Being overweight or obese is not good for your health. Even a little bit of excess weight can put you at a much higher risk of a whole host of health problems. Losing even a small amount can be a drastic improvement.
Knowing if you’re obese
As a general rule, someone is classed as obese if they have a Body Mass Index, or BMI, of more than 30. Somewhere between 18 and 25 is considered a healthy weight. People with a BMI of more than 40 are
what is known as ‘morbidly obese’ and are at much higher risk of developing weight-related health complications. Using BMI to understand obesity is more accurate than simply using bodyweight, as it factors in a person’s height to weight ratio.
In rare cases, a healthy person may have a BMI of more than 40. These people are usually those with extremely high muscle mass for their height, which leads them to weigh more than an average person. A doctor will be able to recognize the difference between someone with high muscle mass and someone who is obese.
Losing the weight
When you are extremely overweight, losing weight is different than it is for smaller people. It’s not as simple as ‘eat less, move more’; for example, if someone is over 500 pounds, it’s likely they will struggle to even shower standing up. Some may be completely bedridden, making many forms of exercise physically impossible. Some people who are extremely overweight will find it hard even to know their true weight, as many bathroom scales will only go up to 350 pounds, and a lot of gym equipment simply isn’t built for very large people. It’s likely that people in these situations will have to start very slowly and work their way up once they’ve lost some of the weight.
If you are extremely overweight and looking to get healthy, you will need to visit a doctor before beginning any kind of weight loss program. It’s likely that your body is under significant strain, even if you are feeling OK and don’t have any diagnosed problems, and it’s essential that you look after yourself as you begin your weight loss journey. This is especially important as your doctor will also be able to treat you for any weight-related problems you do have, and this may even help you lose weight more effectively.
As well as being supported by a doctor, you may want to join an online or in-person support group. Here you will find other people who are going through or have been through the same thing you’re working towards. These people may have insight from your current friends and family members don’t, and their support could be invaluable. You may also find that sharing your experiences helps someone else, or even just helps you to understand your situation better.
When you are very overweight and can’t move around much, or at all, there are still ways to incorporate exercise into your regimen in a way that will make a difference. You could work with hand weights while seated or buy a resistance band that allows you to work out without moving your feet.
Once you have lost a little weight and getting around is easier, you can add in short walks or slightly more strenuous seated exercise. Even the smallest things can make a difference, as you lose weight and start to remember what your body is actually capable of.
One type of exercise that is very important for overweight people is weight training, which, as mentioned above, can be easily done sitting down if necessary. Weight training is important as it helps to build muscle as you lose fat and increase your overall fitness. Building muscle mass can also help reduce skin sagging by maintaining some bulk.
If you need to lose a large amount of weight, you need to be realistic about how drastically you can cut your calorie intake. The more you weigh, the more calories you need, so be realistic about how much you can cut down. If you do need to lose a large amount of weight quickly for the sake of your health, your doctor may recommend weight loss surgery.
You also need to be realistic about how long it will take you to reach your goals, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. There is no overnight fix for being several hundred pounds overweight – it’s going to take time and sustained effort, but it will be worth it.
You can maintain motivation by focusing not on the scale, but also how you feel, how your clothes fit, and how your general health and well-being improves. It’s these things that will keep you on track and feeling good. Always remind yourself of how far you’ve come and all the things you can do now that you couldn’t before. This will keep you motivated to keep going and achieve more and more.
After Weight Loss
Once you have reached your target weight, or even before you get there, you may notice that your skin is starting to sag and become loose. This is an unfortunate but common side effect of extreme weight gain followed by extreme weight loss, as skin loses elasticity after being stretched over time. When you lose weight, your skin cannot ping back and so stays the same size as it was when you were much, much heavier. If you are young or have not been overweight for long, you may find that your skin is fine, but most older people, or people who have been obese for several years, will be left with loose skin.
Loose skin can be difficult to deal with, as it makes it difficult to move and can shatter the self-esteem. Most people will eventually need surgical removal, but in the meantime, compression garments may help conceal the problem and make it easier to get around without chafing. For more information, visit Confidencebodywear.com.