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Obesity is a condition where excess amount of body fat accumulates increasing the body weight to a great extent. The term BMI (Body Mass Index) used by doctors and researchers is used to determine the obesity of a person taking into consideration his/her body weight and the overall over/under weight conditions.  A BMI value greater than 30 indicates Obesity whereas greater than 40 indicates severe obesity.

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Causes:

Obesity is a gradual problem and is usually because of bad food habits and lifestyle.

Fast food and Junk Food: Fast food is ridiculously high on Sodium content, calories, Trans-fats (Hydrogen mixed with liquid oil to keep them solid at room temperature), high amount of sugar ( often 40 gms of sugar leading to 25 gms of fat),cholesterol.

Alcohol Addiction: Contains high amounts of calories often leading to overweight or obese conditions. Ethanol stimulates the reward centres in the brain in much the same way sugar, salt and fat do. Because of this, people with a predisposition to over-drinking may also have a predisposition to overeating.

Binge Eating : Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder that can be described as eating large quantities of food in a 2 hour period or less, eating rapidly and in secret, without using compensatory behavior. Binge Eating Disorder also includes intense feelings of embarrassment, guilt, and shame around binge eating episodes and potential weight gain. Typically, there is a feeling of loss of control around the eating episode. This can lead to various health issues, such as high blood pressure, stroke, gastrointestinal issues, heart attack or event, diabetes, gallbladder concerns, and cholesterol concerns.

Drinking high amount of sugary beverages : Since sugary beverages like cold drinks, lemonades, Froth etc are good to taste we often get tempted to drink too much of it causing obesity. 

Lack in Physical Exercise: If you take in a lot of calories but don’t burn them by doing exercise or engaging in rigorous movement, the calorie accumulates causing Obesity. Nutritionists mandate that a normal woman should intake around 2000 calories in a day while the same for an average man needs to be around 2500 calories. Keeping the intake in mind, there has to be an energy deficit of around 7000 calories in order to loose 1 kg of fat, and this can be achieved through dieting and exercise.  

Hereditary problem : You are likely to be obese if any or both your parents are obese as genes affect hormones in fat regulation eg: deficiency of Leptin hormone causes you to overeat and induces obesity.

Hypothyroid : Diseases like Hypothyroidism ,Polycystic Ovary Syndrome etc increases weight and makes it difficult to loose the extra weight.  

Also read A glimpse of Ayurveda – forgotten history and notions of Indian traditional medicines

Risk From Obesity:

Obesity induces the secretion of a number of chemicals and hormones that makes us prone to a number of diseases such as Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes, Osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, pregnancy abnormalities, chronic liver disease ,gallstones even cancer!

Weight Management To Control Obesity:  

According to a recently published report by WHO, out of the 7 billion people in the world about a billion are overweight but in fact loosing about 10-12% of your body weight can free you from the risk of obesity caused diseases: 

Regular Exercise: Regular exercises such as walking, jogging ,swimming, gymming helps us loose weight by burning fat, reduces blood pressure, tones your muscles, improves the functioning of heart, aids digestion , increases endurance and energy levels, reduces tension & anxiety etc.

Healthy Eating habit: You should cut down on fast food, junk food ,beverages which are too full of oil, cholesterol, sugar, trans-fat and include more cereals, bread, fruits, green and leafy vegetables, adequate amount of fish, lean meat and dairy products. You may consult your nutritionist to make you a balanced diet plan.

Increasing Caffeine Intake: Caffeine could be a stimulant, and stimulants tend to increase the calories you burn. One doubtless reason is that they offer you the short-run impression that you just have a lot of energy, that might mean you move a lot of. Caffeine can also cause metabolic changes within the body that may lead to a lot of calories burned. One study noted a reduction in food intake in rats that were administered a polyphenol found in green tea. Another study, in humans, over green tea had heat-producing and calorie-burning properties on the far side what are often explained by caffeine. once 31 healthy young men and girls were given 3 servings of a nutrient containing green tea catechins, caffeine, and calcium for 3 days, their 24-hour energy expenditure increased by 4.6%, consistent with the analysis from metropolis University in Swiss Confederation.

Transforming your habits: Changing our habits bit by bit may contribute to a greater change in your life such as eating in small portions but more frequently like 5-6 times a day instead of 3-4 heavy meals, taking coconut water instead of soft drinks, taking the stairs instead of the lift, eating slowly taking proper time instead of swallowing in a hurry are all the small habits that can help you in the long run. 

Controlling Appetite: Overweight and obese individuals find it difficult to control their appetite and are driven by excessive and frequent food cravings. But if you want to reduce you need to control your excessive craving taking measures such as drinking lots of water before you sit to eat can actually make you eat less! If you skip that bowl of ice cream, then you will be one-seventh of the way to losing that pound! Isn’t it great!

Reducing stress: Excess stress can lead to abnormal cell growth and loss of muscles, leading to insulin resistance and obesity. To reduce stress you need to calm your mind and body and relax and try to get a minimum 8 hrs sleep every night. Practising yoga, maintain a daily diary and exercising your hobby often helps in stress relief.

Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting is a kind of eating habit that toggles between periods of fasting and eating. There is no binding with regard to what type of food can be consumed but rather when you should eat them. Hence, accordingly, it’s not any kind of diet in the conventional sense but more precisely an eating pattern. There are various types of intermittent fasting; the alternate day fasting, the 5:2 method where you eat for 5 days a week and fast during the remaining 2 days and there is one 16:8 fasting where you fast for 16 hours and eat during the 8 hr window of the 24 hours.

Obesity

This method of fasting and eating has been found to reduce body weight by 3-8% over a period of 3-24 weeks. When examining the rate of weight loss it was found that, people overall lost about 0.55 pounds (0.25 kg) /week and specifically, lost 1.65 pounds (0.75 kg)/ week with alternate-day fasting. But this way of loosing weight is hardly sustainable and should be your last resort.

Conclusion:

Obesity is a gradual process that can affect you at any age because of a variety of reasons and cause severe diseases but taking the right measures such as regular exercise can actually help us fight obesity and live a long happy life!

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