Weight Control

Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for both your physical and mental well-being. Adopting a balanced diet complemented with moderate exercise is pivotal for achieving a healthy weight and robust physique. Regrettably, being overweight—carrying excessive weight relative to one’s height—is a prevalent issue. If overweight, your susceptibility to numerous health complications rises. Fortunately, these risks can be mitigated by shedding weight.

Assessing Your Weight

The body mass index (BMI) serves as a reliable metric to gauge body fat, founded upon height and weight parameters. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Normal weight: BMI of 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI of 25.0 to 29.9
  • Obese: BMI of 30 or more

Regrettably, approximately 4 out of every 10 women in the U.S. are categorized as obese.

For those who are either overweight or obese, it’s also beneficial to determine your waist circumference. Surplus fat in the abdominal area (resembling an “apple” shape) presents a more severe health risk than excess fat around the hips and thighs (akin to a “pear” shape). To accurately measure your waist, stand erect, and wrap a tape measure just above your hip bones, ensuring it’s taut after exhaling. A measurement exceeding 35 inches indicates a heightened risk of specific health complications linked to excessive weight (refer to the section on “Health Risks of Being Overweight”).

Influences on Weight

Every bodily function, from cellular construction to muscular movement, demands energy—quantified in calories. Calories also represent the fuel content in foods. Our bodies utilize only the necessary amount of calories for energy, storing the remainder as fat. Consuming more calories than expended is the primary contributor to weight augmentation. Additional influences comprise:

  • Age: A mild weight increase is a natural progression as one matures, likely attributed to reduced activity levels. Without dietary adjustments, this can lead to excess weight gain. A mere surplus of 100 calories daily can lead to undesirable weight gains.
  • Genetics: Genes can directly or indirectly influence an individual’s weight. Certain individuals suffer from genetic conditions inducing obesity, while others are predisposed to obesity due to family history.
  • Pregnancy: Post-delivery, many women struggle to shed the entirety of the weight gained during pregnancy, contributing to overall weight gain.

Source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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