What is the definition of overweight? What is your definition of overweight? One definition is when a person is 10% over the ideal weight for height. Obesity is defined as 20% over the ideal weight. The BMI scale is commonly used to factor ideal weight. These days it is commonly understood that a person may have low body fat while simultaneously BMI is screaming, “You are overweight! I am an example of that contradiction. My current body fat is about 9% and I am considered overweight with a BMI of 27. Using a height and weight chart is not always useful based on limitations and individual variations. We humans are not all built the same. Also, having some body fat is useful and healthy. Obesity however is not healthy.
Obesity has a variety of causes, like physiological factors and psychological factors. The simple equation for fat storage is energy in verse energy out. If you eat more food (calories) than energy expended (work), this will yield an excess of calories and this excess will be stored as adipose tissue, fat. You can also consider that each individual produces different amounts of hormones. There is a common argument that genetics contribute to our shape and form. However, diet, activity, familial reinforcement and peer interaction are larger contributors to your overall health than genetics.
We tend to mimic the habits of those around us. Society pressures us to look, act and feel a certain way. Lately, environmental factors are being scrutinized. Farming methods that introduce growth chemicals, pesticides, contaminants and water that are becoming questionable. There are extreme practices like surgery, drugs, fat blockers, body wraps, and specific macronutrient restrictions. Sometimes people try fad diets to lose 20 to 30 pounds. A couple of problems with fad diets are that they are scientifically inaccurate (nonsense) and there isn’t any long-term education on how to maintain your weight loss. This often leads to chronic dieting syndrome or “yo-yo” dieting. Often a person who only diets (no weight training) will lose an equal amount of fat and muscle. Once off the diet, they gain back their lost weight, and the weight gained consist of more fat than muscle. This is obviously not ideal for anyone. With a bit of education a healthy balance can be achieved. Fasting is another way people may try to lose weight. Basal metabolic rate will drop while fasting, as well as electrolytes, loss of lean muscle, and you’ll experience low blood pressure. Again, knowing how to eat after you quit fasting is important from a healthy maintenance perspective.
So… what is a sound weight management plan?
There are the aforementioned methods as well as behavior modification techniques. Hypnotherapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming for example, are successful at creating new thoughts, different ways of thinking and often work to create new habits. It is important to know and really understand your personal eating queues. It’s about understanding what drives you to eat, your emotions involved and sometimes most important, what drives your food choices. It’s about recognizing the queues, and how you respond to these queues. The consequences of your choices are fairly obvious. You are what you eat!
You should always accept your current state. No one can successfully change their situation without fully acknowledging the situation and it’s realities. You should accept yourself and take responsibility for your choices. You should define the behavior surrounding your choices. Know and understand your eating patterns. If you skip a workout, or fight with your spouse or just love tacos at midnight (Ding!), think about how you eat after such events. You may find that planning out strategies for such occasions will help you make better and healthier choices. You can bring an apple or banana, something that will help you get through your challenging times.
Writing out your meals (weekly meal plan) is a great idea. Be flexible and realistic, ensuring the diet is fits your lifestyle. This is important in maintaining the diet. No one sticks to anything that is inconvenient, boring, or annoying. Find fun healthy and tasty food. Your diet should be nutritionally adequate and include all the nutrients. Bottom line is this… will you eat it? A diet consisting of food you will eat is a strong determinant of a successful diet.
When you are successful and once you are about to achieve your goal (weight gain/weight loss) you must reevaluate, readjust, and decide how to proceed at your new weight. Celebrate at 90% – 95% and set your new goal to maintain or tone or something exciting and achievable. The good news for you is that the human body works hard to maintain a condition of homeostasis. Your body wants to stay the way it is. When you have a well thought out plan and a strategy that is best for it is much easier to achieve your goals and keep your prize.