Beating the bulge: Tips on losing weight
A computer programmer once told me that of all the difficult projects that he had to handle, the toughest was his weight loss project. Cheesy, I admit, but he had a point. When you are battling the bulge, there will be days when you can barely leave your bed, let alone going for a jog, which is where these tips on losing weight come in.
- Eat three full meals every day. Plenty of people believe that skipping meals is one way to lose weight. That, according to nutritionist Natalie Cheung, is rubbish. “Skipping meals makes you hungrier than usual, which causes you to snack excessively,” she says.
- Do not believe people who say health food is ‘boring’. There are plenty of ways to spice up your whole meal cereals and brown bread sandwiches. Add tasty fruits to your yogurt, or onion and pepper to your sandwiches.
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Baltimore-based fitness trainer Santanu Mukherjee, who runs special sessions for people who have begun exercising late in life, says walking is one of the healthiest exercises for any age group. “If you can’t walk 30 minutes at a stretch, break it up into 15-minute sessions,” he advises.
- An absolute must is to weigh yourself at regular intervals. Monica Paige, who at the age of 34 was asked to lose weight or risk an early death, says her weight problem made her averse to weighing herself because she was afraid of the result. “I was pushing 350 lbs and I didn’t want to know,” she says. Eventually, counseling made her see that the process of regular weighing was a way of controlling her weight gain.
- Do not expect miracles. The blond bombshell next door may claim to have lost 10 lbs in three weeks or whatever, but don’t expect the angels to do something similar for you.
- Avoid eating at odd times. Every time you think longingly of that Bar of Chocolate in the refrigerator, chain your mind to the nearest rock. Better still; don’t stock high-calorie foods like chocolate and ice cream at all.
- Create activities for yourself. To use a mundane example, walk to the TV and operate it manually instead of playing with the remote. Wherever possible, use the stairs instead of the elevator. Stuart Clark, a 43-year-old finance consultant, recalls a trip to Japan a few years ago, when he discovered that his Japanese business associate got his daily exercise by running up and down the stairs of his eight-storey apartment. “Since that day, I have not used an elevator unless I am really in a hurry,” he says.
- Involve the family in your weight loss program. “If you have kids, spend an hour every day kicking a ball with them,” says fitness trainer Katherine McMahon.
- Do not eat large portions. Says Marlene Russo, a 5’5” 32-year-old mother who has sweated long and hard to achieve the 140 lbs that she currently weighs, “I decided to serve myself before I began eating, instead of constantly dipping into the serving bowls.”
- Do not blindly stick to a single exercise or eating routine. “If you keep dong the same thing, you will be bored in no time,” says Katherine. Go swimming on Mondays and Thursdays, for instance, and biking on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays and Saturdays can be walking days, and so on.
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