30 per cent of Fijians overweight

DO you know that you should never skip a meal when trying to lose weight?

This is because skipping meals leads to overeating in the next meal.

For people who are obese and interested in changing their diet, they need to start by cutting down on the overall quantity of foods eaten at each meal or snack time.

Better still eat from a smaller plate or bowl.

Then once this has been achieved, try to have more meals during the day that resemble a healthy meal.

The Ministry of Health’s National Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC) as part of their awareness program, after the World Health Organisation reported, that about 30 per cent of Fiji’s population was overweight,

According to the ministry, there are three ways you can adopt to control the amount of water yconsumed: Drink water before and with meals, eat only when you are hungry, and stop eating when your stomach is ¾ full and don’t eat while watching TV as there is a higher tendency to overeat.

A healthy meal is eating a balanced meal from the three food groups.

In deciding how much to eat; a good guide is to have half the meal to include vegetables or fruits, more than a quarter of a meal to be staples (root crops, rice, roti) and less than a quarter to be dhal, meats or fish.

Keep in mind to have in between snacks as fruits, vegetable sticks such as cucumber and carrots, unsalted popcorn, boiled corn or ivi. Always include water in your daily diet, recommended is for 6-8 glasses a day for good health.

The centre strongly suggests reduction intake for salt, sugar, fats and oils in your food and drinks.

Active children and teenagers need energy foods, body-building foods and a lot of health foods such as fruits and vegetables. As one grows older, one needs less energy-dense foods and more foods with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

Particularly during adulthood, consumption of the following foods should be reduced:

Butter, ghee, oil, fries and fried foods, chocolates, meat pies, fatty meats, processed meats such as sausages, luncheon, mince and canned meats. These foods have a very high fat content.

Also alcohol and kava should be consumed in minimal quantities.

Whether a growing child or an adult, drink enough water during the day to reduce consumption of sweetened beverages and fizzy drinks.

Take less sugar with tea and coffee.

However, the ministry says a person can set an achievable goal, like lose half a kilogram within two weeks.

When that is reached, the person can give himself a non-food inexpensive reward — buy a new piece of clothing, something for the house eg replace a household item that needs replacing, buy a new pot plant.

Then try to lose another half a kilogram.

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