that build up your body. Men and women have different percentages of fat, since they’re different in structures. A normal woman should have a body fat percentage of around 10 to 12 %, while men should have a body fat percentage of 2 to 3%. However, it’s okay for men and women to have 25 to 31% and 18 to 25% body fat percentages. Body fat percentages of more than 32% for women and more than 26% for men are considered obese. As you can see, women can have a much higher percentage than men. There’s different ways to calculate body fat percentage. DEXA scanning is probably one of the best and most accurate ways. The DEXA scan will take an X-ray of your whole body to generate a body fat percentage in numbers. This takes as little time as ten minutes! Unfortunately, DEXA scanning is very expensive. Other methods of measuring the body fat percentage include water displacement, bod pod, and the measurement method.

Risks and Threats Associated with Obesity

If you’re obese or overweight, and you have a lot of fat around your belly, you could develop a number of dangerous, and sometimes life-threatening, diseases. These include hypertension, gallbladder stones, diabetes, stroke, and sleep disorders. Where the fat is placed in your body matters. If you have built up fat around your stomach, you could suffer from coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. In short, the size of your waist can have a strong effect on your health.

Hurdles in Sticking to a Weight Loss Program

When you start a weight loss program, you’re probably going to encounter many obstacles. Most people fail to lose weight due to these three common reasons:

Excuses

Don’t fall prey to excuses. They’re so easy to make, but they’re very damaging to your confidence and your ability to lose weight. I can’t lose weight, I can’t resist my favorite foods, I feel like I’m being caged. Don’t let yourself think these. Keep the excuses at bay.

Past Experiences

Past experience can also discourage you from continuing (or finishing) your weight loss plan. If you’ve had a few bad experiences with a weight loss program in the past, or you had made a lot of unsuccessful attempts, you might be unable to start a weight loss program again. Your failure will - literally - weigh you down. You might not have made it because of unrealistic goals, or maybe because you selected the wrong weight loss program. It’s okay. Tell yourself that you will be successful this time, because you are not after rapid weight loss, and that your goals are quite realistic.

Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is one of the most common things that stop you from starting a weight loss program. This may also be because of bad experiences. For example, you might have finished a rapid weight loss program and then regained the weight. However, if you choose a sensible weight loss program, you can avoid this.

Is it Right to Start a Weight Loss Program?

Starting a weight loss program is a smart idea if you want to lose weight in a healthy and safe manner. Just know this: there are no shortcuts to losing weight. The only harmless and effective tool to lose weight healthily is patience. Moreover, if you want to see long lasting results, you need to choose a weight loss program that doesn’t promise to make you slim in a few days!
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