Friday, September 10, 2010

Over weight – the causes and the cure

Over weight – the causes and the cure

Over Weight is now a main issue of great concern in our day to day life. Whether child or adult or a retired person or old, every body now is concerned. It is of our concern in aged person as it is directly related to Diebetes, Hypertension(High BP), heart attack, Chest pain, Stroke and paralysis, Kidney Failure, clogging and blockage of Arteries, changes in vision, sedantry habits, addictions, beside arthritis, pain over heels and knee joint.

Another reason for this writing is the fact that notwithstanding the “magical guaranteed weight loss” as advertised as we regularly see in print or electronic media, internet or so called practitioners of different types like yoga, acupressure, reiki, physical educator, gyms and physical training centres, Exercise centres and instrument sellers and companies of different type of weight reducing machines and devices and ayurvedic, homeo and ingenious and allopathic centres are claiming and attracting every set of people and now senior Doctors are running a camp of Obesity reducing surgeries through laproscopy (Mini Hole surgeries )with a surest guarantee of melting down few KGS in few days. But is it so easy or so safe without any side effects ? There are no and I mean NO SHORT CUTS.

Why does one gain weight? This is a question the answer to which, each and everyone wants to know, because if we know the answer to this, very easily we can avoid the causes thereby avoiding weight gain.

But to take a common analogy that I give to patients’ weight gain is like a bank balance, there are only two ways to increase your bank balance (weight) either you earn more (increased intake) or spend less (decreased output).

But sadly I’m sure all of us agree it’s easier to gain weight (except for the lucky few who have genetics on their side), than increase your bank balance.


As you can see from the heading, it is not only increased intake, but also the intake of wrong kinds of food and improper intake, which also contributes to weight gain.

1.Overeating: Though most of us tend not to agree to it, it is often the most common cause for weight gain. Every time you have that extra spoonful, it adds up in the long run.

2. Fast food: Fast food is fast to make and convenient to eat can be eaten on the move but more often than not is full of fats/cheese & salt.

Anyone who has read science in school knows that fat has more calories (9Kcals/gm) as compared to protein (4Kcals/gm) or carbohydrates (4Kcals/gm). So, the more fats you eat the more calories you are putting in. Carbohydrates are easy to absorb and after your basic energy requirements are met, are converted to fat for storage.

Chips – a favourite amongst most is another common cause. An old saying for them, which holds very true, is “A minute on your lips & a lifetime on your hips”, hence avoid them. Increased salt intake causes more water retention in the body and hence is also an important factor for weight gain.

3.Improper timing: The time of a meal also is an important factor. Food should be eaten at least 2 hours before one goes to bed to allow digestion to occur properly.

4.Alcohol: Alcohol has often been blamed for gaining weight but the
gain in weight is more related to the increased snacking, which goes along with consumption of alcohol.

5.Fizzy Drinks: These are aerated drinks with empty calories, which are of no use and add up to the over all “Bank Balance of Calories”. Instead, substitute it with fresh fruits or fresh lime, which is much healthier but of course try and avoid excess salt or sugar in them.


This is now turning out to be an important part of the whole weight gain process, especially so in youngsters and children.

1.Sedentary lifestyles: Now with the comfort levels increasing, activity has reduced. We use the lifts instead of stairs, vacuum cleaners instead of brooms, cars instead of walking, etc. The amount of calories burnt per day is decreasing with more mental activity than physical.

Some amount of physical activity is needed daily. One can incorporate small things into the daily schedule to increase the output like taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the nearby store instead of driving, morning or evening walks, etc which do not take up too much of your time but help in spending those calories.

2. Children especially should have some regular physical activity in their daily schedule or we are going to be waking up to a generation of overweight youngsters. Real games instead of Video Games, fruits instead of chips or pizza & fruit juices instead of a fizzy drink should be the mantra for the kids.


There are a few medical conditions that can be a cause for weight gain. These are usually hormonal imbalances.


A lot has been written and said about dieting and weight loss. Every other person is an expert in some sort of a diet. But a recent study has brought the proper perspective, as I have been saying for quite some time, it is not what kind of a diet you follow but the total intake versus the total output.

Crash Dieting is a not a way to loose weight at all. You might loose weight initially but you are loosing muscle bulk and replacing it with fat. So, what one needs is a proper balanced diet according to the work, he or she does, which has all the necessary nutrients.

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