The World Health Organization defines overweight and obesity as the excessive accumulation of fat that impairs health. The main cause is produced by an energy imbalance between the calories that are consumed through food and those that are spent through daily activities. The body does not metabolize this excess and stores it as fat.
Causes of overweight and obesity
Being overweight is not only the result of uncontrolled eating. Numerous studies have determined various factors associated with obesity.
- Sedentary lifestyle: work activity, urban life and less exercise lead to a sedentary lifestyle.
- Unhealthy habits – Smoking and alcohol contribute to obesity.
- Inadequate nutrition : the tendency to consume foods rich in salt, fat and sugars increases.
- Age produces hormonal changes and, together with a more sedentary lifestyle, contributes to obesity.
- Genetic studies determine that there are hereditary factors that can influence the amount of body fat.
Also Read: Step By Step To Your Desired Weight
Main measures to combat obesity and sedentary lifestyle
An adequate diet and regular exercise contribute to improving the quality of life. The main recommendations are:
- Eat fewer foods high in fat and sugar.
- Eat fruit and vegetables regularly. Also legumes, cereals and nuts.
- Do physical activity every day.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
Limit the consumption of sugars
The WHO announced that the consumption of free sugars increases caloric intake. Apart from the consequences on weight, excessive consumption of sugar can lead to a diagnosis of diabetes. It also increases the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
It is advisable to gradually reduce the consumption of sugar in certain foods. Eliminate sugary drinks like soft drinks. Foods with a large amount of sugar such as pastries, jams or high-calorie desserts.
Eat several times a day fruit and vegetables
The latest WHO studies point to the consumption of five daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are at the top of the healthy food pyramid. One step below are dairy, legumes, fish and white meat . They should be consumed between two and three servings a day. And one step below, food to eat occasionally: red meat, sausages, pastries and appetizers.
It is about exercising according to the age and physical conditions of each person. It is important to abandon sedentary habits and achieve more active routines. Without a doubt, aerobic exercise is the most effective and necessary. Walking, running, cycling or swimming a minimum of thirty minutes each day is excellent physical work.
Give up smoking
Smoking affects fitness and causes aerobic activity to decrease. Tobacco increases abdominal fat and increases the risk of diabetes. It also increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol . This alteration causes fat to accumulate and affects the quality of sleep.
Minimize the consumption of alcohol and soft drinks
Some alcoholic beverages contain the same calories as a meal, but without its nutrients. Consuming more than one sugary soft drink a day increases the risk of obesity by 37% . These drinks are sweetened with sucrose or fructose, which inhibits the production of leptin and insulin, the hormones that regulate blood sugar and are directly related to obesity.
Weigh yourself regularly
It is important to become aware of the importance of maintaining an optimal weight to be healthy . Regular weighing helps detect any increase and correct it immediately if lifestyle changes have occurred. It is also a good indicator of possible alterations due to health problems.