European Obesity Day 2018 will be held on Saturday 19 May and this year’s theme is Tackling Obesity Together. The campaign supports European citizens who are overweight and want to make lifestyle changes to manage their weight and improve their health. At Gym Plus we are committed to helping members achieve their fitness goals regardless of age, weight or current fitness level. So to highlight this year’s campaign, let’s talk about sustainable weight loss.
What is obesity?
Obesity means having excess body fat. This tissue is found mainly under the skin, as well as in deposits between the muscles and in the intestines. Our bodies aren’t designed to hold onto this excess body fat, which is why obesity is a major health issue.
Fat cells store toxins, produce inflammation and hormones and these can lead to chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension amongst others. Medical professionals use a number of factors to determine if a person is obese, including the body mass index (BMI). If someone has a BMI of 30 or higher they are considered to be obese. So how can we tackle excess fat and obesity?
Tackling obesity through diet
Firstly, we understand that losing weight is tough. It goes beyond counting calories and involves commitment, willpower, hard work and patience. The relationship between exercise, appetite and weight control is important to understand before embarking on a radical lifestyle change.
Research has shown that dieting alone, particularly extreme calorie restricting diets, can be counterproductive when trying to lose weight. Our bodies are designed to detect a lack of food as starvation, which slows down the basal metabolic rate (BMR). This results in fewer calories burned over time leading to a delay in weight loss. It also results in increased hunger, making it more difficult to stay committed to weight loss. Instead, small reductions in daily calories can lead to substantial weight loss over time.
- Track what you eat over the course of a week or two.
- Examine the sugar and salt content consumed in that time as well as the processed foods and saturated fats you eat.
- Aim to reduce the foods mentioned above, while eating more nutrient-dense (whole) foods on a daily basis.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and eat foods with unsaturated fats, higher protein, lower sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Cutting out even one high-sugar snack from your diet 1-2 days a week could lead to a weight loss of 7lbs over 12 months
Studies have shown that those who sustain weight loss over longer periods are statistically more likely to keep it off.
Exercise for weight reduction
In addition to food, inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity. Studies have shown that obese people tend to be more sedentary, which makes it harder to get rid of body fat. If you simply reduce your calorie intake to lose weight, without exercising, it can lead to muscle loss as well as fat loss. Including an exercise plan in your weight loss programme can help you burn more calories, accelerate weight loss and build muscle.
- Meeting with one of our Gym Plus trainers for a free consultation. They will create a tailored fitness plan for you based on your age, weight, abilities and fitness goals.
- The plan will detail a mix of aerobic exercises combined with resistance training to maximise fat loss.
- Exercises will vary depending on your abilities and may include walking, running, cycling and swimming.
- Additionally, we will build in specific weight lifting exercises to increase your strength, tone and muscle.
Focus on health at Gym Plus
At Gym Plus we encourage all members to focus on fitness in combination with a healthier, more balanced diet for sustainable weight loss. We understand that the gym can be an intimidating place for many people. We pride ourselves on creating a fun, friendly and accepting environment for all our members. Everyone is welcome and our certified trainers and instructors will work with you throughout your fitness journey to ensure you reach your goals.
Our own Gym Plus staff members have struggled with weight loss, making them even more passionate about helping club members reach their goals. Paula Lynch, General Manager and a fitness instructor at Gym Plus Cork has tackled her own weight loss. She shed three stone over a year through exercise and cutting back on sugar and processed foods. “Slow, steady weight loss, combined with exercise, is the only way to achieve long-lasting results” Paula advises. Paula followed a combination exercise plan to achieve a leaner physique using both cardio exercise and lifting weights.
Similarly, Gemma Conway, a group class instructor in Gym Plus Cork struggled for years with her weight before making the decision to tackle it head-on. Gemma trained hard over seven months, losing an impressive seven stone in that time. She was then inspired to become a personal trainer and fitness instructor. “One of the most important things I’ve realized on this journey is that it’s a lifestyle change, it’s not just for a set period of time,” Gemma reflects.
Finally, remember on European Obesity Day 2018 it’s not about being a certain size but about introducing small changes to your lifestyle. If you are ready to tackle your weight, we recommend first speaking to your doctor. Then why not meet with one of our friendly Gym Plus trainers to get your own tailored fitness plan and personalised nutrition advice.
Book in for a free session at your nearest Gym Plus and start your fitness journey today.