How to Overcome Obesity

OBESITY rate is up all over the world. It is a condition brought about by excess body weight in the form of fat. There are various categories of obesity.

A morbidly obese person is at least 45Kg overweight and has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or above.

Obesity is found as the cause of several ailments and is responsible for lowering life expectancy. Studies have shown that obesity brings many health risks, including high blood pressure, heart disease, Type II diabetes, liver disease, stroke, sleep disorders, and even cancers.

It can also affect one physically, psychologically, and emotionally.

Several factors are responsible for obesity. Decrease in exercise is one of the reason for this. Due to a fast-paced lifestyle and busy schedule, it has become difficult for most people to take time out for extra activities and exercise.

Only in rare cases, is obesity caused by medical conditions such as hormonal problems. Basically obesity begins at home. It doesn't happen overnight and it usually starts with what you eat.

Prevention is the key to any health-related issues. Below are some steps on how to overcome obesity.


1. Eat Right - Health conscious people have come to terms by saying `you are what you eat'. The health of our bodies, inside and out, is closely related to what we put into our mouths daily.

Eating right means eating at the right time, with the right choice of food. Eat meals with fresh ingredients as it contains more minerals and vitamins the body needs to repair itself daily. Your digestive and other body systems also function efficiently when given the proper nutrients.

Include fish in your diet, particularly salmon, which is rich in protein, and Omega- 3 fatty acids which are good for the heart, joints, brain, immune system, and the skin.

Other food like fruits and vegetables, green tea, and dark chocolate, also contain lots of antioxidants to prevent aging, and rid your body of free radicals.

2. Exercise Regularly - Exercise is one of the key to staying healthy and fit. Exercise not only invigorates your body but keeps the mind healthy. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins which improves our mood and concentration.

The benefits of exercise are endless. Our heart gets healthier from exercise, as it pumps blood through our veins, strengthens our immune system, and lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and osteoporosis. One should always exercise to be physically fit and healthy.

3. Drink lots of water every day - For the average person, it should be two and a half, to three litres on a hot day. It helps in dealing with constipation and helps in the digestive process.

4. Stay active - The most common way to prevent obesity is to live an active lifestyle. Simple activities, such as taking the stairs or walking to the store, can help tremendously. Many people enjoy going to the gym. A local health club membership can be a wonderful way to stay active, and help you socialise with other likeminded individuals.

5. A void fatty foods - Foods that taste really good are probably loaded with fats and other unhealthy ingredients. Foods that you should avoid include anything fried, foods with hydrogenated oils, chips, and other snack foods. It is recommended that you keep these foods to a minimum.

6. Avoid eating late at night - Eating late at night (especially junk foods) can contribute to weight gain. The rule of thumb is to eat all you want before 7pm-9pm (or one or two hours before bed since the majority of people go to bed between 9-11pm). It is recommended that you avoid junk foods after dark, to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

7. Watch your weight -You should weigh yourself once a week to monitor your health. If you notice you are starting to gain some weight, you should take appropriate measures to lose that weight. Investing in a scale at home is recommended.


Prevent Childhood Obesity

* Develop a plan as a family as to how you can have healthy eating habits. Teach your kids how to eat healthy and encourage them to plan their meals.

* Make grocery-shopping fun. Children can help make the list and find items in the grocery store. Put colourful food on the table: green and yellow vegetables plus brown (whole grain) breads.

* Eat together and make family meals a sharing experience. Great times can be had and shared around a dinner table

* Pack your child's lunch for school. A lunch of hot dog on a whole-grain bun, low-fat milk, baked fries and an orange contains a whopping 750 calories and 27 grams of fat, not to mention sodium or sugar intake.

* Get up and move with your children. Any exercise is a good way to burn calories. Skip, jump rope, play, hide and seek. Adding a little exercise into your child's daily routine can result in a healthier lifestyle.

* Set an example and make healthy eating a family affair. Small changes now can mean a big difference in everyone's life, and by committing to healthy habits as a family, everyone can support and encourage each other.

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