Obesity and Weight Loss

Obesity is a disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat.

Obesity isn’t just about being overweight or a cosmetic concern. Obesity increases your risk of disease and health problems such as joint pain, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. If you are overweight, it is only a matter of time before you will have a health problem.

The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. Dietary changes, taking the right supplements, increased physical activity and behavior changes can help you lose weight.

Prescription medications and weight-loss surgery are not good options for treating obesity.

Although there are genetic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat. Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors. The Mayo Clinic lists the following as causes for obesity.

  • Inactivity. If you’re not very active, you don’t burn as many calories. With a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you use through exercise and normal daily activities.
  • Unhealthy diet and eating habits. Having a diet that’s high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, missing breakfast, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions all contribute to weight gain.
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman’s weight necessarily increases. Some women find this weight difficult to lose after the baby is born. This weight gain may contribute to the development of obesity in women.
  • Lack of sleep. Too little sleep can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.
  • Certain medications. Some medications can lead to weight gain if you don’t compensate through diet or activity. These medications include some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, corticosteroids and beta blockers.
  • Medical problems. Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. Some medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain. A low metabolism is unlikely to cause obesity, as is having low thyroid function.

Let’s take a look at diet again and talk about the following:

1. Junk Food

Today, foods are often little more than refined ingredients mixed in with a bunch of chemicals.

These products are engineered to be cheap, last long on the shelf and taste so incredibly good that we just can’t get enough.

Food manufacturers ensure that we eat a lot and decide to buy and eat them again and again.

Most processed foods today don’t resemble food at all. These are highly engineered products, with massive budgets spent on making the foods taste so good that people become hooked.

Stay away from GARBAGE (fast food).

2. Insulin

Insulin is a very important hormone that regulates energy storage, among other things.

One of the functions of insulin is to tell fat cells to store fat and to hold on to the fat that they already carry.

The Western diet causes insulin resistance in many individuals. This elevates insulin levels all over the body, making energy selectively get stored in the fat cells instead of being available for use.

The best way to lower insulin is to cut back on carbohydrates, which usually leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake and effortless weight loss. No calorie counting or portion control required

3. Sugar or Sugar Substitutes

In my opinion, sugar is on of the worst ingredients of the modern diet.

The reason is that when consumed in excess, sugar changes the hormones and biochemistry of the body, contributing to weight gain.

Added sugar is half glucose, half fructose. We get glucose from all sorts of foods, including starches, but we get the majority of our fructose from added sugars.

Excess  consumption causes insulin resistance and elevated insulin levels. It may cause leptin resistance, at least in rats. It also doesn’t cause satiety in the same way as glucose.

All of these  contribute to storage and ultimately, obesity.

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