MANY OF MY FRIENDS TELL ME TO AVOID CARBOHYDRATES TO LOSE WEIGHT. IS THIS HEALTHY?
Carbohydrates are a large food group containing foods such as bread, rice, and noodles. Normally, in a carbohydrate-free diet, people do not eat any of these food items. Instead, they eat more meat because meat tends to convey a lasting sense of satiety, and therefore they tend to eat fewer calories.
However, this is not healthy. Meat and animal products are usually high in fats and cholesterol. A diet high in fat and cholesterol puts you at high risk of heart disease.
The best way to lose weight is through a healthy, balanced diet consisting of a large amount of a wide variety of vegetables.
I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, AND TO DO THIS, I EXERCISE, BUT I DON’T SEEM TO BE LOSING WEIGHT! WHY IS THIS?
Exercise does not burn as many calories as people believe. Exercise improves the health of our heart and lungs, but the most efficient way to lose weight is through controlling caloric intake.
Below is a chart comparing food, calories, and how much you have to walk to burn those calories:
|Food||Calories||Distance needed to walk|
|McDonald’s Big Mac||540||9.74 km / 6.06 mi|
|McDonald’s Cheeseburger||290||5.23 km / 3.25 mi|
|McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets (4 pcs)||190||3.43 km / 2.13 mi|
|Hainanese Chicken Rice (1 Serving)||670||12.09 km / 7.52 mi|
|Beef Noodle Soup (1 Bowl)||570||10.29 km / 6.40 mi|
The majority of calories are used to maintain normal bodily functions, such as keeping your heart beating and your lungs breathing. Although it may be possible to survive on fewer calories, women should have at least 1200 calories per day, and men should have at least 1800 calories a day for your body to function well at rest.
Below is a chart estimating the number of calories needed a day for a female and male of average height while following a sedentary lifestyle:
|Age||Calories burned for females||Calories burned for males|
To lose weight, all that is required is to eat fewer calories than you burn during the day.
WHEN I STARTED TO CONTROL MY DIET, I LOST WEIGHT, BUT NOW I DON’T SEEM TO LOSE WEIGHT ANYMORE.
When you lose weight to a certain extent, it becomes a balance between the calories you take in and the calories you burn. As you lose weight, the amount of calories you need reduces, so you need to cut down calories even more to lose more weight.
Thinner people require fewer calories on average for a sedentary lifestyle.
Below is a chart comparing weight and calories needed for a 35 year old female and male of average height:
|Weight (kg)||Calories burned for females||Calories burned for males|
I EAT AS MANY CALORIES AS I DID WHEN I WAS YOUNG, BUT NOW I GAIN WEIGHT. WHY IS THIS?
As you age, your metabolism slows down, and your cell regeneration capability slows down, so you do not burn as many calories. Your body also tends to lose muscle and replaces it with fat instead. Muscle burns 8 times the amount of calories that fat does.
So if you eat the same amount of calories you were eating when you were 20 years old when you’re 40 years old—you will put on weight since you’re taking in more calories than your body burns.
ARE THERE ANY TRICKS TO LOSING WEIGHT?
There are no fancy tricks to lose weight. The best way to lose weight in a safe and healthy way is through a healthy diet.
A diet high in a wide variety of vegetables, and low in meat will help in your weight loss.
Protein from animal sources tends to be high in fat and cholesterol, so choose protein from plant sources instead.
HOW WILL FIBER HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?
Fiber is very important, both for controlling calories and keeping your gastrointestinal tract happy. Eating foods containing a high amount of fiber before meals can help curb hunger pains, and can help you consume less unhealthy food.
You don’t have to worry about fiber inhibiting the absorption of nutrients—in fact, fiber helps keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy by lowering the risk of developing further health issues, such as diverticular disease, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO BOTH EAT HEALTHILY AND LOSE WEIGHT?
Enjoy one purely vegetarian meal a day—many people don’t eat enough vegetables in their daily diet. Try it for either breakfast or lunch—one meal with only plant food—no meat and no oil.
Try to also eat at least 10 vegetables a day to get a wide variety of phytochemicals, antioxidants and polysaccharides to give proper maintenance and nutrition for your immune system.
I’VE BEEN TRYING TO EAT MORE HEALTHILY, BUT MY WEIGHT IS NOT REDUCING! WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?
When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady wins the race. A complete diet makeover can be unsustainable, but if you make small changes, it becomes habit, and it becomes your new normal.
There are a few caveats to a healthy diet—many foods are marketed as being healthy when they are not. For example, salad is widely considered to be a healthy meal. However, hefty portion sizes, extravagant toppings and salad dressings add up to a huge amount of calories.
Let me give you an example of the general amount of calories in 2 tablespoons (about 30 ml) of classic salad dressings:
|Kraft Classic Ranch||110 Calories, 11g Fat|
|Hidden Valley Original Ranch||140 Calories, 14g Fat|
|Kraft Zesty Italian||70 Calories, 6g Fat|
|Annie’s Organic Thousand Island||80 Calories, 7g Fat|
|Kraft Thousand Island||80 Calories, 6g Fat|
|Marie’s Blue Cheese||160 Calories, 17g Fat|
Even so-called “light” dressings are high in sodium and fat.
Let’s have a look at other foods you may eat daily, but not realize how many extra calories you’re taking in.
Many of us drink coffee every morning. One cup of black coffee has only 2 calories, but many of us like our coffee with cream and sugar.
1 tablespoon of these extras that make our coffee palpable costs us in calories:
Cream: 52 calories
Table sugar: 49 calories
Some coffee drinks thus turn into desserts and can have hundreds of calories! When it comes to calories, every calorie counts, even the ones in liquid form.
Furthermore, fruit juices are also often seen as a healthy alternative to soda and other soft drinks. However, fruit juices are also very high in sugar.
A can of Coca Cola contains 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar. The same amount of apple juice contains 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar.
Some people may argue that fruit juice contains vitamins and antioxidants that soft drinks just don’t have, which is true. However, juice is never as good as the whole fruit. Additionally, juice lacks fiber, and so doesn’t provide that sense of satiety compared to whole fruits. In the end, you’re consuming extra calories without feeling full.
The best alternative is to replace high calorie drinks with healthier alternatives.
Source: Dr EE Zhang, eLead Global, EExplanations, Weight Loss