First and foremost, it is important to recognize that obesity is a chronic disease that should be properly diagnosed and treated. People who suffer from obesity may also experience diabetes, arthritis and heart disease, which makes it important to address the underlying causes of obesity and work to maintain a healthy weight.
What are the Causes of Obesity?
When we take in more calories than we need, the excess energy is stored as fat. Ingesting more calories than your body burns will result in weight gain.
As an industrial society, we move less and burn fewer calories than previous generations. At the same, time, we have been taught that food is a source of enjoyment. We often use it as a reward or to celebrate events. These factors have helped contribute to culture where we eat more and burn less.
Your feelings of hunger and fullness are controlled by a complex system that involves the brain, hormones, the gastrointestinal tract and other vital organs. If there is a glitch in the system, your body could be sending signals to eat more, which can lead to weight gain.
Your genetic makeup can make you predisposed to weight gain and obesity. While this trait is passed down from your parents, it is only one factor in your overall health, which means that you can still lose weight.
Many medications can influence how well the different systems in your body are able to communicate. While weight gain can be an unwelcomed side effect of some medications, you can take steps to mitigate the effects.
Eating food, especially those high in fat, sugar and salt, triggers the pleasure center in our brains and it feels like we are rewarding ourselves. Tastes and smells can even bring back pleasant memories, which only adds to the experience of eating. It is important to recognize when we are consuming to fuel our bodies and when we are eating for pleasure and not get carried away with emotional eating.
The Effects of Losing Weight
While losing weight is a challenge, it can be even more difficult to avoid regaining the weight. As you lose weight, your body goes through changes that can actually work against you. Many people will experience lower metabolism, an increased sense of hunger and hormonal shifts that encourage weight gain. This can make it difficult to maintain weight loss in the long-term. That is why it is important to be aware of these factors and make a commitment to changing your lifestyle in order to achieve lasting weight loss and better overall health.
Benefits of Losing Weight
While obesity is considered a chronic disease that can’t necessarily be cured, you can follow these steps to help manage the disease:
- Combine a low-calorie diet with regular exercise
- Monitor your weight
- Avoid being sedentary
- Eat breakfast
As you work towards getting your obesity under control, keep in mind that losing just 5-10% of your body weight will significantly improve your health. Start with small goals focus on health and not just your weight.