In early days, due to excessive physical labour, people used to have strong muscles and good health, but due to technological advancement, physical labour has been replaced by mental labour. The most obvious impact is increasing incidences of excess weight and obesity. Many have misconceptions regarding obesity that gaining weight is normal with age and after pregnancy or is hereditary.
The fact is that this is not true. In 75% of cases, obesity is caused by bad food habits and lifestyle.
Excess weight gain is due to a requirement of working long hours in one position and consuming too much fat. Our body needs energy/calories to perform daily work. This energy comes from food that we eat. When the energy consumed is more than energy needed, the body starts storing it in the form of fat in the body. It is important to keep the metabolic rate high. As per food experts, the fat in our muscles and body regulate our metabolic rate. It is estimated that a normal, healthy person burns 20-30% more calories than a fat person.
Many people argue that, with age, people gain weight. This is so because, with age, our muscles start contracting, and their power of burning calories is reduced, or, in other words, the metabolic rate is reduced. Therefore, if we continue eating the same amount of food, it is not fully utilized and is stored in the body, which leads to more weight. So, with age, if we control our calorie intake, we can control weight.
One more reason for gaining weight is that the amounts of calories from different foods that we eat are different. For example, the calories that we get from eating fat are more than what we get from fruits or vegetables. If you eat more carbohydrates, protein and fat, they are stored in the body, leading to weight gain.
As per food experts, when any person tries to control weight by avoiding food, it leads to bad reaction from the body. The body starts taking energy by breaking down stored fat, and this reduces the metabolic rate by 40-50%. Initially, you see a loss in weight, but after 2-3 months, you find no difference, even if you are eating the same amount of food. This is so because your body gets adjusted to the reduced metabolic rate.
Moreover, with this metabolic rate, you will slowly start to feel weak and lethargic and may have low blood pressure, as dieting leads to scarcity of essential nutrition in the body.
Now, the question is what is the best way to reduce weight? The answer lies in increasing metabolic rate, which is the ability of the body to burn calories, and it requires you to follow three rules.
- First, eat balanced and healthy food. This means eating fibrous, easily digested foods that have less calories, like fruits, vegetables and whole grain. Avoiding trans fat in the form of fast food, like pizza, pastries, burgers, soft drinks, chips and red meat.
- Second, avoid the tendency of working long hours on a chair. Try to take break and go for 1-minute walks. Eat tiffin or have tea in the canteen rather than on the desk. Even while watching TV, get up to change the channel rather than using a remote control.
- And finally, exercise regularly and be physically active. If you cannot exercise regularly, go for 30-minute walks.
Or simply avoid transportation when going to the office or fetching children from school.