Last modified on September 2023
With inputs from Parvathy Menon - Dietitian and Nutritionist
Obesity is becoming a growing health concern in India due to our changing diets and lifestyles.
India currently ranks number 5 in the world for the prevalence of obesity in men and number 3 in the world for the prevalence of obesity in women.
Apart from the debilitating effect obesity can have on the quality of life of the individual, the condition can also give rise to other chronic, often fatal, conditions. Thus, it is vital that we understand how to tackle obesity through a healthy diet and make positive changes in our lifestyle.
The link between Obesity and COVID-19
While the condition of obesity can lead to an array of ailments in one’s body, a recent study has shown that overweight or severe obesity can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Obesity can raise your risk to catch the many symptoms of COVID-19 besides other chronic health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and others.
People with obesity have lower oxygenation capacity, which directly can lead to other complications since COVID-19 affects the lungs and causes a decline in oxygen saturation. However, it has been noted that while obese people are at a higher risk of facing the Symptoms of Covid in the second wave, there is no increased risk of death.
Amid the challenges of COVID in India, here are some tips that one could follow to keep your physical health under control:
- Cutting down refined sugar
Limiting or cutting down the intake of added sugar can be beneficial as they are linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and others.
- Following a balanced diet
Not just people with obesity, it is vital for everybody to follow a balanced diet, rich with a variety of nutritionally dense food, to fight Corona symptoms.
- Drinking plenty of water
It is just not about hydrating, but studies have shown that drinking water can help you burn more calories and promote weight loss.
- Sipping on green tea
There are many benefits of green tea. It especially does wonders in promoting weight loss. Make it a routine to drink a cup of hot green tea every day.
- Chart an exercise plan
Every weight loss diet is incomplete without exercise. Start by adding a routine of some sort of physical exercise in your day. Regular exercise or yoga can help avoid fat accumulation and boost overall health.
The bottom line is to incorporate the changes in your life and follow them regularly. Not just your physical health, a healthy body can bring you more mental peace.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can speak to leading dietitians in the country about obesity-related issues while minimizing the risk of exposure. Through MFine’s online doctor consultations, consulting dietitians has never been easier. Through instant chat and video calls receive advice, tips and tricks on how to tackle obesity and other weight-associated symptoms with ease.
Chapter 1: What is Obesity?
Obesity is a disease in which an individual has an excessive amount of body fat. It is not just a cosmetic problem but a medical one too. It increases your susceptibility to other health issues such as various cancers, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. It is a chronic health condition and can be diagnosed using a person’s body mass index (BMI).
BMI is measured with height and weight. BMI= kg/m2, where kg is the person’s weight in kilogram and m2 is the height in meter squared. What is considered a healthy BMI range can vary among different ethnicities.
The international cut-off for a healthy BMI is 25, but for Indians, the cut-off is around 23. This is because South Asian populations are susceptible to diseases like diabetes at lower BMI values. Similarly, while the cut-off for morbid obesity is 40 in Western countries, experts have recommended lowering this to 35.5 for Indians.
Thus in India, the following BMI ranges are followed:
|Above 35.5||Morbidly obese|
An obesity diet chart that caters to the Indian diet will be optimal in helping reduce weight.
Causes for obesity and its reasons
In India, the rise in disposable income of the middle and upper classes coupled with the entry of fast food and luxuries of modern life has coincided with the rise in obesity among Indians. The connection between food and obesity is clear; consistent intake of high-calorie nutrient-low foods can lead to obesity. Understanding the causes of obesity can help take preventive measures and adopt a healthier lifestyle. If you are a parent, it’s also important to understand the causes of child obesity to identify the signs early on.
Here are the major causes of obesity in India:
1. Excess eating:
Eating in excess, or overeating results in weight gain – more so if the food is rich in fat and carbohydrates, such as Indian fried food, sweets, and fast food. These are the major causes of obesity in children. A proper diet chart is essential for children who show early signs and symptoms for obesity. Indian low fat food is easy to prepare as many traditional Indian recipes are based on whole grains and healthy fat. If your child appears to be rapidly gaining weight, then you should consult with a doctor on the treatment of childhood obesity.
Research into the genetic link between obesity in parents and obesity in their children has thrown up a number of surprising results. While there does appear to be a higher chance of a child being overweight if their parents are, this might have less to do with shared genetics and more to do with the environment the children are raised in. Obese parents might be following a fatty diet and a sedentary lifestyle, leading to their children adopting the same habits. Even if the child has a genetic predisposition to weight gain, they can avoid becoming obese by following an active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet. On the whole, genetics appears to be one of the minor causes of child obesity.
3. Nutritionally-deficient diet
This is one of the 3 main causes of obesity in India and the rest of the world. If an individual’s diet is high in calories but low in essential nutrients and they live a sedentary lifestyle, then the body is consuming more calories than it burns. This can lead to fat accumulation in the body. There have also been a number of studies that point to the connection between consuming a diet high in
simple carbs and sugars and the occurrence of obesity. When we consume simple carbs (carbs with a low glycemic index), our body is able to break down the sugar molecules much faster and triggers a surge in insulin. Chronically high insulin in the body can cause insulin resistance, impair the pancreas’ ability to regulate its insulin production. which leads to fat buildup and diseases like diabetes.
3. Prescription medication
Certain medications are associated with weight gain, such as anticonvulsants (for controlling seizures), antidepressants (for treating depression), diabetes medication (for lowering insulin/blood sugar), antihistamines, oral contraceptives, most corticosteroids, and some hypertension medicines. However,
it must be noted that such medication should not be discontinued without proper medical consultation.
4. Psychological reasons
One of the most common reasons for putting on weight is ‘emotional eating’ out of anger, stress, sadness, or plain boredom. Many people who have weight issues and seek treatment often complain of their struggle with binge-eating. For these individuals, consuming food can trigger happy emotions and therefore, eating becomes a coping mechanism. This is another way in which food and obesity are interlinked.
Certain diseases contribute to obesity, such as Cushing’s Syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance, Prader-Willi syndrome, or hypothyroidism.
6. Social problems
In Western countries, obesity is closely linked to family income as most healthy foods tend to be very expensive, while junk food is much cheaper. In India, it’s the exact opposite scenario. With globalization making fast food more accessible, middle to upper income groups are more prone to obesity than rural and lower
income groups. The other social issue one can face in India is the lack of safe walking places or access to gyms and workout areas – all this can enhance the risk of obesity in India.
7. Hormonal imbalances
Pregnancy and menopause are two events that cause a woman to gain weight. At times, even oral contraceptives can result in weight gain. These should be discussed with your doctor, who may recommend certain health checkups and lab tests to diagnose the problem.
Although obesity can occur in very young children, the risk increases as you age due to hormonal changes and a relatively less active lifestyle – one of the 3 main causes of obesity in adults in India. Muscle mass also reduces with age, and this makes it challenging to keep off the extra pounds.
Weight gain is one of the early signs of pregnancy, however, losing that weight postpartum becomes quite tricky. At times, the excess weight gained throughout pregnancy results in obesity in women in India.
10. Giving up smoking
Giving up smoking can sometimes result in excessive weight gain. This frequently happens when people turn to food to combat smoking withdrawal symptoms. Quitting smoking is an extremely positive life decision, but make sure you don’t replace it with other unhealthy habits.
11. Disturbed sleep
Lack of sleep is amongst the causes of obesity in adults in India. Sleep can affect the weight of an individual in a number of ways. Lack of a regular sleep cycle can disturb the balance of hormones
produced and lead to an increase in appetite. There is also research on the link between sleep and obesity which shows that accumulation of fat around the neck can lead to sleep apnea.
There are multiple causes of obesity in India. Most often, it is a combination of factors ranging from an individual’s metabolism and their eating
habits to socioeconomic factors and medication. With the gamut of health issues that obesity can lead to, it is crucial that an obese individual follows a strict plan for weight loss through lifestyle changes and a diet chart for obesity. Furthermore, there are medical procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery for treating obesity in Indians.
Symptoms of Obesity
One of the most obvious signs and symptoms of obesity is, of course, excess weight and large waist circumference. There are also a number of other signs and symptoms of obesity in children and adults, which can be used in conjunction with an individual’s BMI to identify obesity.
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain and backaches
- Unable to cope with physical activity
- Increased perspiration
- Feeling lethargic every day
These obesity symptoms in children and adults stem from the effect of excess weight on the body. If the condition is left ignored, it will lead to several other conditions like osteoarthritis, gout, gallbladder disease, depression, dementia, kidney disease,
and asthma. Other serious health issues which stem from obesity include cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Being obese is also linked to premature death. Hence, the treatment of morbid obesity and the treatment of childhood obesity is crucial.
Effects of obesity
As we saw earlier, obesity can lead to a number of other health concerns, ranging from mild to severe. The extra weight can affect almost all parts of the body, including vital organs.
1. Stroke and heart disease: Obesity puts a person at a higher risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke in Indians.
2. Various kinds of cancers: Obesity places women at a higher risk for breast cancer, and cancers of the ovary, cervix, and uterus. Excess weight also increases the susceptibility of contracting cancer of the colon, liver, oesophagus, rectum, pancreas, prostate, gallbladder, and kidney amongst both men and women in India. It’s essential to get regular breast cancer screenings to catch any signs early on.
3. Type 2 diabetes: Obesity can impact how insulin is released by our body to keep the blood sugar levels under control. The risk of insulin resistance can result in type 2 diabetes – and this is the side-effect of obesity. Patients who have type-2 diabetes have to follow a diet chart for obesity for Indians to normalise insulin levels.
4. Osteoarthritis: Carrying excess weight places undue stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, resulting in inflammation in these regions. This can lead to osteoarthritis. It is among the most common effects of obesity on the body.
5. Digestive issues: Heartburn, liver issues, and gallbladder disease are the side effects of obesity on health.
6. Sleep apnea: Overweight people are more likely to have a serious disorder called ‘sleep apnea’, where breathing stops during sleep. This is because the excess fat around the neck and lungs can put pressure on the airways and lowers lung capacity, which causes issues with breathing. This is one of the dangerous effects of obesity on the body.
7. Sexual and gynaecological issues: Wondering how obesity affects fertility? Being extremely overweight can result in an irregular menstruation cycle due to an imbalance in hormones. Overweight men can experience erectile dysfunction. This is one of the ways how obesity affects fertility.
8. Reduced quality of life: Obese people find it difficult to do tasks that they could earlier enjoy. This causes them to avoid social events and thus, impacts their quality of life.
9. Psychological concerns: Obesity can result in depression that emanates from social isolation and a burdening feeling of guilt and shame.
The effects of obesity on health are quite serious. The markers mentioned above should be monitored and professional advice should be sought. If a child is obese, then the treatment of childhood obesity should become a priority as it can lead to lifelong health complications if left unchecked. One can start by
making changes in the diet by following a customised Indian diet chart to counter the side effects of obesity on the body.
– Obesity is a serious medical condition which is characterized by an abnormally high BMI.
– It can result in a number of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis
– Some of the symptoms of obesity in children and adults include shortness of breath, fatigue and joint pain
Do some of these reasons for obesity look familiar? Consult a dietitian on MFine now!
Chapter 2: What Foods to Eat on an Indian Obesity Diet Plan
“When I consult with patients who are suffering from obesity, I always remind them that obesity is far from a cosmetic problem; the real dangers of it are the internal health problems it can lead to. Changing your diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step to tackling obesity. By reducing the number of calories consumed each day, you can push your body to burn more fat. However, it’s important that you make dietary changes only after careful consultation with a registered dietitian.”
– Parvathy Menon, Dietitian and Nutritionist
The Indian diet is wholesome and offers the perfect foods for obesity control diet chart. Following a diet high in nutritious foods and low in processed foods can go a long way in managing weight. An Indian obesity diet plan comprises various nutritious foods in a custom obesity control diet chart, ranging from fresh produce and whole grains to healthy fats and low fat dairy.
The other highlight of Indian food is the use of various spices which have nutritive value and medicinal properties. Here’s a look into the various components that form an important part of the Indian obesity diet chart.
The Ayurvedic diet chart for obesity recommends consuming spices such as turmeric, cardamom, asafoetida, cumin seeds, and a host of other spices that make the Indian cuisine unique, but also extend a therapeutic quality to it. For instance,
globally-acclaimed turmeric has antiseptic and healing properties and can help stop loose motions or diarrhoea, heartburn, gas, and more. Cumin seed water is excellent for those trying to lose weight, as it prevents and cures bloating. Indian spices and herbs form an integral part of the Ayurvedic diet chart for obesity and are used religiously in Indian cooking.
India is home to a huge variety of vegetables that are high in antioxidants and vitamins. A typical Indian market offers dozens of vegetables at affordable prices.
Vegetables are also high-fibre and low-calorie foods making them the perfect option for obese individuals. Adopting a diet high in vegetables will help you feel full without adding too many calories
Low-fat curd or yoghurt, freshly prepared at home, is a part of most Indian diets. Loaded with probiotics, curd enhances gut health, which can improve digestion. The calcium content of curd can also improve bone health.
4. Legumes, pulses, and whole grains
The Indian diet contains a variety of whole grains and complex carbohydrates- be it jowar, bajra, millets, broken wheat grain,
and many others. These provide the essential vitamins and minerals along with fibre for easy absorption. Lentils and pulses (dals) also form an important component in the Indian diet and there is a wide variety that is consumed.
5. Seeds and dried fruit:
Dried fruits such as figs, dates, apricots, almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, raisins are common snacks consumed often in India. Melon seeds and pumpkin seeds are also used in Indian cuisines and as a snack.
6. Protein sources (veg/non-veg)
Indians love to include paneer (cottage cheese) and curd, which are excellent sources of protein, especially for vegetarians. Dals or legumes also form a major part of the Indian meal and are a good protein source. Non-vegetarians can eat chicken, eggs and fish which are sources of lean protein.
There is a vast array of healthy beverages that are made using seasonal fruits and ingredients in India. One common appetising drink is ‘chaas’, also known as buttermilk. Another form of this is the ‘lassi’, which adds natural sweeteners to add more flavour. During the summers, sherbets made from raw mango and bael fruit are great for cooling off the body as well.
8. Fresh fruits:
Fruits are a wonderful source of vitamins and dietary fibre. If you’re trying to cut back on sugary desserts and unhealthy snacks, a fruit is the perfect substitute. Certain fruits like avocado are also an excellent source of healthy fat.
The traditional diet taken by Indians has always been healthy with a balance of all the food groups, making it the perfect food for obesity control. However, several Indian snacks are high in fats and sugars, such as mithai (Indian sweets) and fried foods like samosas. Hence, such guilty snacking should be avoided when trying to lose weight fast and replaced with healthier options like nuts and dried fruits.
The Indian diet is complete and wholesome and is the perfect food for obesity control as it can help shed weight.
Legumes, paneer, chicken and eggs are good sources of protein
Fresh fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense and form a vital component of an obesity diet
Consult your city’s top dietitians on MFine for expert advice on healthy dieting.
Chapter 4: Healthy Snacking Options in an Indian diet
We are all prone to snacking, but frequently consuming fast food can be the cause for obesity, due to the high sugar and fat content of these foods. However, there are great alternatives for times like these. Here are some healthy snacking options in India to include in your diet chart. These include low-fat food with high protein and healthy options for late-night snacking.
1. Steamed snacks
You can steam carrots and beans and mix them with some salt, paprika and pepper for a quick and tasty snack. There are also many Indian foods like dhokla and khandvi made by steaming a batter made of chickpeas. They are also very healthy and satisfying.
2. Sprouts chaat
Boil a cup of mixed sprouts and toss them with some chaat powder, chopped tomatoes, onions and coriander leaves.
3. American sweet corn
Steam or boil corn kernels and mix them with salt, pepper and chaat masala.
4. Baked snacks
Slice potatoes, carrots or sweet potatoes into thick wedges, sprinkle them with some salt and pepper and roast them in the oven until they are fully cooked.
You can eat almonds, walnuts and cashew nuts straight from the bag. For some added flavour, you can roast them in a pan and toss them with any seasoning of your choice.
6. Popcorn without butter
Popcorn is surprisingly low in calories! Microwave a bag of popcorn and munch on this delicious snack when you feel the hunger pangs setting in.
Fruits are a great ‘anytime snack’. Slice up some fruit and eat them along with your breakfast, as a healthy substitute for sugary desserts or as an evening snack.
8. Hung curd sandwich
Mix together greek yoghurt, cumin powder, paprika, salt and onions. Spread this over two slices of whole wheat bread, and toast it. Serve with a side of mint chutney.
9. Vegetables with a hung curd dip
You can eat almonds, walnuts and cashew nuts straight from the bag. For some added flavour, you can roast them in a pan and toss them with any seasoning of your choice.
10. Makhana bhelpur
Roast makhana with chilli powder, cumin, garam masala and salt.
11. Boiled chana chaat
Boil or pressure cook chickpeas until soft. Mix them with tomatoes, onions, coriander leaves, salt and chaat masala.
Salads are extremely versatile and can be made with virtually anything you have on hand. The key to making a good salad lies in making a tasty vinaigrette. Simply combine 3 parts olive oil with 1 part acid (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar). Season your dressing with herbs and spices and drizzle it over your vegetables. Red cabbage, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, capsicum and tomatoes are all great vegetables to include in a salad.
There are many ways to create healthy snacking options in India using fresh and healthy ingredients. The mantra is to simply avoid food that is high in sodium or sugar or consume foods low in fat. Such foods can be had safely at any time of the day and are also healthy options for late-night snacking too! If you are wondering how to avoid overeating at night, snacking on nuts and dried foods before you sleep can help.
There are a number of low-fat foods such as salads, sprouts chaat and hung curd which can be eaten on an obesity diet. These foods are also low-fat foods high in protein and make perfect snack-time recipes.
Looking for more advice on Indian foods to include in your diet? Consult a dietitian on MFine now!
Chapter 5: Common Indian Foods to Avoid
Is fast food to blame for obesity? Well, partly. International fast food chains have definitely made urban diets unhealthier, but many Indian foods can also be very high in fat. A diet chart excludes Indian snacks that are high on calories since most are deep-fried and use trans-fats or refined oils.
The world-famous samosa, pakoras (Indian fritters), kulfi, delectable milk-based sweets (mithai) and Indian snacks are generally unhealthy and not advised for consumption when trying to lose weight fast. If you are planning to go on a diet you should avoid indulging in street snack foods or other packaged Indian snacks like bhujia and chips. Indulgent foods such as pani puri, paratha, pav bhaji and chole bhature should be consumed in moderation
Diet and obesity have a direct correlation, so pick healthy snacking options in India, preferably steamed, baked, grilled or roasted. Prepare an Indian low fat food list and find some low fat food recipes that can help you make your meals healthier. Sodas, sweet sherbets, an excessive quantity of sweetened tea, and various other sweetened beverages should also be excluded from your diet. Also, do not supplement sugar with artificial sweeteners as they too can be detrimental to health.
– Western fast food as well as unhealthy Indian snacks are foods that should be completely avoided when building an obesity food chart.
– Instead, choose healthier low-fat alternatives that are roasted or baked to replace unhealthy fried food items in your everyday diet.
Consult with top dietitians online on Mfine to find out what foods to avoid while dieting
Chapter 6: How to Lose Weight Fast Effectively
In some cases, even if you follow an Indian obesity diet chart strictly, you might not be shedding pounds as quickly as you would like to.
This can be extremely demotivating and disheartening. When this happens, it’s important that you don’t give up and return to an unhealthy diet. Instead, understanding some of the common causes for not losing weight and addressing them can put you back on your path to weight loss.
Common reasons for not losing weight
1. You might be on a weight-loss plateau- This happens when you start to lose weight initially but after a point, you stay at the same weight and can’t reduce it further. When you first reduce your caloric intake, your body taps into its glycogen stores for energy, which burns fat. Once you start losing weight, however, you also lose some
of your muscle mass, which can reduce your metabolism. It is essential to reduce your calorie intake and increase your physical activity to push your body to continue burning fat.
An important point to remember is that although you might not be losing weight on the scale, you might be losing fat even during a plateau. Thus, measuring your body fat percentage throughout your weight loss journey is extremely important.
2. Not keeping a food diary- It is important to be extremely conscious of what you eat throughout the day. Those who do not keep track of what they eat often end up eating more than they realize.
3. Not consuming enough protein- Protein is vital for weight-loss. 25-30% of your calories should come from proteins, as this helps boost metabolism and helps in suppressing cravings. Thus, it’s important to not just count calories but to also track your macros.
4. Consuming too many calories- Losing weight is difficult if the intake of calories exceeds the calories burnt. Use a calorie calculator to plan your meals.
5. Lack of whole foods in diet- Calorie count is important, but so is the food quality you eat. Try to consume single-ingredient whole foods and stay away from processed foods.
6. Lack of weight training- Building muscle through resistance training and lifting weights is essential for weight loss. Muscle mass reduces as you get older, and during cardio, it often gets burned along with body fat. Resistance training helps you lose fat, but not muscle mass. This can help you lose weight by exercise while also
burning fat. You can lose weight with exercises at home with the help of simple dumb-bells and kettlebells.
7. Binge-eating- Very often, dieters encounter binge-eating episodes on junk food, while others binge-eat healthy foods. Both are equally liable to reverse your weight-loss due to the high-calorie intake.
8. Minimal cardio workout- Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is important to get your heart rate going. Hence, activities like swimming, running, cycling are instrumental in burning fat around the midsection, and this way, you can lose weight with exercise.
9. Sugar intake- Sugary drinks are the biggest contributors to obesity. Most of us know that sodas are filled with sugar, but some of us don’t realize that so-called healthy sports drinks and fruit juices are equally loaded with sugar. To ensure you don’t consume too much sugar, always read the nutrition label at the back of the product. Lose weight drinks include green tea, infused water, coconut water and fresh juices without sugar.
10. Lack of sound sleep- A disturbed sleep pattern impacts physical and mental health and contributes to weight gain in multiple ways. This is because a lack of sleep or an improper schedule causes hormonal disturbances, which can lead to cravings.
11.Excessive carbohydrates- A low-carb diet helps to improve metabolic markers and helps in losing weight.
12. Eating too often- Eating multiple small meals to boost metabolism is a myth as it hardly has any effect on weight loss. Instead, intermittent fasting has emerged as a more effective weight-loss method.
13. Drinking less water- Staying hydrated helps in the weight loss process as it helps to reduce water retention and water weight.
14. Alcohol- Consuming too many alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer is linked to weight gain.
15. Lack of mindful eating- Mindful eating is a powerful tool that helps in weight loss, which involves eating food slowly, savouring each bite, and without any distraction.
16. Medical conditions- Certain medical conditions like hypothyroidism also make it difficult to lose weight, and certain medications for this can result in weight gain. If you’re not losing any weight despite your best efforts, you should get a complete body checkup done to rule out any other underlying issues.
It is important to log in to the food consumed during the day with the calorie count, workout schedule and number of calories burnt. This will boost weight-loss efforts and prevent overeating, sedentary lifestyle, and indulging in fats/sugars, which are the 3 leading causes of obesity.
Pro Tips from Dieticians
Creating an obesity food chart and diet plan on your own can be a daunting process. A dietician can be one of your most powerful allies when it comes to weight loss. A dietician will conduct a full analysis of your medical records, understand your calorie requirements and construct a diet plan specifically for you.
The tips provided by dieticians will vary depending upon your body makeup and other factors. In general, however, these are some of the tips dieticians often recommend for weight loss:
1. Intermittent fasting
This involves an eating pattern with short-term fasting, where meals have to be eaten within a shorter time window during the day.
2. Proper fibre intake
Helps in the digestion process and creates a feeling of fullness.
3. Maintaining good gut bacteria
Healthy gut microbiome can improve digestion and aid weight loss. Probiotic and prebiotic foods can aid the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Helps to suppress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that can promote emotional eating.
Testimonials from Patients and Common Man
Weight Loss Story #1
“I lost 20 kilos after always being made fun of for my weight” 16-year-old Uday Gupta managed to lose weight by walking 10 thousand steps every
day and not giving in to ‘cheat days’ throughout his weight loss journey. Uday’s highest weight was 100 kg, which he managed to reduce by 20 kg over 5 months. Consistently following a workout plan, coupled with a low-carb diet (obesity control diet chart), helped him achieve his target weight.
Weight Loss Story #2
“At 25, my BMI was extremely unhealthy for my age group” Kavitha Chaudhury, a 25-year-old auditor, managed to fight the flab and lose the extra kilos. Kavitha
blames her weight gain on her sedentary lifestyle and frequent munching on junk food. At her highest weight, she felt lethargic, and her self-confidence had taken a hit. It took a lot of will power to start her weight-loss journey. She works out 6 times a week and follows a curated Indian diet chart for obesity for Indians, which is customized according to her palate.
– If you are struggling to lose weight despite following a strict diet, some of the reasons for this could be binge eating, lack of proper exercise regime and hitting a weight loss plateau, among others.
– Consulting with a dietician can be extremely useful to ensure that you avoid a weight loss plateau and consume all the required nutrients.
Need professional guidance on your weight loss journey? Consult a dietitian now only on MFine!
Chapter 7: Tips to Avoid Overeating
A weight loss journey is far from linear. There are often times when you are unable to follow your diet chart and fall back into old unhealthy habits. When this happens, it’s important to not feel ashamed or demotivated. Instead, understand the triggers for overeating and learn coping mechanisms to deal with them.
Here are some of the common situations where we tend to overeat and how to avoid them.
1. How to avoid overeating when tired: When we come back home tired after a long day at work, it can be difficult to muster the energy to cook a wholesome meal. This is usually when we reach for unhealthy packaged foods. To avoid this, make sure you meal prep healthy items in advance to reduce the amount of work you have to do to make a healthy meal when you’re tired.
2. How to avoid overeating due to stress: You can do so by eating slowly and mindfully. Eating consciously helps your brain process that the stomach is full and thus helps you avoid overeating.
3. How to avoid festive overeating: You can do that by portion control and understanding what portion sizes are healthy to avoid excessive calories. You can also fill up on healthy food before going to a party so that you eat less there.
4. How to avoid overeating at night: There are several ways as to how to avoid overeating at night. You can do so by clearing tempting foods from your home and ensuring that your fridge, freezer, and pantry only contain healthy foods. Also, make sure you eat a filling and healthy dinner so you’re less prone to overeating at night.
5. How to avoid overeating when depressed: If you have emotional issues, then make sure you get a therapist who can give you the right coping strategies. This can help you address the real problem rather than burying it and turning to food for comfort.
6. How to avoid overeating during COVID-19: Due to the lockdown and home quarantining during COVID-19, you might find it difficult to follow a diet and exercise regime. To avoid gaining extra pounds during this time, make sure you only stock up with healthy foods and do home exercises.
7. How to avoid overeating and maintain an active lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle contributes to obesity. By exercising regularly not only is your weight in check, but it also helps reduce the stress that induces overeating.
8. How to avoid overeating after a workout: You can do this by drinking water after the workout or a protein shake. It is important to stay hydrated to prevent overeating.
Over-eating is a common problem that people encounter while trying to lose weight. This could happen due to a lack of motivation, emotional triggers, or indulging in the wrong foods. Hence, it is all the more important to have an obesity control diet chart. By taking into account the above, it will be possible to avoid overeating.
– Overeating can often be due to several emotional or situational triggers.
– Understanding how to recognize and deal with these signs can help you follow your diet chart more strictly.
Download the MFine app and consult with top dietitians to get advice on how to avoid overeating!
Chapter 8: Common Weight Loss Myths
When you are trying to lose weight, it can be easy to fall prey to all the misinformation that is available about weight loss. At best, this false
information can impede your weight loss journey and at worst, it can have serious effects on your health. Ensuring you steer clear of advice that isn’t medically sound is essential when you are on a weight loss journey.
Here are some weight loss myths and facts to keep things in perspective:
Weight Loss Myth #1 Apple cider vinegar helps weight-loss Apple cider vinegar isn’t a magical fat-burning drink, but it can help improve your gut bacteria and stabilise sugar levels. Many people believe that apple cider vinegar can help curb appetite and burn fat. However, there is very little scientific support to prove the apple cider vinegar weight loss myth.
Weight Loss Myth #2 Eating less helps in reducing weight- It probably might help in the short term, but it will eventually impact your metabolism and may result in weight gain or no weight loss at all. Additionally, eating too little can also make you more prone to binge eating, and can also result in nutritional deficiencies.
Weight Loss Myth #3 You can lose weight without dieting- Simply exercising or working-out is not enough for losing weight, you also need to follow a disciplined diet along with a workout regimen. As mentioned before, weight loss begins in the kitchen. It is important to follow a proper protein-fiber rich diet to ensure best results.
Weight Loss Myth #4 Obese people should undergo weight loss surgery – Not every person who is obese should undergo weight loss surgery. A surgery though effective is only advised by doctors for the treatment of morbid obesity.
Weight Loss Myth #5 Green tea helps reduce weight- Green tea is rich in antioxidants and helps improve metabolism, but it is not possible to lose weight with green tea alone.
Weight Loss Myth #6 Lemon water helps weight loss Lemon water supports hydration and detoxification, boosts metabolism, but is no better than regular water when it comes to burning fat. Lemon water can be consumed as a low-calorie replacement for high-calorie beverages.
Weight Loss Myth #7 Breastfeeding reduces weight – Breastfeeding does burn extra calories, but it is not enough for weight loss.
Weight Loss Myth #8 Cooking with coconut oil helps reduce weight- Coconut is a healthy alternative as it does not contain saturated fats. However, coconut oil may be used to manage weight but cannot result in weight loss. The coconut oil weight loss myth is not to be believed.
Weight Loss Myth #9 More sweat means more calories burnt – No, sweat does not mean that you are losing weight – it is only the body’s cooling down mechanism. Sweating doesn’t burn a large number of calories, but sweating more can only cause a person to lose water weight.
– Many weight loss myths centre around magic superfoods that can help you lose weight. However, weight loss requires a sustained and holistic approach.
– Once you are able to rule out the incorrect information about weight loss, you will be able to make better choices about your diet and lifestyle.
Need more nutritional advice and have questions on weight loss myths? Consult your city’s top dietitians online on MFine in 1 click!
Chapter 9: Frequently Asked Questions on Obesity Diet Charts
Q1. What are the main causes of obesity?
Major causes of obesity are:
- Physical Inactivity
- Consuming a lot of carbohydrates
- Genetic predisposition
- Psychological factors
- Certain health conditions that slow down the metabolism
Q2. What role does the food industry play in obesity?
Most of the food produced by food industries contains a significantly high amount of saturated fats, carbohydrates and sugar and very less amount of important vitamins or minerals, resulting in excessive calorie intake. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for healthy low-fat food high in protein.
Q3. Is fast food responsible for obesity in children?
Yes, consuming a lot of fast food is one of the major causes of obesity in children. Fast food is rich in calories, sugars, trans fats and saturated fats. High intake of these foods affects the metabolism and increases fat deposition in children.
Q4. What are some healthy and low fat Indian food recipes?
Some low fat Indian food recipes include lentil chaats, oats idli, steamed dhokla, khichdi, upma and more. These food items are not only rich in fibre and protein but are also low-fat foods to lose weight.
Q5. Can you lose weight with yoga?
Regular yoga practice helps in developing muscle and enhancing metabolism as well as immunity. Hence, a person can lose weight with yoga.
Q6. Can a person lose weight with tablets?
Yes, a person may lose weight with the help of certain medication.However, medicines are only prescribed when a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) is more than 30. Also, no medication should be administered without consulting a doctor as it can have serious side effects too.
Q7. Can a person lose weight with drinks?
You can lose weight with healthy drinks, provided you are following a healthy lifestyle overall. High protein shakes, green tea, and coffee are some of the drinks that can boost metabolism and provide a feeling of fullness. These drinks can help a person lose weight to a certain extent. They are even more effective if you are replacing sugary sodas with them.
Q8. What fruits can help you lose weight?
Apples, strawberries, papaya, oranges, and watermelon are low in calories and have a significantly high amount of water and fibre. Such fruits are good for weight loss. Fruits with low glycemic index are usually advised by dieticians and nutritionists for weight loss management.
Q9. How can you lose weight at home?
You can lose weight at home by following a low-calorie diet and simple home workouts (preferably with weights) or yoga.
Q10. Which home exercises are effective for losing weight?
You can lose weight by practising yoga, doing weight training, HIIT training, brisk walking, weights, aerobics, dancing, and interval training. These don’t require any equipment and are excellent options if you don’t want to go to a gym.
Q11. Which vegetables can help you lose weight?
Just like fruits, vegetables too have a lot of fibre along with essential minerals and vitamins. Consuming a good amount of vegetables can keep you healthy without adding to your calorie count. Some of the vegetables that can help you lose weight are spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, green chillies, carrots and cucumbers.
Q12. Can you lose weight by walking?
Yes, you can burn more calories by brisk walking for over 30 – 45 minutes. Doctors often recommend people suffering from obesity to go for a brisk walk almost every day.
Q13. Are there any home remedies for weight loss?
There are many healthy habits you can incorporate in your daily life:
- Drinking a lot of water (3-4 litres per day)
- Consuming a powder of carom seeds, fenugreek seeds, and cumin seeds.
- Drinking tea infused with honey and cinnamon.
- Drinking lukewarm lemon water the first thing in the morning can be a good subsitute for a sugary coffee or tea. However, do not believe the lemon water weight loss myth as this drink alone cannot help you lose weight.
However, for sustained weight loss, following a proper diet and exercise regime is crucial.
Q14. Can you lose weight with the Keto diet?
Yes, you can lose weight with the Keto diet. Keto diet aims at limiting the intake of carbs, putting the body in a metabolic state called ketosis, that leads to a significant reduction in weight. However, one must never go on a diet without consulting a dietician or nutritionist.
Q15. How can you avoid overeating?
You can avoid overeating by ensuring that you are satiated. To do so, you can drink a lot of water or follow a protein-rich diet that keeps your belly full for a longer duration. Also, you must learn how to deal with cravings and start planning your everyday meals.
Q16. Which food can help you lose weight?
Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses- low fat and low carb food can help you lose weight.