Obesity is a condition characterized by high amounts of fat in the body. Obesity is caused when the person eats food more than the calorie requirement of the body. There is an imbalance between the calories-in and calorie-out for a person who is obese. Obesity also depends upon factors such as genetics and heredity, overeating, consumption of food containing high-fat content and the lack of physical exercise and activity.
Obesity is different from being overweight. In the latter person weight more than what is normal. This might be caused by the weight of the muscle, bone, fat, water etc. In this case, the person’s body weight is higher than what is healthy, compared to the height of the person.
Obesity can lead to a lot of problems if not treated early. Heart diseases, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes are some of the risks posed by obesity. Losing weight can delay and prevent many of these diseases.
CAUSES OF OBESITY
Over the past century, there has been an increasing incidence of obesity in the world population. Research has found two major reasons for this.
• Increased intake of high-fat food: Fatty food contains a high amount of calories. When you consume more of fat-rich food, the body metabolism will not be able to burn all the fat. The fast-food culture being promoted in the world has been a major reason for the obesity being quite prevalent.
• Lack of physical activity: Physical activity burns the calories and fats in your body. People who exercise regularly will have less fat in their body and thereby, less risk of obesity. With the advancement in transportation and mechanization of activities, we do not have many activities that demand exercises. This lack of exercise contributes to obesity.
• Other factors such as tumors: endocrine disorder and certain medications like estrogens, insulin, corticosteroids and psychotic drugs also cause obesity. In women, obesity can also be caused due to pregnancy.
SYMPTOMS OF OBESITY
The commonly found symptoms of obesity are:
• High amount of body fat
• Feeling lethargic
• Fatigue and tiredness
• Excessive sweating along with bad smell
OBESITY IN AYURVEDA
Known as Medarog in Ayurveda, the treatment of obesity in this branch of medicine is well developed and effective. In the philosophy of Ayurveda, Medarog is caused due to the increase of Kapha in the body. Kapha is the Ayurvedic humor characterized by a slow, sticky, wet, cold and heavy nature. Kapha is known to govern the entire structure and the lubrication of the mind and the body. It controls the weight and formation of all seven tissues in the body i.e. fat, muscles, blood, bones, marrow, nutritive fluids and reproductive tissues.
A balanced body means that the Kapha provides nourishment to all the seven tissue through the several small channels in the body. When the Kapha content increases, it increases the production of toxic substances in the body. These toxins are of dense and heavy nature and fill up the weak channels in the body, thereby blocking them. For obese patients, the toxic substances accumulated in the fat channels which are also known as Medovahi Srota. This leads to increased production of the Meda Dhatu or the fat tissue. An increased production of the fat tissue is what causes obesity.
In the Ayurvedic treatment for obesity, the main aim is to pacify the Kapha Dosha. This is done by removing Kapha aggravating food from the diet. The treatment also focuses on the cleaning of the Medovahi channels with the help of herbs so as to reduce the excess weight.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OBESITY AYURVEDIC CONSULTATION?
During a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor for obesity, the doctor will suggest you a new dietary plan. You will have to strictly follow this in order to reduce body fat and improve the body metabolism. Fried and oily food consumption will have to be reduced considerably to minimise calorie intake. Along with it processed food, butter, cheese, cream, yogurt, whole milk products and chocolates also will have to be given up in the new diet plan. Your doctor will also suggest the intake of bitter vegetables such as bitter guard and drumsticks. Replacing refined flour with whole- grain flour of rice and wheat are also recommended. These food items have very less fat in it while also supplying you the adequate amount of energy. However, you will have to give up the consumption of high-calorie items like polished rice and potato. Your doctor will suggest including a high amount of fruits, vegetables, and salads in your meals.