What do I eat to reduce my weight Doc?

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Dr. Shreedhar

Posted By : Dr. Shreedhar - MBBS, MS (Ortho.)

Posted On : Oct 03, 2006 (Views : 26969)

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What do I eat to reduce my weight Doc?
Over the past twenty years, lot of patients have become more familiar with specific measurements related to health, such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings. When it comes to weight-related health risks, there are three important numbers that you should know. The first is your actual weight in pounds; the second is your Body Mass Index, or BMI; and the third is your waist measurement.

Your BMI is based on your height and weight. Doctors consider BMI to be a better measure of health risk than your actual weight in pounds. In fact, the medical terms "overweight" and "obesity" are based on BMI values. A BMI of between 25 and 30 is defined as overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. The higher your BMI, the greater your risk of developing a weight-related illness, such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

Doctors refer to certain measurements that provide valuable information about a patientís condition as "vital signs." Standard vital signs include blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing rate, and body temperature. The AAFP Panel on Overweight and Obesity recommends that the BMI become a new vital sign, to be recorded during routine visits to the doctors' office. That is because, like blood pressure, a BMI reading that is too high should be recognized and treated.

What is your BMI? Are you overweight or obese?
You can find out by using the BMI Calculator or BMI Chart. The same BMI scale applies to both men and women.

What is your waist circumference?

Body fat that accumulates in the stomach area (described as "abdominal obesity") is more of a health risk than body fat that builds up in the buttocks and thigh areas. For this reason, your waistline provides valuable information about your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Doctors consider a waist circumference too high if it is 40 inches or more in men, or 35 inches or more in women.

Like the BMI, the AAFP Panel on Overweight and Obesity recommends that the waist circumference be measured during routine check-ups. The proper location to measure the waist is at the smallest spot under the rib cage and above the belly button.

What is Metabolic Syndrome?
A good weight loss plan includes:

  • a healthy diet

  • physical activity

  • understanding the emotions behind your eating patterns.

To start your program for losing weight:

Determine your ideal weight or your weight goal.
Learn how many calories you need each day to maintain your ideal weight.
Discuss with a dietitian or health care provider how to choose foods to get those calories.

Find ways to increase your physical activity.
Learn how you use food for reasons besides nutrition. For example, do you eat when you are bored or stressed? Do you reward yourself with food? Make changes to prevent these behaviors. For example, allow yourself to eat only at certain places, such as the cafeteria or break room at work and the kitchen or dining table at home. Do not eat fast food in the car.

What are calories?
A calorie is a measurement of the energy value of food. Your body burns calories for body functions and activities. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats contain calories and produce energy. To lose weight, you should reduce the number of calories in your diet without sacrificing nutrition. You should also use or burn more calories through physical activity.

The average man needs 2500 to 3000 calories a day. The average woman needs 1800 to 2300 calories a day. Most weight reduction diets suggest 1500 to 1800 calories a day for men and 1200 to 1500 calories a day for women. Eating 500 calories a day less than you need to maintain your weight can result in a loss of 1 pound a week.

The rate at which you can lose weight depends on your body's metabolism. This is the rate at which you use energy, or calories, for basic functions such as eating, sleeping, walking, etc. You may increase your body's rate of metabolism by engaging in physical activity on a regular basis. Weight loss may occur more quickly at the start of a diet because the body releases extra water that was retained.

What are the dietary guidelines for losing weight?
In general, follow these guidelines:

Write down everything you eat and drink. This lets you see if you are eating a good variety of foods. Also, it allows you to count your daily calories, if you choose.

Drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
Choose unlimited amounts of vegetables and salads, but limit the amount of butter, dressings, and sauces you eat with these foods.

  • lean meats, poultry, and fish

  • baked or broiled meat, fish, and poultry

  • salad dressing containing little or no oil.

  • Daily include the following foods in your diet but in limited amounts:
    nonfat dairy products

  • legumes (lentils, peas, and beans)

  • unrefined carbohydrates (whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals without sugar)

  • raw fruits and canned fruits in their own juices, water, or light syrup.

Limit how much you eat of the following:
refined carbohydrates (sugar) and foods containing sugar
refined grain products such as white rice and white flour.

saturated fats such as butter, margarine, and fat on meats
other foods that contain fats, such as pastries, cakes, and cheese

fried foods
processed meats
alcoholic beverages.

To have a balanced diet, be sure to choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups:
meat and other protein
whole-grain breads, cereal, and pasta.

Sit down and relax while you eat your meals. Avoid distractions such as the phone and TV. Chewing your food thoroughly helps digestion. Eating small, frequent meals instead of 3 full meals is helpful. You should eat every 4 to 5 hours. This keeps your blood sugar at a constant level and helps keep you from feeling hungry. Finish your meals with a piece of fruit instead of a sweet dessert.

What are the physical activity guidelines for losing weight?

Physical activity is as important as diet if you are trying to lose weight and then maintain a healthy weight.

It helps you lose weight because you burn more calories while you exercise.
It raises your metabolism for several hours so that you burn more calories after exercise as well.
It lowers your blood pressure, cholesterol level, and blood sugar level.
It makes you feel more energetic.
It improves muscle tone.
It helps you sleep better.

Don't overdo it at first. Moderate walking 15 to 30 minutes 3 to 6 times a week is enough to start. With your health care provider's approval, your goal should be 30 to 40 minutes of exercise a day, 5 to 7 times a week. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting your exercise program.

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