Weight can give a picture of the amounts of nutrients in your body. Either you have too much or too little. It also indicates the levels of fats, muscle, bone-density and even water in your body.. Too much fat around vital body organs (visceral fat) can affect functions like glucose control, metabolism, digestion and even blood circulation, which leads to several diseases like hypertension, diabetes and inflammation. This is why most health practitioners are quite concerned about how you manage your weight.
Health scientists have identified ways of ensuring that your weight remains within healthy limits. We use measurements like BMI, your waist circumference and waist to hip ratio to determine whether or not you are within healthy limits. The aim of today’s session is to make sure you understand weight-related assessments, and use these assessments to gauge and manage your weight.
Body Mass Index (BMI) & Waist Circumference.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple calculation used to determine if an adult’s weight is healthy for a particular height. We’ve made this simple with the Lishe Living nutrition tool, all you need to do is to key in your weight (in Kgs) and height (in metres). The tool will calculate your BMI for you.
BMI can indicate that you are underweight (below 18.5), fall within the normal range of weight( 18.5-24.9), overweight (25-29.9), obese (30-39.9), or morbidly obese if you’re BMI is 40 and above. The intention is draw nearer to healthy weight.
Sometimes BMI fails to give a clear picture of healthy weight, especially when dealing with people of African descent, pregnant women, athletes, children or the elderly. This is why we use waist circumference to help us verify whether one’s weight is healthy or unhealthy.
Waist circumference (WC) is the circumference around your waist; the area around your back ,and round your stomach at the same level as your belly button. We use waist circumference to measure what health scientists call “CENTRAL OBESITY.”. Your WC depends on your genetics, stress levels, physical activity levels, nutrition & food habits. If your BMI indicates you’re of normal weight but your waist circumference surpasses the acceptable measurements, you have a risk of developing certain diseases, like diabetes, hypertension and chronic stress
Follow this simple exercise to easily determine your waist circumference from home and identify your risk to developing weight-related disease
- Get a non-stretch tape measure.
- Take your measurements preferably in the morning when you have consumed no water / food and your bladder is empty.
- Lift up any clothing. Place the tape measure running through your belly button in a straight line around your back.
- DO NOT INHALE when taking the measurement
- Record the measurement
- Use the cut off points below to determine what your waist circumference says about your health.
Remember: Your tailor waist measurements CANNOT be used as a measure of waist circumference
|CATEGORY||WOMEN CUT OFF POINTS||MEN CUT OFF POINTS|
|Normal||<80 CMs||<94 CMs|
|At risk of obesity and related diseases||80-88 CMs||94-102 CMs|
|Higher risk of obesity and related diseases||>88 CMs||>102 CMs|
If you’re of normal BMI, but your waist circumference surpasses the acceptable measurement, it means you must improve your diet and exercise to reduce some weight so that your waist circumference can also reduce.
How much food (energy) and nutrients do you require?
Food and Energy (MACRONUTRIENTS)
We forget that food converts to energy in the body. The energy you put in the body is meant to be used through engaging in activity like moving, exercise, thinking etc. We do not all require the same energy (amount of food) in a day. A construction worker or professional athlete will burn much more energy than someone sitting in the office the whole day. That’s why we should be eating according to the energy we burn! Macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats) are the components of foods that give energy.
Food energy is measured in Calories also known as Kilocalorie. For example 1 gram of carbohydrates provides the same amount of energy as that of 1 gram of proteins, 4 calories. However, 1 gram of fat provides almost double the amount of energy, 9 calories. This is why people who seek to lose weight tend to limit intake of fats, because the same amount of fats will provide double the calories in proteins or carbohydrates. All energy we consume through food is used by the body cells, and any excess is stored in the body as fat for future use. If you constantly eat in excess of what you require, your body will constantly store. This leads to being overweight and obese.
Every individual has unique energy/caloric requirements based on their height, weight, sex, age, physical activity level, weight loss/gain goal, and disease condition if present. Let’s take sex, for example. Generally, men require a higher energy intake (2400kcal) than women (2200kcal) per day. This is because men have more muscle mass, which requires more energy (food) to help in repair and maintenance, therefore, they need to consume more calories per day than women.
Today you will find out exactly how much food you should be eating in a day (in quantity & quality), and it all depends on your health goal and the amount of exercise or activity you do!
MICRONUTRIENTS? It depends on the types of carbohydrates, proteins & fats you eat!
Micronutrients are found in the proteins, carbohydrates and fats you eat. The types of proteins, fats and carbohydrates you eat determine whether you receive the micronutrients you require to strengthen your immunity, or not. This is how you choose right! When you eat specific amounts of foods from different food groups you are able to meet most of your micronutrient requirements. There are 7 food groups we want you to consider today – see the list on next page. This will be our point of discussion for this afternoon.
CONSIDER THESE FOOD GROUPS FOR YOUR MICRONUTRIENTS
- Grains – carbohydrates and minimal proteins
- Vegetables – carbohydrates
- Fruits – carbohydrates and some fats
- Fat free /low fat milk & milk products – fats & proteins
- Lean meats , poultry, fish & legumes – fats & proteins
- Nuts , seeds – fats & proteins
- Fats & oils – fats used for cooking and dressing (some have carbohydrates too)
- Sweets and added sugars – carbohydrates (added sugar in tea, sweets, honey etc)
Maximum sodium limit – 2500mg
Please log into the Lishe Living tool
- Select & Submit all the health-related problems you struggle with
- Fill in your health metrics (weight, height, waist & hip measurements, blood sugar and blood pressure readings, sleep hours and perception of stress)
- Click on next
- Select nutrition recommendation
A page similar to the one below should appear…this will be our discussion point for today!