Do I look fat?? Do I need to lose weight? We all have that tiny voice in our heads asking us the same question every time a pair of pants feel tight, climbing up a flight of stairs becomes a mission or when our knees and back hurt with our every move. These subtle signs tell us that our weight is creeping up on us, and it’s not very late that you realize that you are growing closer to becoming an obesity statistic. The World Obesity Federation shows that the percentage of Indian population living with obesity in 2025 will be around two times as we have now. High time to lose weight!!
FROM OVERWEIGHT TO OBESE
Sadly in our fast-paced & busy lifestyle, weight gain is still not taken seriously in India as it should be. We only make efforts to lose weight when a serious medical problem hits us due to the weight gain. Overweight people find it rather odd when we tell them that they stand in the obese category. There is a very thin line between being overweight and being obese, every kilo matters. Where a weight gain of a kilo or two seems harmless at first, not following a proper diet and not exercising can make you cross that line towards obesity in less than four weeks.
WHY ARE WE BECOMING FAT
An inactive lifestyle and unhealthy choice of food are the two main culprits of the growing obesity problem and it becomes difficult to lose weight.
The sedentary life in corporate setups such as work cubicles, sitting on the desk for eight to nine straight hours, moving in elevators, getting rides at the office doorstep gradually break our metabolism and we find over selves fighting the weight gain. An hour spent in the gym seems to be enough to keep us fit for many, but the reality is we need to use our entire day to boost our metabolism to lose weight . Break your day in mini workouts like take the stairs, take a stroll in your office every 15-20 mins don’t sit too long on your table, park your car at a distance from your office so that you can walk every day towards the healthier you.
The other most important culprit is the unhealthy eating, white rice, white bread, fried foods, like samosa, pakoras being our very favorite snacks, are loaded with complex carbohydrates, sugar, and fat. Their consumption has been huge for decades but now, the widespread and easy availability of junk food is making it, even more, easier to pile up those extra kilos effortlessly.
THE BLAME GAME
People with weight issues, more often blame their genes or slow metabolism for the weight gain, but the fact is a bad lifestyle is the key reason to obesity and the various metabolic disorder like hypothyroid is due to obesity only not the other way round. Though the risk of obesity is determined by the family history, still the risk of excessive weight gain is strongly influenced by our lifestyle choices along with family genes. The genetic factor is just 30% but the lifestyle factors leading to obesity is 70 %.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and LOSE WEIGHT
It’s much easier to tackle a weight problem early, accepting our weaknesses on time & acting on it is the best way to manage obesity. The idea is to take quick measures to lose weight and keep it on track.
To follow a plan, you need to know where you stand on a scale of healthy to obese with respect to your weight. The most common way to determine that is your BMI (Body Mass Index)
World Health Organization (WHO) designations, based on body mass index (BMI) are as follows:
Grade 1 overweight (commonly and simply called overweight) – BMI of 25-29.9 kg/m 2
Grade 2 overweight (commonly called obesity) – BMI of 30-39.9 kg/m 2
Grade 3 overweight (commonly called severe or morbid obesity) – BMI ≥40 kg/m 2
Today we also have the body composition analysis (BCA) to determine the body fat %. Ideally, it should be 25% or less for Men, and 28% or less for women.
The other important physical parameter to determine the risk of obesity is the waist circumference. It is an effective indicator of health risk associated with excess fat around the waist. A waist circumference of 40 inches or more in men, and 35 inches or more in women, is commonly associated with health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure and fatty liver.
WORK UP FOR OBESITY
Standard laboratory studies in the evaluation of obesity should include the following:
- Fasting lipid panel
- Liver function studies
- Thyroid function tests
- Fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
- Fasting lipid profile (HDL, LDL, TRIGLYCERIDES AND TOTAL CHOLESTEROL)
At a minimum, test fasting cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL & LDL) levels.
These levels may be normal, But reduced HDL levels and elevated fasting triglyceride concentration could be associated with cardiac morbidity (HEART DISEASE) and could be life-threatening.
- Liver function tests (TRANSAMINASE LEVELS-ALT, AMINOTRANSFERASE-AST, SERUM BILIRUBIN,& SERUM ALBUMIN)
Liver function tests yield normal results in most obese patients. However, elevated transaminase levels may indicate fatty infiltration of the liver).
- Thyroid function tests:
Thyroid function test results are also typically normal, but checking them to detect primary hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism itself rarely causes more than mild obesity.
- Fasting Glucose and Hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C)
All patients with obesity should be screened for diabetes. Additional information is gained by using glucose and HbA1c tests together if the patient is fasting.
PRE-DIABETES– FASTING BLOOD GLUCOSE 100- 125 mg/dl (Patients with these findings are at relatively high risk for the future development of diabetes)
TYPE 2 DIABETES- FASTING BLOOD GLUCOSE 126mg/dl or greater & Hb1AC is 65% or higher
COMORBIDITIES ASSOCIATED WITH OBESITY POSING SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS
Obesity is becoming a substantial public health crisis in India at an alarming rate.. It leads to various health problems like
- Heart disease and stroke.
- High blood pressure.
- Colorectal cancers.
- Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
- Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for short episodes during sleep) and asthma.
IS THERE A WAY OUT OF THIS CHAOS?
Yes, indeed there is healthy way out. Here at My22BMI, we believe in smart eating for a healthier lifestyle. There is a growing awareness that lifestyle choices including dietary habits play a vital role in shaping the overall well being of an individual and maintain a healthy weight.
WHY FOOD MATTERS?
Did you know that around 80% of your immunity lies in your gut and gut-friendly microbes, so the foods can either contribute towards your health by providing right nutrients to your gut or they can distort the balance of your friendly gut microbes, and act as a major contributor towards obesity and other health issues.
Every individual is different and has a different metabolism. We at My22BMI Regsiter will help you step by step in your weight loss regime by following a specially designed customized diet plan according to your own dietary preferences.
Let food be your medicine. Eat right and keep fit.
- Listen to your body. Cut down on your sugar & salt intake.
- Keep yourself well rehydrated.
- Include both cooked as well as raw veggies in your meals.
- Avoid red meat. Switch to low dairy products, lean protein like chicken and fish.
- Avoid processed, fried and frozen products.
- Include fresh salads in your meals.
- Be watchful of what you eat, Try healthy snacks while watching a movie, like roasted nuts or popcorn.
- Go for whole grains, brown rice, oats, barley, ragi. Eliminate white bread and Maida from your diets.
- Go for a colorful plate, for each meal, add variety in your food. One-half veggies, one-fourth good protein and one-fourth whole grains.
- Go for moderate level of exercises like cardio or brisk walking at least 45 mins 5 days in a week.