Human behavior is complex. We are driven by various biological, genetic, behavioral, social, cultural, and environmental influences affecting our day-to-day lives. Obesity was not even considered a problem in the last century, but it has emerged as one of the biggest health problems in the world today.
We are exposed to the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, dementia and various others. While many factors may influence weight gain, the basic ones include the following:
Factors that cause obesity
- We have become more dependable on machines and very less active otherwise. We are leading a hectic and stressful lifestyle.
- People have lost control over their eating behavior. The food we love so much (the junk) are just a few refined ingredients mixed with highly engineered chemicals that taste so good that we cannot avoid its temptations.
- Next is excess fructose (added sugar) consumption that causes insulin resistance and elevated insulin levels.
- Other factors include unhealthy life choices like not consuming enough fruit, vegetables and unrefined carbohydrates, drinking too much alcohol, eating larger portions than required, lack of exercise and physical activity, less sleep, depression, consumption of drugs such as contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes, antidepressants and blood pressure pills.
Cure for obesity
Weight loss is influenced by 80% of your eating habits and 20% working out. Thus, feeding on the wrong food habits can make you obese. Limit your energy intake from sweetened beverages, saturated fat or salt and sugar content processed food. Couple it up with increased physical activity and you are good to go.
The golden rule is to never skip on breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day. It provides a steady stream of energy and also prevents unhealthy snacking.
Also, stop nibbling between meals. Train yourself to have less food. However, you can always eat 4-5 mini meals spaced 2-3 hours apart during the day to increase your metabolism.
There is no better option to prevent obesity than physical exercise. Start with brisk walking in the morning. Other activities include yoga Classes, gym and aerobics. Age also plays an important role in weight loss.
Chances of younger people getting into the shape with minimal efforts are higher compared to those on the other side of thirties and looking for weight loss. Hence, special attention needs to be given to their eating habits.
Yogic management for obesity
Heard of yogic management? It is a concept based on having a controlled and balanced diet besides maintaining other factors like breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation.
We should eat only the adequate amount of food our body needs – no more, no less. It needs to be accompanied by regular exercises, intermittent water fasts, yoga asanas and pranayama. Yogic management guarantees weight loss.
If you are new to yoga, learn easy yoga positions for beginners.
According to yogic text Hatha Yoga, pranayama can help burn excess fat in the bodyweight. The most effective pranayama practices for weight reduction include
a) Kapalabhati and
b) Anulom Vilom Pranayama.
Kapalabhati or the skull cleansing breath involves deep inhalation and exhalation. One is required to sit in a comfortable posture with the spine positioned erect. The stomach is drawn in with every forceful exhalation and air is filled again with normal inhalation. This asana helps to reduce fat around the belly.
Related: Intermediate Yoga Poses You Should Know
Anulom Vilom Pranayama reduces weight too. This is done in Padmasana with eyes closed. The right nostril is closed with the right thumb and the air is filled in with the left nostril. Then the right thumb is released and the air is exhaled from it. The same is repeated for the left nostril.
Obesity is no less than an epidemic. It needs to be discussed repeatedly so people are aware and adopt a healthy lifestyle. It’s time you take the plunge too!