Saturday, June 8, 2013


    I know there are many diets for weight loss and many advice columns . There are commercial institutions that do a descent job of giving people some success. I do not claim to know anything special or have done something personally that has worked , but I do believe that certain principles are important to know and follow .  I will start with some basic understanding and then expand upon it to see if one can follow certain principles and do their own plan . So let us start .
    BMI -- This is used to determine if one is overweight or obese or morbidly obese .It is calculated by knowing the height in meter and weight in kilograms .So it is the weight in kilogram divided by height in centimeters. square  . So we can not quickly calculate it as we are not used to metric system . So it is better to use table that will tell you the BMI .If the BMI is less than 25 , you are OK ,( my BMI is24).if it is 25 to 30 , you are overweight . If the BMI is more than 30 then he or she is obese . I have seen patients who have BMI of 70 !!!.
    Percentage body fat - This can be calculated by various techniques . Again there are weighing scales that will calculate body fat percentage , when you stand on them . There are others that you need to hold in your hands to get body fat . Less than 20 % is good , less than 25 % is acceptable . But this will play role in weight law game . So it is important to know it .
     Glycemic index -- This is important to know as it will help one to 'select ' the proper food to be incorporated in your diet , based on the glycemic index. When we eat food , it is absorbed and the blood sugar goes up . The different foods do not increase the blood sugar  by same amount . This is called the glycemic index . The amount of ups and downs are important in the weight control , so it is important to know the glycemic index . If one eats 100grams of carbohydrate as potato (not 100 grams of potato , but 100 grams of carbohydrates from the potato . ) then the sugar rise would be different than the amount of sugar rise that would have occurred with 100 grams carbohydrates from soft drink --coke . The pure sugar in coke will raise the blood sugar quickly and then the body will secrete the insulin and the sugar will come down. The sugar rise that will occur with the complex carbohydrate like potato is more slow and sustained than sharp rise and fall that occurred with coke which contains simple carbohydrate. When the sugar drops down with insulin , then one will feel hungry and the we eat more . Also the insulin is lipogenic and it will deposit or make more fat .
     The thyroid problem -- I have seen too many people giving excuse of abnormal thyroid function as cause of weight gain or inability to loos weight . Though it is true that low function thyroid will make metabolism slower and so the patient will gain weight, it is not the cause of persistent weight gain or inability to loose weight . The problem is not with the Thyroid GLAND  but is with the other gland , namely the salivary glands .
     Use of steroids - This is a real problem . We tend to use the steroids in treating many conditions , including the asthma or colitis .or arthritis or any other inflammatory conditions . This will  cause weight gain by promoting appetite , retaining salt and water and   changing the distribution of the fat in . the body.
      Quitting smoking - Many patients will gain weight when they quite smoking .This may be partly due to improvement in the sense of smell and this in turn will make one eat more as food tastes better . It also could be due to smokers 'munching ' on food as they have more free time as they are not smoking
       Metabolic rate --Our body needs calories to function . Even when I am sitting doing nothing , my heart , brain , kidney etc are still working and so I am burning calories . This is called Basal Metabolic Rate . It goes up with any activity. So we need to make a use of  this .knowledge in weight loss . .
       I will talk about how to make use of this knowledge in next blog .

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