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Luke Coutinho’s Guide on How Middle-Aged Women Can Manage Obesity

Luke Coutinho

Luke Coutinho
06 March 2020

This article is authored by Luke Coutinho. Luke is a globally renowned and award winning Holistic Lifestyle Coach in the field of Integrative Medicine.

Depression, anxiety

The emergence of obesity-related risk factors is quite high with middle-aged women (among the obese). In fact, obese women are more likely to be suffering from chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. On account of being overweight, the physical activities get negligible and moreover the women seem to take back that makes their bodies more lethargic and immobile. They feel persistent pain in knees, back and other joints that sometimes make them feel low and dependent.

It’s not only the physical issues but emotional ones as well - such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem - that pop up and are associated with obesity among women. That is why, in the very beginning, we said, obesity doesn’t act alone! Emotional issues are strongly associated with obesity, high-calorie intake and sedentary lifestyles among middle-aged women especially among the obese.

Living with obesity is not an easy journey - it’s an everyday struggle with many physical and emotional turmoil. Being an obese woman and that, too, a middle-aged one, is a tough fight! There comes a point in life where she breaks down - she looks out for assistance and probably wants to reshuffle her lifestyle to come out of this dead shell of obesity which leaves her more vulnerable to health and mental issues. And here begins her journey to change - a journey to a new lifestyle. Let’s dive into the simple management lifestyle tips that can help to manage obesity.

Simple lifestyle changes: The mantra to manage obesity doesn’t lie in following any strict diet plans or rigorous exercise routines because diets don’t work, but simple lifestyle changes do! There is a need to change your relationship with your food, try to find out the exact impact the food is going to make on your body that you are consuming.

Our weight is the outcome of how we eat, sleep, move and think. Eating light, doing light exercise, keeping yourself active, staying happy, getting proper sleep, taking care of your emotional well-being are few simple things that you can adopt as simple lifestyle changes that eventually going to help you to manage obesity in the long run.

Develop self-discipline: Self-discipline is the key to achieve any goal in your life! If you are able to discipline yourself you can quite easily manage obesity and its related medical conditions. However, only a few cases of obesity are genetic and largely obesity is due to a faulty lifestyle, thus, with a little self-disciple and self-motivation, a world of change can be brought about in our lives! What self-discipline includes is a determined and a focused approach towards bringing a positive change in your lifestyle and thought process. Try to put some focused efforts in reviving your sedentary lifestyle and monotonous social life and just see the change it can bring to your whole life.

Consume Carbs wisely: Even if you are obese, never cut down on carb! Because good carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to perform its daily tasks. Carbs provide energy to the body as they are a good source of vitamins and minerals. So, it’s actually low carbs, not no carbs! Try to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and even add a variety of those to your meals to break down the monotony. Begin your day with whole-grain cereals and fruits and add green leafy veggies to your lunch and dinner.

Support your Liver: Obesity most often happens to make the liver sluggish, burdened and bloated and sometimes increases the risk for chronic liver failure. The liver plays an instrumental role in breaking down the fat in the body while it also functions as a filter to clean toxins out of the blood that makes us feel energized. Thus, support your liver by maintaining a healthy weight, eating the right diet, avoiding alcohol or use it responsibly, exercising daily and by avoiding harsh medications-when you can.

Move, move, move: It’s all about keeping your body mobile and active and moreover being involved in some physical activity, any activity that you like to do. Just pick up an activity or sport or dance or anything of your choice and be regular on it. The motive is to be active and be regular on it that helps you to burn the calories you consume and also the accumulated fat.

Fix your sleep routine: A good night’s sleep will always help you to maintain a healthy weight. Middle-aged women need at least seven hours of sound sleep at night to make the body and mind fully relaxed. By fixing a time to sleep your mind and body will develop a habit of sleeping at a particular time and would wake up refreshed and active.

Nurture your emotional self

Nurture your emotional self: Living with obesity is itself a struggle and thus one has to keep a lot of calm while managing its effects and dealing with repercussions. Besides, nurturing the physical side one has to keep watering the emotional side with a lot of compassion and self-love to be able to keep moving. Meditation, self-love and indulging in activities like writing, spending time alone, listening to music helps to nurture the emotional self.

One of major lifestyle changes in India people need to make to reduce obesity is to stop having late dinner and even if they do, a gap of at least 2 hours should be maintained between dinner and bedtime. Also, dine as close to sunset as possible. Sleeping with undigested food in your stomach means creating problems for your gut that eventually makes you obese and increases many other health issues.

In a nutshell, obesity is certainly a complex medical problem for women that affects their life cycle in many ways. The physical and emotional issues it creates need to be addressed as they can be life-risking and mentally destroying. With a little self-discipline, motivation, simple lifestyle, psychological and physical changes obesity can certainly be managed!



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.



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Hypertension In Women

Karishma Chawla

Karishma Chawla
27 October 2020

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert. She advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal.

Hypertension is quite often considered a men’s health problem, but that’s a myth. In fact, men and women have a similar risk of developing high blood pressure. But after the onset of menopause, women actually face higher risk than men of developing high blood pressure. Although prior to 45 years of age, men are slightly more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing inside the lining of arteries. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force increases and stays higher than normal for a period of time.

Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer. If untreated, it can lead to a major health set back and cause many complications. In most cases, there may not be any symptoms of high blood pressure. Sometimes, in case of sudden or severe increase in B.P., individuals may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or nosebleeds. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and kidney failure. These problems worsen when high blood pressure is present along with diabetes. For women, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child.

What causes it? Reasons for high blood pressure

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• Genetic factors: Hereditary factors – one of the leading reasons for high blood pressure, which worsen when the environmental factors are not healthy.

• Body weight: Obesity and diabetes along with their associated disorders are often associated with hypertension.

• Age:Chances of a high blood pressure diagnosis increase steeply with age. But research now shows that high blood pressure can affect adolescents and the young as well.

• Gender: Risk is greater in men than women, but after menopause, the difference decreases.

• Dietary factors: Some dietary factors that can contribute to high blood pressure include excess calories coming saturated fats, diets that contain high sodium foods, and less calcium and magnesium in the diet

• Potassium: Decrease in potassium intake and low intake of high potassium foods like fruits and vegetables can also lead to increase in heart rate and high blood pressure.

• Contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptive pills may lead to high blood pressure

• Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle devoid of exercise can contribute to high blood pressure. Stress, smoking, tobacco intake, and alcohol intake also lead to increase in high blood pressure.

• Other medical conditions High blood pressure can also be a result of other medical conditions such as kidney problems, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Hormone issues such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and Hyperaldosteronism (increase in aldosterone) and preeclampsia in pregnancy are responsible for high blood pressure diagnosis.

Measures to reduce high blood pressure

Reduce sodium intake
It is important to note that it’s not the consumption of salt but excessive consumption of sodium is a concern. Sodium is a compound found naturally in foods. One teaspoon of salt contains 2400 milligrams of sodium and the amount recommended for daily consumption is approximately the same. The amount of recommended sodium intake reduces further to approximately 1500 mg under conditions such as hypertension, kidney issues, water retention, and heart condition to name a few. But these problems are usually correlated with high consumption of sugar and fat. Hence it is beneficial to avoid foods such as processed foods, salted snacks, pickles, papad, sauces and instant soups. These are some known sources of excess sodium and not the usual home cooked foods.

It’s important to avoid sprinkling excess salt at the table. Rather use adequate salt during cooking and experiment with reduced sodium salt after conferring with your physician. Tata Salt Liteis a good option for those looking to reduce sodium intake. It provides 15% reduced sodium than regular salt. Inclusion of herbs and spices like like coriander, ginger, turmeric, mint, garlic or lemon juice can also help improves the taste and flavour of the food.

Improve intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium How to Increase Immune System
This can be done by inclusion of low-fat dairy products for calcium and green leafy vegetables for magnesium. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium are bananas, watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, sweetlime, leafy vegetables, milk and almonds. Eating three to five servings of these foods daily would ensure sufficient potassium intake and regulate blood pressure.

Reduction in refined carbohydrates
Though this is not a direct connection, but the preparations and the nature of these foods usually contain excess sodium for taste and preservation purposes. Add omega 3 foods such as fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseeds to reduce blood pressure.

DASH DietDash Diet has been found to be a good approach for the treatment of hypertension. This diet emphasizes consumption of fruits, vegetables, low sodium, and low-fat dairy foods. It also includes low amounts of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol to reduce blood pressure. This includes whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and other foods rich in potassium, calcium, omega 3 and magnesium.

Lifestyle MeasuresLifestyle measures include regular exercise of 30 minutes daily, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga, avoidance of rage and anger, adequate sleep, low alcohol intake, no smoking and normal body weight with low body fat percentage.

High blood pressure can affect the physical, professional, personal and economical life of any individual. As women tend to juggle multiple priorities, managing their own health often takes a back seat. It is advisable to take some judicious measures such as dietary and lifestyle modifications in order to prevent the onset of hypertension, control it and minimize its risks.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 



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