Effective Ways to Manage Obesity

  • Obesity is a condition in which a person has a BMI or body mass index of 30 or higher than that. This condition triggers several health issues including heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis. However, not every obese person experiences these health problems. Obese people who have a family history of these health problems, are at higher risk. Along with trying to cope with the condition, you should opt for good medical insurance in South Africa to handle any unforeseen event in future. (Information Credit – https://getsavvi.co.za)

    Health Conditions Associated with Obesity:

    Heart Disease and Stroke - Excessive weight can lead you to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both can lead to heart diseases and stroke. Weight loss may help you reduce the risk of having heart disease.

    Diabetes - Obesity causes type 2 diabetes that can be managed by consuming a balanced diet, losing weight, exercising regularly and getting an adequate amount of sleep. Blood sugar can be checked by staying more active physically.

    Cancer - Colon, Kidney, breast, endometrial and oesophageal cancer are associated with obesity. According to some studies, ovarian, gallbladder and pancreatic cancers are also linked to obesity.

    Gallbladder Disease - Gallbladder disease like gallstone is a common problem in the case of obesity. However, rapid weight loss can make you more prone to gallstones.

    Osteoarthritis - It is a common condition that affects the joints of the knee, back and hip. Carrying extra weight causes extra pressure on the joints and causes osteoarthritis.

    Gout - It is also common in overweight people. It is caused by an extreme level of uric acid in the blood and affects the joints. Sudden weight changes may trigger this condition, especially if you have the history of gout.

    Sleep Apnea - It is a condition in which people snore heavily and experience breathing problem during sleep. It may cause sleepiness at daytime and heart disease.

    Ways to Manage Obesity:

    There are several ways that you can manage obesity and reduce the chances of getting more prone to the above-mentioned health conditions.

    Changes in Diet

    To manage obesity, it is necessary to reduce calorie intake and maintain a healthy food habit. However, trying to lose weight quickly is not a good way. Instead, you should go for slow and steady weight loss process to enjoy the benefits for long term. Consuming 500 to 1000 calories less in a day than you take usually can help you lose weight. The key to success in weight loss is adding up the high protein and excluding carbohydrate from your diet. Also, you should consume more fruits and vegetables which rich sources of vitamin and minerals are. It contributes to weight loss as well.

    Regular Physical Activity

    Exercise or physical activity regularly is essential to manage obesity. Hard exercise or even a brisk walk can work to treat obesity or extreme weight. If you are obese, you need to work out for a minimum of 150 minutes a week to reduce the chance of further weight gain and loss of weight at a moderate level. When you can achieve 150 minutes, you can increase it to 300 minutes for better results. Although aerobic exercise is the best way to burn calories, you can have some extra movements like walking, cycling, swimming etc. While walking, you can use a pedometer to track your steps.

    Modification in Habits

    A behaviour modification program can help you make changes in your lifestyle. Through this program, your habits can be examined, and the situations and factors can be evaluated that are causes of your obesity. You may have obstacles to manage your weight, such as lack of time to work out or late-night eating habit due to your work. You can overcome the obstacles with such behaviour modification programs. Behaviour modification or behaviour therapy include-

    • Counselling- Therapy provided by mental health professionals help you identify behavioural and emotional issues that are linked to eating. It can help you address the reasons for overeating and learn proper ways to cope with stress or anxiety. It also teaches you to monitor your activity and changes in diet. You can handle your food cravings by understanding the reason overeating. Most of the programs include 12-26 sessions a year and can work effectively to achieve your goal of weight loss.  
    • Support Groups- There are several groups where you can find people with obesity who are experiencing challenges to deal with obesity. You doctor or local hospitals can help you find such groups.

    Final Thoughts:

    Along with maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, you can get weight-loss medication prescribed by your doctor. If only diet and exercise do not work because you have certain complications like high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea, your doctor will give you medication. Before prescribing medication, your doctor will consider conditions such as pregnancy and chronic health problems. In addition, there are other ways to manage obesity, like weight-loss surgery. It is also a factor to consider that you may regain weight after obesity treatment.