The overweight and obesity pandemic is a worldwide problem. In South Africa 70% of women and 45% of men are considered to be overweight or obese. More South Africans are eating fast food or food that is prepared in restaurants or canteens
These quick fix foods are often:
• Very large portions with the option to super size.
• High in salt and added sugars
• High in fat (especially saturated and trans fats).
• High in refined carbohydrates (white bread, white flour etc.)
• Low in vegetables, fruit, beans and grains
In a nutshell, this type of food contains too much energy (kilojoules) and not enough of the nutrients we need.
Why is Losing Weight Important For My Health?
Imagine carrying around a 20 kilogram sack all day, every day! Simple tasks like walking up a flight of stairs or getting around would be a strain. When you carry extra weight, it is just as if you are taking a heavy sack with you wherever you go.
Losing the extra fat and weight means that your heart and lungs do not have to work as hard.
Your blood vessels are under less pressure and your entire body is better able to cope.
Why do we gain weight?
Weight gain happens when a person takes in more energy (kilojoules in food) than the body can use.
Extra kilojoules are converted to fat and stored by the body to be used in times when food is scarce.
This was a good system when our ancestors would have periods of feast and famine but these days, we always have a ready supply of food.
Am I overweight?
What Can I Do to Lose Weight?
The first thing to do is to make a commitment to eating better.
A healthy weight loss plan is not about starving yourself, but about making lasting changes to your diet that you can maintain.
Kilojoules in and Kilojoules out
Every person has a base number of kilojoules that their body needs to remain functional. This is called the Basale Metabolic Rate.
When you exercise, you use up kilojoules which means that the more you exercise, the more you can eat!
Weight loss happens when the amount of kilojoules you take in when you eat and use up in daily activities and exercise is less than the amount of kilojoules you need.
The body starts to make use of its fat stores, converting them back to energy that is used by the body.
How many kilojoules do I need?
The amount of kJ that your body needs depends on your age, height, gender and how much daily activity you do.
Use our tool to find out what your daily calorie needs are.
Track your eating habits
It is useful to know what you eat and how much you eat. Write down what you are eating on a daily basis for a normal week.
You will be surprised where those hidden kJ can creep in.
A biscuit with your coffee, the mid afternoon chocolate bar and those few drinks after work all contribute to your total calorie intake.