Often, the best thing one can do to immediately improve their feeling of health is to lose weight. While looking good matters, being at a healthy weight can make one feel better as well! Many factors influence our ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight…from lifestyle to genetics.
Overweight and obesity are increasingly common conditions in the US and around the world. Doctors measure body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference to screen and diagnose overweight and obesity. Obesity is a serious medical condition that can cause complications such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancers and sleep disorders. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of your condition and whether you have complications. Treatments include lifestyle changes, such as heart-healthy eating and increased physical activity, and weight-loss medication may be helpful to assist in the process.
There are many risk factors for overweight and obesity. Some risk factors can be changed, such as unhealthy lifestyle habits and environments. Other risk factors, such as age, family history, race and ethnicity, and sex cannot be changed. Even with these risk factors, healthy lifestyle changes can decrease your risk for developing overweight and obesity and change the expression of your genes. Lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, not enough sleep, and high amounts of stress can increase your risk for overweight and obesity, and these are largely under our control.
It may be tempting to blame your failed weight loss attempts or weight gain on a slow metabolism. However, it is less common that excessive weight gain from a medical problem slows metabolism, as in cases of Cushing’s syndrome or an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). While a properly working metabolism is important for preventing unwanted weight gain, boosting your metabolism is also critical for many other body functions related to your general health
Technically, metabolism is all the chemical reactions that take place in a living organism every day to keep it going. Our metabolism is the process of the body turning calories we consume into usable energy. Calories are just a measure of energy, and our body’s ability to function depends on getting enough of them. Your metabolism naturally slows steadily after age 40, which means you need to proactively add certain metabolism boosters into your daily life to keep yourself feeling and acting young.
Factors That Influence Overweight And Obesity
Lack of physical activity or long periods of sedentary activity has been associated with a high body mass index. Healthy lifestyle changes, such as being physically active and reducing screen time, can help you aim for a healthy weight.
Some unhealthy eating behaviors can increase your risk for overweight and obesity. These include consuming more calories than you use, eating too much saturated and trans fats, or eating processed and high sugar content foods.
Many studies have seen a high BMI in people who do not get enough sleep. There is a relationship between sleep and the way our bodies use nutrients for energy and lack of sleep can adversely affect this and the hormones that control hunger urges.
Acute stress and chronic stress affect the brain and trigger the production of hormones, such as cortisol, that control our energy balance and hunger urges. If the stress is chronic, hormone changes can make you eat more, store more fat, and disrupt other body systems.
Childhood obesity remains a serious problem in the U.S. The risk of unhealthy weight gain increases as you age. Adults who have a healthy BMI often start to gain weight in young adulthood or middle age.
Many environmental factors can increase your risk for overweight and obesity. Social factors such as having a low socioeconomic status, environmental factors such as easy access to unhealthy fast foods but limited access to healthy food sources both contribute to these health concerns. Exposure to chemicals known as obesogens in our diet or environment, like environmental hormones, can alter normal hormone function in the body and increase our fat storage
Family history and genetics
Genetic studies have found that overweight and obesity can run in families, so it is possible that our genes or DNA can contribute to these conditions. However, lifestyle changes can alter the expression of some of these unfavorable genes.
Race or ethnicity
Overweight and obesity is prevalent in some racial and ethnic minority groups. Rates of obesity in American adults are highest in blacks, followed by Hispanics, then whites. This is true for men or women.
A person’s sex may also affect the way the body stores fat. Overweight and obesity is common in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), an endocrine condition that causes enlarged ovaries and may prevents proper ovulation.
The effectiveness of various weight loss programs varies greatly between individuals. Many factors influence our ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight…from lifestyle to genetics as previously stated. Dr. Gee has successfully assisted hundreds of clients over the past 35 years in their quest for a healthy weight. At Willowbend Health & Wellness, no one has to do it alone.
We offer multiple options to achieve your weight loss goals including:
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
- Modified ketogenic meal plan (T360)
- Phentermine and other weight loss medications
- Lipostat injections
- Genetic testing
We include health coaching and follow up care in every plan along with specific exercise and nutrient supplement recommendations. You will have a one on one meeting to determine your goals, and to assure that the plan chosen is one that is safe for you and that fits with your lifestyle and goals.