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Obesity: 8 Tips To Help You With Weight Loss

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, explores what obesity is, who it affects, and why it occurs and provides eight tips to help with weight loss.


What is Obesity? 

According to the World Health Organization, obesity is a complex medical condition that is characterised by an excessive amount of body fat. It occurs when there is an imbalance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure.


“When a person consumes more calories than their body needs for energy, the excess calories are stored as fat. Over time, this can lead to an accumulation of body fat, which can result in obesity,” explains Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


Obesity is a significant public health concern, affecting millions of people worldwide.

Over the past few decades, the rates of overweight and obesity have continued to increase among adults and children worldwide. Between 1975 and 2016, there was a more than four-fold increase in the prevalence of overweight or obese children and adolescents aged five to 19 years, rising from 4% to 18% globally. 

Who is Affected by Obesity?

Obesity can affect people of all ages, races, and genders. However, certain groups are more likely to be affected by obesity than others. These include:


Health Risks of Obesity

Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing a range of health problems, including the following. 

Cardiovascular Disease: Excess body weight can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It can also accumulate plaque in the arteries, leading to a heart attack or stroke.


Type 2 Diabetes: Obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body cannot use insulin properly to regulate blood sugar levels.


Cancer: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, colon, and kidney cancer.


Sleep Apnea: Obesity can increase the risk of sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing is interrupted during sleep, leading to poor quality sleep and an increased risk of health problems.

Joint Problems: Excess weight can put extra stress on the joints, leading to joint pain and increased risk of arthritis.


Mental Health Problems: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.


Fatty Liver Disease: Obesity can lead to the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can cause inflammation and damage to liver cells.


Reproductive Problems: Obesity can increase the risk of infertility and complications during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and premature birth.

How to Measure if You’re Overweight 

One common way to measure if you are overweight is by calculating your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. To calculate your BMI, you can use the following formula: BMI = weight in kilograms / (height in meters).

Once you have calculated your BMI, you can compare it to standard BMI categories to determine if you are in a healthy weight range. The BMI categories are as follows:

  • Underweight: BMI below 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI between 18.5 and 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI between 25 and 29.9
  • Obese: BMI of 30 or higher

8 Tips to Help with Weight Loss

  1. Set Realistic Goals: When setting weight loss goals, it is essential to be realistic and set achievable goals. Focus on making small, sustainable changes rather than trying to make drastic changes all at once.


  1. Keep a Food Journal: Keeping track of what you eat can help to increase awareness of your eating habits and make it easier to identify areas where you can make healthier choices.


  1. Make Healthy Food Choices: Focus on consuming a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods and foods high in calories, fat, and sugar.


  1. Increase Physical Activity: Regular physical activity is vital to weight loss. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.
  1. Get Adequate Sleep: Sleep is necessary for weight management, as inadequate sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.


  1. Seek Support: Seeking support from friends, family, or a healthcare provider can help to increase motivation and provide accountability during the weight loss journey.


  1. Practice Mindful Eating: Mindful eating involves paying attention to the present moment while eating and being aware of hunger and fullness cues. This can help to prevent overeating and promote healthier eating habits.


  1. Avoid Fad Diets: Fad diets can be ineffective and unsustainable long-term. Focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes and promoting long-term health and weight management.

About Affinity Health 

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health insurance provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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