Has obesity become normalised in South Africa? According to insights by the Discovery Vitality ObeCity Index 2017, more South Africans are obese today than twenty years ago – and this is costing South Africa R701 billion a year.
According to the same report, globally, 604 million adults and 108 million children are obese. In general, obesity was found to be more prevalent in women than in men of all age groups. In sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, the highest prevalence of obesity was recorded in South African women, at 42%.
September marks National Childhood Obesity Month and National Obesity Week is commemorated between 15 -19 October. “National Obesity Week is commemorated to increase awareness about the impact of obesity in the lives of South African,” says Renny Letswalo, Non-Executive Chairperson at Cambridge Weight Plan. So, just how much fat counts as obese?
Doctors use Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine how much of your body weight is fat. Guidelines can fluctuate but you should keep your BMI score as far below 25 as possible. A score of 25-30 is medically overweight and 30 or more is considered obese.
Waist ratio is another measurement you can use to check just how much unhealthy fat you are carrying. “Obesity’s effects can be felt in ones organs – impacting every aspect of the body. From liver causing diabetes, to the heart making it pump harder than it should, to brain health, to hormonal imbalances to certain cancers,” adds Letswalo.
It’s important to remember that the first step to losing weight and keeping it off lies with you. “You need to make an unequivocal decision to change the course of your health as obesity is a loaded gun waiting to trigger fundamental health conditions that the entire body system will be forced to fight. This kind of weight loss requires a complete lifestyle change,” adds Letswalo.
“Finding support during your weight loss journey will increase your chances of maintaining the weight loss, and achieving the consistency that is necessary to see results,” says Letswalo.
The Cambridge weight plan for example, offers one of the best diet plans in South Africa. Allowing you to lose weight steadily and maintain good health. Flexible weight loss meal plan programmes with customised delicious meals for both men and women are offered to set you on your path to weight loss success.
Tips and tricks to burn the fat
Low calorie diet
“The Cambridge Weight Plan is a low-calorie diet plan that has been developed by scientists. It gives enriched sustenance and balanced nutrition with safe fat-burning properties to ensure that you can achieve a healthy body weight quickly and easily,” says Letswalo.
Breaking old bad habits is never easy but is necessary when looking to achieve lifelong health. For example drinking water regularly instead of fizzy drinks will fast track your weight loss. Also, eating more vegetables and a healthy breakfast are habits that offer lasting results.
Being physically active is an important part of your weight loss journey and is key to managing your new weight long term. Choose a workout plan that is best for you and stick with it. Whether you choose to brisk walk, jog or take up a class of aerobics – exercise is vital. Doctors recommend that adults spend atleast 30 minutes, 5 times a week doing moderate exercise to maintain good health.
Reduce or stop drinking
If you truly want to lose weight, then it is highly recommended that you stop alcohol or reduce consumption considerably. Alcohol is very high in calories and has no significant nutritional value, additionally it is not recommended when following a reduced calorie diet.
“Losing weight and maintaining your desired weight is not without its challenges. It is a commitment you have to make every day. It requires time and effort and requires that you make permanent changes,” adds Letswalo.
But remember, no-one can make you lose weight, ask yourself what will give you the determination you need to stick to your weight loss plan?