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Weight Management: Better Health and Well Being

Today, health experts recognize obesity as a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney and liver disease, and some cancers. Weight management becomes a key strategy. Taking charge of your weight and embracing a balanced lifestyle can have a profound impact on your overall health and happiness. Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight, understanding the significance of weight management is crucial for achieving your wellness goals.

Weight, size, obesity, leanness have all fluctuated throughout human history. The incidence of obesity has tripled in the past 60 years in the US. During the 18th and 19th century, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death. Doctors noticed that lean people were more likely to die of TB, probably because lean people were undernourished and nutrient deficiencies play a role in supporting the immune system against TB. For centuries, Hawaiians revered large people and actually encouraged obesity in their royalty with a notion “bigger is better”.

Chronic Disease and Health Problems

Obesity is an epidemic of recent times, where the calorie intake of people exceeds calorie expenditure. This leads to too much body fat and ranges of weight that are greater than what is considered healthy for a given height. Excess weight increases the risk of serious health problems like chronic diseases and certain types of cancer. However, obesity and weight related health problems can be reversed by adopting appropriate weight loss measures.

Usually, body mass index (BMI) is used to measure body fat. It measures the weight in relation to height (kg/m²). People with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight and BMI of 30 or more are considered obese. (1) However, excess body weight isn’t the only health risk; the places where body fat is stored also affect the health. Therefore, waist size is another measure used to find out “abdominal obesity”. Waist size of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men increases the risks of weight-related health problems even more than having fat in other parts of the body.

Weight Management for Better Health

Weight Management to Manage Obesity

Type 2 Diabetes

Managing type 2 diabetes involves a comprehensive approach that focuses on lifestyle changes and medical interventions. Excess body fat and weight in obese individuals can render them vulnerable to a myriad of chronic health problems. Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and joint issues.

The strain on various bodily systems due to the excess weight can lead to long-term health challenges. Understanding the implications of obesity is vital in encouraging individuals to take proactive steps towards weight management and overall well-being. By embracing healthier lifestyle choices, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of chronic health problems associated with obesity and pave the way for a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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Cellular Changes

In diabetes, people suffer from persistent high blood sugar levels. Excess body fat, especially around the waist increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by causing changes in cells. These changes make them resistant to the hormone insulin, which carries sugar from blood to the cells to be used for energy. In insulin resistant people, blood sugar cannot be taken up by the cells and result in high blood sugar. In the long term, high blood sugar levels lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, amputation, and blindness.

You can effectively manage type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of complications, leading to a healthier and more fulfilling life. Remember that individual treatment plans may vary, so always work closely with your healthcare team for personalized care.

Simple Ways to Reverse Diabetes: A Path to Better Health

Weight Management for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and excess weight are closely linked and can have a significant impact on one another. Carrying excess weight, especially around the abdomen, increases the workload on the heart, leading to higher blood pressure levels. Additionally, obesity is often associated with insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, both of which can contribute to hypertension. Weight management is essential.

High blood pressure can also make it more challenging to lose weight, as it affects the body’s ability to regulate fluid balance and may lead to water retention. Addressing both high blood pressure and excess weight is crucial for improving overall health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications. Implement lifestyle changes such as adopting a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress, and seeking medical guidance. These elements all play a pivotal role in effectively managing both conditions and promoting better overall well-being.

Improve Blood Circulation with Easy Healthy Habits

Heart Disease & Stroke

In obese individuals, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels cause damage and plaque formation in the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart. Blood supply to the heart is disrupted. These people then become at risk for many heart related problems such as heart attack, heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina (chest pain), or abnormal heart rhythm. Similar to heart disease, stroke happens when proper flow of blood to a part of brain stops due to hardened and narrow blood vessels.

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Cancer Increased Risk

In cancer, cells in one part of the body grow abnormally or out of control. Sometimes, these cancerous cells spread to other parts of the body. Obese people are found at increased risk of developing certain cancers such as colon and rectum, gallbladder, kidney, uterus and breast. Research suggests that fat cells in obese people may release hormones that cause abnormal cell growth and lead to cancer. Another factor can be unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyle of obese people that lead to increased risk of cancer.

Read more about how you can eat a cancer fighting diet.

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Sleep Apnea Caused by Inflammation

People suffering from sleep apnea have one or more pauses in breathing during sleep. These people experience daytime sleepiness, difficulty in focusing and even are at risk for heart failure. Obese people are at risk of sleep apnea as they have more fat stored around their neck, which makes their airway smaller and make breathing difficult and loud. Excess fat in the body also causes inflammation and increases chances of sleep apnea.

Osteoarthritis Risk Factors Avoided with Weight Management

In osteoarthritis, people suffer from pain and stiffness in their joints of the hands, knees, hips, and lower back. Excess weight is one of the risk factors for osteoarthritis, as it puts extra pressure on joints and cartilage, which causes them to wear away. Also, excess body fat in obese people causes inflammation in their body and joints, which further increases their risk for osteoarthritis.

Fatty Liver Disease Caused by Fat Build Up

Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (NASH) or fatty liver disease is a condition, which occurs when fat builds up in the liver and causes cirrhosis, severe injury or even liver failure. Obese people are at risk of this disease, as excess body fat increases the risk of fat build up inside their liver.

Here are more suggestions on how you can reduce fatty liver disease

Kidney Disease Improvement with Weight Management

People suffering from kidney disease face problem in proper filtering of blood, and removal of extra water and waste products in the form of urine, which lead to wastes build up in the body. Obese people often have diabetes and high blood pressure, which make them more vulnerable to chronic kidney disease.

Weight Management for Better Health

Besides, these health problems obese women face increased risk of health problems during pregnancy like gestational diabetes (high blood sugar) and preeclampsia (high blood pressure), which may need a caesarean (C-section) delivery. These conditions may cause short- and long-term health problems for the mother and the baby, if left untreated. Often, babies of obese mothers are at an increased risk of being born too soon, being stillborn or having neural tube defects. Losing weight and reaching a normal weight before becoming pregnant is advised to reduce chances of developing weight-related problems during pregnancy.

Lower your Risk for Chronic Disease

However, the good news is that obese people can lower their risk for these chronic diseases by losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of their body weight. As, weight loss significantly reduces inflammation and improves health parameters (blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels), which help in preventing, reversing or treating chronic diseases related to obesity.

Key tips on weight management:

  1. Are you eating because you are physically hungry, or because food fills a psychological need?
  2. Reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates. Simple sugars make us fat.
  3. Eat more whole foods: fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, chicken, nuts, whole grains (e.g. brown rice, oats, quinoa), legumes
  4. Exercise 30 minutes daily. Just walking the stairs in your house for 10 minutes/day will make an improvement in your health.
  5. Find an exercise that appeals to you, such as swimming, biking, hiking, etc.
  6. Meditate or pray daily. Stress generates cortisol, which leads to fat accumulation.
  7. Take one day each week and drink only water or tea. This 24 hour fast can help reset your metabolism.
  8. Work with your integrative doctor. Sometimes low levels of nutrients (like iodine) can lead to abnormal metabolism and fat storage.
  9. Picture yourself lean.

By making mindful choices and incorporating positive habits, you can unlock the transformative power of weight management, paving the way for a healthier, more fulfilling life. Let’s embark on this empowering journey together and discover the countless benefits that come with prioritizing your well-being.


Dr. Patrick Quillin

Dr. Patrick Quillin, PhD,RD,CNS is an internationally recognized expert in the area of nutrition and health. He has 30 years experience as a clinical nutritionist, of which 10 years were spent as the Vice President for a leading cancer hospital system where he worked with thousands of cancer patients in a hospital setting. He is a Best Selling Author with 18 books which have sold over 2,000,000 copies and also a Keynote Speaker.

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