Modifying your diet to lose weight

BY: Isaac Yeboah

A decision to go on a diet for weight loss is a good one. This is a difficult decision for many. A lot of people also start well but are not able to continue to a good end. They fall off along the way.

The first thing one must do is to ensure that they use the energy provided by the food eaten. This will prevent the imbalances that cause obesity.

Foods so high in simple sugars and oils or fats should be eaten with great caution. This will help reduce energy intake and prevent the after effects of excess energy storage.

Using just a few cubes of sugar at breakfast will do everyone a great deal of good.

Substituting the Ghanaian’s snack of meat pie and soft drinks with a small serving of fresh fruit will be a step in the right direction.

Relying more on boiled foods rather than fried foods is a better choice if you want to deal with overweight and obesity. Where possible as with yam, plantain and rice, eat them boiled rather than preparing them in oil or frying them.

Cooking oils should be used in very little amounts

A serving of stew for one person should be prepared with not more than two tablespoons of oil.

Chewing lots of groundnut can also lead to weight gain. This is because of the high energy density of groundnuts.

It is also a must for anyone who wants to lose weight to stop adding things like cheese, butter and margarine to their bread. 

Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages

Alcohol gives more energy than our normal foods and so taking a bottle or two on top of your meals makes too much energy available to the body at that particular time. The excess is then stored as fat.  

Some people want to skip their meals so as to reduce weight. This is a wrong approach to weight reduction. What is recommended is a reduction in total energy or caloric intake.

There is something called a weight loss diet which can be discussed with a dietician. It allows for at least three meals a day which can even be interlaced with low fat and low sugar snacks.

Reduced calorie diets are achieved by reducing quantities of high calorie foods like carbohydrates, oils and alcohol. This does not mean their entire elimination from the diet.

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Late night eating

Energy from the food will not be used for anything through the night. The body uses just a little amount of energy whilst we are asleep. Try to have your supper before 6.30 p.m.

People cite the time they close from work and the time they get home as an excuse for late night meals. From my experience, these same people are able to work out early supper when they start suffering from life threatening medical conditions.

We present the two sides of the coin but the final choice lies with you. Do not wait till you develop a chronic medical condition before you respect your meal times.  

If you have been diagnosed as obese, or you have done a BMI and it is above 30kg/m2, the best thing to do is to reduce weight.

Reducing just 10 per cent of your current weight will present you with a whole lot of health benefits.

You may be preventing the onset of type two diabetes or the onset of a stroke a year or two to come if you decide to lose some weight now. Make sure that you are losing that weight the right way.

By Wise Chukwudi Letsa / The Mirror /Graphic.com.gh/Ghana

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The writer of this article is a dietician at The Trust Hospital, Osu-Accra (Tel: 0302761974). He is also the Author of “Your Diet & Your Health Magazine”. Contact us for the current issue, Issue 5. Tel: 0244090262, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Facebook: LETS Consult Diet Clinic, WhatsApp: 0244090262. Website: www.letsconsultclinic.com.