For most people the BMI measurement is a good way of telling if you are a healthy weight. Another way is to measure waist circumference. Using both measurements together can give some indication whether you may be obese and therefore at risk of developing obesity related health problems. Currently 1 in 4 adults in the UK are obese and obesity is becoming a serious problem in children. According to statistics from Cancer Research UK, after smoking, obesity is the biggest cause of cancer in the UK. Other obesity related health problems can include diabetes, heart disease, back and joint pain, gallstones and breathlessness. Obesity can also reduce life expectancy.
So how do you avoid becoming obese? Here are some tips.
People become obese usually because they eat more calories than they burn. The excess energy is stored as fat. The recommended calorie intake for men is 2,500 and for women is 2,000 each day. High calorie foods include those high in sugar and fats. If you are able to eat a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet, it is easier to keep your calorie intake within a range that keeps you at a healthy weight and obesity free. By eating healthy meals at regular intervals, you are also less likely to succumb to food cravings that can lead to snacking.
Eating more healthily should include reducing the amount of processed and fast food that you consume, as these tend to be high in fats and sugars. You may be surprised that seemingly healthy foods conceal high calories, so get into the habit of checking labels. Try to cut down the amount of sugar in your diet – don’t add sugar to hot drinks and take low sugar options when it comes to soft drinks. Be careful, because fruit juices and smoothies can be packed with sugar. If you like to eat out, don’t be scared to ask how the food is cooked and ask advice from the waiting staff about finding the healthy option on the menu.
People who exercise regularly are less likely to be obese. Regular exercise has so many benefits which include burning off calories. It is recommended that you take 150 minutes of exercise every week. The exercise will keep you fit and can also help moderate your appetite. You don’t need to join a gym or sports team to exercise well. Walking is one of the easiest ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, but anything goes: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening, cycling to work or the shops, are all that count towards your quota.
Another way to avoid becoming obese is to monitor your alcohol consumption. You may be surprised how many calories are hidden in your glass of wine or pint of beer. Become alcohol savvy and opt for lower calorie options. Reducing drink size may be helpful- take a half pint instead of a pint, a small glass of wine, instead of a large. Use sugar free mixers or try lower-alcohol content beverages which usually contain fewer calories.
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