By DR. THOMAS KAISER
I hope you are doing well, smiling a lot and have managed to discover new enjoyable things around you.
Today, I will talk about nutrition. I know, you have read so much about it and there seems to be a never-ending stream of new diets, which all promise the ultimate body and pain free weight loss.
We live in a world where, for the first time, more people die of over nutrition than of hunger and starvation. The amounts of money spent in the so-called developed world to lose weight, by far exceeds the sums that are spent on saving people from starvation.
Thousands of children die every day from simple illnesses like gastroenteritis because they are badly malnourished and have no clean water, while in Europe and the US, billions are spent on diet pills and other products to lose weight. A scandal? Definitely a fact.
Healthy nutrition is simple and the best medicine you can take. It is cheap and has no side effects. Which modern drug treatment can claim that?
Ageing at a healthy weight is the most effective anti-aging treatment. When you cross the 50 years age line you should focus on optimising your diet.
You are what you eat and you die through your intestines.
Here is some simple advice on healthy nutrition:
• Eat five portions of fruit, vegetables and salad per day, preferably ecologically grown.
• Drink one-and-a-half litres of water per day.
• Eat fish at least twice a week.
• Eat wholemeal bread and use wholemeal pasta in cooking.
• Stay away from processed food with excess salt and unknown ingredients.
• Eat when you are hungry and not out of boredom or stress.
• Drink one glass of red wine a day.
There are four main factors that influence the way we age: Our genetic make up, smoking, exercise and nutrition and weight.
Dr Kaiser’s weight loss tips:
• Keep a food and exercise diary.
• Be brutally honest when you establish how much and what you eat and drink.
• Allow yourself four to five snacks a day and prepare them beforehand.
• Do not get too hungry.
• Have your main meal during the day, not in the evening.
• Choose food with a low glycaemic index. (See The South Beach Diet).
• Remember that alcohol, especially beer, is rich in calories.
• Aim to lose weight over a six month period and allow another six months to consolidate that weight.
• Every weight loss programme must include exercise.
• Exercise is most effective in the morning before you have breakfast.
• Consider using a personal trainer.
• Speak to your doctor about medication that can help you lose weight.
• If you are very overweight a specialised surgeon may be able to help you.
• Make your weight loss programme a family affair and adjust your lifestyle.
Losing weight is not always easy, and do not let people fool you that there are magic diets that help you change your weight forever in just two weeks.
There are many ways of losing weight, invest time and energy to find the best way for you. Ask the experts for assistance.
Smile, dream and run!
Dr Thomas Kaiser
Dr Thomas Kaiser MD, DRCOG is a General Practitioner and specialist in Family, Preventative and Cosmetic Medicine. He is the director of the Vale do Lobo Medical Centre (289 398 009) and partner of Dr Robin Thomson in the Family Medical Centre, Almancil. E-mail dr.Thomas.Kaiser@sapo.pt