Weight control is about getting the correct balance between:
This statement sounds simple. However, as we all know, many people find this balance difficult to achieve. There are a number of reasons why this may be so.
Some physical reasons are due to:
- Poor eating habits, either developed by the person or picked up from family or friends.
- Not being aware of the correct foods to eat.
- Lack of exercise.
- Our metabolism which slows down as we get older - we can no longer eat and drink what we use to.
Some psychological reasons are due to:
- Loneliness or depression
- Stress and worries
- Eating at the wrong time and in the wrong quantities- for example a lot of food late at night
- Thinking you are hungry when actually you are not
- The effects of advertising
You can see why it is often very difficult, if not almost impossible, for some people to maintain the correct balance between what they eat and the energy they use.
A formula giving us the Body Mass Index or BMI can be used as a guide to see if you are underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese.
The BMI is a measure which compares your body fat against your height and weight. It is the ratio of your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height measured in metres.
Remember, this is not an accurate measure of health. You can have a ‘normal’ BMI and still have an excess amount of fat in your body if your muscle mass is atrophied (sarcopenia). This happens when a person loses muscle tissues instead of fat when following an unbalanced diet for weight loss.
The BMI figure should be used as a guide to your realistic weight. Please see a professional healthcare practitioner if you are at all concerned about your weight.
We are constantly being bombarded with new types of diets. It is important to be cautious about following these new ‘fad’ diets as the long term health implications on health have not yet been fully evaluated.
The most beneficial thing you can do for your weight is to develop long-term sensible eating habits and a good exercise program.
Some helpful tips for a sensible, healthy diet include:
- Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Cutting down on saturated fats and refined sugar
- Drinking plenty of water (half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water. A regular glass of water is 8 ounces and there are 32 ounces per litre)
- Cutting down on alcohol and caffeine (maximum of 1 a day of each with meals)
- Increasing your intake of fibres. This will slow down the absorption of carbohydrates from your diet and keep the sugar level stable. When insulin is often released in a large quantity in the blood stream the body tends to store more fats.
- Having at least 1 tablespoon of cold pressed oils or 3 gel caps of Omega 3 in your daily regime because your body needs ‘good fats’ to get rid of ‘bad fats’.
We can think of Detoxification as a way of cleaning out the body. By doing so, we improve our energy, digestion and mental awareness.
Our bodies produce wastes or toxins through the everyday processes of metabolism. These toxins need to be removed from the body and we possess several exit routes by which this can be done. The bowels, urinary tract and lungs are the primary exit routes.
If these primary routes are under pressure or not working efficiently (for example, if you don’t drink enough water, if your bowels are sluggish or you don’t get much fresh air or exercise), the body has the option of pushing toxins out through the secondary exit routes. These are the mucous membranes, skin and, in women, menstrual blood.
Our bodies start to accumulate toxins if the amount we produce and absorb starts to exceed the processing and excretion ability of our organs. Toxins remain in the bloodstream and are stored away in tissues such as fat. Certain organs, such as the liver, are especially vulnerable to this accumulation and can become clogged with the pressure of excess waste matter and toxins.
The body has numerous ways of alerting us to the fact that toxins are not being removed efficiently. It does this by producing symptoms such as:
The afore mentionned symptoms may arise as a result of other causes. It is important that, in any event of doubt, a healthcare practitioner is consulted.
The following questions are a guide to determine whether or not a detox is needed. If you answer ‘YES’ to four of the following questions it may be time to consider detoxing your body.
- Do you often feel tired, sluggish or lethargic?
- Do you have problems concentrating?
- Do you feel as though you have a foggy head?
- Do you suffer from mood swings?
- Do you suffer from bad breath?
- Is your tongue coated or do you have a metallic taste in your mouth?
- Do you have problems with the condition of your skin?
- Do you have digestive problems – for example bloating or indigestion?
If you have established that there is a need for you to detox, you will then have to choose from a number of different methods.
Remember: If you wish to do a detox and you suffer from any kind of medical condition, you should consult with your healthcare practitioner first.