. Measuring fat in humans requires special instruments and so excess weight is usually defined by measuring the body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated by measuring a person‟s weight in kilograms and then dividing it by that person‟s height in metres squared (kg/sq.m.). An average BMR for an adult is within the range of 18.5-24.9 and in an overweight person it ranges between 25-29.9 and in the obese it over 30.
It is either due to consumption of too much of fatty food, smoking a lot of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages or living a sedentary lifestyle with lack of exercise. Familial and genetic predisposition plays a major role in weight gain. But other causes include disorders of thyroid, pituitary or adrenal gland, which by affecting the hormones result in sudden excessive weight gain. Also certain drugs and medications (like corticosteroids, steroidal contraceptives, antidepressants, sulphonylureas, valporoate, etc.) and stress can result in obesity.
Excess of weight increases the mortality due to the complications arising out of it. Due to excess deposition of lipids and fats in the blood vessels, they become clogged and narrowed and thus results in ischaemic heart disease and angina. The joints, especially the weight bearing ones, get affected due to the excess of weight gain resulting in degenerative arthritis. Thus it acts like a precursor of many dangerous illnesses like diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, angina, hypertension, arthritis, gout, gallstones, impotence, backaches, breathlessness, stroke, hyperlipidaemias, cancers (breast, endometrium, ovarian, gall bladder and colonic cancers) etc. and thus its treatment is of prime importance. Regular exercising like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics and a few bending exercises should be done on a daily basis and also doing yoga will help to relax the mind and the body and thus be of benefit.
Some home remedies
- Regular exercising and yoga will help lose weight the most.
- Drinking a glass of lukewarm water with the juice of half a lime with a teaspoonful of honey added to it should be taken on an empty stomach daily.
- Take one to two ripe tomatoes every morning for breakfast. It contains the necessary vitamins and minerals and also helps in weight reduction.
- Ripe tamarind (imli) juice when taken daily is the best remedy to reduce weight.
- Cabbage (gobi) is a useful home remedy for obesity since it contains tartaric acid, which inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Thus having cabbage salad would be the best way to stay slim.
- Fresh fruit juices will be beneficial, especially lemon, grapefruit (chakotra), orange, papaya and pineapple juices.
- Take in more of celery leaves (ajwan-ka-patta), which is a low calorie food item.
- Finger millet (ragi) is a useful food item for the obese since the constant desire to eat is curbed by giving a feeling of fullness and also provides the necessary vitamins and minerals.
- The root juice of castor oil plant (arandi) if taken on an empty stomach reduces obesity.
- One tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar should be taken with honey in a glassful of water twice daily.
- Kelp is a sea plant and it has natural iodine content in it that is useful for obesity.
- Chromium Picolinate is a nutrient that is useful to help the body burn fat and sugar more effectively. Most dieters find 200-600 micrograms per day useful.