What does it mean to be overweight?
Losing weight seems to be a constant challenge for many people. This is made worse by modern day media stereotypes, which unrealistically portray both men and women as slim, fit and healthy. However, if you’ve ever tried losing weight fast, getting yourself in shape, or simply tried to live a healthier lifestyle, you will know it’s not easy.
Many people think they’re overweight, even though they aren’t. Struggling to do up the zip on your jeans, or the opinion of your best friend, aren’t good enough reasons on their own to decide to lose weight. Just because you don’t fit the body image you picture yourself as doesn’t mean you’re bigger than you should be. The reality is that every healthy person should have some body fat.
10 common symptoms of overweight
- Excess fat around your middle. Even if you’re a healthy weight overall, a ‘spare tire’ can be a sign you’re tending towards being overweight.
- Unhealthy diet. Consuming too much sugar and fat and not enough vitamins, fibre and lean protein can cause you to pack on the pounds.
- Shortness of breath. If you’re overweight, you may find yourself out of breath doing even easy physical activities.
- Avoiding social situations. Overweight people may find it difficult to socialise, or be out in public, as they are embarrassed by their appearance or feel victimised. This could even lead to depression.
- Painful joints. Excess weight can put pressure and strain on your joints, especially knees, back and hips.
- Heartburn. Excess fat puts pressure on the digestive system, which can lead to heartburn and acid reflux.
- High blood pressure. This is one of the most important factors to look out for. A change in blood pressure – especially high blood pressure – can be linked to overweight and obesity.
- Snoring. Being overweight can cause an increase in snoring and sleep apnoea.
- Skin problems. Being overweight can cause changes in hormone levels, which can lead to changes in skin tone. Gaining and losing weight can also leave stretch marks on the skin.
- Varicose veins. These are clusters of blue or purple veins, which are sometimes surrounded by spider veins.
What causes being overweight?
You gain weight by eating more calories than you burn through physical activity. This diet imbalance is the greatest contributor to weight gain. However, this is just one factor that plays a role in becoming overweight. Others include:
- Lack of exercise. Exercise is necessary to burn calories and reduce weight.
- Environment. This includes not having access to areas for physical exercise, the size of food portions, access to healthy food and food advertising.
- Genetics. This plays a role in a person’s susceptibility to weight gain and ability to lose weight.
- Medications. Certain medications such as antidepressants and steroids can lead to weight gain.
Recent estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO)1 show that in 2014, about 39 percent of adults globally were obese, about 13 percent were overweight and that there had been a doubling in obesity compared with 1980.
How to tell if you’re overweight
One way to get an idea if you’re overweight is to use the body mass index (BMI) calculation. This is a formula that uses your weight-to-height ratio to work out where you stand in terms of expected body weight for someone of your height.
There are several online calculators that can help you work out your BMI, but bear in mind that some experts criticise this measure as being too crude and approximate. While it can work in establishing trends among large groups, it’s less reliable when assessing individuals. BMI tests are meant as a guide only. Obesity is defined as having a BMI of over 30, while the BMI of an overweight person is between 25 and 29.9.2
There are several other types of calculations that can help determine if you’re overweight. These include the waist-to-hip ratio, a Bio-Electrical Impedence Analysis (BIA), Calipers, a Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, or an Air Displacement Plethysmograph (Bod Pod).
If you’re concerned you may be overweight and need professional advice to reduce weight, your doctor can help.
What is the treatment for being overweight?
There are many different ways to help you lose weight. However, there is general consensus that no single diet or weight loss programme works best for all people. In general, healthy eating habits, together with lifestyle changes involving physical activity and behaviour modification can be successful in helping you reduce weight.
A doctor may recommend prescription medications, together with behavioural changes, to help you lose weight. Experts are concerned, however, that in some cases the side effects of prescription medications to treat overweight and obesity may outweigh the benefits.
Some common prescription weight loss medications include:
- Orlistat (Xenical). This stops the absorption of fat in your intestine. Side effects may include oily, loose stools and flatulence.
- Sibutramine (Reductil). This suppresses appetite and increases energy levels. Side effects may include a dry mouth, upset stomach, constipation or dizziness.
- Phentermine (Duromine). This makes you feel full, thereby decreasing food intake. Side effects may include restlessness, headaches, dizziness, dry mouth or constipation.
10 things you can do at home to help you lose weight
We are bombarded with promises of products that will help us lose weight fast. But is there anything you can do yourself to lose weight and keep it off? Research suggests there are some effective behaviours that can help you lose weight healthily:
1. Sleep more
If you’re constantly sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night, your health – and waistline – will suffer. In fact, in a 2013 study, researchers found that sleep-deprived subjects were much more likely to choose larger portions of snacks than those who slept at least eight hours at night. The lack of sleep also affected their food choices. This is partly because sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones, leading to poor appetite regulation.
Dr. Christopher Wharton, a certified personal trainer and researcher with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in the U.S, puts it simply: “The more time spent exercising and the more vigorous the exercise, the more calories will be burned.” And you don’t have to go for a long run or a hard workout to burn fat – taking a brisk walk every day is one of the most effective methods to lose weight fast.
3. Do strength training
According to WebMD, when you exercise you use muscle. This helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories – even when you're at rest – than body fat. Strength training becomes more important as we get older, as our metabolisms tend to slow down. Add strength training to your workout at least a couple of times a week. The largest muscles (and therefore the largest calorie burners) are in the thighs, abdomen, chest, and arms.
4. Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Every time you eat a meal or snack, your gastrointestinal tract starts digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It burns calories to fire up your digestion machine, so it makes sense that the more small meals or snacks you eat through the day, the more calories you'll burn. While there isn’t solid evidence for this, experts believe that, compared to eating one or two very large meals, this is a more healthful way of eating.
5. Don't skip breakfast
Evidence supporting a link between skipping breakfast and increased body weight is growing, according to a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Research has shown that when people skip breakfast, they tend to eat more calories by the end of the day. Other studies suggest that skipping breakfast is associated with a higher body mass index in teens.
6. Drink plenty of water
Often, when we think we’re hungry, our bodies just need water. So it’s important to drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Drinking water not only keeps fat toxins moving out of the body, it also keeps your metabolism running optimally.
In fact, a 2013 study showed 14 healthy men and women increased their metabolic rate by 30 percent after drinking about 500ml of water.3 Drinking water before meals may also lead to reduced calorie intake, especially for middle-aged and older people and water is particularly good for weight loss when it replaces other beverages that are high in calories and sugar.
7. Drink caffeinated green or black tea, or coffee
Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants increase the calories you burn. Caffeine may also cause metabolic changes in the body that can result in more calories being burned. Over the past few years, some studies have suggested that green or black tea may have benefits beyond the caffeine they contain.
8. Eat most of your meals at home
Making your own snacks and meals from whole foods will help with fast weight loss. By controlling what ingredients, fats and oils are in your food, you’ll be able to make healthy choices without sacrificing the food and flavors you love. Start by committing to making one meal a day at home.
Also, don’t shop on an empty stomach – this will encourage you to buy the unhealthy foods that take your fancy while you’re walking down the shopping aisles. Fill up before you go. When you’re not fighting hunger pangs, it’s a lot easier to make healthy choices.
9. Use fat-burning herbs
Most diets barely discuss herbs, but adding in some healthy herbs to whatever eating plan you’re on may be just what you need to lose weight fast. Studies have shown that herbs like cayenne pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and dandelion may all help promote weight loss.4
10. Use weight loss supplements
There is a range of natural foods and remedies that can help with healthy weight loss. Reputable weight loss tablets like the Vivano Combo Pack contain the most effective of these calorie-burning ingredients for men and women.
How can weight management supplements help with healthy weight loss?
Some capsules, herbal remedies and natural ingredients on the market are targeted specifically at shedding weight fast. However, while these and other similar natural remedies and supplements may help in the short term, it is sometimes better to consider a weight loss treatment that helps you in the long term and has a broader spectrum of efficacy, such as the Vivano Combo Pack.
What is the Vivano Combo Pack weight loss treatment?
The Vivano Combo Pack is an all-new weight management supplement range. It is supported by the latest research and includes ingredients that promote natural weight loss. Its effective formula supports healthy calorie burning and fat metabolism.
The Vivano Weight Management Pack comprises Vivano Appetite Manager and Vivano Kilo Manager. Vivano Kilo Manager supports healthy calorie burning and fat metabolism and Vivano Appetite Manager helps manage normal food cravings and impulse eating.
Vivano Appetite Manger is doubly effective when combined with Vivano Kilo Manager for healthy calorie burning and fat metabolism.
The combined Vivano Weight Management pack is specially formulated to:
- Manage your carbohydrate cravings.
- Help control your appetite.
- Promote efficient burning of calories.
- Inhibit fat absorption and fat storage.
- Induce feelings of calmness and self-control while reducing eating or drinking.
Vivano Kilo Manager contains three key herbs:Key herb number 1 – New Zealand Kelp. This healthy sea vegetable enhances the body’s use of energy – particularly fat – meaning less is stored by the body.
Key herb number 2 – Green tea. Green tea is brimming with antioxidants and active ingredients that promote weight loss.
Key herb number 3 – Green coffee beans. Green coffee beans may be a useful aid for weight management.
Vivano Appetite Manager contains three key ingredients:
Key herb number 1 – Gymnema. The active ingredient in Gymnema has a reputation as a sugar destroyer.
Key herb number 2 – Vanadium Sulphate. This helps maintain a balance between blood glucose and insulin – essential for supporting a healthy metabolism and managing weight.
Key herb number 3 – Chromium Polynicotinate. This trace element supports healthy metabolism by regulating the way the body uses carbohydrates.
Vivano products are manufactured in New Zealand to the highest standards with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
Vivano products are most effective when combined with healthy eating and moderate exercise.
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Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.