Overweight individuals are more likely to have a higher risk of high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for both heart disease and stroke than other individuals who are not overweight. High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (Blood fats) can also lead to heart disease. Being overweight has also been linked to diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gout and gallbladder disorders.
The good news is however that by reducing your body weight by as little as 10% can decrease your chances of developing any of the above disease states. Slow and steady weight loss of no more than ½ to 1kg per week is your safest way to lose weight. Rapid weight loss or bad dieting habits will result in muscle loss rather than fat loss. The key to weight loss is a two pronged approach. Firstly, exercise, both weight bearing and aerobic and secondly, to eat better. Try to eat a variety of food especially whole grain pasta and breads. These foods give us the energy to complete our exercise and daily tasks. Low fat protein such as chicken breast, lean steak and deep water fish are good choices. Your nightly meal should consist of lean protein, about the size of your palm and the rest of your plate should be covered in a variety of steamed multi-coloured vegetables.
Throughout the day ensure biscuits, cakes, sweets and deep fried foods are replaced with 3 to 4 serves of fruit. Choose a salad sandwich with a slice of lean meat on wholemeal bread replacing butter with a small spread of avocado. Choose a high fibre breakfast cereal with low fat milk.