1 January 2008

Food for Thought

Weight loss: How much should you lose to win?
There’s a common belief (fuelled by the celeb mags and TV programs) that you can drop several dress sizes (or pant sizes) down to an imagined ‘ideal’, if you really try hard enough. How realistic is this? And is it sustainable?


Very overweight people typically aim to lose around 35% of their existing body weight. But this level of weight loss actually calls for some very drastic action. So far only surgery has delivered weight loss results on this scale over the long-term. And even then, it needs to be combined with other long-term lifestyle changes. With other weight loss programs, losing around 5–10% is more typical. And even so, the pounds have a tendency to creep back with a bonus.

Having unrealistic expectations also seems to be counter-productive. When people fail to reach their goal they become (not unnaturally) disillusioned and regain the weight – with interest. It then becomes even more difficult to lose on subsequent occasions. That’s why setting an attainable goal is step one of any weight loss program. What’s a realistic goal? Aiming to lose between 5 and 10% of your current weight over 12 weeks seems to be achievable and safe for most people and it still delivers plenty of desirable health benefits (reducing risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers). And if you keep that 5 to 10% loss off long term, then you really are a winner.

If you want to lose more than that, do it in stages. Aim to maintain your new weight for three to six months before attempting further weight loss. This gives your body time to adjust to its new engine size. And it gives you practice in learning to listen to your body’s natural signals for feeling hungry and feeling full just as babies and toddlers do.
— Prof Jennie Brand-Miller, co-author of The Low GI Diet Revolution (The Low GI Diet in Australia, NZ and the UK)


Anonymous said...

is Durham Wheat Pasta the same as Whole Wheat Pasta?

GI Group said...

Wikipedia is best for these kinds of definitions. 'Durum is the hardest of all wheats. Its high protein content and gluten strength make it good for pasta and bread. It is not, however, good for cakes, which are made from soft wheat to prevent toughness. When durum is milled, the endosperm is ground into a granular product called semolina. Semolina made from durum is used for premium pastas and breads.'

Whole wheat or wholemeal pasta contains the grain's bran and germ as well as its endosperm. Most whole wheat/wholemeal pastas are still made from durum wheat, although there are other specialty wheats used nowadays such as spelt and kamut.

When you include whole cereal grain foods in your diet such as whole wheat pasta, you are getting all the benefits of the grain's vitamins, minerals, protein and dietary fibre. So enjoy.

Anonymous said...

My problem is not losing pounds, but body fat. I am a 63 year old female, 5'9", 140 lbs., physically active (cycling, weight training, yoga). I do not eat processed foods and always chose the lower fat alternatives for dairy and meat products. My friends admire my slim figure, yet I am considered obese because of a 31% fat reading. What am I to do?

GI Group said...

31% fat is not obese. Women can, and indeed should, carry 15-35% fat before this is classified as excessive. 140 pounds (63kg) for your height is fine. Stop going by supposed figures and just enjoy your body while you are able.