Overweight and obesity are chronic and dangerous conditions as they can lead to a number of different health problems like diabetes, heart problems, some cancers, arthritis,bone health problems, etc. The increased rates of overweight and obesity in India is a part of a worldwide trend. Studies show, over 50% of women, around 60% of males and approximately 30% of children and adolescents are classified as overweight or obese. The reasons for this increase is consumption of high energy foods which are readily available, changing lifestyle, environmental factor, no longer essential to engage in physical activity, sitting jobs, more time on gadgets like T,V, phones, laptop, tabs. It should be taken in priority and treated aggressively.
We should be eating less than we did thirty years ago, mainly because we do less manual work and are less physically active. Erratic and faulty eating habits, gap between meals, unbalanced, unhealthy meals, contribute to the weight gain.
For weight loss to be very effective, one must make gradual, permanent changes to current lifestyle. The best and safest way to lose weight is to limit high calorie foods, choosing lower calorie alternatives and cutting down on food portion sizes. Avoid crash dieting and fad diets. The prevention and treatment of obesity is among the most perplexing problems facing the physician, the dietitians and most especially the person himself who is suffering the most,by their extra weight on the body.
Diet plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Obesity; fatty foods are energy dense and give 9 calories per gram compared to carbohydrate and protein that gives 4 calories per gram. We should consume high protein, moderate carbohydrate and low fat diet to lose weight.
Dietary modifications for weight loss
1. Most important recommendation is to limit or avoid foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. These include highly processed food and fried foods, refined carbohydrates (sugar and maida based food) such as cakes, white bread, pasta, noodles, cookies, packaged food items, and fatty cut meats.
2. One should consume balanced diet which should be rich in complex carbohydrates, good quality protein, goodquality fat and rich in essential nutrients and vitamins.
3. Drinking plenty of hot or warm water helps you feel full and avoid overeating when one is trying to lose weight.Consume around 2 to 2.5 litres of water per day.
4. Limit or avoid drinks that are high in calories and added sugar, such as sodas, aerated drinks, fruit juices, canned juices and milk shakes, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. Beverages in the form of coconut water, fresh lime soda, butter milk, cold soups, green tea, and milkshakes without addition of sugar can be taken.
5. Consume seasonal fruits and vegetables, as they have plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and absorption of nutrients will be maximum.
6. Take extra serving of dietary fibre in form of multi grains cereals, whole pulses, fruits, vegetables, ,dry fruits, nuts as after consuming these food items, one will be having feeling of fullness.
7. Low fat milk and dairy products should be consumed in the form of skimmed milk, low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, paneer, low fat deserts.
8. Avoid junk foods. Foods rich in creams, butter, fat, sugar and salt should be avoided.
Tips for weight loss
To achieve above dietary modifications some Important and easy tips for weight loss can be followed.
1. Never chase anyone’s diet plan as everybody is different, have different BMR, different genetics,different lifestyle. Listen to your body hunger cues and eat accordingly.
2. Reduce stress to reach your weight loss goal. Have a positive attitude, strong will power, patience,trust and faith towards yourself, discipline towards eating meals.
3. Do not skip Breakfast, as term itself means “To Break the Fast”. Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. On the contrary you will miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you will feel hungry, and it will add more calories to your diet.
4. Eat small frequent meals and chew slowly, swallow only when the food is all chewed up, than take another bite. It takes time to know that we are full. Eating slowly allows us to not only enjoy our food more, but gives us better cues of satiety.
5. Do not restrict foods from your weight loss plan, especially the foods you like the most, as restricting foods will make you crave them more. You can have them occasionally in small quantities on your cheat day or as a treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
6. Plan your weekly meals with help of a qualified and experienced dietician or nutritionist. Make sure you restrict to one plan, do not change your dietician and diet plan. Have patience, as everybody will take its own sweet time to reduce weight.
7. Maintain a diary, whatever you are eating, drinking, what physical activity you are doing, write it down sincerely. This will not only track your diet and exercise, but you will be aware of everything that you eat, drink,etc. Studies have proven that consistent tracking of physical activity and what you are eating has helped in weight loss.
8. Learn to say NO. Mindful eating is a practice where people should pay attention to how and where to eat food. This practice can enable people to enjoy the food they eat and maintain healthy weight.
9. Exercise, when time. Do not wait for a particular time and place. When free go for normal exercise or walk. If you are in office, shake your legs, move your neck right and left, hold your breath for few seconds and breathe it out, stretch your hands upside, downwards, walk when you are on the phone whenever possible. Take stairs instead of elevator.
10. Sitting down to eat, preferable at table. Avoid distractions like watching T.V, or a phone or a Laptop, as you will tend to eat more, will not chew food thoroughly. Eat in healthy environment; switch on some instrumental music or some songs. Pay attention to the food and enjoy the experience, taste and presentation of the food.
11. Yoga and meditation is very important for proper circulation of blood flow, keep your nerves relax and your mind cool.
Respect your body, mind and soul, when they are asking for a break, take rest, chill and relax. Always eat guilt free.Managing over weight includes combination of lifestyle changes, dietary modifications and increased physical activity. A transition to a healthier lifestyle takes time, effort and commitment. You may not see results right away. You’ll also likely to go through periods where you are not losing weight, even though you are following proper diet regime, doing more physical activities. Avoid putting pressure on yourself, rather have patience, faith and believing in yourself to set and achieve your expectations.
The overall success of a weight loss will really depends on how long you can sustain and maintain the weight loss. To achieve this one must be well educated, dedicated about the changes to be done in the lifestyle, diet, physical activity. This can be achieved if all the family members, friends can motivate the person.