Definition of Obesity:
Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. The causes of obesity include energy imbalance due to higher calories input than output, complex neural mechanisms that control appetite and high intake of saturated fats of animal origin.
Unsaturated fats of plant origin should be preferred. Excessive food intake, intake of foods high in fat and lack of physical activity and exercise lead to fat deposition and hence obesity.
Complications of obesity include higher risk of heart diseases eg. cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and coronary arteriosclerosis, hypertension which can lead to stroke, type II diabetes, fatty liver and degenerative arthritis etc.
Body Mass Index (BMI):
BMI is a measure of obesity by measuring the relationship between weight and height to measure the amount of body fat mass. A healthy BMI unit ranges between the units of 18.5 and 22.9.
Any BMI above the unit of 27.5 is considered obese. Any BMI below the unit of 18.5 is considered to be underweight and risks of osteoporosis and nutritional deficiency increase.
Some useful tips on the long-term maintenance of a healthy weight:
Weight management is all about energy balance. To maintain your weight, you must balance the amount of energy you get from food and drinks with the amount of energy your body uses for daily physical activities. Consuming more energy than you need will lead to weight gain, while burning more energy than you consume will lead to weight loss.
Successful weight management is a lifestyle. Any healthy weight management plan should incorporate the principles of healthy eating and active living.
These habits should become something you grow to enjoy and can include in your daily life. Changing your diet alone or becoming more physically active without eating healthier foods will not be as effective as doing both at the same time.
Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Write down these goals so you can monitor your progress over time.
Specific for example 5kgs, 5 inches, 2 dress sizes down; Measurable eg. Numbers and quantifiable; Attainable eg. Use guidelines Health Promotion Board, American College of Sports Medicine for example to lose 1kg a week; Realistic eg. 10kgs a week is absurd; Time bound eg. How many kgs in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year.
A healthy weight loss goal should be a good and healthy weight loss programme that adopts the concept of energy balance as its guiding principle.
Monitor weight on a weighing scale every morning on empty stomach every day. Regular weight checks will help one to be more conscious and help in weight maintenance in the long run.
A good weight management plan should also include regular monitoring of your progress and maintenance of the weight loss in the long run.
A Combination of a Healthy and Balanced Diet and Regular Exercise
It is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet that includes wholegrain carbohydrates like unrefined coarse rice, quinoa or barley, fresh vegetables and fruits, fibre and lean proteins like fish, chicken, pork, lentils, beans and tofu etc.
It is one that is of a healthy level of calories, protein, vitamins and fibre and low in fat. It is also recommended to have a regular exercise regimen of low-impact nature that spans 3-5 times per week each time spanning over a duration of 50 minutes.
Examples include yoga, swimming and low-impact aerobics etc.
Acupuncture Treatment for the Maintenance of a Healthy Weight
One of the treatments for achieving safe and effective weight loss in the long run includes acupuncture. It is the stimulation of acupoints along the body’s meridians using thin acupuncture needles.
There are a total of 12 meridians in the human body. They are qi energy pathways that regulate the different physiological systems of the body. It corrects imbalances in the flow of qi energy along these meridians in the body.
The many benefits of acupuncture for weight loss include appetite curbing, increased metabolic rate, improved blood circulation, regulation of hormonal imbalances, regulation of digestion problems like gastric and bloating, lessens food cravings, reduces lethargy, improves weight related conditions like high blood pressure, long term maintenance of weight with low chance of rebound with low side effects.
Acupuncture is hence effective in weight loss and the long-term maintenance of a healthy weight.