Obesity

This is a term given to people who are more than 20% over their ideal body weight.

What to look for

  • weighing 20 percent more than your ideal body weight.

Simply put, if you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Some people will tend to burn far more calories than others because their bodies metabolism’s are different.

If you are obese it is a very good idea for you to try hard to lose weight as being overweight can put you in a vulnerable position as far as serious conditions are concerned.

It is not easy for an obese person to lose their weight and keep it off but it is not impossible. You may need to keep a constant watch on your diet, exercise programs and lifestyle in general.

Causes

The most common causes for obesity are :-

  • poor diet.

  • insufficient exercise,

  • heredity.

  • diabetes.

  • thyroid problems.

  • emotional problems - depression can cause people to turn to food for comfort

  • very rarely - congenital syndromes.

You can aggravate the problem considerably by smoking, drinking alcohol, and leading a sedentary lifestyle, including watching TV. Try to avoid the temptation to sit and stare at the television most of your spare time. This is good in moderation but can be detrimental when it takes up most of your day.

Traditional Treatment

There are numerous things people can do to lose weight, but the pivotal factor is always discipline and control. Other factors come into play as well such as family conditioning and genes.

Weight-loss programs are available and are often quite successful so long as you do not regain the pounds after a few months.

An exercise regime is vital to any weight loss attempt. Without it a person may gain back all the weight that they lost.

Simply reducing calories will not work on it’s own because the body starts its automatic defence program and slows down your metabolism even more.

Upon starting a weight loss program, consult your doctor about determining a good general target for your caloric intake and then maintain that level. Eat a low-fat, low-sugar, high-fibre diet. Do not forget to include an exercise program to your daily regime. You do not have to run a marathon, a walk around the block will be a good start.

In some instances your doctor may recommend that you supplement your lifestyle and dietary changes with a drug that suppresses appetite. This is something that you will need to discuss with him or her. Remember there are natural appetite suppressants that are effective as well.

On rare occasions a doctor may suggest a surgical procedure. But it will only be beneficial long term if you are determined to work at keeping the weight off and maintaining the new weight with proper diet and exercise.

Ask your doctor about other surgical alternatives.

Before you consider surgical options, try to reduce your weight by learning to control what you eat, how you react to food in general, and your leisure time (watching television versus taking a walk). Think about consulting some professionals such as a dietician, naturopath, your doctor and a private exercise trainer, and a counsellor.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Use these alternatives in addition to your new lifestyle of regular exercise, improved diet and leisure activities.

Chinese Medicine -  Talk to a practitioner of Chinese medicine who will advise you on the best course of action. The preparations recommended will depend on your own circumstances and lifestyle.Talk to a practitioner of Chinese medicine who will advise you on the best course of action. The preparations recommended will depend on your own circumstances and lifestyle.

Herbal Therapies - To stimulate your metabolic rate, try kelp. Dandelion may flush out the kidneys, boost metabolism, and offset a craving for sweets. There are also fat metabolising preparations available. To stimulate your metabolic rate, try kelp. Dandelion may flush out the kidneys, boost metabolism, and offset a craving for sweets. There are also fat metabolising preparations available.

Lifestyle

  • Avoid smoking.

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Take up some form of exercise and increase it gradually over time. It is especially good if you can do something in which you enjoy.

Dietary Considerations

Watch your diet and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes and pasta, as well as chicken and fish.

Try to avoid carbonated drinks (even low calorie varieties- as it is reported that they are not at all good for you), fruit juices, and milk with six to eight glasses of filtered water.

Always remember to include your exercise regime in your weight-loss program.

Prevention

Take one day at a time and try your hardest to stick to your new lifestyle. Keep picturing and visualising the way you would like to look and feel. Remember though, if you do slip up and eat things that are not on your diet list - do not beat yourself up or slip into your old patterns of living. You can do this and you will feel so much better for it.

Remember:-

  • Eat three or four smaller meals and try to avoid having your largest meal at night time when you are normally more sedentary.

  • Eat a high-fibre, low-fat diet.

  • Avoid activities such as watching television, and get into a regular exercise routine.

  • Don't turn to calorie-counting diets or diets that require you to fast or deprive yourself of normal helpings of food for extended periods of time as this may become too much for you and you will give it up.

  • Try rewarding yourself with things other than food, such as a new item of clothing, jewellery, a book on health etc.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you suspect you weigh 20 percent more than your ideal body weight.

  • you've lost weight many times but always gain it back.