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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of the American adult population is obese. A collection of statistics and facts about obesity reveals that this condition is most prevalent in adults who are 40 years of age and older. The rate is slightly higher among women, but men are affected as well. Obesity is defined simply as having excess deposits of fat on your body to the point of jeopardizing your health and longevity.
Calorie surplus occurs when the number of calories that you take in exceeds the number of calories that your body burns off. This is how you gain weight, and if this is a regular occurrence, obesity will eventually result if steps are not taken to correct that course. According to Mayo Clinic, there are a number of causes and risk factors of obesity, including:
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Regular consumption of high fat foods
• Unhealthy eating patterns, such as binge eating in response to stress
• Certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome
• Certain medications, such as antidepressants and steroidal drugs
If any of these lifestyle habits or risk factors applies to you, be especially mindful of your weight, and be on the lookout for signs of obesity.
The most obvious sign of obesity is presenting a physique that has a pot-bellied appearance. Men tend to collect fat around the midsection, which gives their torso an apple-like shape. Women who are obese take on a pear shape because their excessive fat tends to accumulate around the lower abdominal and hip areas. Some other obesity symptoms include:
• Increase in perspiration
• Intolerance to physical activity
• Shortness of breath
• Back pain
• Joint pain
According to the American Psychological Association, obesity can be accompanied with psychological symptoms as well, including depression and thoughts of suicide.
Body mass index (BMI) is the figure that is used to determine whether you are underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese. Your primary care physician will likely calculate your BMI if he or she suspects that you are not within the healthy weight range, but you can also calculate the formula yourself. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following formula for calculating your BMI:
[Your weight in pounds/your height in inches/your height in inches] X 703
A healthy BMI ranges between 18.5 and 24.9. The World Health Organization states that an individual with a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and an obesity BMI is one that is 30 or greater.
Being overweight can lead to obesity and increase your risk for a litany of serious medical conditions, including the following:
• Type 2 diabetes
• High cholesterol
• Heart disease
• Sleep apnea
• Certain cancers, including breast, colon, ovarian, uterine, cervical, prostate, pancreatic and liver cancers
• Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
• Reproductive health issues, such as infertility, irregular periods and erectile dysfunction
Obesity is a serious condition that can shorten your lifespan. Fortunately, obesity is also treatable.
The goal of treating obesity is to take off enough weight to place you back within the healthy BMI range. A number of methods have been used to accomplish that goal, including invasive surgical procedures and unhealthy fad diets. The problem with such measures is that once the desired weight is achieved, too many individuals backslide, returning to their old habits and gaining the weight back. They do not learn to permanently adopt the healthy lifestyle habits that will keep them at an optimal weight for the long haul.
For longterm success, you need to gradually adopt healthy lifestyle habits that you can ultimately sustain with contentment for the remainder of your life. Some such habits include:
• Eating a balanced diet of whole natural foods at every meal
• Drinking more water
• Avoiding foods and beverages that are high in calories
• Exercising regularly
Regular exercise may include such activities as running, cycling, using an elliptical or stepper machine, taking an aerobics class or performing any other physical activity that raises your heart rate and pushes your body to burn fat. You should engage in such exercise routinely on three to five days each week for at least 30 minutes each time. As your body acclimates to the activity and working out becomes easier, you will need to increase either increase the intensity of the exercise or lengthen the duration of each workout. You should also seize other opportunities to increase physical activity, such as taking stairs instead of elevators, embarking on a weekend hike, joining your kids on a bike ride and taking the dog for a walk around the block.
Some people find that wearing a fitness watch motivates them to stay focused on learning and tweaking their lifestyle habits and to keep track of their progress. Some fitness watches enable you to monitor exercise, log the foods you eat, log the amount of water you drink and keep track of how many calories you take in and how many calories you burn. Some models even prompt you to get up and move periodically as well as provide a guide through relaxation breathing.
Assimilating a balance of healthy habits into your life will empower you to lose the excess weight and to maintain a healthy weight. This process can be achieved through natural treatment plans, such as Ayurveda obesity treatment. Ayurveda, like Chinese medicine, is a form of complementary and alternative medicine that addresses the body and the mind to restore overall health. Diet, exercise, meditation techniques, herbal remedies and other natural practices are all implemented to achieve the goals of better physical and emotional health.
Be proactive by assessing your weight and pursuing natural obesity treatment options to lose those extra pounds, improve your health and live an enjoyable quality of life.