Expanding waistlines is a growing problem in the United Kingdom (UK). According to government statistics, over 63% of adults are now classified as overweight or obese. This trend is particularly troublesome with the health risks associated with being overweight or obese, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Let’s look at some of the most significant factors contributing to weight gain in the UK and suggest ways that individuals can change their daily habits to get in shape and lose weight safely and sustainably.
Several factors contribute to weight gain. Things like not getting enough sleep, being stressed, and having a genetic predisposition to weight gain, can all contribute to the problems. However, some general trends can explain why so many people struggle with weight gain.
Reason One: People Are Living More Sedentary Lifestyles
One of the most significant factors contributing to weight gain in the modern world is the increasingly sedentary lifestyle many people lead. With desk jobs, long commutes, and technology at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that many spend most of their days sitting down. Unfortunately, this lack of movement can contribute to weight gain because it reduces the calories we burn.
It’s essential to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean you must start running marathons or hitting the gym daily. Instead, find small ways to increase your activity level, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk at lunchtime, or doing some gentle stretching exercises at your desk.
Reason Two: High-Calorie Diets
Another significant factor contributing to weight gain relates to daily food. More people are consuming too many calories by eating the wrong foods in too great a quantity. In addition, processed food – often the most convenient – are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to weight gain over time. There are also issues with portion sizes, which have generally increased over the years.
There is much more diet advice around these days, most of which recommend people start by making small changes to their diet. Choosing whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible can give you more control over the food you eat every day. Cooking meals from scratch using fresh ingredients eliminates many added sugars and salts contributing to weight gain and health issues. Also, be mindful of portion sizes, eat slowly, and watch your body’s hunger signals. Over time, these small changes can add up to significant weight loss.
Reason Three: Drinking Sugary Drinks & Alcohol
Sugary drinks add many calories to people’s diets, and alcohol consumption is notorious for leading to weight gain because it is high in calories. Alcohol also affects the body’s metabolism too. Things like wine and beer contain a lot of carbohydrates. The carbs in alcoholic drinks are processed differently than the nutrients we get from food. This is because the body prioritizes the metabolism of alcohol over the metabolism of food-derived carbs. This means that when alcohol is consumed, the body is more likely to store excess energy as fat. The other thing to remember is that alcohol can seriously increase appetite and lead to poor food choices too.
People tend to binge drink and then binge eat, which is a double whammy for weight gain. One of the best ways to start reducing your weight is to eliminate sugary drinks and alcohol, or at least reduce consumption.
What Can Be Done About Weight Gain & Obesity in The UK?
Weight gain in the UK is a complex issue, and there are often many contributing factors to the problem for individuals. It is important to note that small changes to daily habits can reverse this trend and achieve sustainable weight loss. People should incorporate more physical activity into their daily routines. Promoting choosing whole, unprocessed foods to improve diets is also a good idea.
There are several places people can go to for advice about losing weight safely and sustainably:
General Practitioner (GP): Your GP is a good starting point for advice about weight loss. They can assess your overall health and guide your diet and exercise based on your individual needs. The NHS provides a wealth of information on weight loss, including tips on healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management programs. They also have a free weight loss plan with a 12-week program and support.
Health and Fitness Professionals: an online personal trainer, fitness instructors, and other health professionals can guide physical activity and exercise routines that can help with weight loss. There are also support groups like weight watchers that can be a great resource for people trying to lose weight. They provide a community of people who are facing similar challenges and can offer encouragement, motivation, and accountability.
Remember, it’s important to seek advice from reliable and reputable sources. Avoid fad diets, extreme weight loss programs, and products that make unrealistic claims. Losing weight safely and sustainably takes time and effort, but it is achievable with the right support and guidance.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.