Can You Be Overweight AND Healthy at the Same Time?

We all know that the secret to weight loss is 80% eating clean and 20% working out. And naturally, you’re already eating a clean diet of Modern Proteins’ prepared meal service, so you have the nutrition portion covered. (And if you don’t, you should.) But what about your physical fitness and activity levels?
It’s hard to say if weight or fitness has a greater impact on overall health, and recent research indicates that we should probably reevaluate our general beliefs about the relationship between fitness and weight. Part of the problem may be our skewed perception of what it means to be overweight. Weighing a “lot” or “being fat” is not always indicative of poor health the same way that being “thin” or not tipping the scales is not always indicative of good physical fitness or internal health. However, the obvious answer here is that carrying around too much weight and not exercising are two surefire ways to shorten and reduce your quality of life. But which is the lesser of the two evils? Unfit? Or Fat?

Exercise has numerous positive effects on the body such as blood pressure, glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, blood lipids, cardiovascular health and more, regardless of being overweight. The more active you are, the more your chance to live longer. Men’s Journal recently explored this subject matter and reported that lack of physical activity actually causes twice as many early deaths as having too much flab does. Slightly surprising, huh?

Studies compared weight and cardiovascular risk factors of more than 5,400 adults. The data suggest that half of overweight people and one-third of obese people are technically “metabolically healthy”, which means that despite their excess pounds, many overweight and obese adults actually have healthy levels of “good” cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose. Several studies from researchers at the Cooper Institute in Dallas have shown that fitness — determined by how a person performs on a treadmill — is a far better indicator of health than body mass index. In several studies, the researchers have shown that people who are fat but can still keep up on treadmill tests have much lower heart risk than people who are slim and unfit.

Further studies calculated body-mass indexes, waist circumferences, physical activity levels, and compared that with other various heath data from more than 330,000 men and women over the course of am impressive 12 year span. What they discovered was that being inactive carries double the death risk as having a BMI of 30 or higher, and inactive subjects were 30 percent more likely to die early than those who were moderately inactive. (In order to be considered “inactive” one must engage in less than 3.5 hours of physical activity per week.) The researchers also discovered that regardless of BMI or other mortality risk factors such as smoking and drinking, even those who took a brief 20-minute daily walk could reduce their risk of death by 30 percent.

Many of us forget to take into consideration that our lifestyle choices are a sizable component of our overall fitness. An example being someone who does not fall within the “overweight” BMI category but is a pack-a-day smoker probably has less heart and lung capacity than someone who doesn’t smoke and is within the “overweight” BMI weight range. Just as the person within the “overweight” BMI category who is more physical active might have a healthier heart and stronger muscles than does someone who falls in the “normal” BMI weight range who does not participate in regular physical activity.

The verdict? Regular physical exercise and movement, even if in small doses, even if you have terrible lifestyle habits, is one of the best antidotes for a healthy body. And when you compound regular active exercise with a clean and nutritious diet, you have found the secret to longevity and good health. Make things easy on yourself and start by ordering Modern Proteins’ prepared meal service and use that extra free time to dedicate to more physical activity!