Determine your health: Weight-Loss Diets

Obesity is a common problem in today’s society. It can lead to a number of health problems: diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypercholesterolemia, respiratory and heart diseases, and even some cancers. Whether it is inspired by a physician recommendation or a desire to improve one's physical appearance and well-being, many people attempt to lose weight.

Your healthy weight

There is a way to determine if your current weight corresponds to your healthy weight: Body Mass Index (or BMI). To know your BMI, simply divide your weight in kilograms by your height in square meters.

BMI = weight (kg) / height (m2)

If your BMI is between 20 and 24, your have reached your healthy weight.

If your BMI is < 17, you are considered thin.

If your BMI is > 25, you carry excess weight that can be detrimental to your health.

The BMI is a quick way to evaluate your weight. For some however, this index can be deceiving. People with a considerable amount of muscular mass or pregnant women will not obtain accurate results. To know more about your weight loss needs, discuss them with your physician.

A Healthy Diet

Beware of diets that promise incredible results without real efforts. Quick weight loss or strict dieting often leads to a cycle of crash diets. Short term, weight may come off but soon after the diet has ended, because habits have not improved, the pounds often creep back in.

Realistic and durable weight loss is estimated at 1 to 2 pounds per week. Each day, you must eat foods from each of the food groups presented in Canada’s Food Guide:

  • fruits and vegetables (5 to 10 servings)
  • breads and cereals (5 to 12 servings)
  • meat/fish/eggs/legumes (2 to 3 servings)
  • and milk and dairy products (2 to 4 servings, according to age and gender).

Nutritionists can help you identify your bad habits and provide tips to help you change them. These professionals can also provide support throughout your journey. Don’t hesitate to consult them!

Be Active

For long-term results, diets must be based on a healthy, balanced diet. Adding a little exercise to your lifestyle will also help you lose weight and avoid gaining it back. Adding a bit of physical activities to your daily routine is easy: step off the bus a few stops early, take a 15-minute walk on your lunch break, walk to the store, use the stairs instead of the elevator, garden, plan some outdoor activities with your children, etc. You can also consult a kinesiologist (physical activity specialist) who can help you build an exercise program that is suited to your health condition, needs, and lifestyle.

A Few Tips

  • Restrict your consumption of sugary foods, breaded or fried foods, candies, and alcohol.
     
  • Opt for low-fat dairy products.
     
  • Eat tons of vegetables.
     
  • Only use a small amount of dressing on your salad.
     
  • Use little or no fat when cooking.
     
  • Choose lean cuts of meat and choose fish or chicken over other meats.
     
  • Have a fruit instead of a glass of fruit juice.
     
  • Eat slowly; a meal should last 25 to 30 minutes. Eat smaller portions and use smaller plates.
     
  • Avoid skipping meals and eat at regular times.
     
  • If you want a snack, munch on raw vegetables.
     
  • Drink a lot of water (6 to 8 glasses per day).
     
  • Keep these healthy eating habits at all times, even when eating out.
     
  • Choose a physical activity that you love and practice it 20 to 30 minutes per session, 3 times per week. Then, progressively increase the frequency or duration.
     
  • Do various flexibility, strength, and endurance exercises. 

Should You Avoid Diet Plan and Take the Natural Weight-Loss Products?

Natural weight-loss products generally contain:

  • Laxatives (aloe, castor oil, senna, cascara, buckthorn, rhubarb, etc.)
     
  • Agents that increase urination (dandelion, cherry stems, burdock, bearberry, etc.)
     
  • Caffeine (coffee, tea, maté, yerba mate, guarana, cola nut, etc.)
     
  • Stimulants (ephedra, ma huang, bitter orange peel, etc.)

In general, these agents result in weight loss that is both temporary, and very unnatural. The only way to achieve healthy, long-term weight loss is to change your eating habits, exercise more, and arm yourself with a little patience!

Remember, if it seems too easy or too good to be true—it probably is!

The health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient. Links to other sites are provided as a convenience to the viewer. PROXIM accepts no responsibility for the content of linked sites.

 

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