Dr. Kwack answers your questions and gives some advice on healthy eating and healthy living.
Read the text, and answer the comprehension questions which follow.
Is being overweight unhealthy?
Being a little overweight may be unfashionable, but it's not necessarily unhealthy. It is only when we become very overweight or 'obese' that our health begins to suffer.
Am I overweight because I don’t do enough exercise?
It's certainly true that if you don’t do enough exercise, you’ll probably see your weight increase. However, because you need to walk 80 kilometers to lose half a kilo of fat, it's clear that exercise does not have a big influence on weight.
The single biggest cause of obesity is bad eating habits. The majority of people become overweight because they eat too many fattening foods. Exercise is important for our health and for it's indirect effects on our weight, but unless we also eat well, the effect of exercise on our weight is reduced.
Why can some people eat anything and not put on weight?
Because they have naturally faster metabolisms.
This means they burn calories at a faster rate than normal.
Why do they have faster metabolisms?
We don't know, exactly. It may be due to hormones or genetics.
How can I speed up my own metabolism?
The only effective way to speed up your metabolism is to do regular exercise.
The harder you work, the faster your metabolic rate.
Will pills help?
Why don’t my diets work?
Think of losing weight as a scientific problem. If we eat fewer calories than we use, our body takes some of our fat and converts it into energy. Result? We lose weight. Any diet which has fewer calories than we need, is guaranteed to help us lose weight.
Why am I always hungry?
You mustn’t let yourself be hungry.
It doesn’t matter what diet you choose, don’t let yourself get hungry. You’ll become tired, irritable and unhappy. What happens then? You’ll eat some chocolate, crisps, ice cream or a nice fatty instant snack. Hunger is a disaster so try to avoid it. If you get hungry when you're dieting, then you should EAT!
I’m confused about dieting. Some people say I shouldn’t eat until I’m hungry, and other people say I need to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner regularly in order to metabolise my food. Should I eat if I’m not hungry?
Generally, you shouldn't wait too long without eating because your body’s metabolism slows down and keeps fat to survive. In addition, when you wait a long time without eating you’ll generally eat anything that's put in front of you. If you don’t eat for six or seven hours , there’s a good chance you’ll eat the bread, the plate, the table AND the chairs!. There is a danger of over eating if you wait too long without, so you shouldn’t miss meals.
On the other hand, it’s important to listen to your body. Don’t eat just because it's mealtime and there's food in front of you. In the ideal situation, you should eat small meals fairly frequently (every three to four hours) throughout the day. Small meals keep you from being too full and tired and from eating more calories than you can burn.
So in conclusion, learn to listen to your body, eat when you are hungry and not go too long (more than four hours or so) without food. For most people that means eating at mealtimes PLUS a couple of nutritious snacks during the day.
Do I have to eat less to lose weight?
Not necessarily. Some foods contain a lot more calories than others. For example, one small cake can be higher in calories than a whole plateful of chicken, potatoes and vegetables.
Losing weight means eating fewer calories than we need. However, by choosing foods which are low in calories we can lose weight without eating less. In fact, sometimes we can actually eat more.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
It is possible to drink too much water; however, it is very difficult to do. Normally, the kidneys will just increase the output of water in response to drinking large quantities of fluid.
Should I do exercise?
When we start dieting, our body notices immediately and starts to slow down in order to conserve energy. This causes our weight loss to slow down, too. The best answer to this problem is to do more exercise.
You don't have to pretend to be an Olympic athlete or go to the gym 24 hours a day. A regular 30 minutes of any light exercise (like walking, swimming or cycling) is good, but it must be regular: i.e. every day!
Answers the following true or false questions.
1. It’s always
unhealthy to be overweight.
2. Eating good,
healthy food has a bigger effect on our weight than exercise.
3. Some people
can eat whatever like and not get fat because they are lucky.
4. If you do
regular exercise you burn more calories.
5. Taking diet
pills is a good way to speed up your metabolism.
6. Only low-fat
diets will work.
7. It’s not a
good idea not to be hungry when you’re trying to lose weight.
8. It’s better
to eat small meals often than one or two big meals a day.
9. You won’t
lose weight unless you eat less food.
10. You lose
weight quicker if you do regular exercise.
'vegetable' es la palabra usada para referirnos a las verduras y
hortalizas en general. El término específico para las verduras es 'green
vegetables', y 'root vegetables' en el caso de las hortalizas.
'... to eat less to lose weight'
- 'less' se utiliza como comparativo de 'little' y
generalmente se acompaña de sustantivos incontables:
I've got very little food / I have even less food (than you). Tengo muy poca comida. / Yo aún tengo menos (que tú).
- 'fewer' es el comparativo de 'few' y generalmente se
acompaña de sustantivos en plural:
fewer people, students, workers, etc menos gente, estudiantes, trabajadores, etc.
Generalmente 'less' es más utilizado que 'fewer'.
- 'lose' tiene el significado de 'perder' (tiempo, peso, un objeto,
Cuidado, en español, utilizamos también el verbo 'perder'
dándole el significado de 'no haber llegado a tiempo'. En dicho
caso, en inglés se utiliza 'miss'.
He lost ten kilos. / Perdió diez kilos
He missed the 7.30 train. / Perdió el tren de las siete y media
'to lose weight' adelgazar
'to put on weight' engordar
- Peso = weight / Pesado = heavy
Flour is sold by weight. / Venden la harina a peso.
This is a heavy suitcase. / Ésta es una maleta pesada.
Aunque en español solemos utilizar indistintamente los términos 'régimen'
o 'dieta' para referirnos a un método de adelgazamiento, en inglés
solamente el equivalente 'diet' es válido, pues 'regime'
tiene un significado completamente distinto ('sistema de gobierno').