Friday 9 March 2018

Weight management; what you may need to know

About 35 percent of Nigerians are said to be overweight. Being overweight or obese is linked to increased mortality and morbidity rates as a result of the diseases linked to obesity.
Our westernized diets and lifestyles, as well as our sedentary jobs, contribute to our weight gain.

 The more money a Nigerian has, the more likely he/she is to be overweight due to several factors.
  1.  He now does less physical activity. He can not only buy a car and trek less, he can pay others to do jobs he hitherto did for himself. The wealthier a Nigerian is, the more likely he is to have maids catering to all his needs and wants. These reduce the level of the person's physical activity. Reduced physical activity means fewer calories will get burnt. 
  2.  The wealthier a Nigerian is, the more unhealthy his diet tends to get. He tends to eat a lot more meat, drink a lot more soft drinks and eat a lot more fast and processed foods.

When these two factors come into play, then chances are very high the individual will be overweight/obese.

Shedding weight is something many people desire but few get to achieve. Some never get to start the process, some start and lose the motivation along the line. Others think shedding weight is like rocket science.
You need to take note of the following if you intend shedding your excess weight.

  1.  Know how much weight you need to shed. You need to define how much of your weight is excess. Calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI) would help you determine how much weight you need to shed.You may need to read this article containing details of how to calculate BMI. 
  2. Decide to shed the excess weight. Shedding weight is a decision, and like most decisions, you need to make up your mind, choose a suitable weight loss plan and choose to stick to your plan.
  3.  Shedding weight does not necessarily need a fancy diet plan with a fancy name. Some diet plans are not sustainable in the long run. While some like the ketogenic diet need good money to be able to stick to as you may need to buy some products not readily available in your area.  Shedding weight could work by just reducing your food portions and increasing your level of physical activity. The aim is to create a deficit in calories so that your body gets to burn the stored fat. Research shows reduced calorie intake alongside increased physical activity can lead to significant weight loss over time.
  4.  Avoid quick fixes. All those "burn 5kg in a month" bla bla bla can help you shed weight fast, but may not be sustainable in the long run. You may work your body so hard that you may end up with cravings that plunge you back to where you started from. Slow and steady is better. If you get a diet/exercise plan that helps you shed 2kg monthly, that could be more sustainable and your body will easily adjust to the new routine.
  5. When you settle for a particular diet plan, you need to be dedicated.  You should be able to devote about 30 minutes each day for about 5 days a week. It needs not be torturous.  You need not register at some fancy gym if you cannot afford it. Some workout apps can serve as a guide. Some tools like a skipping/jump rope can sometimes be of help.
  6. Start physical exercise small and gradually build up the intensity. This ensures you do not overwork your body. Do that which your body can handle. Workouts need not be torturous. Any day your body doesn't feel up to it, chill and make up the next possible time.
  7. You do not need to stick to boring and bland-tasting foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables, less fried and processed foods, cut down on carbohydrate and fats-rich foods. This does not mean you shouldn't eat your jollof rice once in a while, or enjoy your eba and soup. Simply control the portions of carbohydrates-rich foods like rice, garri, and yam. Our soups are usually rich and healthy, take  more soup and less swallow.

You may want to read this article on Shedding excess pregnancy weight

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