There’s a strong movement at the minute behind body positivity which is fantastic for people’s confidence and acceptance of our natural body in society. Yet, because of this movement, there’s now a confusion behind what’s actually healthy.
You can be happy with your body and still want to change it, and being happy with your body doesn’t mean that you can escape the negative consequences around being under or overweight.
When it comes to being under and overweight, these terms can be subjective or at least change dependent on who you ask. You can actually be under or overweight and be healthy.
For instance, someone who carries a large amount of muscle might be overweight, but that doesn’t mean that they’re unhealthy by any means.
When looking at those outside of the normal healthy boundaries, we also need to look at body composition and where that weight is coming from.
However, obesity is entirely different. Obesity refers directly to those who are at a damaging weight and body fat percentage for their health.
Because of this, they’re at a greater risk of heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, joint pains, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, certain types of cancer such as breast cancer and bowel cancer as well as a variety of psychological issues such as depression.
Because of this, healthy obesity isn’t a thing. If you are obese, then it’s not something you should be ashamed of or mean that you should feel bad about how you look, but it does mean that you’ll need to implement some changes in order to live a healthy, fulfilling life.
Now, some people can’t help their weight due to certain medications or medical complications. Yet, the majority of us have total control over our body composition and have no reason to be obese.
Thankfully, the larger you are and the unhealthier your weight and body composition is, the easier it is to make a difference.
Those who are carrying a large amount of fat outside of their natural preferences will find it far easier to lose fat than those who only have a small amount to lose.
The two causes of obesity are a high-calorie diet and a low-movement lifestyle. It’s extremely hard to become obese from eating wholesome, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and fish.
Therefore, the majority of those who are obese will have a large amount of their diet coming from takeaways, candy, chocolate, pastries, burgers, pizza, and other high-calorie processed foods.
Changing this is easy. You don’t need to worry about calories or the macronutrients of your food you just need to implement two changes: eat more protein and natural foods.
Each of your meals should include a protein and fibre source such as chicken and vegetables for dinner or eggs and fruit for breakfast. Make sure these protein sources are as lean as possible, and you’re not using any high-calorie sauce to improve the taste of the vegetables.
When it comes to movement, there’s no need to jump into any intensive exercise plan, you just need to focus on moving more than you did before. Find a style of exercise that you enjoy and try to complete 3 sessions a week.
There are a variety of options to choose from, so just pick the option that suits you best and you think you could stick with long-term. Yoga, weightlifting, squash, cycling, running, swimming, rowing, HIIT, and Pilates are all good options.
Outside of the gym, you should also try to move as much as possible such as by taking the stairs more often and walking when you can.
To answer the main question: no, there is no such thing as healthy obesity, but equally, you don’t need sculpted thighs or a rippling six-pack to be healthy either.
Aim to be in the regular weight range for your height and age whilst making sure to regularly check in with a doctor to get your health signs checked. This way you don’t need to worry about how you look as you can simply focus on being happy and healthy.