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Weight Loss and Life Style Management

DEFINITION:  Obesity refers to a weight condition which is defined as being 20% over the prescribed weight of a particular age, build or height.

SYMPTOMS:  The most apparent sign of obesity is an increase in body weight due to a rise in the fat percentage of total mass. Secondary symptoms of obesity are increased foot problems, back problems, reduced physical endurance, labored breathing, sleep difficulties and especially sleep apnea.

  • Some studies indicate that when there is an inadequate intake of essential nutrients, fat is not burned efficiently, which may contribute to obesity. For this reason, supplementing the diet with a good multivitamin and mineral supplement is highly recommended.
  • Research indicates that the amount of calories consumed is not as important as what comprises the calories.
  • Eating a diet that is high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables, fruits and low in fat is the winning combination. In addition, raising your calorie intake of nonfat foods seems to enhance weight loss, rather than slow it.
  • Do not eat too little. Any diet that is less than 1,200 calories is not effective as a means of weight loss. In addition, all diets should contain some percentage of desirable fat, which can be ingested in the form of olive, flaxseed, safflower oil. Supplementing your diet with these oils is thought to actually improve the burning of fat.
  • Do not consume alcohol: all alcoholic beverages are high in calories.
  • Fiber supplements can be taken in the form of guar gum, psyllium or glucomannan.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners. There is some evidence that actificial sweeteners can actually increase appetite and result in weight gain. Barley malt sweetener can be used instead of sugar.
  • Omit all substances which are thought to be appetite stimulants such as salt, hot spices, coffee, tea, tobacco, and sugar.
Home Care Suggestions:
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is considered the best method to control weight. Begin slowly. Take a ten-to-fifteen minute walk three days a week and then slowly increase your distance and your pace. Light exercise right after eating is recommended and can help to burn calories that have just been consumed.
  • Don't become constipated. Drink six to eight glasses of water per day.
  • Eating too fast or improper chewing can also result in the consumption of more calories during a certain period of time. Eating a diet that is hight in fiber can automatically increase chewing time and slow the eating process. People who eat too fast can often become hungry again soon after eating. Listen to calm, soothing music while you eat and chew slowly. *Avoid fad diets which can make your body feel as if it is starving and actually lower your metabolism which slows the burning of fat stores.
    Do not use diuretics or laxatives to induce weight loss. These can be potentially hazardous to your health and result in temporary weight loss only.
  • Be Patient. More permanent results will be obtained if weight loss is gradual. Remember that it takes time for the body to readjust to its new programmed weight set point.
  • Do not eat while reading or watching TV. As fun as it might be, it promises inactivity and weight gain. If you have to eat during these activities, munch on raw vegetables. * Do not use food as a reward.

The preceding article excerpted from:

From "Obesity" found in "Doctor's Guied to Natural Medicine" By Paul Barney, MD.


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