The danger of being overweight

With a New Year often comes goals for the year and research shows that the most common goal/resolution is to lose weight.

After the excesses of the holiday period it is easy to feel fired up come early January and determined to get back into healthy living. But, a month later, that determination often waivers and if you haven’t put strategies in place and worked on changing habits, all too often old habits slide back in.

There is often a fair bit of desperation too and some people resort to buying diet shakes and sachets from the chemist. Have you ever read the back of these? Looked at the ingredients? It’s not pretty, believe me.

Plus, looking at a supermarket mailer just now, I see that a box of 10 shakes is on special for $45. Really, would you pay $4.50 to ‘eat’ a totally processed shake instead of eating a much more satisfying and healthy meal.

Substituting real meals for these kinds of diet shakes and powders does not teach you anything. What happens when you get fed up, excuse the pun, of drinking them? Yes, that’s right, back to eating the wrong kind of food again with the consequent regain of any lost weight.

The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to learn what to eat, how much to eat, why to eat it – and then do it most of the time. End of lecture, but all too true. If you ask anyone who has lost weight and kept it off long term, I bet they made changes and have kept them.

It’s not only the emotional and social implications of carrying too much fat, it is the increasing health risks that come with it. With around 50-60% of New Zealand’s population now officially classified as overweight or obese, that has huge ramifications for our health services.

We don’t see enough warnings of being overweight or obese, such as a 50% increased risk of cancer, a 30% increased risk of heart attack or stroke, or an increased risk of sudden premature death, diabetes, liver disease, and many other illnesses.

A recent report in the British medical journal by Lancet analysed data from over 4 million individuals. It found that overweight individuals (those with a BMI greater than 25) had a significantly increased risk of early death, leading the authors to rank obesity as the second leading cause of premature death (outranked only by smoking).


Food has never been as abundant as it is today.

Unfortunately, a lot of that availability is from processed foods. We have become a nation of food grabbers. Grab a box or bottle of that, grab a takeaway, grab something quick and easy. In most cases that quick and easy food is likely to cause inflammation in your body.

The worst culprits for causing inflammation are highly processed carbohydrates; sugar, flour and all the products made from them, as well as the excess consumption of Omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury sets off inflammation, so when you continually spike your blood sugar through eating the wrong kind of food every day, it is like taking sandpaper to the inside of your blood vessels. That is a basic description of one action happening when you eat processed carbohydrates and poor quality fats.

Eventually, if your body fat continues to increase, especially in the abdominal area, it is very likely that you will become insulin resistant. From there fat starts to build up in the liver and pancreas and a whole lot of new health issues ensue. Fatty liver and fatty pancreas are present before the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. It’s not often that we actually think about what is happening inside us.

I heard a doctor say something the other day in respect of insulin resistance, “Walk towards a wall and if your belly hits the wall before your face does, you are insulin resistant.’ Belly fat is the most dangerous type and causes a whole pile of chemical and hormonal chaos.

Here’s another interesting little nugget: When you gain fat, your body requires more blood and it must make additional blood vessels within the fat to supply the extra oxygen and nutrients required. That means your heart has extra work to do, to pump that excess blood around the body. For every additional kilo you gain, your blood volume goes up by over 1%, about 60mls. Fortunately, when you lose fat, your body will break down and re-absorb the now unnecessary vessels. How clever is that?

This year I am all about helping clients move towards a more whole food, real food, less of the processed food way of living.

We can’t ignore the health implications of making poor food choices and I hope you want to be part of that movement.

Are you ready to make 2017 the year that you form a healthy lifestyle? Let’s get together now and write up some goals and a new nutrition plan and remember, please never feel awkward or embarrassed if you have re-gained weight, I am here to help, not judge. Please contact me now.



Posted on January 13, 2017 .