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Being overweight is often considered a cosmetic problem. But the long term health problems it gives rise to, are far more serious than you may think.
We women often obsess about our calorie intake. How many of us have had one of these thoughts when we have looked in to the mirror? “Do I look fat?” “Does my tummy stick out in this dress?” “Jeans make my thighs look huge.” “Why does everything I eat go settle in my butt?”
The irony is that we worry about the optics and ignore the real damage, that being overweight, causes.
When the goal is to fix the optics, we usually want instant results, and come up with short term solutions like diet pills, crash diets, intense exercise regiments, and in extreme cases, liposuction. These quick fixes, are, typically not sustainable and many have harmful side effects. Instead, we should implement sustainable, long term, lifestyle changes, that keep our weight in check.
Just because you don’t have the figure of a model or a film star, doesn’t mean that you are overweight. The body mass index (BMI), derived from height and weight is a useful indicator. The normal range for BMI is 18.5 to 25. This is a fairly large range for the BMI, indicating that people of different shapes and appearance can be healthy.
A BMI of 25 to 30 may indicate a person is overweight and a BMI higher than 30 may imply obesity. However people who have unusually high muscle mass, like athletes, may have a large BMI too.
High cholesterol, heart disease and stroke are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the risks of being over weight. Here are some of the health risks of being over weight.
In dealing with being overweight it is best to come up with long term, convenient, sustainable plans of healthy diet and exercise.
It may help to talk to a nutritionist because there are many misconceptions of what constitutes a balanced healthy diet, especially since there are some contradictory theories on the subject. Don’t rely on random articles on the internet. The internet is a good source of information, but it is important to do extensive research as any particular article may not be reliable.
It is also important to get at least seven hours of sleep every night on average. Studies show that people who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight.
If in spite of your healthy habits, you find that you are still overweight, it may be a good idea to visit a doctor.
There are several psychological and physiological problems that can result in weight gain:
Motherhood causes many women to neglect their own health and overextend themselves for the family. While children are important to their mothers, women must realize they they cannot care well for their children or anyone else unless they take care of themselves first. Mothers of infants often suffer from sleep deprivation and stress. Some even suffer post-partum depression. All of these can lead to weight gain. It is essential families chip in and do their bit, so new mothers can lead healthy lives.
Society too needs to change it’s outlook. Support, not judgement, is what new mothers need as they go through an avalanche of physiological, psychological and lifestyle changes.
It is nice to see that in recent times there has been a change in focus from women’s beauty to women’s health. In the past brands played on the insecurities of women to sell products that may help them lose weight as can be seen in this ad here. But as society is slowly changing it’s outlook, such ads are no longer appreciated, and the same brand is now working on new ads that focus on women’s health instead of beauty. This is a reassuring change for the better.
Image source: pixabay
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Kanika G, a physicist by training and a mother of 2 girls, started writing to
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