If you are obese at a young age, the chances of you dying young are greatly increased with some studies suggesting that obesity can steal 5-13 years of life (though once over the age of 65, being slightly overweight or obese carries much less risk), with risk growing along with degree of obesity and the establishment of weight relatable co-morbidities. And not only can obesity shorten your life, but it makes living it much more difficult as it dramatically increases the risk of developing all of the following associated conditions:
The good news is that many, if not all, of obesity's risks can be reduced or even eliminated with sustained weight-loss. In fact, losing just 10% of your current body weight decreases your risk of dying from an obesity related complication by as much as 35%!
Though there are many theories, there is no question that obesity is a disease that is hugely influenced by our environment, much of which is beyond our control, and even those things deemed within our control (what we eat, and what we do), are often influenced by factors we can't change. In terms of doing, we are certainly the most inactive society in history. Over the course of the past 100 years, we have worked tirelessly at finding new ways for us to do less work. We no longer have to mow lawns, open doors, climb stairs, wash clothes, wash dishes or get up to change a channel. Telephones are within constant reach, mailboxes are everywhere, and our jobs are far less physical. As a consequence, we burn far fewer daily calories. In terms of food, high calorie foods of course, are everywhere - from the gas station, to the corner store. Portion sizes have increased over 30% in the last twenty-years and that is not just at restaurants but at home as well. So in effect not only do we burn far fewer calories, but we consume far more.
Well, they store them of course. Our genes, trained for tens of thousands of years to protect us in times of famine, are extremely effective at storing energy, and storage of energy in the body means the storage of fat in our cells. It has only been the past 100 years where famine has not been a North American concern, and 100 years is simply not enough time for our genes to realize that for the foreseeable future, there is no need to worry. Therefore, in the face of all of these extra calories, our very efficient bodies continually store energy. In fact, they store it so well that currently close to 50% of Canadians and 65% of Americans are overweight.
The fact of the matter is that obesity is a highly complex disease not a state of mind or a failure of willpower. As a disease, obesity interacts with environment, genes, hormones, medications, behaviour and other medical conditions. Putting all of this complexity together means that some people simply have bodies that are more prone to gaining weight and less prone to losing it.
It is due to this complexity that quick fixes and fad diets do not work. Obesity is a complicated illness that is best treated by someone who is highly trained and educated in its causes and complications. Ideally that person should be a medical doctor with formal training in the treatment of obesity - a Bariatrician. Bariatricians have the skills and education to properly assess and determine whether or not you have a separate illness contributing to your weight or whether or not you are on the wrong medications or combinations of medications for your various existing medical conditions. As well, Bariatricians can design a weight-loss program geared specifically to you as well as have the skills and tools necessary to make sure that your weight loss is safe and effective.
To understand our program better, please take the time to read the other sections in the Science and Medicine portion of our website.
In terms of calories, they are very sneaky. Eating 30 calories a day more than you burn will cause you to gain more than 30 pounds over the course of 10 years! Of course that means over 20 years you will have gained over 60 pounds, and so on and so forth.
So how much is 30 calories? Not much at all. Even foods that are thought to be "good" for you have calories. All of the following foods contain 30 calories:
And it is even easier to find 30 calories in foods that are thought to be "bad" for you including:
How many of you know how many calories you burn in a daytime? If you do not know, how will you know if you are eating too many calories? The obvious answer is, "I will be gaining weight". This is true of course, but ideally knowing how many calories your body burns will help you plan your daily meals and physical activity. As well, you need to know how many calories are in the foods that you eat. At the Bariatric Medical Institute you will learn the answers to both of these questions.
Your weight loss with the Bariatric Medical Institute will be monitored carefully. Our physicians will be following your blood work to ensure that there are no dangerous shifts in your electrolytes; our dietitians will ensure that you receive sufficient calories to keep you from feeling hunger; and our fitness consultants will be teaching you how to increase the number of calories your body burns daily and minimize the slowing of your metabolism during your weight loss. We will use sophisticated medical instruments to measure and monitor your metabolic rate to determine how many calories your body is actually burning. We will also use body impedance analyses to monitor your lean body mass percentage to ensure that your weight-loss is not overly rapid.
At BMI we do not believe in setting unrealistic goals and in fact discourage our clients from setting any initial weight-loss goal higher than losing 10% of their body weight. We expect that by following our program you will lose between 1-3 pounds per week; any more than that puts you at risk of dangerously depleting your lean body mass, slowing your resting metabolic rate and sets you up for failure in maintaining your weight-loss, but more importantly losing faster would necessitate you adopting too strict a diet to sustain.
At BMI we know that while weight loss may be a simple equation, implementing it and sustaining it can be exceedingly hard. What we excel in is taking that equation and turning it into something that is not only easy to achieve, but more importantly, something that is easy to sustain.