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  • Dr. Laura Wyness

Slow & Steady.......

Slow & steady wins the race

Obesity is a major risk factor for developing the Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Having a healthy weight will benefit your health and well-being in many ways, including your liver function. In fact, weight loss is one of the best ways to reverse fatty liver if you are overweight or obese.

So what's that got to do with a tortoise & a hare? Well, when it comes to weight loss, "slow & steady wins the race" just like the rabbit found out the hard way.

Your body mass index (BMI) is a useful tool to help indicate if your weight falls within a healthy range. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight. If you do need to lose weight, a safe rate of weight loss is 0.5kg to 1kg (1lb to 2lb) per week. This can be achieved by sticking to a daily calorie intake of 2,000kcal for men and 1,500kcal for women. This is a deficit of 500 calories a day as the average man needs about 2,500 calories and the average woman 2,000 calories to maintain their weight.

It may be tempting to lose weight faster, but the best way to lose weight and keep it off, is to do so gradually. Rapid weight loss can also make you feel tired and unwell and can lead to increased risk of malnutrition and gallstones. Slow and steady is best for weight loss.

Making positive changes to your diet and activity levels are essential to successful weight loss. However, the environment you are in each day can also have a huge influence on your dietary choices. Making some simple changes to the environment, you live in, work in, and socialise in can make it much easier for you to make healthier dietary choices.

A variety of small and consistent changes can have a significant impact on dietary choices and your weight. It is often easier to make 5 or 6 small and easy changes than trying to make 1 or 2 major challenging changes.

Here are some examples of how to ensure your home environment is helping you maintain a healthy weight:

- Store pre-cut fruit or vegetables in the fridge, so they are easy to reach for a healthy snack.

- Place a fruit bowl somewhere visible that you can reach easily.

- Keep salad and vegetable leftovers in a transparent container or see through wrap.

- Store snack foods such as crisps and biscuits in hard to reach places such as in a box at the back of a cupboard.

- Use dinner plates that are 9 or 10 inches in diameter (many plates tend to be larger these days).

- Use darker coloured plates (that contrast with the colour of your food) as this can help you reduce your portion size.

- Eat at a table with the TV turned off.

- Drink water along with a meal.

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