Friday, 8 June 2012
How to Control Your Weight to Prevent Health Problems
Taking control of your weight is one of the most constructive things that you can do concerning your health. Excessive weight can lead to health problems such as: a stroke or heart attack; developing type 2 diabetes; developing cancer of the colon, kidney or breast; having arthritis; becoming infertile; developing cataracts; or just having a poor quality of life.
While experts still debate precisely what constitutes an ideal weight, the weight to height ratio appears to be the best. This ratio is called the BMI (body mass index), and takes account of the fact that taller people have more mass area than shorter people, and therefore tend to weigh more. You can calculate your BMI by going to this website and inserting your height and weight in either metric or imperial measurements. Most experts agree the following concerning BMI readings: a reading of under 25 is healthy; a reading between 25 and 30 is overweight; and a reading of over 30 is obese.
If you are in the obese category, then you may have already compromised your health to such an extent that you are at serious risk of developing one or more of the conditions referred to in paragraph one. Obese persons should try to reduce their weight under the supervision of a doctor and/or dietician. People who are just overweight can address this state by paying attention to their diet and the amount of exercise that they do on a daily basis. The equation is simple: calories in – calories out = weight gain if a positive number, or weight loss if a negative number. A calorie is a measurement of the amount of energy that is obtained from food, and is usually expressed as a number in labelling per 100 kg of food (in EU countries).
The best approach to weight loss is to concentrate on a low carbohydrate, high protein and high fibre diet; and set an overall desirable weight that you want to get to. It is best to set achievable goals like a 5% reduction in your weight over a certain period of time. If, for example, your starting weight is 76 kilograms (168 pounds) now, and your target weight is 69 kilograms (152 pounds), the first target could be getting to 72 kilograms (160 pounds) in six months; and your next target getting down to your ideal weight in a further six months. If you didn’t achieve the first target within the stipulated period, then just extend the period. It wouldn’t matter much in the example given, if getting to the ideal weight took 15 months as opposed to 12 months.
Try and get half the protein you consume from vegetable or fruit sources such as beans, peas, lentils, kale, carrots, cabbage, apples, apricots, pears and bananas; and the other half from fish, wholegrain cereals or bread, low-fat yogurt, eggs and meat in that order of preference. Other sources of protein worth considering are nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, macedonia nuts or peanuts.
Avoid simple carbohydrates such as soft drinks, sugar, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, jam, corn flakes, pop-corn and syrup. If you have a tendency to snack in between meals, you don’t need to give them up completely. If you currently take two snacks a day between meals involving eating crisps or crackers, why not supplant them with a healthier choice such as an apple followed by a glass of water, and a pear and a glass of water ? Eating whole fruits in between meals fills you up and gives you fibre; while water also acts to fill you up and cleanses the whole system.
The other thing that you need to do is take regular daily exercise in order to burn off excess calories and get your weight down. My post in April titled “Exercise Improves Health” adequately explains what you need to do on a daily basis regarding this.
You now have a valid approach to achieving your ideal weight as a preventative measure against health problems. If you persist with the recommendations outlined above, you will achieve your objective !