Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of fat in the stores of adipose tissues throughout the body. It is a common nutritional disorder in children and adults in affluent societies, where it is responsible for more ill-health than all the vitamin deficiencies put together.
The main parameters for measuring obesity are weight and height. The weight of the patient should be brought down within 10% of the desirable weight for any given height. The seriousness of obesity needs to be constantly emphasized not only because of the high risk of mortality it carries, but also because of numerous complications and predisposition it creates to common and potentially serious conditions such as diabetes mellitus. This can cause various diseases like heart attacks, various forms of body pains, high-blood pressure, asthma etc.
Sex (fat content of a woman is about twice that of a man), hereditary, lack of exercise, endocrine (includes conditions like Cushing’s Syndrome, where there is adrenocortical hyperfunction and this is associated with an increase in weight and fat in body), psychological (depressed and anxious patients or emotionally deprived individuals, who seek relief in food are prone to obesity), consuming more calories than burnt, socio-economic factors.
Principles of treatment of obesity
There are many causes for obesity, the most common being overeating. The Chinese method of treatment by acupuncture provides a safe effective technique to overcome this problem without involving drugs, crash diets, shots, strenuous exercise, or electrical shocks.
To lose weight and stay slim, undoubtedly, the first step would be to cut down on the consumption of sugar, fat and salt.
Counteracting the sweetness urge
The urge for sweet foods can be counteracted by forming a habit of drinking hot tea. Drinking tea after meals helps to eliminate the uneasy, dry feeling in the mouth and thus removes the desire for sweets. Tea will also help get rid of the fat deposited along the gastrointestinal tract. Tea is also known to reduce cholesterol in blood which coffee does not. The tea should be prepared from leaves without adding sugar, lemon, milk or cream. Drink it plain.
Eating smart with fats
A better way to consume fats is to substitute vegetable oils for animal fats, instead of butter use margarine. The key point in successful weight loss is reached when the consumption of fats, whether saturated or unsaturated is reduced.
Eating smart with salt
Use soya sauce instead of salt. Soya sauce is salty. Its main ingredients are soybeans, wheat, yeast, and salt. However, the salt in soya sauce is not ordinary sodium chloride. It is sea salt or rock salt. When you add ordinary table salt to your food, you are adding sodium which may be injurious to health. It may ultimately cause hypertension and/or edema.
A weekly loss of 1 kg in weight should be the general aim. The diet chart should include protein contents of 50 to 60 g/day, CHO content of 100 g/day and fat content of 40-50 g/day and plenty of green vegetables and fruits because of their low-calorie contents. Their bulk helps to fill the stomach and relieve hunger, and also to minimize constipation which is common on a low-food intake.
Role of Acupuncture Acupuncture, which has achieved wonderful results in curing various diseases, can treat obesity effectively.
The basic principles behind the treatment of obesity by acupuncture consist of a controlled diet, and the disintegration and disbursement of already accumulated fat in the stores of adipose tissues, so that it can be consumed by the needy links of the body.
Through this treatment, the patient looses weight but not vitality and strength. In fact the patient feels more energetic, active, and contented.
In summary, the following steps are suggested for weight reduction: 1. Drink plain tea without sugar and milk after meals. 2. Undergo acupuncture/acupressure treatment, which is scientific and without any ill or adverse effects. 3. Use soya sauce instead of salt. 4. Adopt a diet chart.
The author is the head of the department of Acupuncture at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
You can write your queries to Dr Raman Kapur at email@example.com