Obesity has become a global pandemic as more and more people, more so in America, are becoming affected. In fact, obesity is one of the biggest healthy problems today and is costing the U.S millions of dollars to treat and prevent it. The sad fact is that obesity gives birth to a number of serious chronic illnesses such as heart disease, heart failure, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and respiratory tract illness.
Although there are hormonal, genetic, medical, and behavioral influences on body weight, the most common cause of obesity is due to the intake of excess calories and not burning them through daily activities and exercise. When you consume high amounts of calories (energy), particularly processed sugars and fats and do not burn them off through physical activity and exercise, most of this energy is stored in the body as fat, especially in the abdomen.
Calories and Obesity
The average physically active man requires approximately 2500 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight while a woman requires approximately 2000 calories. When consumed in excess, most of these calories are stored in the body as fat. It’s for these reasons that you need to be active in order to prevent weight gain/obesity.
So, what exactly causes obesity? Let’s have a look at some of the factors.
The principal causes of obesity include;
• Unhealthy Eating and Bad Eating Habits
• Lack of Physical Activity
• Food Addiction
• Consumption of Excess Calories
• Eating Foods Containing Too Much Sugar and Fat
• Excessive Alcohol Consumption
• Hormonal Imbalances
• Certain Medications
Effects of Obesity
As stated earlier, obesity increases your risk of certain chronic conditions and other side effects. They include;
• Increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease
• Increased risk of Heart Attack, Heart Failure, and Stroke
• Increased risk of Cancer
• Joint Pain due to Excessive Pressure of the Weight
• Increased Blood Cholesterol Levels
• Confidence and Self-Esteem Issues
• Pregnancy-Related Complications
As you can see, obesity comes with a whole load of problems. But the question is, do you have to wait till you become obese to realize that you need to lose weight and that your health is at risk? Of course not. Understanding obesity causes and prevention is the most beneficial course you can adopt for the sake of your health. As they say, an ounce prevention is better than a pound of cure and in this case, preventing obesity before it actually occurs can save you a lot of troubles. Let’s have a look at some of the most effective ways to prevent obesity naturally.
Ways to Prevent Obesity Naturally
You don’t have to use diet pills or undergo surgery to reduce your weight. There is a cheaper, effective, and safer way to do it as you’ll find out below.
• Avoid Junk Food At All Cost
Processed or fast foods are packed with fats and sugar. Consuming these foods on a regular basis increases the amount of fat stored in your body. Without regular exercise, you eventually become overweight or obese.
Cut junk food and high-calories beverages to prevent becoming obese and maintain a healthy weight.
• Exercise Regularly
Weight gain is inevitable when you consume extra calories and fail to engage in physical activities and exercise. You need to burn the excess calories and fat stored in your body to avoid becoming obese.
Engaging in activities such as running, jogging, swimming, rope jumping and cycling on a regular basis can help you maintain a healthy weight.
• Eat a Healthy Diet
Your diet should include whole grains, legumes, high-quality proteins such as eggs, meat, and poultry, dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Be sure to include 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day as they contain fewer calories and are loaded with essential nutrients, calories, and antioxidants. High-quality proteins will help you build muscles- and muscles help burn fat during physical activity. Consume low-fat milk and other dairy products. Choose lean meat always.
As long as you consume the recommended daily calories, reducing your weight should be easy.
• Avoid Processed Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Processed sugars will give you nothing but loads of empty calories which will eventually be stored in the body as fat. The same applies to all artificial sweeteners found especially in beverages. These are your enemies and you should avoid them at all cost.
If you have to sweeten your food or drinks, add natural sweeteners like honey or Stevia instead.
• Drink Plenty of Water
Many people often confuse hunger with dehydration and end up eating more. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll crave for more food. The trick here is to ensure that you’re drinking the daily recommended water amount, which is 2 liters (6 to 8 glasses). Keep sipping water all day and carry a bottle with you. Drink lots of water while exercising to prevent dehydration.
Water helps increase metabolism, which as a results encourages burning of fat for fuel. Water also helps flush out harmful waste substances and toxins which when they buildup may lead to weight gain and tons of diseases.
• Eat Breakfast Every Day
As a general rule, NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST. Skipping breakfast will make you indulge later during the day and most probably, you’ll load up on sugar and fatty foods.
Always eat breakfast and make sure it’s well-balanced.
• Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day
Preventing obesity can become easier only if you eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. By eating regularly, you are less likely to overindulge in the course of the day. Also, eating regularly raises metabolism, which as a result causes the body to burn more fat for energy.
Always serve your meals in small plates as they can help you control the amount of food you consume each day.
• Bake/Boil/Steam Foods Instead of Frying
Baking, boiling or steaming food allows you to use little oil unlike frying where food drips with oil or fat. And if you must fry, always use sunflower or canola oils which are much healthier options.
• Avoid Comfort Eating
If you’re one of those people who eat a lot when feeling stressed or depressed, chances of becoming obese are very high. Stop comfort eating because instead of making you feel better, it will only cause you to gain excessive weight and after some time, you’ll be struggling with obesity and its many related effects.
• Manage Your Stress
When stressed, you’re likely to eat more to comfort yourself. Eventually, you’ll find yourself struggling with your weight. But you can prevent this by not letting stress control your emotions. There are various techniques you can incorporate to manage your stress. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing are just but a few.
Obesity can impact your life in such a way that it can be hard for you to enjoy your favorite hobbies or even socialize. It basically comes with many problems. The best thing you can do is learn how to prevent it to maintain a normal weight.