The paunch, fashionably called central obesity, is becoming a common sight in the cities, and health experts are sounding warning signals. Obesity - including central obesity - carries several health risks. It is one of the risk factors in the development of diabetes. The waist to hip ratio- an important indicator of central obesity, should be 0.8 for women and 0.9 for men. The greater the waist to hip ratio, the higher the risk of getting diabetes, especially if it runs in the family.
ACUPRESSURE: There are four pressure points in our bodies, which help to burn up fat. These points are Sp (spleen) 6, St (stomach) 36, Liv (liver) 3, and GB (gall bladder) 41. While Sp6 activates the spleen and the pancreas, the other three help in digestion and metabolism. They also increase activity, which will in turn burn up the energy. People, who are lazy because of excess weight, will become more active when these pressure points are stimulated. Fat stored in the body will be used up for the activity and thus will help people to lose some of the excess weight. This acts only as a supplement to proper diet and exercise. Yet, there is no harm in trying, but, do so under proper guidance.
GYM WORKOUT: Slack abdominal muscles together with fat deposits cause a paunch. This can cause back pain in the long run. If these muscles are stretched too much, they will never come back to the original size. Both exercise and diet are important to bring back the shape. Two very simple ways to get your abdomen trim again are:
1) Crunches: Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees slightly and place the soles of your feet on the ground. Stretch your arms in front towards your knees and sit up as much as you can, without straining your back. Start with two or three crunches a day and gradually increase it to 40 or 50. Rest for awhile after every 20 crunches.
2) Leg Raises: Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees slightly and keep the soles of your feet on the ground. Lift your feet up with bent knees till your thighs are at right angles to the floor.
3) As you get used to these two, combine both and do them simultaneously. However, if you have a back problem, do it under supervision.
LIPOSUCTION: Liposuction is a technique which shapes the body. It really is lipo-sculpture. It is effective in removing pockets of fat like the paunch, which does not respond to diet and exercise. It can be done on people who are 4 to 5 kg overweight. The procedure takes 3 to 4 hours and is usually performed with local anesthesia. A maximum of 4 liters of fat is sucked out with the help of a 2 mm diameter tube and there is very little blood loss. There are no scars and no stitches. However, liposuction is not a permanenet solution. Following a procedure, it is mandatory to follow a proper diet and exercise routine in order to maintain the weight. Normal activity can be resumed after 2 days and the exercise routine should start a week later. The skin takes about 3 months to become taut again. But without proper diet and exercise, the fat will make a comeback.
YOGA: The following yogasanas help melt the paunch:
Ordwa prasaritha padasana
- Standing postures such as Trikonasana, Parshva konasana, Veerabhadrasana, Ardha chandrasana, Parivrutta trikonasana, Parivrutta parshva konasana and Uthanasana.
- Twisting postures such as Bharadhwajasana, Marichyasana, Ardha matsyendrasana, Parshva janu shirsasana, Parivrutta janu shirsasana.
- The asanas listed above can be performed along with either Setu bandha or Half Halasana, Sarvangaasana, or Vipareeta karni.
These asanas have to be done for at least an hour each day in the given order. Under expert guidance they will be beneficial.
PRANIC HEALING: Deep breathing or bellows (bhastrika) breathing is important to keep your abdomen in shape. The abdomen has to become convex when you breathe in and concave when you breathe out. Chakras, particularly the solar plexus chakra, which are blocked and sluggish, have to be activated first. When the chakras are balanced, breathing becomes easier. Oxygen supply, blood circulation, and movement of the muscles improve with deep breathing and this helps to avoid fat deposit. The Chinese and Japanese are taught how to breathe and that's why you hardly find any of them with potbellies.
DIET: If we think before we act, we could prevent numerous problems. The potbelly is one of them. Some food tips to keep the paunch at bay are:
- Eat foods that have lots of fibre and very little fat. Vegetables and fruits belong to this category.
- Avoid fried foods. Don't pour oil or ghee for seasonings, use in very small quantities.
- Animal foods are high in fat. Avoid them or keep them to a minimum.
- Avoid sweets and desserts, especially the high fat ones like ice cream, gulab jamun, pastries, etc.
- Choose foods that are low in fat when you eat out.
Whatever method you choose to successfully get rid of your paunch, it is important to remember that regular exercise and right food choices are lifetime commitments that you cannot compromise on A normal body shape is not only beneficial for health but it also boosts your image.