As a population, we are getting bigger and bigger, heavier and heavier. Yep, that’s you and me and our families. That’s US, not someone else. WE ARE the population.
3 out of 5 people are overweight, with another 1 out of 5 being obese. That’s 4 out of 5 people over a healthy weight! In many areas (including my location) the figures are higher. More like 3 out of 5 are obese and 1 is ‘just’ overweight. And we are getting fatter and fatter.
Are you one of the 1 out of 5 that’s a healthy weight? Or one of the 4? How do you know?
If your BMI is over 25, you are overweight (I know BMI is not accurate for a small portion of the population, but it’s easy for you to calculate yourself: BMI CALCULATOR)
For a more accurate measure, you can get your bodyfat tested and know for sure (contact me if you’d like a free Body Composition assessment)
Did you calculate your BMI? If not, click the link and do it now
You’re underweight and need a program of training and nutrition designed to help you put lean weight on (and possibly some body fat too) You most likely need some health improvements too, but some of those issues will sort themselves out with a program that combines healthy eating and training NOT designed to burn tonnes of fat, but to increase your lean weight.
Between 18.5 and 24.9?
You have a healthy weight and should concentrate of health and athletic performance – yes, even if you’re not an athlete. Staying in this range won’t just ‘happen’ by itself. You need to concentrate on maintaining/improving your health and being as strong and fit as you can.
25 and over?
You’re overweight!! You should be concentrating your training and nutrition on losing body fat. Increasing strength and muscle are NOT what you should be concentrating on. While an effective fat loss program will increase lean mass and strength if you’re just starting out, these should be secondary goals till you lower your body fat. Yes, you should still resistance train, but most of your focus should be on losing excess body fat and improving your nutrition to lower it as soon as you can.
What’s the big deal? I’m happy with my body
While a healthy self-esteem is fantastic, (and something I hope all my clients achieve sooner rather than later) there are many other reasons to get to a healthy weight range. Your body composition is indicative of your overall health status. (That’s why it’s called HEALTHY weight range)
When I do a body composition assessment, you are given a relative disease risk reading for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Included in the calculation is your age, your waist to hip ratio and your body fat percentage. People are usually surprised at their increased risk of these diseases simply because of their excess body fat. And if they have a family history of any of these conditions (which is not included in the calculation) their risk can be even higher. Add to that alcohol consumption, smoking and inactivity and the risk increases substantially.
If you’re overweight, sooner or later, you will suffer from problems related to that excess body fat; heart disease, stroke and diabetes are 3 examples. Others are some cancers and joint problems (yep dodgy knees, hips etc) are 2 more.
There are so many different programs and diets and many of them are good. But the one thing that determines your success in any of them is your ability to stick with them for the long term Yep, your compliance and consistency are what counts the most.
Here are some basic tips that you need to follow regardless of which plan or program you decide to follow:
CUT OUR JUNK FOOD AND ALCOHOL
What a tip to start. Yes, if you’re overweight and you want to lose that body fat, which you should, you need to stop eating take away (of any kind) and stop drinking alcohol (sorry, it’s bad news for body composition changes, unless you’re trying to get fatter)
An exercise program on its own won’t keep producing fat loss for long. But…….. part of your program should be to improve your health and your athleticism. So you need to move. Depending on your exact health history, your weight and body fat levels and any injuries or other conditions, exercise for you could mean walking, group fitness, boot camps, CrossFit, personal training, gym or exercising at home with an online training program or videos. Of course, my best suggestion for workouts that increase athleticism and decrease body fat are my own at FitterFaster Check out these options (and others) that we have just here in Maryborough.
EAT MORE SALADS AND VEGETABLES
Your mum was right. Veggies are good for you. No, they are great for you. If you’re not eating them, you’re not achieving great health. Adding more veggies and salads to at least your 3 main meals every day will help you to lose body fat, and improve your health without doing anything else. Don’t skip this. You need lots and lots of veggies and salad every day.
There are no magical secrets to losing excess body fat and improving your health. It takes commitment and consistency, especially if you’ve been overweight for some time. It may take longer than you’d like, but that’s okay. If you’re making progress, that’s what counts.
You can start any time at FitterFaster but I am running a 12 week transformation challenge from February 1st 2016. It’s called the Transform Together Project and you can find details here Registrations close on January 23rd