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Lifestyle Modification for Obesity

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Lifestyle Modification for Obesity

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Obesity is a brand old term that is the main cause of all health issues over the world. Here are some simple tips to control weight gain and being obese.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. K. Shobana

Published At May 5, 2018
Reviewed AtSeptember 20, 2022


Obesity has become the initial cause of all major health issues like cardiovascular, hypertension, diabetes, etc., which leads to other dangerous complications. This obesity has now become a major epidemic in humans. So, how do we deal with this?

Expert panels have suggested lifestyle changes as the first line of choice to overcome obesity issues. The lifestyle modifications can also be mentioned as a behavioral weight control strategy.

What Are the Components in the Lifestyle Modifications for Obesity?

There are three primary components involved to change life completely into a healthy state. It includes:


Traditionally, low-calorie, low-fat foods are recommended to reduce weight in a healthy manner. Some of the famous dietary approaches followed are,

  • Low-carbohydrate Diet:

In this approach, the foods have few grams of carbohydrates (20g per day) but are rich in proteins and fat and thus maintaining the energy supplements.

  • Low-fat Diet:

Low-fat foods are highly recommended for heart patients and the fat intake is reduced to 10 to 20 %. Fruits, green leafy vegetables, and grains have to be included.

  • The Mediterranean Diet:

In the Mediterranean type of diet, the intake of unsaturated fats from nuts and fish is encouraged. This diet also includes fruits vegetables and whole grains.

  • Low-Glycemic Load Diet:

Foods with a lower glycemic index are preferred in a low-glycemic-load diet.

  • Portion-Controlled Diet:

A fixed portion of foods containing high protein and liquids with counted calories are provided in the portion-controlled diet.

Studies have found that these diets with varying macronutrient compositions have significantly reduced the triglycerides levels and improved high-density lipid in the body.

As the saying goes, too much of anything is good for nothing. It applies to sugar too. Excess sugar leads to weight gain. Excess calories and fat again leads to obesity. Children who are encouraged to overeat in infancy and childhood are more likely to become obese adults.

Some healthy food habits you can incorporate are:

  • Fruits, green leafy vegetables, spinach, and a protein-rich breakfast help a lot.

  • Drink plenty of water and take water half an hour before meals.

  • Limit yourself to small portions by using a small plate.

  • Fibrous foods like beans, peas, broccoli, and brussels sprouts can be taken.

Things to cut down are:

  • Alcohol.

  • High-calorie food.

  • Dairy products.

  • Sugar.

  • Junk food.


Today's lifestyle includes very few physical activities, and this is mainly true in urban areas compared to rural, which leads to weight gain. Physical activity plays a significant role in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

Regular walking for at least an hour a day will reduce the risk of weight gain. Television and video games are major culprits contributing to this sedentary lifestyle among adolescents and children as they occupy a significant chunk of their leisure time and after this, people are drained out both physically and mentally.

Research suggests that physical activity alone cannot induce weight loss. It has to combine with dietary changes for the maximum benefit. Obese patients can consider exercise as a measure to prevent heart disease rather than weight loss. But, physical activity emerges as a critical step in maintaining the reduced weight by balancing the calorie and energy.

Behavior Therapy:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is not the main part of the weight loss regimen but it is used as an adjunct in the management of obesity by:

  • Improving the person's sense of self-worth.

  • Stress management (main factor for obesity).

  • Helping in maintaining a long-term weight management plan.

  • Motivating to exercise regularly.

  • Helping to control impulsive eating.

Each individual's cause of obesity is different and it can be due to genetic, hormonal, and metabolic issues also. Behavior therapy set limitations for such individuals to think and reason for how much to expect the loss of weight. Self-monitoring is a key aspect of behavior therapy and the individual keeps a track of diet and exercise as an intervening and motivational factor.

What Is Stress Weight?

A new term 'stress weight' has been introduced, which means the excess stress-causing deposition of fat over hips, buttocks, or thighs becomes a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. The hypothesis behind this is the stress hormone cortisol is released during tension and can lead to insulin deprivation resulting in sugar and food cravings.

Therefore, people with chronic stress are at the risk of gaining overweight. In addition, people with excessive central weight are more prone to psychological stress, cardiovascular stress, and neuroendocrine stress. Behavior therapy also helps in the management of these types of stress.

Mild exercise, meditation, yoga, listening to music, indulging in favorite hobbies, and support from friends and family members, can help to overcome stress and thereby reduce the risk of unnecessary weight gain.

How Does Technology Help in Delivering New Lifestyle Modification Programs?

The has been developed by various private and community-based organizations including the diet plan, exercise routine, and behavior changes. These programs are delivered to the patients at their doorstep by means of technology at the ease of their convenience and also they are cost-effective. The delivery of these services is through telephone and internet. Social media have gained popularity in terms of reaching people anywhere in the world with custom-made weight loss programs. These programs are highly efficient and motivating and will help further in maintaining weight. Hence, commercial weight loss programs are a viable option to opt to reduce weight and prevent obesity in an effective way.


Obesity is a global concern and has become a worldwide epidemic growing at a faster pace. The short and long-term weight control plan mainly involves the intense lifestyle modification strategies (diet, exercise, and behavior therapy) that are to be followed strictly with self-control or external monitoring factors. Public health programs have been developed to improve the management of obesity and prevent this global disorder.

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Dr. Indhu Priyadharshini
Dr. Indhu Priyadharshini

General Practitioner

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