A Fat Nation
- 10 Months ago
It's official now. India has one of the largest obese populations in the world.
On a cold and grey foggy morning this year, India woke up to the news that the country has been declared as one of the most obese nations in the world by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. A report by the Registrar General of India in April 2010 had anyway suggested that obesity is one big worry that the country has to face in the near future.
While it's all very nice to have plus-size stores and niche matrimonial sites specifically for overweight people, it's sad that no one seems to be recognizing the cost-effectiveness ratio of a prevention strategy at $268 per life a year gained in good health in India. In simple terms, it means spending about Rs 12,500 a year per Indian in preventive healthcare awareness programs that can ward off obesity and increase efficiency at work.
Obesity affects us by making us ill. When we're obese, our internal inflammation levels tend to be high. And high inflammation levels are associated with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, fatty liver and certain types of cancers. So, how do we know we're obese as opposed to pleasantly well-rounded? The math is quite simple, really. Any individual overweight by 20% than the ideal body weight is categorized as obese. For example, if you are male, five feet eight inches, your ideal weight should be between 68-72 kilos. If you're 84.4 kilos, you're definitely obese.
So, what can you do about it? There are three simple tricks to losing weight.
One, food input has to be less than energy output. Simply put, you need to eat less than what you burn. If you consume fewer calories per day than your daily caloric needs, you will lose weight.
Two, your food and drink need to have a high level of fiber and water. Fiber, present in whole grains, legumes and raw foods, helps you flush out fat. Water acts as the vehicle that flushes out this waste.
Three, even if you don't have time to exercise, your hourly stretches, plus frequent walks to and from the water cooler, will raise your basal metabolic rate (BMR, or the rate at which your body uses energy for vital body processes).
So, aim for four- to 10-minute breaks of stretching and walking up and down. Add ‘walk-while-you-talk', and you'll surely lose your fat faster.
Watch Your Diet
Eat a decent breakfast and your BMR will go up. Have four cups of green tea a day and your BMR will go up. Have a cup of coffee with less/ no milk in the late afternoon and you BMR will again increase. Fruits and vegetables will also help you flush out fat faster.
And yes, no matter what you eat through the day, have your last meal at seven in the evening. If you know you will be at work almost every day till seven or eight in the night, make arrangements to have dinner at work. Your options could range from a Chinese clear noodle soup; stir fried vegetables and fish or tofu, a whole wheat vegetable sandwich without cheese, or a subway without cheese and mayonnaise.
Follow the above diet for five days a week (it doesn't matter even if you cheat on weekends), and you can contribute on your own way to making India a slimmer, meaner, more efficient nation.
Reproduced from Outlook Business's Wellness Column by Rachna Chhachhi.