What Does It Really Mean to Be Overweight?

Obesity is an ever increasing problem in the US now-a-days. Studies show that over 66 percent of Americans can be categorized as either fat or obese, and the medical community is even going so far as to call it an epidemic. However, with today’s aesthetic standards as portrayed by the media and the fashion community, it can be very tough to decipher what is actually a healthy weight. No doctor would recommend trying to be stick-thin, but we all know that obesity is dangerous to the health. So, where is that healthy midline? What, exactly, does it mean to the general public to be “overweight?” Here are the plain facts:

Overweight

Overweight (Photo credit: just.Luc)

The definition. Being overweight means weighing more than what is healthy. This amount varies from person to person, as it depends on factors that are unique to each person’s build. Therefore, what is overweight for you might not be overweight for someone else.

Overweight compared to being obese. It is important that you understand that overweight does not necessarily mean obese. Healthy (or unhealthy) body weight is graded on a scale, including the categories of “normal weight,” “overweight,” “obese,” and “morbidly obese.” Each level has its own set of qualifying factors and, of course, morbidly obese is the most dangerous. Being overweight means being one step above normal weight, one step below obese, and two steps below morbidly obese.

What factors are used to determine overweight? Your body mass index (BMI) is used to determine where you are categorized on the health/morbidly-obese scale. Your BMI is a measure of your body’s composition, accounting for how much you weigh in relation to your height. There are various different methods to calculate BMI. The simplest is to use an online BMI calculator, but for the most exact figure, it is a good idea to see a doctor or nutritionist. If your BMI falls between 25 and 30, you are generally considered overweight. However, it is important to keep in mind that BMI has no way of accounting for your muscle to fat ratio. This ratio can make a major difference in your overall health, and therefore can change your status as overweight. For example, if you are a serious athlete with a lot of muscle, you may weigh more than someone else your height who is at a “normal” weight, but that doesn’t mean you are overweight.

Overweight is a term that is used loosely, which makes it confusing when determining whether or not you fit into that category. Your best bet is to consult with your doctor to figure out if you are overweight, and if you could benefit from lowering your BMI.

About the Author: Tommye Lounder is a health and wellness specialist who specializes in educating people about their bodies. He enjoys researching common medical conditions, including candida expert opinions, heart health, addictions, and the body’s metabolism.

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Is Paleo For You?

It seems like a new diet is hitting the marketplace every other day, and every new diet seems to be dubbed as the one that works. There are so many diets out there, that if you want to lose weight, it can be hard to decide where to begin.
The latest dieting craze to hit the marketplace is called Paleo, and many people are wondering if they should give it a try.

What is the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet basically refers to only eating the foods that our historic ancestors ate, which includes fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and nuts. This means that you should cut out legumes, grains and dairy. Basically, you want to eat only those items that can be hunted or gathered and refrain from eating anything that has been processed or sealed (so no canned vegetables). Fresh foods contain more vitamins and nutrients than those that have been processed, and they’re more healthy for you than those that tell you they’re healthy.
What’s the point of the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet doesn’t cut out fat or carbs. Instead, it relies on you eating a healthy amount of food in order to maintain a decent body weight. Eating these foods will increase your metabolism and give you more energy throughout the day. And since you tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than whole grains, you may actually cut out a good deal of the carbs you eat on a regular basis.
Along with keeping you at a healthy weight, the Paleo diet is also known to reduce the risk of major diseases, such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes. By keeping your food intake simple, you are not clogging your body full of supplements or processed foods.

What are the benefits of the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet doesn’t require you to count points, read labels or consume a great deal of protein shakes. The foods used in the Paleo diet are simple and real, and you know exactly what you’re getting.
Preparing Paleo-approved meals is simple. Choose a meat, choose a vegetable and you’re done. There is no need to read a ton of cookbooks or think too long about what to prepare for dinner. This will also help you decide what to eat more quickly when dining out at restaurants. Rather than spend a great amount of time reading over the menu, you can choose the option that fits best with the Paleo diet.
Is the Paleo diet right for me?

The Paleo diet hasn’t hurt anyone, so as long as you’re okay with eating meat and vegetables and cutting out dairy, grains and  legumes, trying the Paleo diet shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. And since there is not counting points or reading labels, you can choose Paleo-approved foods more easily than other diets. People have been using the Paleo diet for years. If you start the Paleo diet, you will see an increase in your energy levels, and you’ll start to look better too.

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