# First Step before losing weight

Most of us deal with losing weight either for a short or long time in our lives. Every day people are looking for different ways to answer their need to lose weight, caused either by gaining weight due to health problems or just because we don’t feel happy with our body image. Let’s look at the weight problem issue and how to solve it by using formulas found by scientific research.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. It’s the measurement
of choice for many physicians and researchers studying obesity.

BMI equals a person’s weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.
BMI = weight (kg) x height (m2)

If a person’s BMI is high, it means the risk of developing a chronic disease (such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes) is also high.

For people age 19 to 35 it’s accepted that:

BMI of 20-24.9 is the ideal weight
BMI of 25-29.9 is overweight
BMI of over 30 is obese
BMI of over 40 is extremely obese

For people aged 36 to 54 it’s accepted that: BMI of 20-25 is the ideal weight

For people age 55 to 64 it’s accepted that: BMI of 22-27 is the ideal weight.

If a person’s BMI is in the ideal weight bracket then that person’s weight is normal. But sometimes people really want to learn their Ideal Body Weight, which is calculated this way:

(Male) IBW = height (m2) x 22

(Female) IBW = height (m2) x 21

Your IBW can be found by using these formulas until the age of 30, and then if you’re over 30, add five kilos for every 10 years.

Please note that BMI has nothing to do with body fat. Two people can have the same BMI but a different percentage of body fat. A bodybuilder with a large muscle mass and a low percentage of body fat may have the same BMI as a person who has more body fat because the BMI is calculated using weight and height only. These two men may be the same height and weight and have the same BMI but may also have different percentages of body fat.

What’s waist-to-hip ratio?
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is an anthropometric measurement to determine body shape. WHR looks at the proportion of fat stored on your body around your waist and hips. The desired WHR for males is less than 1.0 and for females it’s less than 0.8. Most people store their body fat in two distinct ways: Around their middle (apple-shaped) and around their hips (pear-shaped). Being apple-shaped (carrying extra weight around the stomach) is riskier for your health than being pear-shaped (carrying extra weight around your hips or thighs). This is because body shape and health risks are linked. If you have more weight around your waist, you run a greater risk of lifestyle-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, than those with weight around their hips.

To control your weight throughout your life, the best answer is to do regular exercise and eat an appropriate diet.

Diets aiming at losing a lot of weight in a short period will obviously not meet the desired daily intake of nutrients. As such diets make no permanent changes to lifestyle and eating habits they don’t result in permanent weight loss. Besides losing a lot of weight in a short period, they may also result in amenorrhea (the discontinuation or abnormal absence of your period), sleeping disorders, constipation, stomach aches and sometimes not even being able to stand the cold.

Following different diets often is also wrong. Since these diets slow down the metabolism, the chances of losing weight are lessened each time a new diet is followed. People also lose weight drastically by following low energy, short-term diets but this results in the body producing less energy every day.

Please note that in low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets, energy is obtained from proteins and this way people start losing muscle tissues. Added to which there’s also the risk of kidney diseases, dehydration, dizziness, exhaustion, and nervousness.

All in all, for a successful result, it’s clear that following a long-term diet which aims at changing eating habits is preferable to the short-term diets mentioned above.

At first, the target should be set as losing 5 to 10 percent of body weight. Losing this much weight means decreasing the risk of developing diseases related to obesity. The aim must be achieved by following a meaningful, long-term diet through which people will definitely lose weight permanently and change wrong habits for healthy choices.

After losing weight there’s another important subject to be considered, which is maintaining your weight. For people who are obese or overweight the first step is to try not to gain additional weight.

Although there are no miracle solutions that will give quick weight loss or medicines that reduce body fat, people are still looking for faster, easier ways to manage their weight. The results of such yoyo-style diets are unsuccessful and destroy the metabolic balance. Sometimes after such diets people store even more body fat than before.

Staying hungry and not eating much is another wrong choice that many people follow to lose weight. People may lose weight since the body gets the energy it needs not from food but from the body itself by changing the amino acids in muscle tissues to glucose. One-third of weight loss from this kind of diet can be from fat but keep in mind that the rest, two-thirds of it, was from non-fat tissues. By staying hungry, although the aim is to lose weight, the body stores more fat since the diet slows down the metabolism and energy consumption, thus increasing the body’s ability to store fat. This may as well result in serious loss of non-fat muscle tissues.

In principle, there isn’t any food that makes people fat. If consumed correctly and you keep an eye on portions, everything can be eaten. The energy taken from what we eat determines whether we gain weight or not. Fat stocks are created by excessive energy consumption. Like fat, carbohydrates, proteins and alcohol are other factors in weight gain and because of these, a diet program can also be regarded as healthy and balanced nutrition program which will set up eating habits that a person will continue throughout their life.

#### 1 Comment

1. Arun Prabhu says:

The acceptable BMI indicated in this article is way too high for an Indian build. an average Indian should have a BMI not more than 21 for optimum health. Around 19 is excellent. In Japan the acceptable BMI is 22.

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