| April 30th, 2007

* take a break, attain a healthy lifestyle!

The benefit of leading a healthy life at any age is recognized by everyone around the world. Yet, many of us fail to practice healthy habits in our day to day life. Among some of the unhealthy trends which exist among Bangladeshi women, weight problems after marriage, giving birth to a child, moving to a foreign country or while growing old are the most common ones. There are no quick answers to the question of why women gain weight on these occasions. The most we can do is explore some of the reasons and try to find healthy alternatives to the conventional trends of gaining weight.

We all have that one relative who migrated to a developed country and returned with excess weight on. In fact, some guardians expect their daughter or son who go abroad to gain weight (become healthy in their words). Change in food habits, nutritional value of food, lack of physical activity with respect to food intake, lifestyle changes, stress, low self esteem, loneliness and many other conditions can be identified for someone gaining weight. As someone who lost weight after moving to a foreign country rather than gaining, I think being conscious about one’s lifestyle definitely helps is maintaining a healthy body. Simple considerations such as switching to low fat or non fat items, eating in moderate helpings, being involved in physical activities and trying to adapt to the new surroundings in one’s own way can get one a long way as far as being healthy is concerned.

Then comes the question of those women who are married and have kids. We all know that none of these changes are easy for a woman to adapt to. Both situations cause obvious hormonal and physical changes within a woman’s body. Continuous consumption of birth controls for an extended period may cause a woman to gain wait. Again during pregnancy many women get an appetite and eat more than their body requires. Permanent changes such as a softer belly, slightly wider hips, and a larger waistline are inevitable after giving birth. Yet, within 40 to 60 days of child birth, a woman’s body is ready to undertake simple changes in food habits and activity to obtain a healthy lifestyle instead of maintaining the habits she grew while pregnant.

No strict diet is suggested for women at this stage. Breastfeeding mothers should eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids. Switching to low-fat, high-fiber foods such as fruits (like apples & oranges) and raw vegetables (like carrots and red pepper strips) for healthy snacks and taking quick walks or being more active around the house can help in losing the extra weight she gained earlier. Yet, dietary needs of each women after child birth can be different and thus it is best to consult your physician before making changes in your food habits at this stage (especially when you are breastfeeding). A few blogs and websites on the topic may give one some idea on how things may work, but again nothing should be followed from websites until one consults her doctor.



Being away from one’s country and raising kids in nuclear families without any family help can be stressful for many Bangali women living abroad. Especially, working mothers find it even harder to make any time for them anymore. A supportive spouse, determination to make healthy choices and a positive body image may help in maintaining a wholesome lifestyle for many.

The most common associations for being overweight are detrimental imbalance between energy intake and output. In the past, there has been a stereotype that people only became overweight or obese by eating too much and being lazy. Especially Bangali women, home and abroad are still not accustomed to working out (exercising) regularly to remain healthy. Our kind of cooking and eating habits with so much carbohydrate, oil and spices require sufficient physical activity in one’s routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Although now, doctors are finding out that overweight problems may run in families and may be affected by many factors. It may not be caused just by your eating and exercise habits. An overweight or obese weight designation may be the result of a person’s genetics, metabolism, behavior, environment, culture, and socioeconomic status. Behavior and environment play a large role causing people to gain weight. These are the greatest areas for prevention and remedy as well. By actually having weight awareness, people may be able to adjust or modify the aspects of their lives that they can control.

Here is a website with dietary suggestions for South Asian women, which our readers may find useful.


Eating right and being physically active may reduce one’s risk for heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, certain cancers, and many other illnesses. What we the modern women need to ask ourselves is ‘what can I be at my best?’, physically, emotionally and socially. Targeting Shakira’s body is as foolish as trying to imitate her belly moves, while you are doing just as well as she is only at what you have chosen for yourself, and she at her profession.

I hope some affective ways of losing weight and being healthy after child birth, marriage or any other lifestyle change in a woman’s life come out through the comments to this article.


About this blog

Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



Recent Posts