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Achieving and Maintaining: Optimal Body Weight


The aim of this essay is to suggest a healthy weight management plan for an obese individual. In doing so, I will evaluate some associated parameters of the subject including assessing the health impact of obesity, and how it is possible to restrict oneself to a caloric diet in a fast food outlet. The Mcdonald’s chain of restaurants has been chosen as a study option in nutrition. The importance of exercise in a balanced weight control program has also been discussed.

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Medical risks of obesity

It is believed that obesity raises the risks of a variety of medical problems including diabetes, heart attacks, cancers, arthritis and more (Donatelle, 2009, p. 10.2). Some 34% of Americans are classified as obese with a very high body mass index (BMI) (Donatelle, 2009).


BMI is defined as the ratio between weight in kilograms to height in squared meters and can be a slightly subjective parameter. For example, the BMI of highly muscular people can be way above obesity limits but they may actually be very healthy. Along the same lines, there are people with perfectly controlled weight who may have high body fat due to genetic reasons (Donatelle, 2009).

Contributing factors behind obesity

So, basically, an individual can become fat due to the contribution of a number of factors. Arresting the same will help in achieving and maintaining the ideal body weight. The number one reason behind high obesity levels is uncontrolled overeating, with a high propensity among individuals to stack up calories through binge eating sessions, alcohol consumption and emotional eating disorders due to physiological stress or other ailments such as hypertension/depression (Donatelle, 2009, p. 10.6-18). For every 3500 extra calories consumed, a pound of weight gain happens. Potato chips, sodas and sugary confectionery products such as doughnuts are a major cause of concern for weight-watchers.

In order to control overeating, some of the helpful tips include not satisfying one’s taste buds due to boredom or stress. Instead, it is recommended to have lots of water to sate the invalid hunger cravings. Also, it is important to space one’s meals in such a way that there are no hunger pangs at any point in time which would lead to binge eating. Chewing food products slowly also makes a huge difference as it gives the stomach the satisfaction of fullness at a much less caloric intent. Indeed, it has been observed that fat people are too often fast-eaters and could do well to control that behavior.

How to arrest obesity: diet and exercise

Along with a balanced diet, a moderate amount of daily exercise is recommended for those keen on losing weight. It is believed 30 mins of jogging 3 times a week, or several minutes of brisk walking is often enough to control one’s weight. Aerobic activities like swimming, cycling and resistance exercises in a gym routine are also recommended for faster results.

It should be kept in mind that drastic weight reduction by skipping entire meals every day and extended fasting is not recommended at all. They lead to loss of muscle mass (ketosis) and also cause a variety of brain and heart ailments (Donatelle, 2009, pp. 10-25).

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A McDonald nutrition study

The growing importance of fast food in a Western diet is the nemesis of any weight-reduction plan. In order to study the options of a healthy caloric diet in a fast-food chain such as Mcdonald’s, I have made the following recommendations.

  1. It is best to give up on super-sized meals such as Quarter Pounders and Double Quarter pounders. Not only are such items upsetting of the best diet plans but they make you feel immensely bloated inside. A McDonald’s double quarter pounder with cheese contains nearly 740 calories which can easily be dispensed in favor of two cheeseburgers which collectively give 600 calories.
  2. The tendency to buy sodas in a burger meal could be curbed. It’s a better idea to have bottled water with your burgers.
  3. Portion sizes of sides such as French Fries should be limited to small or medium and not large.


Donatelle, R. (2009). Health: The Basics (8th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

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