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January 18, 2022  
REFLUX1 FEATURE: Fighting Obesity

Fighting Obesity as a GERD Sufferer

Reflux, ObesityGERD is characterized by the weakening or relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, which prevents acidic stomach acid juices and food from flowing back into the esophagus. When the sphincter is not working properly, irritating stomach fluids and food pass back into the esophagus causing the symptom of heartburn. Obesity is one of several factors which weakens the esophageal sphincter.

Eat well.
Eating a balanced diet with proper levels of nutrients, as well as a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, can help your metabolism function at its best, and of course, a key component of obesity is overeating. So make sure that you are eating reasonable amounts of nutritious foods. Try to eat regularly so that you don�t find yourself starving and grab for a huge serving of the first available option. You may also want to try one of the diet plans on the market, but all diets should be approved by your doctor or health care practitioner. If you feel you need more regular input from an expert, ask your doctor to refer you to a nutritionist who can help you decide on what eating patterns and rules will work best for you.

The other major factor in controlling obesity is regular exercise. When you exercise regularly, your metabolism increases. Also, muscle burns calories, while fat stores them, so the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn as you go about your daily activities. If it�s difficult for you to begin an exercise program, consider joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer, or both. It will be much easier to exercise knowing you are exercising efficiently and in a way that won�t cause injury, and if you look and feel like you know what you�re doing, you�ll be less self-conscious as you work out. Also, rewarding yourself for a job well done � buying a fun, silly magazine to read on the Stairmaster, or treating yourself to a movie with friends after your workout � can help you associate exercise with pleasure instead of pain.

Identify contributing factors.
If the basics of exercise and healthy eating don�t seem enough to help you win your struggle with extra weight, it may be that other factors are thwarting your efforts. Some people suffer from metabolic problems � such as thyroid imbalances, for example � that can make it very difficult to maintain a normal weight. Also, if you�re having difficulty doing things that will make it easier to keep weight off, try to notice what sorts of things happen that might cause this behavior. Ask yourself, �What makes me want to overeat, abandon good nutrition, or skip a day at the gym?� If you find that you�re struggling with negative emotions or lack of motivation, it may be that you are suffering from depression, stress or anxiety. These are big factors in poor eating habits, and lacking energy or feeling down in the dumps, as people with depression often do, can definitely destroy your will to complete your daily workout. If you think your obesity may be due in part to underlying mental illness, you should talk to your doctor about how to get on the road to recovery. Mental illness can have as big an impact on your health as physical illness, and like physical illness, it should be treated by a doctor. You may find that once you are able to beat a contributing factor, reaching a healthy weight and doing the things necessary to keep the pounds off becomes much less of a struggle.

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