In England, many people are overweight or obese. This includes 61.9% of adults and 28% of children aged between two and 15¹. People who are overweight or obese can: find it harder to move around, find and keep work,have lower self-esteem and be affected by mental health, and have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
In order to beat obesity, you need to be dedicated to making fundamental changes to your diet and lifestyle. Here we talk about five ways you can fight obesity.
1. Focus on the nutritional content of your food
Obesity can be caused by a poor nutritional diet. By making healthier choices and eating a balanced diet you can reduce your calorie intake and reduce the threat of obesity.
Make sure you’ve plenty of fruit and vegetables in your shopping basket so that if hunger strikes you can easily grab a piece of fruit or a vegetable. You should be aiming to achieve five pieces of different fruit and vegetables every day.
Read the labels on foods and drinks to find out exactly what’s in them so that you can make an informed decision when buying them.
Be aware of the calories you’re consuming. You don’t have to be on a diet but knowing how many calories you’re consuming will help you not to eat more than your body needs.
To evade hunger, eat smaller meals regularly as this helps keep your metabolism up without snacking on foods with high sugar content.Don’t feel the need to finish everything on your plate if you are starting to feel full.
Swap junk food, processed foods and takeaways for healthier substitutes.Don’t stock unhealthy options at home.
When eating out make healthier choices. Many restaurants now detail the calorie and nutritional content of their meals and this will help you make an informed decision.
2. Avoid unhealthy and sugar laden drinks
Many soft and alcoholic drinks are high in sugar. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity. Fizzy drinks, instant powered drinks, squashes and juice drinks can contain a lot of added sugar yet very few nutrients. Fruit juices and smoothies are often thought to be a healthy option but they contain sugar so you should limit your consumption to a combined total of 150ml a day.
You should aim to drink around six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Water is best, it’s a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst. It has no calories and no sugars. Other healthier options include lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee.
Calories from alcohol are 'empty calories', they have no nutritional value. Your body can’t store alcohol so processes such as absorbing nutrients and burning fat are interrupted to get rid of the alcohol. You can still drink alcohol but aim to drink less. Many alcoholic brands now have‘light’ or low alcohol alternatives that you could try or opt for a low calorie mixer such as a diet coke. Drinking water between alcoholic drinks can reduce the number of units you’re drinking.
3. Get active
To reduce your weight or keep weight loss off you’ll need to keep active. Try to make physical activity part of your daily routine.
If you haven’t been physically active recently you’ll need to start off carefully and realistically. You could begin with short manageable sessions each day, building up the length of time and gradually increasing the strenuousness of the activity.
Simply walking or jogging on a daily basis can help control your weight and improve your health and well being. Try to find an exercise that you enjoy. Perhaps swimming or a team sport would suit. Maybe cycling could being corporated into your day so that you cycle to work rather than drive or perhaps you could take the stairs rather than the lift up to your office.
4. Learn about and understand your eating habits
Obesity research has found that obese people can suffer from many emotional issues about their weight and body image.
Often talking to a professional about your eating habits can help to understand them more and with this information you may be able to make positive steps to overcome overeating or comfort eating. You might choose to talk to a friend or family member and gain the support you need from them to feel better.
5. Obesity treatment
If you’re obese and you've tried to lose weight by dieting and exercise, but you haven’t achieved or maintained a beneficial level of weight loss, or you have a serious health condition that could be improved if you lose weight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, then weight loss treatment or surgery may be the best option for you.
The four most widely used types of weight loss treatments are:
– approximately 75% of your stomach is removed. It limits the amount of food you can eat and makes you feel fuller soon after eating small amounts of food. Weight loss is rapid and similar to a bypass although digestion is not affected so you won’t suffer from nutritional deficiencies or dumping syndrome.Long term results are good and it’s a less complicated procedure than the bypass. It has recently surpassed the gastric bypass in popularity.
– your digestive system is re-routed so that most of your stomach is by-passed. You feel full quickly and digest less food. Weight loss is more dramatic than other weight loss surgeries with rapid improvements in obesity conditions and good long term results. However,it’s irreversible and there’s a small risk of nutritional deficiencies and dumping syndrome.
– a band is used to reduce your stomach's size so you feel full with less food. It’s simpler and less invasive with a faster recovery time than a bypass or sleeve and it’s reversible. Weight loss is often less and more gradual than more invasive surgeries. Band fills may be required. There is,however, more need for aftercare as the band will require regular adjustments.
– a balloon is placed inside your stomach and then filled with a saline solution to take up space and help you feel full so that you eat less. It’s a non-surgical, low invasive, temporary(usually 6 months) and removable weight loss solution that can kick start your weight loss. It’s suitable if you’ve a BMI of 27 to 35. Weight loss is usually slower than surgical options.
Your bariatric surgeon will discuss these options in more detail taking into consideration your individual circumstances and goals.
About Ramsay Health Care
Ramsay Health Care is a leading provider of weight loss surgery
in the UK. Ramsay offers weight loss procedures performed by experienced bariatric surgeons who are highly qualified and have undergone intensive specialist training.
At Ramsay Health Care your weight loss surgeon will work in a multidisciplinary team
who liaise with each other to provide the best plan of action for you. They include a dietitian who will meet with you and produce a bespoke eating plan, and specialist trained nurses who will be by your side during your journey to offer support and guidance to ensure that you achieve your goals.
for more details.