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Obesity: general advice


General information

Obesity is a chronic disease of multifactorial origin, itself a cause of numerous complications such as diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidemia. It is not an aesthetic problem; it is a health problem.

Treatment must be comprehensive and ensure lasting and progressive weight loss, taking into account all the factors involved: degree of overweight, type of diet, level of physical activity, motivation to follow the treatment, etc.

Consider these two questions:

What is your healthy weight? Losing 5-10% of your current weight will greatly benefit your body and dramatically improve your appearance. What term is appropriate? The speed of weight loss varies greatly from person to person, as it depends on several factors. However, it should always be progressive and realistic. Rapid weight loss is not healthy.

See a nutritionist who will customize your diet, where you can periodically monitor and evaluate your weight and body composition to get a more realistic prognosis. Keep in mind that, as an integrated treatment, you should consider nutritional, medical and psychological interventions, as well as, of course, an increase in physical activity:

Nutrition plan: based on the Mediterranean diet, adapted to your specific case.

Exercise: constant and progressive.

Medical care: if necessary.

Psychological support: guided over time and does not lower motivation.

Tips and recommendations for weight loss

Maintain a rhythm of eating throughout the day so that you are satisfied with your main meals.

Plan lunch and dinner in advance so that you always have healthy foods ready to eat.

Design your weekly menu primarily with seasonal foods.

Balance your dish between protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.

Increase the frequency of weekly consumption of legumes as a source of carbohydrates. Prefer fish (white and blue) to white or red meat.

Ensure daily consumption of fruits and vegetables to improve intestinal transit.

Drink water daily and do not replace it with carbonated beverages, not even light or zero.

Check the quantities in general and try to compensate if you exceed them the next time you drink them or in the following days.

Exercise at least 3 times a week. Eat sitting down, chewing slowly and well. Take small bites with small amounts.

Leave silverware on the table between bites.

Eat in a specific place, do not eat in improvised or passing places.

Low-fat or non-diet products are associated with higher consumption, so do not overdo it. Limit alcohol and sweets only to special occasions.

Tips for a good diet.

Your diet should be varied, balanced, sufficient and enjoyable.

Plan your meals for the day in advance so that you always have healthy foods ready to eat.

Eat whole seasonal fruits and vegetables at least twice a day.

Add legumes more than 4 times a week. Increase consumption of fresh fish (white and blue) and leave canned for certain periods.

Reduce the consumption of red meat.

Consume fermented dairy products, such as probiotics, at least twice a day.

Drink plenty of water, between 1.5 and 2 L per day without obsessing.

Avoid eating processed and ultra-processed foods or fried or cooked foods with excess fat. Do not store high-calorie and sugary foods. Have healthier snacks on hand: vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fruits.

Sweet and salty snacks are occasional foods, so they are not forbidden, but limited.

Eat sitting down, slowly and chew well.

Eat in a specific place, do not eat walking in improvised or passing places. Do not read or watch television while eating.

Shopping tips

Write a weekly menu, choose the foods you need to elaborate it and make a shopping list.

On the shopping list, you should write down only what you really need for your daily diet; nowadays you buy those intended for occasional consumption, such as sweets, potatoes or alcohol.

Socializing and excesses are part of life, it is not about not “enjoying” it, it is about providing food for occasional consumption at certain times.

Avoid shopping when you are hungry: if you have eaten for a long time, you can eat a piece of fruit before going out.

There are perishable foods such as fruits and vegetables that do not have a long shelf life, so it is necessary to adjust the amount to avoid food waste. Choose preferably fresh foods (fish or eggs), seasonal foods (fruits and vegetables) and avoid processed foods.

Frozen foods are a good option because they are minimally processed.

Learn to read labels (ingredients and nutritional information) to be able to choose or discard a food product such as yogurt of a dairy dessert.

Tips for meal preparation

Eat a half-prepared or at least half-thought-out lunch or dinner.

Use simple, low-oil cooking methods: griddle, grill, oven, microwave. Steaming with a pressure cooker allows cooking with little water and preserves all the properties of the food.

To cook meats and fish, wrap them in aluminum foil so that they cook in their own juices and remain tender and tasty without adding fat.

If you are going to make stews, prepare them in advance. Let them cool in the refrigerator and remove the fat layer with a spoon or spatula. This preserves the flavor with little fat. When preparing salad dressings, reverse the usual ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar and three parts vinegar to one part oil. For a less acidic taste, use flavored vinegar (apple, raspberry, etc.).

If you need to add a dressing to a salad, you can use low-fat plain yogurt with lemon juice. It whips well, leaving a smooth, low-calorie cream. You can also try soy sauce. Add the spices or aromatic herb of your choice.

To prepare milk or cheese sauces, use lean milk or Parmesan, which contains fewer calories and is aromatic. Use olive oil or low-calorie margarine and lean milk when preparing Bechamel sauce.

Commercial sauces are high in fat and sodium.

Use small plates in which the amount of food to serve seems larger. Take only the amount to eat and do not repeat.

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