Have you been feeling all "sunshine" and absorbing Vitamin D after our previous sharing?
This week, Pharmacy Week 2022 will be sharing on a topic that is commonly discussed, but is tough for many of us to handle - Weight Management.
Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multicultural country. With her unique demographics, we are blessed with cuisines from all over the world! The best part? These amazing food are readily accessible from our hawker centres and this culture even earned Singapore her first inscription in UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Hence, it is of no surprise that eating is a favorite past time of many Singaporeans. While the satisfaction received after an indulgence is euphoric, this can lead to a very worrying consequence.
What is the big deal?
Obesity is a growing concern not just in Singapore, but also in other parts of the world.
For an obese person, every kilogram (kg) of weight gained increases the risks of developing diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, joint problems, and certain cancers.
How do I know if I am obese?
Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are 2 common methods that have been used to estimate the amount of body fats. Maintaining a healthy BMI and waist circumference can help to minimize your health risk associated with obesity.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Measure your waist with a measuring tape. A large waist size is associated with a high abdominal fat level.
Asian men: Waist size greater than 90cm
Asian women: Waist size greater than 80cm
How do I shake off the extra kilos?
START LOW, TAKE IT SLOW!
For sustainable results, aim to lose 0.5 - 1 kg per week and 5 - 10% of your original body weight over 6 months.
Get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercises every week, no matter how busy you are. Try swimming, cycling or brisk walking.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT!
We put on weight when we consume more calories than we can burn. Cut down on sugar, fats, and salt.
POSITIVITY AROUND YOU!
Encourage your peers and loved ones to join and support you. With motivation, you stand a better chance at losing weight.
TRUST THE PROCESS!
Don’t be disheartened when your progress is slow. Making a committed decision to lose weight today does not mean seeing the results tomorrow.
Weight Loss Medications
Medications may be considered for obese people who fail to lose weight despite optimal diet and exercise. However, do note that these medications can have side effects and individuals may respond differently. To ensure safety and effectiveness, always consult your doctor or pharmacist for the most suitable treatment.
Do Health Supplements help?
Supplements containing glucomannan and garcinia cambogia work by reducing your appetite, while others such as green tea extract increases fat breakdown. However, current evidence to support their effectiveness and safety is limited.
" I heard...is it true?"
The weight loss journey is long, arduous and not a walk in the park. Many times, you may have seen or heard of quick ways to achieve your desired goals. While the intention may be good, many times such quick fixes may cause more harm instead. Let us attempt to debunk some of the common myths below!
“Skipping meals is the best way to cut down weight”
No! Skipping meals may make you hungrier and many times we succumb to the hunger and overeat. This leads to further weight gain instead of losing. It is recommended to gradually reduce your calories per meal rather than going cold turkey!
“I can just take medications to lose weight”
No! Medications should not be used alone without diet and exercise to lose weight. They are meant to complement your weight loss programme. Diet control and staying active are keys to successful and healthy weight loss.
“The lower my BMI, the better it is”
No! Low BMI due to undereating and over-exercising can cause malnourishment. Being underweight weakens your immune system, and increases your risk of anaemia (low red blood count) and osteoporosis (low bone mass).
Take home message
There are numerous strategies and methods to lose weight, and the effectiveness varies for different people. The journey can be long with many ups and downs. Do not lose heart and persevere on! Keep trying until you find the ideal strategy that works for you.
This post is brought to you by our Silver Sponsor Watson’s Personal Care Stores Pte Ltd.
The information in this article including, but not limited to, text, graphics, tables, and other materials is solely for educational purposes. Information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor, pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease – be it actual or perceived. Always seek advice from a certified healthcare provider when in doubt. Never disregard any professional advice because of information acquired from this leaflet. Under no circumstances will Watson’s Personal Care Stores Pte Ltd be liable for damage of any nature arising from the use of such information.
Gunnars, K. (2017, January 21). 12 Popular Weight Loss Pills and Supplements Reviewed. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-weight-loss-pills-reviewed.
Health Promotion Board - Ministry of Health Clinical Practice Guidelines, Obesity (2016)
Ministry of Health. (2020, June 2). Obesity in Singapore: It's Not a Small World. HealthHub. https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/764/its-not-a-small-world-after-all.
Ministry of Health. (2021, May 26). How to Lose Weight the Healthy Way. HealthHub. https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/224/lose_weight_healthy_way.
World Health Organization (WHO). (2021, June 9). Obesity and overweight. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight.
Do you like this article and wish to find out what more can be done to empower a healthier you?Our Pharmacy Week 2022 health carnival will be happening live on 24 September 2022 (Saturday). There will be an exciting lineup of health talks, fitness and cooking activities, and interactive booths! This event is FREE and suitable for all ages. Register with us to reserve a slot today!