Weight Management Strategies In Singapore
Our weight is a combination of various factors: genetics, environment, stress, and even our daily access to food and exercise options. Accidents, injuries, or disabilities may also impact these efforts, making it difficult to carry out everyday care tasks let alone fitness programmes. For some people, a naturally higher metabolic rate or better access to healthier food makes it easier to attain or maintain their ideal weight. For others, pursuing their weight management goals can feel like an uphill battle – especially in a busy environment like Singapore’s where people face high-stress lifestyles.
For those navigating the journey towards a healthier weight, understanding the causes of weight gain and how you can pursue a holistic and mindful daily routine is key to achieving long-term effects.
Who Can Benefit From Weight Management Programmes?
Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) defines obesity in adults in two key ways:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) > 27.5 kg/m2 for Asians or > 30 kg/m2 for Caucasians
- Waist circumference > 90 cm (male) or > 80 cm (female) for Asians or > 102 cm (male) or 90 cm (female) for Caucasians
Related comorbidities for obesity recognised by MOH include:
- Diabetes mellitus (DM)
- Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
- Fatty liver disease
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), male hypogonadism
- Hyperlipidaemia, hypertension
- Osteoarthritis (OA)
Under MOH guidelines, individuals that have a BMI > 23 (overweight and obese) without comorbidities OR with comorbidities other than those listed are recommended to pursue a Weight Management Programme at a recognised Sports Medicine Clinic in Singapore.
Potential Consequences Of Higher Body Weight
Being overweight or on the heavier side may bring about some inconveniences or potential health issues down the line, as well as the experiencing of fat-related stigma. While not every overweight person will experience these, weight management can help to decrease the risk of certain medical conditions:
- Cardiovascular diseases (more commonly heart disease and stroke)
- Type II Diabetes
- Musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a degenerative disease of the joints that can be highly disabling if not treated early)
- Some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon)
Generally speaking, overweight or obese individuals are recommended to undergo weight management to reach a weight that is manageable for them in the long run. When beginning your weight management journey, it is recommended to seek professional advice on a holistic approach to avoid any injuries. Our physiotherapists based in Singapore can offer guidance on strategies to adopt that suit your physical capabilities, mobility, and regular routine.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a widely used tool to gauge weight status and manage weight effectively. By relating one’s weight to their height, BMI provides a simple numeric measure of a person’s thickness or thinness, serving as a heuristic proxy for body fat. It is a tool of choice for many physicians in Singapore and worldwide to gain a baseline understanding of an individual’s weight and size.
However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the limitations of BMI. For instance, it does not distinguish between muscle and fat mass, leading to potential misclassification of muscular individuals as overweight or obese. Moreover, it does not account for the distribution of body fat. Central obesity, characterised by fat around the waist, can pose a more significant health risk than fat in other areas and is a factor BMI cannot discern.
Despite these limitations, BMI remains a practical indicator for the general population and is a starting point for discussions about weight management programmes. While it should not be seen as the be-all-end-all in determining one’s fitness status, it can be a baseline when pursuing comprehensive health assessments. Those interested in understanding their BMI in the context of their overall health should consult with health professionals for a full evaluation.
Common Causes Of Obesity
Obesity is a complex condition with a myriad of contributing factors, some of which are within individual control and others beyond it. Common causes include:
Excessive food intake, particularly high-calorie foods, leads to weight gain when the body does not expand these calories through physical activity. Individuals who regularly exercise but consume more calories than they expend may also be at risk of unwanted weight gain.
With urbanisation and technological advancements, sedentary lifestyles have become more common, especially in business-centric hubs like Singapore. This not only poses cause for concern related to weight, but to maintaining one’s general health and fitness.
The genetic makeup of an individual can predispose them to obesity, even if they follow exercise or fitness programmes recommended by medical professionals. This is because genetics influence metabolic rates, appetite, and even food cravings on a molecular level, impacting how the body processes its calorie intake and output.
Conditions that affect the body’s metabolic or endocrine functions can also play a role in weight gain. Metabolic disorders like metabolic syndrome and diabetes affect how your body processes the energy or nutrients from food consumed. While endocrine disorders like hyperthyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affect the release of hormones in your body, such as hormones to signal fullness when eating.
External factors like stress (which can affect hormone production in the body) and lack of access to healthy food choices further complicate these factors. In short, there’s typically not just one factor to consider when you want to tackle an individual’s obesity or weight status.
It’s important to understand the interplay between these causes when tackling weight gain or weight management. By adopting a multidisciplinary approach to addressing each factor, from lifestyle changes to medical treatments in Singapore for underlying conditions, a consistent and long-lasting weight management programme can be crafted.
Importance Of Weight Management
Weight management is a cornerstone of preventive health care. It is instrumental in staving off a multitude of health risks and improving one’s quality of life, and its benefits extend well beyond the physical. Maintaining a healthy weight can significantly improve cardiovascular heart health, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease in the short- and long-term. This can help with lowering the risk of experiencing cardiac issues, as well as aid in the long-term recovery of individuals who have already experienced a heart attack or other similar conditions.
Its effect on lowering stroke risk has also been noted in scientific literature, due mainly to improved blood flow and healthier blood pressure leading to a reduced chance of blood clots. Moreover, effective weight control is associated with reduced risks of Type II Diabetes, as it helps maintain proper blood glucose levels.
Managing weight is also crucial for musculoskeletal health. It reduces the strain on bones, joints, and muscles, decreasing the risk of osteoarthritis and other structural health problems. This is especially important for ageing individuals in their middle age and above, and can help lower the risk of serious injuries due to falls or accidents.
Some research has also suggested a link between weight management and reduced risk of developing cancer. This could be due to improved hormone levels, lower oestrogen levels from reduced fat tissue (with elevated oestrogen being a contributing factor to breast cancer), and reduced chronic inflammation.
Weight management can even improve the psychological components of one’s health, through improving self-esteem and identifying strategies to tackle weight-linked stigma. Interestingly, there’s also evidence suggesting that weight loss can sharpen the senses, including taste.
Apart from the physical benefits of weight management, there’s also the consideration of wanting to stay healthier longer in order to spend more time with one’s family, friends, and loved ones.
Our Approach To Healthy Weight Management & Reduction
Weight management may be desired if you’re looking to move better and live well. If you are thinking about starting an exercise programme to help manage your weight, but do not know where to begin, look no further.
Our trained physiotherapists are qualified to help you with:
- Counselling and readiness for exercise
- Identifying your needs and areas of concern
- Goal setting (SMART principle)
- Motivational strategies to keep you going
- Achieving your target weight
Here at Rapid Physiocare, we pride ourselves on being all-inclusive in our wellness and fitness programmes. If you’re interested to find out more about our Weight Management Programme in Singapore, contact us at email@example.com or call +65 6904 4900.
Tips For Weight Management
Sensible weight management hinges on a balance of dietary choices and physical activity. In the context of Singapore, where dining out and affordable meals from all types of cuisines are part of the culture, managing weight can be challenging. However, with some practical tips, it is possible to navigate through these challenges successfully.
Adopting a balanced, low-fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is foundational. It not only nourishes your body with a balanced mix of nutrients, but helps you avoid the buildup of unhealthy LDL cholesterol. During snack time, opt for healthy snacks with protein, fibre, and healthy fats.
Beyond what you eat, the amount you eat is also important to keep in mind. Portion control using smaller plates and bowls can help avoid overeating, especially during events with a plentiful selection such as buffets. One should also practise mindful eating; some research has shown that eating slowly helps with weight loss as by chewing slowly and savouring each bite, one can improve digestion and potentially eat less.
Furthermore, staying hydrated is essential, as sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Swapping out sugary drinks for water can have a significant impact on calorie intake.
Engaging in regular aerobic exercises between 150 to 300 minutes a week can aid in burning calories and improving cardiovascular health. This includes brisk walking, swimming, or cycling, which can be done for free at your local park or park connector, or low-cost at a public pool or ActiveSG gym. Including more exercise into your daily routine also helps with reducing sedentary activities, such as prolonged TV watching. Other small ways to incorporate activity into daily routines include choosing stairs over elevators, or getting off at an earlier bus stop or MRT station during your commute and walking home.
Finally, it’s important to maintain regular sleep patterns, as lack of sleep can affect hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. Incorporating these tips into daily life can make a substantial difference in weight management efforts. It is about making conscious choices every day that align with one’s health goals, a philosophy we embody at Rapid Physiocare.
Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Management
Will this weight management programme in Singapore take up a lot of my time?
Clients have the freedom to arrange their own weight management programme schedule, depending on physiotherapist availability. This is because we understand that building up a sustainable and regular routine is key to achieving long-term weight management and weight loss goals. Our physiotherapists may also recommend alterations to the programme as and when necessary.
How much weight can I expect to lose with this weight management programme?
The amount of weight you can expect to lose from our weight management programme will vary depending on the individual. This is due to factors such as genetics, adherence to the recommended fitness programme, and your body’s current condition (e.g. injury or disability). Our physiotherapists will fine tune your programme depending on the SMART goals you set, which may include other concerns like building up core strength or increasing muscle mass that affect overall weight status.
Will weight loss drugs be involved as part of the programme?
No. Our physiotherapists do not use weight loss drugs as part of our weight management programmes, where possible. If a client is taking regular medication that may affect their weight, appetite, or other important factors, we will certainly take it into consideration when crafting their personalised fitness programme. However, we do not promote weight loss drugs as part of a sustainable and holistic weight management strategy.
About Rapid Physiocare
Rapid Physiocare is a reputable physiotherapy clinic in Singapore staffed with highly skilled professionals, all dedicated to fostering a nurturing and encouraging atmosphere for clients from all walks of life. Be it weight management, musculoskeletal physiotherapy, or posture analysis, individuals embarking on their health and wellness journey with us will receive not only top-tier therapeutic support but also compassionate guidance. We strive to set superior standards in patient care and client management, so that our clients can achieve their personal health objectives with confidence and assurance. Find out more about us.