Small Steps To Weight Loss

Small Steps To Weight Loss

A friend recently completed a two-week detox programme. the kind where you take only vegetable and fruit juices. I personally do not think it is necessary to do that, but at least it showed some determination to take some action about her health. She wanted to know what she should do next, with regard to achieving a healthy weight.

This is what I emailed her, with some slight editing. You may find it useful for yourself or for a friend:

Congratulations on the completion of the detox programme!

So now, what next?

Let us start with the hard part (for most people) – food.
1) Plan your meals. Decide beforehand what you will eat, to avoid just eating whatever is available.
Your plan should cater for the following points:

2) Whatever quantities you have been eating of the following foods (and similar ones) cut that in half:
Bread and other wheat products e.g. chapati, cakes and maandazi, potatoes, rice.
Replace these with green vegetables and with meat (beef, chicken, fish) and eggs
(You can eat the whole egg – that means including the yolk)
Have vegetables with every meal.
Drink water before every meal.

3) Work towards eliminating soda, juice (yes, juice), squash from your diet.
Replace these with water, and with actual fruits. The greater the variety, the better.
And with some nuts – macadamia, groundnuts, cashew.

In summary,
1) Plan your meals
2) Drink water before every meal
3) Have vegetables with every meal
4) Cut carbohydrate intake in half
5) Eat protein
6) Have some fruits and nuts

Image courtesy of vorakorn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Now, the easy part:
Exercise
Get a good pair of walking shoes.
Get out and walk at a pace of 100 steps a minute or faster.
Yes, carry a timer/phone, walk and count your steps for a minute, adjust your pace if necessary.
Do this 3 times a week or more if you can.

Week 1 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday (or whichever days work for you)
100 steps a minute, for 10 minutes each day
So, 5 minutes going, turn, 5 minutes back

Week 2 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
100 steps a minute, for 15 minutes each day
8 minutes going, 8 minutes back

Week 3 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
100 steps a minute, for 20 minutes each day
10 minutes going, 10 minutes back

Week 4 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
100 steps a minute, for 30 minutes each day
15 minutes going, 15 minutes back

After 4 weeks, we can review and plan the next steps.

Please weigh yourself each week, and record your weight, so that you can track your progress.
I will not ask you for the figures, so do not feel shy 🙂

All the best!

Some links for you
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-weight-loss-diet/
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/weight-loss-study/
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/staying-active/tips-for-getting-exercise-into-your-life/

How To Lose Weight

How To Lose Weight

Image courtesy of maya/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This article should actually be called ‘How To Lose Fat.’ Your body weight includes the weight of your muscles, and you generally do not want to lose muscle. I used the phrase ‘lose weight’ because that is what most people say when they talk about losing body fat.
If you want to simply lose any weight from your body, then that is fairly straight-forward. Just eat less and less, and your weight will drop. However, you will also probably become unhealthy if you eat less nutrients than your body needs.
Losing fat, on the other hand, is slightly more challenging, but the steps are also quite well known: Eat less, exercise more.
I will phrase that slighly differently and say, eat less and move more.

Eat Less
If you have some additional body fat, then it means your body converted some of the food you ate to fat and stored it for later use. It means you ate food that got converted into energy that the body did not need at the time, so it got stored. It is the same concept that animals use when they hibernate. They eat lots of food, it is stored as fat, and their bodies use these stores to keep their bodies functioning while the animals are asleep and not hunting and eating, during the winter period. The problem with humans is that we eat food, it is stored as fat, but we do not stop eating and hibernate. We just keep on eating more food, and more gets stored. So the goal is to not eat so much that some has to be stored, but eat only as much as our bodies need.

It is important to state that what you eat is perhaps more important than how much you eat. To put it simply, eat less carbohydrates (these are usually white foods – bread, rice, potatoes, pasta) and eat more green vegetables and also more proteins – eggs, meat, beans.

Move More
I replaced the word ‘exercise’ with ‘move’, so that we do not get stuck thinking we can only benefit by blocking out some time in our schedule, changing into exercise clothes and then doing some specific exercises. Doing all that is good, but the whole point of exercise is to burn calories and strengthen and build muscle. We burn some calories whenever we move. Such movement can be walking to the shop, gardening, dancing, mowing the lawn, carrying our shopping into the house and so on. All that is movement that burns calories. If you want to lose weight, then you want to burn some of the calories that have been stored earlier. Moving more gives your body a reason to burn up these calories. Of course, this will only work if you are also eating just enough for your needs. If you eat more than you need, then the calories burnt by moving more will only be replaced by the excess food you eat.

So, move more: walk more, take the stairs, start an exercise program, take up a sport. If you want to really accelerate your fat loss, then you could look into high intensity interval training.

So plan how you will eat less and how you will move more, and the fat will come off. This is a very summarised article on this subject, but it addresses the basic concepts of fat loss.

 

Stair Workout

Stair Workout

A few weeks ago, I carried some drinking water to an apartment on third floor (counting the floor immediately above the ground floor as the first floor).

I made two trips, carrying 10 litres each trip, and after that I felt started feeling some sweat breaking. I was a little surprised, seeing that I had made just two trips.

So yesterday, I decided to add weights to the stair workout that I sometimes do when I do not feel like going out for a sprint session. I filled two plastic containers with water, each with a capacity of 5 litres  (about 1.3 gallons), for this purpose. One litre of water weighs 1 kilo (2.2 pounds), so each container weighed 5kg (11 pounds).

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