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As a mummy of 1 boy, I have gone through the stage of worrying about not being able to return to my pre-pregnancy size. I used to joke about it with my hubby, that as part of the pregnancy cost, he has to pay also for my slimming treatment.
Those were the days before I understood more about nutritional immunology, which gave light to help me understand that weight management is a lifestyle change, not just a one-off treatment.
When the rubber really hit the road, I retained my post pregnancy size for a good 1 year before finally managing to reduce. So how did I manage to succeed in weight management? I will share more in this series of posts on weight management.
Of course, my perspective then, was just about looking nice. However, in light of recent news and findings, it seems being over weight or obese can have a very detrimental toll on our health in the long run. It is like a magnet for numerous diseases – heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancer…and many more.
It reinforced my belief that health is the fundamental of looking good. Do you ever see cancer patients lying on hospital beds looking extremely energetic and beautiful?
Many many advertisements on weight loss sells us the idea of losing weight fast magically. However, do we know if the weight came back after that period? In order to lose weight and maintain it, we need to first understand the fundamentals of how people gain or lose weight.
The Science of Weight Management
As in with all laws of nature, losing weight is mostly a science instead of a magical thing.
Weight management simply put, is a matter of balancing the amount of calorie intake and output each day. When the balance is tipped, the result is either we lose or we gain weight.
Our main intake of calories is from the food we eat. At the same time, there is a variety of ways we can exhaust our calories. Day to day, calories will be burnt to support our necessary bodily functions, such as digestion etc. The amount of calories we burn is dependent on many factors such as height, weight, gender, age and activity level.
On average a moderately active male aged 31-50 would require 2400-2600 kCal per day, while a moderately active female in the same age bracket would only require around 2000 kCal per day.
This is easily exceeded from the type of modern food that we so easily get our hands on these days.
Once we drink a shake like this, anything else we eat during the day is going to add onto our weight. Oh no!
Can you see how easy our food affects our calorie intake?
So How much Calorie do I need each day?
As mentioned, the amount of calories we burn is dependent on many factors such as height, weight, gender, age and activity level. In fact, that is also the reason why some people find that the amount of weight they lose plateau off after they reach a certain weight. As we lose weight, the calorie we burn carrying the weight around also becomes less. Hence, to lose further, we may need to cut back on more calories.
Healthy weight loss happens slowly and steadily, definitely not an overnight type of event! In fact, evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (of about 0.5 to 1kg per week) are more successful at keeping weight off (CDC, 2017). To achieve that, we need to intake approximately 500-1000 calories less from our daily calorie requirement.
So now that we understand what is the science of weight management, we will look into more detail into some of the commonly used weight loss methods and dangers they may pose to our health in the next post. Stay tuned!!
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- Losing weight, by CDC, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/