It’s easy gaining weight. Heck, there are lots of delicious temptations all around us! What’s difficult is shedding the unwanted pounds and keeping them off. Admit it, we all want to eat what we want, but no one wants to be overweight or obese.
Obesity is one of the leading problems many Americans face today. Nearly two-thirds of adults are obese. Even children are sucked into this scary epidemic. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in young children and quadrupled in adolescents.
The number one cause of being overweight and obesity is the hugely popular fast food that the country is currently living on. Unhealthy snacks are rampant in today’s society. This is because they are so accessible and cheap. No one wants to take the time to whip up a healthy meal or a healthy smoothie.
Difference between Overweight and Obesity
Yes, there certainly is a difference. It all comes down to body mass index (BMI). You are considered overweight if you have a BMI of 25-29.9. As soon as your BMI hits 30, then you’re considered obese.
Obesity is a medical condition wherein excess body fat has accumulated, and this leads to negative effects on your overall health. It can lead to complications that can reduce life expectancy and increase other forms of health conditions.
Signs to Watch Out For
Your Face Looks a Little Rounder
They say that it always starts with the face. When your face looks bloated and pale, it’s a sign that you’re getting fat. In addition, that telltale double chin is another indication that those unwanted pounds are seeping in.
Your Waist Circumference Has Increased Too Much
It’s normal that we all gain weight. That’s a fact of life. But gaining too much weight is an entirely different thing. When you see that a not-so-old pair of jeans just don’t fit you the way it did before, then drop that cupcake, honey.
When you start gaining weight, the excess fat tend to get stored around the hips and belly. Office workers who spend practically the entire day on their desks also start gaining weight around the waist.
You Snore Too Loud
If your partner complains that you’re starting to snore every night (and you never used to before), pay attention. You may have sleep apnea. This is a condition where irregular breathing can disturb your sleep. Excess weight around the neck causes this. It narrows the airway and leads to shallow breathing or pauses in breathing. This is because there is decreased oxygen in the blood.
According to WebMD, the most common cause of sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity.
You Seem to Be Always Hungry
A significant increase in appetite is a possible symptom of weight gain. More so if you are specifically craving for desserts and sweets. Having extra body weight can make you stressed and depressed, thus making you want to turn to comfort food.
When you feel stressed and depressed, the adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol. This leads to the increase in appetite.
Everyday Activities Take Your Breath Away
And I don’t mean this in a good, romantic way. If you find that doing normal, everyday activities tire you out easily, then you are packing on excess weight. These activities include climbing stairs, doing grocery shopping, even cooking.
Extra fat in your body causes inflammation. This leads to a perpetual state of fatigue and tiredness. Also, your respiratory capacity for muscle function decreases.
You Tend to Avoid Public Gatherings
You’re starting to live like a hermit, meaning you don’t want to see other people. Or maybe…you don’t want other people to see you?
Having extra weight gives you personal issues. You feel ashamed and lack confidence, thinking that people are going to make fun of you and all the weight that you gained. So in order not to be made fun of, you decide to drop from the face of the earth.
You Have Tender Spots Everywhere
Being overweight causes inflammation. Inflammation makes the fatty tissue beneath your skin feel tender to the touch. This leads to spotty bruising. If you easily feel pain (like bruising) in random places in your body, it’s time to lose some weight.
You Have Stretch Marks
Another sign of being overweight is stretch marks. Stretch marks are fine lines or stripes on the skin. They usually have a different hue from the surrounding skin.
Extra fat can lead the tissue under your skin to stretch. Therefore, it loses its elasticity more easily. Some people tend to get stretch marks at the slightest gain of weight. So if you start seeing those parallel lines on your body, then that’s a sure sign you’re gaining weight.
Your Joints Hurt
Excess weight can add extra pressure on joints. This wears down the tissue around them. This in turn makes moving first uncomfortable, then painful. The heavier you become, the more your joints will suffer, specifically the knees, back, and hips.
You Have Sore Feet
When your feet tend to get sore easily, this is a sure sign you are getting overweight. Take note that your feet carry the weight of your entire body. Excess weight will wear your feet out, and they get sore and swollen. The swelling is due to the buildup of fluid in the tissues. This fluid collects mostly in the feet.
Side Effects of Being Overweight
You have to be careful when you start gaining too much weight too soon. A multitude of side effects can occur:
Overweight people are prone to get headaches, stroke, dementia, vision loss from diabetes complications, false brain tumors, and diabetic neuropathy.
Excess weight contributes to depression, anxiety, unnecessary stress, and eating disorders.
Respiratory side effects include asthma, sleep apnea, pulmonary embolism, and pulmonary hypertension.
Being overweight leads to possible kidney cancer and diabetic kidney disease.
There are many circulatory side effects in overweight individuals. First, these include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, irregular heartbeat, and atherosclerosis. In addition, there’s also the possibility of heart attack, heart failure, poor circulation, leg and ankle swelling, blood clots, peripheral artery disease, and certain lymph node cancers.
Overweight individuals can get arthritis (especially the hips, knees, and ankles), low back pain, and vertebral disk disease.
There are many side effects here as well. These include reflux disease, esophageal cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, gallstones, liver cancer, and gallbladder cancer.
For the pancreas, being overweight causes pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Overweight individuals get vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Last are the reproductive side effects. First, for the women, they can experience irregular menstruation, infertility, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Finally, for men, they could get erectile dysfunction, infertility, and prostate cancer.