- Between 6 and 7 out of 10 men are overweight or obese.
- Between 5 and 6 out of 10 women have are overweight or obese.
- Around 1 in 4 men and 1 in 4 women in the UK are obese.
- Around 2 in 100 adults are severely (also called morbidly) obese.
The number of obese people in the UK is rising, particularly among young adults. Since 1980, the number of obese adults in the UK has nearly tripled and the UK now shamefully has the highest rate of obesity in Europe. This unsurprisingly has been called the obesity epidemic.
- We are not active enough – Over the last 50 years activity levels have decreased by 20%, this will only get worse. two thirds of us fail to do even the minimum recommended level of physical activity of 30 minutes a day, five times a week
- We eat too many ready -made meals and fast foods, high in saturated fat, sugar and salt
- It can be genetic with a strong family history
- Comfort eating .
If you are a woman who is obese at the age of 40, you are likely to die 7.1 years earlier than average. If you are a man who is obese at the age of 40, you are likely to die 5.8 years earlier than average. If you smoke as well, your life expectancy is reduced even further.
Another concern is that obesity is rising among children and health problems such as diabetes type 2 which was once known as adult onset diabetes is now being diagnosed more and more in children
In the past ten years childhood obesity has doubled in six-year-olds to 8.5% and trebled among 15-year-olds to 15%.
We can turn this around buy looking at our food choices and being more active!
Quick fix diet are not the answer, they can be far too restrictive and strict which means that they are not sustainable, they are often nutritionally deficient and they don’t teach lifestyle changes which leads to weight gain in the long run. Sensible, gradual weight loss is the most successful way to keep weight off. Set realistic goals and aim to lose no more than one to two pounds a week.
Yo-yo dieting is where a dieter loses weight and then puts it all back on again. Have you ever wondered why after losing weight you then put it all back on again , and some? When we put weight on the body produces fat cells. These fat cells don’t disappear when we lose weight; they deflate, like a balloon. If we then put on weight again we produce even more fat cells which inflate along with the previous cells which leads to us gaining more body fat- depressing!!
It’s not only your waistline that suffers from yo-yoing. Repeated crash dieting increases metabolic hormones, such as insulin, and increases levels of sex hormones, including estrogen. These changes cause us to start putting on weight around the middle, which research has linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It also increases ‘visceral fat’ which is fat around our internal organs which can have serious health implications.
Your confidence also takes a hit. The more times you go through the gain-lose-gain cycle, the less convinced you become that you can break free from constant dieting.
Dieting is practically a national pastime. An estimated 54 percent of people in the UK are currently trying to lose weight. Millions of pounds are made from our efforts to be slim through buying meal replacements, slimming aids, attending slimming groups to name but a few! But most of us will regain almost all of what we lost, according to research, which is why the typical dieter tries a different diet four times a year.
Be Realistic, don’t expect a quick fix
- Set yourself realistic goals, if you aim to lose a stone in one week you know that this is not achievable but you will still feel de-motivated when you haven’t managed the weight loss in seven days.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet- remember this is for life. The Eat-Well plate will give you an idea of the proportions of food groups you should be eating. Don’t miss out food groups as this will not be sustainable for ever. If you are on a diet that is so complicated to follow are you sure that you can really do this for life? Eating a healthy diet is so much easier to maintain than trying to stick to restrictive, boring diet.
- Unless you have been living on planet Mars you will know the foods that you should be avoiding. However, if you cut them out of your diet and deprive yourself for ever you will soon crave them and binge. Set one day a week as your ‘Goody Night’ where you can have that bar of chocolate or take away. Don’t think of it as you’ve failed, a healthy lifestyle is for keeps, as long as you are good the majority of the time it’s fine to have a treat now and again.
- Be aware of food labelling: if something states that it is low fat, check the sugar content it may be very high! Remember, sugar leads to weight gain.
- You may be very good at choosing the right foods yet you still can’t shift the weight. Have a look at what you are drinking. Alcohol can easily bump up the calories and sugars.
Carbohydrates 4 calories per gram
Proteins 4 calories per gram
Fats 9 calories per gram
Alcohol 7 calories per gram
Re-educate your pallet. It is surprising how quickly your taste buds change. Once you make the change from deep frying food to grilling you actually start to taste the food that you cook rather than the oil it was cooked in.
- Eat from a smaller plate. You eye will trick your brain in thinking that it has eaten a much bigger portion and you will feel fuller quicker.
- Don’t pick! It’s true: Little Pickers Wear Big Knickers!! Added calories when you nibble throughout the day soon add up! If you have to nibble cut up celery, carrots and cucumber and keep them in the fridge.
- Eat breakfast – the most important meal of the day yet so many people skip it. It literally means Break Fast, you will not have eaten for many hours and need to kick-start your metabolic rate. Don’t choose a sugary cereal. Porridge is a great start to the day as is a protein rich meal such as eggs.
- Try to eat regularly, if you wait until you feel starving you are more likely to over eat.
- Don’t go food shopping when you are hungry; it’s surprising how much ‘unwanted’ food will find its way into your trolley!
- When you have finished your meal clean your teeth, food will taste horrible after that!
- Learn how to cope with feelings, not feed them. Comfort eating can stem from our childhood. If, when we fell over and hurt ourselves or we were unhappy and to make us feel better Mum gave us a bag of sweets we will associate a sugar fix with making everything better and take this in to adult life.
- Inactivity is a sure way of gaining weight. Think of it as like putting money in the bank: if you regularly pay money in and don’t withdraw any you will sit back and watch your money grow. The same goes for weight gain, if you regularly put food into the body but never do any physical activities to burn off calories you will sit back and watch your stomach grow!
1lb (0.5kg) of body fat = 3.500 calories
To lose 1lb a week a 500 calorie deficit is needed each day through physical activity
7x 500 = 3.500- 1lb weight loss a week
- Make time for 30 minutes moderate activity a day. Cardio vascular exercise will increase your metabolic rate, (the rate at which you burn calories), while you are exercising and for up to 2 hours post exercise. Resistance training (using weights or your own body weight) will increase your metabolic rate permanently. This is because the more lean tissue we have, or muscle, the more calories or energy is needed for our body to function.
Most of all, be sensible people, eat healthy , stay active and you WILL see results.