For Filipinos, September or the first month of the Ber months is the start of Christmas. With the holiday season starting, people tend to kickstart the festive season by treating themselves with gifts and of course, food.

But September isn’t just the start of the Christmas countdown. The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) calendar shares that the first week of September is also Obesity Prevention Awareness Week.

If you want to start living healthy or prevent any unnecessary holiday weight gain this season, here are a few tips to help you out from the Nutrition Services at The Hospital at Maayo:

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Why care about obesity?

The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions in movement and gatherings have contributed to the increase of obesity in older adults who are working from home and have limited outdoor activities. But even before the pandemic, one health report found that in the Philippines, a “very rapid growth” in adult obesity was seen between 1995 and 2015, 5:4% in men and 3.7% in women.

And like all things, prevention is better than cure. Knowing how to treat obesity in adults is a good way to prevent its consequences. These include hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and breathing problems, many types of cancers, mental health conditions, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, even death. Take your liver health and physical wellness seriously.

The promotion of nutrition and wellness starts at home. If adults are knowledgeable on what causes obesity in adults and how to prevent obesity in adults, it will be easier for them to impart practical wisdom to their children on how to stay fit, physically active, and being mindful of what foods to consume, and how much of those should be eaten in one meal.

How to know if you are overweight?

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When it comes to assessing if you are underweight, healthy, overweight, or obese, computing your Body Mass Index (BMI) is one quick way to determine if you’re obese or not.

To get your BMI, the simple formula is to divide your weight (kg) by height (cm) squared.

If this is a mouthful, you can always go online and plug in your numbers in online BMI calculators.

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

Aside from this technique, there are other options you can also do to gauge if you are obese or not. Let’s see you are in the overweight or obese section; what should you do to go back to the normal range?

How to Prevent Obesity in Adults

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Physical activities and healthy food choices are two factors that help in obesity prevention. Other recommendations for adults to achieve a healthy weight are as follows:

  • Do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. These include swimming, cycling, and walking. If you prefer staying indoors, you can do jumping jacks, jump rope, burpees, running in place, and squat jumps. You can also follow high-intensity interval training (HIIT) videos online for variations in your exercise routine.
  • You can also do 60 to 90 minutes of moderate to intense physical activities for 3 to 4 days a week. These include gardening, doing laundry by hand, and other household chores that involve moderate to intense movements.
  • Strive to include a physical activity into your day such as a 10- to 15-minute walk in the morning before you start working or during your break at work.
  • Use a smaller plate to help you rescue the portion sizes of the food you consume in a meal. Thus, it is easier for you to achieve success in your obesity prevention program.
  • Lessen, or better, avoid eating foods high in “energy density,” or those packed with calories in small amounts. These include cheeseburgers, fried crisps, butter, confectionery, mayonnaise, soda, donuts, pizza, ice cream, and pie.
  • To eat more and consume fewer calories, it is better to eat low-calorie foods such as grilled lean white meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, low-fat dressing, berries, and Greek yogurt.
  • Opt for whole-grain foods with high dietary fiber such as whole wheat bread, wholegrain oats, brown rice, and black rice instead of highly processed foods. The latter is often made with refined sugars, flour, saturated fat, and high-fructose corn syrup. Always go for food that has less salt, less sugar, less fat, and fewer carbs.
  • Consume five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. Always go for fresh fruits and vegetables if you can.
  • Additionally, you can also go for canned fruits and canned vegetables if they are available. Older adults who have difficulty chewing can always juice your fruits and vegetables for easier consumption and digestion.
  • When buying packed food items, check the label and learn how to read and understand food nutrition labels. This will help you to be mindful of the portions you eat.
  • If you are still having difficulty in understanding food portions and calorie computation, The Hospital at Maayo provides nutritional services that can help you put your health first through nutrition assessment and patient-focused dietary care for overall wellness and prevent obesity.
  • Reducing your daily stress is one good way to prevent obesity. Stress can result in stress eating and intense cravings for high-calorie foods. Eating these can contribute to the development of obesity.

Everyone is beautiful no matter the size. However, taking care of your body is important if you want to live long and healthy. And knowing how to manage your weight is a great way to prevent yourself from acquiring diseases.

So follow these tips on how to avoid obesity in adults to kickstart your obesity prevention program and ready your healthy body for the upcoming holidays.

Aside from nutritional services, The Hospital at Maayo offers other top-of-the-line medical services for all ages for reasonable prices to help you and your family be well, live well, and stay well. Start your journey towards a healthier life today.

If you need help in this area or you are facing other health issues, set an appointment now at The Hospital at Maayo.

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