Losing just 5% of your body weight can give you significant health benefits (Thinkstock photo).
By losing 5 per cent of their body weight, those at moderate or high risk of obesity-related diseases can start to experience significant health benefits. The recommended weight loss is 0.5 to 1kg a week, through diet and exercise. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
Moderation is key to weight loss and excessive or fad dieting can harm your health. For instance, a high-protein diet can raise your blood level of uric acid and cause kidney stones. Crash dieting can cause nausea, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, menstrual irregularities, and even osteoporosis in the long term, says Dr Tham Kwang Wei, Senior Consultant and Director of the Obesity Metabolic Unit, LIFE Centre, Singapore General Hospital.
Related article: Shed excess weight with 5 simple tips
According to the Health Promotion Board of Singapore Calorie Calculator, a 75kg-man aged 30 to 49 with a light activity level should consume 2,200 calories a day. A 60kg woman of a similar age and activity level should consume only about 1,800 calories a day.
If you consume 500 calories less than your daily recommended amount, or burn 500 calories more than you eat every day for a week, you are likely to lose about 0.5 kg of weight in that period. To lose more, you would need to eat less and burn more calories. However, consuming less than 1,000-1,200 per day may be counterproductive.
Thats because it will cause you to lose a greater proportion of muscle along with fat, unless you ensure adequate protein intake and exercise concurrently. Very low calorie diets (800 calories and less) may slow down your metabolism and affect your ability to exercise.
Related article: Exercises to suit any fitness level
8 tips to lower your calorie consumption in a healthy way
- Reduce portion size
- Limit your intake of high-calorie foods, such as fatty and sugary foods and alcohol, to an occasional treat, no more than twice a week
- Get tempting foods out of your home
- Stay busy so you dont eat because you’re bored
- Drink more water so you dont mistake thirst for hunger
- Always eat from a plate, while seated at a table. Avoid nibbling at the fridge, or while watching TV
- Don’t skip meals
- Keep a food journal and write down everything you eat, so you can control your calorie consumption
Related article: Whats the latest medical help available for weight loss?
This article was written by Anjana Motihar for Health Xchange, with expert input from the LIFE Centre at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
Find more health-related tips and articles on HealthXchange.com.sg, Singapore’s trusted health and lifestyle portal.
Health Xchange’s articles are meant for informational purposes only and cannot replace professional surgical, medical or health advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment.
- ^ Dr Tham Kwang Wei (www.singhealth.com.sg)
- ^ LIFE Centre (www.sgh.com.sg)
- ^ Singapore General Hospital (www.sgh.com.sg)
- ^ Shed excess weight with 5 simple tips (www.healthxchange.com.sg)
- ^ Calorie Calculator (www.healthxchange.com.sg)
- ^ Exercises to suit any fitness level (www.healthxchange.com.sg)
- ^ Whats the latest medical help available for weight loss? (www.healthxchange.com.sg)
- ^ LIFE Centre (www.sgh.com.sg)
- ^ SGH (www.sgh.com.sg)
- ^ HealthXchange.com.sg (www.healthxchange.com.sg)
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