It was around 1.8 million years ago when Homo Erectus became the first hominid to apply fire to food, thus enkindling the first hunting & gathering ceremony in which animals became a significant part of the diet and resources were shared. Presently at the advent of the 3rd millennium, we are victims of our own evolutionary success having developed a high calorie diet while minimizing the amount of energy expenditure. What started as just another extra slice of the cake, obesity has reached epidemic proportions today.
Obesity is defined as having BMI over 30. Better than BMI, waist-hip ratio or waist circumference are considered good obesity indicators. Apart from High fat deposition, the distribution of fat is also important with abdominal adiposity being the most risky.
Stomach contractions are generally unmistakable hunger signals to the stomach’s owner, that is, if the owner is in the normal weight range. The trouble with most overweight men and women is that their signaling system has somehow broken down. They feel hunger pangs, but they fail to get the message to take in food. As a paradoxical result, they eat more, and they eat more often
Co morbidities of obesity include Type 2 Diabetes, Hyper-lipidemia, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, cerebro-vascular disease, gall stones, degenerative joint disease and a variety of cancers.
All hope is not lost for the obese. The obvious solution is to lose weight, but the obvious question is How to lose weight?. Losing weight requires focus, will power and medical help. First the patient has to be made aware of the complications of being obese and He/She has to be motivated to lose weight.
Umpteen numbers of diets are available for weight loss but most of these are bogus. Even if one loses weight through these diet plans, rebound is unavoidable and he/she ends up putting twice the amount of weight as before. Starving or skipping meals is not the solution either as it leads to severe binge eating afterwards.
A number of case studies have shown that regular physical activity can markedly help lose weight and fat mass without dietary caloric restriction in overweight men and women.
An effective training program will include 3 to 12 months of training with 30 to 60 minutes each day. The best long term results may be achieved when physical activity produces an energy expenditure of at least 2500 kcal per week. Adherence to the exercise training program is a critical factor for a successful long term weight loss.
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