Obesity is a complex and debilitating medical condition that involves storing excessive amounts of body fat. Obesity is not just a mere cosmetic concern. It is also a severe medical illness that increases one’s likelihood of developing diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes. heart disease and certain cancers as well. Some individuals struggle to prevent getting obese and there is a slew of reasons for this. Obesity is the outcome of a combination of factors that are inherited, some of which are environmental and lifestyle-related.
The good news is that for most people who are only moderately overweight, losing just a modest amount of weight can make a big difference in preventing the health complications that come with obesity. Incorporating more physical activity, making dietary changes, and altering one’s habits are the key necessities when it comes to weight loss. Let’s take a look at the major causes of obesity and how to address them to reduce and prevent it.
Before assessing how to prevent obesity, it’s important to explain how it is diagnosed. Medically, when an individual’s body mass index is over 30, they are diagnosed as obese. For most individuals, the body mass index serves as a reasonable means to determine the estimate of their body fat. However, one’s BMI still does not exactly measure body fat. If someone struggles to walk due to being excessively overweight, have breathing problems, and their BMI is over 30, they are likely to fall in the obese category.
To understand how to avoid obesity, it’s vital to understand what causes it. There are hormonal, genetic, behavioural, and metabolic influences on one’s body weight. However, obesity occurs due to the intake of far more calories than one burns in a day through exercising or other day-to-day movements. The excess calories are stored in one’s body as fat.
People who are obese generally consume more calories than they need before their body signals them that they are full, or they may eat excessive amounts of food due to stress. Obesity is often the result of a combination of contributing factors. Some of these are as follows:
The genes you have inherited from your parents can affect the amount of body fat you store and where you store it. It is also likely that genetics affect how well your body converts the food you eat into energy for you to use.
Your genetics can also impact how your body regulates its appetite, and how it burns calories during a workout. It is very common for obesity to run in families. This is not simply because of the genes that are shared but also the imitated eating and activity habits of family members.
Opting for a diet high in calories, lacking in fruit and vegetables, and laden with oversized portions of fast food will contribute to weight gain, irrespective of one’s genetics. It is also possible to drink excessive amounts of calories without feeling full and this is typically the case with energy drinks and cold drinks.
On top of one’s diet, living a sedentary lifestyle also causes a large number of calories to be turned into fat as there is very little being burned off. The number of hours spent in front of a screen is also associated with rapid weight gain.
In answer to the question of how to avoid obesity, the key is a healthy lifestyle for healthy living. Here are some important tips you should follow to reduce or prevent obesity:
Eating a balanced diet of nutrient-dense, low-calorie meals, without alcohol and sugar.
Getting in about 150 to 300 minutes of regular exercise each week is also vital when it comes to preventing obesity.
Moderate physical activity like speed walking, jogging, swimming, and more cardiovascular training can prevent obesity. Strength training or developing muscle by lifting weights is also a good recommendation.
Knowing your food traps by monitoring meals is also a great way to avoid overeating. Keeping a food diary and logging your meals can help in doing this.
Do not store unhealthy snacks at home. Instead, keep some fruits and a variety of nuts as healthy snacks.
The final point revolves around consistency. Choosing a weight loss plan that you can realistically follow and sticking to it is more beneficial in the long run than crash diets.
Those diagnosed as obese are more likely to develop a slew of potentially serious and life-threatening health complications. They are:
Heart disease and stroke: It is much more likely for an obese individual to have abnormally high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Both of these are risk factors for strokes and heart disease.
Certain cancers: Being obese can contribute to the onset and development of cancer in the colon, rectum, breasts, cervix, ovary, endometrium, liver, kidney, prostate, gallbladder, pancreas, and more.
Osteoarthritis: Obesity also increases the amount of strain on weight-bearing joints. This can promote inflammation in the body in those areas. It can lead to complications like osteoarthritis.
Type 2 diabetes: The way your body uses insulin to control its blood sugar levels can also be affected by obesity. The condition for this is known as type 2 diabetes, particularly when one becomes highly resistant to insulin.
Sleep apnea: Obese individuals have a higher likelihood of struggling with sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder in which one’s breathing repeatedly stops and restarts during their sleep.
Digestive problems: Obesity also increases the chance to develop liver problems, heartburn, and gallbladder disease.
Gynaecological and sexual problems: Obesity can contribute to PCOS, irregular period cycles, and even infertility in women. In men, it can result in erectile dysfunction.
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Natural and organically grown vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and lady’s finger, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats are good choices to include in your diet to prevent obesity.
Brisk walking, running, swimming, any form of cardio and even weight training are good exercises that can help you lose weight.
Highly processed foods with a lot of sugars and refined carbohydrates like candy, soft drinks, bread, pasta, etc are responsible for making a person put on weight.
Yes, walking is one of the best and easiest exercises to lose weight. However, you will have to combine walking with a good healthy diet to lose weight.
Eggs are highly nutrient-dense while being low calorie at the same time and can be used in your diet to lose weight. However, consuming too many eggs can lead to weight gain.