The western countries are often blamed for the obesity epidemic, with a sizeable part of their population overweight. But it seems like India is not too far behind. Despite being a developing country dealing with infectious diseases and malnutrition on one side, India is also grappling with an obesity epidemic on the other. Factors such as a sedentary life, bad food habits and lack of recreation are responsible for fuelling this ominous trend. The World Health Organization says that obesity is one of the most common yet neglected public health problems in the world. Globally one in every six adults is obese and over 2.8 million die of obesity-related problems every year. Today is World Obesity Day 2018, which brings the spotlight back on the health crisis. Although losing weight is easier said than done, there are some handy tips we can follow to lose weight.
While the complexity of obesity may seem difficult for you to overcome, the solution still lies in simple lifestyle changes and give your life a complete boost. We spoke to VLCC’s wellness expert Dr Anju Ghei and she shared a few tips that can actually help overcome obesity and other problems related to it.
- Watch What You Eat: You must follow a balanced diet and it should be a healthy mix of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Your diet must consist of a healthy portion of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy, nuts to take care of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and probiotics that are more and more natural. And your total calorie intake per day should take into account the level of daily physical activity.
- Hydrate Yourself: Don't underestimate the magic of clean drinking water. Not only does drinking water at regular intervals help digestion that gives way to better weight loss but also keeps the body hydrated. A good digestion leads to better metabolism and subsequent weight loss.
- Avoid Sedentary Lifestyle: Make sure a good time of your day is spent on physical movement. Physical inactivity raises the risk of obesity and subsequently the risk of heart ailments. Exercise provides cells more sensitive to insulin that positively affects your body and make sure your day's physical activity is in proportion to your daily calorie intake. Dr Anju suggests that 'An ideal workout designed by a health professional is a suitable mix of resistance and aerobic training for optimum muscle building along with weight loss. More muscle mass means less fat in the body.'
- Keep Regular Medical Appointments: Don't forget your regular medical appointments especially after a certain age. It’s essential to get lipids checked as they help indicate future obesity-related risk that might occur. You must keep in mind that triglycerides level of less than 150 mg/ dl, HDL more than 40mg/dl for men and more than 50mg/dl for women are useful to prevent metabolic disorders.
- Fad Diets Are a Big NO-NO: Various fad diets have become extremely popular these days and fad diets that promote unsafe practices such as fasting or cutting out entire food groups such as meat, wheat or dairy products should straight away be avoided. Instead of helping you lose weight these diets make you put on those extra kilos back once the fasting is over.
- Keep Stress at Bay: Stress response triggers the release of several hormones that increase blood sugar and hence slows metabolism. Lower metabolic rate leads to weight accumulation and thereby tendency towards obesity. Physical activity, socialising, meditation, active time with friends, enjoying music, nature, and time with young children and pets, all keep stress at bay.
- Don't Miss Out On Sleep: It’s a well-known fact that when asleep the human body produces growth hormones that increase metabolism and repair tissue. Sleep deprivation not only hampers this biological clock but also induces lethargy that restricts physical or mental activity planned during the day and in turn, you don't burn fat.
- Stop Smoking and Consuming Alcohol: These are the primary causes that hamper metabolic activity. Apart from causing cancer, tobacco interferes with the production of enzymes and that in turn disrupts effective digestion.
Did you know that abdominal weight gain is a specific obesity problem in ur country? A study concluded 'In summary, our study showed that the prevalence of obesity (generalized and abdominal) was higher in India now compared to earlier studies. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was higher than the generalized obesity and urban residents had a higher prevalence of both forms of obesity than the rural residents.'