What is weight management?
Weight management is a strategy to stay healthy and prevent future illness. It is commonly applied in people who already suffer from some type of chronic disease. However, it is mostly performed in people who need to lose weight or gain weight, in stages of growth and in cases of eating disorders.
Reaching a healthy weight can help control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. It can also help prevent weight-related diseases (heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers).
In addition, eating too much or not getting enough physical activity can lead to weight gain. To maintain a healthy weight, calories eaten should equal energy consumed. To lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than you consume.
Weight controls and ideal weight are almost always associated with the tendency to lose weight imposed by today’s society. However, it is calculated by applying the Body Mass Index (BMI) formula: weight (kg)/height (m2). This calculation indicates the weight range in which the person is, only applicable to adults. It is considered normal if the BMI is between 18 and 25 in women, and between 20 and 25 in men.
Weight control allows you to maintain healthy lifestyle habits.
Why is it done?
It is performed to control the kilos a person weighs and to keep the organism healthy, according to the recommended values. It is especially important in patients with chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia or obesity), but also in patients who need to lose weight and in those who need, on the contrary, to gain weight.
On the other hand, it is also useful to assess and control growth in the infant stage, if it is necessary to study if there is an adequate intake of nutrients. In addition, it is also indicated for weight control in cases of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, and for proper recovery after illness and surgery.
What does it consist of?
It consists of a series of methods and procedures to evaluate the correct intake of food by the patient. Thus, weight control diets should not only focus on caloric intake and weight loss, but also on maintaining a balanced diet without nutritional deficiencies. In this sense, the specialist will recommend eating 5 meals a day, drinking water, avoiding some unhealthy foods, etc.
The objective of weight control treatments is to readapt nutritional habits so that the patient achieves an adequate weight from a health and aesthetic point of view. Any weight control treatment must be personalized to promote metabolic adaptations while maintaining results over time, as well as to transmit a learning process to the patient that will help him/her to avoid weight fluctuations.
Thus, although many diets are currently based on calorie restriction, weight regulation should be influenced not so much by the quantity but by the distribution of intake during the day.
Preparation for weight control
First of all, it should be noted that if the patient is thinking of starting a weight loss or weight control program, he/she should consult his/her specialist, so that he/she can evaluate his/her weight and possible health risks, determine the patient’s real needs (whether he/she needs to lose weight, gain weight, etc.) and can help him/her to make decisions in this regard in an informed manner.
Also, before following any weight control treatment it is important to keep in mind:
- Motivation is essential when starting a nutritional treatment.
- The goals set must be reasonable: the ideal weight is that which allows the patient to be healthier, with a better quality of life.
- Weight loss should be gradual and definitive, avoiding large fluctuations. Weight loss maintained over time favors the reduction of fat deposits, limits protein loss and prevents the basal metabolic rate from dropping.
- The diet must be balanced, without causing micronutrient deficiencies, as these can worsen the patient’s state of health.
- The diet must be varied, avoiding monotony in the dishes, which will demotivate the patient and prevent him/her from obtaining good results.
The main care after weight control treatments is to maintain the routines and good eating habits acquired, something that the patient will have assimilated thanks to the help of the specialist in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Obesity is one of the main health and nutritional problems in today’s society. Excess body fat is strictly related to an increase in the possibilities of suffering from digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, osteoarthritis or cancer diseases. Thus, it is not only a question of aesthetics but also of health.