Weight Loss in adults
Weight gain is usually due to the intake of high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugar, and not enough physical activity to burn off the energy, resulting in excess energy being stored as fat. Being overweight or obese can cause physical changes as well as increase your risk of severe health conditions. To understand the condition, you need to know the different classification of body weight and how they are calculated.
What is BMI?
BMI stands for Body mass index, it is the most widely used measure to check if your body weight is healthy. It is calculated using your body weight and height. You can work out your body mass index (BMI) using the NHS BMI calculator by following the link below.
The adult population can vary in terms of their BMI but generally for an adult, a BMI of:
- 18.5 to 24.9 means you’re a healthy weight
- 25 to 29.9 means you’re overweight
- 30 to 39.9 means you’re obese
- 40 or above means you’re severely obese
The BMI is used as a useful indicator of whether an individual is of a healthy weight. It is not used for diagnosing obesity as factors such as the high amount of muscle mass in some individuals can result in a high BMI without much fat.
What are the main causes of obesity?
There is a range of causes for obesity. The most common one is lifestyle-related, high energy intake through poor diet control and not enough physical activity to burn off the energy. This results in excess energy being stored as fat. With the rise in fast food culture and a reduction in outdoor activities, one in four adults are estimated to be affected by obesity in their life-time.
Poor diet is the main culprit in weight gain. The factors that can result in poor diet include:
- Eating a large amount of fast food that is high in sugars and fat.
- Drinking excessive alcohol as it is high in calories.
- Eating out which might include high energy starters and deserts.
- Eating larger portions than recommended.
- Consuming sugary drinks that are high in energy.
Lack of physical activity is another major factor in obesity. Combined with a high intake of energy, it results in excess energy being stored as fat. The rising use of computer games and the internet, people are less active in general. Also, people in occupations which requires them to sit behind a desk or car are not doing enough physical activities. This is contributing to the rise in obesity.
Some medical conditions and medicines can also contribute to weight gain. Examples of such conditions include underactive thyroid glands where your thyroid glands do not produce enough hormone. Some medications such as corticosteroids can result in weight gain. However, when these medical conditions are properly diagnosed and treated, they should not become a barrier to weight loss.
What are the main treatment options for weight loss?
Weight loss is a gradual process that needs to be done in a sustainable way. It involves a healthy diet and regular physical exercise. You can have a discussion with your GP if you are obese or severely obese to find out what help is available to you locally.
If you find that you need help with your weight loss, there are a number of treatments available that can help with your weight loss if used alongside a healthy diet and regular physical exercise. The suitability of these treatments will be assessed by the healthcare professionals during a consultation.Orlistat Capsule (Xenical) – this is a widely used medication in obese patients. It works by preventing the absorption of a third of the fat from the food. The undigested fat is excreted from the body in the poo. This will help you with avoiding gaining weight.
Saxenda® – the weight loss injection when used with a low-calorie diet and regular physical exercise can help individuals with weight loss. It works by increasing the feeling of fullness, decreases hunger and therefore reducing food intake. You will need to have a consultation and regular reviews with a healthcare professional to assess your suitability for this treatment.