Obesity is a serious, costly and frighteningly common disease, striking over one-third of adults, according to the Center for Disease Control. Causes and factors contributing to obesity include, but aren’t limited to:obesity Dietary Suggestions

  • Excessive food intake
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Genetics
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Medications
  • Medical & environmental factors
  • Psychiatric illness


Fat, in itself, is considered normal, healthy and essential. It provides your body with energy stores in times of starvation as well as providing lipids and other cells your body needs for daily functioning. A little weight gain is also considered normal and nothing to be too concerned about.

This picture is further complicated in that there are also different types of weight. Lean muscle mass is denser than other tissues, like adipose tissue (or fat cells), resulting in two people of similar weights that have vastly different levels of health. Others might have denser bones and other bodily tissues that, while contributing to weight, might not necessarily indicate disease.

Obesity, more than just the occasional inconvenience, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having a Body Mass Index of 30 and above. In practical terms, it’s when someone has noticeably excessive body mass and fat. While some may consider issues of weight a concern to only certain populations, obesity has striking health implications, possibly resulting in physical, emotional and psychological problems with a significantly increased risk for heart disease, hypertension, renal failure and strokes

It is strongly associated with particular diseases, including, but not limited to:

The main thrust with obesity is that it acts as the gateway for other physiological complications. The most common problem that results from obesity is metabolic syndrome, a constellation of disorders such as diabetes mellitus type II, hypertension, high blood cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. Heart disease, stroke, heart attacks, chronic fatigue as well as other diseases are likely results of this syndrome. Increased fat in the body also changes how the body responds to insulin, possibly resulting in insulin resistance, creates a chronic pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic (or blood clot) states.

In certain parts of the world and history, obesity was seen as a desirable trait, a sign of wealth and fertility. However, the WHO has deemed it a disease. In the US, studies report roughly 300,000 deaths per year as a result of obesity and related issues for men and women aged 18 and up.

Obesity is the world’s leading preventable cause of death. Though it may be caused by certain sedentary lifestyle choices, it may also further exacerbate lifestyle choices that promote obesity and illness. The best way to combat obesity is a proper combination of choosing a healthy diverse diet AND getting regular exercise. Although obesity is never a state in which we’d like to be, for most, a variety of options exist to reduce weight. Prevention is the best medicine before disaster strikes.

How it’s Diagnosed

Obesity is diagnosed differently in children, teens and adults. But the common metric of diagnosis is the BMI, or the Body Mass Index. The BMI is a system in which your height and weight are taken into an equation and assigned a numerical value. The table below shows normal, overweight and obese BMIs as well as the corresponding heights and weights for two sample populations.

























*BMI calculators are readily available at your physician’s office and even online.

Your physician may also take a waist measurement, calculating your waist size against height and age. If your physicians decide that other factors are contributing to or underlining obesity, they may decide to refer you to a specialist such as an endocrinologist or psychiatrist for further testing.

Dietary Suggestions

“Everything in moderation” is an aphorism that should guide your dietary habits. To lose excessive weight, you should choose a diet rich in a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as lean meats. Maintaining a normal eating schedule is also helpful. That said, the list below will mention a few helpful suggestions on foods that you should include and exclude to combat obesity.

Add these to your diet
to help you lose weight:
Eliminate these from your diet
to help you lose weight:

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Eggs
  • Lean meats
  • Beans & legumes
  • Probiotics (eg Yogurt)
  • Avocados
  • Green Tea
  • Quinoa
  • Kale
  • Oats
  • Omega 3 (eg Salmon & sardines)
  • Blueberries
  • Pears
  • Soup
  • Pomegranates
  • Olive oil
  • Apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilies

  • Saturated & Trans Fats
  • Refined sugars
  • Fast food
  • Sugar & High-fructose corn syrup
  • Alcohol
  • Sodas
  • Desert foods
  • “Diet” foods
  • Mayonnaise
  • White bread & pasta
  • Processed foods & drinks
  • Excessive calories


How to Lose Weight in a Healthy Manner

Exercise Regularly. Among other benefits, regular exercise strengthens the body, boosts metabolism, combats heart disease and burns calories. Remember to stretch before and after you exercise, slowly ramping up and winding down. Exercising in 30-minute sessions every day is ideal to promote general well being.

Watch what you eat. No matter how much you exercise, taking in more calories than you burn will result in weight gain. The types of food you choose also play a large role. Choose natural fruits and vegetables over processed sweets, juice and water over soda. And avoid fried foods as well as alcohol and tobacco use.

Rest. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, getting enough quality rest (roughly 8 hours a day) and avoiding over-exertion all promote metabolic and overall health.

Maintain a healthy eating schedule. Eating smaller portions several times a day can help regulate food intake and promote weight loss. Eating a large breakfast also helps boost up your metabolism. Avoid skipping meals and eating excessively in the evening, as these habits might slow your metabolism or lead to excessive caloric intake without the opportunity to use them.

Eat Enough. Some restrict their caloric intake to unhealthy levels. This is not only unhealthy, as you avoid absorbing key nutrients, but it’s ineffective. Your body loses water weight and muscle mass as well as slowing metabolism, resulting in rapid weight gain once you start eating again. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the normal caloric intake for men ranges from 2,000-3,000 calories for men and 1,600-2,400 calories for women, depending on level of activity. Adjust your caloric intake to match your level of activity, and plan for smaller regular meals to keep your appetite satiated, as well as providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function.

More Tips on Combating Obesity

Avoid deserts. After-meal deserts only add calories as well as fats, to an already full meal. Ice cream adds excessive amounts of sugar and fat, potato chips give your body excessive carbohydrates and salt. When choosing deserts,stick with fresh fruits.

Avoid “Diet” foods. Certain pre-packed “diet-friendly” foods often add excessive amounts of salt, sugar and fat to add flavor to an otherwise bland meal. If you’re considering purchasing diet foods, always look at the information on the side of the box, and always remember to check serving portion and size.

Probiotics. Researchers found that obese populations have less gut microbe diversity as well as an increase in bacteria that results in weight gain, than healthy people. A diverse microbial environment in your body can help break more foods down efficiently, delivering your body with the right energy it needs. Adding Greek & low-fat yogurts can be a great start to get you on your way to shed those excessive pounds.

Choose unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats help increase the level of the type of cholesterol (HDL) that lowers blood cholesterol, keeping your body free. There are two types of unsaturated fats: mono and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and keep it from clogging up the arteries, while raising good cholesterol (HDL). Polyunsaturated fats lower triglycerides and act as anti-inflammatory agents. Sources of unsaturated fats include olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids.

Top Natural Obesity Supplements

  • Fiber
  • Chromium Picolinate
  • Essential Fatty Acids (eg Omega-3s)
  • Lecithin
  • Spirulina
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Caffeine
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid
  • Diacylglycerol
  • Fish Oil
  • Vitamin D
  • Whey Protein

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.




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