By Elaine Roles
“I’ve been told that I need to lose weight to help improve my health,” this is something that I hear on a regular basis from many of the ladies who are referred to me. I am also finding that many of these ladies have only been given general advice and not told what the risks to their health of being overweight might be. Having excess body fat is not just extra padding it also produces hormones and chemicals that can make you susceptible to a range of serious illnesses. Obesity reduces life expectancy by on average nine years and causes 9000 premature deaths each year in England.
Risks To Your Health From Being Over Weight
Current research shows that just a 10% reduction in your body weight can reduce your health risks and improve any current medical conditions considerably.
By being overweight or obese you are greatly increasing your risk of developing the following health problems:
. Type II Diabetes
. High blood pressure
. High Cholesterol
. Coronary Heart Disease
. Some Cancers
. Menstrual complications
. Pregnancy complications
. Back pain
. Arthritis and mobility problems
. Gall bladder disease
. Increase dependence on medications
By being overweight you are also more likely to experience joint problems and back pain, and may find you become breathless and have difficulty sleeping. The more weight you gain, the more severe these problems may become. Losing even modest amounts of weight can help to alleviate many symptoms and reduce your risk of diseases related to being overweight.
Being very overweight greatly increases the risk of developing serious and possibly life threatening chronic diseases. Just carrying around the extra weight alone will lead to wear and tear on joints.
How can you assess your level of risk?
There are two ways which are very quick and easy to do. The first is to measure your waist hip ratio and the second is to measure your waist circumference.
WAIST HIP RATIO
A helpful measurement tool is what is called the Waist-Hip ratio. Again the results will indicate your prevalence to future health problems.
To find this you want to measure around the slimmest part of your waist without breathing in. Do the same again around the broadest part of your hips and buttocks.
Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement.
For example: waist 32″. hips 38″ = 0.84.
Women the ratio should be 0.85 or less
MEASURING YOUR WAIST
If you are saying “I need to lose weight” and really want to change then be totally honest with yourself, no cheating. Firstly get a tape measure and then you want to find your “true” waist.
This is the mid-point between the top of your hip bone and the lowest rib that you can feel. If you are having difficulty finding the middle, gently lean over to one side and you should then be able to find the hip and rib bones. Having found the two points place the tape measure in the middle, it may not be over your tummy button. The tape measure needs to be next to the skin without you breathing in or holding your breath.
Having a waist measurement which is higher than recommended carries an increased health risk related to coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.
The reason for this is, the excess fat stored around the middle will not just be lying under the skin but will have started to surround the kidneys, liver, heart and intestines so affecting the functioning of these vital organs.
Recommended waist measurements for women
Normal range = 23.5 -31.5 inches.
Increased Health Risk = 31.5 – 34.5 inches.
High Health Risk = 34.5+ inches.
The great news is that adults who are of “normal” weight and who are physically active have a 20 – 30% REDUCED risk of premature death and up to 50% reduced risk of developing the major chronic diseases mentioned above.
If you say “I need to lose weight but dieting doesn’t work for me” then I would completely agree with you. Losing weight through dieting will not work in the long term as you will always be looking for an end point. Make the change from being overweight by finding a way of eating that is nutritious and healthy, which also gives you lots of energy for enjoying life and being physically active.
“The Doctor told me I need to lose weight. Here are the tools you need to assess your risk of developing future health problems, as well as giving you your starting point and what you should be aiming for. For more information on a specialist and personalised health assessment as well as a weight loss plan now go to http://www.INeedToLoseWeight.biz