Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. The problem is, as every nutritionist will point out, its a season of sweets, cakes and plum puddings. Not including the many regional sweets: kalkals, neooris and the like!
So you plan to watch your weight? Well, there is some news there too: we now know that watching your weight alone is no indication of being aware as to what your health parameters are like. Weight lone includes the food inside you at the moment, the amount of fluid your body has retained. These are ‘numbers’ or ‘kilos’ that are meaningless.
So whats the correct way to arrive at the correct number? You need your Body Mass Index. What a nice way to prepare for the New Year: a new BMI to aspire for!
A simple BMI calculator can help. Click here for a good one. It’s free. Its a small calculation, it takes your height and your weight into account. What is determines is your body fat, which is the really critical number.
To bring you up to speed, know that weight alone doesn’t really give an accurate indication of your “weight issue”. The question is: are you an ectomorph, endomorph or mesomorph? (Small built, medium built or large built?) Are you genetically disposed to heavier bones? It all makes a difference.
Now, some caveats. High BMI does not mean that your body weight is the weight of fat alone but is fairly a reliable indicator of body fatness calculated in correlation to a person’s weight, height and age. And if you are thinking that BMI is a diagnostic tool, it is not! Rather it is just used as a screening tool that identifies weight problems that you might acquire.
BMI is calculated in the same way for both adults and children are interpreted differently. For an adult above 20 years, BMI is interpreted using standard weight status categories for both men and
women, and for children and teens, it’s interpreted specifically on both age and sex.
Which brings us to diet …. and festivals ….. and sweets …… and this time, right on the heels of a delicious Diwali, a wonderful Christmas! In all your celebrations, remember that overweight and obese people ( you’ve calculated your BMI by now, so you should know) are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions.
What kinds of risk, you ask? Let’s make a small list: hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
This post is neither to scare you or stop you from having a great Christmas. But follow sensible precautions when celebrating, please. Don’t forget your health for enjoyment, and don’t risk your whole life to a few days enjoyment. Many vacations will come and go but it will happen if you have the opportunity to live your life for that long.
Perhaps the most vital part of the perfect celebration is to be attentive to the meals you have. And give yourself a Christmas present: get that overdue check-up, consult your dietitian and … get your BMI number!
Here’s a good BMI chart, if you are interested, from a very informate site: Low Fat Diet