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Weight Management

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Being overweight substantially increases the risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems and dementia as well as endometrial, breast, prostate and colon cancers. Higher body weight increases mortality for all causes and makes us feel listless. Further, people who are overweight may at the same time be undernourished.

To lose weight, we recommend a high fiber diet whereby the low fibre carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes, crackers) are minimized and the high fibre carbs (broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, beans, chick peas, brussle sprouts, nuts, celery, apples, oranges) are maximized. The high fibre carbs should be about 35% of your diet, protein should be about 35% and fat 30%. This part is usually easy. The real challenge is portion control. You must remember that if you are to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories each day than what you expend. Another problem is that as we get older, we seem to expend fewer calories, so we have to eat even less.

High fiber foods consist of soluble fibre (the high fibre foods above) and insolubale fibre (oat bran, wheat bran). Foods with high fibre give you a feeling of being full and help with weight loss. Foods with soluble fibre have an extra benefit of lowering blood chlosterol. There is also evidence that high fiber foods provide protection from colon cancer, bowel disease and diabetes.

The last point is exercise. We all know that exercise is good for our cardiovascular system and muscle tone. But it is not so well known that stronger, better developed muscles burn more calories while at rest, and this can really help with weight loss. So when you exercise try to do a mixture of cardio (walking, swimming, cycling, running, step) and weight bearing exercises (squats, push ups, arm curls, sit ups).

References