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Dr Jones: NEW YEAR, NEW YOU?

Dr Jones
Dr Jones

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU?

So you’ve had a good Christmas right? But you’re feeling a bit jaded, too many calories sloshing around your body, making it stick out in places that you don’t like?

On average, we in the UK put on about 2 to 4 kg in the festive 2 weeks, yes just 2 weeks.

Want to do something about it then read on!

There’s lots of advice out there but it mostly boils down to good old fashion common sense – Calories In Versus Calories Out. Not rocket science, just maths really.

It’s thought that the average woman needs 2000 calories per day to maintain their current weight and an average man 2500, so clearly any reduction in this will lead to weight loss. Cutting your daily intake by 500 calories will get you about half a kilogram per week which is a great start, couple this with increasing your calorie burning and you’re on your way!

Let’s start with the basics. As a rough guide you are ideally aiming for a BMI (body mass index) between 18.5 and 25 which is considered the normal range. You can calculate this yourself by taking your weight in kg ( mine currently 75 kg ) and dividing it by your height in metres squared ( mine 1.73 x 1.73 ) = 25.05 – Whoa, pushing the envelope – best keep reading! Or you could use one of the numerous BMI calculators out there.

Now you have a starting point, what’s next? Well being a Doctor I would like everyone, once a
year, to visit their GP for a check up. We check blood pressure and blood tests including the basic screen of full blood count, kidney and liver function, thyroid function, diabetes screen and cholesterol levels – just to pick up any problems to start with.

Once done, it’s down to looking at diet and exercise. Broadly speaking a varied diet is the best containing a variety of everything but keeping the total calorie intake 500 less than usual
if you are wanting to lose some weight. Again check your phone/ tablets for calorie counting apps but don’t get too obsessive just use it as a rough guide to begin with until you know roughly what’s what. Then add in the exercise element, a basic step counter on your phone or more fancier fitbit will do and gradually crank up the activity level until you are regularly burning more and taking in less so the scales start to swing in your favour. Expect there to be peaks and troughs and plateaus and no, you don’t have to go spinning 3 times a week so you can eat and drink like your friends!

Just be sensible, take it steady, make it fun but be happy!

E-mail me at jasonjones@doctors.org.uk

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