Lifestyle

Keeping a Healthy Weight - The Healthy Balance 

Author : Mercia Van Der Walt
Physical Educator
Aspetar



May 08, 2017


Keeping a healthy weight and regular physical activity is essential for optimal health. Obesity and being overweight are serious health concerns affecting large proportions of the populations.  Today’s obesity epidemic can be traced back to the balance in calories consumed (what we eat) and calories expended through physical activity. Research shows that physical inactivity and increased sedentary time is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and can lead to mortality.

Sensible way of losing weight              

It is more about changing your lifestyle than going on a diet. According to Dr James Hill from Colorado University it is essential to understand the interaction between calorie intake, calorie expenditure and body weight. Weight is influenced by changes in calories in or calories out or both.  He further mentions that weight gain can be prevented by the balance between energy in versus energy out. If you would like to lose weight then you need to increase the amount of energy your body needs by being more active and you also need to reduce the energy you take in by reducing high calorie food. 

Physical Activity

Regular physical activity increases the chances for a longer healthier life. According to the WHO and QPAG the recommendation for healthy adults is to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity a week.   Regular exercise is important for the health of your heart, lungs and blood vessels.  Whatever your age you can benefit from being more active and keeping to a healthy weight. 

Counting Calories

Choosing a nutrient rich diet, low in calories based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy is good so that people get the necessary nutrients.  Mindfulness on calorie content on food and drinks is essential. When thinking of a healthy weight then all calories count, and it is all about choices of a sensible balanced diet that keeps calorie intake in line with calorie expenditure.

Simple Tips

•    Small Changes: Establish new habits move more, sit less.

•    Portion Sizes: Check portion sizes and control calorie intake

•    Types: Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar

•    Keep Track: Record food intake as well as physical activity and make small changes accordingly to which can have a positive impact over time

•    Check calorie balance: Balance calories in and calories out to achieve a stable body weight.

•    Keep Moving: It is recommended to do 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week. 

•    Think: Think about what you eat and take small steps to include physical activity 

A healthy lifestyle is not about joining a gym or going on a diet, it is rather about taking sensible steps towards achievable goals.


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