Behavior change -The Nutrition Approach to weight management

The principle of weight gain is simple, Energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. Energy intake is measured by the amount one takes in food, whereas expenditure is determined by the amount the body utilizes and physical activity levels.

The majority of the Kenyan urban population is obese. Studies relate 60.3% of urban residents and about 19.5 % of rural to be obese. Overweight and obesity are a result of complex set of interactions among genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Hundreds and thousands of weight-loss strategies, diets, portions, and devices being offered to the overweight public, prove ineffective. The percentage of individuals who lose weight and successfully maintain the loss is 1-3%.

Physical Activity, Dieting and Weight management: Some eating habits such as eating few meals at home, increased intake of high fats, skipping breakfast, and snacking junk promote weight gain. Following a diet can help lose weight and maintain a healthy weight over time. However, not all diets are equal, and many fad diets and extreme calorie restriction plans can have a negative impact on your health, and lead to more weight gain in the future. Making healthy food choices, like eating more fruits and vegetables, food portioning by adhering to serving sizes for meals and adding activity to your daily are behavior modifications that can help in weight control. Any diet plan should build on these habits, and it’s key to choose a lifelong plan.

One of the best predictors of a comprehensive long-term weight reduction strategy is physical activity. How one develops and sustains an exercise program determines their weight management outcome. For any given individual, the intensity, duration, frequency and type of physical activity is determined by their health condition. Among other benefits, it ensures maintenance of lost weight, preserves the lean body mass, improves cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal fitness, and improves psychological profile and self-esteem. People become or remain overweight as the result of modifiable habits. By changing those habits, weight can be lost and the loss can be maintained. Behavior change in weight control primarily focuses on increasing physical activity levels and reducing caloric intake by altering eating habits. I encourage anyone on a weight loss management program to keep a food diary that records what and how much you have eaten, and a record of your daily physical activity. Self-monitoring is a sense of accountability and it’s associated with immediate reduction of food intake and consequent weight loss.

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