You can be overweight at any age, from childhood to old-age pensioner, and each part of our life brings different temptations and problems.
School lunches are often stodgy, while canteen choices with strong emphasis on high-fat burgers, chips and pies, competing with less-than appetizing cold, limp salads, are also a danger. An attractively presented packed lunch is better alternative.
Teatime is a problem for school children, just home and very hungry. Sitting watching television munching a carrot is not going to satisfy the urge for carbohydrates. A huge tea followed big super piles on the calories. One way out? Divide a day’s reasonable amount of food into five smallish meals ; breakfast, lunch, tea, main evening meal and a small snack before bedtime. Plan ahead and remember high-fiber foods are more filling.
When you go out to work you often eat out cafes or restaurants. when choosing from a menu, try to stick to thin soups, melon or grapefruit for starters. Avoid potted meats or shrimps, Pâté, anything with pastry, or fried. For a main course, try to steer your way round the rich, fatty dishes – avoid anything with cheese, butter or cream.
Mothers at home have the opportunity to snack, and when you’re cooking it’s all too easy to have taster. Try not to eat tea with the children or finish up left-overs. Write yourself out a daily plan – and stick to it.
When you’re older, your energy needs are less, but you still need nutritious food, so try not to fill up on cakes, biscuits, bread-and-jam. Be sure to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, and watch your calcium intake because of the risk of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Drink skimmed low-fat milk and consider calcium supplements.
How to change your lifestyle
If you have a weight problem, dieting isn’t enough, you also need to modify your habits. Psychologist call it ‘ behavior therapy ‘ or ‘ behavior modification ‘.
Your first step is to note what you eat – and when. Write yourself a detailed diet diary. Keeping records helps you to realize what you are doing. Where do you eat your meals? When do you eat? How often? How long did the meal take? Your records may well reveal certain recurring patterns of behavior associated with eating. You may notice, for instance, that you always feel hungry at a certain time of the day, but always at mealtimes.
- Do you eat sweets while you are driving? Stop buying them
- Feel like a snack when watching television? Try keeping your hands occupied, with knitting or sewing.
- Feel hungry at teatime? Go out for a walk.
- Do you always want to eat after having an argument at home? Decide to do 8 to 12 repetitions an exercise instead.
- Are you always rushing around with no time to sit down and eat? Only eat when you do it properly, sitting down, with a knife and fork. Never eat on the run.
- Make snacking more inconvenient to do. If you want a slice of bread, for example, take out just one piece, wrap up the loaf and put it away. Toast the bread.
- Use smaller dishes so your plate looks full with smaller portions.
- Eat slowly, cut your food into smaller pieces and chew for longer. Place cutlery back on the table between every two or three bites, and have a restful pause now and again between mouthfuls. The slower you eat, the quicker you will feel full – on less food.
- Drink a glass of acidic juice such as grapefruit, lime juice or unsweetened lemonade (home-made) twenty minutes before a meal to reduce your appetite. Researchers say that it takes about twenty minutes to feel full after you start eating because that is the time it takes for hormone called chloecystokinin (CCK) to be released in the small intestine. Liquids such as juice or even tea or coffee simulate the release of CCK secretion and send the brain a message of fullness before eat.
- If you drive to work, park about half a mile away and walk. Brisk walking, to and from your car, twice a day five days a week, could well burn up about 7 lb (3kg) of fat in a year. But more important, it is having an effect on your health and helping to ginger up your metabolism.
- If you take a bus, get off at an earlier bus stop and walk.
- Put the alarm clock on earlier and take a brisk walk before breakfast.
- Take a twenty minute walk instead of an early evening drink.
- Walk up and down the stairs at work if it is possible. Get up and walk after some hours of work, instead of having a snack.
Keep a chart to record your progress. Provide yourself with goals – for instance, a certain amount of exercise, so many miles or landmarks to pass. Every time you achieve it, put some money in a bottle, Eventually, buy yourself something that helps to make activity more of a pleasure.