Your diet plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy body weight. And if you are obese, it is all the more important to have a healthy diet. Here are some tips.
Many of us tend to ignore our weight. But do you know it is one of the most important factors in your long-term health. Research has shown that weight is an important risk factor for many health problems like heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, some cancers, joint problems or arthritis, gallstones, adult-onset asthma, sleep apnea, and even snoring.
The weighing scale shows your weight but it does not measure your body fat or if you are at healthy weight. Your body is measured as a whole ---all the fat, muscle, organs, bone and water. Hence health professionals and personal trainer advice against following just the weighing scale. According to experts the body mass index (BMI), gives you a better idea if you are at a healthy weight and helps to determine whether or not you have a good body.
BMI is a calculation of your weight in relation to your height. It is calculated as (weight in kilograms)/height in meters² and is interpreted as follows
- Below 18.5 Underweight
- 18.5 -24.9 Normal
- 25 - 29.9 Overweight
- 30 & Above Obese
Genetics has an influence on weight but most of us can stay at a healthy weight by limiting what and how much we eat and doing a regular physical activity like walking at a brisk pace, cycling, jogging or playing a sport such as tennis.
Some experts think that the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and blood pressure begins to increase when the BMI goes above 22. So people with BMI less than 25 should avoid gaining weight and if possible work to lower the BMI to an optimal 22.
Besides BMI, the excess fat in abdomen also increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If you have added inches to your waistline over the years it’s time that you shed some inches by limiting your calorie intake and adding exercise.
Choosing a weight-loss plan
There are several diet plans that can help you to lose weight. Each diet has a different principle but the bottom line is that to lose weight you have to eat fewer calories than you burn each day. Which ever diet plan you follow ---remember that there are not shortcuts. You will have to work to lose your extra weight and maintain the target weight after it is achieved.
All diet plan helps you limit your calories. Restricting calories does not guide you what to eat, but it is important that you eat a balanced diet that includes foods like whole grains, vegetable, fruits, lean meat, low fat dairy products and limit saturated fats, salt.
What about fat?
When on a diet most people try to cut out fat. It is true that fat has more calories (9 per gram) than protein and carbohydrates (4 per gram) but remember that if you take more calories than required (even as proteins and carbohydrates) it is converted to fats and stored in the body. According to experts some amount of fats are needed although you must try to limit fats in your diet. Even if fats provide about 30% of your total daily calorie intake, you will not gain weight if your overall calorie intake is optimal. Preferably eat healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, rather than saturated and trans fats.
What about carbs?
Carbohydrates are an important part of any healthy diet and are the primary energy source for the body. Simple carbohydrates in the diet are easily digested. They have higher sugar content and are lower in fiber. Simple carbohydrates are not good for your body.
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