“I consider obesity to be complex behavioral problem emanating from lack of physical activities, unhealthy food and abnormal response to stress” suggests Dr Neeru Bali while advising obese people to follow the four strategies to lose weight and embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Weight gain and obesity are not only the aesthetic issues but have enormous medical ramifications. Once a person gets into the vicious circle of weight gain, it tends to get out of hand rather quickly and very soon the person is engulfed by number of medical ailments ranging from high blood pressure, diabetes to esophageal reflux to obstructive sleep apnea. All of us must make all efforts to maintain a healthy weight at all times.
There is a four stage pronged strategy, focusing on behavioral rules while dealing with physical activities and diet, which can help everyone in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Keep a food journal handy: This is a simple strategy and just jot down everything that you eat and drink throughout the day. Scientific studies indicate that writing down makes you more conscious every time you put something in your mouth. With Apps like ‘LoseIt’ and ‘My Fitness Pal’, it is easier than ever to keep tracks of meals, snacks and beverages. For the less tech savvy lot, a simple notebook should do.
Record everything you drink and eat including water.
Note what you are doing while you are eating like driving, watching TV, reading etc.
Describe how you ate while you were– angry, sad, happy, nervous, starving, bored and so on.
Keeping a diary also helps you to identify food allergy if any. Diary would help you to plan food intake better as cutting calories each day helps in losing weight. Look at the pattern of your eating. Identify foods which leave you hungry or craving for sweets and also the ones which were more filling or satisfying. Count how many snacks you had daily in addition to your meals . These snacks normally are left out of our calorie calculations. Maintaining a food journal helps in tracking them all from a scoop of ice cream, a slice of cake, a handful of almonds to an apple.
Put a scale in your bathroom
Regular weighing is one of the best weapons against the battle of bulge. According to a study published last year, researchers reported that people who weighed themselves daily lost about three times as much weight than those who did not.
Nothing like eating at home
Studies have shown repeatedly that people who eat at fast food joints or restaurants consume an extra two to three hundred calories per day on an average compared to those eating at home. These additional calories add up to almost ten per cent of their daily intake. Eating out results in more consumption of sugars, fats and salts. So, don the chef cap, try out new recipes and prefer eating at home.
Know your portions
There is strong evidence to suggest that over the last twenty years, portion sizes have got bigger not only at fast food chains and restaurants but also at home. A study found that Burgers have increased by 23 per cent and Soft drinks by 52 per cent. It is hardly a coincidence that with the increased portions, the waistlines have added up few digits as well. One way to fight back large portions is to avoid trying to finish the entire serving at restaurants. One can easily ask the left-over component to be packed to carry it home. One can also reduce intake by demanding smaller plates and bowls both at home and while eating out.
These are few small tips, which if paid attention to, can play a vital role in slashing down those extra bulges and keep us fit and healthy without real deal of hardships.