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Obesity: Why is it hard to maintain weight?

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH
JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

‌‌April marks the last month of the first quarter of 2021. At the beginning of the year, resolutions were made all over the world. One of the major resolutions especially among females was to maintain healthy body weight, to take care of their body and health. Some were able to follow this call, others tried but failed miserably. In this article, we delve into weight gain and help bring such individuals back on track.‌‌

Weight gain is basically eating more calories than your body burns on a consistent basis. Calories are derived from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Interesting thing is that fats has almost twice the number of calories present in both carbohydrates and proteins, hence, contributing significantly to the weight gain process.

With every weight gain, your body increases in mass (muscle) or body fat. Gaining muscle mass is indeed great as it keeps us fit and healthy, provides space for some nutrients while fat stores energy reserves which sometimes makes us look unattractive. Hence, to lose weight, one must focus mainly on fat stores.

‌‌Overweight and obese are terms used to describe individuals who have more fats than normal. Obese individuals have a much higher amount of body fat than overweight people and are at an increased risk for health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc. Fats is not bad for the human body because fats gives us energy, insulate the body and even help certain vitamins to move around the body. As the popular term goes, too much of everything is bad, thus, too much fat can cause health problems.

To determine whether a person is overweight, obese, normal or even underweight, a test is performed known as the body mass index (BMI). The goal of this test is to estimates an individuals’s body fats and categorize them under the different weight measures. The chart below explains how to determine your BMI.

‌‌Fat, as mentioned earlier, is good for the body. There several types of fats and the one you take determines if you become overweight or obese.‌‌

Types of fats

1. Unsaturated fats: This kind of fats improve blood circulation, cholesterol levels, stabilize heart rhythms and ease inflammation in the body. These can be found mainly in foods from plants such as nuts, avocados, seeds (sesame seeds, flax seeds), vegetables oils and fish.‌‌

2. Saturated fats: It must be noted that some plants foods have also high saturated fats such as palm oil, coconut oil, etc however, these are mostly found in animal foods such as beef, sausage, hamburgers. This type of fat has been found to be harmful as it increases the bad cholesterol in the body leading to many health complications. They should be eaten in moderation or replaced with the unsaturated ones.‌‌

3. Trans fat: This is the worst type of fats. Foods containing this type of fats are usually margarine, butter and beef. Nowadays, even products made from such food products have limited the amount of trans fat so check on the label the next time you enter a supermarket.

Factors that promote weight gain.

1. Diet

‌‌It is obvious that the first reason why people gain weight is from the foods they consume. Foods higher in fats will intensify weight gain and almost at undesirable places for example, around the waist and arms.

‌‌2. Sedentary lifestyle

‌‌As we breathe, our body uses the energy to keep us breathing. Thus, when a person becomes involved in physical activity the body will use the energy and the stored energy (fat) to keep you moving. People who sit at a place for long and do not engage in physical activities continue to keep their reserved energy (fat).

3. Residence

‌‌It has been observed that people who live in urban areas tend to become more overweight as compared to the rural locations. These people hardly walk as there are vehicles to move them back and forth. They also don’t get fresh produce especially plant foods and rely on fast foods and junk foods due to their accessibility.

Losing weight

To lose weight, we have to consider these factors and plan accordingly. For instance, add more plant foods to our meals. Reduce the intake of saturated and trans fats. Soups have been said to be an effective way of maintaining weight. Soup will not cause you to lose weight but it will help you to maintain your weight. To learn more about it, please visit https://lambdastories.com/soup-a-natural-medicine-for-weight-loss-2/

‌‌Exercise regularly. It has been found that we lose weight as we breathe heavily. The importance of exercise is known to all. To discover more, please visit https://lambdastories.com/secrets-to-healthy-living/

‌‌To make up for sedentary lifestyle in the urban areas, gyms are being built and individuals are required to partake.

Now, to the most important question; why is it so hard to maintain your weight after you’ve lost it?

‌‌Our hunger hormones go up whilst the hunger-suppressing hormones goes down. When a person loses weight, the body informs the brain that you’ve lost too much so your brain‌‌ begins to produce hunger hormones that makes you crave food more. You eventually give in and may end up eating more than you expected. You get your weight back and might even gain more.

‌‌The best way is to see a dietician and have a good strategic plan for your weight loss process because you cannot do it on your own.

Aside from making you gain weight, eating too much fats can increase blood cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that helps your body form hormones, vitamin D and cell membranes. It is produced from the liver and also from the foods that we eat (fats).

However, there are two types of cholesterol; lower density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). ‌‌LDL makes up the majority of cholesterol in your body. It has beneficial functions in the body. Regardless, too much of it can cause it to build up within the walls of your blood vessels and narrow passageways. Often, it can form a clot and get stuck in the narrowed space eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke.‌‌

HDL then absorbs cholesterol from the bloodstream and carries it to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hence, if you present with a high HDL a low LDL, it lowers the risk of heart diseases and stroke.

Obesity is a major issue that needs to be dealt with. It begins with a conscious effort of seeking help and sticking to the plan. Remember, you don't need to be perfect, you just have to get started.

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the knowledge she has acquired.