Richmond Practice - A sustainable weight management approach

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A sustainable weight management approach

By Dr Ursula Radloff MD, Private GP

The problems of being overweight and obesity have been increasing for the past 20 years. In the first instance it is not a “cosmetic” issue, due to the many risks associated with it. For example, heart disease, metabolic disorders/type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions, certain cancers and reduced life expectancy are typical risks.

For healthy weight loss it is important to understand metabolism. Metabolism describes the chemical reaction in all cells of your body. Metabolism is closely linked to food and the availability of nutrients.

The main elements of foods from which nutrients are derived are protein, carbohydrate and fat.

Protein: supports the muscles which in turn produce energy to burn off the fat. It is also vital for our body’s fitness, growth and repair. It is found in milk and dairy products (low fat recommended), meat and fish, eggs, plant and soya.

Carbohydrates: vital for energy and can be broken into 2 types, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates – like sugars – are easily changed into fat and they raise our insulin level. This results in an increased appetite, a longing for sweets and the disturbance of fat metabolism. They are found in processed sugar, sweets cakes, puddings, white bread. Complex carbohydrates release energy more slowly, make you feel full for longer and are found in pasta, potatoes, rice and dark bread.

Fat: is essential for our wellbeing, however too much fat is bad for us and causes weight gain. To activate fat soluble vitamins we need 30g fat daily. You will maintain your weight if you eat 60-70g daily and you will gain weight eating over 70g fat daily. The average amount eaten is 100-120g/day.

Alcohol does not contain any fat but it always gets metabolised first – so there is then no energy left to metabolise fat.

Exercise helps to support the muscles and healthy weight loss but you can’t just rely on exercise to lose weight, your food intake is most important. If you wanted to lose 1kg of body fat just by exercising you would need to run for 12 hours continuously.

Consult a doctor if:
  • You are unable to lose weight without support
  • You feel you may have an underlying medical condition
  • Your self-esteem is affected

Call us for an assessment and sustainable weight management plan on 020 8940 5009 or send an email to mail@richmondpractice.co.uk
 

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