Healthy ways to lose weight . . . No to Banting, says food scientist

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Sharon Kavhu

Harare – Today women feel young and beautiful when they are thinner. They have a belief that when they are thinner they are more attractive and look ‘sexy’ in all types of clothes.   

The belief could be a result of how men also view thinner women. According to the University of Aberdeen 2015 study in the United Kingdom, men find thinner women attractive because they associate their body shapes with youth, fertility and lower risk of disease.

Such mentalities have forced women to go on special diets such as Banting diet, vegetarian diet and cutting on fatty foods while others even go to the extent of fasting to lose weight.

The Southern Times last week had a chance to talk to a Zimbabwean food scientist, Erica Nyangoni, from Harare on healthy tips to lose weight.

Nyangoni is discouraging the Banting diet saying women’s diet has to be balanced with all nutrients for a healthy lifestyle.

“I have seen some women cutting on carbohydrates in their meals. This is commonly known as Banting. 

“However, others are going to the extent of not taking the carbohydrates at all and this is not healthy. Women’s diet has to be balanced with carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fats and minerals,” said Nyangoni.

“As much as you need to lose weight, as a woman you also need energy for activities. In the African tradition, a woman has to be active and not weak as she is the backbone of the family.

“Women need a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle for them to look good and maintain a good look.”

She said it is important for women to have correct information of the things that they eat and how best they can consume the food in terms of quantities.

“The key issue in losing weight is merely taking all nutrients in their small quantities, especially during a time where one will be most active.”

The Zimbabwean food scientist urged women to drink a lot of water, according to their weight. She said people who weigh above 50kg should take at least two litres of water a day.

Nyangoni said: “Some researchers in India have suggested that one should divide his or her weight by 30 to know the amount of water that they need per day. For example, if you are 80kg you should take two litres of water daily.

“Drinking a lot of water helps in the effective distribution of food in the body.  This also contributes to the good shaping of the body.

“Salt and sugar are the major criminals for weight gain in women. The two can be dissolved in water as water helps in the excretion of excess salts.”

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