Man is always hungry for the good things in life. When you talk of good living, food plays a very important role in our list of desires. The constant craving for chatpate masaaledar snacks, non-vegetarian delicacies, and junk food like pizza, burger, aloo ki tikki, potato fingers, momos, etc. makes us hop from one fast food joint to another. Junk food may taste good but is not good for health.
Oily food items might make your mouth water. But think of the calories they bring to the table leading to bulging waistlines and plus sized clothes. This misplaced enthusiasm for unhealthy food and wrong eating practices, in the form of over stuffing, and no physical exercise, makes you quickly put on kilos and leads to serious diseases too.
Obesity can also happen due to lifestyle changes and due to medical ailments and disorders like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Syndrome.
Research on Obesity – More than 20% of Urban Indians are Overweight!
When you take a look at research findings on obese men and women, it’s shocking to know that over 2.8 million people die every year due to obesity. According to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) estimates in 2008, more than 10% of the adult population was found to be obese. In India, about 11.2% of the population was found to be overweight.
India’s current National Family Health Survey indicates that more than 20% of urban Indians are overweight or obese. And in the state of Punjab, nearly 40% of all women are overweight or obese.
In the United States, about two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight. As per 2007 estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 60% of U.S. adult women are overweight.
“This risk is now crossing socioeconomic lines”, says Dr. Anoop Misra, Director of Diabetes and Metabolic Disease at New Delhi’s Fortis Hospital. “We thought we’d find all malnutrition, but what we found was the paradox. Many people were thin and undernourished. The other side was many were fat and some of these belonged to the poorest section of this slum. This was a clear contrast, a paradox occurring in the same community. Half people overnourished, half undernourished,” he said (Voice of America).
Dr. R.M. Anjana, Joint Managing Director & Consultant Diabetologist at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Obesity & Weight Management Centre, Chennai is of the view “Obesity can certainly be prevented and even reversed. Clearly, we are over-estimating our nutritional needs and consuming far more calories than required. If you examine family photos from ten years ago, you’ll find that you can hardly recognize your own family members! Since this weight gain happens gradually over a period of a decade, seldom do people notice it. For this reason, obesity can be a very stealthy disease. Rather than being born with the affliction, it quietly creeps up on you.” (The Hindu)
Obesity, as you can see, is increasing at an alarming rate and timely intervention is needed from our part to stop it and safeguard our health.
What does Obesity lead to?
Obesity can cause several serious ailments:
- High blood cholesterol (fat-like substances in the body)
- Hypertension (meaning high blood pressure)
- Heart diseases
- Diabetes (high blood sugar level)
- Gall bladder diseases (Gall bladder stones, pain in abdomen, etc)
- Fatty liver
- Osteoporosis (weakening of bones)
- Stroke (brain attack)
- Stress, anxiety, depression and mood changes
- Breathing disorders like Asthma (spasm in lungs), Bronchitis (inflammation of mucous membrane of lungs)
How to Monitor and Curb Obesity
There is no magic potion available to curb excess weight. You have to exercise and eat healthy.
“It is the schools that we have to concentrate upon, it is the children that we have to concentrate upon. And if a uniform physical activity and disciplined dietary instructions are given right to the children I’m sure that it can be curbed,” Dr. Anoop Misra of Fortis further stated (Voice of America).
The rationale is simple. Excessive eating and not being physically active will make you overweight. To maintain a healthy weight, the calories you eat must be equal to the energy you burn. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat.
Check Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
First of all, it is important to find out your Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. Use the chart below to find out if you are overweight or obese.
pic Credit: whathealth.com
How to Lose Weight Naturally – 12 Easy Tips!
Naturopathy is the best way to say goodbye to those unwanted kilos. Here are some easy ways to lose weight in a healthy and natural manner.
- Eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables, and less of fried and fatty foods.
- Incorporate fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, pulses and sprouts in your diet.
- Steam your vegetables instead of frying them. Boiled food is far better than the calories your body will take with oily food.
- Reduce the gap between meals and keep nibbling after every 2-3 hours, instead of taking large meals at one go.
- Take less of sugar and alcohol in your diet and consume less of artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
- Low-fat milk (or double toned milk) is the best over high-fat and toned milk.
- Go for protein rich diet instead of taking carbohydrates and fats as it will help reduce weight.
- Exercise daily. This will keep your body weight in check.
- Instead of using elevators or escalators, take the stairs as it will help burn fat.
- Avoid sitting at your desk for longer hours in the same position. Move around and change your sitting posture frequently. This will keep your body flexible.
- Avoid taking extreme steps such as weight loss surgery unless advised by the doctor.
- Indulge in exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, yoga, swimming, dancing, skating and outdoor games. Keep gymming as the last option in the weight loss regime.
How to Detoxify Your Body
Try a ‘detox’ diet. Eat vegetables such as cauliflower, turnips, peppers, onions, carrots, salad, broccoli, cucumber, spring onions, mushrooms, sweet corn, etc. and fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapefruit, raspberries, strawberries, melons. Being fiber-rich, they eliminate body toxins and prevent damage to the body.
Home Remedies to Reduce Weight
There is no dearth of herbs and concoctions in Ayurveda when it comes to treating any ailment. Here are some of the best methods that will help you bid goodbye to obesity and weight gain.
- Green Tea and Ginger
Green Tea has three main components-caffeine, catechins, and theanine that help manage weight. Add ½ teaspoon of ground ginger to your green tea and drink 1 or 2 cups a day.
- Plain Yogurt and Honey
Yogurt has probiotics that are digestive tract-friendly. Also, yogurt helps maintain healthy gut flora that optimises digestion and breakdown of fatty substances. For optimum weight-loss, try low-fat yogurt.
Whether for breakfast or as a snack, add honey to yogurt for flavor. You can add fresh fruits to the bowl of yogurt to give you a sense of fullness.
- Black Pepper and Lemon Juice
Keep ahead on the weight loss battle by creating this drink. Black pepper has a natural compound called piperine that reduces fat generation in the bloodstream. Lemon juice further aids in good digestion.
- Bottle Gourd Juice with a dash of lime
There is evidence that bottle gourd (or lauki) juice helps you lose weight. It has huge water content which creates a feeling of fullness, which reduces appetite. When you feel the urge to snack, drink a glass of cold bottle gourd juice with a dash of lime juice added.
Start making use of these tips to bring your weight under control as you need to nip obesity in the bud before it becomes dangerous to your health.
Ayurvedic and Natural Health Products Information
Some of the natural health and Ayurvedic products mentioned in this article are available at Nirogam’s online store. For more information and to buy, please click on the products:
Tulsi Green Tea