| Article Summary:
So you are overweight, or weight is something you've battled your entire life. And your parents gave in to the battle making you wonder just how much of a struggle this is going to be through the upcoming years. If you've struggled with the battle of the bulge, you are not alone. In fact, an astounding 65% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.
What Is Obesity?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines obesity as a BMI > 30 (BMI = weight in kg/height in m2). BMI is a measure that was developed for assessing population-wide rates of overweight and obesity. It is not a tool that should be used to assess an individual (without using other parameters as well).
|BODY MASS INDEX CALCULATOR|
As a bodybuilder, you can see why - an awesome amount of muscle mass would tip you over into the obesity category, regardless of your body fat percentage. According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity means "having too much body fat."
Every bodybuilder should use that definition and throw BMI to the wayside.
What Causes Obesity?
The two primary factors are:
- Overconsumption of calories
- Too little physical activity
However, other factors may also come into play including:
- Certain diseases
- Lack of sleep
- Hormonal imbalances
- Certain drugs
Obesity increases one's risk for a number of diseases and disabilities. A few of these include:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Some forms of cancer
How Bodybuilding Can Help You Beat Obesity
If you love resistance training, you are in luck, bodybuilding is the ticket to keeping yourself healthy and keeping the fat weight off. Bodybuilding can help you decrease the many risk factors associated with obesity:
Lack Of Physical Activity:
Bodybuilding involves resistance training and aerobic exercise, both of which are crucial for helping you maintain a healthy weight.
- Resistance training builds muscle tissue which is more metabolically active than fat, meaning you burn more calories at rest. And, a good combination of aerobic and anaerobic training helps burn calories and bump up lipolysis (fat breakdown).
Excess Calorie Intake:
As a bodybuilder, you are keenly aware of how much food you need and what you need to eat at specific times (nutrient timing) to help you get the physique you are looking for. And, you stay away from junk as much as possible (nutrient-poor high sugar foods, man-made trans fatty acids and highly processed food).
Lack Of Sleep:
If you are a bodybuilder, you get the recommended 8 hours of good quality sleep each night (and sometimes add naps as well) because you know how important sleep is for recovery, growth and overall wellbeing. And sleeping right will also help you prevent obesity.
- Sleep debt, a lack of sleep over several days, can impair a person's ability to process glucose and disrupt hormone functioning. In addition, sleep deprivation can change the appetite regulating hormones, leptin and ghrelin, thereby increasing appetite.
Certain Antidepressant Medications:
Bodybuilding also helps you feel good about yourself. And the better you feel the less likely you are to need mood-enhancing medications such as antidepressants.
- Some antidepressants increase appetite and your potential to gain weight. (If you are under the guidance of a health care practitioner and on antidepressants, do not stop taking them. Instead, ask for advice on managing any potential side effects).
Additional Tips To Help You Beat Obesity
Tweak Your Diet:
There is a plethora of research out there on low fat diets vs. higher protein/low carb diets. Find what works for you and works for you for the long run.
Do What You Love:
Take Good Care Of Your Body:
Illness and injuries not only get in the way of your life but they get in the way of your workouts too. When something isn't right with your body, work on fixing it so you can remain active for a very long time to come.
Related Injury Prevention Articles:
Chronic stress can throw your hormones out of wack and you may eat in an effort to increase the production of certain feel-good hormones such as serotonin. If you tend to get stressed easily, start incorporating anti-stress activities and techniques into your life such as meditation, yoga and deep breathing.
If you think you need help to get a hold of the stressors in your life, see a therapist, counselor or mental health expert who specializes in stress management.
Bodybuilding is one of the best things you can do to help prevent obesity. The physical benefits - increased muscle and decreased fat have direct target obesity. And, the behaviors you change when you are a bodybuilder - eating a better diet, getting an adequate amount of quality sleep and taking care of yourself - all play a role in helping ward off the battle of the bulge.
About The Author:
Marie Spano is a leading authority on translating the latest nutrition and exercise science research into real life applications. Ms. Spano has also helped Olympic athletes, NFL-bound athletes and Fortune 500 executives enhance their health and performance through sound nutrition practices. For more information see: www.mariespano.com
- Overweight and obesity. CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/
- Obesity. NIH. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/obesity.html
- Understanding Adult Obesity. Weight Control Information Network. NIDDK. NIH. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/understanding.htm
- Knutson KL. Impact of sleep and sleep loss on glucose homeostasis and appetite regulation. Sleep Med Clin 2007;2(2): 187-197.