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Obesity - What You Need to Know Before Planning a Regime to Lose Weight?

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Obesity - What You Need to Know Before Planning a Regime to Lose Weight?

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This article discusses about the fundamentals of planning a healthy weight loss.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 15, 2017
Reviewed AtFebruary 1, 2023

What Is Obesity?

A person is considered to be obese when their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Obesity is a complex disease that includes excessive body fat, and it is not just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that raises your risk of other diseases and health problems, like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. There are many reasons why some people have difficulty avoiding obesity.

A healthy weight loss program usually consists of:

  • A reasonable and realistic weight loss goal.

  • Regular physical activity.

  • A reduced-calorie and nutritionally balanced eating plan.

  • Lifestyle changes.

How Will You Know Which Weight Loss Plan Is Right For You?

Discuss weight loss with your doctor to decide on a goal. If you have to lose more weight, set a realistic intermediate goal, possibly 10 pounds, because even a small amount of weight loss can indeed lead to significant health benefits.

What Should One Do Before Starting a Weight Loss Plan?

Before starting a weight loss plan, you need to keep in mind that even small changes can make a big difference in your health. So, in addition to talking to your doctor, you should also do certain things before you start. First, you need to commit to the weight-loss plan. Second, consider speaking about this to people close to you because they can help monitor your progress and provide support. This vital act holds you accountable.

What Are the Complications of Obesity?

Obesity is linked to several complications such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes.

  • Infertility.

  • High blood pressure.

  • Stroke.

  • High cholesterol.

  • Heart disease.

  • Arthritis.

  • Certain cancers (breast, colon, and endometrial).

  • Gallbladder disease.

  • Chronic lower back pain.

  • Fatty liver disease.

  • Sleep apnea and other breathing problems.

  • Osteoarthritis, particularly of the knees.

What are the Common Tests and Procedures To Be Done Before Planning To Reduce Weight?

  • Body mass index (BMI): Calculated based on height and weight ratio. Thirty or more defines obesity.

  • Anthropometric evaluation: Tape measurement for circumference of waist and hips, calipers for skin folds.

  • Lab testing: To identify any underlying disease condition.

Most obese patients lose the will to try to lose weight because they feel that it will not help them much. They suspect that the slight weight losses that they have are not worth the effort. This is, however, not true. Even those minor weight losses help relax the blood pressure and relieve some insulin resistance. A more gradual weight loss is better because the person tends to keep it down more quickly after having weight loss in the first place. One also notices that even that small weight loss will help improve your mood and relax your tensions and tiredness.

The Goal of Any Weight Loss Therapy Is To:

  • Reduce the weight to the ideal or healthy weight.

  • Maintain the weight at the ideal or healthy body weight.

A Successful Weight Loss Regime Includes:

  • Increased physical exercise.

  • Managing the time you eat (i.e., eating at the right time every day).

  • Modifying the quantities you eat.

  • Changing the reasons why you eat.

  • Changing the attitude and behavior.

What Are the Risk Factors Involved With Your Obesity?

Obesity is a condition that involves many causes and risk factors. These factors may be related to the genes and genetic makeup of the person. Alternatively, the environment and the exercise schedule that a person follows may be a relevant risk factor. Psychological effects are essential, as the person trying to lose weight may be frustrated by attempts to lose weight and yet fail to lose weight or regain it as soon as the regime is stopped.

How Can We Find the Cause for Obesity?

One needs to find out one's causes of obesity to manage it and plan a regime for weight loss effectively. You should consider all the factors and the comorbidities such as coronary artery disease, dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids), and diabetes before planning to lose weight.

The Three Important Facts About Weight Loss Are:

  • The first is the weight.

  • The second is the body mass index (BMI). The BMI is based on your weight and height. Doctors usually consider BMI to be the best measure of your health risk.

  • The third is the weight loss in waist circumference. Body fat usually gets collected in your stomach area. This is related more to health risks than body fat that builds up in your thighs or buttocks. For this reason, your waist circumference is considered a valuable tool. To begin, place one end of a tape measure on the top of your hip bone, and wrap the other end around your stomach, making sure it is straight. The tape you placed should not be too tight or too loose.

How Is Obesity Managed?

Some medicines and surgery can be offered in selected cases. While managing the obesity issues and trying to help the person lose weight, the trainers and even many physicians follow a general set pattern that they prescribe to every person. No one is alike, and everyone needs a different set of exercises, doses of medicines, and even different counseling to help them stay motivated.

There is no single policy that applies to everyone. And it is wise to remember that the regime needs to be changed from person to person keeping in tune with the associated comorbidities, the extent of obesity, and the motivation levels of the person trying to lose weight. Even one's BMI (Body Mass Index) changes how a person will respond to a regime.

A spectrum of social, environmental, and psychological factors may work on the person's interest and motivation to exercise. One still has to go far in understanding obesity completely. Better strategies may be formulated with a better experience of the way obesity seemingly self-perpetuates itself.

A support system should be devised to help the person to stay motivated to lose weight. They should be educated about weight, the problems arising from it, and the regimes they can use to try and lose weight. Above all, they should be counseled to set realistic goals that are achievable and help them stay motivated. Missing out on the target may lead the person to be depressed further. And depression itself is a cause of weight gain.


Judgment should be carefully made as to what the person can and should achieve. The person and the regime planner should clearly understand each other's ideas and limitations to make the regime successful. Help should be sought from other health care professionals, including behavioral health coaches, nutritionists, exercise trainers, care coordinators, dieticians, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Things to Understand Before Starting a Weight Loss Program?

If a person is planning for a weight loss program, it is necessary to know some facts about weight loss:
Weight loss will not happen overnight; it will take time for the results to show up.
- No superfood will make the fat melt away.
- It is necessary to cut down on calories.
- To get good results, sweating is mandatory.
Adjustment to the new schedule will put an individual under stress.


What Are the Main Components of a Successful Weight Loss Program?

The main components of a successful weight loss program include:
- Suitable nutrition plan.
- Regular physical activity.
- Good sleeping habits.
- Good support system.


What Are the Things to Consider During Weight Loss?

The followings things should be considered during the weight loss program:
- Do not skip breakfast.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise is essential for burning more calories.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take high fiber content food.
- Avoid junk foods.
- Use small plates for meals.
- Cut down alcohol.


Which Vitamins and Minerals Are Important for Boosting Metabolism?

Few vitamins fasten metabolism and burn more calories; they are:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B complex.
- Magnesium.
- Calcium.


What Is the Best Weight Loss Program?

There are many weight loss programs available now; one should choose a program that suits their health and lifestyle; some best weight loss programs are:
- Mediterranean diet.
- DASH diet.
- WW (formerly Weight Watchers)
- Noom.
- PlateJoy.
- Plant-based diet.
- TLC diet.
- Mayo Clinic diet.
- Low carb diet.
- Vegetarian diet.
- Intermittent fasting.
- Anti-inflammatory diet.
- Pescatarian diet.
- MIND diet.


Who Is More Likely to Gain Excessive Weight?

Women (11.5%) are more prone to gain weight than men (6.9%). Severe obesity is recorded in people ages 40 to 59 (11.5%), followed by people aged between 20 to 39 (9.1%).


What Are the Complications of Being Obese?

Multiple complications: can accompany obesity.
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- High levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia).
- Stroke.
- Low quality of life
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Sleep apnea.
- Difficulty with physical functioning.
- Many types of cancer.
- Coronary heart disease.
- Breathing problems.
- Gallbladder disease.
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint).
- Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
- Body pain.


What Signs and Symptoms Do an Obese Person Show?

An obese person can exhibit the following signs and symptoms.
- Excess body fat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Skin problems.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Snoring.
- Fatigue.
- Body pain.
- Inability to do daily activities.


What Food Can Lead To Gaining Weight?

Some food items can lead to gaining more weight, which includes:
- Fried foods.
- Processed meat.
- Butter.
- Junk foods.
- Sweets and pastries.
- Sweetened beverages.
- Potatoes.


What Kind of Disease Is Obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease due to excessive body fat accumulation. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It is associated with a higher risk for severe medical disorders like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.


How Is Obesity Diagnosed?

The health care professionals will check the body mass index (BMI), which is used to determine the amount of body fat. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. BMI higher than 30 increases health risks even more.


What Are the Stages of Obesity?

Obesity is divided into the following categories:
Overweight (not obese): If BMI is 25.0 to 30
Class 1: BMI of 30 to 35.
Class 2: BMI of 35 to 40.
Class 3: BMI of 40 or higher.


Can Obesity Shorten a Person’s Life Expectancy?

Researchers have found that moderate obesity reduces life expectancy by about three years, and severe obesity can shorten a person's life by ten years.
Dr. Saumya Mittal
Dr. Saumya Mittal

Internal Medicine


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