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Fighting Obesity Through the Centuries – A Weight Loss Doctor Reveals Some Old Secrets

Without A Plan Permanent Weight Loss is Impossible.

The top resolution for 2010, just like it has been for every year is shedding weight and becoming physically fit. It also can become the hardest to do: changing the way we eat and exercise in a few days or even in a few months can overwhelm just about anyone. The first step is always to prepare a plan, weight loss without a definite plan is impossible. Whether you try low carb, count calories, points or eat specially prepared meals, you still need a plan. Before you jump on the first plan you hear about, take a long look and see that the task of losing weight is nothing new. It goes back to 5000 years to early Egypt. Take a look through the centuries and find a plan that is best for you.

Obesity and Dieting is Nothing New

The earliest indications of obesity can be traced back to the first modern humans in Europe about 35,000 years ago. In those days, efficient storage of energy (i.e., fat) in times of plenty was paramount to surviving the next famine. Times have changed and famine does not exist in our part of the world any longer. Therefore, our once lifesaving ability to store energy (i.e., fat) efficiently has since turned against us. It now shows up in our society as the constant concern of too much weight and ultimately, as obesity. For thousands of years, being overweight and obesity were exceptionally rare phenomena and were almost never studied.

The perception of obesity varied among cultures.

In ancient Egypt, obesity was considered a disease. Egyptians depicted their enemies as obese individuals. Obesity was certainly not the Egyptian beauty ideal, which instead featured long, slender legs, narrow hips with high breasts, and golden skin. Concerned that diet maintained their health, the ancients recognized that the quantity and quality of food were equally important. Their method of portion control was rather primitive. They

Vomited and purged themselves three times a month.

Ancient China was aware of obesity and the dangers that come with it. The texts tolled Gobi berries for strengthening the liver, preventing obesity, and fortifying the-Qi-(chi) or life force. The Aztecs believed that obesity was supernatural, an affliction of the Gods. They had a sophisticated vocabulary for obesity and locations of specific fat deposits, including a double chin and a -beer belly.

The ancient Greeks first recognized the dangers okinawa flat belly tonic of obesity. Hippocrates, considered the Father of Medicine,believed that obesity led to infertility and even death.

  • Hippocrates was aware of sudden deaths being more common among obese men than lean ones. He correctly identified the energy balance equation:
  • Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
  • Energy is either used or stored.
  • When -calories in- are greater than -calories out- then body weight increases.
  • When -calories in- are less than -calories out-then body weight decreases.

After Hippocrates laid the foundation for understanding energy and weight management within the human body, another two thousand years went by before the general public in Europe, in the early 1600s, began to recognize diet and exercise as means to preserving one’s health.

Around the 17th century, links between diet, disease, and health were clearly acknowledged.

Study after study emphasized the benefits of leanness and the dangers of corpulence. beginning in the 17 the century. The term obesity was first used in 1650 by the English physician and medical writer, Dr. Tobias Venner. With the industrial revolution of the 19th century, England saw a growing abundance of food coupled with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. The result was a vast increase in obesity among the middle and upper classes.

Unfortunately, as the medical society and the public in general began to look at obesity and its complications as serious health problems, knowledge on how to reverse it, especially permanently, remained unclear! Surprisingly, most 19th century doctors had no idea about its cause. Many thought obesity was due to sin or diseases.

Physicians of the time did not believe that what you ate had a direct impact on your body and on your general health. People typically ate bread, potatoes, pastry, puddings and cakes, and served their meat with thick gravies. Alcohol was part of daily life. Basically, people of that time ate as much as they could afford! After all, a big belly was a sign of prosperity.

Lights Begins to Shine in the early 1800’s with Graham Crackers in America

During the early 1830s, Reverend Sylvester Graham was the first American to relate food choices to health. He condemned the sin of gluttony,advocating a bland, vegetarian diet as the cure. Dr. Graham developed a recipe and encouraged people to eat flat bread made of coarse whole wheat flour. However, people who ate his Graham Cracker were described as -pale and sickly. Reverend Graham became known as Dr. Sawdust-not a very good start to reversing obesity, but these were the first efforts made to remediate the condition

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