Big Weight brings Big Problems. How can a Woman Defeat Obesity?

Sep 23, 2019

“I’ve never been a skinny girl. Even in my youth, I weighed 80 kg with a height of 170 cm. And after the birth of my child at the age of 23, I started to gain weight rapidly. My weight increased to 110 kg and only continued to grow in the future. By the age of 35, I weighed 170 kg.

I do not want to blame hormone imbalance or “big bones” for my obesity. That would be a lie. The reason for my obesity was my laziness – my unwillingness to take exercise to maintain my figure and normalize nutrition. At work I also did not strain myself – I took taxies both to the office and home. My weekends were spent lying on the sofa in front of the TV.

When I was first taken to hospital, I was diagnosed with the fourth stage of obesity. That time I was almost dead. My blood pressure increased sharply, I could not breathe and my skin was blue. My whole body was covered in bedsores, because at that time I rarely got up from bed – I simply could not because of my huge weight.  I finally said to myself, “enough is enough!”

For 2 years I have been losing weight under the supervision of doctors – a dietician and an endocrinologist. I have lost 40 kg. Experts say that it will take at least 3 years for me to come back to a normal state. Throughout this time I periodically underwent hospital treatment. Because of obesity, I have a whole bunch of diseases – cardiovascular disorders, asthma and impaired lymphatic drainage.

My husband left me long ago. But in my difficult fight against the disease my daughter supports me a lot. I regret very much that I let myself get into such a state that now I have to have treatment”.

– Margarita, 38

 

While the ‘bodypositive’ movement is gaining popularity, obesity remains a serious problem for many. Some believe that excess weight has a very negative impact on health, others – that it is more important to love yourself. But a couple of extra kilograms and an obesity diagnosis by a doctor, which entails a lot of consequences, is a completely different situation. In this article we will understand what evidence medicine exhibits about the serious problem of female obesity in the 21st century. Can a woman be happy and, most importantly, healthy, if she is overweight?

Contents:

  • Why is obesity a serious problem?
  • Types of obesity
  • Stage of obesity in women
  • Psychosomatic roots of the disease
  • How obesity is treated
  • Anti-obesity: tips on nutrition
  • Anti-obesity: recommended physical activity
  • Prevention of obesity

Why is obesity a serious problem?

Obesity is a disease that occurs with excess body fat, which accumulates not only in the subcutaneous tissue, but also in the internal organs. This is a pathological condition leading to physical and psychological discomfort. [1]

Obesity in a woman is not only a flabby figure and the need to reassess her clothes. There are far more serious health-related consequences. Obesity can lead to various diseases:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • arterial hypertension;
  • heart, liver and kidney pathology;
  • cholesterol build-up on vessel walls, which may lead to heart attack or stroke;
  • reproductive system disorders, which could lead to infertility;
  • interference in the work of the musculoskeletal system. [1]

 

Often obese women are not sure what can cause problems in their personal lives. They are isolated and shy because of their excess weight.  It does not allow them to enjoy life to the full and achieve their goals. Obesity is an urgent problem.

Types of obesity

Depending on the localization of the fat layer, the mechanism of pathology development and the causes of its occurrence, obesity is divided into different types. The classification helps a doctor find the optimal treatment scheme for a patient.

Specialists first identify in which areas the accumulation of fat is concentrated. On this basis, obesity is divided into 2 types – abdominal and hynoid. [2]

  1. Abdominal (android) obesity in women

Among women, this type of obesity is less common than in men, also among the patients there were many former athletes who sharply reduced physical exercise.

In android obesity, the fatty tissue is mostly located in the area of the waist and internal organs. The pathology is accompanied by a violation of metabolic processes in the body and the development of serious diseases – diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, fatty liver syndrome. There is an opinion that such patients have increased risk of oncological and rheumatic diseases.

  1. Hynoid (peripheral) obesity in women

It is believed that this type of obesity is characteristic for women. The fat layer is mainly located in the area of the hips. 

 

Hynoid obesity is often accompanied with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip joints, as the load on the lower part of the body increases.

Irresponsibility and laziness as a norm of life: is it possible to change for the better? How to learn to be more responsible and conscious? Laziness as a norm of life.

Stages of obesity in women

The diagnosis of obesity is made with an increase in body weight by 20% or more compared to the norm. But what is considered “normal” weight? Specialists first calculate BMI (body mass index) and only then make predictions about the patient’s disease. 

BMI is determined by the formula: I = mh2 (kg / m²), where m is the body weight (kg), h is the height (m). According to the World Health Organization, the norm of BMI is 18.5-25 units. With a BMI of 30-35 units or more, the patient is diagnosed with obesity. [3]

 

In medical practice, there are 4 stages of obesity distinguished in women, we will present them in the table. [1]

Stage of disease
BMI
Symptoms of the disease
1st stage
28-29.9
In obesity of the first stage, a relatively small increase in weight (not more than 10 kg) is observed in a woman. She may not at all experience any pronounced physical discomfort from excess kilograms. She is healthy, active, and energetic and easily chooses her clothes. A period of short difficult breathing can occur only under intense physical exertion. Obesity of the first stage in a woman can progress in a short time. She will gain more kilograms if she does not think about her own health.
2nd stage
31-35.9
Excess body weight in a woman with obesity of the second stage is 15-20 kg. She begins to suffer rapid fatigue after physical exercises, including edema of limbs and difficult breathing. External changes are already visible. At the second stage of obesity in any type of disease, the fatty layer, as a rule, accumulates in the abdomen. It is more difficult for a woman to find clothes suitable for her size. It is difficult for her to fight the established habits of nutrition and some complexes may appear.
3rd stage
36-40.9
A woman has a significant increase in weight with an obesity of the third stage – 20-30 kg. Now even small physical exercises are hard to do. The condition is dangerous because it contributes to the rapid development of heart diseases and musculoskeletal system disorders.
4th stage
41+
Obesity of the fourth stage in women is extremely rare. In this case, the excess weight exceeds the normal weight by 4-5 times. A person loses the ability even to self-service and may not be able to get up from the sofa. Without immediate comprehensive treatment, obesity in the last stage leads to numerous diseases and in some cases is the cause of death.

Psychosomatic roots of the disease

It would seem that the reasons for obesity are obvious – unbalanced nutrition and a passive way of life. The amount of energy that comes with food is much higher than its consumption. Excess calories are “delayed” in the body in the form of a fatty layer. Also, excess weight gain can be due to some diseases – hormonal failures, metabolic disorders, thyroid pathology.

In some cases, however, the root of the problem lies far deeper. There are not only physiological, but also psychological reasons for the accumulation of excess weight.

  1. Emotional eating because of stress

Emotional eating can be not only caused by stress, but also other negative states, such as  sadness, anxiety and depression. This is therefore emotional overeating. A person who is unable to cope with personal problems may begin to eat more. While enjoying delicious food, one calms down. But this is a vicious circle – after pleasure comes the feeling of guilt for one’s inability to control one’s own desires.

Among obese women, many practice “emotional eating up” of problems within the family or failures with a sexual partner. [4]

  1. Low self-esteem

It is believed that low self-esteem is one of the negative emotional consequences of excess weight. But one can look at the issue from the other side. Scientists from the UK, based on a long-term experiment, concluded that in adult life, children with low self-esteem suffered from obesity more often than self-confident children.

A person who is used to failure and defeat does not even try to keep a diet or take up exercise. And this is a main reason for the development of obesity. Changing externally, a woman with low self-esteem only becomes more convinced of her own uselessness.

  1. Psychological trauma

 

Scholars, based on surveys, suggest that women who experienced shock or psychological trauma in childhood have significantly increased risks of obesity. Loss of a close person, sexual violence, an unfavorable environment of childhood upbringing, bullying in school – these can all lead to gaining excess weight. The condition can be provoked by any emotional stress. After a severe psychological trauma, people are more prone to depression, and for many, this is an excuse to start “emotional eating”.

How obesity is treated

Treatment of obesity in women is usually done via an integrated approach. The basis of therapy is the diagnosis and identification of the true causes of the pathology.

If obesity is caused by any diseases of the internal organs or systems of the body, the patient is given a course of medical treatment. The goal is to eliminate the root of the cause of excess weight. When it is possible to cure or at least to jugulate the “basic” disease, the weight with  correct nutrition gradually becomes the norm.

According to statistics, in 80% of cases, the treatment of obesity of the first, second and third  stages in women is carried out by therapeutic nutrition and moderate physical activity. [2] This helps the patient lose extra kilograms if she follows all the recommendations of the specialists. If there are no positive dynamics within 3 months after the start of a therapy, the woman can be prescribed some medicines that reduce appetite or accelerate metabolism. But taking them independently without consultation with a dietician and an endocrinologist is strictly prohibited!

 

When emotional overeating is diagnosed, a psychotherapist must work with the patient. The task of the doctor is to identify the psychosomatics of obesity in the patient. The specialist identifies what personal problems are behind the desire to continuously eat something. Behavioral psychology shows high effectiveness in working with obese patients.

One of the new patented techniques is the 7Spsy behavior modification. The course is based on the theories by I.P Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, A.A. Ukhtomsky and others.

This training will help to correct eating behavior and, as a result, effectively fight the problem of excess weight. During work with a psychologist, you will change the destructive behavior model, which leads to emotional overeating, a passive way of life and unwillingness to exercise. With the development of positive attitudes, there will be confidence in your own abilities and readiness to change for the better.

The 7Spsy behavior modification technique course is designed for up to 6 weeks. A psychologist develops an individual treatment plan for a particular patient.

 

The remote format of the course will give you an opportunity to consult with a specialist at a convenient time in a comfortable environment. The psychologist will support you over the phone, in online chat or by e-mail. Participation in the training is confidential – so if you are not yet ready to tell your colleagues and friends about the active fight against being overweight, you need not report it to anyone. 

Anti-obesity: tips on nutrition

Proper nutrition in the treatment of abdominal and hynoid obesity in women is not just adherence to the principle of “eating less”. There is no universal diet that helps every woman to be slim. An individual program to fight excess kilograms should be constructed by a nutritionist based on the patient’s history – age, BMI, lifestyle, eating habits.

Strict diets in the treatment of even the third stage of obesity in a woman, when there is a significant increase in weight, do not work. They have only a short-term effect. After switching to the previous menu, which often happens after a “semi-hungry” diet, the lost kilograms quickly return.

 

Proper nutrition in the fight against obesity should be based on the following principles:

  • Refusal of refined sugars, flour and fat-based food, snacks, fast-food and sweet-carbonated drinks from the diet.
  • Included in the menu – meat, fish, leafy greens, vegetables and fruits, dairy products, nuts.
  • Correct thermal treatment of products – steaming, boiling, stewing, baking.
  • Consumption of meals 5-6 times a day in small portions.
  • Keeping a nutrition diary, which simplifies the control of diet.
  • Calorie count – it is important that the calories you receive are consumed when you are physically active. [5]

 

Nutrition in the treatment of obesity should be tasty and satisfying and give enough energy for household activities.

Anti-obesity: recommended physical activity

However, a low-calorie menu only is not a guarantee of slimming. Physical exercises are equally important. Sport will strengthen immunity, make muscles fit, prevent hanging skin and possible weight gain in the future.

In the course of treatment, it is important for women with obesity of the second stage to consult with a doctor to make up a sports training course. The fact is that with excessive weight, intense physical activity can put a heavy burden on the heart, which can lead to the development of serious diseases. The principle of making up a training program is to ensure a smooth transition from smaller to larger. So, the activity should increase gradually. With a loss of weight, it will be easier and easier to practice sports. [6]

When there is an obesity of the second, third and fourth stages, because of the high pressure on the musculoskeletal and heart, running, push-ups, jumping and squats with weights are excluded from the training program. Water sports (aqua aerobics, swimming) and cycling are more often used as cardio exercises. Aerobic activities such as walking, exercises with dumbbells (sitting or standing) and individual yoga techniques are effective. [6]

 

In the fight against obesity, it is desirable for any patient to work with a personal coach who will monitor their physical condition (pulse, pressure) during the exercises. People with obesity are recommended to devote 225-300 minutes per week to performing moderate exercises. In such instances, the burning of 1,800-2,500 kcal per day will be guaranteed, which will provide a healthy weight loss.

Prevention of obesity

Effective prevention of obesity is the adherence to healthy nutrition rules and regular physical activity, as well as the elimination of problematic forms of dietary behavior. Even if the main goal – to lose weight – is achieved, you cannot afford to again “go off the track”.

Continue to maintain a healthy diet. Make sure that the calories consumed do not exceed the calories burnt. Do not stop keeping a nutrition diary, where you will celebrate your successes and create an optimum menu. If necessary, consult a dietician to adjust the diet as in the treatment of obesity.

It is believed that to prevent obesity and cardiovascular diseases, an adult person needs at least 150 minutes a week devoted to exercising of moderate intensity. [6] But here it is necessary to take into account both the way of life of a particular person, and their state of health.

Remember, you can master healthy habits just as you got used to overeating and leading a passive way of life. The choice is yours!

Information from this website cannot be used for self-therapy and self-diagnostics. 

Institute of Distance Psychology Pte .Ltd UEN 201834385M 4 Battery Road, #25-01 Bank of Chaina Building Singapore 049908.

LLC Tekhnologii Ideala, Center for Research Psychology 

TIN 5406976032 / PSRN 1175476058801

+7 (800) 550-99-36

+7 (658) -671-95-25

info_sg@7spsy.com