Anti Obesity Day 2022: Simple lifestyle changes to lower risk of obesity
Eating too much but moving too little can lead to obesity which in turn puts us at risk of several lifestyle diseases. Here are some easy lifestyle modifications to keep obesity at bay.
Obesity is becoming more common in recent decades than before with people leading an unhealthy and sedentary way of life. Due to our hectic lifestyle, we often go for foods that can be prepared quickly or worse order from outside. When we eat too much and are not physically active or do not exercise, the surplus energy gets stored by the body as fat. On an average, a physically active man needs about 2,500 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, while a physically active woman needs about 2,000 calories a day. One becomes overweight or obesity when there is abnormal or excessive fat accumulation which could further raise risk of various illnesses. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese. Over 4 million people are dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese in 2017 according to the global burden of disease. (Also read: Weight loss traps you must avoid from skipping rice to eating only oats)
On the occasion of Anti Obesity Day (November 26), Dr Balkishan Gupta, Director, Minimal Invasive Bariatric GI and HPB Surgery, Marengo QRG Hospital Faridabad suggests simple lifestyle modifications can help lower your risk of obesity.
Take at least 5 servings of whole fruits and vegetables daily if possible as these are considered low-calorie foods. According to WHO, consuming fruits and vegetables helps minimise the risk of obesity because these are high in nutrients and helpful in lowering risk for diabetes and insulin resistance. These fibre-rich foods in particular make you feel full with fewer calories, keeping weight gain under check.
SAY NO TO PROCESSED FOODS
Refrain from highly processed foods such as white bread and many boxed snack foods as highly processed diets contain more calories and cause weight gain.
Cut down sugar consumption. Avoid major sources of added sugar such as sugary beverages (sodas and energy or sports drinks), desserts like pies, cookies, and cakes, canned fruit drinks, candy and dairy desserts like ice cream.
AVOID ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
Curb use of artificial sweeteners as these are associated with obesity and diabetes. If you feel like using a sweetener, go for a slight amount of honey as honey is a natural substitute.
AVOID SATURATED FATS
Avoid saturated fats because consumption of foods high in saturated fat gives rise to obesity. Focus on healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) like avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
Drink plenty of water daily and put an end to all sugary beverages. Also avoid use of energy drinks and sports drinks as these contain an overwhelming amount of added sugar. The intake of these drinks can increase the potential risk to the cardiovascular system.
EAT HOME COOKED FOOD
Always prefer home cooked food. People having meals prepared at home are less likely to gain weight and develop Type 2 diabetes.
GO FOR PLANT-BASED DIET
Opt for a plant-based diet because a plant-based diet helps reduce rates of obesity. You are recommended to fill your plate with whole vegetables and fruits at every meal. For snacks, you should have small amounts (1.5 ounces or a small handful) of unsalted nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios as they are considered good for heart health. Go easy on heavy saturated fats like red meat and dairy products.
You should exercise for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. It means at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week.
Brisk walking is considered the best exercise for maintaining a healthy weight. Walking at a brisk or fast pace can help you reduce weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.
To beat stress, focus on healthy ways such as going for a daily walk, doing regular yoga, meditates, and listening to music you love. Owing to chronic stress, levels of the stress hormone cortisol increase, leading to weight gain. It can also lead to poor dietary choices, as cortisol and other stress hormones can raise “carb cravings” causing weight gain.
Modify your current sleep cycle and take at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Going to bed later can slash your sleep hours, increase BMI over time and make you prone to obesity.