To lose weight, learn strat­egy from the ex­perts

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By LIU ZHIHUA li­uzhi­hua@chi­nadaily.com.cn

For peo­ple who want to lose weight, it is wise to learn healthy strate­gies from nu­tri­tion­ists.

Fan Zhi­hong, a renowned re­searcher in nu­tri­tion and food safety at China Agri­cul­tural Uni­ver­sity, said the gen­eral prin­ci­ple for los­ing weight is to ex­er­cise and to eat a healthy, nu­tri­tious diet.

The diet should fea­ture foods with high nu­tri­ent den­sity, high sati­ety in­dex (a rank­ing of foods’ abil­ity to sat­isfy hunger), low en­ergy den­sity (low in re­fined starch, sugar and fat), and low glycemic re­sponse (a food’s ef­fect on blood sugar), with enough in­take of pro­tein, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, she said.

For peo­ple who need to lose 5 to 20 kilo­grams, it is im­por­tant to lose weight slowly, ideally 1 to 2 kilo­grams per month, Fan said.

Slow weight loss can min­i­mize the psy­cho­log­i­cal stress and nu­tri­ent de­fi­ciency com­monly in­curred by weight loss prac­tices, and thus peo­ple can keep their shiny skin, healthy hair and phys­i­cal strength, she added.

Dur­ing the process of “slow weight loss”, peo­ple grad­u­ally set up a new life­style that in­cludes healthy eat­ing habits and reg­u­lar phys­i­cal train­ing, Fan said.

How­ever, she said that peo­ple should not starve them­selves to lose weight.

Weight loss may be rather re­mark­able un­der such a strat­egy, but with­out good mus­cle lines, the body shape would be loose and bony, she said. In ad­di­tion, star­va­tion and se­vere en­ergy-cut di­ets are more likely to lead to break­down of mus­cles rather than the ef­fi­cient burn­ing of fat, Fan said.

Lowcalo­rie, low car­bo­hy­drate and low pro­tein di­ets in­evitably lower the meta­bolic rate, which is the ma­jor rea­son for weight re­bound after tra­di­tional weight loss pro­grams, she added.

Fan em­pha­sized that ev­ery meal is im­por­tant in weight man­age­ment. A rich break­fast en­sures a high meta­bolic rate in the morn­ing and helps con­trol the ap­petite through­out the day.

Skip­ping of meals or too much food re­stric­tion may in­cur car­bo­hy­drate crav­ing, binge eat­ing and even eat­ing dis­or­ders, she said.

For those who want to skip din­ner, a com­bi­na­tion of veg­eta­bles, fruits and yogurt is a good al­ter­na­tive, and if peo­ple feel hun­gry in the evening, they should have milk or soy milk, Fan ad­vised.

How­ever, for those who work over­time, skip­ping din­ner is not wise, as this may cause hunger later and could lead to late-night overeat­ing, she said.

For ex­er­cise, Fan sug­gested a moderate aer­o­bic work­out three to five times a week to burn calo­ries, as well as high-in­ten­sity, in­ter­mit­tent ex­er­cises twice a week to raise the meta­bolic rate and car­dio­vas­cu­lar ca­pac­ity, based on each per­son’s phys­i­cal abil­ity. How­ever, after in­tense ex­er­cise, it is nec­es­sary to eat pro­tein-rich food to fa­cil­i­tate mus­cle build­ing, Fan said.

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