What is Obesity?
Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index of 30 or more in adults. It is defined as an excessive amount of body fat that elevates your risk of other medical conditions and problems, such as cardiovascular, diabetes, and cancers.
Obesity is a lifestyle disorder, but it may also stem from a combination of inherited factors combined with environmental causes.
Fortunately, even little changes in weight can contribute to few health complications linked to obesity. Dietary changes and physical activity can together help to shed those extra calories. Additional therapies and treatments are also options for people trying to lose weight.
Consuming more calories than you actually burn through physical activity and exercise can lead to obesity in the long run. Over time, these extra calories build up as fat and result in excess weight.
But it is not always about calories you consume or burn out or physical inactivity you do, which are linked to obesity; there is a lot more to it. Moreover, several factors of obesity can only be put to blame but cannot be controlled.
Some of such causes of obesity include:
Your genes determine your body’s ability to process foods and store fat. As you grow older, this ability of the body depletes, leading to higher muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, and thus your odds of increasing weight increases.
Not sleeping well
When you sleep, the body undergoes biological processes to improve the functioning of the cells and tissues. Not sleeping enough, on the other hand, is linked to changes in hormonal balance which can boost your craving for high-calorie foods.
Weight gain due to pregnancy is hard to reverse, which eventually leads to obesity. These include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome in which female hormones get imbalanced.
- Hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain hormones.
- Cushing syndrome, in which an individual has high cortisol levels, which are stress hormones in the body.
- Osteoarthritis (OA) and other conditions impair mobility and result in weight put on.
- Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare congenital condition causing excessive hunger.
Risk Factors for Obesity
Many times, obesity stem from one or more risk factors, such as:
Environment and community
Your social circle and community affect how you eat and how active you are. In western culture, reliance on fast food is one of the common factors for obesity.
You may be at a higher risk for obesity if you:
- Have options for high-calorie options near you
- Do not know how to cook healthy meals
- There is no place around for you to play, walk, or exercise in the neighborhood.
Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression may contribute to weight gain. When your body is under chronic stress, it does not pay attention to eating. Mindlessly eating contributes to eating more, and you end up having excess weight. Besides, the use of certain antidepressants also allows fat to be deposited in the body.
You may want to quit smoking, which is a good thing, but withdrawal symptoms may lead to weight in many cases. For that, it is important to consult a rehab center and pay attention to diet and exercise while you are making efforts to get away with smoking.
Medications, such as birth control pills can also result in weight gain if the required dosage is not taken care of. These medications include antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes, beta-blockers, birth control pills, steroids, antipsychotic medications, etc.
Obesity can drastically impact one’s normal life. For adults, it becomes a matter of negative self-image. Often the signs linked include:
- Excess body fat accumulation, especially around the belly fat
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual sweating
- Trouble sleeping
- Skin problems
- Inability to perform simple physical tasks
- Pain in the joints and muscles
- Negative self-esteem
- Social isolation
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor if you are witnessing serious complications related to obesity such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problem, etc. Ayurveda is one of the best remedial sciences to stave off the complications brought in by obesity.
Ayurvedic treatment for obesity
Excess fat on the abdomen can be unhealthy. It could cause potential threats such as cholesterol buildup in people of all ages. In Ayurveda, Atisthaulya or obesity is the outcome of Meta (fat tissue) and Mamsa (Muscles tissue), leading to fat buildup around the belly, breast, hips, and thigh. In Ayurveda, it is believed to be one of Santarpanottha Vikarasm, which occurs because of calories buildup in the body.
Ayurvedic treatment for obesity at AyuKarma is holistic and comprises therapies and procedures to help you get rid of waste, toxins, and fat from the body. Along with the therapies, a bunch of lifestyle measures helps cope with the comorbidities linked to obesity. Yoga and meditation also help to prevent obesity by acting on the rising stress levels in the body. Chronic stress affects our eating habits, inducing mindless eating, yet another factor for obesity.
Some dos and don’ts
- Moderate exercise according to physical stamina
- 30 minutes of brisk morning walk
- Healthy diet inclusive of green vegetables and certain fruits
- Cooking the right food and eating it at the right time
- Use turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and coriander in most foods
- Drink plenty of water to flush down waste
- Sedentary habits
- Excessive sleep
- Watching TV while having food
- Alcohol and Smoking
- Use of certain medications such as steroids or painkillers
- Carbohydrate-rich vegetables like - potato, rice, etc
- Sugary or sweet products, fried and oily foods, fast foods
- Excessive salt