The Pryor Times

March 16, 2014

Health and weight loss are not the same thing

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — Pryor TOPS chapter 142 held a special meeting to host guest speaker Dr. Sujan Joshi, Feb. 27.

Joshi, Pryor,  was on hand for a question-and-answer session on weight loss and weight-related health issues for the group, Taking Off Pounds Sensibly.

He began by answering a question on calorie count.

“Calorie counts are a good gauge, sort of a mile marker to gauge your progress,” said Joshi. “But don't get too locked in.”

He said calorie intake is dependent on several factors like sex, race and fitness level. He said reducing 500 calories a day for a week will result in one-pound loss and that a two-pound loss per week is considered healthy.

“But be sure not to go too low either. You need the nutrition to run,” said Joshi. “It's like an engine and oil, run it too low for too long and it breaks down. But too much is dangerous as well.”

He cautioned that taking weight off too fast often results in putting weight back on.

When asked about balancing blood sugar issues with weight loss, he said it all comes down to a balanced meal.

“It’s about finding a healthy balance of carbs, proteins and fat. Low carb diets are OK, but no carb diets generally aren’t. Also there are healthy fats and not so healthy fats,” said Joshi, who suggested visiting a nutritionist to create a balanced meal plan factoring in any health issues or diet restrictions.

A TOPS member asked about body mass index.

“Use BMI in determining ideal weight; it is the most accurate tool we have right now. That’s not to say it is perfect but it’s the best gauge we have,” said Joshi. “A body mass index of 18-24 is considered normal for everyone.”

He said in some cases it may be beneficial to aim for a specific BMI rather than a specific weight.

“Body composition is a key factor in weight loss journeys as well. A person with fat in their trunk area is considered orange-shaped. This is particularly bad fat as it is in the heart area. More fat on the hips and legs, pear-shaped, isn’t as much of a cardiac risk but is still dangerous for it’s own reasons,” said Joshi.

To conclude the meeting Joshi told the group that weight loss requires patience and persistence.

“And remember that health and weight loss aren’t the same thing. You can be counting your calories and exercising but the scale may not be moving much. You are getting healthier, though,” said Joshi. “Don’t make weight the only standard for your health.”

Taking Off Pounds Sensibly Chapter 142 meets at 5 p.m. every Thursday at Pryor's First Freewill Baptist Church.