Dr. Sayeed Ahmad D. I. Hom. (London)
WHAT IS OBESITY :
Obesity can be best described as the most common nutritional disorder specially in the affluent group of people. It is a condition in which excessive accumulation of fat takes place in the body due to intake of food in excess of physiological requirements. Therefore, overnutrition is as much malnutrition as undernutrition is. An excess of 50 calories per day can increase about 25 Kgs in a period of ten years.
Obesity has been classified into 3 types as follows, depending upon the excess in weight :
Above Normal Weight :
Mildly obese 10-15%
Moderately obese 10-20%
Very obese 20% and above.
Obesity is generally caused by two factors i. e. :
- Exogenous� Overeating or intake of excessive energy.
- Endogenous-- Due to inherent metabolic disturbance of the body.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE OBESE :
Obesity should not be taken lightly. Obesity means you are 20% or more above the recommended weight for your sex, age, height and bone structure. Extra pounds beneath the 20% mark simply mean you are over-weight.
CAUSES OF OBESITY :
Obesity can occur both in male and female at any age. However, it is more common in female.
Some of the following factors may contribute to the development of obesity :
- It is common in those who take excess of food with little physical work or exercise.
- Excessive eating habits is also one of the factors.
Obesity is rarely seen amongst active persons and it is more common in those with sedentary habits.
ADVERSE EFFECT OF OBESITY :
- Obesity reduces the life expectancy.
- Obesity produces the following physical disabilities :
- Abdominal Hernias.
- Varicose Veins.
- Flat Feet.
- Osteoarthritis of Knee, Hips and Lumber Spine.
- Due to poor reflexes, liable to fall down on slippery floors.
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
It leads to greater wear and tear of the entire vascular system and consequently it doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke. It may also cause damage to kidneys.
- It also produces metabolic disorders such as :
- Cholesterol in Arteries.
- Stone in Gall Bladder.
- Diabetes Mellitus.
It is needless to add that �Excess Weight� (Obesity) is linked to a higher risk of heart diseases and therefore it increases the overall risk of death particularly to persons with Diabetes or Cardiovascular disease.
REDUCING WEIGHT (OBESITY)
It is estimated that an active person will burn about 12-13 calories a day per pound of body weight. Therefore, a person having weight 140 pounds will need roughly 1700-1800 calories a day to maintain that weight, and less to reduce it. This can be used as a guideline for planning weight loss programme, by reducing calorie intake.
It is already stated that obesity is caused by intake of excess calorie and furthermore the lack of physical work or exercise is also one of the contributory factors. Thus, reducing weight means one has to reduce calorie intake by reducing his high-calorie diet. It may therefore be suggested to an obese adult to stick to his daily diet providing 1300 kcal (calorie) which may help in reducing about 0.5 � 1 Kg a week. The reducing diets should contain adequate amounts of Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals. Once the body weight comes to the standard level according to the height, the weight maintenance diets (adequate in Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals) should be taken to keep weight constant i. e. between 1700-1800 kcal (calories). Therefore, daily diet should contain balanced amount of cereals, pulses, green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, roots and tubers, fruits, milk, fats and oils, sugar and jaggery, groundnut (roasted) ; meat /fish /eggs (to be excluded by vegetarian).
IMPORTANT TIPS TO REDUCE OBESITY :
- You may not eat or drink the following :
- Bacon, Fatty Meats, Sausages.
- Beer, Liquor, Wines.
- Butter, Margarines.
- Cakes, Cookies, Crackers, Doughnuts, Pastries, Pies.
- Candy, Chocolates, Nuts.
- Creams � Sweet and Sour, Cream, Cheese, Non-Dairy Cream.
- French Fried Potatoes, Potato Chips.
- Pizza, Popcorn, Snack Foods.
- Gelatin Desserts, Puddings (Sugar-Sweetened).
- Gravies and Sauces.
- Honey, Jams, Jellies, Sugar and Syrup.
- Ice Cream, Ices, Ice Milk, Sherbets.
- Milk Whole.
- Muffins, Pan Cakes, Waffles.
- Soda (Sugar-Sweetened).
- Yogurt (Fruit-Flavoured).
- Buy a reliable scale to weight yourself and a kitchen scale to weight your food.
- Set a long term weight loss aim.
- Cut down on salt.
- Eat from a small plate.
- Do not skip meals � else being hungry you will overeat at the next meal.
- Do not eat while you are out.
- Weigh yourself quite often.
- Do not be tempted by prohibited foods.
- Do not eat while reading, watching TV, Video or games, etc.
- Keep tempting foods out of sight.
- Try to relax.
- Control your urge to eat.
- Control the amount you eat.
- Do not finish everything on your plate.
- Eat little at dinner.
- Shop only after eating.
- Eat in the same place invariably.
- Chew your food completely, never gulp it.
- When you are angry, drink water.
- Do not eat between meals except raw carrots.
- Remove skin or visible fat from meat.
- Do not use butter or sauce on vegetables.
- Drink 7-8 glasses of water a day.
- Do not eat fried foods.
- Walk after night meal.
- Be vegetarian to lose weight.
- Use skim milk instead of cow or buffalo milk.
- Walk daily in the morning.
- Avoid foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
As a matter of fact, the Author of this article (Dr. Sayeed Ahmad) was also one of the victims of obesity. Control over diets, doing daily light exercise and taking of Hom�opathic Medicines greatly helped him to win over this problem. A few years ago, his weight was 84 Kgs with an height of 5 feet 6 inches and consequently he was obese and over-weight and presently his weight is about 64 Kgs and only due to his own hom�opathic treatment he could reduce about twenty Kgs and he is now fit and fine.
LEADING HOM�OPATHIC MEDICINES FOR REDUCING OBESITY :
Fat patients with weak heart. For women who are tired and weary and take cold easily and lead a sedentary life. Dry coryza and stoppage of the nose, chiefly at night, with danger of suffocation. With long continued coryza, can only breathe through the mouth. Women with premature and too copious menses, with emission of black and acrid blood. Sadness, with disposition to weep. Timidity of character. Disgust with life. Heedlessness. Great absence of mind and weakness of memory. Vertigo, on reading in a sitting posture. Chilly patient with great sensitiveness to cold open air, < in wet, stormy weather ; from washing ; > by warmth.
In case the body is fat and legs are thin. With large buttocks. Full of grief, but cannot weep. Irritability and disposition to be angry. Very severe ulcerative pain in the heel, > by rubbing. The feet get very cold in the evening in bed.
Children and young person with tendency to grow fat with coated moist white tongue. The subject needing this remedy may belch a great deal, and the eructations may taste of the ingesta. Bloating after eating. < By heat is a marked characteristic. The symptoms are < in the heat of the Sun. Nails discoloured and deformed. Corns and callous excrescences on the feet. Alternate diarrh�a and constipation especially in aged persons.
Fat patients with Arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. With fatty degeneration of heart. Patients with melancholy, hopelessness, profound depression, tendency to suicide and longing for death. Pain in heart region extending down left arm to fingers. Chilliness predominates ; coldness of hands and feet, sometimes lasting all night.
This is the main remedy for reducing obesity. The characteristic symptom is sweating on the forehead which wets the pillow when sleeping. It should be given in 200 potency with weekly repetition. This can be prescribed to obese children also. The patient�s hand is soft, warm, and moist ; a boneless hand with clammy feet. Great sensitiveness to cold, damp air. Dread of bathing and water. Great weakness on ascending, on walking and talking.
This medicine is helpful in reducing the obesity without decreasing the weight i. e. flesh will be decreased, the muscles will become harder and firmer. Heat in stomach is a good guiding symptom.
It is particularly suited to people who are weak of lax fiber and who have little vital heat. The digestion is poor and they suffer from myalgia (aching and jerking of muscles). They have burning pains but hate the cold. Often indicated in old people who have exhausted their vitality. This remedy is very suitable for children also. The mental state shows home-sickness. > From heat is the most important modality.
Its chief fame has been gained by its action on the liver, and in the treatment of obesity and diabetes. Sensitiveness to cold air ; great liability to take cold. Sweats more easily. > In open air ; on motion. The breath smells offensive, the tongue is white and feels furry. The patient is self-satisfied, very talkative and uncommondly good-humoured. Discouraged and anxious about domestic duties. Absent-minded ; heedless ; forgets names.
One of the great fat reducers. May be alternated with Phytoline. Both remedies should be used in mother tincture.
Obesity with an�mia, face puffy with pitting of flesh. This remedy is recommended to children also. Delicate girls, fearfully constipated, with low spirits. The pulse of the patient is full and yielding. < From eating eggs. This remedy should be given carefully in h�morrhagic phthisis, as it may aggravate. Rheumatic symptoms, especially of left shoulder and deltoid.
< In cold weather, and > in warm air. Great lassitude and general weakness. Great need to lie down.
It is given when Calcarea Carbonica fails. It should be given in drop doses of mother tincture. It is very effective in cases of indigestion, obstinate constipation and flatulence. It is suitable to people with enlarged thyroid glands. Goitre has been cured with it.
Obesity in females with delayed menstruation. Indicated for fair, fat, chilly, constipated people who have skin trouble. Helpful to those who have lost desire for sex.
It is especially suited to fair-haired, fat persons, especially fat, chubby children ; fat, sluggish people. Gastric symptoms supersede rheumatic symptoms. Liability to take cold in the open air. Great debility, with desire to lie down.
This remedy is especially good for older fat people who are characterized by sweat, backache and weakness. This remedy should be used cautiously in Bright�s disease and Tuberculosis. This remedy is for dark haired persons of lax fibre and inclined to be fat.
One of the effective weight and corpulence reducing remedies.
This remedy is a great fat reducer. It is recommended if the patient is having difficulty in walking, sitting, palpitation, dyspn�a on least exertion, nausea, eructations. It is used in mother tincture.
In excessive obesity, it acts better in pale patients rather than those of high colour. This remedy is a powerful diuretic and is very useful in myxodema and various types of edema.
Any information given in this article is not intended to be taken as a replacement for medical advice. Therefore, it is very important that the patients should avoid self-treatment and rather consult the most abled and qualified classical hom�opath and take the treatment under his proper guidance and advice since you may need constitutional treatment.
However, if you are interested in your treatment for obesity or any other ailments, you may kindly get in touch with the Author of this article (Dr. Sayeed Ahmad) by e-mail for further information.
For more information regarding Obesity, please study the Author�s Book "Obesity and Health", published by B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd., New Delhi (India).
Copyright with Dr. Sayeed Ahmad 2004
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