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Obesity and Weight Management

Weight loss

05/30/2007

Question:

Is it possible for a young female of 21 years who has been married since 2 and a half months lose considerable amount of weight if 1) she hasn`t been doing any diet and physical activity before, 2) she is overweight by 20 kilograms, and 3) she has been extremely irregular in her menses since one and a half year?

Answer:

You can still lose weight, even though:

1) you haven't been physically activity or making nutritious food choices

2) overweight by 20 kilograms

3) have irregular periods.

Although you state you are 20kg overweight, I would recommend you start off by calculating your body mass index (BMI). This will give you a better way of assessing your weight in relation to your height. Body mass index is calculated by weight (kg) divided by your height (m) 2. For adults, a BMI between 25 and under 30, suggests you are overweight, while a BMI above 30 is regarded as obese. The higher your BMI, the greater your risk for complications related to weight such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes.

The first step is to decide it is time to tackle your weight gain and share that decision with close friends and family that you are comfortable with. I would suggest you start by making diet and physical activity changes. Choose one diet and one physical activity goal to start with. Your goals should be:

For example, "I will walk around my block three times a week." Remember to start small. As you achieve your small goals, it will make you more confident to make new changes. Sometimes keeping a food record for 3 days can help you recognize some poor dietary choices or habits that you can work on. It also helps to have a support person who can join you as you make these changes, your spouse for example.

Weight loss can help regularize your periods. However, there is a condition called polycystic ovarian disease, which is seen in obese women. These women also have irregular periods, male hair distribution, high insulin levels, and irregular periods. Share your concerns with your physician. He or she can evaluate your irregular periods, help you find resources in your area for weight control, and support you as you make changes.

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Ihuoma U Eneli, MD Ihuoma U Eneli, MD
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Medical Director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University