"Starvation or extreme dieting is not recommended in the flying profession," said Captain Abbasi.
Since the flying profession requires maximum mental alertness, the aircrew needs to follow special weight reduction programmes. While reducing weight, the pilots are advised to keep following good points to prevent obesity. Pilots are now very careful about their weight. Weight reduction advice varies from case to case depending upon the individual requirements.
Captain Naseer Ahmed Abbasi, who is a flight surgeon of Eastern Region – Civil Defense Aviation Base, KSA - pointed out some healthy points to avoid obesity in pilots such as:
- Never miss a healthy pre-flight meal in any case and in-flight meals in long cross-country flights.
- At least keep 250 grams per week as their target for weight reduction. Sudden weight loss is not compatible with efficacy of pilot.
- Pilots should minimize fat contents of their diet to 40-45 grams per day and use liquid vegetable oils.They should not use cheese, butter, un-skimmed milk or animal fat.
- They should get protein from fish, chicken and low fat milk.
- They should fulfill the requirement of carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals mostly from fresh fruits and vegetables.
They should exercise regularly to consume excessive
- Moderate exercise like walking, gardening and golf consume 4-5K cals/min. Walking 5 km/hour/day for one hour only 5-6 days a week will consume 240K cal/day which is equal to loss of 30 grams of fat/day. If this is continued regularly for over one year, it will reduce 10 kg weight without any bad effect on pilot’s efficiency.
- Severe exercise like jogging, squash and aerobics consume 10K cals/minute.
- Intermediate exercise like cycling, swimming and tennis consumes 7K cals/minute.
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