Obesity – do you have a choice?

For most people, their weight is a lifestyle choice. With a few small changes, you can say goodbye to being overweight!

To begin your weight-loss journey, you need to understand how your metabolism works, as it has the biggest impact on your weight. Metabolism refers to the speed at which food is broken down and exits the body. Some people naturally have a faster metabolism. Certain factors such as fitness, gender and age also affect its speed.

The less growth hormone there is in your body, the slower the metabolism, which is why it slows down as you age.

There are two types of metabolism: anabolic and catabolic. The anabolic metabolism functions in the daytime, when your body breaks down fat in the body, food consumed and cells in the body.

The catabolic metabolism builds and repairs cells, and prepares and builds nutrients in the body – this happens at night while you sleep. For the catabolic metabolism to be effective, it is important that you get enough sleep and sleep deeply. It’s recommended that you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

The speed of your metabolism should be a factor that you take into account when deciding what you eat. For example, if you have a slower metabolism, try to eat less or choose certain foods (consult a nutritionist for the best options). By exercising and making better food choices, you can also speed up your metabolism. Eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and white meat, such as chicken or fish.

It’s advisable to consult your doctor before making big changes to your diet. A doctor can test for other diseases or conditions that could be impacting your weight.


Emilie Olifant is a disability activist, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. She is the director of the Emilie Olifant Foundation, an organisation that strives to address socio-economic issues experienced by people with disabilities. email: emilie.olifant@gmail.com

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