An Ounce of Prevention

5 minutes reading time (911 words)



Eat to live, and not live to eat.
Benjamin Franklyn

In addition to all our other challenges, Jamaicans and the rest of the world seem to be literally drowning in excess fat. According to World Health Organization data, almost eighty percent of Jamaican women are overweight and many of them truly obese. They along with our eastern Caribbean neighbors are now even fatter than the women in the United States! The WHO statistics also show that our men are not excluded from this trend. Over fifty percent of Jamaican men are overweight or obese.


Excess body fat is a major risk factor for a many common diseases including the three leading causes of premature death: heart disease, cancer and stroke. Also our current epidemic of diabetes and high blood pressure is growing in direct proportion to the increase in obesity in our society. If unchecked, we will strangle ourselves to death in our own fat. Too much of the regions resources are being squandered on treating the symptoms of obesity.

Here is some advice for avoiding weight gain.


Business lunches, family dinners and parties are the order of the day for many of us. Be careful with what you eat at these functions.

Focus on eating lots of healthy protein: fish, skinned, defatted poultry (organic preferably), beans, peas, eggs and soy. This helps to control your appetite while stimulating the burning of fat. Avoid fatty or fried meats and the accompanying gravy.

Skimp on the carbohydrates: the bread, toast, rolls or crackers served   before the meal. Cut to a minimum or eliminate the rice and ground provisions served in the main course. Have a small serving of dessert and make it fruit if possible. Avoid the sugar.

Fill up with fibre: fill your plate with salads and vegetables. Use these to create a feeling of fullness before dessert.


There are now more tempting snacks, more readily available than ever. Deliberately cut back on the quantity of cakes, puddings, biscuits, chocolates, sweets and soft drinks in your home or office. Stock up on healthier snacks: unsalted nuts, fresh fruit (not ripe bananas and mangoes) and raw vegetables.


Alcoholic drinks are high in calories and virtually empty of nutrients. If you want to avoid weight gain, you must minimize your consumption of alcohol.  The chart below lists the caloric content of the common alcoholic drinks. Remember that most of the popular chasers contain a lot of additional calories. 

Alcoholic Drink




Beer Regular

12 ounces



Beer Light

12 ounces




2 ounces




2 ounces




2 ounces




2 ounces




2 ounces



Wine red

4 ounces



Wine white dry

4 ounces



Wine white sweet

4 ounces




4 ounces







Soft drinks, fruit juices, sweetened sorrel and other popular drinks are also loaded with sugar and calories and must be consumed with great moderation. Make water your favorite drink for the season.


Use it or lose it. Get your body moving to stimulate your metabolism to burn more calories. Dance, walk, play games, go to the beach; do whatever you need to do to increase your level of physical activity. Try to get outdoors and get more exercise, sunshine and fresh air. If you have eaten too much try doing some physical activity as soon as possible afterwards. The research shows that this will reduce weight gain.


Many people know what to do to lose weight but they lack the focus, the discipline, and the structure to get the results that they want. We all do better with the right assistance and encouragement. Here are some excellent support systems:

GET A WEIGHT LOSS COACH: I have been involved in training hundreds of weight loss coaches located all over the island. They will provide the information and support for you to succeed with your weight control plan, especially at this time of the year. The service is free and they also offer a free wellness evaluation.

JOIN A WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE: This is a program in which you attend a class for an hour each week for twelve weeks. Each week a different topic relating to weight management and healthy lifestyles is covered and your progress is monitored by your coach. The classes provide lots of valuable information in a relaxed and fun filled environment. The cost for the training is nominal and the results are excellent. These challenges are also available island wide and we would be happy to start one in your community.

ATTEND A NUTRITION CLUB: These are members clubs set up all over the island designed to provide the support, information, education and programs to assist people to improve their nutrition and lose weight. We specifically teach the benefits of a nutritional program called Cellular Nutrition. The motto of the Nutrition Clubs is simple: “where friends of good nutrition meet”

Feel free to contact me for information on finding a weight loss coach, a Nutrition Club or a weight loss challenge near you.  


I challenge you to check your weight and measure your waistline right now. Put into action the suggestions I have made and start your program to greater health and less fat.


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