Excess weight has been implicated in a number of health conditions and diseases. For example, being overweight or obese increases the risk of diabetes and can also contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. When people are overweight or obese, it places excessive stress on joints, especially in the hip, knee and ankle, which can lead to degeneration of the cartilage and cause pain.
Although the mirror is usually a good tool, body weight alone isn’t always a good indicator. Someone who is very muscular may weigh more but not be too fat since muscles weigh more than fat. The body mass index (BMI) is a useful tool to determine how much of body weight is fat. BMI is a ratio calculated from comparing height to weight. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, while a range from 25 and 29.9 indicates overweight. Obesity occurs with a BMI of 30 or above.
Medical management is important in weight loss because some medical conditions (like low thyroid or excessive stress) can contribute to weight gain or make weight loss difficult. Women may also have trouble losing weight because they are designed for childbearing; gaining weight easily and retaining it even with less food is a survival trait that protects both mother and child. Each woman is a unique individual who needs a weight loss program tailored to her situation and health needs.
State-of-the-art equipment and software can “fingerprint” the patient. For example, the resting metabolic rate (RMR) is an indication of how many calories a person burns at rest. A high RMR means it will be easier to lose weight, so part of the treatment is to increase the RMR with exercise and by building muscle mass. Registered dieticians design customized meal plans that can be modified for personal likes and dislikes or cultural needs. Genetic testing helps identify what sort of weight loss program will work best for each patient.
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