Are You A Food Addict? Obesity- Watch What You Eat (2) - Gistyou


Sunday, 22 April 2018

Are You A Food Addict? Obesity- Watch What You Eat (2)

Watch What You Eat

The tendency of smokers to gain weight after quitting has often been seen. This can be explained by the fact that Nicotine has the ability to increase metabolic rate. Without smoke, food smells and tastes better encouraging an increased intake. Do not smoke as a means to lose weight as smoking is still considered more hazardous to health than extra weight. Drinking alcohol adds a lot of calories to the diet and excessive drinking can stimulate appetite. 

A lot of women gain weight during pregnancy and find it very difficult to lose this after the baby is born. This may greatly contribute to the development of obesity and with successive pregnancies, this usually worsens. Certain medications such as antihypertensives, corticosteroids, antipsychotic drugs and tricyclic anti-depressants may lead to weight gain as well. In rare instances, obesity could be as a result of medical problems such as Cushing’s syndrome, Hypothyroidism and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Debilitating conditions such as arthritis may lead to reduced physical activity and hence weight gain.

Consult your doctor if you feel you are overweight to determine if there is a need for weight loss and to assess how much loss is needed. Your doctor will calculate your BMI, measure your waist circumference and review your medical history. Smoking, drinking alcohol or leading a stress filled life increases the risk of health problems associated with obesity. The potentially life threatening health problems associated with obesity include hypertension, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, coronary artery disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnoea, gall bladder disease, fatty liver disease and cancer (especially cancer of the breast, uterus, cervix, ovaries, gallbladder, colon, rectum and prostate). Obesity may also be associated with gout. It is a relief to know that losing modest amounts of weight can improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, improve glucose control in diabetics, lower the risk of cancer and improve osteoarthritis and sleep apnoea.

The first goal in dealing with obesity is to attain and maintain a healthier weight. This should start by aiming to lose 5 to 10% of body weight and to continue from there. The safest way to lose weight and keep it off is in a slow and steady manner. This can be achieved in most cases by eating a healthier diet and exercising more. Eat healthful foods, avoid sugar, processed carbohydrates and excess fat. Consuming fewer calories is important but crash diets should be avoided as the drastic reduction in calories and nutrients can lead to other health problems. Very low calorie liquid diets such as Medifast and Optifast are sometimes prescribed as an intervention for seriously obese individuals. These liquids provide about 800 calories a day (most adults consume 2,000 to 2,500 calories daily) and if not adhered to weight is rapidly regained. Over the counter Slim-Fast combined with vegetables, fruits and a well balanced meal can help control caloric intake.

It is advisable to drink plenty of water. Water is probably the most important catalyst for losing weight and keeping the extra weight off. Water does this by naturally suppressing the appetite and it helps the body metabolise fat. An increase in water intake has been shown to reduce fat deposits and vice-versa. When water is not optimally consumed, the Kidneys cannot function properly. As a result, some of their workload is transferred to the Liver. This extra load on the liver prevents the liver from fully performing its primary function of metabolising stored fat into usable energy for the body. As a result, more fat is stored in the body and weight is gained. 

Prescription weight loss medications and surgical intervention are offered to people with a BMI greater than 30. Sibutramine (Meridia) suppresses appetite by changing brain chemistry to make the individual feel fullerquickly.

Orlistat (Xenical) inhibits the absorption of fat in the intestine. Over the counter diet pills include Garcinia, Chromium, Chitosan, Ephedra, 5-HTP, St. John’s Wort and Herbal Laxatives and Diuretics many of which have serious side effects. Herbal laxatives and diuretics cause water loss and not fat loss. This practice is not safe and may lead to life threatening complications. Surgical procedures include stomach stapling, gastric bypass and vertical banded gastroplasty. Gastric Balloons have become quite popular as well. Note that Liposuction is NOT a weight loss procedure.

One of the most painful aspects of obesity is the emotional distress it may cause. Many people equate beauty and success to slimness and unfairly refer to obese ndividuals as gluttonous or lazy. It is not uncommon to find depression and shame in obese individuals. If you are overweight or obese you must adapt a positive attitude to enable you shed the unwanted kilos. With the right attitude and a good plan you can lose weight.

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