Question- Dr. Kiskila, I would like to lose weight and get in shape this new year, but I do not know where to start. Do you have any recommendations about how to get going on a new eating and exercise regimen?
Answer- Setting goals is a great place to start and the new year is often a time people set weight loss goals. Studies show that loosing even 5 percent of initial body weight has health benefits. Starting a new eating and exercise regimen can be confusing, especially with many diet fads. Obtaining the help of a professional dietitian, nutritionist or personal trainer may help making diet and exercising less stressful or confusing. Ask your doctor first if healthy weight loss, and new diet regimens are appropriate. Depending on a patient’s age, health risks, and desired weight loss different goals, eating and exercise regimens may be desired.
Question- I have heard that it’s unhealthy to do a “crash diet.” Is that true?
Answer- Many people set weight loss goals of 25 percent or more below their current weight which is often not achievable. With lifestyle changes, an initial weight loss of 5-10 percent of body weight is more typical. The amount of weight loss depends on an individual’s overall risk.
Risk factors include:
- Cardiovascular (high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated cholesterol)
- Comorbidities (sleep apnea, non-fatty liver diseases)
- BMI (Body Mass Index) which is body weight in Kg divided by height squared in meters.
Crash diets typically are not healthy and are unsustainable.
Question- What is a good and safe amount of weight to lose per week (or month)?
Answer- Typically, 1-2 pounds per week is achievable and sustainable.
Question- How much exercise do I need a day (or week) to be healthy?
Answer- Increasing exercise through physical activity is a strong predictor of maintaining weight loss. Thirty minutes of physical activity five days a week can prevent weight gain and even 30 minutes a day three days a week can promote cardiovascular health.
Question- What types of exercises do you recommend for overall fitness and health?
Answer- Do what you like. The best exercise is the one that you can continue doing. Achieving and maintaining weight loss can be difficult and studies show that those who are likely to succeed find an exercise program they enjoy.
Question- If I want to be healthy and in shape, can I still drink alcohol?
Answer- The short answer is everything in moderation. Alcohol does have calories. But ask your doctor if consuming moderate amounts of alcohol is healthy for you.
Question- I’ve heard that healthy eating and exercise will improve my sleep, is that true?
Answer- Healthy eating and exercise can promote weight loss maintenance and improve cardiovascular health which can decrease sleep apnea, improve sleep, and overall help you feel good.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.