Friday 2 January 2015

Fitness tips based on clinical evidence (NOT MEDIA HYPE & PSEUDO-EXPERTS ADVICE)

Remember most weight loss occurs because of decreased caloric intake. Sustained physical activity is helpful in the prevention of weight regain. Also “being active at home” e.g. cleaning, cooking, etc is NOT exercising!

1.       If your physical activity level is low, start exercising slowly and gradually increase in intensity (e.g. jogging to running)
2.       You can divide your physical exercise regimen over the day e.g. 15 min jogging in the morning, 15 min sit-ups in the afternoon and 15 min squats in the evening. ALWAYS EXERCISE BEFORE EATING MAIN MEALS.
3.       Start with daily walks or swimming
4.       Ensure you achieve a minimum of 30 min of daily exercise
5.       Take stairs instead of elevators
6.       Competitive sports can be fun and help you keep fit e.g. tennis, badminton, etc
7.       Aerobic exercises are most useful for weight loss/maintenance
8.       Remember that combined effect of a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity produce greater reductions in weight than either diet alone or physical activity alone.
9.       Reduce caloric intake by curbing your sweet tooth – avoid high calorie desserts
10.   Eating REGULAR or LOW-FAT yoghurt can help boost weight loss and prevent weight gain (that’s right – most of the clinical studies show this with both regular yoghurts not fat-free ones).
11.   Portion awareness! Use the “healthy plate” method available on or The tool shows the 5 food groups divided by portion size on a typical dinner plate.
12.   Water: In an article in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, researchers looked at 9 obesity myths and 10 commonly held presumptions about obesity including whether drinking water makes you more satiated or “filled-up” so you don’t feel so hungry. They looked at the effect of drinking 16 fl oz of water before each main meal. Benefits on weight loss were observed with water consumption. The study suggested that it is possible, that drinking water could fill people up and reduce hunger resulting in reduced caloric intake.

13.   Dance! 15 min of dancing (various types of dance) burns 60-150 calories and 1 hr burns up to 500 calories.
14.   No more working lunches – Paying attention to your lunch can prevent you from overeating, according to research published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Distracted or eating while you work or play on a computer or hurried eating can prompt you to eat more.
15.   Healthy fast food – Look out for healthy options in fast food chains. For help with selecting these refer to
1. NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative Expert Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Obesity in Adults (US). Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. The Evidence Report
2. Zemel MB , Richards J , Mathis S , Milstead A , Gebhardt L , Silva E . Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects . Int J Obes . 2005;29:391-397
3. Pereira MA, Jacobs DR Jr, Van Horn L, Slattery ML, Kartashov AL, Ludwig DS. Dairyconsumption, obesity and the insulin resistance syndrome in young adults: the CARDIA study. JAMA. 2002 Apr;287(16):2081-9.
4. Mozzaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willet WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long- term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun;364(25):2392-404.
5. US Department of Agriculture. Choose My Plate. Accessed September 2012
7. Akers, J.D., Cornett, R.A., Savla, J.S., Davy, K.P., and Davy, B.M. Daily self-monitoring of body weight, step count, fruit/vegetable intake, and water consumption: A feasible and effective long-term weight loss maintenance approach. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012; 112: 685–692.e2
9. Robinson E, et al. Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):728-42.


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