What is Obesity….?
Obesity is a condition of the body characterized by excess accumulation of fat in the adipose tissue under the skin, above the muscles and around internal organs. More than any definition to obesity, the most important sign of obesity in any person is his/her look. The common clinical methods that are used to estimate obesity are by body mass index (BMI) and in terms of its distribution via the waist – hip ratio. BMI is a gross estimate for the amount of fat in the body which tells whether there is a need to lose weight or not.BMI = Weight in kilograms / (Height2 in meters). In Indians it is advisable that the BMI be not more than 23.
What causes obesity……?
Obesity is considered as a disease of affluence and the word obesity is derived from the latin word ‘OBESUS’ which means to eat. Therefore, the fundamental cause of obesity is OVER EATING.
Besides over eating, there is another important contributory factor i.e. Genetics/ heredity. This does not mean that there is an obese gene that is passed on from the parents to the child, and every child of fat parents is going to be fat. It merely means that there is more likelihood of such children being obese in their life. It is estimated that if both the parents are over weight then about 40% of their children will also be over weight. On the contrary, if both parents are lean and thin then only 10% of their children may become obese.
Mind and body are intimately connected and it has been amply proved that the mental state of a person plays emphatic role in the development of obesity. In a depressed mind it has been a common observation that such people eat more to divert their attention to get back their peace of mind and in the process they consume more calories than needed resulting in obesity.
There is a very finely balanced system of food consumption and its utilization in the body and any factor that puts it off can upset the balance in favor of obesity i.e. if you take in more energy from food or drink than you use, the body stores the excess as fat.
In our family set ups, it is a usual habit with us to pamper a child with chocolates, sweets and other eatables, each time he does a good job, or when we want him to do something for us. This subconsciously fixes the child’s mind on eatables, and he tends to relate good deeds with eating. In his innocence he concentrates on eating, resulting in obesity.
Because of over eating right from childhood, the number of fat cells in the body increases manifold and this trend then continues into adulthood. It is estimated that 80 to 90% of fat children remain fat when they grow up. During the growing age from 13 to 16 years, it is very easy to enhance the number of fat cells in the body by overeating.
Above all, today in urban areas, people spend more time in the car, at the computer and especially in front of television – these habits are extending across nations. Decrease in physical education at school, increased use of automobiles and buses for school transportation, increased frequency of eating out, high calorie snacks & junk food revolution, inconsistent meal patterns and sedentary life style – all are turning people into obese.
Why is obesity bad……?
Besides being a personal and social problem obesity is linked with many health problems. Our body activities and work shop has to work extra to maintain a fat body and this extra strain often puts them out of gear prematurely. There is excess sweating in obese people because of excess working of adipose tissue. The person feels tired very quickly due to lack of quality blood in the system. These all lead obese people to fall prey to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart diseases, orthopaedic problems at a relatively younger age than the average people.
1. The heart has to carry the extra load to pump blood through all the layers of fat in these obese people. This explains why cardiac conditions like heart attack, heart failure and hypertension are more common in obese people. To give you an example, if you are over weight, say, 20 pounds, then your heart has to work extra to pump blood through the extra 12 miles long blood vessels. This is because of fat.
2. Obese people run more risk of getting chronic diseases like diabetes, and the incidence is 46% more than normal people. Excessive fat reduces efficiency of insulin and there is higher demands on the pancreas.
3. Similarly, joint pains (arthritis) is more common in over weight people. You cannot expect your knees and other joints to carry all that extra load and nor wear off. They are actually eroded because of consistently carrying and transmitting all the extra load.
4. It is a common belief that broader the waist line, shorter the life line. Every extra pound of weight reduces the life span by 1%. If, at the age of 30, you are over weight by 30 pounds, you will live up to the age of 58 years instead of 70 years. That means you will lose a good 12 years of your life. These are general estimates and are based on the findings of people working in this field. On the other hand, medical studies also show that leaner people live longer.
5. Being overweight affects psycho-social development of the child and the adolescent. Research studies have shown that obese children are more likely to develop a poor self image and low self – esteem.
How to reduce weight…..?
The process of reducing weight should be right and the one that really works for you. It should not be detrimental to health and at the same time such person should feel energetic and normal. Joining slimming centers under the impression that the weight will come off easily is not only misleading but also could cause irreparable harm.
The inch and weight loss achieved in slimming centers by way of Heat therapy, Vibrator machines, Body Wraps, Supplements and Massages are based on eliminating the water from the body….it is not really losing the fat. This weight loss is anything but not permanent as once you have a few drinks, you will gain back what you lost. What is more alarming than the fact that rapid weight loss through these expensive weight loss packages can bring on health problems ranging from simple headache to heart problems. Losing weight sensibly and safely requires a multifaceted approach that includes setting reasonable weight loss goals, changing eating habits, getting adequate exercise combined with strong willpower, lot of patience and a correct lifestyle.
Eating is one of the most important aspect of our life. We eat to live but eating right makes us healthy. Eating right does not mean changing your staple diet but eating in right quantity at right times. The quantity of diet varies from person to person depending on one’s capacity of proper digestion. Logically one should have a light breakfast, full lunch and again a light dinner. Having right food in right quantity at right time will nourish the body , mind as well as the soul. Eating frequently because you love to, is burden to your body. At one point, continuous digestion and transformation of food makes your digestive system weak and improper digestion leads to improper transformation of nutrients which would get stored in the body leading to obesity etc.
To prevent obesity or to decrease weight and get rid of obesity , therefore, one must follow a planned lifestyle which keeps a proper balance between diet, work, rest and your personality.
- Regularly do some breathing exercises and some yogic asana for maintaining yourself in good shape and healthy mind. Yoga is suitable for any age group. Yoga is a gentle way to bring a balanced attitude to all aspects of life. Yoga can help you control your weight more effectively. Many a times the glands are sluggish in our body. These sluggish glands are stimulated by yoga asana to increase their hormonal secretions. Especially the thyroid gland pays important role in our weight because it affects body metabolism.
- Go for morning walk everyday especially in summer, as brisk walking is very effective in obesity control.
- Try to get some time out from your busy schedule for your gym, at least for three to four days a week. Do some sit ups and push ups as it makes your body flexible and tones the abdomen muscles, buttocks, thighs, and other body parts.
- It is very helpful to make a list of things that you are going to eat and then try to replace the food articles of a high caloric value with articles of a low caloric value without altering the taste. Try to include natural and fresh green vegetables like lauki, palak, methi, cabbage etc in your diet and avoid starchy, fried ,fatty and too many carbohydrates.
- Eat green salad containing tomatoes and mint leaves, as they are good for burning excessive fat.
- Cabbage juice or vegetable cabbage in any form should be included in your diet as it is extremely beneficial in controlling obesity.
- Carrot, pineapple, papaya, apple are some of the effective fruits for keeping you healthy and fit.
- Drink good amount of water everyday as water is extremely effective in proper functioning of body and also lead to obesity control. Take luke warm water after your regular lunch and dinner as it is effective for proper digestion of food and burning of excessive fat.
- Using vegetable oil like ground oil; sunflower oil is good for cooking purpose. Avoid using excess butter, deep-frying the foods and excess salt in your cooking.
- Never miss your breakfast as skipping your regular diet is unhealthy habit and leads to obesity. A gradual reduction in the quantity of food, and developing the habit of not eating in between meals is the right approach to weight reduction and dieting.
- It is good for health to observe a fast once a week or so, but total fasting for many days can often harm the health.
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. Each morsel of food should be masticated so much that they should be properly mixed with digestive enzymes in the mouth in the form of a paste. Don’t watch television, talk, read newspaper or magazines while eating.
Lifestyle changes are hard to make but if you want to succeed you need to make and break some habits. Moderation is the key towards the goal. And finally remember to stay positive. Don’t come under pressure, there is no rush. Use your will power.. nothing can compete with it. You will lose the weight and feel great in the process. Be sure to be good to yourself, reward yourself for your successes no matter how small, and remember to smile from time to time !
Natural Home remedies…
- Taking regularly Buttermilk processed with little long pepper powder and roasted black cumin seeds is an excellent option. This would regulate hunger, digestion of food and helps to burn the calories.
- Take Triphala Guggulu formula (herbal combination of amalaki, bibbitaki, haritaki and guggulu) regularly. It is an effective herbal remedy for obesity. This formula has a balancing action on the whole metabolism and its effects go way beyond weight loss. It destroys toxins that accumulate in the tissues and fat in the body.
- Taking Amla in a raw and natural form, on regular basis is very useful to fight obesity. It detoxifies the body, regulates digestion and reduces unwanted fat.
- Mint is very effective. Eating mint chutney with meals regulates digestion.