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Growing Waistline

Growing Waistline

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Growing Waistline

Intercare Health Center

Growing Waistline

By Dr Rahat Ghazanfar, Family Medicine Consultant, Intercare Health Center 

Large portion sizes are a major factor contributing to our increasing waistline. It is not a secret that worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
 
Most of the world's population lives in countries where being overweight and obese kills more people than being underweight.
 
The sad thing is that majority of us are not realizing that obesity and its associated problems are all preventable.
 
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.
 
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight.
BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity.

You can use this link to have an idea about your current BMI 
 
Despite all the diet strategies out there, weight management still comes down to the calories you take in versus those you burn off.
 
Fad diets may promise you that avoiding carbs or eating a high protein diet is the secret to weight loss, but it really comes down to eating fewer calories if you want to shed kilos.
 
In nutrition and everyday language, calories refer to energy consumption through eating and drinking and energy usage through physical activity. For example, an orange may have 80 calories, while a 1 mile walk may use up about 100 calories.
 
Your body has a constant demand for energy and uses the calories from food to keep functioning. Energy from calories fuels your every action, from fidgeting to running.
 
If we consume just the number of calories our body needs each day, we will probably enjoy happy and healthy lives. If our calorie consumption is too high, we will eventually experience health complications such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, osteoarthritis, back pain, depression and infertility.
 
The number of calories foods contain tells us how much potential energy they contain. Below are the calorific values of the three main components of the food we eat:
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories
  • 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories
For eg. a small packet of Lays Crisp has:
  • 10 g of fat = 90 calories 
  • 15 g of Carbohydrates = 60 calories
  • Total is 150 calories
     
Not everybody requires the same number of calories each day. Our ideal calorific consumption depends on several factors, including our overall general health, physical activity demands, sex, weight, height, and shape. A 6ft tall, 25-year-old professional rugby player needs many more calories each day than a 5ft 2 in sedentary woman aged 70.
 
On an average, men require 2500 cal/day vs women who require 2000 cal / day.
 
If you’re gaining weight, it usually means you’ve been regularly eating and drinking more calories than you've been using through normal bodily functions and physical activity.
 
To lose weight, you have to tip that balance in the other direction. You must start to use more energy than you consume, and do this over a sustained period of time.
 
If you need to lose weight, aim to lose about 0.5-1kg (1lb-2Ib) a week until you reach a healthy weight for your height. You should be able to lose this amount if you eat and drink about 500kcal to 600kcal fewer a day than you need. 
 
3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat therefore you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. 
 
So, in general, if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week. (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories)
 
A healthy diet is not only about eating the right amount. It also means eating a wide range of foods, to ensure you get all the nutrients you need. You can still eat less when following a balanced diet.
 
Intercare Health Center
 
The eatwell plate highlights the different types of food that make up our diet, and shows the proportions we should eat them in to have a healthy, balanced diet.
 
If you are trying to lose weight you need to cut down the calories by:
  • Skipping high-calorie, low-nutrition items
  • Swapping high-calorie foods for lower calorie options
  • Reducing portion sizes
Skipping one or two high-calorie items is a good place to start when cutting calories. For example, you could skip your morning latte, soft drink at lunch or that bowl of ice cream you always have after dinner.
 
Instead of this..   Calories Try this…  Calories
Flavored latte, 16 ounces 250 Black coffee, 16 ounces 0
Chocolate ice cream, 1 cup 285 Strawberries, 1 1/2 cups whole 70
Can of coke, 12 ounces 140 Sparkling Water, 12 ounces 0
 
Reducing Portion Sizes:

Typical Portion Size Calories Reduced Portion Calories
Orange juice, 8 ounces 110 Orange juice, 4 ounces 55
Pancake, 6-inch diameter 175 Buttermilk pancake, 4-inch diameter 85
Whole-grain spaghetti, cooked, 1 1/2 cups
260 260 Whole-grain spaghetti, cooked, 1/2 cup 85
Try these tips to control portion sizes and cut calories:
 
Start small. At the beginning of a meal, take slightly less than what you think you'll eat. You can have seconds later if you're truly still hungry.
 
Eat from plates, not packages. Eating directly from a container gives you no sense of how much you're eating. Seeing food on a plate or in a bowl keeps you aware of how much you're eating. Consider using a smaller plate or bowl.
 
Check food labels. Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts panel for the serving size and number of calories per serving. You may find that the small bag of chips you eat with lunch every day, for example, is two servings, not one, which means twice the calories you thought.
 
Use a calorie counter. Check out reputable resources that offer tools  to count calories, such as websites or smartphone applications. 
 
Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence.
 
To stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.
 
For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using the car to get around. However, the more you do, the better, and taking part in activities such as sports and exercise will make you even healthier.
 
For any type of activity to benefit your health, you need to be moving quick enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer. This level of effort is called moderate intensity activity. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but you can't sing the words to a song.
 
If your activity requires you to work even harder, it is called vigorous intensity activity. There is substantial evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. You can tell when it’s vigorous activity because you're breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
 
Track your steps
 
Lately, we have been listening and reading a lot about 10000 steps per day. On an average a person walks between 1500-4000 steps. 10000 steps will allow you to burn around 400-500 calories. Steps are cumulative from the time you step out of bed - you don’t have to do an intense work out at the gym. Every step y take gets added to the 10000 steps target.
  • Get a pedometer which will track your steps. 
  • Park your car at a distance and walk the rest of the way to home or to work
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift, or walk up escalators
  • Walk the children to school or a local park
  • If it is too hot, go to a mall and walk around briskly 
I was shocked to find out after wearing my own tracker that I didn't come anywhere near 10,000 steps per day—not even on the days I worked out! Now I wear one every day. And it makes me want to get on my feet in every little way that I can to hit that daily goal. It's an amazing motivator!

intercare exercise
 
If you have any further questions or would like to be assessed, please book an appointment with Dr Rahat Ghazanfar or one of the other Family Medicine Consultants at Intercare Health Center. 

Intercare Health Center

 

Contact Details:

Villa No. B-35, 
Marina Village
Abu Dhabi
PO Box 43837
 
General Enquiry & Appointment
Tel: +971 2 639 0080
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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