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Frequently Asked Questions

Losing Fat

What are Overweight and Obesity?

The terms "overweight" and "obesity" refer to body weight that is greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height.

 

The most useful measure of overweight and obesity is body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated from your height and weight. To measure BMI and other fitness parameter visit Fitness Meter

 

Millions people worldwide are overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for many health problems. The more body fat that you have and the more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop:

 

·         Coronary heart disease

·         High blood pressure

·         Type 2 diabetes

·         Gallstones

·         Breathing problems

·         Certain cancers

 

Your weight is the result of many factors. These factors include environment, family history and genetics, metabolism (the way your body changes food and oxygen into energy), behavior or habits, and more.

 

You can't change some factors, such as family history. However, you can change other factors, such as your lifestyle habits.

 

For example, follow a healthy eating plan and keep your calorie needs in mind(You may consult our nutritionist or sign up for one week free customized diet and exercise plan. Use our free web app to track your calorie). Be physically active and try to limit the amount of time that you're inactive.

 

Weight-loss medicines and surgery also are options for some people if lifestyle changes aren't enough.

 

Reaching and staying at a healthy weight is a long-term challenge for people who are overweight or obese. But it also is a chance to lower your risk for other serious health problems. With the right treatment and motivation, it's possible to lose weight and lower your long-term disease risk.

What factors contribute to Overweight and Obesity?

Besides poor diet and behavior, environment, and genetic factors may also have an effect in causing people to be overweight and obese.

Why should I Lose Weight?

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if they have no other risk factors. Obesity is unhealthy because excess weight puts more strain on your heart. It can raise blood pressure and cholesterol and can lead to diabetes. Losing weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart problems and other diseases.

 

Other reasons to maintain a healthy weight

·         Lead active life by eating diet in right kinds of food at right times, you would be able to live a more productive life as you say bye-bye.

·         You can take better care of your spouse and children when you are energetic inside while eating your usual tasty meals.

·         Win more friends and become socially viable by your slim beautiful look and flaunt your enormous hidden skills with conviction.

·         Create success for yourself with very high level of self-confidence and attractive persona and be the woman everyone around you envy’s.

·         Fetch more appreciation from family and friend as you are able to put more hard work and efforts in whatever you do.

·         Reduce extra fat and influence people around you by your appealing and charismatic persona.

 

·         By opting for gradual and healthy weight loss look fresh and younger than your age, and wear any clothes you like without considering age factor.

How can I Lose Weight?

It’s easy to start a diet or exercise plan. Staying on one is harder! Research supports making lifestyle changes as the most effective way to lose weight and maintain weight loss. This "best" way includes developing a personal plan that incorporates increased activity, dietary changes and behavioral strategies that will work for each individual. Prepare yourself by setting realistic goals, thinking ahead to roadblocks along the way, and deciding how to deal them.

 

• Talk to a nutritionist or registered dietitian about creating an eating plan that’s right for you. It’s never wise to follow fad diets, go without eating, or try to lose weight too fast(Consult a Nutritionist)

• Think about your eating habits. Do you tend to mindlessly eat in front of the television at night? Do you skip breakfast and then eat a large lunch?

• Reflecting on your current habits can give you ideas on creating new healthy habits.

• Be more active. Getting more exercise is not just good for your heart, it can help you lose weight too.

• Decide how to handle temptation. When you’re offered high-calorie foods, turn them down nicely, but firmly. Look up restaurant menus before you go out to

eat so you can make a plan that fits in your diet(sign up to access free calorie tracker).

• Plan ahead. If a bad mood, stress or boredom makes you want to eat a lot, decide in advance what action to take. You could take up a new hobby, go for a walk, call a friend or read a book.

 

• Be realistic and expect setbacks. If you go off your diet, don’t quit. Just get back on track.

How should I change my eating habits?

 "Eat slowly, take smaller portions and avoid “seconds.”

 

• Eat a few light meals each day instead of one main meal. Don’t skip meals

• Choose a variety of healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, dried peas and beans, low-fat dairy products, fish, skinless poultry, lean meat and nuts(sign up for free diet and exercise plan)

• Cook foods in healthier ways like baking, boiling, broiling, grilling, roasting or stewing. Don’t fry foods in oil(Order Healthy Meals)

• Read food labels and avoid foods that are high in added sugars, saturated and trans fats, sodium and calories

• Avoid pastries, sugar-sweetened beverages, candy bars, pies and cakes. Drink lots of water

• Limit alcohol and other high-calorie drinks(sign up to access free calorie tracker)

How can physical activity help in losing weight?

 Physical activity is as important as your diet in helping you lose weight!

 

Regular physical activity helps lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other health problems. If you have a chronic condition and want to greatly increase your physical activity level, ask your doctor or health professional for a physical activity plan that’s right for you.

 

For overall cardiovascular health, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week, as well as muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week. You may need more exercise to reach your weight loss goals. Increase your amount

of physical activity gradually over time and decrease your caloric intake to a point where your input and output can achieve energy balance(Consult/Hire Expert Fitness Trainer)

The impact of physical activity on your health

 Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits. It can help:

 

·         Prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke (the three leading health-related causes of death)

·         Control weight

·         Make your muscles stronger

·         Reduce fat

·         Promote strong bone, muscle, and joint development

·         Condition heart and lungs

·         Build overall strength and endurance

·         Improve sleep

·         Decrease potential of becoming depressed

·         Increase your energy and self-esteem

·         Relieve stress

·         Increase your chances of living longer

 

When you are not physically active, you are more at risk for:

 

·         High blood pressure

·         High blood cholesterol

·         Stroke

·         Type 2 diabetes

·         Heart disease

·         Cancer

Which is better for weight loss - Cutting Calories or Increasing Exercise?

 Cutting calories through dietary changes seems to promote weight loss more effectively than does exercise and physical activity. But physical activity also is important in weight control.

 

The key to weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn. For most people, it's possible to lower their calorie intake to a greater degree than it is to burn more calories through increased exercise. That's why cutting calories through dieting is generally more effective for weight loss. But doing both — cutting calories and exercising — can help give you the weight-loss edge. Exercise can help burn even more calories than just dieting.

 

Exercise also is important because it can help you maintain your weight loss. Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off over the long term get regular physical activity.

 

If you lose weight by crash dieting or by drastically restricting yourself to 400 to 800 calories a day, you're more likely to regain weight quickly, often within six months after you stop dieting. Getting regular exercise also can help prevent excess weight gain in the first place.

How can I burn off my stored Body Fat?

 We all need some body fat, but if stored fat is excessive it may increase risk of diet-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. This is particularly true if excess fat is in the abdominal area. The best strategy for losing excess weight and stored body fat involves calorie reduction, increased physical activity, and a behavior change plan(Consult Nutritionist and Expert Trainer for right plan)

Does it matter how many calories I eat as long as I'm maintaining an active lifestyle

While physical activity is a vital part of weight control, so is controlling the number of calories you eat. If you consume more calories than you use through normal daily activities and physical activity, you will still gain weight(Check how much calorie you should eat to lose weight)

How many calories do I need to burn to lose one pound/kg of weight?

 You need to burn off 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound(0.45kg). This translates into a reduction of 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound(0.45kg) in a week, or 1000 calories per day to lose 2 pounds in a week. (1-2 pounds per week is generally considered to be a safe rate of weight loss.) This can be achieved by eating fewer calories or using up more through physical activity. A combination of both is best(Check your recommended weight loss, calorie intake and time to achieve target weight)

Can I skip meals to save calories?

Skipping meals usually doesn't help you eat fewer calories.

When you skip a meal, you’re more likely to get hungry and overeat. It's better to spread your eating evenly through the day and eat smaller meals. In the long run, you’ll probably eat fewer calories with three small meals per day than with one or two large ones.
If you have diabetes, it’s especially important to eat regular meals and snacks. Skipping meals and then overeating will make your blood sugar problems worse
(Get the best diet plan so that you don’t feel hungry)

If I eat late at night, will these calories automatically turn into body fat?

 The time of day isn't what affects how your body uses calories. It's the overall number of calories you eat and the calories you burn over the course of 24 hours that affects your weight. But avoid eating heavy meals at night because our body burns less calories when we are in sleep

When I eat more than I need what happens to the extra calories?

Consuming extra calories results in an accumulation of stored body fat and weight gain. This is true whether the excess calories come from protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol 

If I eat healthy during the week, can I splurge on weekends?

Saturday and Sunday represent about 30 percent of the week, so too many slipups will put you on bad terms with the scale. It’s easy to cancel out five days’ worth of healthy eating with a weekend food fest. On weekends, be sure to eat breakfast. Studies suggest that people who eat breakfast eat fewer calories later in the day. And give in to a treat during the week, so you don’t have the urge to splurge on Saturday.

My diets don't succeed because I can’t give up sweets. Can I have low-calorie sweets?

 Yes, but you have to read food labels to find them.


Look for items with less than 150 calories per serving and do not have a lot of added sugar or sodium. Be sure to check the serving size so you don't eat too much. Reach for things that will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with some nutrients too such as fresh fruit and yogurt.

Low-calorie sweets include angel food cake, fresh fruit, sugar-free gelatin, pudding made with fat-free milk, and frozen fruit juice bars.

One serving of each of these items contains about 150 calories and 0 to 1 gram of saturated fat
(Consult Nutritionist to get diet plan according to your eating habit)

What’s the best way to keep the weight off once I lose it?

 Regular exercise is the key. In a recent study, researchers discovered that overweight subjects who had slimmed down over two years required an average of 40 minutes of exercise per day to sustain a loss of 10 percent or more of their initial body weight. And that was in addition to closely watching what they ate. Those who committed less time to sweating it out were more likely to be back where they started. “Weight loss is not something that happens and then you’re done with it. “That’s why quick-fix programs hardly ever work long-term.” To stay motivated, join a running group, sign up for cooking lessons, or splurge on a trainer who can refresh a stale routine(consult our expert trainer to get an exercise plan in alignment with your lifestyle)

.

Am I doomed by genetics to battle my weight?

No. It's true that some people are predisposed to having a slower metabolism, and others put on weight more easily or carry extra pounds in certain areas. Even so, staying slim is not a hopeless battle. You can outsmart your genes and maintain a healthy weight. The takeaway? By running and exercising regularly, you’re already a step ahead in winning the battle against the bulge( Get Diet and Exercise plan from our expert)

Why can't I lose weight?

 You are not eating at a calorie deficit. Either you are over-estimating the amount of calories your body is using, or under-estimating the amount that you are eating.


It's easy to get tripped up, discouraged, or confused when you are trying very hard and not seeing results, but it is important to remember that weight loss is all about achieving a calorie deficit and nothing else, and the scale does not lie. You can be as meticulous in your tracking and calculating as humanly possible, but if you are not losing weight, you need to eat less.

Keep perspective, though - bodyweight can fluctuate by up to 5 pounds in a day due to food, urine/feces, water retention, and glycogen, and you should be tracking a trend over at least a month before worrying(
Consult our experts for right diet and exercise plan which suits your lifestyle)

Is "yo-yo dieting" bad?

 Yo-yo dieting" is the process of losing and regaining weight via short-term fad dieting. It is damaging to individuals attempting to lose weight, in that it may cause the individual to get discouraged about their ability to lose weight. It promotes an attitude of “why try, I won’t be successful anyway,” when the truth is, weight loss can be achieved with an appropriate program and good motivation. Success in a weight loss program involves many factors, including psychological readiness to accept change, overall motivation, and behavioral, nutrition and exercise habits. "Yo-yo dieting" may cause the body weight to increase with each up and down cycle, causing overall weight gain(Consult our experts for best suited diet and exercise plan for long term benefit)

Build Muscle

I would like to gain weight. How can I do this in a healthy manner?

 Losing, gaining or staying at the same weight all depend on how many calories you eat and how many calories your body uses over time. If you eat more calories than you use, you will gain weight; conversely, if you eat fewer calories than you use, you will lose weight. If you would like personalized advice, or you want to know how many calories or what types of foods are best for you, Registered Dietitians (RD) are health professionals who can physically assess you and your needs(Consult Dietitians and Trainer)

What should I eat to Gain Weight?

 Being underweight can make it difficult to stay healthy. If you are not eating enough, it is difficult to meet your nutritional requirements.

 

Ideas that may help increase your nutritional intake include:

 

·         eating small frequent meals and snacks

·         having full-cream milk drinks between meals

·         adding more oil and margarine to food in cooking

·         adding skim milk powder to soups, stews and drinks

·         adding grated cheese to cooked foods

snacking on high energy foods such as cheese and crackers, nuts or dried fruit

How many reps do I need?

 How many reps you need to do depends on your goals. As a guideline try and stay within 2 to 6 reps for strength and power, 8 to 12 reps for muscle size and 15 to 20 reps for endurance. If your goal is to build muscle then your reps range should be around 8 to 12 reps i.e. the weight should be heavy enough to allow only 8 reps, actually you should only be able to get 6 reps with great difficulty on the 6th, but you need to continue on to fight for those last 2 reps, it should be an absolute struggle to get those last two reps. That's
where the muscle growth is. You always need someone there to watch over you when you are performing reps like these. On your next visit you should aim for 9 reps, then 10, 11 and 12, these reps should also be a struggle. When the time comes that you can force out 12 reps with great difficulty, it's time to up the weight

How many sets for muscle growth?

Not counting warm ups, 1 good heavy set is enough to induce muscle growth, if done correctly to total muscular failure, however, very few people can or know how to use the 1 set principle correctly so 2 to 3 heavy sets is usually better to ensure muscle growth stimulation. Anything above 3 sets per exercise is usually a waste of time and recovery energy

How many days a week should I workout?

You should workout 2 to 4 days a week and no more. You simply cannot fully recover and grow when you are working out 5 and six days a week. It usually takes 48 to 72 hours for a muscle group to recover from an intense weight training session. Only until after full body recovery will muscle growth happen. An every other day routine is good

What exercises should I be doing for muscle mass?

You should be doing the heavy basic exercises like squats, dead lifts, and basic presses. These are the exercises when done correctly and safely will produce the best results for muscle mass. The "simple" isolation exercises can be added on later when you have gained a respectable amount of muscle from the basics. Don't waste your energy doing isolations if your goal is muscle mass fast

How much rest between sets?

As much as you need. You should allow your body to recover between sets and let your breathing return too normal. Usually 1 to 2 minutes sometimes you'll need 3 or more minutes to recover, it depends on the exercise and how hard you pushed yourself

Should I warm up before the exercise?

Yes you should warm up, it is very important that you do, but just don't spend half the day doing so. A few light muscle stretches followed by a couple of light sets of the first exercise you are going to do that day. Then stretch again in between those light sets

 

Should I stretch between sets?

You should stretch between sets on your first exercise only. Don't over do the stretching, the idea is to loosen up muscle for heavy lifts, not burn out muscle before you execute heavy lifts

Do I need a fitness trainer?

You could consider a fitness trainer if you find that no matter what you try to do, you are not getting the results you desire. If you find that you cannot concentrate on your workouts then you could consider hiring a personal trainer for a time (consult or hire a personal trainer)

What supplements do I need for muscle building?

 If your diet is perfect then you don't really need supplements to support muscle building, but whose diet is absolutely perfect? When it comes to supplements I find that the basics are great like Whey and casein protein powders, creatine, multivitamin/minerals, vitamin c, Vitamin e and zinc. There are "super supplements" available that you could try out for 8 to 12 weeks but I like to stick to the basics. How far you want to take supplementation depends on the individual's goals( Consult Nutritionist/trainer for right advice)

There's a lot of talk about creatine, is it any good?

Yes it is good, it's very good. Creatine increases energy production in the muscle cells so you can lift heavier and for longer. Creatine helps you to quickly gain weight making you stronger, and the more you can lift means the more muscle fibres you can stimulate for muscle growth. It pulls fluid into the muscle cells making you look bigger

What type of protein powder is the best?

There is no real best when it comes to protein powders but Whey protein isolate (WPI) is a fast acting protein and is better than whey protein concentrate because it is purer and has a higher BV (biological value) around 170 compared to 104 for the concentrate which means that the WPI can be used more efficiently by the body. The higher the BV the better. Egg Protein has a BV of 100. Milk protein i.e. whey and casein has a BV of 85

 

What is the right time to take protein shake?

You should take protein shakes (whey protein) before and after a training session i.e. about 30 minutes before and within 1 hour after. You can take a casein protein last thing at night for a steady flow of amino acids for growth and repair while you sleep. On non-training days you can take the whey protein anytime

Should I eat anything before bed?

You should not eat anything before bed because it could keep you awake all night, especially if you eat a carbohydrate food. Having said that, you can take a casein protein supplement without your sleep being affected

How can I speed up recovery?

You can speed up recovery by taking a creatine supplement immediately after a workout and about 40 minutes later take a whey protein supplement, then within an hour after that have a highly nutritious real meal supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Vitamin c and e is great for fast recovery

How many reps for building strength?

To build strength you need to concentrate on low reps with very heavy weights. Reps should be in the 2 to 6 range and the weight should be heavy enough to only allow you perform 2 to 6 reps. You should always have help on standby when you are lifting like this 

How do I bring out my abs?

To bring out your abs you need to watch your diet closer and cut out all the junk with the empty high calories like cakes and sodas. You could do 3 exercises in tri set style eg: Crunches 1 x 15 then hanging leg raises 1 x 15 then onto lying leg raises 1 x 15 repeat 4 times dropping the reps i.e. 12,10,8s. Rest between sets is as long as it takes you to walk over to the abs exercise area or about 20 seconds rest

Should women lift weights?

Yes women should definitely lift weights. Lifting weights will be a great help in their weight loss, health or fitness goals. Some women believe they will get huge muscles if they lift weights, this is not true, women don't have enough of the male hormone muscle builder testosterone. Weight lifting is a truly excellent form of exercise not just for men

How fast or slow should I perform reps?

You need to ensure that your muscle fibres actually do the work. The reps should not be performed too fast using momentum. Use a Slow and controlled pace that should take you about 2 seconds to raise the weight and 4 seconds to lower the weight, it's also a good idea to pause for 1 second in the extended position. It looks like this 2 1 4. Try various lifting speeds to see which one works best for your goals, you could also try a 3 2 5: 3 seconds to lift, 2 seconds hold and flex on extension and 5 seconds to lower it

Do I need cardio while building muscle?

Some cardio while on a muscle building course would be beneficial but don't over do it. 20 minutes on the bike or rowing machine before or after a session should be enough 

How many body parts a session?

2 body parts per session is ideal, that way you can fully concentrate on the body parts and put in 100% effort. It drags on a bit if you have to do 3 and 4 body parts a session, the required intensity just won't be there. Keep it at 2 per session

How much time does a muscle need to recover?

Muscles usually require from 48 to 72 hours to fully recover from a hard training session. Your nervous system also requires full recovery. It depends on the person’s level of training experience and best recovery practices. 

What's the best time to train?

About 2 to 3 hours after you get up out of bed is the best time because hormone levels are high and your back has re-adjusted itself by then, but anytime is a great time to train. It all depends on your daily schedule

How can I get motivated to get to the gym?

You're the only person that can make you go to the gym, but bear in mind that the thought of going to gym is much worst than the actual application of

going to the gym, once your at the gym you're fine and once you finish a great workout you're glad that you went. Just go ahead and go to the gym regardless of what you think at the time

How do I stay motivated?

You can stay motivated by writing down everything you do at the gym. Write down your sets reps and weight used so you can see how much progress you are making. You can also change your routine every so often to avoid staleness and keep motivation high. It's also a very good idea yo have training goals and strive towards those goals, and when you reach them you need to set more goals(use our web app to keep a track of your diet, exercise and progress)

Healthy Eating

What is Healthy Eating or Diet?

 Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. Nutrition is important for everyone.

Why Eating Healthy is important?

 Your food choices each day affect your health — how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health.

THE IMPACT OF NUTRITION ON YOUR HEALTH

Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic across the world. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. By making smart food choices, you can help protect yourself from these health problems.

The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life.

The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy, you'll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong. As with physical activity, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it's easier than you think!

How to Eet healthy?

 It's easier than you think to start eating healthy! Take small steps each week to improve your nutrition and move toward a healthier you.

 

EIGHT HEALTHY EATING GOALS

 

Small changes can make a big difference to your health. Try incorporating at least six of the eight goals below into your diet. Commit to incorporating one new healthy eating goal each week over the next six weeks. You can track your progress through our web app

 

1.   Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.

 

2.   Make half the grains you eat whole grains: An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: "whole wheat," "brown rice," "bulgur," "buckwheat," "oatmeal," "rolled oats," quinoa," or "wild rice."

 

3.   Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk: Both have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.

 

4.   Choose a variety of lean protein foods: Meat, poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. Select leaner cuts of ground beef (where the label says 90% lean or higher), turkey breast, or chicken breast.

 

5.   Compare sodium in foods: Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Select canned foods labeled "low sodium," "reduced sodium," or "no salt added."

 

6.   Drink water instead of sugary drinks: Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in American diets. Try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or watermelon or a splash of 100% juice to your glass of water if you want some flavor.

 

7.   Eat some seafood: Seafood includes fish (such as salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (such as crab, mussels, and oysters). Seafood has protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy fat). Adults should try to eat at least eight ounces a week of a variety of seafood. Children can eat smaller amounts of seafood, too.

 

Cut back on solid fats: Eat fewer foods that contain solid fats. The major sources for Americans are cakes, cookies, and other desserts (often made with butter, margarine, or shortening); pizza; processed and fatty meats (e.g., sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ribs); and ice cream.

What are calories?

A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition and everyday language, calories refer to energy consumption through eating and drinking, and energy usage through physical activity. For example, an apple may have 80 calories, while a 1 mile walk might use up about 100 calories.

Healthy Eating for Children

What is child obesity?

 Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.

What diseases are obese children at risk for?

Obese children are at risk for a number of conditions, including:

·         High cholesterol

·         High blood pressure

·         Early heart disease

·         Diabetes

·         Bone problems

·         Skin conditions such as heat rash, fungal infections, and acne

How do I know if my child Is overweight?

The best person to determine whether or not your child is overweight is your child's doctor. In determining whether or not your child is overweight, the doctor will measure your child's weight and height and compute his ''BMI,'' or body mass index, to compare this value to standard values. The doctor will also consider your child's age and growth patterns              

 

I think my toddler is overweight. What should I do?

Over the last number of years, there has been a steady increase in the number of young children who are overweight or obese. This can have a serious impact on children’s health, both now and in the long term. If you think your child is overweight, ask your doctor or health visitor to check your child’s weight and height on their centile chart, which can be found in their red parent-held record book.


If you are concerned about your child’s weight, ask your doctor to refer you to a pediatric dietitian. It is also a good time to look at what your child is eating and how much physical activity they are getting each day. It is recommended that children have at least 1 hour of physical activity each day, so organize trips to the park and the swimming pool.

Small children have high energy demands and need small amounts of food often. Offer snacks throughout the day, such as fruit or a slice of toast. Try to limit the amount of sweet foods your child eats, such as biscuits, sweets and chocolate. Instead, offer pieces of chopped-up fruit and veg – these contain fewer calories and contain lots more vitamins and minerals!
(Consult pediatric dietitian) 

How to address weight problems in kids?

Children who are substantially overweight are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, poor self-esteem, and long-term health problems in adulthood.

  • Addressing weight problems in children requires a coordinated plan of physical activity and healthy nutrition.
  • Treatment for childhood obesity is to slow or halt weight gain (unless directed by your child’s doctor), thereby allowing your child to grow into his or her ideal weight.
  • Don’t fall into the low-fat trap. Because fat is so dense in calories, a little can go a long way in making kids feel full and keeping them feeling fuller for longer. Eating whole-milk rather than low-fat dairy products, for example, is linked to less body fat and lower levels of obesity
  • Eating a breakfast high in quality protein—from enriched cereal, yoghurt, milk, cheese, eggs, meat, or fish—can help overweight teenagers eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day and lose weight
  • Track what kids are eating in schools (To ensure your kids eat healthy meals in school, subscribe our plan for kids)

Encourage Exercise:

The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise can even help motivate your kids to make healthy food choices.

·         Play with your kids. Throw around a football; go cycling, skating, or swimming; take family walks and hikes.

·         Help your kids find activities they enjoy by showing them different possibilities.

How Can I Help My Overweight Child?

If you have an overweight child, it is very important that you allow him or her to know that you will be supportive. Children's feelings about themselves often are based on their parents' feelings about them, and if you accept your children at any weight, they will be more likely to feel good about themselves. It is also important to talk to your children about their weight, allowing them to share their concerns with you.

It is not recommended that parents set children apart because of their weight. Instead, parents should focus on gradually changing their family's physical activity and eating habits. By involving the entire family, everyone is taught healthful habits and the overweight child does not feel singled out. 

My child is overweight for their age. Should I restrict their food intake?

A child’s diet should be flexible and varied without restricting any food group. Restrictive diets in healthy children may lead to malnutrition and may jeopardize their growth.

Restricting foods from a child’s diet may also interfere with a child’s ability to know when they are hungry. Overriding a child’s hunger cues, even if well meaning, may eventually lead to the child feeling confused, frustrated and resentful about their own biological needs.
If you are concerned about your child’s weight, concentrate on offering a balance of foods. Make sure that you are keeping to the recommended serving size and giving the right number of servings for your child’s age. Also consider the drinks that your child is having, as drinks are food too
(consult pediatric nutritionist for right advice)

How can I get my kid to love (or just like) healthy foods?

Children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the most, so the challenge is to make healthy choices appealing.

  • Focus on overall diet rather than specific foods. Kids should be eating whole, minimally processed food—food that is as close to its natural form as possible.
  • Be a role model. The childhood impulse to imitate is strong so don’t ask your child to eat vegetables while you gorge on potato chips.
  • Cook more meals at home. Restaurant and takeout meals have more added sugar and unhealthy fat so cooking at home can have a huge impact on your kids’ health. If you make large batches, cooking just a few times can be enough to feed your family for the whole week.
  • Get kids involved in shopping for groceries and preparing meals. You can teach them about different foods and how to read food labels.
  • Make healthy snacks available. Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) to hand so kids avoid unhealthy snacks like soda, chips, and cookies.
  • Limit portion sizes. Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe.

Don’t insisting that a child eat something in order to get a reward—“Finish your peas and then you can watch television”—usually creates a negative food association. Although possibly effective in the short term, over the long haul this will backfire because bribing your child to eat something tends to reinforce the negative association with that food. 

How to cope up with picky eaters?

Picky eaters are going through a normal developmental stage. Just as it takes numerous repetitions for advertising to convince an adult consumer to buy, it takes most children 8-10 presentations of a new food before they will openly accept it. 

Instead of simply insisting your child eat a new food:

  • Offer a new food only when your child is hungry; limit snacks throughout the day.
  • Present only one new food at a time.
  • Make it fun: cut the food into unusual shapes or create a food collage (broccoli florets for trees, cauliflower for clouds, yellow squash for a sun).
  • Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance. Add vegetables to a beef stew, for example, or mash carrots up with mashed potato.

Have your child help—they’ll be more willing to eat something they helped to make. 

What can I put in my child’s lunchbox?

 Be creative and include a wide variety of foods in your child’s lunchbox, using the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents as a guide.

 

Here are some fun and nutritious ideas:

 

·         Pita bread with salad vegetables and lean, cold roast meat

·         English muffins with honey or jam

·         Sandwich squares with egg, lettuce and tomato

·         Cheese sticks

·         A tub of yoghurt

·         Dried fruit, fresh fruit or vegetable sticks

·         Pikelets or homemade muffins

·         Crackers or rice cakes make great snacks

·         Water is the best drink for children, instead of juice, soft drinks or cordials.

·         Also be sure to prepare and store lunch box foods safely.

Subscribe our healthy meal plan for kids to ensure they are eating healthy, nutritious and wholesome meals at school

How can I get my child to eat more fruits and vegetables?

Be creative and offer different fruits and vegetables presented in many different ways. Children take time to develop a taste for foods, so if they refuse a fruit or vegetable once, try again another day!

 

Some suggestions:

 

·         Make a delicious fruit smoothie with fresh fruit, low fat milk and yoghurt

·         Add fruit to cakes and muffins

·         Serve fresh fruit skewers with yoghurt for a healthy, colourful snack

·         Offer chopped fresh vegetables with salsa or a low fat dip

·         Grow a vegetable garden - great exercise plus the whole family can enjoy garden-fresh produce

Take the children to the local markets and let them choose fruit for the week 

How to control sugar consumption of my kid?

A child’s body gets all the sugar it needs from that naturally occurring in food. Added sugar just means a lot of empty calories that contribute to hyperactivity, mood disorders, and increase the risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even suicidal behaviors in teenagers.

  • Don’t ban sweets entirely. Having a no sweets rule is an invitation for cravings and overindulging when given the chance.
  • Give recipes a makeover. Many recipes taste just as good with less sugar.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Instead, try adding a splash of fruit juice to sparkling water or blending whole milk with a banana or berries for a delicious smoothie.
  • Don’t replace healthy sources of saturated fat with refined carbs or sugary snacks. It’s a mistake many of us make. Instead of letting our kids eat whole-fat yoghurt, for example, we offer them low-fat versions, not realizing they’re often packed with added sugar to make up for the loss of taste. Or we swap breakfast eggs for a pastry or muffin.
  • Create your own popsicles and frozen treats. Freeze 100% fruit juice in an ice-cube tray with plastic spoons as popsicle handles. Or make frozen fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.

 

Is physical activity also important?

Proper nutrition and regular physical activity are the keys to maintaining a healthy weight and preventing health problems. Encourage your child to find physical activities he or she enjoys and get active. Aim for at least 1 hour of active play every day. Limit your child’s time using a TV, computer, cell phone, or game station to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time, too.

Physical activity should be part of your whole family’s lifestyle. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or do chores together. Plan active family outings.

How much television can my children watch if I want them to be healthy?

 Children should not spend more than 2 hours a day using any electronic entertainment, including computer games, TV or the internet. Try to keep TV time and meal times separate and avoid having a TV in bedrooms.

Try entertaining your children with these ideas instead:

·         Walk the dog

·         Walk to a local park and play on the equipment

·         Go for a bike ride

·         Get a skipping rope

·         Buy some chalk and play hopscotch

·         Play French cricket

·         Kick or throw a ball around

·         Play tag

Healthy Eating for Pregnants

What is a healthy eating plan for pregnancy?

 A healthy eating plan contains a wide variety of foods from the five basic food groups. Every day, you should try to eat:


6 or more servings of bread, cereal, rice, or chapatti.

One serving equals one slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal (about 1 cup of most cereals), or 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta, or 1 chapatti. If you are physically active, you can eat more servings (up to 11 servings if you are very active).

3 to 5 servings of vegetables.

One serving equals 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables such as spinach, or 1/2 cup of chopped vegetables, cooked or raw.

2 to 4 servings of fruit.

One serving equals one medium piece of fruit like an apple, banana, or orange; 1/2 cup of chopped fresh, cooked, or canned fruit; 1/4 cup dried fruit; or 3/4 cup of 100-percent fruit juice.

2 servings of milk, curd, or cheese.

One serving equals 1 cup of milk or curd, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese. If you are 18 years or younger and
pregnant, you need at least 3 servings of milk, curd, and cheese. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products most often.

2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, or nuts.

One serving equals 2 to 3 ounces of cooked meat, poultry, or fish-about the size of a deck of cards. Choose lean cuts and eat no more than 5 to 7 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish a day. One cup of cooked beans such as rajma, chhole or 2 eggs count as a serving. 2/3 cup of nuts also equals a serving.

At least 8 glasses of water.

Drinking milk, 100-percent juice, and other non-alcoholic beverages counts toward your amount of daily water.

How many calories should I eat?

 Eating the right number of calories lets you and your baby gain the proper amount of weight. During the first 3 months of your pregnancy, you do not need to change the number of calories you are eating.


Normal-weight women need an extra 300 calories each day during the last 6 months of pregnancy. This totals about 1,900 to 2,500 calories a day. If you were underweight, overweight, or obese before you became pregnant, or if you are pregnant with more than one baby, you may need a different number of calories. Talk to your dietitian about how much weight you should gain and how many calories you need.

Why is gaining a healthy amount of weight important?

 Gaining a healthy amount of weight may help you have a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery. It also may help you have fewer pregnancy complications, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, constipation, and backaches.


Gaining too little weight during your pregnancy makes it hard for your baby to grow properly. Talk to your doctor if you feel you are not gaining enough weight.

If you gain too much weight, you are more likely to have a longer labor and more difficult delivery. Also, gaining a lot of extra body fat will make it harder for you to return to a normal weight after you have your baby. If you feel you are gaining too much weight during your pregnancy, talk with your doctor.

Do not try to lose weight if you are pregnant. If you do not eat enough calories or a variety of foods, your baby will not get the nutrients he or she needs to grow.

How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

Talk to your doctor about how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy. General weight-gain recommendations listed below refer to pre-pregnancy weight and are for women expecting only one baby.

If you are: underweight    You should gain: about 12 to 18 Kgs
If you are: normal weight You should gain: about 11 to 16 Kgs
If you are: overweight You should gain: about 7 to 11 Kgs
If you are: obese You should gain: about 7 Kgs or less

Do I have any special nutrition needs now that I am pregnant?

 Yes. During pregnancy, you and your growing baby need more of several nutrients. By eating the recommended number of daily servings from each of the five food groups, you should get most of the nutrients you need.


Be sure to include foods high in folate, such as orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, and beans (rajma, chole, dals). Or get it in a vitamin/mineral supplement.

To help prevent birth defects, you must get enough daily folate before as well as during pregnancy. Prenatal supplements contain folic acid (another form of folate). Look for a supplement that has at least 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid.

Although most doctors recommend taking a multi-vitamin/mineral “prenatal” supplement before becoming pregnant, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding, always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Can I continue to follow my vegetarian diet during pregnancy?

 Yes, you can continue a vegetarian-eating plan during pregnancy, but talk to your doctor first.


If you do not eat any animal foods, it may be difficult to get enough of important nutrients, including protein, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

Your doctor may ask you to meet with a dietitian who can help you to plan meals, and may also recommend that you take supplements.

Tips for healthy eating

 Meet the needs of your body and help avoid common discomforts of
pregnancy by following these tips:
 Eat breakfast every day. If you feel sick to your stomach in the morning, choose dry whole- wheat toast or whole-grain biscuits when you first wake up-even before you get out of bed. Eat the rest of your breakfast (fruit, oatmeal, cereal, milk, curd, or other foods) later in the morning.
 Eat high-fiber foods. Eating whole-grain cereals, vegetables, fruits, beans, whole- wheat breads/chapattis, and brown rice, along with drinking plenty of water and getting daily physical activity, can help you prevent the constipation that many women have during pregnancy.
Keep healthy foods on hand. A fruit bowl filled with apples, bananas, peaches, oranges, and grapes makes it easy to grab a healthy snack.
If you have heartburn during your pregnancy, eat small meals more often, eat slowly, avoid spicy and fatty foods (such as chilles or fried chicken), drink beverages between meals instead of with meals, and do not lie down right after eating.

What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?

 There are certain foods and beverages that can harm your baby if you eat or drink them while you are pregnant. Here is a general list of foods and beverages that you should avoid:


 Alcohol. Instead of wine, beer, or a mixed drink, enjoy apple cider, tomato juice, 100-percent juice mixed with sparkling water, or other non- alcoholic beverages.
 Fish that may have high levels of methylmercury (a substance that can build up in fish and harm an unborn baby). Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish during pregnancy. Eat no more than 12 ounces of any fish per week (equal to four 3-ounce servings-each about the size of a deck of cards).
Raw fish such as sushi, sashimi, or ceviche and raw or undercooked meat and poultry. These foods can contain harmful bacteria. Cook fish, meat, and poultry thoroughly before eating.
 Large amounts of caffeine-containing beverages. If you are a heavy coffee, tea, or soda drinker, talk to your doctor about whether you should cut back on caffeine.
 Anything that is not food. Some pregnant women may crave something that is not food, such as laundry starch or clay. Talk to your doctor if you crave something that is not food.
Ask your doctor for a complete list of foods and beverages that you should avoid.

Why should I try to return to a healthy weight after delivery?

After you deliver your baby, your health will be better if you try to return to a healthy weight. Not losing weight after your baby is born may lead to overweight or obesity later in life, which may lead to health problems. Talk to your doctor about reaching a weight that is healthy for you.

Be good to yourself

Pregnancy and the time after you deliver your baby can be wonderful, exciting, emotional, stressful, and tiring, all at once. Experiencing this whirlwind of feelings may cause you to overeat, not eat enough, or lose your drive and energy. Being good to yourself can help you to cope with your feelings and to follow eating and physical activity habits for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, and a healthy family after delivery. Here are some ideas for being good to yourself:

 Try to get enough sleep.
 Rent a funny movie and laugh.
Take pleasure in the miracles of pregnancy and birth.
Invite people whose company you enjoy to visit your new family member.
 Explore groups that you and your newborn can join, such as “new moms” groups or make friends with other new moms.