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Weight Watching

By: Julie Burns - Updated: 11 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
A Look Into Weight Watching - From

The heavy issue of weight is never far away but perhaps with good reason. Medical obesity in the UK is on the rise, endangers our quality of life - or lifespan, even - and sets a bad behavioural pattern for our children. Body confidence isn't attained by shrinking to an American size 0 but by being physically fit and within our own peak weight to height ratio frame.

Body Mass Index

Calculating your Body Mass Index or BMI, is an effective way of checking if you're overweight. Simply multiply your weight in pounds by 700 and divide the figure by the square of your height in inches. The ideal score stands between 20 and 25. Between 25-30 means you're overweight while anything above 30 puts you in the obese category. Below 20 is equally unhealthy, signalling underweight. The only variation on this standard test is if you're of extremely fit, athletic build as muscle mass weighs more than fat.

Exercise and Eat Healthy

There is no quick-fix answer to shifting the pounds so forget crash diets. Though dramatic weight loss can be achieved this way, it's likely to go back on just as fast. Instead, take a moderate approach and view weight watching as long term. A steady loss of 1-2lb a week is a healthy and more sustainable target. To support you through the process, tell friends and family your plans and consider joining an established, sociable weight loss organisation. Bear in mind that weight watching should be treated as a 50/50 regime of exercise and diet. Exercise helps accelerate the metabolic rate and is needed to tone the figure - especially when weight drops off.

The Good Foodie Guide

To keep in optimum health and fitness, you may need to spring-clean the contents of your fridge…

Eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than one late main one - you'll be less inclined to binge inbetween. Eating out at work or in restaurants can be calorie-laden. Take your own office lunch and make meal times at home count. Cook varied, nutritious food and start eating more slowly - it gives a better stomach full signal so that you don't need seconds.

  • Breakfast: Kick-starts energy for the day, so don't skimp but choose slow-release complex carbohydrate porridge.
  • Snacks: Stock up on such as nuts, apricots, small fruits to replace sweets - but minimise some sugar-high 'health' bars. Swap regular biscuits for honey or cheese on oatcakes or ricecakes. Get rid of the fizzy drinks, replace with fresh fruit juices, more water. Limit coffee and tea to two or three cups a day and explore antioxidant rich green and herbal brands.
  • Dessert: Out with cakes and puds, in with fresh fruit and yoghurt or lo-cal sorbet. Switch to fat-free or low-fat dairy products across milk to margarine and stick to lean meats and poultry. Baked or boiled potatoes should replace chips.

    General no-nos

  • pastriesn
  • pizzas
  • ready-made meals
  • canned foods Read labels and be aware of those processed and high-fat, with additives, preservatives and flavourings. Junk food will make you sluggish and depressed so do ration it.

    Out of interest, keep a weekly food diary to record meals and ingredients and how you're feeling as a result of your better diet at the end of each week. You should notice improvements in weight issues to skin and hair and general mood.

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