There’s nothing wrong with a healthy appetite, but it’s important to practice moderation and, as much as possible, include healthy food in your diet. Otherwise, you might suffer from excess weight gain, leading to obesity, which comes with serious consequences.
When you’re overweight or obese, moving seems to be more difficult than usual. Daily chores become exponentially harder to perform. Studies show that people with excess weight are more susceptible to accidents.
However, the worst risk of being overweight or obese is that you are more vulnerable to fatal diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
Although that’s what this guide is for, you should first learn how to determine whether you belong to the obese, overweight, or normal group.
A Closer Look at Excess Weight
A person’s weight can fluctuate every day. You may weigh 150 pounds today, and tomorrow you’ll gain five pounds. Although you may consider this a huge weight gain, it’s actually normal. In fact, a human body normally experiences a fluctuation of five pounds every day, so how can you figure out whether you have excess weight or not?
For starters, you should take your height and weight. After doing so, get a piece of paper or use a calculator to compute your BMI using the formula, which is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared (BMI = kg/m²).
If you get a number more than 25, that means you’re overweight, and if it reaches beyond 30, your weight belongs in the obese category.
In that case, you should take the necessary steps to reduce your weight as much as possible. If you don’t lose weight, you may suffer from severe health risks. Below are five of these health risks:
1. Pregnancy Problems
Having a high BMI has been shown to bring adverse effects on a woman’s fertility. The higher the BMI, the harder it is to get pregnant, but that’s not the only connection between obesity and pregnancy. It can also result in the following pregnancy complications:
- Cardiac dysfunction
- Organ damage
- Cesarean section
- Preterm labor
- Breech position
Excess weight can also result in the deformation of implants – a concern for many pregnant women who have had augmentation surgery. For more information, you can check Dr. Deuber’s findings on how weight gain affects your implants.
Simply put, excess weight gain can lead to complications before, during, and after pregnancy. Obesity and smoking are similar in that both pose health risks to pregnant women. Although it’s not as severe as smoking, obesity is still a risk factor nonetheless.
2. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to sleep uncomfortably and can often keep you awake at night. There are three main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Central sleep apnea
- Complex sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) develops when there is not enough muscle activity within your airway, causing you to have trouble breathing and sleeping.
Gaining excess weight means that an individual has greater fat reserves in their body, which can sometimes lead to OSA if it reaches the airway. A person with OSA will experience the following symptoms:
- Unusually loud snoring
- Irregular breathing patterns during sleep
- Difficulty sleeping
- Dry mouth upon waking up
- Frequent morning headaches
Perhaps this is why people with high BMI tend to snore more loudly than other people and display abnormal breathing patterns.
What’s worse about developing this condition is that those with OSA have a higher chance of suffering from high blood pressure, which leads us to the next health risk.
3. High Blood Pressure
As above, you can develop high blood pressure due to persistent sleep apnea symptoms, but that’s not the only reason why excess weight gain can lead to this condition.
Your heart pumps blood throughout the arteries of your body. If you have excess fat within your body, the heart will have to work much harder than usual, putting some stress into the arteries.
As a response, your arteries will resist the overflow of the blood, which in turn results in high blood pressure, and that’s why people with high BMI are more vulnerable to high blood pressure and can regularly suffer from these symptoms:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Bloody urine
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
If this condition persists for a long time, it can evolve into more severe disorders such as heart disease, dementia, heart failure, and even indirectly lead to kidney diseases.
4. Kidney Disease
Your arteries are connected to all parts of your body, including your internal organs. Naturally, if there’s a problem with your circulatory system, your whole body can suffer, and that includes your kidneys.
Moreover, just like your heart and arteries, your kidney also tends to work harder when there’s excess fat within the body. It can eventually lead to damage, resulting in chronic kidney disease or CKD. Below are some of the symptoms of CKD:
- Poor appetite
- Itchy skin
- Bloody urine
- Swelling of limbs
One can also suffer from kidney diseases through risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, both health risks of excess weight gone. Speaking of which, you should also take steps to avoid type 2 diabetes.
5. Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition where the body can’t produce or use insulin properly, which can be detrimental since insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels.
There are three types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can develop due to an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, alcohol intake, and of course, excess weight gain. To be precise, an individual can have type 2 diabetes not because their body can’t produce enough insulin but because they’re immune to it.
The bad news is that people become more immune to their insulin hormones the more they gain excess weight. For that reason, individuals with a high BMI will naturally become more susceptible to type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, it is possible for people with type 2 diabetes – or it’s precursor, pre-diabetes – to control or even reverse their condition through weight loss, exercise, and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
How Can You Avoid Excess Weight Gain?
Suffering from obesity can be due to many factors. Maybe it’s because of your genes. Perhaps it’s because you grew up with unhealthy food. Either way, it’s not too late to lose weight, and there are many reasons to do it, such as:
- Being physically active
- Including healthy food in your diet
- Avoiding vices such as alcohol and smoking
- Monitoring your sleep schedule
Most importantly, once you start your attempt to lose weight, make sure you don’t revert to your old ways. Consistency is key to a healthy lifestyle.
There are infinite reasons why medical conditions develop, but you can help yourself to avoid some of them by aiming for a healthy lifestyle, especially for individuals who are currently struggling with excess weight gain. The best thing is that you’ll find it’s surprisingly more manageable than what people claim it to be, and you’ll have plenty of support along the way.