Obesity may be defined as an increase in body weight beyond the limitations of skeletal and physical requirements as the result of the accumulation of fat in the body.
For most people, the condition of being overweight is easy to recognize, but medically a distinction is made between being overweight and being obese. The body mass index (BMI) is used to define these conditions. BMI is weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters). Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9, and obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or more.
The percentage of fat and muscle in the body is also considered when obesity is defined. Women who have more than 30% body fat or men who have more than 25% body fat are considered obese. Thus people who are very muscular have low body fat (such as bodybuilders) . They may have a higher BMI without being obese and without increasing health risks.
There is this absurdity of thought regarding body weight as the most important factor of health and wellbeing. One has to only go to an extra fat person and suggest to him how happy he should be of his extra weight because it is giving him so much extra health, and just watch his reaction.
What is the cause?
The true cause of obesity is invariably wrong and overeating. But there is a curious fact about most of these people who carry about with them huge amounts of adipose tissue, that is rather puzzling to many. They are found to be eating only just as much as leaner persons who are not even half as heavy as they are.
From this observation, they may come to the conclusion eating and obesity have nothing to do with each other. This conclusion seems to be justified when we see two people eating the same quantities, but the one growing stouter and stouter while the other continues to be just lean as he usually is.
But what is the tendency to accumulate fat?
Of the food that we eat, a portion goes to replace the loss of tissue and other material which is brought about by work; in a healthy body, almost all of the remainder would be burnt up. What is left goes to add to body weight. Therefore a greater or lesser proportion of our food will go to help in the increase in weight (I am speaking of adults) depending upon the lesser or greater capacity to burn up the food materials. Scientists measure what is known as the basal metabolism which they suppose it a measure of the amount of energy required. It is really a measure of the capacity to burn up food.
This capacity varies with people
It is a well-known fact that obese persons generally have a lower metabolic rate or lower capacity to burn food. That means a greater portion of the food will be leftover in the case of these obese people than in the case of a normal one. Therefore, these people put on fat in spite of the fact that they eat just as much as the other people who do not put on fat.
But what we have to note here is this
We have to keep in mind that this lower metabolic rate, or lower capacity to burn up or oxidize food, is not the result of their obesity, but that their obesity is the result of lower metabolic rate. Not only that, EVEN THIS LOWER METABOLIC RATE IS NOT THE ULTIMATE CAUSE OF OBESITY. It is just one of the major symptoms which are the result of the cause at the bottom of all diseases - unhealthy or unnatural living.
Treat the cause and not the symptoms
In the human body, there are the glands of internal secretions, which provide the bloodstream with certain essential substances which are known as hormones responsible with the rate of metabolism, growth, sex characteristics and a host of other things. These have a profound influence on the system as a whole - both the body and the mind.
Thyroid is the most important of the glands that affect the rate of metabolism. The greater the activity of the thyroid, the greater is the rate of metabolism, i.e, the greater is the rate at which the food material is burnt away. The lesser the activity of the thyroid, the lesser is the rate at which the food material is burnt up.
In the case of obese people, there is invariably a pronounced thyroid deficiency which means a low rate of metabolism and therefore the progressive accumulation of fat. Therefore, it is supposed that the thyroid is at the root of the whole thing and treatment of thyroid gland is suggested.
But people who suggest this treatment, alone fail to realize the truth that in a healthy body all the glands are normal and that it is only when the body becomes unhealthy that one or other of these glands gets into disorder. General health of the body is the only thing that matters, and therefore health culture is the only right way of bringing back the glands to their normal and thereby enabling the person to get rid of the obesity. By treating only the thyroid only we are treating a symptom, not the cause.
Lifestyle change is required
There is one point we have to bear in mind when treating a person for obesity. It is not enough if you remove the excess of fat that was originally present in him by a short course of drastic treatment. We have to bear in mind that there is always in him that tendency to accumulate fat as a result of which the person will again revert to his original condition within a short period once he gives up his treatment. I have taken the trouble of writing this article only to bring home to the mind of the reader this one point.
No short cuts
I may cite a few examples where such a thing has happened. The patient was 150 kgs and was put on an exclusive diet of fruits for some six months. As a result, he lost quite a good portion of his weight and this was proclaimed as a great achievement. But, as soon as he started taking carbohydrates in his daily diet, he began picking up his weight at such a rapid rate that in a few months time he was his formal self again.
These magic cures are no cure at all. They go as they come.
What is required is a systematic and lifelong observance of Vital Economy and eating of the primary, positive foods, which alone can restore lost health; and through that the lost faculties of the patient and thereby all tendency to accumulate fat.
There are no short cuts in Nature Cure. In Nature cure, we do not promise anything which you do not deserve. We do not say like allopaths, "Eat whatever you like, do whatever you like, and when you get into trouble come to me and I shall give you something by swallowing which you will be all right once again so that you can enjoy your life as usual."
We are plain, and tell you the truth that you are what you make yourself and that health or suffering is the product of your own decision/action. If you want health, you will have to work up to it systematically and then maintain yourself in health.
It is once again reiterated that there are no short cuts in nature cure, but one thing can be promised, the patients will not remain bedridden or week during the treatment. As a matter of fact, even during the treatment, they will feel a greater vigour to do work.
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as treatment at all.
What is required is a different way of living.
To get a detailed overview of the topic, read the second part of this blog.
(About the author Vijai S Pawar: I am a 72-year-old veteran practising pure nature cure for 45 years.M.I.I.N.T (1980) certified. I lead a healthy life free from any disease and share my knowledge with others freely.)
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