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Understanding the Metabolic Phenotype of Obesity

Obesity has become a worldwide health issue.  Our hectic schedules have become one of the key contributors to obesity.  

Sometimes people are unaware at the onset of their weight gain. Usually, it starts with blood glucose level spikes that occur due to bad dietary habits, wrong sleep schedule, lack of activity levels, etc. Later, it can lead to diabetes, hypertension, etc.

Typically one addresses a concern once it becomes a full-blown condition. However, technology-allows wearables like the BIOS by HealthifyMe that can help you understand your blood glucose levels during the active and restive states. It is a preventive measure that allows you to establish an empirical, data-driven relationship between food and blood glucose levels.

Sometimes the right foods eaten at the wrong times can pile up kilos. For example, eating a fruit post-dinner may be detrimental to your health. Learning the food’s response to your blood glucose levels is a starting point toward healthy weight management.

One of the most significant aspects of determining weight reduction is a person’s obesity phenotype, which is how our weight is controlled depending on the interaction of our genes and environmental influences.

These determinants include our eating habits, physical activity levels, sleep patterns, and even gut microbes. When these components become disorganised, it might alter our weight regulation.

There is so much to know about the metabolic phenotype in obesity to understand your type of obesity. According to the phenotype, if you take up a weight reduction regime, you will pass through the obesity battle. Read further to find out the metabolic obesity phenotypes.

Obesity: Why is it a Concern?

Obesity, in particular, impairs practically every area of health, from reproductive and pulmonary function to cognition and mood. As a result, it raises the risk of several severe and fatal illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and several malignancies. Obesity reduces life quality and duration. It increases individual, national, and global healthcare expenses. However, people battling obesity can benefit from losing as little as 5 to 10% of their body weight, even if they never hit their “ideal” weight and shed pounds later in life.

Obesity and its Connection with Different Diseases

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the disease most significantly impacted by body weight. For example, the risk of getting diabetes was 93 times greater in health research, which followed 114,000 middle-aged women for 14 years, among women with a BMI of 35 or higher at the beginning of the study, compared to women with BMIs less than 22.

Fat cells, particularly those near the waist, are involved in releasing hormones and other inflammatory compounds. Improper inflammation causes a wide range of health issues. For example, inflammation can make the body less sensitive to insulin and alter the metabolisation of fats and carbs. As a result, it spikes blood sugar levels and, eventually, leads to diabetes and its numerous consequences.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Body weight is intimately related to a variety of cardiovascular risk factors. For example, a rise in BMI leads to increased blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (or ‘bad’) cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and inflammation. These modifications increase coronary artery disease, stroke, and cardiovascular mortality risk.

Numerous studies have found a link between increased body weight and coronary artery disease (CAD). The BMI-CAD Collaboration Investigators did a meta-analysis of 21 long-term studies, including over 300,000 patients for an average of 16 years. Overweight study participants had a 32% greater chance of getting CAD than normal-weight ones.

Ischemic (clot-caused) stroke and coronary artery disease share many disease mechanisms and risk factors. A meta-analysis of 25 prospective cohort studies found that being overweight raised the risk of ischemic stroke by 22%, and being obese increased it by 64%.

Reproductive Health

Obesity can affect several aspects of reproduction, including sexual activity and pregnancy. Infertility was lowest among women with BMIs between 20 and 24 and increased with lower and higher BMIs in the Nurses’ Health study.

According to this study, obesity may be responsible for 25% of ovulatory infertility in the United States. It increases the danger of early and late miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and problems during labour and child delivery. The influence of obesity on male fertility, on the other hand, is less obvious.

Obesity may also have an impact on sexual function. According to data from many research, the likelihood of getting erectile dysfunction increases with rising BMI. Weight loss appears to be somewhat beneficial in sustaining erectile function. Its impact on female sexual function is less established.

Depression

One piece of research suggests that the link between fat and depression is a two-way street. According to a meta-analysis of 15 long-term studies, overweight people have a 55% greater chance of depression.

Conversely, according to the same survey, depressed people have a 58% greater chance of becoming fat. This research tracked 58,000 people for up to 28 years.

Although the subject requires conclusive scientific evidence, potential explanations include inflammation, alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, insulin sensitivity, and social or cultural influences.

Respiratory Diseases

Obesity inhibits respiratory function through mechanical and metabolic processes. It can lead to two prevalent respiratory diseases: asthma and obstructive sleep apnea.

Obesity raised the probability of acquiring asthma in both men and women by 50% in a meta-analysis of seven prospective trials, including 333,000 individuals.

Obesity is also a critical factor in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which affects one in every five persons. As per a study, daytime drowsiness, accidents, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and early death are all related to this disorder. Obesity affects between 50% and 75% of people with OSA. Clinical investigations suggest slight weight reduction may be beneficial in treating sleep apnea.

The HealthifyMe Note

Obesity is one of the primary causes of various diseases. It is a growing issue worldwide, which can lead to cardiovascular, respiratory, and mental issues. In addition, it is one of the primary causes of type 2 diabetes. One of the primary causes of obesity is unhealthy glucose levels. Hence, monitoring your glucose levels and changing your dietary and lifestyle habits to prevent obesity is essential.

The metabolic phenotype is critical in developing cardiovascular diseases and metabolic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease.

You can categorise the metabolic phenotype into three distinct phenotypes with distinct methods of generation and presentation. Each phenotype develops in violation of several sorts of hormonal-metabolic pathways.

Alimentary Phenotype

Alimentary phenotype ensues due to an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. The phenotype is based on the lipid and carbohydrate metabolism features. 

The fulfilment of self-preservation and self-realisation impulses leads to the social phenotype. The activity of glucocorticosteroids determines the hormonal-metabolic supply of both processes (in particular, cortisol).

Abdominal-Visceral Phenotype

The abdominal-visceral phenotype depends on sexual activity features owing to the translocation of sex hormones. In addition, it depends on the dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-s). These usually occur in old age.

Some obesity experts recently discovered that when your weight spiralled out of control, it would emerge as four distinct phenotypes:

Hungry Brain

You’re in this category if you can’t seem to feel full no matter how much you eat. This group needs to consume more than others to be satisfied.

Hungry Gut

These people usually eat limited food at meals but feel hungry again an hour or two later despite having food recently.

Emotional Hunger

It is something that most individuals have experienced. People eat for various reasons, but some of us lose control of how much we eat due to our emotions.

Slow Burn

Some individuals do everything correctly (eat well, exercise, sleep well, take care of themselves) but can’t manage to lose weight. Unfortunately, they are the ones that have a sluggish metabolism.

Because not everyone fits neatly into tidy little boxes, some of us may fall into one or more categories. In those circumstances, experts advise determining which phenotype predominates and starting there.

Lifestyle Changes to Adopt

High-Protein Snacks

Eat high-protein snacks to keep you full between meals. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or a cookie, you need a snack with plenty of protein to prevent mindless munching.

A high-protein snack keeps you satiated until your next meal, stopping you from adding empty calories to your diet. For weight management, 10 to 15 grams of protein is ideal for snacks.

Adding sufficient protein in all main meals can help manage between-meal hunger pangs. Try to pair protein-rich foods with ingredients that offer healthy fats and fibre. Most importantly, you should also watch the number of calories in your snack. For example, if you have a 2,000-calorie plan, include protein-rich snacks of 300 calories or less. 

Eat More Vegetables

A study shows that increasing vegetable consumption reduced the risk of weight gain and being overweight or obese. Eating at least four servings of vegetables per day can improve weight-related outcomes in adults, such as reducing waist circumference.

You can eat fresh veggies 20-25 minutes before main meals as snacks or mini-meals. Enjoy roasted vegetables as a salad or poach them. A healthy salad consists of about 95% vegetables and 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of low-calorie dressing.

Moreover, make sure that the salad is no more than 100 calories. You can also add fresh-cut vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and zucchini to soups, stews, scrambled eggs, pasta, and casseroles.

Include More Fibre

The more fibre a food has, the better and steady the supply of energy. Eating less fibre triggers blood sugar fluctuation, causing hunger and overeating. On the other hand, eating more soluble fibre makes you feel full.

Most dieticians and nutritionists recommend eating about 30 to 40 grams of fibre a day. People with chronic digestive disorders can take fibre in a pill. However, eating fibre-rich foods which contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is always better than supplements.

Do Not Skip Healthy Fats

A small amount of fat is likely to be present in whichever food you choose. Your body needs dietary fat, which is essential fat, to function properly and lose weight.

Healthy fats increase satiety and help regulate hunger hormones, supporting weight management. However, not all fats are created equal. For example, you must avoid unprocessed, high-fat foods in packaged products. Eating the wrong kind of fat will make you gain weight.

Do not skip healthy fats like nuts, whole eggs, Greek yoghurt, nut butter, salmon, olive oil, and seeds. Having said that, the consumption of these healthy fats should also be kept in moderation.

If you’re looking to slim down, try to go for food sources of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-3 fats. Make sure to keep your diet’s overall fatty acid profile reasonably balanced, as it will affect your metabolic phenotype.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners and Processed Foods

There’s a good chance that the foods you choose have added sugar, salt, and preservatives. Many times, packaged food products seem harmless. However, they tend to add extra calories, sodium, sugar and fat to your once-healthy meal. Even the seemingly healthy restaurant salads pack in hundreds of calories or more. 

Junk foods are detrimental to your weight-loss goals. Depending on the brand, snacks can have artificial sweeteners from different sources.

As a result, you may consume far more calories than you can imagine. The deep-fried and heavily salted foods tend to be much more processed, loaded with artificial colours and saturated fat.

Stay Hydrated and Exercise Regularly

The most important thing you can do to lose weight is to drink enough water and exercise regularly. Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Further, a study shows that drinking water increases metabolic rate by 30%.

You want to follow a consistent routine when you’re exercising to lose weight. It will help if you follow a calorie-burning workout that fits your metabolic phenotype and lifestyle. Running is one of the simplest ways to burn calories if you’re a beginner. Jumping ropes is another calorie-busting workout you can try. 

Improve Sleep Quality

Getting a good night’s rest can make weight loss less challenging. Poor sleep quality can lead to high stress and metabolic disorders, increasing the risk of weight gain.

Sleep-deprived and stressful individuals choose foods high in calories and carbohydrates as a coping mechanism. Chronic stress can lead to overeating to cope with negative emotions. Therefore, proper stress management and quality sleep are necessary for weight management. Stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, guided visualisations, and deep breathing can help.

The HealthifyMe Note

Understanding your phenotype allows you to make your weight loss efforts more successful. In addition, fundamental lifestyle changes and dietary habits based on your metabolic phenotype can help prevent obesity. For instance, eating a healthy combo of protein, fibre, and fats will leave you pleasantly satiated and reduce between-meal hunger. 

Summary

Obesity hurts almost every aspect of health. It increases the risk of many severe and fatal illnesses. As a result, the majority of obese people strive to lose weight.

One of the most critical factors in determining weight loss is an individual’s obesity phenotype, which is how our weight is controlled based on the interaction of our genes and environmental influences.

Four specific metabolic phenotypes help understand the cause of an impact on your metabolism. You can eventually lose weight by working on overall lifestyle aspects like nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, water intake, etc.

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