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Healthy ways to lose weight - All Woman - Jamaica Observer
All Woman

Healthy ways to lose weight

Dear Donovan, 

I would like to get some advice on healthy ways to lose weight.

Many people are facing weight challenges and the need to lose weight has become more and more important. Weight loss has been associated with many positive health indicators. These include lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood cholesterol levels, improved metabolism and even slower ageing.

In general, in order to lose weight, the calories must be less than what you were taking in before — calorie deficit. This is usually achieved by a reduced calorie diet or a low-carbohydrate (low-carb) diet. A reduced calorie diet could include what we call portion control. This simply limits the portion of food that is normally eaten into smaller portions. Although this method can result in weight loss, it sometimes can lead to a lower metabolic rate and may even cause fatigue and nutrient deficiency. Also, this method of dieting can lead to the weight fluctuating (yo-yo dieting).

In the case of a low-carb diet, sugar and starches are reduced. In some cases refined carbohydrates are replaced with whole grains such as quinoa, whole wheat, barley, etc. Several studies have shown that a low-carb diet can curb appetite and lower insulin levels which can lead to eating fewer calories without feeling hungry.

Overall, on a low-carb diet the body will be forced to utilise stored fat for energy. This usually leads to weight loss.

It should be noted that doing exercise is not necessary for weight loss; however, exercise can improve metabolism, help to reduce calories and improve health in general. Exercise can speed up weight loss.

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet and exercise. Many health professionals will recommend a one to two pounds weight loss per week on a healthy diet. However, it is possible to get more weight loss than this.

In order to get one pound of weight loss for a week, you will have to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. A calorie deficit of 3,500 per week is equal to one pound of weight loss per week.

That aside, it should also be noted that weight loss is also a mental process. You will have to see mentally why you need to lose weight and the benefits of losing weight. Many people find it hard to lose weight and keep it off long term. However, there are some healthy suggestions that can help you on a diet programme. These include avoiding sugary juices such as sodas, etc. In addition, choosing weight loss friendly foods such as fruits and vegetables are also important. Also, drinking water before and between meals can reduce the amount you eat. Eating slowly can also help to reduce cravings and reduce the possibility of overeating. In addition, reducing or eliminating fried and greasy foods from the diet will also help to reduce calorie intake.

A diet high in fibre will also help to keep you full and keep blood sugar levels stable. Also, eating few small meals instead of one or two large meals might also help the weight loss process. Over time, the food intake and exercise parts of the diet programme will have to be adjusted periodically. In some cases it might be important to work with a nutritionist while you are doing your programme.

Good luck.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com.

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