New age Disease - Obesity 2 - Weight Control by Tracking Calories

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

Weight control requires a balance between calorie intake in your diet, loss through exercise, and your own body metabolism.


Measuring Waist circumference.


Over the last 5 weeks, I have gained 2.0 kg over my desired and ideal weight of 65.5 kg. I do not know how this happened :). Weight control is a complicated matter; I do not intend to minimise the difficulty some people go through trying to control their weight, but rather to share what has worked for me, and may work others. People with medical conditions should consult their doctor first, before using the strategy described in this post.


Calorie control is not easy, but here is one way to plan and get back to ones ideal weight giving an example of my current situation below.


How to measure waist size
Waist size measurement is important in assessing risk of non-communicable disease such as Heart attacks

So when you are ready to start (and it's better to start now)Starting estimate your calorie intake and loss daily, and use this to achieve controlled weight loss over the next four weeks back to your ideal weight.


So currently, I am 67.6 Kg. My usual average is 65.5kg, with a height of 166.1cm. My BMI is currently 24.5 using the NHS BMI CALCULATOR. This is within normal range, but is on the higher end close to overweight.


Now BMI measurement alone is not adequate, because even if your BMI is within the prescribed normal range, your body fat distribution may not be. Waist circumference measurement gives you a measure of fat stored around your stomach and middle body area. The higher this is, the greater your risk for developing diabetes and ischaemic heart disease. If you already have these conditions, then it may make it harder to control your weight and these diseases..


My waist circumference is 32 inches(81.5CM), and is higher than the upper limit of recommended 80cm(31.5inches).


Here is the Diabetes UK video link to help to accurately measure your waist size, and the measuring guidance by text.


To attain a healthy weight, therefore, my target would be to loose 2.0kg and 2.5cm of waist circumference over the next four weeks, ie, by the 1st of August 2018!


I know I can do it -but will I have the will ? What about you??

 

How to calculate calories to eat and lose each day, in order to lose weight.


An average woman needs 2000 calories a day to maintain their current weight, for a male, it's 2500.


Therefore to lose weight of around 0.45 kg (1 pound ) a week, you have to eat at least 500 less calories a day, or use up 500 calories in exercise each day. It is best to combine the two. You can make up your own program, but there must be a deficit. Do the opposite if you need to gain weight.


To get a rough estimate of calories in foods read the packaging, and where this does not apply, use Mr google! Just search whatever you plan to eat, eg Calories in a slice of bread, and you can drop down to options such as white or brown etc. And for amounts, there are drop down options for gram weight or spoons etc.


**Please note, calorie counting can be very boring and tedious; I recommend you use it once in a while to get an idea of the amount of calories in the foods you eat. Always keep your diet interesting, and treat yourself every once in a while! I have used this strategy over the last 20 years, and at 52 years of with three grown up children, of which two I had by cesarean section, I'm not doing too bad.


So today my breakfast consisted of the following:


2 fried eggs=147 calories


using 1 tablespoon olive oil= 119 calories


3 cherry tomatoes=9 calories


1 slice of bread =66 calories


thin butter=10 calories


1 teaspoon Jam=25 calories


1 Mug of tea with 10 ml semi skimmed milk=5 calories


sugar 2 tea spoons=30 calories


Total calories intake = 411 calories.


I also had an exercise session on my stepper for 15 minutes, which indicated I used up 79 calories. I could have done better on the stepping machine- perhaps 30 minutes- but hey, the idea is not to make it a chore, but as fun as possible! For instance, I exercise whilst watching some of my favourite shows!


I cancelled my gym membership after six months of not turning up; I blame my busy schedule working as a doctor and managing a family .


To recap; since I am female, my daily requirement is about 2000 calories(2500 for males), to lose weight I should introduce a calorie deficit into my diet, a reduction of my daily requirement by 500 calories daily, will allow me to loose 1 pound (0.45kg) per week.


So I still have 1500-(411-79)=1168 calories to play with today.


Depicted: my stepping machine.

 

My lunch


40 g green leaf salad = 15 calories stated on packet


1/5th large Avocado from Uganda=30 calories


1 red pepper=43 calories


1 medium grilled English potato=163 calories


1/4 small red onion=11 calories


strips left over roasted lamb 60 g=250 calories!


1 tablespoon balsamic salad dressing =40 calories on bottle( I could have made my own healthier one)


3 glass water 900.0 ml =0 calories


Total Calories lunch= 552 calories


Balance calories for the day =616.00


Evening snack


1 mug tea with 10mls semi skimmed milk=5 calories


1 teaspoon sugar=15 calories


1 oz(28.4g) roasted peanuts =161 calories


Balance Calories =435 calories


Dinner


Chicken with garlic and fresh rosemary from my garden roasted in oven with skin on= breast 228 Calories


Mixed green leaf Salad 20g=7.5


Balsamic salad dressing 1 tablespoon =40 calories


1 medium English potato dressed in olive oil and herbs roasted in oven=163 calories


4 glasses water 1200 ml= 0 calories


Total calories Dinner 438.5


Balance calories for the day + 3.5


What went well.


I have managed to keep close to the calorie allowance I gave myself for today. It has been rather tedious.


But tracking my calorie intake allowed me to plan what to eat later in the day, and ensure I did not take in excess. It is very easy to snack and not realise how much you have actually eaten all day.


Where I could have done better:

  • More exercise-to lose more calories.

  • Making my own healthier salad dressing.

  • Chicken skin has high calorie content, so removing skin would reduce calories.

  • Boiled egg, rather than fried- but this is one of my small treats.

  • Including fruit.


My Top tips to losing weight:

  • Choose and cook foods that you enjoy, so you can easily maintain your new eating plan.

  • Choose local foods that are easily available and affordable.

  • Select foods and calorie values depending on your activities of daily living. eg a farmer will have a much higher calorie requirements each day compared to an office worker. This is the reason you should start by working out your current average calorie intake before starting on your weight loss quest.

  • Choose an exercise regime you can enjoy and/or readily fit into your day to day program.For example the gym can be replaced with sorting out your garden/compound or walking to work instead of taking the car, taking the stairs instead of the lift etc

  • Reduce carbohydrates intake. This is converted to sugars and fat.

  • Avoid processed foods as much as possible- eg have small amounts butter instead of margarine, or low fat spreads. Latest research has shown that processed unsaturated fats are not good for you .

Once you have achieved your desired weight, increase your calorie intake by 500 calories a day to maintain your new weight. If your job is very physical, or you are engaging in sports training, you may need even more calories to maintain your healthy weight.

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