Obesity, now classified as a disease, has become a major public health concern. Researches have shown specific eating behaviours leading to excessive weight gain & obesity.
The desire for the cosmetic effects of weight loss often far exceeds the desire for the health benefits associated with reducing weight. However, we need to understand that obesity is linked to a wide spectrum of diseases like type II diabetes, cardiovascular/heart diseases, cancer, etc. It also leads to a compromised quality of life leading to several other issues like arthritis, breathing problems, sleep disorders, self-esteem issues, eating disorder development, depression, etc. According to NHS data, 25% of mortality rate over the past 30 years was due to complications of obesity.
Lose weight effectively: Weight loss occurs when energy expenditure exceeds the amount of energy consumed. Hence, exercise and more healthful food alternatives act as a strategy to help overcome the obesity problem. Effective ways to lose weight include:-
- Having well-balanced meals with proper portion sizes (not excess) is important.
- Have greater adherence to a dietary pattern emphasising home-cooked meals (not eating fast food/restaurant foods regularly), fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, nuts, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products.
According to a review, diets high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat, sugar & salt lowered Blood Pressure in individuals who were maintaining their body weight.
- Lower daily intake of salty snacks, deep-fried processed foods, sugary soda beverages, and alcohol.
Not skipping breakfast - the most important meal of our day.
Research shows that physical activity levels in both children and adults have declined substantially. Incorporating exercise in daily routine like where you live, learn, work, shop & play has become a prominent strategy to reverse this trend. Some quick tips for you:-
- Start your day with yoga & meditation
- Take stairs than the elevator,
- Brisk walk - walking around 10,000 steps every day should be the optimal goal
- Try cycling instead of driving a car
- Stand up every 30 mins & move around or switch to a standing desk if possible
- Take short walks during the day- 10min walk
Add simple exercises- squats at your desk dips on an office chair, push-ups against the countertop, sit-ups, etc.
3. Self-monitoring & consistency
Regular self-weighing provides awareness of specific behaviours or environments that promote desired changes in weight. Example wearing an activity tracker or setting a step goal is associated with an increase in activity. Consistency has the greatest association between dietary self-monitoring and achieving significant weight loss. Weight control self-efficacy is found to play an important role in the battle against obesity.
Let’s look at weight regain issues: Do you gain weight as soon as you stop following your diet? Do you find it difficult to maintain the lost weight? If yes, let’s look at why this happens.
Weight regain after weight loss (also known as yo-yo effect) is a very common phenomenon. As per a study, participants regained an average of 70% of their lost weight after 6 years. The lack of successful weight loss maintenance was due to the inability to permanently adopt long-term healthy lifestyle habits. High-fat & fast-food intake, little physical work to carry out daily tasks, infrequent weight monitoring, increased television viewing, etc. stand in the way of permanent changes.
Weight regain is associated with higher levels of depression, binge eating, increase in hunger, and higher percentage fat intake.
For successful weight loss maintenance, follow the above-mentioned ways (of diet & exercise) as a routine & consistently keep self-monitoring.
The journey gets easier, and the rewards get better… Keep going!!
- Bray, G. A., Heisel, W. E., Afshin, A., Jensen, M. D., Dietz, W. H., Long, M., Kushner, R. F., Daniels, S. R., Wadden, T. A., Tsai, A. G., Hu, F. B., Jakicic, J. M., Ryan, D. H., Wolfe, B. M., & Inge, T. H. (2018). The Science of Obesity Management: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Endocrine reviews, 39(2), 79–132. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2017-00253
- Painter, S. L., Ahmed, R., Hill, J. O., Kushner, R. F., Lindquist, R., Brunning, S., & Margulies, A. (2017). What Matters in Weight Loss? An In-Depth Analysis of Self-Monitoring. Journal of medical Internet research, 19(5), e160. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.7457
- Melby, C. L., Paris, H. L., Foright, R. M., & Peth, J. (2017). Attenuating the Biologic Drive for Weight Regain Following Weight Loss: Must What Goes Down Always Go Back Up?. Nutrients, 9(5), 468. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050468
- Schulz, B. R. & McDonald, Marvin J.(2011).Weight Loss Self-Efficacy and Modelled Behaviour: Gaining Competence through Example.Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy.45 (1).53–67. ISSN 0826-3893
- VELINOVA, I.D.(2011). Encouraging healthy eating behaviours through healthy eating environments. Case of Durham University, Durham theses, Durham University.https://core.ac.uk/reader/108035
- Greenwood, Jessica L. J. (2012).Healthy Eating Vital Sign: A New Assessment Tool for Eating Behaviors. International Scholarly Research Network.https://core.ac.uk/reader/204603019
Written By: Gargi P. Shah