Obesity or overweight is not only a question of aesthetics but also of health, as it entails a chronic low-grade inflammation that will predispose the body to a long list of associated ailments and diseases.
It is a chronic disease that requires a series of life changes and eating habits to avoid developing a major pathological condition.
Obesity is characterized by a high storage of lipids in both subcutaneous and visceral deposits, as well as in non-adipose organs – a phenomenon called ectopic fat accumulation. However, we are not only referring to fat accumulation, but to a state of general toxic overload that can be caused by overeating or by a hormonal imbalance with poor management of lipids and sugars.
All of this leads to excessive weight gain that will eventually lead to other complications, these include: cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and many other risk factors have been shown to be associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, leading to reduced quality of life and life expectancy.
In order to improve health and balance weight, we must start by resuming good habits that will be key to a better and more effective nutritional and therapeutic approach:
- Plan meals and follow regular schedules, dinner should be the lightest meal and the earlier the better. At this time the digestive strength is very diminished, so the body is not as efficient to burn calories and metabolize in the same way as it does earlier in the day.
- Performing physical exercise within the capabilities and individual preferences, will be essential to activate the body and achieve energy expenditure. In addition, moving the body helps us to be metabolically flexible, i.e., the body can control and effectively manage the occasional consumption of sugars so that they are stored as muscle glycogen instead of fat. Hence, two people eating the same food will not put on weight in the same way (regardless of genetic factors).
- Prioritize the consumption of quality slow-absorption carbohydrates. Carbohydrates with high levels of simple sugars are not of interest, as they will have a negative impact in relation to fat accumulation and the general inflammatory state of the organism. In this case, and contrary to what most people think, the consumption of «natural» fruit juices will not be beneficial either, in any case they do not replace the daily rations of fruit.
- Reduce the amount of bread: limit bread only at breakfast (prioritize sourdough and wholemeal bread) and introduce complex carbohydrates at lunch and dinner: potato, sweet potato, brown rice, peas or quinoa.
- Eating slowly and chewing correctly, the fact of eating more slowly allows the body to detect when we are satiated and thus send signals -leptin- to the brain to stop eating food and not to overeat.
- Reduce the portion of the plate, being a priority to occupy more than half with a variety of vegetables; these are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and have a low caloric intake.
- Avoid processed products such as pastries, cookies, crackers and sugary drinks. All of these provide little or no satiety and little or no health benefits.
- Include healthy fats in your diet on a regular basis. They can be found in raw virgin olive oil, nuts, avocado, small blue fish -rich in DHA-, olives and seeds.
- Take supplements according to the patient’s deficiencies, either to restore intestinal health, reduce fluid retention, reduce cravings for sweets, improve intestinal transit, lower blood pressure (hypertension) or cover nutritional deficiencies -such as vitamin D, iron or B vitamins-.
- Drink plenty of water and infusions: water will be essential for the body to eliminate toxins properly and improve circulation. Infusions can be a good time to include plants that improve the state of anxiety -valerian, lime blossom, passionflower, nettle- together with digestive and hepatic depurative plants -chamomile, lemon balm, anise, fennel, boldo, dandelion, milk thistle, mint, licorice-.