Sunday, June 11, 2017

Diet, Exercise & Weight Loss

We put on weight when the amount of calories we eat exceeds the amount of calories we burn through normal day-to-day activities and exercise. Most adults need to eat less and get more active. The only way to lose weight healthily and keep it off is to make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise. A few small changes, such as eating less and choosing drinks that are lower in fat, sugar and alcohol, can help you lose weight dramatically. Poor eating habits such as frequent consumption of fast food and large volumes of sweetened beverages, eating large portions, skipping breakfast, eating high-fat snacks or other foods high in energy density, low intake of fruits and vegetables, and irregular meal frequency and snacking patterns can lead to an increase in weight.

There are several types of diets out there. The top 5 diets recommended by most nutritionists are:

1.  Weight watchers - offers two diet plans: The Points Plan: In the points plan, foods are assigned a certain number of points based on the food's calorie, total fat, and dietary fiber content. Participants are allowed to eat any foods they choose and are allotted a certain number of points each day.

      2.       The South Beach diet – the aim of this plan is to limit carbs in favour of foods higher in protein and fat. It is broken down into three phases. The first phase involves cutting out all starches, sugary foods and alcohol. The second phase involves adding whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and also focuses on healthy snacking. The third and final phase is the final maintenance phase after achieving your weight goal and consists of smarter eating choices that have been developed along the way.

     3.    The Zone diet - involves dividing a plate into 3 equal sections, filling two-thirds with non-starchy carbs and the remaining third with low fat protein no bigger/thicker than the palm of your hand.

     4.    The DASH diet - this stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and consists of a diet which cuts down on sodium intake and includes fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.

      5.     The Mediterranean diet - each meal includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. Fish is recommended twice a week. Poultry, egg, cheese and yogurt can be daily or weekly staples. Other meats and sweets are eaten only occasionally.


150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise is generally recommended which should be
divided into 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week. In order to lose weight, the duration
and/or intensity of exercise should be increased.

Weight Loss:

A 5-15% weight loss (or 0.5-1 kg per wk) is generally recommended over a 6 month
period. A greater (20% or more) weight loss may be considered for those with greater
degrees of obesity (body mass index ⩾ 35 kg/m²).

Weight lost goals should always be individualized and aimed at long term results.

Of note, diet is superior to exercise with respect to weight loss. However, exercise is
superior to diet in maintaining weight loss. Diet and exercise in combination are superior
to diet or exercise alone.

No comments: