Overweight and obesity are defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can be detrimental to health. Moreover, it is a consequence of various serious diseases that could currently lead to the development of different types of cancers.

That is why preventing overweight is very important to gain health, both physically and psychologically. To know if we are overweight we must know our weight divided by our height squared. When the result is equal or lower than 25, our weight is correct, but if it is 26 to 29, then we can be overweight and it will go up. If you pass these figures we are talking about obesity.

A disease on alert

It is estimated that obesity is involved in one in 20 cases of cancer. In certain countries, the risk of being overweight is higher, especially in developed countries, and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), overweight is linked to the development of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can eventually lead to death.

Tips to prevent overweight

1. Eating a healthy diet

When we eat properly, i.e. based on the foods that are part of the Mediterranean diet, as recognised by the WHO, we can cope with and reduce our overweight. This means consuming seasonal and local products, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, etc. A varied and balanced diet is the best way to prevent overweight.

Otherwise, with a diet rich in animal protein, processed foods, fats and sugars, you develop overweight, and therefore, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, and pancreas or osteoarthritis problems.

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2. Practice regular exercise

Healthy eating is not enough to be healthy and lead an optimal lifestyle. To cope with overweight, weekly exercise is necessary. If it is daily then it is much better, but if we cannot then we will do it about three days a week.

There are many ways to play sports, from more specific routines at the gym, to swimming, dancing, walking… in short, moving. The practice of exercise should be instilled from a very young age, since overweight can already appear in children.

3. Fiber consumption

Among the foods that we will eat to cope with overweight are foods rich in fiber. We can find it in many foods, for example in fruits, vegetables, green and raw vegetables and whole grains. Fibre helps to regulate the bowel, make our digestions lighter and eliminate toxins more quickly. Tips against overweightPhoto: Steve Debenport / Istockphoto

4. Abandoning bad habits

A sedentary lifestyle causes the increase of overweight in the population. And if we add to this smoking and drinking, then the risk is greater. Living a healthy life means giving up tobacco and alcohol. In the same way we will reduce the consumption of salt, fat, and sugars.

5. Complete breakfast

Many people think that not eating breakfast is a good habit and that it allows them to lose weight. But this statement is not correct because a hearty breakfast is recommended in order to have the necessary strength. Then you can eat something in the middle of the morning, have lunch, a snack and finally dinner.

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That is, you can have 5 meals a day, but a moderate amount (except for breakfast, which must be very complete).

6. Always chew slowly without rushing

It’s true that we eat very fast these days because of the standard of living we have. Still we must try to eat slowly, to taste the food and chew properly.

7. Diets always with the recognition of a professional

If we’ve thought about dieting to reduce fat, we can’t do it on our own. We will need the advice of a professional to follow the diet that we require. Each person is different and there are no general diets that are suitable for everyone.

8. Educating from home, school or society

A good diet and continuous exercise is something that should be instilled from childhood at home. It is part of an education not to encourage overweight. It starts at home, in the whole family, continues in school and continues in other social groups. Tricks against child overweightPhoto: oksun70 / Istockphoto

How to know if we are overweight

To find out whether or not we have excess fat, it is extremely useful to apply one of the most commonly used formulas in this regard (you can also use our BMI calculator).

As you know, to make this calculation you must use the weight (in kilos), divided by the size (in meters) squared. If the result is equal to or less than 25, we are not overweight (there are normopesos). If it is between 26 and 29, there is overweight. If it is 30 or more, we are already obese.