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Weight Loss

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Are you overweight?
     The first step for weight loss is to evaluate your body weight in order to understand if you are overweight and the extent to which you're overweight. Once you have done this, you can then proceed to chose a weight loss program that suits your unique weight loss goals and your lifestyle. In addition, talk to a doctor about what an effective weight loss diet suits your individual needs.Evaluating your body weight is a simple task. There are two methods that most professionals use to assess body weight, and these can be easily used by individuals at home to assess their weight. These are the Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference.

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The Body mass index (BMI)

The Body Mass Index uses an individual's weight in relation to height to measure body fat. Using the Body Mass Index, weight is assessed using the following scale:

BMI between 18.5-24.9 - Healthy Weight
BMI between 25-29.9 - Overweight
BMI 30 or higher - Obese

Calculate your Body Mass Index

     It is important to keep in mind that not everyone whose BMI is in the "healthy" range is at their most healthy weight. Those people who carry excess fat, with little muscle, need to concentrate on losing body fat and increasing muscle. Some people may have a BMI just above the healthy range, but have lots of muscle and little fat. Generally speaking, however, the higher the BMI measure beyond the "healthy" range, the greater the health risks associated with body weight. Those people with a BMI above the healthy range should visit a health care practitioner to discuss potential weight related health risks.

Waist circumference

      Waist circumference is a measurement taken around the waist. Waist circumference introduces another factor relevant to body weight and health risks, namely body shape. "Apple" shapes carry most of their fat around the waist and upper body. "Pear" shapes carry most of their body fat around the hips, thighs and lower body. When assessing health risks, most health care providers consider a pear shape to be less harmful to health than apple shape, due to the fact that most apple shapes carry excess weight around the abdomen which increases health risks associated with overweight and obesity.

     Healthy weight women should have a waist circumference below 35 inches, while healthy weight men should measure under 40 inches. If your waist circumferences increases, you are most likely gaining body fat. Consult with a doctor, increase physical activity and decrease your intake of calories. In most cases, weight loss is not recommended for pregnant women. If you become pregnant while overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about your weight and follow professional advice. Weight loss surgery should always be a last resort, and should only be considered when obesity has contributed to serious health complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers excellent resources and information about weight loss, weight management and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. The American Obesity Association offers excellent advice and resources for encouraging weight loss in children and adults. Phentermine is the leading prescription medication used for the short term treatment of obesity.

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