Manage your weight to lead a healthy life

 05 Mar 2016 - 18:05

Manage your weight to lead a healthy life

By Fatima Nabil

Today, in our society many people face the difficulty of increase in weight. According to 2015 World Health Organisation statistics, the ratio of overweight and obesity in the world’s population has more than doubled since 1980. According to them 1.9 billion adults fall in the category of overweight of which over 600 million were found to be obese. Among children, 42 million under the age of 5 are overweight and obese.

Five to 10 years back the mortality of underweight people used to be higher than people who were overweight, but now obesity causes more deaths than famine and starvation. Overweight is associated with multiple health problems like high cholesterol levels which leads to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The question which comes to mind is that why people today gain more weight compared to people in the past? Following are some causes of weight gain.

Sedentary lifestyle
Sedentary lifestyle is a manner of living which constitutes of minimal to no physical activity due to which food eaten mostly becomes fat. Nowadays, most daily activities are carried out while sitting for instance; office work where a major portion of the day is spent sitting in front of the computer. Similar examples are reading books, playing games, watching television or using and iPad.

Overeating or binge eating
As I mentioned above major part of our daily activities are associated with sitting. While carrying out those activities,we begin consuming various eatables or drinks ie chips, cookies, sweets, drinks. All of these food items comprise of empty calories which are detrimental to the health. Furthermore, while consuming such items one does not realise how much we ate which results in over eating. Such eating habits when combined with stress can lead to serious binge eating which can be extremely dangerous to one’s health.

Consumption of processed food
Since all of us are very busy in our lives, we look for ease and comfort in everything including food choices. Most people today prefer to eat processed food. Processed food is high in calories as compared to food which is freshly made and also it does not provide enough nutrients which fresh foods provide.

Tempting advertisements
The major cause of obesity during these days is tempting advertisements and promotional offers whether they are on billboards, television, in malls or anywhere else. They portray delicious food pictures which grab one’s attention and make them want to have them.

Yoyo diets
Every individual wants to lose weight quickly without going through vigorous physical activities, and these types of diets offers weight reducing drugs and single food group based diets like cabbage diet etc. These diet plans are very easy to adapt and really help in losing weight. However, in the long run they are incredibly unhealthy for the body and drugs always have side effects. Furthermore, once such plans run their course and people start following their normal routine; weight gain strikes back!

Tips to manage your weight:
Make a healthy choice
Try to plan your meal beforehand, what you will have in breakfast, lunch and in dinner. Follow the food plate procedure, which includes all food groups ie fruits, vegetables, milk, meat and bread and cereals. Do not skip any food group.

Limit portion sizes
It is very important to limit your portion size. For example, if you are having a plate full of rice for lunch or in dinner cut it down into half. Try to learn about adequate portion sizes for different age groups.

Add colours
Vegetables and fruits are the main source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. These foods include fewer calories and more nutrients. It fulfils your appetite and kills your hunger pangs.

Go for fibre-rich food
Fiber-rich foods are very important in a healthy diet; it plays a major role in weight loss, fibre-rich foods helps in binding cholesterol from your body and helps in excretion as well. Fibre rich foods are whole grain bread, whole grain oats and brown rice, avoid refined foods.

Cut down calories
Best way of reducing weight is reducing calories in your diet which automatically leads to weight loss. Try to choose food items which are less in calories, a preferred choice would be raw fruits and vegetables. Fill half of your plate with vegetables, ¼ with meat based foods and ¼ with whole grains. Meat based food should be boiled and baked since it would reduce calories in them.

Improve cooking procedures
Try to cook your food in less oil, it would be still better to bake, boil or steam since these procedures help in retaining nutrients in the food. Avoid fried and oily foods which are high in calories.

Have frequent meals
Instead of having 3 large meals with 6 hours difference each, try to have frequent meals. Expand your meals in a day to 5 with 2 hours difference each. Remember to limit your portion sizes.

Avoid processed food
Confectioneries and processed food items are high in calories so it is better to strictly avoid them, use whole grain snacks, oat bars, or chickpeas instead of them.

Alter daily routine
Try to walk to nearby places instead of using car, use stairs instead of lifts and elevators, and park your car at a distance so that you can have a good walk back home.

Excercise daily
Daily exercise and walk brings a lot of difference. Daily 30 minutes workout or walking maintains your weight.

The Peninsula