Please welcome Guest Contributor, Dr. Charles-Davies, with an article about healthy weight.
Why You Need To Be Mindful Of Your Weight
Not having a healthy weight has been shown to have some negative effects on our health. We have gotten to the era where we eat more and burn less which leads to having an unhealthy weight and some serious health conditions.
Before we go on to know why we need to be mindful of our weight, we need to understand what weight means and what it means to have a healthy weight.
What Is A Healthy Weight All About?
Bones, muscles, water and fat all contribute to our body weight. We usually use our weighing scales and Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure our body weight. However, the weighing scale does not break up our body weight into bones, fat, muscles and water.
One of the major components of physical fitness is body composition, which can be used similarly with weight. Body composition gives a percentage break down of the fat and nonfat components of our body. The nonfat components are our muscles, bones, organs, and water.
What Does It Mean To Have A Healthy Weight?
We will be using BMI to determine a healthy weight. It is an index that measures the weight of a person as a function of the person’s height.
To calculate your BMI, simply divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. The unit is usually kilograms per square meter.
Here’s what different BMI values mean:
- Underweight- Less than 18.5
- Normal weight- 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight- 25 to 29.9
- Obese- Above 30
We now know the ideal body fat we are expected to have but why do we need to watch it since fat is not the only component of our weight? Let’s break down fat to fully understand why we need to watch this aspect of our body composition.
There are two major types of fat:
1. Subcutaneous fat
This is fat stored underneath our skin. This type of fat is not so harmful to our health. Excess subcutaneous fat can be removed using liposuction.
2. Visceral Fat
This is fat stored around our organs and in our tummy. This type of fat in excess has harmful effects on our health. Excess visceral fat, however, cannot be removed by liposuction.
So the fat we should actually be watching is our visceral fat.
A high visceral fat increases the risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks. So, you should follow a good and healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and exercising often. This will help you prevent chronic diseases that can hamper your mobility in old age like osteoarthritis- which can cause severe pain at the back of the knee.
This fat is found around our organs and also major blood vessels in the body that transport blood around the body.
Why You Should Be Mindful Of Your Weight
Just because you are slim does not mean you should not watch your weight because your weight might just be more of visceral fat. Also, people who think they are fat may have more subcutaneous fat and reduced visceral fat and actually be healthier than their slim counterparts.
As a rule, one way to combat bad fat is to eat a balanced diet and exercise frequently. You can try to get an appointment with a dietitian and get yourself a home exercise bike. Here are some reasons to ensure you mind your weight.
1. Your Heart
Imagine having a lot of fat around your heart. The heart needs to work extra hard to pump blood through this fat and through the blood vessels that may be compressed by the fat. This can lead to cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension.
2. Your Blood Vessels
Fat can also build up in our blood vessels, which in turn leads to reduced blood flowing within the arteries and therefore reduced blood flow to certain parts of the body. It can lead to some vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.
3. Your Blood Sugar
The pancreas secretes insulin that controls our blood sugar. Excess visceral fat can clog the passageway of the blood vessels, which will reduce the insulin flow to the carbohydrate consumed, and cause an increase in blood sugar level. It can also make the pancreas overwork itself and reduce the production of insulin to break down sugar. This can lead to diabetes.
There are a lot of health issues with an unhealthy weight. Do not assume your appearance makes up for how healthy you are. You can stay healthy by paying attention to your weight. Weight is not just the numbers you see on a weighing scale, your weight is in you.
Dr. Charles-Davies is a licensed medical practitioner who loves to educate people about their body and health.