Obesity – how Fitatu® can support treatment

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Obesity – how Fitatu® can support treatment

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What is obesity, and what factors increase the risk of its occurrence? What are the treatment methods for obesity, and are there any drugs that aid the weight loss process? What is essential to lose weight? And how can Fitatu® help in this regard?

Obesity is the pandemic of the 21st century, affecting about 9 million adults in Poland. In 2022, individuals with overweight or obesity accounted for 60-70% of the population depending on the province. These numbers are not optimistic, and thus more attention is being paid to nutritional education, seeking methods to treat obesity, expanding specialists’ competencies, and comprehensive assistance in treating this disease.

Obesity – disease characteristics

Obesity is a chronic disease. The World Health Organization defines obesity as excessive or abnormal accumulation of fat in the body, leading to a deterioration in health. Obesity is caused by excessive calorie intake compared to low demand due to physical inactivity. The energy surplus retained in the body is stored as fat cells (adipocytes) and forms fatty tissue. As a chronic disease, obesity gradually surrounds internal organs with fatty tissue, increasing the risk of other chronic diseases that threaten life and health. Abdominal obesity is part of the metabolic syndrome and is a major factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Obesity – risk factors

  • Low physical activity – sedentary lifestyle, desk jobs, and car travel do not contribute to maintaining an adequate level of physical activity. Too low activity results in slowed metabolism, leading to a lower caloric need.
  • A high-calorie diet with little vegetable intake, hence a low fiber content, as well as a diet high in fats, is a primary risk factor for obesity development. Particularly harmful is a diet rich in saturated fatty acids, trans fats, and high sugar content.
  • Lack of sleep and stress – rest is important for the body’s regeneration. With changes in the daily cycle and insufficient sleep, cortisol – the stress hormone, is secreted. It is responsible for cravings for sweets, especially during the night hours. Stress also disrupts hormone management and the functioning of hunger receptors.
  • Age – with aging, caloric needs decrease, muscle mass gradually diminishes, and muscles weaken. Very often, dietary habits remain unchanged over the years, as do portion sizes. In this way, meals provide too many calories relative to the current level of demand.
  • Diseases and medications – certain diseases and medications can increase appetite and lead to excessive snacking, resulting in weight gain.
  • Pregnancy – many expectant mothers gain extra pounds during pregnancy. The postpartum period can be challenging, and it is not always possible to return to pre-pregnancy weight. For many reasons, reducing weight can be very difficult and consequently lead to obesity development.
  • Social and economic issues – highly processed and lower-quality food is often cheaper than fresh, low-calorie food from a verified source. Social inequalities lead to a trend of consuming highly processed food due to a lack of alternatives or insufficient nutritional knowledge. Sometimes, the community also influences dietary choices, for example, a child who has no control over the food they are fed.

Obesity treatment

Obesity is a disease, thus it requires the implementation of appropriate, individualised treatment for each patient. Success in combating the disease is achieved through a dedicated team of specialists, the patient’s willingness to change their diet, and the incorporation of physical activity.

Pharmacotherapy – GLP-1 medications

Recently, researchers have proven that GLP-1 medications, such as Ozempic, Saxenda, or Wegovy, can be a treatment path for obesity in some patients.

For example, Ozempic has been approved for sale in the United States as an aid in treating obesity if at least one comorbid disease is present: type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension. In Poland, the drug is approved for sale only to individuals with diabetes. It cannot be used by people allergic to any of the drug’s components, those with type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis, severe heart failure, end-stage kidney disease, pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, and individuals over the age of 75.

Mechanism of action of GLP-1 medications

The active substance in drugs like Ozempic is semaglutide. This substance is an analogue of human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone produced in the small intestine. When blood glucose levels rise, the drug stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin and regulates glucagon secretion. As a result, blood sugar levels are reduced, both fasting and postprandial. GLP-1 regulates the level of hunger. Semaglutide is similar enough to natural GLP-1 that it can bind to receptors for this hormone, leading to their activation. These receptors are also located in the brain, where they are responsible for controlling appetite. Therefore, the drug reduces appetite, causes a feeling of fullness, and can lead to a reduction in calorie intake due to a lack of appetite. The main effect of the drug is to reduce blood glucose levels by stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin.

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Diet change and Fitatu® App

A caloric deficit is essential for weight loss. Whether you use pharmacotherapy with GLP-1 medications or other means, or are just dieting, to cause weight loss, the amount of calories consumed must be less than the total energy expenditure. Fitatu® can help you shed unnecessary pounds. In the app, you can calculate your needs or enter the caloric and macronutrient distribution recommended by your dietitian. During obesity treatment, a dietitian is essential to help develop an individualised plan, monitor progress, and select the right products.

A healthy diet should be based on vegetables and other fibre-rich foods, such as whole grains, sourdough bread, legumes, and berries. With an adequate fibre intake, also ensure hydration. Fibre without water will not function correctly; it starts to absorb water and, by increasing its volume, causes a feeling of fullness in the stomach. The diet should limit saturated fats, especially those of animal origin, and highly processed foods, which are high in excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and trans fats. Highly processed products are quickly digested and make you feel hungry sooner, causing a desire for a snack. With the Fitatu® app, you can check the Fitatu score®, which lets you check the composition of products and whether a product is recommended or better avoided. Along with the app, you can work on building habits that will help you lose excess weight permanently. Healthy habits will also help maintain weight loss effects.

Doctor’s supervision

Doctor’s supervision is essential, especially when other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, or lipid disorders are present alongside obesity. It’s important to follow the doctor’s recommendations and regularly undergo control examinations, so the doctor can quickly diagnose any problems and start treatment if necessary.

Physical activity

Increasing physical activity is crucial for health and for losing extra pounds. Physical activity stimulates metabolism, making it easier to lose unnecessary weight. Increased physical activity also brings greater benefits for health and fitness. Building muscle mass increases the body’s calorie demand, which also aids the weight loss process. You can log your activity in the Fitatu® app to monitor your progress and adjust your calorie intake accordingly.

Fitatu® Support Group

Reaching your goal is easier with the support of others! Join our Fitatu Facebook group and achieve your goals together with other Fitatu® app users. With the group members, you can share your results every day and motivate each other to keep going.

Fitatu® App

Not yet familiar with Fitatu®? Download the app from the Play Store or Apple Store and start taking charge of your health with us! Do you want to have access to all the features? Go for Fitatu® Premium! For blog readers, we have a special discount code: OVERWEIGHT-KQ. Go to https://www.fitatu.com/app/order-and-payment and claim a 20% discount on Fitatu® Premium annual plans. The code combines with other promotions. 

What else can you find in Fitatu® Premium?

  • Over 2,000 recipes plus dozens of new ones every month,
  • additional intermittent fasting plans,
  • possibility to create shopping lists, 
  • 6 pre-prepared meal menus,  
  • filtering of products and recipes, 
  • more synchronization with fitness apps, 
  • access to the app in the web version,
  • no adverts!


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