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The weighty issue of weight gain and weight loss

Malta, like many other countries, is facing an issue with weight gain and obesity. Whilst many individuals maintain a relatively “normal” weight during their adolescence and early adulthood, some begin to gain weight as they age and struggle to maintain what was before their regular weight. Obesity is a complex condition caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioural factors. Some of the factors that may contribute to obesity in Malta include the following:

Poor diet

A diet that is high in calories, sugar, and fat can contribute to weight gain and obesity. As the nation faces the post-pandemic economy, nutrient-dense food may be expensive to many. People may also be working more hours to cope with the cost-of-living increase and have less time for home cooking, opting for cheaper takeaway options which are usually high in calories and fat and can therefore lead to weight gain. A sedentary lifestyle

Lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to weight gain and obesity. As mentioned above, people working longer hours may not have time to go to the gym every day or simply cannot afford gym memberships. Genetics Some people may be genetically predisposed to obesity. Some people may have inherited certain genetic variations that make it more difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight. Stress High levels of stress can lead to overeating and weight gain. Unbeknownst to you, your body holds on to large amounts of water weight when it feels under stress which can make a person look and feel bloated. Lack of sleep Poor sleep habits can contribute to weight gain and obesity as it can increase your appetite. The hormone that signals “fullness” to your body is created as you sleep, so less sleep = more cravings and fewer feelings of satiation.

How can obesity be avoided in adulthood? Eating a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help prevent obesity. Reducing refined starches and sugars in the diet has been scientifically proven to make the body burn more stored fat at rest.

Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, can help prevent weight gain and obesity. A person with more lean muscle mass content burns more calories at rest compared to someone with the same weight and less muscle. Aim to conduct 150 minutes of exercise weekly. That is just half an hour per day, 5 days a week.

Finding ways to manage stress, such as through meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques, can help prevent overeating and weight gain.

Joining a support group or working with a healthcare professional can provide the motivation and guidance needed to maintain a healthy weight, especially if the weight gain is the result of an underlying psychological or sociological issue, and The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate has a dedicated programme to help you.

Getting enough sleep each night can help regulate hormones that control appetite and prevent weight gain.

If you have been experiencing weight gain and are struggling to maintain a standard weight, do make use of the dedicated programme provided by The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate. For other medical health screenings, our health professionals at Clinipath Malta are here to help. Contact us on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on to book your consultation to decide the way forward today.

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