Archive for the ‘Overweight’ category

Overweight and Pregnant: Is it Dangerous?

March 26th, 2011

Copyright 2011

Overweight and PregnantMany women are wondering if being overweight and pregnant can cause complications for their unborn child since obesity has increasingly become a greater problem in the Western world. Women obviously put on weight during pregnancy, but how much is too much? Should overweight women try to slim down before becoming pregnant, or will they put on more weight anyway? Is it safe for an overweight woman to undertake a weight loss program while pregnant? These questions are best answered by a doctor, as they may vary from case to case. However, read on to discover why it’s dangerous to be overweight and pregnant and what you can do to remedy the situation.

There’s no debate over the fact that being overweight and pregnant can cause complications. Not only are more women becoming pregnant while overweight or obese, but a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that women who were overweight prior to pregnancy are two to three times more likely to give birth to a child with serious complications such as spina bifida and heart disease. The study also found that weight gained before pregnancy will likely be more difficult to lose after childbirth. There are clear advantages to slimming down before becoming pregnant.

Many women, however, do not plan their pregnancies or don’t have time to lose weight before coming pregnant. While pregnancy is typically a time when women are advised that gaining weight is a necessity, some doctors, such as Paula Bernstein, an OB-GYN in Los Angeles, believe that women who are already overweight or obese should monitor their weight gain. Women who enter pregnancy at a healthy weight should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy, but women who are already overweight or obese are advised to only gain 15-25 pounds.

Pregnancy is not the time to start a weight loss diet or radical new exercise program. A developing baby needs the nutrients that its mother’s food provides, and cutting out calories means that the baby is being deprived of the raw materials that it needs for development. However, women who are concerned about being overweight or obese while pregnant can do things to lessen their chances of experiencing complications.

Overweight and Pregnant - eat healthy and control your weightEating a balanced and healthy diet which includes whole grains, vegetables, lean protein, and unsaturated fats will provide the developing baby with all the nutrients it needs while still aiding a pregnant woman in losing weight, or preventing her from gaining too much weight. Sensible cardiovascular exercises such as walking, swimming, and low-impact aerobics can also help in meeting pregnancy weight goals. In many cases, there’s no cause for alarm if an overweight woman loses weight while pregnant: her fat reserves can keep the developing baby well-fed. However, any weight loss should occur naturally as a result of a healthy diet and light exercise instead of a calorie-restricted diet intended specifically for weight loss.

While there are quite a few complications that overweight and pregnant women may experience , they should be careful not to engage in calorie cutting or heavy exercise. Any pregnancy diet plan should be discussed with a doctor or dietitian to make sure that the developing baby will still receive the nutrients he or she needs.

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Am I Overweight? Discover the Answer for Yourself

January 30th, 2011

Copyright 2011

Find the answer to the question "Am I Overweight?"If you are an American examining your diet and lifestyle, you may be wondering: am I overweight? Obesity is a major concern for adults and children today; it is rapidly making itself known as one of the most dangerous and prevalent health conditions among Americans. A person is considered overweight when his or her BMI, or body mass index, is between 25 and 29, and is considered obese when his or her BMI is greater than or equal to 30.

You may be wondering whether you have anything to worry about. There are plenty of factors to look into to consider whether you are overweight and to determine what you need to do to rectify the situation and ensure that you are in the best of health. Obesity can result in a higher propensity towards any number of health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, one of today’s leading killers of Americans.

To find out whether you are overweight, first take a look in the mirror.

Does your body seem out of proportion in terms of your body mass versus your frame? Are you especially heavy or fleshy around your abdomen, your hips and legs? Have you lost tone and definition of your musculature? If so, chances are you could be overweight.

Next, look at your lifestyle.

Finding out if you are overweight is the first step toward successful weight loss.What kinds of foods comprise your diet? If your diet consists of mostly foods that are high in calories from fats, sugars, and sodium, it’s likely that you are getting too much of the kinds of foods that lead to obesity and, ultimately, to diseases like diabetes. If you are getting too much of these foods, try replacing them with more fruits, vegetables, whole grain instead of white, and leaner meats.

Also consider the level of activity in your life. If you are living a mostly sedentary lifestyle– working at a desk, then going home without exercising– you are probably not getting enough activity and have a higher likelihood of being overweight. Try to get more exercise, if this is the case; start by including a brisk walk in your daily routine.

An easy way to tell whether you are overweight is to find out your BMI, or body mass index. The body mass index measures the factors of height and weight to assign you a numerical value, from which it can be determined whether you are technically underweight, normal, overweight or obese. A person is considered obese when his BMI is at or above 30. If you have a BMI in the range of 25-29, you are considered overweight. Take a look at this formula to determine your BMI:

BMI = (Weight in lbs. x 703) / (height in inches)squared

For example, a man is 5’8” tall and weighs 178 pounds.

BMI = (178 x 703) / (68)squared

BMI = (125,134) / (4,624)

BMI = 27.06

His weight falls in the overweight range.

You can also do this just as easily by finding an online BMI calculator, which will do these steps for you, and instantly tell you your BMI. Examine this advice carefully to answer the question, “am I overweight?” and then decide what you’re going to do about it.

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