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BATTLE OF OBESITY: Can Obesity And Overweight Be Prevented or Controlled Among Adults?

Updated on June 26, 2016

Weight Loss

Pursue and maintain safe weight loss. Weight should be shed gradually and any drastic weight loss measures should be avoided. Managing weight is a lengthy lifelong process.

The best way of losing weight is to gradually reduce the amount of calorie intake up to baseline level and, at the same time, do exercise regularly. Take the baseline calorie value for female as 1200 per day and that of male as 1500 per day.

How much weight should I lose?

Aim to lose weight gradually. It is best not to lose weight too fast. Aim to lose an average of 0.5 to 1 kg per week (about 1-2 lb per week), which is realistic and achievable weight loss goal. In most cases, health benefits can be gained from losing the first 5-10% of one's weight.

There are 3,500 calories in 1 lb (0.45 kg) of fat. Therefore, cutting down your calories by about 500 calories each day can result in a 1 lb weight loss each week.

How can I lose weight?

Some people lose weight by strict dieting for a short period. However, as soon as their diet is over, they often go back to their old eating habits and their weight goes straight back on. Losing weight and then keeping it off needs a change in your lifestyle for life. This lifestyle change includes:

Type of food and drink purchase: Do not shop for food when you are hungry; after a meal is best.

The type of meals serve: Low-fat foods are generally best. Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit and vegetables to help counter physical hunger. Water contains no calories and can be both refreshing and healthy. Think about whether your hunger is for emotional reasons.

Pattern of eating: Eating three healthy meals each day, including breakfast, is better than skipping meals. Eat slowly, chew longer and enjoy each meal.

Amount of physical activity: aim for at least 30-90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on at least five days of the week.


Weight Loss: Dieting

Begin dieting. Dieting intervention is necessary but often insufficient for producing lasting weight loss. Karl Lagerfeld rightly said, "Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose".

Dieting involves meal planning, cooking methods and eating habits. Intervention at family level is useful for promoting and maintaining long lasting dietary change. However, whether dieting is self-initiative or advised of doctor, insistence of family member’s is crucial for long term maintenance of weight control. If an individual wants to do it willing then it is found to be more long lasting.

Plan your meals ahead of time to know what you will be eating.

Making up a third of most meals is starch-based foods such as cereals, bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, which should be replaced with wholegrain starch-based foods wherever possible.

Eat plenty of fibre. We should aim to eat at least 18 grams of fibre per day. Foods rich in fibre include wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, oats, peas, lentils, grain, beans, fruit, vegetables and seeds. Have plenty to drink when you eat a high-fibre diet (at least 6-8 cups of fluid a day).

Have at least five servings, or ideally 7-9 portions / servings, of a variety of fruit and vegetables per day. A vegetable serving is one cup of raw vegetables or one-half cup of cooked vegetables or vegetable juice. A fruit serving is one piece of small to medium fresh fruit, one-half cup of canned or fresh fruit or fruit juice, or one-fourth cup of dried fruit.

Include 2-3 portions of fish per week. At least two of these should be 'oily' (such as herring, mackerel, sardines, kippers, pilchards, salmon, or fresh tuna).

Limit fatty food such as fatty meats, cheeses, full-cream milk, fried foods, butter, etc. Use low-fat options where possible. Use skimmed or semi-skimmed instead of full-cream milk. Low-fat, mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated spreads instead of butter. If you eat meat, eat lean meat, or poultry such as chicken. Try to grill, bake or steam rather than fry food. If you do fry food, choose a vegetable oil such as sunflower, rapeseed or olive.

Limit the intake of sugar and salt. We should have no more than 6 g of salt per day. Don't add salt to food, and avoid foods that are salty. A glass of cold drink contains about 200 calories. Avoid sugary drinks and foods such as chocolate, sweets, biscuits, cakes, etc. and limit other foods likely to be high in fat or sugar such as some take-away or fast foods.

Make water as your main drink. Drink 500 ml of water before your meal. Drink water whenever you are thirsty.

Eating regular meals (three times a day) help to burn calories at a faster rate and prevent us from becoming too hungry. Eating breakfast helps to control one’s blood sugar level, kick-start body's metabolism and prevent from snacking or impulsive eating.

Ensure that each meal is balanced. Half the plate should be made up of fruit and/or vegetables. A quarter of the plate should contain meat, fish, beans or other protein sources. The other quarter should contain starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, potatoes or bread.

What is the best way to control overweight or obesity?

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Weight Loss: Healthy Eating Habits

Acquire and maintain a good healthy eating habit. Many of us acquire food eating habits that prefer high calories meals, which are rich in proteins and fats over healthier alternatives. Such foods do not make us feel full. So avoid fried and sugared foods.

Be smart and maintain your distance from fatty, processed foods even if they seem attractive and appetizing. Say no to high calorie snack foods. Poor regulation of food leads to high accumulation of body fat resulting in obesity.

Avoid eating out of habit even if you are not hungry. Do not eat if you are not hungry. It is very easy to acquire the habit of eating while watching TV or movies, studying, waiting in a car or lying on a bed. It is very easy to overeat if you are not conscious that you are eating. If you cannot resist it, eat a piece of fruit or chew chewing gums.

Drink water before / with your food. Take eight to ten glasses of water daily. Avoid soft drinks such as Pepsi, Coke, etc. A glass of cold drink contains about 200 calories. Drink water whenever you are thirsty or taking meals.

Analysis of eating habit is necessary for understanding and better regulation of eating patterns.

Be careful that your food portion sizes are not too big. Avoid second helpings when you are already full. Switch unhealthy snacks and desserts to healthy ones. Eat slowly. Don't skip meals. Be careful about what you drink.

Many ‘diet’ foods are advertised, but they are often not helpful. People usually return to old eating habits after a short special diet, and weight often goes back on. It is NOT a special diet that one need, but a lifelong change to a healthier diet as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Developing a sense of self-control over eating contributes to weight control. What we eat in private is what we wear in public. Junk food may satisfy us a minute but being fit satisfy us for life.


Regular exercise leads to weight loss

Exercise acts as buffer against many life style diseases

Exercise gives better sex and sound sleep

Weight Loss: Physical activities & Exercise

It is desirable that all adults should aim for at least 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on at least five days of the week. However, overweight or obese people aiming to lose weight should try to do around 90-150 minutes on at least five days of the week. This physical activity need not be done in one chunk. It could be broken up into blocks / bouts of 10-15 minutes.

Moderate physical activity includes brisk walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, badminton, tennis, etc. Try to do more in your daily routines; use stairs instead of lifts, walk or cycle to work or school, etc. The importance of such household chores as cleaning bathtub, toilet, wiping floor or such simple activities as taking stairs, walking to stores, weeding and hoeing the garden, etc should not be underestimated for controlling of weight problem. Every little bit helps.

Build your exercise levels up gradually. If you are not used to physical activity, try starting with a 30-minute brisk walk every day and then building up from there.

Avoid sitting for too long in front of the television or a computer screen. Take regular breaks while working .Stand up while receiving or making call.

Do exercise regularly and stay active. Losing weight may be mathematically express as weight loss that occur when the number of calories an individual burn exceeds the number s/he eats. Burning calories by exercising is the other side of weight loss equation.

Aim to lose extra weight particularly around your waist by doing the following waist exercises.

  1. Waist Turns - Use a walking stick to hang your arms over your shoulders and keep your legs spread below your shoulders. Looking straight ahead, turn your waist left to right, say 100-200 times.
  2. Quick Squats- Keep your back straight and sit on your on your heels ensuring that your finger tips touch the floor each time.
  3. Bicycle Exercise &
  4. Belly Button exercises

Exercise- it may hurt today but it works tomorrow. No goal could be archived without sweating. When you sweat, it's like your fat is crying.

Health Benefits of walking / brisk walk

Cardio-vascular system
Improves muscle strenght and endurance
Reuces blood pressure
Builds up stamina and confidence
Boose one's morale and mood
Improves blood circulation
It strengthen one's bones
Help ease stress, anxiety & depression
Helps reduce cholesterol level

Weight Lose: Go on

Keeping the weight off

Weight control is a life-long process and it requires motivation. No weight loss plan will work unless you have a serious desire to lose weight. You need to be ready and motivated. Write down the reasons why you would like to lose weight. When you feel like quitting, keep referring to this list to motivate yourself.

Self-monitoring is also crucial. It is helpful to know the exact amount of current calories intake. Keeping a detailed diary of everything that one eat and drink over a week or so is necessary. Weigh yourself regularly to monitor.

After losing some weight, weight yourself from time to time so that you become more aware of your weight and you can do something about it if you start adding weight.

To keep one’s weight off, it is important that one need to make permanent changes for maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. In order to lose weight, one needs to eat healthy food at baseline calorie level and move more.

Dealing with relapse

Lapses are a very normal part of losing weight. The way one deal with it can either make or break his/ her weight loss success. It is good to learn from it and move on, rather than giving up completely.

Think-the reasons why you wanted to lose weight in the first instance. Consider the positive and successful aspects of your weight loss journey so far. Concentrating on the positive aspects and what you have achieved can help to re-motivate you and remind you not to give up.

Yes, obesity and overweight be prevented or controlled. Follow the healthy eating habits (take in fewer calories from food). Do more physical activity (burning up more calories); 30-150 minutes of physical activity a week. Encourage a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. A change for the whole household is necessary. It is difficult for one member of a household to shop and eat differently to the rest. It is best that the whole household should eat a healthy diet. Ask family or friends to help and encourage you to keep to a healthy lifestyle. Consider a lifestyle change for the whole family. Spend less time being sedentary (E.g. less time in front of your computer or watching TV). Do not be discouraged and give up easily. Do not quit even if you have not succeeded in losing weight initially. Simply pick up where you left and continue to strive for weight loss.

Do not neglect obesity. Do not treat obesity superficially as there is no quick fix for it. There is no blanket treatment to obesity as it is a result of both nutritional and metabolic functioning. Obesity often results from taking in more calories than are burned by exercise and normal daily activities.

The mainstay of treatment is lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Regulation of unwanted weight gain to combat obesity requires commitment and lifestyle change across lifespan. Good eating habits and regular exercise are the keys to reducing weight problem and maintaining a healthy weight. A mix of both is the best way to maintain healthy weight.

It is best not to lose weight too fast. You should aim to lose weight gradually. If you lose more than a kilogram per week, you may lose muscle tissue rather than fat. This is not sustainable weight loss.

"The hardest step to fitness is the first. Take it now!"- Heather Montgomery.


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