Understand the Science of Obesity And You’re On Your Way To Conquer It

This article was originally written by Wan Ibrahim Yusoff

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Many people think obesity means that a person is overweight, but that’s not exactly true. An overweight person has a surplus amount of weight that includes muscle, bone, fat and water. An obese person has a surplus of body fat. Body Mass Index (BMI) is commonly used to determine if a person is obese or not. A person with a BMI over 30 is considered to be obese, and a BMI over 40 is considered to be severely obese.
Factors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, genetics and certain medical disorders cause obesity, but it can be conquered.
Eating Disorder
Obesity itself is not an eating disorder, but people who are obese or who fear becoming obese may develop one. There are three type of eating disorder:-
Binge eating – binge eaters eat uncontrollably and quickly eating an unusually large amount of food at one sitting. They eat mostly sugar and fat. As a result, they may lack certain vitamins and nutrients.
Bulimia nervosa – bulimics binge eat, usually in secret, then purge to get rid of the calories just eaten. They may also exercise intensely for long periods of time to burn off the extra calories, or they may go for long periods of time without eating.
Anorexia nervosa – anorexics literally starve themselves due to an intense fear of being fat. Their bodies are severely depleted of nutrients. As a result, they develop muscular atrophy, dehydration, low blood pressure and organ damage to name a few. Because anorexia is so life threatening, the first stage of treatment is getting body weight back to normal. Treatments for eating disorder include therapy and medications.
Fat & Cholesterol
For years we heard that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet would keep us healthy and help us lose weight. And many of us jumped on the bandwagon, eliminating fat and high-cholesterol foods from our diets. Well, unfortunately, we were doing it all wrong.
Instead of eliminating fat completely, we should have been eliminating the “bad fats,” the fats associated with obesity and heart disease and eating the “good fats,” the fats that actually help improve blood cholesterol levels.
Dietary Treatments
Americans spends millions of dollars each year on diet books, products, and weight-loss plans. But, why aren’t they working? Because people are doing the wrong things! These popular diets often offer promises of quick weight-loss with no hunger, and the majority of those dieters who do succeed end up gaining the weight back within a year.
It’s important to remember that your weight should be lost gradually. When you first start dieting, you will probably lose more water weight, therefore you may be losing more pounds initially. But, if you’re doing it right, your weight loss will slow down to an average of one to two pounds per week. You can only lose three pounds of fat per week, anything over that is water loss or muscle loss.
Medical Treatments
In some instances health professionals will perform weight-loss surgery. As with any surgery, it comes with many risks, and it’s not a solution for everyone. In order to qualify for surgery, most people must be severely obese or obese with serious medical conditions.
Drug therapy is available for people with a BMI 30 or over with no medical conditions or for people with a BMI of over 27 with two or more obesity-related conditions.
Natural Alternatives
Many prefer to utilize natural alternatives rather than resorting to appetite suppressants and surgical procedures, it’s often more healthy. The alternatives include detoxification and live-food diet, low-carb high protein diet and ayurveda. All natural alternatives require some form of exercise.
Exercise
Exercise is vital to shedding excess weight and keeping it off. Any regular exercise that raise the heart rate for at least a half hour straight, will do wonders for your body. Simply taking a walk, starting slow, then working your way up to power walking, is an excellent method of exercise.
Behavioral Changes
Changing your behavior is a key component to conquering obesity. Crash diets that cause people to lose weight drastically almost always backfire because there is no change in behavior and habits. Obesity is a lifestyle, and conquering obesity is a lifestyle also. Losing focus is a common problem with those who are trying to lose weight and keep it off.
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