Weight Loss Secrets: What Does Obese Look Like?

Weight loss is in the news every day. Today’s story was out of Washington State as one of the country’s largest ferry companies had to cut maximum occupancy of their boats by 250 people to comply with US Coastguard weight limits!One of the biggest obstacles to reversing the growing obesity epidemic in the U.S., where nearly 70% of the population is overweight or obese according to the Center for Disease Control, is that we’ve grown accustom to our girth.What does obese look like? Is it the grotesque slabs of fat that make it nearly impossible to move or fit in conventional public seating? Well, yes, but only in the most extreme cases.Obesity is defined by numbers on a universal scale called the Body Mass Index. Your BMI is calculated based on sex, weight and height and the resulting number tells you volumes about your health as it relates to your size.A healthy BMI is between 20-25. 25 to 30 is considered overweight and 30-35 is obese. Over 35 moves you into the morbidly obese group, which is where you see the extreme cases mentioned above.Most folks are shocked to learn their BMI puts them in the overweight (about 67% of Americans) or obese (about 34% of Americans) category. Many of us hide obesity with careful clothing choices (I know. I did this for many years) and because so many of us are overweight, XL+ has become the baseline.Obesity looks, well, normal by our standards today. A six-foot man should weigh, at most, about 180 pounds or so to sneak in under a BMI of 25 but by today’s standards well over half don’t even come close.Women fare just as bad, considering a 5’6″ gal should weigh about 150 pounds maximum.Even if we’ve grown accustomed to how we look despite carrying around 10, 20, 30 or even more pounds of excess fat we have not gotten used to it as far as how it affects our health. Overweight and obesity are directly linked to many chronic diseases like Type II Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, depression and more.Being overweight or obese slows you down and makes it harder to keep up with kids and grand kids or enjoy an active lifestyle.It slows you down at work, national studies show that obese employees can be up to 40% less productive. Employers are well aware of this statistic and are beginning to charge more for insurance premiums if your BMI puts you into the obese categories. This can also affect hiring and promotions. It may be illegal to discriminate, but it happens.If it looks normal, how do you tell if you are obese?There are many online BMI calculators that will discolse your BMI in seconds. You can also consult with a wellness coach who can also help you figure out your body fat levels and do a complete wellness evaluation to help you recognize any symptoms that you may have of the diseases caused by obesity.The up-side to addressing overweight and obesity is that you will feel great almost immediately. Tackling weight loss almost always results in better nutrition and in addition to weight loss you’ll have more energy and mental sharpness. You’ll notice that you feel better, get along with others better and get more done. It’s amazing!Don’t dismiss those few extra pounds as a consequence of age and don’t accept the next size up of clothing. These are warning signs, just like a nasty cough, suspicious mole or blood in your urine that something is very wrong.

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