The boom in the convenience food culture in the last two decades is largely responsible for the weight issues that the present generation is staring at. Lifestyle diseases associated with the same are forcing us to adopt a healthier approach with a focus on our body needs.
But, due to our fast-paced life, we want a quick fix solution to losing weight too. What we forget is that there can be no shortcuts to achieving that goal in a healthy and reasonable way. Crash diets or sudden bursts of exercise can never be the best ways to lose weight. The body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise.
When we suddenly start to starve ourselves, we run the risk of becoming deficient in necessary nutrients and vitamins that our body needs. Similarly, sudden changes in exercise regime might cause injury to one’s body and set our fitness levels in a back gear. At times, it may even leave us demotivated.
So, if one needs to lose weight, what should one do?
Understand the relationship between energy needs and body weight
Our body uses food for energy. It stores any excess energy as fat. Therefore, if we eat more food than what our body needs for daily activities and cell maintenance, we are bound to gain weight. To lose weight, we need to get your body to use up these stores of fat.
Follow the three-prong strategy:
Adjust the daily diet scientifically to help reduce the extra calories one is used to eating.
Increase the levels of activity one is used to. This helps to increase our metabolism and thus, the body burns more calories throughout the day.
Let us try and further explore these strategies in detail.
Strategy 1: Gradual restructuring of the present food pattern
Sustained weight loss should involve permanent change in one’s eating habits. But, this must be achieved by taking baby steps. Even small changes can make a huge difference.
These changes could mean changing the kinds of food, time of food, meal portions or method of cooking. Also, if the change in eating habits is done keeping one’s preferences in mind, with little deviation from their routine, it takes less effort to follow a plan.
Over a long term this strategy helps to change our perception about food and bring about a lifestyle change.
What it does not mean -
Crash dieting which usually ends up with you either getting weaker or giving up in desperation. It can also lead to a yo-yoing effect of drastic weight loss followed by weight gain, resulting in a vicious cycle.
Strategy 2: Set up a sustainable exercise regime
The second aspect of one’s health plan must be a recommended exercise routine. This follows a simple logic that if one increases the amount of exercise one does for the same diet and calorie intake, they will almost certainly lose weight. So, if it is coupled with diet changes, the results are always encouraging.
The exercise plan need not make a huge dent into your pocket. This too should be thought through and planned keeping one’s preference in mind. Physical activity is more important than the form. So, if one is not a gym person, brisk walking even for 45 minutes a day, would work wonders for you.
Key is to find something that one enjoys, is easy to do in terms of location and cost. It is then more likely to be build it into one’s routine and taken to a logical conclusion.
Strategy 3: Be patient and persevere
Staying motivated throughout the entire transformation process is probably the toughest challenge. It might take a while before one notice any changes, but they will steadily appear.
There will be days when you would want to or probably will give into your temptations. There would also be times when the weighing scale would simply refuse to budge. Instead of losing weight you would be frustrated on having put a little back on.
Remember, that everyone goes through this phase - it is normal! Only thing is that one should not let it come in the way to a healthier self. All it might need is a tweak in the health plan.
Set realistic goals and keep in mind that slow and steady would always win the race!