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Obesity- Scientific approach

Obesity- Scientific approach

What do we want fat loss or weight loss? Both are not the same. Lot of people fixate on the weighing scale. Two people having same BMI (height weight ratio) may have different health. Hence, first we need to establish that in case we need, we want fat loss.


Why we gain weight?

There can be number of reasons. Human body is very complex. It is not as simple as we eat more, exercise less hence, we gain weight.

Several reasons why a person may gain weight are:

  • Positive energy balance: This is one of the reasons, when we eat more kcal or wrong combination of calories and have less physical activity, we tend to gain weight.

We all know about more calories, but what is wrong composition? Suppose if we are taking the right amount of calories but most of it is fats or simple carbohydrates and negligible proteins then we tend to gain weight.

  • A person has water retention:  If a person has liver or kidney disease, hormonal problems, PMS (Female), excess salt intake or sleep deprivation a person may have water retention in the body which shows higher weight.
  • A person has high Muscle/ Bone mass: This is a favorable weight gain till a certain extent. We must understand excess of anything is bad.

Consider an obese person who is trying to lose weight. Since he has excess fat in body, there are high chances of protein deficiency. If during weight loss process he loses fat and gains protein, for a while weighing scale will show no improvement in numbers. Still the person should be happy that he is gaining health

  • Hormonal Imbalances: Conditions like PCOS, hypothyroid will not only cause water retention, but actual weight gain as well. A female will experience weight gain with menopause too.
  • Sleep Deprivation: This can cause not only water retention, but also weight gain. There are two hormones in our human body, namely Leptin and Ghrelin. These are responsible for regulating hunger. When we are sleep deprived, functioning of these hormones is disturbed. We lose the control on our hunger and hence gain weight.
  • Lifestyle: We may be exercising daily and eating correct amount of calories in right proportion of all nutrients. Still we may be experiencing weight gain.

Let me give an example: Anik is working from home these days. His office starts at 9:30 am.

He wakes at 9:25 am, wears formal shirt over his shorts and starts working at 9:30 am. He gets 15-20 min time at 12:30, then he brushes warms milk and takes with fruits.

He makes veg dalia with cucumber raita at 4:30 pm and takes lunch by 5 pm. His office work could finish by 7:30 pm, but he happens to waste some time on Netflix in between, hence work extends till 9:30 pm. Takes out time for quick coffee in between

Now he makes veg-sandwich (multigrain bread) with chicken soup and takes dinner at 11:30 pm after 40 min workout.

ANIK IS OBESE with this diet and lifestyle.

  • Medicinal side effect: Steroids, certain psychiatric medications, IVF and hormonal medications cause weight gain too.
  • Genetic Disorders: Genetic disorder like monogenic obesity, Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome can be reasons of obesity.

Knowing different reasons for obesity is bad. There are solutions for dealing with most of these reasons. Unfortunately, people who are stressed due to obesity start using these reasons, in case they exist, as excuses for not losing weight. We must be aware, it is not laziness, it is deeper, it is psychological and physical impact of obesity, which makes these people stressed and lost.

In such situation, we must become a support to these people, let them know, they can still win over obesity.

How do we gain fat?

There are 2 ways to gain fat,

  1. Fat cells will expand to accumulate more fat. This method has limitation till the expandable capacity of the fat cells.
  2. Fat cells will multiply to accumulate fat. This can continue to happen, forever.

Important thing to note is, if we are obese only till the level of cell expansion, we will be able to lose weight and maintain it with light modifications.

In case we have reached a level where fat cells have multiplied, we have to remain very careful even after weight loss. It is easy for the extra cells to start filling up again.

How do we know where do we stand in this regard. There may be expensive body composition tests which can give us the idea.

Be assured for one thing, Indians reach the 2nd threshold very fast. Studies suggest a person belonging to Indian race has more fat percentage as body composition as compared to other races. Hence, we will reach the fat cell multiplication stage tentatively 10 kg faster than Americans.

How to lose weight?

If one wants to lose weight, eat drastically less and do strenuous exercises. One will reach mal-nourishment and lose weight. Although in this way, there are high chances of reaching weight loss plateau very soon.

How to lose fat?

Balanced Diet and healthy lifestyle, trust me, there is no other shortcut/ miracle. Contact us for customized diet plan and counseling sessions to achieve good health.


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