Understanding Obesity

If you or a loved one struggle to keep off excess weight, you are not alone. Nearly 93 million Americans suffer from obesity, with that number is expected to rise to 120 million in the next 5 years. Unfortunately, many overweight men and women are not even aware of the dangers associated with their physical state as unneeded fat is generally perceived as only a mere aesthetic concern.

In actuality, the serious problems associated with extra weight are not primarily cosmetic. Being obese can radically raise your risk of developing life-threatening conditions, including cardiac disease and cancer. Additionally, overweight individuals often suffer from fatigue and depression. Obesity may lower your quality of life and prevent you from pursuing the activities you love.

The first step toward conquering obesity is to gain a comprehensive understanding of your unique body and its needs, so that you can make informed decisions about what reaching and maintaining a healthy weight looks like for you. Then, by identifying the triggers, factors and habits contributing to your obesity, you can often lessen or eliminate the presence of excess fat.

What exactly constitutes obesity? Obesity occurs when exorbitant amounts of lipids are not used to create energy, but are instead stored for long periods of time within the body. Because everyone has various, differing metabolic rates and builds, a healthy weight range is not universal.

You may suspect you are overweight, but the best way to determine the severity of your condition is to consult your general practitioner or a bariatric specialist.

Medical professionals have tools to help you accurately determine your BMI (Body Mass Index), a number designed to reflect how much of your body is actually comprised of excess fat. Physicians determine whether a person is overweight, underweight or in a generally healthy condition by analyzing the percentage of harbored fat in comparison to the amount of muscle tissue on the individual.

Too much reserved fat can quickly impede many of the body’s natural systems. For example, obese people are more likely to suffer from spinal fractures and chronic back pain. When you intake fat quicker than your body can burn it, the unused lipids during the metabolic processes are stored. Eventually, these fat deposits become serious barriers to a healthy life. To ensure only a beneficial fat amount is retained, it is important to ingest a nutritious, moderate diet and exercise regularly.

Behavior

This may be harder than it sounds, as the busyness of modern life encourages poor habits, such as:
  • Relying on fast food for nutrition
  • Unknowingly consuming massive amounts of sugar and other substances in processed cuisine
  • Spending the majority of the day in sedentary positions, like sitting at a desk
  • Using down-time to remain immobile in front of a television or computer
  • Sitting in a car, bus, plane or train during your commute as opposed to riding a bike, running or walking

Make a list of all of the unhealthy behaviors you may not have even realized are woven throughout your life. Plan meals ahead of time so that nutritious options are quick and accessible to you. Carve time out of your day for physical activity — It is vital. Limit TV, mobile device and computer time at home, especially for children and adolescents.

Genetics

Research reveals that genetics play a noteworthy role in the development of obesity. Certain hereditary disorders can lead to extra weight. However, not all men and women predisposed to obesity actually become obese. Scientists are still exploring the correlation between genetics and excess weight.

If you have a family history of obesity, it is wise to be extra aware of your physical state and daily habits. Also, if you are genetically inclined toward health complications such as heart disease or cancer, it is also wise to monitor your weight as extra fat can exacerbate or even encourage these conditions.

Environment

Typically, individuals with reduced access to healthy, affordable food are more likely to become obese. Further, in communities where work or childcare demand the majority of the day, men and women often feel they do not have the time or energy to exercise. Luckily, with effort and intentional decision-making, there are many ways to manipulate your environment and fend against obesity. For example, you may:

  • Find a local farmer’s market with inexpensive, fresh produce
  • Reserve room in your budget for easy-to-cook veggies
  • Create an accountability group of people who share your schedule to help you get exercise in the early morning or evening
  • Use family outings on weekends to attempt outdoor activities like hiking, biking or even walking
  • Ride a bike to work or take a quick walk on your lunch break

Get creative with how to replace negative environmental factors with positive ones. Although you cannot completely control your surroundings, you can significantly improve your overall health by making minor changes in your response to environmental stimuli.

If you find you are overweight or obese, do not lose hope! By recognizing and addressing the underlying causes of your obesity, you can often reduce the amount of extra weight on your body and avoid gaining additional pounds. Obesity is enabled through three central categories: behavior, genetics and environment. While some influences will be outside of your control, by responsibly managing areas of life in which you have a choice, you can fight obesity.

Despite your best efforts, some fat may be tough to lose. At Lumin Bariatric Weight Loss, our highly trained team is committed to helping you lose weight safely and effectively. During your initial consultation, one of our Board-certified surgeons will work with you to design a customized treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals. Based on your physical state, medical history and the factors behind your obesity, your specialist may recommend conservative approaches to weight loss, bariatric surgery or a combination of strategies.

Throughout your journey to arrive at a sustainable and healthy weight, the Lumin Bariatric Weight Loss team will carefully supervise your progress to ensure the highest standards of success. Reach us directly at 972-255-5588 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page for more information! We look forward to discussing how we can support you in the pursuit of a healthy, happy life.

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Diet and Nutrition