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Advice on weight loss

I am 15 and I want to lose weight though I am not obese. What should I eat to do so?
(April 6, 2008)

Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss

Hi! I would like you to reconsider your decision. Insufficient information regarding your height, weight, gender and diet pattern is available. Do not make up your mind without relevant advice. Refer to a nutritionist or your physician regarding your ideal body weight.

You can always follow certain guidelines to good health. If you are overweight, you need the help of a trained professional. A healthy diet comprises of cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, milk and related products and animal foods. Consumption of these foods helps in all possible ways.

Cereals such as whole grains, oats, whole wheat and rye contribute to carbohydrates and fibre. Pulses and legumes contribute to protein and certain vitamins. Vegetables and fruits provide all the essential minerals and vitamins. They also provide antioxidants, essential for free radical scavenging. Milk and milk related products provide protein and fats. Animal foods, such as fish, eggs, poultry and meat contribute to protein and certain minerals. Fats are used in a limited manner in the daily diet.

Keep a check on the intake of saturated fats, such as butter, clarified butter and hydrogenated fats. Intake of omega 3 fatty acids, as in flaxseed oil, soy, walnuts and others are recommended. Adequate amount of water (8-10 glasses) helps in the elimination of toxins and other metabolites.

The key to losing excess weight is to set a realistic goal for yourself. Set a goal that you can achieve and be realistic about it. Diet tips for weight loss include:-

• Ensure you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water helps to flush out impurities and fat from your body. You can also have a few glasses of green or herbal tea.
• Control portion size – this is necessary in order to lose weight. A piece of lean meat should be as big as the back of your hand from where your wrist bends to your knuckles. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be about 2 heaped tablespoons.
• Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. This will prevent you from getting hungry in between and will also speed up your metabolism.
• Increase your fiber intake – eat whole grain pasta and bread.
• Eat regular food rather than sugar free or diet foods. Diet foods are not as satisfying as regular food and you may be inclined to eat more of it.
• Drink skim milk or fat free milk.
• Ensure you eat about 1200 calories a day – else you will lose muscle. Divide this calorie goal by the number of meals you eat so that you can eat the same amount of calories at each meal.
• Avoid late night snacks. Do not eat for at least two hours before going to bed.
• Bake steam or broil food and avoid frying it. Avoid eating out as well.
• Most importantly, listen to your body – it will tell you when you are hungry or tired or stressed. Obey the signs you get from it.

The best weight loss diet menu is one that you plan yourself. An effective one will be high in fruits, vegetables, protein and low in sugar, simple carbohydrates and fat. Avoid white flour products. The food should be natural and high in nutritional value. High calorie food should not be included.  Weight loss diet foods include salads, high fiber cereals (include corn on the cob, oats) sprouted pulses, yogurt, mushrooms, chicken breast and so on. Be careful of adding any toppings like mayonnaise or even butter to the food you eat. This will only pile on the calories. Remember that along with diet, you must also exercise if you wish to lose weight. Your weight loss plan should include regular exercise as well. Regular exercise will also help to burn fat and get you to your target weight.

Submitted by E L on April 6, 2008 at 11:02


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