Obesity is the principal cause for a variety of serious illnesses including heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. It also inclines to raise your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and makes you more potentially to acquire diabetes. Therefore, obesity is one of the most significant but preventable causes of death and disability among people.

The number of people in the United States who are overweight has increased dramatically over the last decade. Present day figures show that an estimated two thirds of adults and one fourth  of children and teenagers in the United States are overweight.

The number of calories you eat and the number of calories you use each day are the factors that control your body weight. Therefore, to lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you use. You can do this by becoming more physically active, by eating less or both. Your weight loss program should also help you make changes that you can adhere for the rest of your life.

How to determine if you are overweight

The most usual and easiest way to know if you are overweight is to determine your Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI looks at how much you should weigh based on your height. It is a relative comparison of the balance of fat vis-a-vis lean in your body.

You can find out your BMI by using the following formula below:

1.Divide your weight (in pounds) by your height (in inches) squared

2.Multiply the results of Step 1 by 705.

For example, if you are 5’3” (63 inches) and weigh 138 pounds, the equation looks like this:

BMI=(138/(63×63)) x705=24.5

Your BMI should be somewhere in the 19 to 25 range. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

If you decide that you need to lose weight, first, you should focus on eating a healthy diet. Determine what you are eating. To lose weight while remaining healthy, you should try to lose only about 1/2 to 1 pound a week. One pound equals 3,500 calories. So if you exercise off 500 calories per day, you will lose about a pound a week. Losing weight will be easier if you combine exercise with diet management and proper nutrition.

Proper exercise and a healthy diet, when combined, are the best means of losing and or maintaining your weight.