Weight Management & Body Image


The United States is the fattest nations on Earth. Overweight and obesity have become the fifth leading risks for global death. Obesity affects young and old, rich and poor, rural and urban, educated and uneducated in the United States. Obesogenic is the increased food intake, nonhealthful foods, and physical inactivity that have been increasing in our society. Obesity has tripled among children and doubled among adults in the last decade. More than 68% of U.S adults are overweight or obese. Obesity comes with many health risks like heart disease, diabetes. The obesity rates of children who are between the ages of 2 and 5 have dropped significantly. Some reasons for this drop includes greater pubic awareness; more options for healthy foods in child care centers, restaurants, and grocery stores; improved labeling; improvements in physical activity programs; and decreases in sugar consumption. However, low parental education, low-income, and higher unemployment are related to increased risk of overweight/obesity in youth.

Obesity has been rapidly gaining ground on health problems. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, depression, digestive problems, gallstones, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and other life threatening are related to obesity and overweight of people. Diabetes is strongly associated with obesity and overweight, which is a major concern. 26 million American are diabetic and 79 million adults are pre-diabetic. Some psychological effects with obesity and overweight are depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor body image, and suicidal acts and thoughts. Some other subtle consequences with obesity and overweight are binge eating and unhealthy weight-control practices; lack of adequate health care due to doctors spending less time with and doing fewer interventions on overweight patients and doctors reluctance to perform preventive health screenings; and reluctance to visit the doctors and get necessary preventive health care services.

Genetics, physiology, and environment all play a role on your body weight. Body type and Genes: Children whose parents are obese tend to be overweight. Both genetics and the gene, environment interaction is thought to paly a role in body composition. FTO gene may be the most important. FTO gene people may graze on food more often and eat more meals and consume more calories every day. Another gene theory is the thrifty gene. Thrifty gene theory is higher body fat and obesity levels in certain Indian and African Tribes. The theory is that their ancestors struggled through centuries of famine and survived by adapting with slowed metabolism. People may be genetically programmed to burn fewer calories.

Physiological Factors: The number of calories consumes is important, but metabolism also helps determine weight. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimum rate at which the body uses energy when working to maintain basic vital functions. The average of a healthy adult is 1,200 or 1,800 calories per day. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) includes BMR plus any energy expended through daily sedentary activates. Exercise metabolic rate (EMR) accounts for all remaining daily calorie expenditures. The younger you are, the higher your BMR. BMR is the highest during infancy, puberty, and pregnancy. After age 30, a person’s BMR slows down by 1 to 2% a year. Middle-aged people struggle with weight gain because of they are less activate, shifting priorities from fitness to family and career, and loss in muscle mass. Some researchers say that the hypothalamus monitors levels of certain nutrients in the blood. Which when they fall the brain signals to eat. One theory is that an obese person’s monitoring system make cues to eat more frequent and intensely than others. Adaptive thermogenesis, another theory, is when the brain slows metabolic activity and energy expenditure as a form of defensive protection against starvation. Adaptive thermogenesis make is difficult to lose weight. Another theory is the set point theory. The set point theory is our body to fight to maintain our weight around a narrow range or at a set point. Yo-yo diets, repeat gain weight then lose it quickly, is not a good idea. This type of dieting actually lowers BMR, which will make a person regain pounds lost and/or adding more.

Environmental Factors: Some of our daily activities can lead to weight gain. Sitting more and moving less contribute to weight gain. Adverting of unhealthy. High-calorie foods and increasing portion sizes contributes to weight gain. Eating out more. Misleading food-labels confuse people about portion and serving sizes.

Socioeconomic factors affect weight control. People tend to eat inexpensive, high-calorie processed food when economic times are tough. People who are living in poverty have less access to fresh, nutrient-dense foods. People who have less time to cook nutritious meals due to longer commutes, shiftwork, or multiple jobs also have affects on weight control. Unsafe neighborhoods make it difficult for people to get exercise in.

Everyone has their own ideal weight, based on body structure, height, and fat distribution. These charts can be misleading because they do not take body composition. A more accurate measures of evaluating healthy weight and disease risk focus on a person’s percentage of body fat and how that fat is distributed in his or her body. Some fat is essential for healthy body functioning. Fat regulates body temperature, cushions and insulates organs and tissues, and is the body’s main source of stored energy. There are two types of fat, essential and storage. Essential fat is necessary for maintenance of life and reproductive functions. Storage fat in nonessential fat. Overweight is increased body weight due to excess fat that exceeds healthy recommendations. Obesity refers to body weight that greatly exceeds health recommendations. Overweight is 1 to 19% above someone’s ideal weight. Obesity is 20% or more above someone’s ideal weight. Morbidly obese is 100% or more about someone’s ideal weight. Men’s bodies usually contain between 8 to 20% total body fat. Women’s bodies usually range 20 to 30% total body fat. Some men and women maybe underweight, men 3 to 7% body fat and women 8 to 20% body fat. Being underweight can seriously compromise health. Low body fat can cause hair loss, visual disturbances, skin problems, tendency to fracture bones easily, digestive system disturbances, heart irregularities, gastrointestinal problems, difficulties in maintaining body temperature, and amenorrhea (women).

Body mass index (BMI) is a description of body weight relative to height, numbers highly correlated with total body fat. To find BMI: weight (kg)/height squared (m2). BMI vary with age and sex. Some tables of BMI do not account some key variables. Healthy weight is having a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. Overweight is a BMI of 25 to 29.9, which has significant health risks. BMI of 30 or above is obese. BMI of 40 to 49.9 is morbidly obese. Super obese is a BMI of 50 or higher. There is about 3% of obese men and 7% of obese women are morbidly obese. BMI level does not include water, muscle, and bone mass or account for the fact that muscle weighs more than fat. BMI is inaccurate for people who are less than 5 feet tall or are older and have little muscle mass. Carrying your fat may be more important than knowing how much fat you have. Men and postmenopausal women store fat in the abdominal area. Premenopausal women store fat in the hips, buttocks, and thighs. A waist circumference measurement is increasingly recognized as a useful tool in assessing abdominal fat. Abdominal fat is more life treating to health that fat in other regions. Waist circumference increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke increases. Men who have a waistline greater than 40 inches and women who have 35 inches have a greater health risk. Waist-to-hip ratio measures regional fat distribution. Men who have greater than 1 and 0.8 in women in waist-to-hip ratio increase in health risks. Waist-to-hip ratio is inexpensive and accurate but it is less practical to use in clinical settings and believe that for most people, waist circumference and BMI are sufficient. Other body fat measurements tools are underwater weighing, skin folds, bioelectrical impedance analysis, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and bod pod.

Calories are a unit of measures that indicates the amount of energy gained from food or expended through activities. If you consume more than 3500 calories, you will gain a pound of fat. However if you body expends an extra 3,500 calories, you lose a pound of fat. Any increase in the intensity, frequency, and duration of daily exercise can have a significant impact on total calorie expenditure because lean tissue or muscle is more metabolically active than fat tissue. There is three factors depend on the number of calories spent: 1. The number and proportion of muscles used 2. The amount of weight moved 3. The length of time the activity takes. Programs like weight watchers and the Mediterranean diets are effective towards weight loss. Supportive friends, relatives, community resources, and policies that support healthy food choices and exercise options all increase the likelihood of successful weight lost. Making a plan, changing your habits, and incorporating exercise will make weight loss and management successful.  Depression, stress, cultural influences, and the availability of high-fat, high-calorie foods can also make weight loss harder.

A very-low-calorie diets(VLCDs) should never be untaken with strict medical supervision. A dangerous complication of VLDs or starvation diets is ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is when a person’s blood becomes more acidic, which causes severe damage to body tissue. Some diet drugs may cause, heart attacks, heart value problems, stroke, and liver damage. Some diet drugs and supplements to be aware and caution of; Human chorionic ganadotropin, sibutramine, hoodia gordonii, and herbal weight-loss aids.

Body image have several components:

  • How you see yourself in your mind
  • What you believe about your  appearance
  • How you feel about your body
  • How you sense and control your body as you move

Many people have issues with their body image. Personally I have some issues of the way I will my body. Currently I am not happy with the way that my body looks. Yes, I am working towards fell comfortable with myself. Right now I would put myself in the category of negative body imaging, either distorted perception of your shape or feeling  of discomfort, shame, or anxiety about your body. I have very uncomfortable about my body and the way I look. Sometimes I do feel shame and disgusted. My goal is to have a positive body image, true perception of you appearance. I have been working on my body image by eating healthier, talking about myself in a positive way, kicking out the negative thoughts,working on my emotions, and exercising more.

Eating disorders a diagnosis that can be applied only by a physician to a a patients who exhibits severe disturbances in thoughts, behaviors, and body functioning. APA defines several eating disorders:

  • anorexia nervosa: persistent, chronic, characterized by deliberate food restriction and severe, life-threatening weight loss. Self-stravtion motivated by an intense fear of gaining weight along with an extremely distorted body image. People who have this eating disorder eats very little, may purge through vomiting or use of laxatives. Physical symptoms and negative health consequences; heart attacks and seizures, blood levels of iron and electrolytes fall dangerously low, depression, anxiety, fatigue, poor sleep, muscle tissue lost, and other negative side effects. Highest death rate, 20%, of any psychological illness
  • bulimia nervosa: binge on huge amounts of food and then engage in some kind of purging or “compensatory behavior”. “hidden” from public eye. Physical symptoms and negative health consequences; throat becomes inflamed and glands in the face, neck, and jaw become swollen and sore, tooth enamel erodes, esophagus can become inflamed or rupture, rebound constipation, kidney malfunction and dehydration.
  • binge-eating disorder: gorge on food. Diagnosing this disease someone must at least exhibit three or more of these behaviors: 1. eating much more rapidly than normal; 2. eating until uncomfortably full; 3. eating large amounts when not physically hungry; 4. eating alone because of embarrassment over how much one is eating; 5. feeling disgusted, depressed, or very guilty after overeating. Without treatment 20% of people will die.

This chapter relates to my health aspect of clean eating. I know that I have some work on do on my thought about my body image and clean eating will help me get there. I need to start feeling better about myself. Every Tuesday, I work with my dietitian Andrea at A Healthy Balance Inc in Quincy. I have been working with her for the past year. During the past year, I have had a better handle on my relationship with food. I have not lost a lot, but I do not let this discourage me. The other day I was having a conversation with Andrea and I realized that I know the scale hasn’t moved in mouths but I have come a long way. Usually when I use a lot of weight, I gain it all back  and they bring some extra friends with them. The past year I have be at a stable weight, yes its not where I would like to be, but I have been MAINTAINING! Which I would have never have done in the past. So I feel like that is a HUGE WIN!

This week has been going a lot better. I have been back on track and been tracking in my FitnessPal, which I haven’t really been doing. This past Tuesday was my monthly check in, measurements and BMI. I have gained found of muscle and lost a pound of fat. The scale really haven’t move but I am not with that. I have not been focusing one the scale as much as I have in the past. Keeping the motivation doing for this week! 🙂

Here is the a picture of myself and the two little boys I have nanny for 6 years! img_4410


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