Obesity has for a while now been a serious health concern, seeing that a number of risks have been identified to be associated with the condition: type II diabetes, cancer, heart disease, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, etc. Now more than ever, it is clear that the condition has to be prevented, especially in individuals who have a family history of being overweight. (obesity is often associated with genetics).
Here are 5 ways to prevent obesity now.
It cannot be stressed enough the effect of diet on our weight. Almost all weight gain can be associated, at least to a degree, with dietary habits. If you are trying to prevent obesity, then it is best you incorporate the following habits into your dieting:
Less junk food
Processed food is not great for you. When you eat processed food, you are more predisposed to weight gain because these foods contain quite a number of calories. Calories are units of measuring the energy stored in foods.
Too many calories mean more energy to save up in fat stores: meaning more weight gain. A study showed that people who ate less processed food gained less weight than people who ate quite a lot of processed foods.
Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
The WHO advises that we try to eat lots of fruit and vegetable, as these may have an effect on reducing the risk of coming down with obesity. Fruits and vegetables, compared to processed foods, do not contain a large number of calories.
Instead, they are packed with healthy vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. (Fiber can help your gut as well as impact your appetite.) An apple, for example, contains enough antioxidants to help combat oxidative stress.
Fewer Sweeteners and Sugars
I am not trying to be killjoys, but the truth is, you need much fewer sugars and sweeteners if you are trying to prevent obesity. Sweeteners may increase your risk of coming down with diabetes: as well as the risk of coming down with obesity.
A study showed that people who consumed soda every day had, compared to non-consumers, a 67 percent risk of coming down with diabetes, obesity, etc. Though the study did not take ‘sweeteners’ into a full review, it is possible that the sweeteners present in soda were responsible for the weight gain and increase in sugar levels.
Less Saturated Fat
Saturated fats are mostly considered bad fat. They have been seen to have an impact on increasing the risk of obesity. Some foods high in saturated fat include red meat, milk products that have not been thinned, pork, etc. You might want to stay away from these.
Beer has been associated with weight gain. The gain has been observed to be more around the stomach (beer belly.)
2. Lose Some Weight
The second way to prevent obesity is to lose some weight. If you are already overweight, then you really should try to shed some pounds. You are considered overweight if you are close to or more than a hundred pounds.
Some ways to lose weight without putting so much pressure on yourself include:
- Diet: we discussed this above. Eat less fat.
- Cardio exercises are a class of exercises that force your body into what I will describe as “burn” mode. Since a lot of energy is being expended as the exercise is being carried out, the body goes to its fat stores and begins to do some burning in a bid to compensate for the energy demands. Cardio exercises do not need to be too vigorous. Do what you can—as long as it makes you sweat and/or increases your respiration rate. Try to exercise often. If you can, at least five times each week.
- Fasting: fasting is a diet technique where one stays away from certain and sometimes all foods for a while. It may have an impact on encouraging weight loss.
3. Deal with Stress
Stress has an indirect pathway to increasing the risk of obesity. When you are stressed, what happens is; that your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Produced by your adrenal glands, this hormone has an impact on your appetite.
It can make you want to have certain foods, pushing you into consuming more calories than you need.
You can deal with stress by getting just enough rest. Take days off when work starts to become quite difficult. Sit in a chair and relax. Physical stress usually progresses into mental stress. So, be careful to keep your head safe.
Think only helpful thoughts. Speak to someone about your concerns and get all the help you need.
I have to add this: binge eating is often associated with anxiety. So, if you suffer some form of anxiety, you may find that you want to eat all the time, and a lot of food too. If you give in to this craving, you may gain excess weight and develop obesity.
Based on studies, it has been seen that anxiety may have some link with obesity.
Yes, you need sleep to deal with stress. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will find that you feel exhausted and tired all the time.
An adult is expected to sleep for at least 8 hours every 24 hours. Anything less than that may cause some problems if not checked.
A study carried out on young adults showed that weight gain over time can be associated with less sleep.
5. Increase Your Physical Activity
Try to be active for most of your day. Being active equates to expending energy, expending fat stores, and expending excess weight.
Don’t just sit in bed all day. Try to move about. Get off your chair for a while and walk. Have a regular habit of walking. Take random strolls around your house.
Do everything listed in this article, and you should be fine.
Photo by Ev on Unsplash