Ayurvedic Treatment for Obesity in Kerala, India
Obesity means having too much body fat. It is not the same as being overweight, which means weighing too much. A person may be overweight from extra muscle, bone, or water, as well as from having too much fat.Both terms mean that a person's weight is higher than what is thought to be healthy for his or her height.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Taking in more calories than you burn can lead to obesity because the body stores unused calories as fat. Obesity can be caused by:
- Eating more food than your body can use.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Not getting enough exercise.
Many obese people who lose large amounts of weight and gain it back think it is their fault. They blame themselves for not having the willpower to keep the weight off. Many people regain more weight than they lost.
Today, we know that biology is a big reason why some people cannot keep the weight off. Some people who live in the same place and eat the same foods become obese, while others do not. Our bodies have a complex system to help keep our weight at a healthy level. In some people, this system does not work normally.
Other factors that affect weight include:
- The way we eat when we are children can affect the way we eat as adults. The way we eat over many years becomes a habit. It affects what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat.
- We are surrounded by things that make it easy to overeat and hard to stay active:
Many people do not have time to plan and make healthy meals.
More people today work desk jobs compared to more active jobs in the past.
People with less free time have less time to exercise.
The term "eating disorder" means a group of medical conditions that have an unhealthy focus on eating, dieting, losing or gaining weight, and body image. A person may be obese, follow an unhealthy diet, and have an eating disorder all at the same time.
Sometimes, medical problems or treatments cause weight gain, including:
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), Medicines such as birth control pills, antidepressants, and antipsychotics
Stress, anxiety, feeling sad, or not sleeping well
Menopause -- women may gain 12-15 pounds during menopause
Not losing the weight they gained during pregnancy
Signs and tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history, eating habits, and exercise routine.
The two most common ways to measure health risks from your weight are Body mass index, (BMI)Waist circumference (your waist measurement in inches)
BMI is measured using height and weight. You and your health care provider can use your BMI to estimate how much body fat you have.
Your waist measurement is another way to estimate how much body fat you have. Extra weight around your middle or stomach area increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. People with "apple-shaped" bodies (meaning their waist is bigger than their hips) also have an increased risk for these diseases.Skin fold measurements may be taken to check your body fat percentage.Blood tests may be done to look for thyroid or hormone problems that could lead to weight gain.
CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE
An active lifestyle and regular exercise, along with healthy eating, is the best way to lose weight. Even modest weight loss can improve your health. You will need a lot of support from family and friends.
When dieting, your main goal should be to learn new, healthy ways of eating and make them a part of your daily routine.
Many people find it hard to change their eating habits and behaviors. You may have practiced some habits for so long that you may not even know they are unhealthy, or you do them without thinking. You need to be motivated to make lifestyle changes. Make the behavior change part of your life over the long term. Know that it takes time to make and keep a change in your lifestyle.
Work with your health care provider and dietitian to set realistic, safe daily calorie counts that help you lose weight while staying healthy. Remember that if you drop pounds slowly and steadily, you are more likely to keep them off. Your dietitian can teach you about:
- Healthy food choices
- Healthy snacks
- Sweetened drinks
- Portion sizes
- How to read the nutrition labels
- New ways to prepare food