It is not uncommon for especially teenagers in high school and universities to fall for slenderness which they think makes them look more attractive. Other youth have gone ahead to refer to colleagues who are slender as those with campus ‘figures’ thus attracting many to prefer being slender and making fun of those who are obese.
Ofcourse, studies have shown that increased urbanisation, which has made it common for people to consume less of local foods than fast foods with a lot of fats has left many vulnerable to obesity and its side effects such as cardiovascular diseases and impotence. As such, many people work hard day and night to reduce fat while others who are overweight due to muscle and bones fight to balance their weight with height and remain healthy.
Among the mostly recommended ways of reducing weight are daily physical exercises such as jogging, swimming and walking.
Take it slow
However, Dr Vincent Karuhanga, a general practitioner at Friends Polyclinic in Kampala, says despite the many benefits of one staying fit and reducing weight, the measures one takes can be disastrous. Most importantly, Dr Karuhanga says you should not be in a hurry to reduce weight, adding that one should not lose more than one kilogramme per week.
Dr Karuhanga says you should ask yourself whether you are losing fats or body weight. He advises one to visit a doctor first to ascertain whether you are big because of fats or muscles, adding that the two cannot be dealt with in the same way.
Too much exercises, he says can have a lot of bearing on one’s joints especially the knees and ankles. As a result, one gets fatigued and sleep for longer hours which instead makes them gain more weight, Dr Karuhanga states.
Similarly, when fats are being lost, they go through the blood stream and may end up blocking blood vessels and causing blood clots once one starts losing weight quickly.
“In cases where one is over weight because of the muscles which would likewise have big bones to support them, it is not a problem. One does not have to lose a lot of weight but just needs to be fit,” he states.
Dr Karuhanga also warns against skipping meals in efforts to reduce weight, saying this is not effective as it makes one actually eat more food, hence replacing more fats in the body.
On the side of nutrition and the foods that one needs to reduce weight, Wilson Kirabira, a nutritionist, cautions against fatty foods and those rich in carbohydrates.
“Substitute high-calorie root tubers such as cassava, sweet potatoes and yams and other foods such as plantain and rice with fruits and fruit juices, as well as fat sauce products with vegetables,” Kirabira advises.
Similarly, recommended vegetables can include salads, pumpkin, tomatoes and other leafy vegetables. Fruits such as oranges, lemon and passion fruits, he says also help to remove fats from the body.
One should also exercise regularly and avoid sleeping immediately after dinner so as to allow the body breakdown and utilise some of the consumed food, Kirabira says.