Weight Loss Diets at Weightplan

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Weight Loss Diets

Weightplan have a huge amount of information on Weightloss, fitness, and healthy living. This week we look at the Weight Loss Diest that can also be found on the Weightplan Blog.

The most recent figures show that over a quarter of UK adults are classed as obese (BMI >30) and 31% boys and 29% of girls are classed as either overweight, or obese. These figures are worrying because overweight and obesity are linked to many health problems. Obesity is now seen as an epidemic disease by the WHO and is recognized as the most common avoidable cause of death. Surveys show that since the 1950’s the proportion of individuals classed as clinically overweight has risen sharply. Household surveys show that we are not actually eating more calories per day but we are much less active, taking less physical activity. A UK survey showed that 41% of respondent reported regular walks of 20 minutes or more 3 times per week and 23% said they did so at least once or twice per week. However, 20% reported taking 20 minutes walks ‘less than once per year’ or never.

What is the accepted definition of ideal weight

(BMI) Body mass index is a statistical measure of an individual’s weight in relation to his/her height. It is a simple index used by medical and fitness professionals to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults. Scientists and medical professionals use BMI to determine health parameters. Within each BMI category there is a range to allow for different body shapes and sizes.

BMI and benefits of having a healthy BMI

The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers. BMI is not a direct measure of body fatness; therefore, it does have limitations. It may categorise an athlete as overweight or obese, when in fact they have a low body fat percentage, due to their high muscle mass. In the older person it may categorise them as underweight, when in fact they have a higher body fat percentage, due to their reduced muscle mass. In children BMI centile charts are used to interpret BMI values.

Waist measurements and benefits

It is now believed that excessive abdominal fat is more of a health risk and therefore this measure is a better indicator of risk. A women with a waist circumference over 35 inches and a man greater than 40 inches may be at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Therefore, doctors are more routinely measuring waist circumference as part of their health screen. Waist measurements should only be used in adults. It is important that the waist circumference measurement is taken accurately. Ask your GP, or dietitian. If you are borderline on the BMI system on 25 or just over, then a waist circumference measurement may help you decide if you need to lose weight.

Ways to lose weight

The basic principle of weight loss is put yourself into negative energy balance. This can be achieved by reducing your energy intake (food intake), or by increasing your energy output (metabolism and physical activity), or ideally combining the two. Research shows that diet and physical activity combined is more effective in the long-term. Weight loss strategies should gradually reduce the body fat reserves but not at the expense of muscle mass. Rapid weight loss can reduce metabolism causing the weight to plateau. ‘Fad’ or ‘crash’ diets that claim rapid weight loss, with little effort, may help initially, but efficacy long-term is questionable. These diets do not teach individuals to make long-term lifestyle changes to improve their health risk.

Calorie-restriction strategies are one of the most common dietary methods. Daily calorie requirements for weight loss are calculated depending on a number of factors including, age, gender, weight loss goals, and activity levels. Individuals whose obesity places them at an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions may need to follow a stricter diet that will need to be monitored by a physician, or dietitian. Once an ideal body weight goal is achieved the calorie intake is then increased to a level that allows for weight maintenance. Physical activity can greatly enhance the efficiency of a diet. The ideal weight loss strategy should not be too low in calories (> 1200kcal women, >1500kcal men), provide a nutritionally balanced diet combined with daily physical activity.

Main points on weight loss

• Cut back on foods that are high in fats and sugars
• Reduce alcohol intake
• Keep a regular eating pattern to help regulate metabolism and appetite
• Don’t skip breakfast
• Refrain from eating out of boredom
• Check portion sizes
• Cut back on fizzy and soft drinks
• Drinks adequate amounts of water each day
• Take 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day
• Get a good night’s sleep
• Eat a good variety of foods
• Include starchy carbohydrates at each mealtime
• Increase your fruit and vegetable intake
• Avoid crash or fad diets

There are no quick fixes to long-term weight management. Lifestyle changes that include both diet and physical activity are the most effective means of losing and maintaining a healthy weight for life.

For more diet, health, food and fitness information visit www.weightplan.com

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