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OBESITY
Prevention and Management

By  Dr P M Sharma

Obesity is called stholya in Ayurveda. Obesity occurs as a result of excessive accumulation of med or vasa, which is a sort of fat or lipid in the subcutaneous and deep tissues.

In the modern world weight reduction has been a profitable business. A number of advertisements crop up daily claiming weight reduction with any sort of foodstuff and without any other activity like exercise or suitable balanced diet. The success rate of such things is merely 0 percent to 2 percent only.

Remember a well-planned, well-experienced and practical scheme can provide you the best results.

WHO IS OBESE?

How can we say whether someone is obese or not? The right way is to compare your body-weight with the index. Apart from the index, another formula being used in the US is BMI (body mass index): Divide the body-weight (in kilograms) by height (in meters).

CAUSES

Stholayam pragudahritah guruadivridhasan leen sleshma mishro annajo rasah.
--- (Ashtang Sansrah Chaptor 224/22)

That means excessive intake of heavy and fatty meals as well as no exercise make a person obese.

SOME OTHER CAUSES

1. Over eating
2. Alcohol
3. Smoking
4. No exercise
5. Fried foods
6. Fat-rich or junk foods and cola drinks
7. No vegetarian diet
8. Luxurious life style and excessive sleeping
9. Anxiety and depression
10. Drugs such as steroids, oral contraceptives and insulin
11. Endocrinological-induced obesity may be seen in hypothalamic lesions, hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome etc.

PREVENTION

Prevention is always being better then cure. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and yoga can keep you fit and healthy.

MANAGEMENT

1.Balanced diet:

A balanced diet gives you all essential nutrients in desired amount for a session or a day. What is a right and suitable balanced diet for a person? This always varies from person to person according to individual's requirements.

For example, there are two people with different job. One of them is a sportsman and other is a manager. The sportsman burns his calories in a quick succession while the manager cannot do the same, as a result of which the meaning of a balanced diet would be different for both.

2.Exercise:

This is known as vyayam in Ayurveda.

Sharirayasjananam karm vyayam uchchate,
Laghav karm samarthya dipto agnio medasah kshayate,
Vibhiktkta ghan gatra vyayam tad uchchate.

--- (Ashtang Sangraha)

Means vyayam is the action which creates good appetite, stamina, and increases capacity of lungs, shapes up the body, and burns extra fat with extra calories.

Now a question arises about the duration of exercise or vyayam.

Vyayam kurvantoh tud balardhyaya laxanam.
--- (Shusurat Samhita 24/47)

This means we should exercise until we feel nice, activated and a little fatigued. Always exercise to just half of your stamina. We must go for a short break for rest after the exercise and then do gentle massage with lukewarm oil.

Here is a table that gives you an idea on how many calories do you actually burn while performing various types of activities:

1. Walking for 70 kg's subject = 5-6 kcal/min.
2. Cycling = 8 to 9 kcal/min.
3. Swimming = 11 to 12 kcal/min.
4. Running = 19 to20 kcal/min.

3. Yoga

Yoga disciplines you, provides you tranquility, and increases concentration.

MANAGEMENT

Dietary:

There can be no single dietary modality for all obese people. Dietary habits are as diverse as cultures themselves. So to set a single menu for all is not possible. However a few guidelines can be followed uniformly, like:

1. Calories should be restricted to about 700 to 1400 /day.
2. The dinner can increase your body weight therefore keep an eye on it.
3. Never go for starvation because you can suffer with malnutrition and associated diseases like anemia, low blood pressure, ketosis and others.
4. The food must be rich with fibers and salads, cucumber, green vegetables and orange juice.
5. Avoid fat and carbohydrates (sweets). Emphasize on protein, minerals and vitamins. Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries, chocolates, potatoes, rice, and wheat are carbohydrates rich things.
6. Alcohol can increase the fat accumulation in body. Therefore, cut them off totally from your daily dietary routine.
7. The yeast like infection can increase bodyweight in ladies so checkout.
8. Avoid non-vegetarian food because Ayurveda suggests that it increases stholya. 9. Add sprouts in your breakfast.
10. Drink plenty of water and juices instead of solid foods.
11. Walk for 100 steps after lunch and dinner, never go direct to your bed.

Medicinal management

Some herbs that are used in Ayurveda in single or combined form for obesity are as below:

Tinospora cordifolia wild
Cyperus Rotedus linn
Commiphora mukul
Clerodendrum phlomidis linn
Shilajeet
Cinnamon
Black pepper
Azadirecta indica
Lauh bhasm
Turmeric
Catechu.ziziphus jujuba

Based on the above recommendations, AugustAyurveda.com consultants have come up with an anti-obesity herbal package containing diet, guidelines on exercise and herbal combinations. For more information, please send a mail at doctors@augustayurveda.com .

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