In the UK over 38% of the adult population is overweight, and a further 26% is obese. On top of that, among those with a healthy BMI there are many that are frustrated with fat deposits on parts of their body. Issues with excess weight are increasing among both men and women and aren’t limited to an age category.
Among those with a health BMI the most common areas of bother include the lower stomach, inner thighs, and flanks, but each person is different. With age many women see looser fat ‘hanging’ from the upper arms and men can get frustrated with slightly increasing moobs. Those who are overweight or obese often have issues with fat across the body.
Why are there so many issues with weight?
Its commonly said that weight is the simple calculation of energy in, energy out, but in reality managing weight is a bit more complex. Managing weight is more complex, because our lives aren’t always that easy and many factors influence how we live. For example our mental health, our mental wellbeing has a massive impact on our bodies, how our bodies process and store food and our relationship to food. On top of that is our general physical health. More and more we understand the difficulties caused by hormonal imbalances, diseases, conditions and disabilities in managing health and wellbeing. Even though mental and physical health are so important to factor in, still little help and support is available for those who suffer, and often people feel judged by those they reach out to for help.
As there has been such a stigma on mental health and obesity for such a long time, few avenues for support have been created, little is done in terms of food and wellbeing education, and people are often made to feel like they are at fault and failing. These negative emotions lead to demotivation and could all together cause people to give up all efforts to improve their health and wellbeing. Meanwhile, shops, advertising and TV shows all do their bit in promoting unhealthy living, putting temptation everywhere you look and providing false narratives on which foods are healthy. Increasing costs on healthy fresh foods and lower prices for high calorie processed goods with little nutrition further demotivate choosing for healthy options.
What help is there?
Some help can be accessed through the NHS, but most often individuals have to look at private options to get the support they need. Most may need to try multiple methods to find what works for them. In general, one should look for help to achieve good mental health, positive motivation, regular exercise they enjoy, and a healthy diet that is sustainable and not too strict.
For good mental health many avenues can be accessed, including counselling, CBT, meditation, yin yoga, support groups, and other types of therapy.
For positive motivation it’s important to surround yourself with the right people that encourage you, not judge you. You can also find positive motivation in self-care. Self-care can include getting a regular massage, getting your hair done or looking for specialist body treatments that can support your weight loss journey. Such treatments can include fat freezing, ultrasound cavitation, radiofrequency skin tightening, fat loss injections and the use of other fat reduction methods. The fat reduction specialists at Fat Freezing Manchester have stated; “fat reduction treatments are great to reduce build up fat in target areas, while ultrasound cavitation and radiofrequency treatments can improve the skin and reduce cellulite. No fat reduction treatment is an alternative to healthy living, eating well and exercising, and should only be considered in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle”.
Exercise is important. Everyone should move regularly, and there are no alternatives. However, exercise does not mean, go to the gym for two hours and do all the things that you hate to do. Exercise can be regular dog walking, going out dancing, yoga or pilates, a morning HIIT session in your living room, joining your neighbourhood badminton group, or anything else that you actually enjoy doing. Its about moving, moving your body regularly and in varying levels of intensity. It doesn’t have to be in the gym and in a dreaded gym outfit, you don’t have to hate what you do for it to count. In fact, if you find something that you love, you will be much more likely to keep it up!
Finally, and most importantly is a healthy diet. This is where many of us struggle the most. There is so much information and so many opinions, so many products and so many recipes that it’s incredibly difficult to know what is best for you. It can be so frustrating and demotivating trying different diets or different ways of managing your food intake when results don’t show quickly, not knowing if what you’re doing is helpful or harmful. On top of that, there are temptations everywhere, and so many aspects of life are centred around alcohol and food consumption that it may even feel like you have to give part of your social life just to hit your targets. If you struggle with diet and eating healthy in general then finding the right support isn’t a bad idea. A nutritionist, a dietician a support group or even some personal trainers and health coaches can help you structure your diet, and get you started with the best chance to succeed.