As a supplement to my new ebook, How to Eat Out, Lose Weight and Stay Healthy, I will be posting entries related to food, fitness and health. I hope the visitors to Vegan Eating Out will find that this information helps them make better choices about what to eat.
Fat is something we all joke about because it’s a common insecurity. Whether your butt won’t fit into those killer jeans you saw at the store or your belly is beginning to poke out of the bottom of your shirt, it’s easier for our self esteem if we just laugh it off. But fat can be a serious health issue. Too much of it and you may find yourself struggling with an assortment of complications. Arthritis, asthma, sleep apena, high blood pressure and diabetes are just a handful of the many ailments that having too much fat can bring. This is no laughing matter.
Even though we typically think of it as a nuisance, fat does have a purpose in our body. Fat acts as a reserve of energy for those times that we don’t have access to food. It also keeps the internal organs protected and warm. Fat actually plays many important roles from producing hormones to helping your immune system function.
So when does fat become a problem? To know the answer we first have to fix our misconceptions about what fat is. Fat in your body is not the same as the fat on a nutritional label. The fat in your body can be made from anything containing calories. That means dietary fat can become body fat, of course. But body fat is also created after eating carbohydrates, protein and sugar. Simply put, eating just about anything can lead to you gaining fat.
It’s when you overeat that your body fat becomes the cause of malaise. Your body uses up a certain amount of energy each day so that you can function. You know this burning of energy as your metabolism. When you eat food your body changes the calories in it into energy. If the food you’re consuming produces more energy than your metabolism will burn, you’re overeating. The United States FDA recommends that the average person should eat 2,000 calories per day.
So you’re aware that you might indulge yourself now and then and gain some weight. But how do you know if you’ll be stuck with a health issue because of it? A simple way to check is to look up your Body Mass Index (BMI). Taking into consideration your height and weight, a BMI chart will give you a general idea of how healthy your level of fat is. The U.S. Department of Health Services has a handy BMI calculator that gives you your results instantly. If your BMI indicates that you are overweight or obese it’s possible that you will have health problems unless you lose some weight.
Having a little jiggle to your body might make you and your loved ones giggle. It may not be something you’ll ever need to worry about. But until you know your BMI and understand the health risks associated with being overweight you shouldn’t take it lightly. Having too much fat causes too many serious health conditions to ignore.