Weight control is key to maintaining good overall health and reducing the risk of serious, chronic medical conditions related to weight gain and obesity.
Weight control plays a highly important role in your overall health. Maintaining a healthy weight contributes to good physical and mental wellness, and can help you avoid chronic medical conditions related to weight gain and obesity. Your weight can be effectively controlled with healthy lifestyle behaviors related to nutrition, exercise, and quality sleep. However, some people have underlying health conditions that may be contributing to weight gain and need additional medical interventions to address these conditions.
Read on to learn more about the importance of weight control, and how Lompoc Valley Medical Center can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for obesity-related health conditions.
What is Weight Control?
Weight control is the practice of certain behaviors that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Eating healthy foods, staying physically active, and getting quality sleep are examples of healthy lifestyle behaviors that can help you manage your weight and avoid obesity. Managing stress, controlling food portions, and eating mindfully are other behaviors that can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Many doctors use a body mass index (BMI) calculator to determine whether a person is at a healthy weight. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. However, BMI is not always accurate in determining a healthy weight—especially when used for those with high amounts of muscle mass. Muscle is denser than fat and takes up less room on the body. Therefore, a high BMI in some people may be attributed to more lean muscle as opposed to fat. In certain instances, measuring body fat percentage may be more accurate than BMI at determining whether a person is at a healthy weight.
Obesity can be caused by anyone or a combination of factors. Generally, obesity occurs when you consume more calories than your body burns off, but using certain medications and suffering from mood disorders like depression can also contribute to obesity.
Common causes of obesity include:
- Physical inactivity
- Unhealthy food choices
- Lack of access to healthy foods
- Long periods of sitting
- Poor sleep hygiene
- Use of certain medications
- Mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety
- Hormonal imbalances
Identifying the root causes of your obesity is the first step you can take toward losing excess weight and becoming healthier. If you are not sure which factors are driving obesity, your doctor and/or a nutritionist can talk to you about your lifestyle, perform the necessary evaluations, and help you develop a weight loss plan. For instance, if certain medications or medical conditions are causing you to gain weight or interfering with your ability to lose excess weight, your doctor can discuss alternate medications and treatments, or treat the underlying medical condition.
Which Health Problems Are Related to Excess Weight?
Being overweight or obese can put undue stress on your joints, heart, lungs, and many other organs to cause a wide range of health problems. Excess weight can also lead to chemical and hormonal imbalances that increase the risk of stress and mood disorders.
Health problems related to excess weight include:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gallbladder disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Mental health disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Fertility problems
- Chronic pain
- Many types of cancers
Losing excess weight can potentially improve and/or reverse many of these health conditions. In some cases, it can take several months or years to lose the necessary amount of excess weight, but achieving improved physical and psychological health is often worth the time and hard work you put into reaching a healthy weight.
What about Medically Supervised Weight-Loss?
When a patient acknowledges difficulty in losing weight on thier own, the first step is to search for a specialized weight loss program. Medically supervised weight loss programs are designed to offer treatment to patients while they are closely followed by licensed healthcare professionals.
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