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Little Ways to Lose A Lot of Fat
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By Nawaz Modi Singhania  

Weight watchers go to great lengths to avoid great widths! Today's article offers various suggestions, which will help take you from here to there.

Workout!

In Jacob M. Braude's words, "Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, & bending over backwards."

You need to schedule your workouts and stick to them. If you have trouble juggling your workouts into your day, slot it into your diary as you would any other appointment & stick to it no matter what. Do it like your life depends on it, which, in a way, it does.

Be sociable

Studies have found that those who join an exercise class/gym and a diet centre lose twice as much in terms of fat & inches than those who try & take this into their own hands. Meeting up with others on a regular basis, in class or at a centre, who have the same goals & problems, inspire people to work harder towards their weight-loss goals.

Work at your own pace

When joining a fitness centre, work out at your own pace. Don't be intimidated by the intensity of the session. Listen to your body, & slow down whenever you need to. Mirrors are an important tool which will help you focus on technique & body alignment. Don't worry about others checking you out in the mirror. They're not. They're fixated by their own image! Remember- you are not in competition with anyone, except for the 'you' of yesterday!

Set yourself realistic goals

Instead of planning on losing 15 kgs in two months & doing nothing about it, plan on losing 5- 6 inches overall & combine this with a sensible diet & exercise programme.

Stay Active

Do household chores as you watch TV. Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Walk home from work whenever possible. Get physically more involved, rather than being a couch potato.

Practice perfect posture

Besides the obvious health angle, perfect posture will make your body look it's best. Stand straight. Avoid slouching.

Train your Abdominals

Aside from greatly enhancing visual appeal, a strong mid-section adds to back strength & can boost your performance in just about any sport.

Get weights in

Weight & resistance training helps you get rid of unwanted fat, & fast. This is because muscles require more energy to sustain them than fat. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. You can raise your metabolism by as much as 15- 18%!

Mix & Match

Rotate your activities; cross train! You'll see continuous results, feel much better, & reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

Be flexible

If you can't make it to your aerobic class one day, maybe you can walk back home that day, or head out for a jog instead. Take your walkman or a friend along for company.

Foods aren't "good" or "bad".

All foods are good, IF they are consumed in moderation. Don't banish certain foods altogether from your diet- that'll make you crave them all the more. That leads to bingeing. Control the size of the portion instead.

Use the RPH (Rate of Perceived Hunger) Scale

This is a very effective mental tool. Think of '0' as an indication of extreme hunger, & of '10' as indicating feeling stuffed. Now make it a point to stay between 3- 8 at all times. If you're starving, chances are that you will overeat at meals, particularly so as it takes your brains about 20 minutes to realize that you are full. Begin to eat when you're at about 3 on the scales. Stop when you're at 7- 8 where you are full, but not stuffed.

Find a good partner as a support system

Get fit with a friend or relative with a nice, admirable figure that you can use as a role model. Don't choose a leggy supermodel to workout with. You'll end up with the same figure, low self-esteem & depression.

Get a good overall support system

Steer clear of those who undermine your weight-loss programme. Whatever their motivation, you don't want people forcing you to have another piece of chocolate cake or some more mithai. If they really cared about you, they'd want you be be happy, healthy & in great shape.

The monsoons washed away your exercise programme?

Instead of making excuses, find yourself an indoor activity. Riding a stationary cycle, rope jumping or stair climbing are just some of the many activities you can engage in.

Follow a food plan

Eat on a regular basis rather than in a random, unplanned manner. Many people binge senselessly when they're upset or angry. Keep a record of what, when, how much & why you are eating. This will help you pinpoint & rectify trouble areas.

Eat small meals

The problem with square meals is that they make you round! Consume small meals through the day. Avoid sticking to just 2 or 3 large meals. This way the body uses up the calories from your meal rather than storing the excess in the form of fat.

Dieting can wreck havoc on your close personal relationships

Recent studies have found that a woman's obsession with her weight, crash dieting & low body esteem can lead to marital problems, even divorce. A husband, close relatives & friends can lose patience & tolerance with a dieter's constant cribbing or sad, negative self-image. Keep your problems to yourself. Don't be a talker; be a doer!

Go Vegetarian

By cutting back on all that protein & the excess fat that goes with it, you'll lose fat & inches fast. If you can't find it in yourself to do this, then try & stick to seafood & chicken. Go slow on the red meat & other animal products. Remove the skin of chicken & fish before cooking. These skins contain a high level of fat.

Wait for 10 minutes after the first helping

It's a fact, & a handy little trick: wait for 10 minutes after your first helping, & you won't want a second one, or a snack soon after. This is the amount of time that it takes for the hypothalamus (a section of the brain) to figure that the stomach is full & satisfied. It actually takes 20, but you've taken an average of 10 minutes already while consuming the first helping.

Take a break from restaurants

A good many people commit suicide with a knife & fork! Cook yourself healthy, low-fat, low-sodium meals at home. Your wallet & your waistline will thank you for it.

Sip your soup

Studies have shown that a bowl of soup before your meal will curtail your appetite as it is filling & takes a relatively long time to eat. As the brain takes about 20 minutes to realize that the body is full, soup sipping is particularly useful in quantity control.

Social events don't have to feature food

The worst part of a diet isn't watching your food- it's watching everybody else's! Friends & fun do not have to be centred around food. Instead of meeting for lunch or dinner, join a fitness centre together or take a walk together. You'll get a thrill out of enjoying each other's company & knowing that at the same time you're improving your health & fitness levels!

Dump convenience foods from your diet

As a thumb-rule, non-fresh foods usually contain added chemicals, a high amount of sodium and fat. This is exactly what adds to their shelf life! They don't, however, do your body any good.

Keep healthy snacks close at hand

Destiny shapes our ends, but caloric intake is what shapes our middles! Keep things like fruits, vegetables, sandwiches made of whole wheat bread & no butter close at hand. When those hunger pangs burst in, you'll want to grab the first available edible item. Make sure it's low on fat & calories, while being nutritionally rich.

Read labels

Get into the good habit of reading food labels. If there are some ingredients you can't pronounce, leave alone identify, then the chances are high that this meal is loaded with chemicals. Avoid it.

Drop the salt

Add the zing to your meal by using chilly sauce, black pepper, vinegar, paprika seeds, mustard or limejuice instead of salt. Besides keeping your blood pressure in check, you'll cut down on that belly bloat you'll otherwise get from salt consumption. You'll be surprised to find that your food will taste better too!

It's okay to gain 1.5 to 2 kgs. every decade, after the age of 20

Don't fear aging. Putting on a bit of weight as we get older is good for the body & the soul. Extreme thinness can increase the risk of osteoporosis. A very thin face is also far more likely to show wrinkles at an earlier stage.

Eat smart on the job!

Overeating is not the way up the corporate ladder! Eat simple, sensible food. It'll keep from you feeling sleepy, lazy & sluggish all day. Keep your mind on the business at hand. Stay focussed.

Check on inch-loss, not weight-loss

Though you might have been working out diligently, your weight might stay the same. This is because you've probably built up on muscle tissue, which weighs more than fat. That's great. Therefore go by the measure tape, how your clothes fit, & how you look in the mirror- not by the weighing scale.

Think Thin!

Mind over matter. Carry yourself, walk & think like a thin person. It works wonders.

Credit Yourself

See how far you've come with your plan & how much you've accomplished. Compare old photographs of yourself when you were at your heaviest with recent ones- huge difference! Imagine how great you'll look & feel when you do reach your eventual goals!

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