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The following information is for educational purpose only and should not be considered as medical advice. Consult with qualified healthcare professionals for personalised recommendations.


  • Do you have increasedappetite?
  • Do you have BMImore than 30?
  • You can’t sleep well?


What is Obesity?

Obesity is an excess of body fat. Obesity and overweight occurs due to imbalance between calories consumed and calories utilized.Body mass index is a mathematical calculation which helps to determine we are obese or not. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s body weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. An individual with a BMI of 25-29.9 is “overweight” and >30 is classified as “obesity.” Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk forglobal deaths. At least, 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. Individuals affected by excess weight are also at risk for developing health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, gout (joint pain caused by excess uric acid) and gallbladder disease. Increasing body fatness is accompanied by lots of changes in physiological function which is dependent on the regional distribution of adipose (fat) tissue. Generalized obesity results in alterations in total blood volume and cardiac function, whereas the distribution of fat around the thorax and abdomen limits respiratory outing and alters respiratory function. The intra-abdominal visceral (internal organs enclosed to abdominal cavity)deposition of adipose tissue, which characterizes upper body obesity, is a major contributor to the development of hypertension, elevated plasma insulin concentration, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidaemia.


It is difficult to directly measure body fat. Body mass index (BMI) is a popular method of defining a healthy weight. BMI should be used as a guide, along with waist size, to help estimate the amount of body fat. Obesity is diagnosed when a body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher for an individual. BMI=Weight (kg)/ Height (m2)

Grading of Obesity

On the basis of BMI, obesity is further classified into 3 types namely:

  • Obese Class I: 0-34.9
  • Obese Class II: 0-39.9
  • Obese Class III: >40.0

Causes of Obesity

Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including:

  • Genetics: Genetic factors determine the amount and distribution of body fat store. Gene controls the conversion of food into energy and calorie restriction during work.
  • Family lifestyle: If any one of the parent is obese, then the chance of obesity in child increases up to double fold, not due to genes but the similar eating and activity habits.
  • Inactivity: Remaining inactive without burning calories accumulate abundance of fat in the body. With aninactive lifestyle, one can easily take in more calories every day than one burn through exercise and routine daily activities.
  • Unhealthy diet: A diet full of high-calorie beverages and oversized portions like beverages, burger, pizza etc contributes to weight gain.
  • Medical problems: Diseased conditions like Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome (due to prolonged exposure of cortisol), arthritis etc. also can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.
  • Certain medications: Some antidepressants, anti-seizure, anti-diabetics, antipsychotic, steroids and beta blockers bring changes in metabolism of body leading to obesity.
  • Age: As age increases, hormonal changes occur, lower muscle mass leads to a decrease in metabolism. These changes also reduce calorie needs, and can make it harder to keep off excess weight.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, several hormones like oestrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, endorphins, prolactin levels increases in the mother, contributing to obesity in women.
  • Sleep imbalance: Insomnia orgetting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones that increase appetite, resulting in weight gain.

Complications of obesity

Obesity which leads to lots of complications which include hypertension, atherosclerosis (plaquesbuild-up inside the arteries), diabetes, hepatic steatosis (accumulation of fat in the liver),gallbladder disease, pulmonary(lung) function impairment, endocrine abnormalities, obstetric(child birth) complications, trauma to the weight-bearing joints, gout, cutaneous disease, proteinuria (loss ofprotein through urine), increased haemoglobin concentration etc.

Modern interventions for management of obesity

Two medications namely sibutramineand orlistatare prescribed for the induction and maintenance of weight loss in obesity. In surgical procedures bariatric surgery, vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) and gastric bypass (GB) are the common surgeries which not only restricts food intake, but also reduces absorption of food.

Ayurvedic Perspective of Obesity

Atisthaulya (obesity) is considered as one of the eight despicable conditions as described by AcharyaCharaka. A person having excessive accumulation of Meda (fat/adipose tissue) and Mamsa (flesh/muscle tissue) leading to flabbiness of hips, abdomen and breast has been categorized as Atisthula. Meda is body tissue predominant in Prithviand ApMahabhutas similar to KaphaDosha. Consumption of Guru (heavy to digest), Sheeta (cold), Snigdha (slimy), MadhuradiKaphavardhaka (sweet and Kapha increasing) drugs along with lack of exercise and sedentary life style result in excessive nourishment of Meda while other bodily elements (Dhatus) are deprived of nourishment. Mandotsaham (less activity referring to sedentary lifestyle), Atisnigdham (excessive intake of fatty substances), Atisthaulyam (gross obesity), and Mahashanam (excessive eating) constitute for causation of Prameha (urinary diseases including Diabetes) and these etiological factors may also initiate Dyslipidemia.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Obesity

A wide variety of plants possess pancreatic lipase inhibitory effects including Panaxjaponicus, Platycodi radix, Salaciareticulata, Nelumbonucifera. The most studied natural sources of pancreatic lipase inhibitors are derived from different types of tea (e.g. green, oolong, and black tea). Drugs like Priyala (Buchananialanzan), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhizaglabra), etc., possessing Madhura Rasa and SnigdhaGuna may help to soften and unction the vessels hardened overtime by the deposited fat as in the case in Atherosclerosis.In AshtangaHridaya, GomutraHaritaki, Rodhrasava, Navakaguggulu, Amrutaguggu, VardhamanaBhallatakaRasayana etc. are the remedies added for the management of Sthaulya. BhavaPrakasha has mentioned the remedies for Medohara purpose, ChavyadiSaktu , Triphaladyachurna, Mulichurna, ErandapatraKshara, BadaripatraPeya, Amrutadiguggula, Dashangaguggul, Trashusnadiguggula, LohaRasayanan, Lauharishtaetc. It is well known fact that, drugs like Guggulu (Commiphorawightii, Vrukshamla (Garciniaindica), Atasi (Linumusitassimum), Lashuna (Allium sativum) are used in available marketed products in controlling obesity and dyslipidaemia.Triphalachurna is also prescribed in text of charaksamhita for the management of obesity which includes mixture of 3 healings herbs namely: Amalaki (Emblicaofficinalis), Haritaki (Terminaliachebula), Bibhitaki (Terminaliabelerica).

Home Remedies for Controlling Obesity

  • Drink a glass of lukewarm water, with a juice of lemon squeezed into it every morning on an empty stomach.
  • Fast on honey and lime juice, as a detoxification remedy which purify and improve body metabolism.
  • In the morning, drink daily a glassful of carom seeds and cumin seeds soaked water, which helps in prevention of water retention in the body.


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