In today’s world, where personal appearance sadly amounts to nearly everything, obesity is indeed a dreaded condition. While on one hand it can lead to many health problems like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and stroke, on the other hand, it silently erodes a person’s self esteem and inner confidence leading to many emotional and psychological upheavals.
Reasons for being obese may vary. We can blame our genetic make-up, hereditary DNA, multiple pregnancies or we can acknowledge our overindulgence in rich, cholesterol-laden fried foods, eating disorders, depression and binges.
Whatever the reason, obesity is now termed a serious clinical disorder that can be life threatening. According to clinical practice guideline offered by the American College of Physicians regarding obesity, “people with a BMI of over 30 should be counselled on diet, exercise and other relevant behavioural interventions, and set a realistic goal for weight loss.”
So let’s see what you can do to banish obesity and breathe healthier and happier:
Change your habits: First of all be honest. Is the flab you are carrying around your tummy due to genes or a very inactive, sedentary life style? How much time do you spend glued to television screen watching mind numbing soap operas or typing away on your computer? When was the last time you rode a bicycle or went for a long refreshing walk that pumped up your heart and made you sweat?
Do you go everywhere in your car? Do you always take the escalator and avoid taking the stairs? Do you always try to park your car at the entrance and then take the elevator up to your apartment or office? If you have answered most of these questions with an affirmative, you must change your habits sooner than later.
Change your diet: Try not to eat ‘white’ substances like refined sugar, flour, white bread, white rice etc. Use whole wheat or bran. Swap ice cream with fruit yoghurt, fizzy drinks with plain water, white sugar with brown sugar or cinnamon and jams with honey. Have light meals at lunch times. Fresh salads and fish are best options.
What Not To Do: Never skip breakfast. It makes you gain fat while making you lose energy. Always have a good, nutritious breakfast which includes skim milk, cereals, low fat yoghurt and fresh fruits. Calcium makes you lose weight. Do not starve yourself or you’ll lose all motivation and self control and binge on foods that are terrible for your body.
Do not set standards that are hard to follow. And don’t give up after a few days only. For some of us, battling obesity can be a lifelong challenge and we must adhere to our nutritional diet if we want to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Portion control: Use smaller dishes or plates. Always eat slowly and enjoy your food. Avoid ordering side dishes like French fries or fried onion rings. Prepare food in your kitchen and do not stock your freezer with pre cooked meals.
Learn to say No: Who doesn’t love those sinfully tasty chocolate hazelnut brownies or melt in your mouth cheesecakes? But are they any good for you? Learn to control your taste buds and do not let them control you.
Learn to love yourself: Once again ask yourself honestly. Are you eating this because you are hungry or because you are depressed? Never substitute comfort food for actual therapy. Always deal with the core, underlying issues and never hide your misery under a pile of deep fried French fries or a bucket full of ice cream. They’ll always resurface making you even more depressed and wretched.
Not having a 16 inch waist or an hour glass figure does NOT mean that you are worthless or that your life is over or that you do not deserve the best things in life. A caring heart, a cheerful smile and a kind nature is worth more than the entire pencil thin waif-like figures put together.
Learn to look at yourself in the mirror and not turn away in self disgust. Your body needs your love and compassion. Treat it well.
Exercise: Do not approach exercise as a tiresome chore or a dead bore project. Make your exercise routine your friend. You must look forward to it. Do something that you enjoy. Go for long walks or take up swimming, hiking or aerobics. But before embarking on any strenuous exercise you must seek your doctor’s advice. Do not do the same exercise everyday but try a combination of a few routines. This way you won’t get bored.
Set realistic goals: Your goal should a healthier you and not an anorexic looking fashion model. You want that fat off your body so that you do not get diseases associated with obesity. Work on it because you deserve it. Start small and increase gradually. Losing 3-4 pounds per month is not difficult and in 6 months time you’ll be 18-24 pounds lighter. Wow!!
Get motivated: Join support groups. Invite a close friend or family member who cares about you or shares your concerns. You can plan long walks, aerobics sessions or dance routines together. Weigh yourself once a week and keep a record.
Treat yourself: Once in a while, treat yourself with a meal at your favourite restaurant. Buy a special outfit or plan a long awaited vacation as a reward. But the best reward always is the more confident, happier you who is healthy in body and soul. All you need is a bit of determination and self control.
So what are you waiting for? Start today! Begin now!!
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