Ten Important Things to Know Before You Join a Weight Loss Program
1. What is my BMI and how do I calculate it?
BMI means Body Mass Index. Healthy weight is defined as a BMI equal to or greater than 19 and less than 25 among all people aged 20 or over.
To determine body mass index, divide weight in kilograms (2.2 lbs.=1 kg) by height in meters squared (39.4 ins.=1m).
For example, if you are 1.75 M tall and weigh 80 kg., your BMI will be = 80/1.75X1.75 = 26.122, slightly overweight ("obesity" is ofen defined as a BMI equal to or greater than 30, which approximates to 30 pounds of excess weight.)
2. What are carbs, proteins, fats?
Carbohydrates provide your body with its basic fuel, very much like a car engine and gasoline. Glucose goes directly into the cells, which convert it into the energy they need.
There are two types of carbohydrates:
Simple carbohydrates (also called "sugars" on food package labels): glucose etc.
Complex carbohydrates ("starches"), made up of chains of glucose molecules, which is simply a way plants store glucose.
Starches can be found in great quantities in most grains (wheat, corn, oats, rice) and things like potatoes and plantains.
Your digestive system breaks a starch back down into its component glucose molecules so that the glucose can enter your bloodstream.
Carbohydrates provide cells with energy, proteins provide cells with the building material they need to grow and maintain their structure.
Protein can be found in both animal and vegetable foods. Most animal sources (meat, milk, eggs) provide "complete protein": they contain all of the essential amino acids.
Fats are also an important part of our diet. Many foods contain fat in different amounts. High-fat foods include dairy products like butter and cream as well as mayonnaise and oils.
There are two kinds of fats: saturated and unsaturated.
Fat is necessary because: the only way to get certain fat-soluble vitamins is to eat fat, your body has no way to make certain essential fats, so you must get them in your food.
Another reason is that fat is a good source of energy, in fact it contains twice as many calories per gram as do carbohydrates or proteins. Your body can burn fat as fuel when necessary
3. What else does my body need?
Mainly vitamins and minerals. These can be found in various foods, fruits, etc..It seems the "Standard Western Diet" is deficient in vitamins and minerals. This has led to the creation of vitamin and mineral supplements.
4. What are the dangers of being overweight (too fat)?
When it gets to a certain level, overweight becomes "obesity", which has been described as "a serious, chronic disease that is known to reduce life span, increase disability and lead to many serious illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, gall bladder disease, gout."
5. What exactly is Atkins diet?
Dr. Atkins diet, first introduced in 1972, is strictly focused on limiting carbohydrate consumption.
That is why it is called a low-carb, high-protein diet or sometimes simply a low-carb diet, together with other diets such as South Beach Diet, Power Protein Diet etc.