Did you know that more than 1 in 3 Americans are obese? Obesity is a health disorder in which there is excessive accumulation of fat in the body. This results in being overweight and associated health problems.
Obesity is determined by measuring a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) — the measure of body fat based on one’s height and weight. Generally, a BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered desirable. If your BMI is between “25 – 29.9”, then you are deemed overweight; if it is 30 or more, you are considered obese.
You can calculate your BMI using the following:
- BMI=(Weight in lbs / (Height in inches x Height in inches)) x 703, or if you measure with the metric system use BMI= Weight in kg / (Height in meters x Height in meters), or
- the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s online BMI calculator.
This problem is mostly attributed to poor lifestyle choices, such as an unbalanced diet, eating processed foods high in fat, oversized food portions, overeating, excessive drinking, lack of physical activity, lack of sufficient sleep, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, medications, psychological issues, social issues etc.
Genetic factors and hormonal problems also tend to increase the risk of developing obesity. Obesity is a great concern not merely because of the excess weight, but also because it puts you at risk for a number of serious health problems such as insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallstones, gout, arthritis, certain cancers, and other chronic illnesses.
It is important to adopt healthy lifestyle changes to combat this problem. It might be reassuring to know that if you are determined to lose at least 5% of your weight, you will be rewarded with decreased risk of heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer as per the findings of a recent study published in 2016 (1). In addition, you can use some easy yet effective natural remedies to help with your weight loss efforts.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for obesity.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is one of the best home remedies for fighting obesity. It is rich in fiber, vitamins like vitamin B and C, minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.
It helps improve digestion and aids in detoxification. Healthy digestion is an essential pre-requisite for weight loss as it helps your body get the nutrients required to burn fat. The citric acid present in lemons is very effective in burning fat (2).
Furthermore, it helps remove toxins from your body that slow down your metabolism. A recent study published in the journal of Nutrition Research in 2015 showed that a lemon detox program was very effective in reducing fat and insulin resistance in a group of overweight Korean women in comparison to the control group (3).
- Mix three teaspoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of honey, and one-half teaspoon of black pepper powder in one glass of water. (If you use freshly ground black pepper, then just add a quarter teaspoon.)
- Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Do this daily for at least three months.
Alternatively, you can simply have a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Note: Deseed lemons before using as seeds of all citrus fruits and apples are poisonous and can be dangerous if ingested even in small quantities at times.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is another popular home remedy to reduce excess weight. Though the actual weight loss benefits of it are still unknown, preliminary research has shown that it can help protect against obesity.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) was found to decrease cholesterol in animals fed high cholesterol diet in comparison to the controls in animal models (4).
- Mix two teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Drink it daily in the morning and preferably before meals.
- You can also drink a glass of water mixed with one teaspoon each of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
You can have up to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a day. Do not exceed this amount, as it may reduce your blood potassium levels over time and lower your bone mineral density.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is useful in treating obesity because it stimulates metabolism, increases energy consumption, and mobilizes unused fat in the body.
Aloe vera contains more than 75 different biologically active substances. This plant has been used in traditional medicine for wound healing, anti-inflammatory activity, antiseptic properties and also as a laxative (6).
A study done in 2008 showed that phytosterols isolated from Aloe vera was effective in reducing body fat accumulation in obese diabetic animal models (7).
This evidence was supported by results from another study done in 2012 which suggested that treatment with dried Aloe vera gel reduced the accumulation of body fat in diet-induced obese animal models (8).
It contains natural collagen proteins that make the body work harder in order to absorb the proteins. In addition, it helps remove toxins from the digestive system and colon.
- Take two fresh Aloe vera leaves, peel them, and scoop out the pulp.
- Put it in a blender along with one cup of citrus juice, like grapefruit juice, or simply water. Blend it for two to three minutes.
- Drink this daily for at least a month.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is another popular natural remedy to promote weight loss. Green tea is rich in polyphenols like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, and epicatechin gallate which are beneficial for health.
A study at Penn State revealed that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound found in green tea, helps slow down weight gain by limiting fat absorption and increasing the body’s ability to use fat (9).
Another report from Penn State showed that decaffeinated green tea along with exercise helped in achieving weight loss in mice (10).
While another study published in 2009 showed that the catechins present in green tea had a small positive effect on weight loss and weight management (11).
Furthermore, green tea is packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, zinc, selenium, chromium, and other trace minerals.
Drink about three to four cups of green tea daily to combat obesity. You can also combine it with ginger tea or cayenne pepper.
5. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper helps control obesity and aids in weight loss. It contains capsaicin that stimulates your body to burn fat and increase energy expenditure.
Other than capsaicin, chilies have vitamin C, β carotene, and lutein which are well-known antioxidants (12).
A review paper published in 2012 looked into the potential medicinal uses of capsaicinoid compounds in relation to the regulation of weight. Capsaicinoids were found to increase energy expenditure, lipid peroxidation, and also reduce the appetite (13).
In addition, it stimulates digestion and suppresses excess appetite caused by malabsorption of nutrients in the body.
- Make cayenne pepper tea by pouring a glass of hot water over cayenne pepper (start with one-tenth of a teaspoon or just a dash of cayenne pepper and gradually increase its quantity to one teaspoon). Squeeze the juice from half a lemon in it. Drink this tea regularly at least for a month.
- Mix two tablespoons each of lemon juice in 10 ounces of water (one glass contains 8 ounces). Stir in a dash of cayenne pepper and drink it.
- Use cayenne pepper and other spices, such as ginger, black pepper, and mustard seeds, generously in your meal preparations.
6. Curry Leaves
Eating 10 fresh curry leaves daily in the morning works as a great Ayurvedic remedy to deal with obesity and diabetes caused by obesity.
Curry leaves, which are lavishly used for garnishing and flavoring dishes, are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, carotene, nicotinic acid, vitamins A and C, calcium and oxalic acid.
It is a rich source of biologically active compounds like koenigin, girinimbin, koenidine, triterpenoids etc.
The leaves are traditionally used for its stomachic, tonic, antihelminithic, antidiabetic, antidiarrheal, and carminative properties (14).
In a 2014 report: extracts of curry leaves were reported to remarkably reduce body weight gain, total lipids when given orally to rats fed a high-fat diet.
These curry leaves contain mahanimbine, an alkaloid that has anti-obesity and lipid-lowering effects. Thus, it helps lower body weight and reduces total cholesterol and triglyceride levels (15).
Continue eating these leaves regularly for at least three to four months.