Nutrition Expert Urges Malaysians to Tackle Obesity with Small Lifestyle Changes

vegetables still life with olive oil on white background

KUALA LUMPUR, January 2017 – Herbalife Nutrition expert, Dr. Luigi Gratton, Vice President of Nutrition Education and Development and the Chairman of the Nutritional Advisory Board (NAB) for Herbalife, last week attended the Herbalife Malaysia Spectacular and encouraged Malaysians to begin 2017 with good nutritional habits that can combat obesity.

Dr Luigi Gratton, Vice President of Nutrition Education and Development and the Chairman of the Nutritional Advisory Board (NAB) speaking to the audience.

According to Dr. Gratton, starting the New Year with small lifestyle changes, such as giving up sugar and eating more vegetables, can make a big difference in combating obesity. These habits, if consistently practised for three weeks straight, can eventually become habit.

The Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam has recently warned that Malaysians are facing more health problems due to unhealthy lifestyles. A national health and morbidity survey revealed that obesity had risen from 4.4% (of the population) in 1996 to 17.7% in 2015 1. Furthermore, it was also reported that:

  • 45% of Malaysian adults are overweight or obese1, 2

  • 48% of Malaysian adults suffered from high cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia 2
  • 18% of Malaysian adults are diabetic 2

These health problems have been linked to the dietary habits of Malaysians who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Only 6% of Malaysian adults consume enough fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that those who consume more greens and fruits are less susceptible to cancer by between 5% and 12%.3

“Rather than trying to tackle everything at once, think about a few small changes that you are confident you can make right away, even today,” said Dr. Luigi Gratton. “That way you will build on each small success – and rebuild a healthier and better diet, step by step. A few small changes over the course of the day really can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your diet.”

Dr Luigi Gratton, Vice President of Nutrition Education and Development and the Chairman of the Nutritional Advisory Board (NAB) showing how to make your protein shake.

Dr. Gratton also shared tips on losing weight and keeping it off:

Create specific and achievable goals and resolutions. An achievable lifestyle change can lead to sustainable, lasting results, as opposed to a “fad” diet. Instead of “I want to get fit,” try “I will walk 30 minutes a day” or “I will park further and walk to the office”.

o Start “once a day” healthier choices. Choose a meal, either lunch or dinner, to have a healthy meal or give up fried foods for lunch or sugary drinks for one meal a day. For example, ditching soda in favour of water at one meal can cut at least 150 calories and about 10 teaspoons of sugar out of your day.

Start a “once a week” goal. For example, start a yoga class once a week or pack your own lunch once a week.

Make small lifestyle changes. Add fruits and vegetables to your meal, go for a walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car further from the door and walk. It typically takes about three weeks to create a habit.

Take action, get fit. Weight management is a result of balanced nutrition and exercise. Remember that you need to supply your muscles with protein and other nutrients that are important to your workout recovery. If you find that you may not have time, try doing wall squats which you can do while watching television or at work and can help increase your stamina, strengthen your core muscles and help you focus.

Dr Luigi Gratton, Vice President of Nutrition Education and Development and the Chairman of the Nutritional Advisory Board (NAB) speaking to the media.

Maintain a balanced nutrition. Balanced nutrition includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins which help maintain energy and curb appetite. By learning what size portions you need to eat to feel ‘not hungry any more’—as opposed to feeling ‘stuffed’—you can trim your food intake significantly. Portion control strategies include using smaller plates, serving your food in the kitchen rather than having serving dishes at the table and using meal replacements such as protein shakes, bars or frozen meals.

These and other tips from Herbalife’s fitness and nutrition experts, along with healthy recipes to help achieve your New Year’s resolution, can be found at http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/.