Comments, Health, In Focus, Lifestyle

Diet and obesity: myths and mistakes

Having a healthy body mass index is difficult but not impossible. Health is key. Analyse your lifestyle, alter your diet and make it as balanced as possible. Also, maintain an exercise routine throughout the week.

 

Marnie Fiallo Gómez

The Cuban doctor, Alberto Quirantes, head of the Department of Endocrinology at the Salvador Allende Hospital in Havana, warns that skipping meals is counterproductive; after a severe calorie restriction, the body produces fat to tackle the suspected hunger.

The doctor heads up a programme against obesity in women which it based on a healthy balanced diet and daily exercise. Women of all ages who are overweight and obese have benefitted from the programme.

Quirantes recommends six daily meals in a diet in which consists mainly of water-based fruit such as melons, oranges, apples, grapefruits as well as vegetables, chicken, fish and whole foods.

You don’t need to cut sugar or fat out completely, just keep it to a minimum. The body needs all nutrients to function properly, therefore a small dessert or piece of chocolate every now and then is fine.

A diet is not just about food choices, it’s a way of eating which includes chewing for longer, slowly and having a break between dishes. This will make even the biggest of eaters feel full.

Another one of Quirantes recommendations is to prioritise breakfast. Then, after a morning snack, have a generous lunch, an afternoon snack, a light dinner and a small snack before bed which could be, for example, a glass of skimmed milk.

To lose weight you don’t have to stop eating, just eat foods that are good for you, the expert confirms.

Can I lose weight when sleeping?

Respecting circadian rhythms can be beneficial if you want to lose weight. Not respecting them can have serious consequences, particularly not going to sleep at the right time or sleeping when it’s light. Even a brief exposure to light during sleep reduces melatonin which alters your internal clock and causes an increase in appetite, a slow metabolism and insulin resistance.

According to experts, not sleeping between midnight and five in the morning is enough to make you feel hungrier. For example, people who work in the night and sleep during the day tend to be overweight, which is caused by hyperinsulinism.

Even those people that don’t sleep deeply because of their partner’s snoring find it more difficult to lose weight. Also, eating at night is 12 times more fattening than eating the same food during the day.

This shows that darkness during the night is crucial for losing weight.

Food-related mistakes and myths

Specialists consider a healthy and balanced diet as the first preventative medicine to having good health. They confirm that even though at the moment there is a lot of information about how to store, handle and cook food, people aren’t eating better. Many people prefer to consume pre-cooked foods or to eat out on occasion to avoid washing-up or the heat of the stove.

Nowadays the consumption of animal proteins has increased whereas carbohydrate consumption has decreased. These proteins are generally accompanied with fats (mainly saturated) which cause cardiovascular problems, amongst others.

In order to have a balanced diet it is vital to know how to combine foods, ensuring that you eat a little bit of everything and a varied diet, but not to excess which can cause metabolic issues.

Another mistake is not eating bread and only eating the crusts because they are more toasted and therefore less fattening. The external part contains the most calories because it is dehydrated.

With regards fats, experts confirm that the more oil used when frying, the cooking will be better as the food will absorb less and be high in energy.

With regards fruit, it is important that it is clean when eaten and when cooking vegetables, it is best to steam them or boil them in a small amount of water and drain them straight away. (PL)

(Translated by Corrine Harries. Email: corrine.harries@ch-translations.com) – Photos: Pixabay

 

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