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Why Am I Overweight and What Can I Do About It?

Why am I overweight is the question that most Americans ask themselves today. Since nearly 70% of our adult society is overweight or obese, we must pay close attention to our lifestyle to begin changing our behavior before we develop preventable diseases, such as hypertension. With Mississippi being the leading state of obesity, it has now developed programs to motivate its citizens to get outdoors and exercise, as well as eat healthy meals every day.

There are several reasons for being overweight. It may be due to having pre-disposing conditions, such as Hypothyroidism which slows the functioning of our bodies, but it could also just be due to over-eating. Depending on your body type, you may need anywhere from 1500-2500 calories per day. Some people may need less if they are trying to lose weight and others may need more if they are trying to gain weight, but the biggest factor is your metabolism. If you refrain from eating foods for a long period of time, your metabolism will slow down.

Doctors and nutritionists recommend patients to eat every 4 hours to increase and improve their metabolism. People should eat three balanced meals from each of the basic food groups every day and have healthy snacks, such as an apple, between meals to keep their metabolism steady. The longer you wait to eat, the more your metabolism drops. The five basic food groups are vegetables, fruits, proteins, grains, and dairy. These all should be eaten within the proper serving size to prevent over-eating and consuming too many calories.

In addition to eating the proper amount of foods, people need to consume more water. Your water intake should be half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 200 pounds, you need to drink 100 ounces of water per day. Water is needed in our bodies to provide proper hydration and blood flow carrying nutrients to our organs for continued functioning and also removal of wastes products from our bodies.

Exercise is a huge factor that needs to be practiced daily. Doctors recommend patients get a minimum of thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day. This can be anything from jogging around your neighborhood to vacuuming your house to increase your heart rate. Strength training is also recommended to build muscles and lose fat around the body, such as in abdominal muscles and biceps of your arms. It is not recommended to exercise the same muscle groups every day to prevent overuse and fatigue to the muscles.

Adults should pay close attention to their eating and exercise behavior because children mimic what they see. Children in our society have a growing obesity rate that is closely following the adults. They are spending less time outside running and playing sports and more time indoors on the computer and playing video games. We need to re-introduce exercise in our school systems and in our communities to keep our youth active and healthy. This will prevent early-onset disorders, such as diabetes, caused by childhood obesity.

So if you feel you may be overweight, consult your doctor, and allow them to weigh you and take the proper measurements to determine your Body Mass Index (BMI). A normal BMI is between 18 and 25. If you are above this range, your doctor should put you on a weight loss program, or even refer you to a Nutritionist and/or Personal Trainer to assist you with losing weight. This is needed to prevent disorders that can plague your body systems, as well as decrease any metabolic syndromes that may have harmed your bodies due to the increased weight.