Obesity isn't just a lifestyle syndrome. Just cutting down on junk or hitting the treadmill for 45 minutes a day isn't enough to avoid it. If it was so, there sure wouldn't have been so many slimming centers and packages. Metabolic activity is a sum of taking up nourishment from the food you eat and getting them broken down into simple things that can be distributed equally throughout the body. In short, it is absorption, assimilation, and degradation. So, when metabolic activities get affected, there is a disturbance in the distribution.
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Besides unhealthy lifestyle, the most common reason for obesity, there are also other factors that contribute to it. These are: thyroid, polycystic ovarian disorders, menopause/hysterectomy, Cushing's syndrome, and immobility. So, until these underlying reasons are treated, obesity is a hard nut to crack. Most of these, do give early symptoms and early action can prevent the onset of obesity.
1. Unsatisfactory motions
Incomplete motions lead to improper digestion and hence improper food metabolism
2. Lethargy after an everyday meal
The body unable to digest the fat in the body gets lethargic and tired
3. Flabbiness of the muscles
Especially around the lower abdomen and thighs
4. Excessive urinations
The body heat generally begins to increase in obesity, causing excessive thirst and thus increased water intake and urination
5. Irregularity in the menstrual cycle or reduction in the menstrual flow
Estrogen, progestrone and thyroid hormones play an essential part in menstrual regulation. These also have an essential role in fat metabolism. Hence, when the balance between these hormones is affected, it causes imbalanced fat deposition.
6. Irritability and anxiety
The changes in the hormonal structure play an essential part in mood swings. Fat is very much essential for a person's brain activity. When this fat isn't properly assimilated or excessively deposited in the body, it leads to mental disturbances, such as anxiety.
Ayurvedic scriptures suggest a few changes in routine which can help control fat metabolism at an early stage. Mostly, the underlying condition that causes it also gets healed if acted upon at an early stage.
Keeping the body constantly in action besides the scheduled few hours of work out will help in fat metabolism. A short walk 15-20 minutes post every meal will help aid proper digestion and unnecessary fat deposition. Your routine workout should include more of toning exercises, thus enhancing more fat burnout from definite parts.
2. Keeping the mind engaged in work or activity
About 20% of the body's calorie is utilised by the brain. Thus, when the brain activity increases, the calory use also increases. So, when you make your brain work harder (which is very different from the stressful work at your job where only one particular centre of the brain is utilised), more caories get utilised.
3. Walking about
Walking causes increased peristaltic movement along with increased functioning of the thigh muscles and lower abdomen, thus enhancing fat moblisation.
4. Honey and its preparations
The texts specifically suggest taking a spoon of honey in water on empty stomach to reduce obesity. Similarly, a preparation with false black pepper, dry ginger, sodium bicarbonate, loha bhasma, gooseberry and honey is proven to be very effective - increasing the digestive capacity as well as fat metabolism.
5. Barley, fox millets
Both barley and fox millet are rich in fiber and help you not feel starved through the day. Barley has a low glycemic index, that is unlike in rice and wheat the glucose level in the blood does not spike up immediately upon consumption and lower down upon after digestion causing you to be hungry and tired sooner. Fox millets have 3 times more fibre than rice and wheat and have more minerals too thus does not make you tired all along.
6. Avoiding day sleep
Day sleep lowers your body metabolism and also spikes up the sugar levels. It affects the hormones regulating hunger and also exhausts the body, thus causing lesser physical activity.
These simple tweaks to your daily routine as explained in the Ayurvedic texts will not only bring about a change to obese conditions but also contribute more energy to the body and spirit.
(The author is an Ayurveda doctor. You may reach her on firstname.lastname@example.org)