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Obesity Week: Long Term Success

Overweight and obesity are associated with disease, discomfort and regular disappointment. While weight loss is essential for improved health, rapid weight loss at the expense of your muscle mass is not advised. Constantly losing and regaining weight is not productive nor is it health promoting.


Yes, people lose weight when they start Banting or following The Blood Group Diet but it is often more to do with what they are not doing than the diet they are following. Anyone who starts a diet, regardless of the diet, automatically becomes more conscious about there food intake and portion control. People on diet are less likely to eat biscuits, cakes, sweets, crisps, ice cream, chocolate and so on. Weight loss is inevitable.

Extreme dieting is not the answer to the long term management of obesity (in adults and children alike). Losing 10 kg in 3 months is pointless if it can be regained as soon as the diet can no longer be maintained – which is likely due to the severity of restriction, boredom, budget constraints or family demands.

Losing weight should take at least as much time as it took to gain, which was not overnight. The most efficient and effective weight to lose weight and keep it off is to undo the habits that contributed to the gaining of the unwanted weight. Tackle them one by one if need be, replacing them with healthy promoting habits such as drinking water, exercising or cooking at home.

Rather than abandoning your usual behaviour entirely in favour of a generic diet sheet or book, take time to develop healthy habits in these five areas and success will follow:

1. Shop Healthy
90 % of what we eat must offer nutritional benefit in the form of fibre, lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Thinks whole-grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits! Read labels.

2. Healthy Food Prep
Cooking at home is the best way to control your dietary intake and maintain healthy eating on a budget. Be sure to trim fat from meat, avoid deep frying, use a high fibre starch, starchy vegetables or legumes and make a load of greens

3. Portion Control 
Use your hand: a fist of brown rice, barley, wholewheat pasta or baby potatoes; a palm size of meat, chicken or fish and two handfuls of vegetables. Dish up in the kitchen and eat at a table without the distraction TV.

4. Move More
Achieve 150 minutes of exercise per week and sit less during the day.

5. Snack Not on Sugar (or Salt)
Do not replace meals or snacks with sugar containing foods (and beverages) or salty crisps, nuts or crackers. Snack on nutrient dense foods when needed. Reserve sugar for occasional desserts.

Weight loss, and the reduction of obesity, comes when our healthy behaviour is more consistent than our less healthy behaviour. Weight loss is easier when we adjust our current lifestyle according to our budget, time and family requirements, rather than attempting a complete diet overhaul.


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