Women who are morbidly obese have difficulty breathing and walking and are at greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Losing 10 percent of your weight lowers disease risk factors. A program combining diet, supplements, exercise and behavior modification tailored to your needs enables you to achieve short-term and long-lasting results. Consult your doctor about the best diet for you.
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Morbid obesity in women is defined as being at least 100 pounds over the ideal body weight for your height, having a body mass index -- BMI -- of 40 or more, or having a BMI of 35 concurrent with diabetes or high blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week by lowering the amount of calories you consume by between 500 and 1,000 calories per day or by consuming a low-calorie daily diet that contains between 1,000 and 1,200 calories or between 1,200 and 1,600 calories if you weigh more than 165 pounds or exercise regularly. Taking nutritional supplements can ensure you fulfill all of the recommended daily allowances for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Fat contributes 9 calories per gram. Limit your fat intake to 30 percent or less of total calories, consisting of less than 10 percent of calories from saturated and trans fats and the remaining calories from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fats in meat and dairy and trans fats in processed foods increase your risk of heart disease, whereas polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts and fish, and monounsaturated fats in olive oil and avocados reduce your risk of heart disease and may help you lose weight. According to research published in "Diabetes" in October 2010, scientists at Mochida Pharmaceutical in Shizuoka, Japan discovered eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, has anti-obesity effects that suppress weight gain and buildup of fat and blood sugar in obese mice fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet.
Limit carbohydrate intake to 55 percent of total calories. Eat low glycemic whole grains, such as barley, and avoid high glycemic refined grains, such as white bread. Glycemic index measures how quickly your body absorbs sugar from foods into your blood. A high glycemic index diet increases cardiovascular disease risk in overweight women, according to research by scientists at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, The Netherlands and published in the "Journal of the American College of Cardiology" in July 2007.
Eat lean proteins that contribute 15 percent of total calories. Eating soy can reduce your risk of obesity comorbidities, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. Scientists at University Hospital in Freiburg, Germany found caloric restriction with a soy-protein-enriched diet results in greater loss of weight and fat among obese women compared to a standard moderate-fat, balanced nutrient reduction diet, according to research published in the "International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders" in October 2004.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- University of Rochester Medical Center; What Is Morbid Obesity?
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; The Practical Guide: Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults
- The Regents of the University of California; Calories Count
- Harvard School of Public Health; Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, in with the Good
- Diabetes; Antiobesity Effect of Eicosapentaenoic Acid in High-Fat/High-Sucrose Diet-Induced Obesity: Importance of Hepatic Lipogenesis; Ayumi Sato, et al.
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Center for Integrative Medicine; Glycemic Index
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology; High Dietary Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Middle-Aged Women: A Population-Based Follow-up Study; Joline Beulens, et al.
- MedlinePlus; Soy
- International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders; Weight Loss Without Losing Muscle Mass in Pre-Obese and Obese Subjects Induced by a High-Soy-Protein Diet; P. Deibert, et al.