Dealing with Obesity

Dealing with Obesity

Obesity is a serious condition of having excessive body fat that can lead to various health complications. Aside from the health risks, obese and overweight people in general are widely discriminated due to their appearance.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

To know if you’re obese, you need to measure your body mass index by dividing your weight in kilograms by your squared height in meters. For example: For someone who is 1.8 meters tall (180cm) and weights 75kgs, that is 75 divided by (1.8)^2 which gives a BMI of 23. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.

The body mass index (BMI) is a statistical measurement derived from your height and weight. Although it’s a useful way to estimate healthy body weight, it does not measure the percentage of body fat. More importantly, the BMI measurement can sometimes be misleading especially in the case of people who lift weights because they will have a higher BMI due to their muscle mass than an unfit person whose BMI is lower. However, BMI is a useful indicator for the ‘average person’.

Causes of Obesity

The major cause of obesity is overeating and consuming more calories than the body needs, having an inactive (sedentary) lifestyle, making poor choices and poor dietary habits. Working professionals usually have a 9-5 job that limits them to their desks. They usually go out for lunch which typically consists of Rice, Chowmein, Momos and the like. The typical Nepali diet is high in carbs and fats which makes it worse. And they go back to the comfort of their homes and sit in front of the TV, eat some more and go to sleep. This viscous cycle of sitting, eating and sleeping without any proper exercise leads to obesity. This is the same for children as their diet consists of a hefty amount of chocolates, fast food and extra calories from sugary drinks. TV, computers, video games and other things entertain them and keep them at home sitting around for hours at a time.

Risks of Obesity

  •  Coronary artery disease
  •  Elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  •  Type 2 diabetes
  •  Certain cancers (such as breast, colon and endometrial cancers)
  •  Respiratory issues
  •  Infertility and irregular menstrual cycles
  •  Metabolic syndrome
  •  Gallbladder and liver disease
  •  Osteoarthritis

Overcoming Obesity

1. Healthy Diet

You need to follow a healthy and balanced diet that is high in micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and a diet high in protein with moderate carbs and fats. The most important thing to remember is that you need to eat at a caloric deficit i.e. Calories you eat should be less than what your body needs.

Avoid the following if you’re obese or overweight:

  •  Alcohol
  •  Processed junk (Bacon, Canned goods, Fried Foods)
  •  Sugary foods and drinks
  •  Oil

Make sure that you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Water is your best friend. Drink a lot of water (at least 4 litres a day) to keep yourself hydrated and keep your appetite in check. Remember: Water is Calorie Free which means it has Zero Calories!

2. Exercise

Weight lifting and cardio combined with proper diet and training program will help you successfully lose weight. There are several health benefits of exercising. Although cardio is good, it only helps spike your metabolism in the short run. Weight lifting however, helps improve metabolism in the long run, helps you put on muscle and burn fat at the same time and helps you look visible appealing. For that reason, I always recommend people to start lifting weights and use cardio only as a supplementary exercise.

Other forms of exercise include:

  •  Dancing
  •  Playing sports
  •  Hiking
  •  Cycling
  •  Swimming
  •  Walking

Personal Battle with Obesity

I battled obesity since I was a kid and it got much worse in my teenage years. I was 120 plus kilos when I was 18 years old. My blood work was horrendous and the doctor told me I was borderline diabetic! I turned my life around by cutting out all the processed junk, maintained a balanced diet, ate at a caloric deficit and started exercising through cardio and weight training. I lost 51 plus kilos in a period of 4 years. Currently, I’m 25 years old, weigh 88kgs and I weight train religiously. You know the coolest part; the doctor couldn’t even recognize me when I went back for a check-up 3 years after he told me I was the worst case of an 18 year old he had ever seen! Now, my blood work is clean and I occasionally enjoy a few treats and junk because I keep the rest of my diet and exercise in check. I still train hard to keep myself fit, strong and healthy. Remember: Prevention is better than Cure!


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