Weight Management

  • Weight Management
  • Obesity & Underweight
  • Hidden Causes of Weight Gain
  • Belly Fat & Visceral Fat
  • Food for Weight Management

Weight Management

Weight management is very critical & important for India. With about 102 million men and 101 million women underweight, India leads the world in being home to over 40% of the global underweight population. Both underweight and overweight are associated with increased health risks.

Weight management means keeping your body weight at a healthy level. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are crucial when it comes to controlling your weight. A weight management plan depends on whether you are overweight or underweight. It is important to note that the terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obesity’ do NOT mean the same thing. Body fat and body mass measurements are used to Body mass index (BMI) is an indirect measurement of your body composition. It takes into consideration both your weight and height. BMI helps determine your risk for certain diseases, including diabetes and hypertension. BMI below 18 is considered underweight. BMI between 18 and 22.9 is normal weight. BMI between 23 and 24.9 is considered overweight and BMI above 25 is called obese.

Obesity is a chronic disease. Treatment requires long-term lifestyle changes. In most of the cases the dieters are misdirected. They are more concerned about weight loss than healthy lifestyle and keep unrealistic weight expectations And the diets don’t work because the body defends itself against weight loss. Thyroid hormone concentrations drop during weight loss and make it more difficult to lose weight. Activity of lipoprotein lipase increases making it more efficient at taking up fat for storage. And most of the time the weight is regained. Prevention of obesity is easier than curing. Focus on improving food habits and increased physical activities are the key for weight management.

For a proper weight management, you should:

  • Eat a healthy & well-balanced diet.
  • Balance physical activity with diet to maintain your desired weight. Aerobic exercise will help increase muscle tissue and burn calories.
  • Gradually adjust your eating habits to encourage a permanent lifestyle change.
  • Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation.

Obesity & Underweight

Obesity

Obesity is a chronic condition that affects about India’s 180 million adults, including 14.4 million children between the ages of two and 19 years. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and other health issues. Obesity is defined simply as too much body fat. Your body is made up of water, fat, protein, carbohydrate and various vitamins and minerals. If you have too much fat - especially around your waist - you're at higher risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.

Being obese can:

  • Raise blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Lower "good" HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is linked with lower heart disease and stroke risk, so low LDL tends to raise the risk.
  • Increase blood pressure.
  • Induce diabetes. In some people, diabetes makes other risk factors much worse. The danger of heart attack is especially high for these people.

Obesity increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. But it harms more than just the heart and blood vessel system. It's also a major cause of gallstones, osteoarthritis and respiratory problems.

The best strategy to lose weight and keep it off requires a three-pronged approach:

  • Eat fewer calories than your body needs
  • Exercise more and
  • Change unhealthy lifestyle

Underweight

An underweight person is a one whose body weight is considered too low to be healthy. Underweight people have a body mass index (BMI) of under 18.5 or a weight 15% to 20% below that normal for their age and height group.

There could be various reasons. A person may be underweight due to lack of proper food, genetics, metabolism, drug use or any due to any illness. Being underweight is associated with certain medical conditions, including hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis cancer etc. People with gastrointestinal or liver problems may be unable to absorb nutrients adequately. People with certain eating disorders can also be underweight due to lack of nutrients/over exercise.

Being underweight increases risk for:

  • Low body protein and fat stores
  • Depressed immune system

People who want to gain weight need to consume additional kilocalories through energy-dense food to take in more energy than they expend. Increasing portion sizes and adding nutrient-dense snacks helps to increase total intake. Adding resistance exercise helps to build muscle mass.

Healthier way to Gain Weight

  • Eat sufficient energy to meet basal needs plus fuel for the exercise needed to stimulate muscle synthesis
  • Focus on a variety of energy-dense, nutritious food choices
  • Eat larger portions at meals and energy-dense snacks during the day
  • Add at least 500 kilocalories daily for weight gain of about half a kg per week
  • Regular exercise and resistance training stimulate muscle growth and help to avoid excess fat storage

Hidden Causes of Weight Gain

Sometime when you are doing everything right - restricting your calories, exercising your body but still you keep gaining weight. This could be due to hormonal reasons. Some possibilities can be:

  • Abnormal thyroid levels are one big cause. Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism so that you can’t burn calories the way you used to.
  • Growth hormone levels can decrease as you age, leading to weight gain. The best ways to get it naturally are getting proper sleep and exercise.
  • Testosterone levels can fall in post menopausal women and in older men especially if they have belly fat, which converts testosterone to estrogen. That results to less muscle mass and with less muscle mass it is much harder to burn fat. Thus leading to weight gain.
  • PCOS accounts of huge amount of unexplained weight gain in large number of women. One in every 10 women in India has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common endocrinal system disorder among women of reproductive age. This is a form of insulin resistance, which wreaks hormonal havoc, which leads to weight gain.
  • In small percentage of people, medication can work against by increasing appetite or making drowsy so as to burn fewer calories during the day.

So, if you unable to figure out the reason for your weight gain, you should consult your doctor to identify the reason so that you can take corrective and remedial actions.

Belly Fat & Visceral Fat

Belly fat is the most harmful abdominal fat, the hardest one to get rid of. The fat that lies just below your skin in most of your body - the kind you can grab with your hands is called subcutaneous fat. In your belly, it’s called visceral fat because it builds up in the spaces between and around your viscera internal organs like your stomach and intestines. Visceral fat is always more of a health concern than subcutaneous fat.

Visceral fat lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance. One more reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids.

A relationship exists between stress, blood sugar and belly fat. In the face of chronic stress, insulin increases. This drives the relentless metabolic dysfunction that leads to weight gain, insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes.

Today we live in a highly toxic environment. We are regularly getting exposed to foods loaded with chemicals. If you think you can avoid toxicity entirely, it is almost impossible to do so. So our liver and digestive system could easily get overpowered. Our body is made in a way that it removes toxins in a natural and continuous manner.

There are 2 groups of toxins - Water soluble and Fat soluble. The water soluble toxins are removed readily through our kidneys and blood. But the fat soluble toxins are difficult to be removed. The fat soluble toxins are Pesticides, Heavy metals, Preservatives, Plastics, Food additives, Pollutants, Various environmental compounds etc. They can be removed entirely by our body only when they become water soluble.

This visceral fat in your middle makes toxins that affect the way your body works. Among them are chemicals called cytokines that boost your chances of heart disease and make your body less sensitive to insulin, which can bring on diabetes. Cytokines also cause inflammation, which can lead to certain cancers. Studies have confirmed links between belly fat and cancers of the colon, esophagus, and pancreas.

Diet, Exercise and healthy lifestyle can help you get rid of belly fat.

Food for Weight Management

Eat foods rich with fiber, healthy fats (monounsaturated omega-3 with DHA and some polyunsaturated fats), 100% whole grain carbohydrates, protein, fruits & vegetables. It is also smart to eat a little healthy fat (like a handful nuts) 30 minutes before meals to allow the satiety signal to go from your stomach to your brain so you avoid overeating. Drink plenty of water as water helps you lose weight.

Get calcified. We all know that calcium is good for bones. But, there is a link between calcium and weight loss. 1000mg a day of calcium help both reduce fat intake and increase fat metabolism. Strive for three servings of calcium- and vitamin D-rich foods a day. These nutrients often occur together in foods, especially dairy.

Green Tea is great for weight management. Sip at least 3 cups of green tea every day. Catechins, the antioxidants found in high amounts in green tea, have been shown to be helpful in promoting weight loss, specifically belly fat.

Avoid foods with trans fats, saturated facts, simple sugars and any starch or grain with less than 100% whole grains.

Protein & Weight Management

Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally. Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss and a better looking body. A high protein intake boosts metabolism, reduces appetite and changes several weight-regulating hormones. Protein can help you lose weight and belly fat, and it works via several different mechanisms.

Protein Changes The Levels of Several Weight Regulating Hormones. Your weight is actively regulated by your brain, particularly an area called the hypothalamus. In order for your brain to determine when and how much to eat, it processes multiple different types of information. Some of the most important signals to the brain are hormones that change in response to feeding.

Protein reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while it boosts the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. This leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake. By replacing carbs and fat with protein, you reduce the hunger hormone and boost several satiety hormones. This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.

Protein is The Easiest, Simplest and Most Delicious Way to Lose Weight.

  • Protein Changes The Levels of Several Weight Regulating Hormones
  • Digesting and Metabolizing Protein Burns Calories
  • Protein Makes You Burn More Calories
  • Protein Reduces Appetite and Makes You Eat Fewer Calories
  • Protein Cuts Cravings and Reduces Desire for Late-Night Snacking
  • Protein Makes You Lose Weight, Even Without Conscious Calorie Restriction
  • Protein Helps Prevent Muscle Loss and Metabolic Slowdown