Posts Tagged ‘what is obesity’

What if medication makes me gain weight?

Posted on: March 22nd, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments


There are the medicines that can make you gain weight:

  •          Antidepressants
  •          Antipsychotics
  •          Antihistamines, Sleep Aids
  •          Blood Pressure Medication
  •          Cancer Therapy
  •          Diabetes Drugs
  •          Migraine Medicines
  •          Steroids

The cases of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer are increasing, and the drugs that can treat them have the potential to pack on the pounds.

Most of us never even realized the side effect these medication have on our metabolism, appetite, sluggishness which can cause us to gain weight. Some of these drugs can make one drowsy or lethargic which means he or she will be burning fewer calories throughout the day. While there are drugs which can have an impact on one’s brain chemistry to trigger hunger switches.

When you start a new therapy, you must monitor yourself closely. Weigh yourself on a regular basis to track weight gain.

George Blackburn, MD, PhD, associate director of the division of nutrition at Harvard Medical School, where he teaches a course that includes a section on drugs and weight gain has this to say, "Five pounds is your red flag to check with a physician."

If you feel excessively hungry or sluggish, act immediately. You can request to change your prescriptions. Drugs that are connected to weight problems may be changed into second-generation alternatives. "Increasingly, drugs linked to weight problems are being replaced with second-generation alternatives," Consult an internist, endocrinologist or specialist who's trained to treat this weight specific problem and with an interest in obesity issues with the latest treatments.

If switching drugs or readjusting the dosage isn't an option in your case, decreasing your calorie intake by 100 to 200 calories each day will counteract the kind of weight gain that can be a side effect to these drugs. It will also help if you engage and increase your physical activities and exercise.

Patience is the key to weight gain due to medication. Getting off the medication will not make you lose the weight quickly the way you gained it when you were treated.  You only need to control this aspect of your treatment and you will be on your way to a healthier you. 

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Genetics and Weight

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments


So your great, great grand Aunt suffered from diabetes and her great, great grand Dad also had the same type of illness. Both of them are obese. And when you look at your family members right now, they are all on the heavy side. Then, you go on thinking, it runs in the family. It is in our genes. We are all going to be obese.

The thing is you may be right. Family history and genetics play a role in someone’s health like heart disease, obesity, cancer, alcoholism and other diseases. Genetics has an impact on the chemical functions in our bodies such as our hormones, body fat composition and metabolism which greatly affect our weight.

But do you know of anybody whose parents are heavy-set however, the child is lean? Or vice versa? I am pretty sure that there are people who do not follow after their parents’ weight even with the kind of genetics make-up they have. You see, the effect of genes on our gain weight is hard to define, even if there is. The other crucial point is, there are more factors that affect one’s weight aside from genetics like lifestyle, food choices, activities, exercise, mindset and so much more.

If you are raised by two overweight parents, there’s a big chance that you will be overweight not only because of your genes but because of your environment, your family lifestyle and so on. Think about it, you don’t have your own fridge of healthy food choices. The family has a fridge full of sweets and all those delicious treats that help us gain more weight.  Naturally, what they eat, you also eat.

But when the family decides to make a lifestyle change and a shift in mindset and healthy food choices, there’s a bigger possibility of achieving weight loss success despite of your genes.

Genes do not dictate who you are going to be. You don’t have to be a slave to something that you can’t change. However, you can do something about what you can change.


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The risks of developing obesity in your 20’s

Posted on: November 8th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


We've always known that obesity or being overweight is a serious matter. It can lead to illnesses and other health conditions especially if it stretches out from childhood to adolescence until one reaches his or her 20's. These illnesses can include the following:

  • cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • the risk of having pre-diabetes which is a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes
  • bone and joint problems
  • sleeping disorders like apnea
  • higher risk for adult health problems (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis )

By the time an obese person has reached middle age, there is already a bigger risk in developing life-threatening diseases. For instance, there is a risk in developing hardened plaque in their arteries which can cause a heart attack or a stroke later in life.

According to Jared Reis, an epidemiologist in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's division of cardiovascular sciences, "…The obesity epidemic… people are becoming obese at a younger age than in previous generations, and they are spending a longer period of their life with obesity…. a longer duration of obesity independently contributes to hardened plaque in the arteries, which is sometimes called silent heart disease because there are no symptoms."

An  interesting finding from a recent study shows that for every year the young adults were obese, their risk of developing hardened plaque increased by 2% to 4%.

When we are young, we think we are invincible. If not for our bodies, we think that we will live forever. More often than not, we traverse through our youth ignoring that we are part corporeal and if we don't take care of it, it can malfunction and grow ill.

I am just as guilty. I have been there and done it. But I have conquered it.

And I am optimistic that anybody can also do it. 

However, (I have to be bias here) allow me to say that the contemporary times is much worse because our young people are more exposed to a lifestyle that courts a lot of temptation. 

There's the pull of the adverts of mouth-watering food and supersized helpings. Plus, the lifestyle that is sedentary—work and play can be tied to facing the computer all the waking hours of the day.    

But as I have said it is not unheard of that we have weight loss successful stories.

We need to address the issue of obesity and being overweight. If we do not put our focus on addressing obesity for people who are in their 20's and younger we may have in our hands  an epidemic of coronary artery disease just like there is currently an epidemic of obesity.

The risks of developing obesity in adolesence

Posted on: October 18th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


Do you know that childhood obesity has tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years? From a record of 5%, there's an 18% increase in the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who are obese during the said period. 

Being overweight or obese poses a lot of risks and difficulties for a lot of people. However, it becomes even more problematic during the awkward stage of adolescence.  While there's the problem in the social and psychological aspects like stigmatization and poor self-esteem of the adolescent, obesity also has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being which include the following:

  • cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • the risk of having pre-diabetes which is a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes
  • bone and joint problems
  • sleeping disorders like apnea
  • higher risk for adult health problems (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis )

Obesity can become a lifelong battle for the youth. But this can also be prevented, managed and treated.  Here are some practical ways how:

  • Introduce a weight-management program – the idea is to have a plan on how to lose the weight slowly but surely. It is important that the adolescent is willing to submit himself or herself to a program. It would also help if the program interests him or her.

    As a family, develop a comprehensive plan which would include reasonable weight loss goals, dietary and physical activity management, behavior modification, and family involvement.

    When a child or adolescent with obesity also has emotional problems, a child and adolescent psychiatrist can work with your family physician regarding the program.

  • Develop a healthy eating habit slowly – An obese adolescent must learn to eat and enjoy healthy foods in moderate amounts and this should start at home. Food advertisement can be so enticing but when these types of food are not easily accessible at home, there will a greater chance of developing a healthier eating habit.
  • Engage in physical activity and establish a more active lifestyle – the only way to lose weight is to decrease the number of calories being eaten and to increase the level of physical activity. Energy in equals energy out.

    To achieve a long lasting weight loss, the adolescent must develop his or her self-motivation. However, it is of great importance that the family is behind him or her since obesity often affects more than one family member. A family activity can improve the chances of successful weight control for the child or adolescent.

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The benefits of body cleansing

Posted on: October 10th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


Toxins are in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe.  It is everywhere. We can not avoid them. Fortunately, our body has a built-in mechanism to fight them off. But there’s only so much the body can do. It needs a bit of assistance from us. That's why we need to resort tonatural body cleansing.

Body cleansing is used around the world for mental and physical purposes.  Unlike detoxifying which is an intense and longer cleansing program which addresses specific toxins and areas of the body, body cleansing is usually done without necessarily abstaining from food.

You can read more about the 5 reasons to detox and 5 ways to detox.

So how can the body eliminate the wastes and toxin build-up?

Although the body is really functioning as one, the major organs involved are as follows:

1. Colon – helps in disposing the bowel from the liver

2. Lymphatic System – transports wastes and toxins from cells and the circulatory system to each of organs involved in the elimination of toxins from the body for proper elimination

3. Skin –toxins are eliminated by sweating

4. Kidneys – process waste products from the blood, toxic substances in the urine and water-soluble toxins from the liver 

5. Lungs – filters and purges toxins through breathing

6. Liver – changes destructive toxins into less harmful substances that the colon and kidneys can eliminate

Here are the benefits  of body cleansing which can improve your overall well-being.

Good for losing weight

The majority of people who go through body cleansing experience weight loss. When you go through body cleansing, you rid yourself of the extra toxins and wastes which can be good if you want to start a weight loss program.  Getting rid of the build-up helps your body shed off the unwanted pounds.

Improved sleep

Of course, if you remove the unhealthy build-up which causes unhealthy sleeping habits, insomnia and even chronic fatigue, you can expect to sleep soundly and restfully.

Good for keeping a clear and youthful-looking skin

The skin helps in eliminating wastes and toxins. When you go through body cleansing, you will be removing the unwanted materials that clogged your pores. This can lead to clearer and healthier-looking skin.

Boost your immune system

Eliminating the toxins and wastes inside your body through body cleansing allows your immune system to do its function better and stronger— to fight off diseases and infections. The immune system becomes free to handle the everyday threats against it.

Helps regulate digestion

Through body cleansing, you eradicate the toxic build-up which weighs down your digestive system. As you cleanse your body of the wastes, you put it back on track for healthy and regular digestion, restoring the natural rhythm of the digestive tract.

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The risks of developing obesity in childhood

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-10063993Do you have a child who is suffering from obesity?  Being overweight and obesity can be treated in childhood. It may be reversed or prevented.  If you don't address this problem, your child is a likely candidate to be obese or overweight as an adult. Or worse, your child has an increased risk to develop various health problems. It can also lead to social and emotional complications which can affect the well-being of your child.

Some Health Problems involving obesity in childhood

  • Type 2 diabetes -  affects how your child's body metabolizes sugar (glucose). Type 2 diabetes can often be reversed by eating healthier foods and exercising.
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure -  lead to the buildup of plaques which can cause a narrowing and hardening of the arteries this can lead to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • Asthma and other breathing problems.  Due to the excess weight on your child's body, the development and health of your child's lungs can be impaired
  • Sleep apnea – this is just one form of sleeping disorder which your child can suffer from because of obesity.  Your child may snore or have abnormal breathing when he or she sleeps
  • Early puberty or menstruation- obesity can create hormone imbalances for your child which causes puberty to start earlier than expected.

Some Social and emotional problems involving obesity in childhood

  • Low self-worth – an obese child is often the target of  bullying and teasing which can have a great impact on his or her self-esteem  and self-worth
  • Learning problems- there's a tendency for an overweight child to have school-related anxiety which can lead to declining academic performance.
  • Depression- with a very low self-worth coupled with the health complications from being obese, this can be very overwhelming for a child which could lead to depression. 

To address the issue of obesity in childhood, one must look into the changes that can be made to the child's lifestyle. It will be best if the whole family cooperates with the changes to be made.   This will also be advantageous for other members of the family who are overweight.

Encourage your child to eat more healthily and engage in a variety of physical activity. Make the small changes gradually for there is a higher rate of success with your child adapting to these changes  in the long-term.

The child would want to see a role model and you as a parent can make a big impact.  You can help him or her to stay healthy. Be involved as much as possible in helping your child make these changes.  Monitor the changes and discuss these with your child.  And don't forget to encourage and reward him or her for the small achievements made.

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What Causes Obesity?

Posted on: September 13th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-100112630Obesity happens when your body takes in more calories and stores these as fat without you burning them through exercise and normal daily activities.

Let us consider the various factors (usually a combination of these) which affect one's body weight and cause obesity:

  • Disparity between the energy you put in from what you put out

    The ideal equation is an energy balance which is determined with the energy you put IN which should be equivalent to what put OUT. A lack of this will cause obesity.

    The energy you put IN is derived from the energy or calories from food and drinks you take in. If the energy you put OUT which your body uses for physical activities does not consume what you put in, then, you're in trouble.

    You don't have to balance the two every day. The balance is accumulated through time. Overweight and obesity develop over time when you take in more calories than you use.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle
    You should understand now why being such a couch potato will do you more harm than the pleasure you get out of watching TV the whole day.   People who are inactive have the tendency to gain weight. Remember the ideal equation discussed above. 

    Unfortunately, more and more people bury themselves in computers doing work, schoolwork, and leisure activities giving no more room to move.

    And what's with being dependent on cars and elevators instead of walking? (Sigh…)

  • Environment

    Despite the rigid campaign for "health", what we see in our environment doesn't fully provide more venues for healthy lifestyle habits.

    Take the following examples:

    1.       Affordable gyms for the public to make it easy for people to be physically active rather than the exotic ones where celebrities frequent and where one needs to maintain dues.

    2.       Fast food chains and oversized food portions which are good businesses. But are they good for the health?

    3.       Access to healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is costly.

    4.       Unregulated food campaigns from food companies which are often directed to children. Campaigns which are really about high-calorie, high-fat snacks and sugary drinks.

  • Emotional Factors

    There are people whose eating habits are triggered by their emotional state. Depression, loneliness, anger, low self-esteem are often times the potent emotions which can lead people to eating more than their usual intake.  In time, this can lead to weight gain and cause overweight or obesity.

  • Not enough sleep

    Sleep is one factor which affects your hormones like ghrelin and leptin which make you feel hungry or full. When you lack sleep, ghrelin goes up and leptin goes down which makes you feel hungry compared to when you have a full eight-hour sleep at night and you are well-rested. 

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How to easily cut 100 Calories from your daily intake

Posted on: July 31st, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

untitledThe issue of being overweight and/or managing obesity can be as simple as decreasing your calorie intake by 100 calories a day.If you think about it, eating just a little less is not really such a tall order compared to a lot of weight loss programs out there. It can be relatively easy on your part and be the solution to zap away the extra pounds without having to resort to just eating rabbit food.

The best weight loss news reveals that people who lowered their calorie intake lost an average of 13 pounds in six months no matter what kind of diet they were on. This means you don't have to be in a program where you don't like what you eat, as that would make it difficult to stick to. But cutting calories from your daily intake will give you the leeway to shape up and still enjoy your favorites.

How does that sound to you?

Cut 100 calories a day and you'll lose more than 10 pounds a year. These easy and practical steps will guide you along the way:

  • Cut the Calories

    Once again losing weight doesn't have to mean you will only be munching on carrots.The only thing that will slim down on this one is your success in sustaining it. Just cut the calories from what you are eating and eat fewer of them.

  • Cutting off the bottom crust

    Say yes to pie! Just don't consume all of it until you have scraped off the bottom. And when it comes to layer cakes, decrease the damage by 100 calories if you shave off the bottom.

  • Get an alternative for what you can ignore

    You can switch or swap something that is lower in calories whilst sticking to your regular foods. For instance, I bet you can almost ignore the taste between oil packed and water packed tuna. Well, opting for an alternative will get you your 100-plus decrease in calories, but chances are you won’t even notice the switch.

  • Substitute Your Liquids

    How about going for a seltzer than a soda? Or a glass of water and an orange juice instead of two mugs of creamy coffee? This will definitely save you 100 calories a pop.

  • Take out the Skin

    You can cut off 100 calories if you remove the skin from a serving of poultry. It's even healthier for you. A word of advice though, remove the skin after baking or broiling to keep it moist and yummy.

  • Lighten your intake of carbs

    Pizza, rice and potatoes— yeah, I know. It can be difficult to say no to this especially when your mashed potatoes are so creamy. Enjoy them, why not. But just lighten up your intake of them and save yourself hundreds of extra calories.

  • Slow down on the alcohol

    The ones with the little umbrella on them pose the greater danger. One concoction with two to five ounces of alcohol and a mixer equals 300 to 700 calories. Take the one-drink limit and go for a light beer with only about 100 calories for 12 ounces and keep happy hour under control.

How to change bad eating habits for weight loss success

Posted on: July 17th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-100112565Did you know that obese people doubled in number since 1980? That at least 2.8 million people die each year because of being overweight or obese leading to various complications and illnesses?

If obesity is preventable, why have we reached these numbers?

Well, some of the known culprits are:

  • Habits
  • Lifestyle
  • lack of exercise
  • mindset

For this article, I would like to focus on habits—our bad eating habits. For then again, we may say, it doesn't seem difficult to change our unhealthy eating habits. But I am making a safe bet that it can be one of the hardest things we have to do if we want to lose weight. After all, these habits did not grow on us overnight. It took us years to form them and became deeply ingrained within us that we do it on autopilot.

So will it also take you years to change these bad eating habits? I won't say no but I would certainly say if you don't start now—you will never get anywhere. Know that anything is possible when we you really put your heart and mind to it. Be patient.

Here are some strategies to change your bad eating habits:

  • Do it NOW and do it small

    There's no right timing to change your bad eating habits but NOW. Do not just plan to change your eating habits. Decide to do it and start small.

    Why take small steps when you will probably be tempted to want to see the results immediately? You see, taking baby steps may not seem ideal for you but it is your best chance for success. As you go through these small transformations and notice your successes, you will be encouraged to keep going. So if you want long lasting results, you need to play the long haul.

    And yes, try not to break the pattern for at least 21 days to a month. That's how long it will take to form new habits—your healthy eating habits.

  • Sleep

    Here's another habit that we have developed through the years—our sleeping habits. Studies show that there is a great connection between your sleeping habits with your losing weight. When you lack sleep, you produce hormones that increase your appetite and hormones that decrease the feeling of fullness.

    When these hormones take over, it may be doubly difficult for you to win over the practice of healthy eating habits. Your brain may cause you to crave for foods that will sabotage your efforts like sugar and refined carbohydrates.

    So, you might as well get a good night sleep if you want to develop good eating habits.

  • Make a Plan and write it down

    This is the missing ingredient that's why people fail. Even businesses fail without a plan. Treat losing weight as a serious business (although don't beat yourself to it) and concretize it by writing down a plan. Be specific about the small steps you want to achieve. If you want to start having a healthy breakfast, jot it down. If you want to begin taking more fruits and vegetables, write them down. It may even work to your advantage if you put in your planner where you can always see it. This will constantly remind you and keep you consistent in your new healthy habit forming.

    Image courtesy of marin/