National Obesity Week is commemorated from Monday 15 to Friday 19 October to increase awareness about the impact of obesity in the lives of South Africans.So, just how much fat counts as obese? Doctors use Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine how much of your body weight is fat. Guidelines can fluctuate, but you should keep your BMI score as far below 25 as possible. A score of 25 to 30 is medically overweight and 30 or more is considered obese. Waist ratio is another measurement you can use to check just how much unhealthy fat you are carrying. “Obesity’s effects can be felt in one’s organs – impacting every aspect of the body – from liver causing diabetes, to the heart, making it pump harder than it should, to brain health, to hormonal imbalances to certain cancers,” explains Renny Letswalo, non-executive chairperson at Cambridge Weight Plan.It’s important to remember that the first step to losing weight and keeping it off lies with you. Letswalo says: “You need to make an unequivocal decision to change the course of your health, as obesity is a loaded gun waiting to trigger fundamental health conditions, that the entire body system will be forced to fight. This kind of weight loss requires a complete lifestyle change.”She further shares these tips to aid you on your weight loss journey: . Find support – “Finding support during your weight loss journey will increase your chances of maintaining the weight loss, and achieving the consistency that is necessary to see results,” says Letswalo. . Low calorie diet – Find a plan, like the Cambridge Weight, that has been developed by scientists. It gives enriched sustenance and balanced nutrition with safe fat-burning properties to ensure that you can achieve a healthy body weight quickly and easily. . Lifestyle changes – Breaking old bad habits is never easy, but is necessary when looking to achieve lifelong health. For example, drinking water regularly instead of fizzy drinks will fast-track your weight loss. Also, eating more vegetables and a healthy breakfast are habits that offer lasting results. . Get active – Being physically active is an important part of your weight loss journey and is key to managing your new weight long term. Choose a workout plan that is best for you and stick with it. Whether you choose to brisk walk, jog or take up a class of aerobics – exercise is vital. Doctors recommend that adults spend at least 30 minutes, five times a week doing moderate exercise to maintain good health. . Reduce or stop drinking – If you truly want to lose weight, then it is highly recommended that you stop alcohol or reduce consumption considerably. Alcohol is very high in calories and has no significant nutritional value, additionally it is not recommended when following a reduced calorie diet.