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Self-help Advice on Body Weight

Written by Suzanne Leigh

How to avoid weight gain especially in certain areas of your body.losing weight in a particular area of your body


If you're slightly heavier and are big-boned or muscular, don't panic if your BMI or body mass index is slightly higher than it should be. Find out first where you're carrying your excess baggage. Generally a few pounds too many in the hips or thighs is not indicative of health problems, but an abdominal spare tire may signal problems.

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If your weight falls slightly above where it should for your height and you're big boned or muscular, there may be no cause for concern especially if your abdominal area is not proportionately large.
Use a tape measure to compare your belly and hip measurements. Your belly is bigger? It's time to cut the calories and consider an exercise program.
Excess weight in the thighs and hips is not linked to high blood pressure and heart disease - although you might not like the way it makes you look.
Excessive thinness, or thinness due to eating disorders, has been linked to osteoporosis, menstrual irregularity and infertility.
Extra fat in the abdomen is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, early heart disease and even certain types of cancer. Tummy fat can be exacerbated by alcohol and even smoking, so if you can't cut the calories, consider quitting other vices. Not sure if your middle is bigger than it should be? Use a tape measure to find out if your belly is bigger than your hips.

If your doctor has urged you to diet, remember that even a modest weight loss can have a significant effect on reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and high blood sugar, a marker for diabetes. It goes without saying that successful dieting is usually combined with an exercise program and is undertaken gradually. Make sure most of your calories come from grain products, vegetables and fruits. Avoid snacking on high-fat treats like chips and chocolate.

If your weight falls below the "fit and trim" area and you have sensible eating habits, you are probably healthy. However sudden, unexplained weight loss may be an early symptom of a potentially serious illness and should be checked with a doctor.

But thinness can also be associated with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Laxative abuse, self-induced vomiting and excessive exercise are indications of serious eating disorders. These conditions, which are significantly more common in women, have been linked to osteoporosis, menstrual irregularity and infertility.

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