At the time of writing this piece (30th June 2002), almost one in five British men are classified as clinically obese. That works out at close to 17% of the whole male population are not just overweight, but they are overweight so much that their bulk is placing them at great risk of developing serious medical problems in the near future.
Not only is excess weight detrimental to our health, but it is also harmful to the economy and British business. According to the National Audit Report over 18 millions work days are lost, both directly and indirectly, to the state of our expanding waistlines.
Being obese (having a body fat percentage over and above 30 percent of your
total body weight) also causes many physiological problems including heart
disease, cardio-respiratory complications, diabetes Type II, high blood
pressure and impotence.
The best way to not develop these problems is to not become overweight in
the first place. That said, if you are overweight and you'd like to lose
excess body fat, all is not lost.
In order to lose weight effectively (without the aid of yo-yo dieting and
other less than ideal methods) we should aim to change our poor eating habits
and develop a more health conscious lifestyle. Our diet should include only
25 - 30 % of total calories from fat, with the the rest coming form carbohydrates
(50 - 60 %) and protein (15 - 20 %) and we should also aim to increase our
dietary source of soluble fibre (found in cereals and brown rice etc).
A healthily lifestyle may or may not mean joining a health club or gym,
but we should aim to increase our amount of daily physical activity. If
you have done little in the way of exercise for a prolonged period of time
(1 - 15 years) then let us suggest that your training programme starts with
gentle to brisk walking. If you have exercised in the past year then you
may benefit from employing a personal trainer work with you on improving
your overall diet and fitness levels.