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How to lose weight the healthy way

Monday, 9 March 2009 - 3:34 PM SL Time

How to lose weight the healthy way
Reviewed by John Pillinger, GP

The healthiest way to lose weight is neither crash diets nor bursts of exercise. The body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise.

For example, someone who has not exercised for years should not rush into running miles a day or pounding the treadmill. Not only will the struggle to do so leave you feeling disheartened and demotivated, you`re also far more likely to injure yourself and set your fitness levels back further.

The same goes for people who suddenly start starving themselves. Diets that severely restrict calories or the types of food `allowed` can lead you to be deficient in the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs.

So if you need to lose weight, what should you do?

Energy needs and weight loss

Your body uses food for energy. It stores any excess energy as fat. This means if you eat more food than your body needs for daily activities and cell maintenance, you will gain weight.

To lose weight, you need to get your body to use up these stores of fat. The most effective way to do this is to:

* reduce the amount of calories you eat

* increase your levels of activity.

This is why experts talk about weight loss in terms of diet and exercise.

Introduce changes gradually

Small changes can make a big difference. One extra biscuit a week can lead you to gain 5lb a year cut that biscuit out of your diet and you`ll lose the same amount.

You are also more likely to stick to, say, swapping full-fat milk for semi-skimmed or making time for breakfast each morning than a diet that sets rules for all foods.

You should think of weight loss in terms of permanently changing your eating habits. While weight-loss goals are usually set in term of weeks, the end game is to sustain these changes over months and years.

Increase your activity levels

Someone who increases the amount they exercise, but maintains the same diet and calorie intake, will almost certainly lose weight.

No matter if you hate gyms - even light exercise such as a short 20 minute walk will be beneficial if done most days of the week.

Every single time you exercise more than usual, you burn calories and fat.

There are lots of ways to increase the amount of activity you do. Team sports, racket sports, aerobics classes, running, walking, swimming and cycling will all improve your fitness levels.

Find something you enjoy that`s easy for you to do in terms of location and cost. You are then more likely to build it into your routine and continue to exercise, despite inevitably missing the odd session through holidays, family commitments, etc.

* Get out and about at the weekend. Leave your car on the drive and walk to the shops. Try to incorporate longer walks into outings to the park, coast or countryside and take a picnic so you are in control of what you are going to eat that day.

* Every extra step you take helps. Always use the stairs instead of the lift, or get off the bus a stop before the usual one and walk the rest of the way.

* Use commercial breaks between TV-programmes to stand up and do exercise, or consider using an exercise bicycle in the living room while watching your favourite programme.

Reduce your calorie intake

What is overweight?
Doctors use BMI to assess weight.
A BMI of 18.5-25 is healthy.
If you have a BMI of more than 25 you are overweight.
Over 30 is obese.
Over 40 is morbidly obese.
To calculate your BMI, you`ll need to know your weight in kilos and your height in metres, then follow the example below.
1. Multiply your height by itself, eg 1.7x1.7= 2.89.
2. Divide your weight (eg 80kg) by this figure.
3. 80 2.89= 27.7.
27.7 is the BMI.
If you are overweight, you can`t continue with your current eating habits.

It`s not possible to reduce body fat while eating lots of food, cakes and sweets. This doesn`t mean you can never have any treats, but you need to learn how to limit these foods to small quantities - say, for special occasions.

In terms of weight-loss, you can get your body to use up existing stores of fat by eating less and making healthier choices.

This doesn`t mean crash diet (anything less than 1500 calories), which usually ends up with you either getting weaker or giving up in desperation. Quick-fix diets can lead to a yo-yoing effect of drastic weight loss followed by weight gain, resulting in a vicious cycle.

There are no shortcuts to losing weight in a healthy and reasonable way.

Eating 300 to 500 calories less per day should lead to a loss of between one and two pounds per week. This is a realistic target. It may seem slow, but would add up to a weight loss of more than three stone in a year.

Fat contains the most amount of calories out of all the food types (protein, carbohydrates), so a good way to achieve this is to cut down on fatty foods and eat more wholegrain bread, fruit and vegetables.

Below are ways to reduce calorie intake without having to alter your diet significantly.

* Replace fizzy drinks and fruit cordials with water.

* Swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, or semi-skimmed for skimmed.

* Eat less lunch than usual. For example, make your own sandwich and limit the use of margarine/butter and full-fat mayonnaise (store-bought sandwiches often contain both).

* Stop taking sugar in tea and coffee.

* Have smaller portions of the food you enjoy.

* Avoid having a second helping at dinner.

* Cut out unhealthy treats such as confectionary, sugary biscuits and crisps between meals.

* Cut down on beer and alcohol.

All these things will influence your health in a positive way.

Finally, don`t be tempted to skip breakfast or any meal to lose weight. While skipping a meal will reduce your calorie intake for that hour, it will leave you much hungrier later on.

Not only are you likely to overeat to compensate, but you`ll often make bad choices to fill the gap: a cereal bar is not as healthy as a bowl of cereal or as filling, leading you to `need` something extra for lunch.

Irregular eating habits also disrupt your body`s metabolism, which makes it harder to lose weight in the first place.

Write down your plan

Food diary
If you`re not sure what`s wrong with your diet, try keeping a daily diary of everything you eat and drink.
You can use a notebook or an online diary.
At the end of the week, review your entries for problem areas.
Look out for processed foods, alcohol, fast food, roasts, creamy sauces and fried foods.
If your diet seems largely healthy, look at portion sizes.
If you`re not sure what`s meant by `healthy diet`, read our series on nutrition.
Once you`ve decided on what changes you`re going to make, write them down. For example:

Week 1

o Exercise: one 20 minute walk every lunch hour.

o Alcohol: none in the week, two small glasses of wine on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

o Food: no chocolate or biscuits in the week, choose healthy snacks such as fruit, trim all fat from meat, eat no fried or fast food.

Once you start your plan, weigh yourself once a week before breakfast. Keep a record of this weight and see if a pattern develops.

You could use a table like the one below to keep track of your goals, marking your progress for each day with a tick or a cross.

Current weight: Alcohol Exercise Food plan
Goals for week

. .
Progress Alcohol Exercise Food plan Mood Comments

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

Be patient and persevere

It might take a week or two before you notice any changes, but they will steadily appear. After the first month you will be able to see the results and measure them in terms of looser fitting clothes.

Keeping your motivation up is one of the most difficult aspects of dieting. There will be days when healthy eating goes out the window and there will be weeks where you may not lose any weight or put a little back on.

This is normal for everyone dieters or not so don`t let it undo your plans for a slimmer you. You`re not doing anything `wrong`, but you may need to look at your plan. Do you need to increase your activity levels? Make a few more changes to your diet? Put more effort into sticking to your current plan?

The other side of this is to make sure you celebrate your goals. While there is joy enough in stepping on the scales and seeing them dip lower, be sure to mark long-term progress with a reward such as new clothes or a night off from housework.

Celebrating is also a way to involve your nearest and dearest it`s up to you whether you want their encouragement in the form of gentle reminders not to eat certain foods, but support from other people can get you through the bumpy patches.

Health benefits of weight loss

Studies show that overweight women who lose between 10lb and 20lb halve their risk of developing diabetes. For men, the risk of heart problems reduces considerably.

Generally, we gain weight as we age. A few pounds over the years are not a problem, but people who gain more than 20lb compared to their weight as an 18-year-old will rapidly increase their risk of health problems due to that extra weight. In particular, women increase their risk of heart attack and double their risk of dying from cancer.

It may seem like these are problems to worry about in the future, but time flies by and tomorrow becomes today. By keeping your weight in the healthy range, you are less likely to be troubled by illnesses in your later years.

Based on a text by Prof Arne Astrup and Dr Carl Brandt


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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 09:58:23 GMT  Report for Abuse  
LMAO that's hilarious! One of he fattest cats I've ever seen :O)

Empo, from your previous thread:

I will ask Gynaecologists for further verification, and let you know. Hope you can wait :) :)

Thanks. One of my friends says she doesn't feel normal when she stops taking the pill, so I'm a bit worried...
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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 10:45:26 GMT  Report for Abuse  

To lose weight, you need to get your body to use up these stores of fat. The most effective way to do this is to:

reduce the amount of calories you eat

increase your levels of activity

Just concentrate on this and you will see the results in two weeks :))
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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 10:48:03 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Tell me an easy quick way!
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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 12:07:34 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Now you are in the same boat. Apparently, guys start GAINING weight once they marry.

(didn't work for me.. yet, I am still skinny with a little weight added only because of good Deutsche Bier!)

Edited By - snake2 - 9 Mar 2009 12:09:53 GMT
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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 12:35:25 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Best way to lose weight is to join the Peelam struggle!
Guranteed results assured by Dr.Velu..
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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 14:05:22 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Best way to lose weight is to join the Peelam struggle!
Guranteed results assured by Dr.Velu..

Taking from your page, maybe Madam Jayalalithaa could also have some tips on how to lose weight in a 'Healthy' way.
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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 19:41:06 GMT  Report for Abuse  
So your guys know the changes i am going through ...:))from your very own experiences :)

Kick the love theories start loving a Penn in real, you will loose your weight

According to you , soon we are gonna have lots of chubby thangachies from north, AnuD will be impatient :))
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LK Information  9 Mar 2009 19:44:57 GMT  Report for Abuse  
It may cause some mood swings due to hormone fluctuations but no addiction , tell her that most of these pills make them prettier with a smoother skin,........ Aha... no further complaints guaranteed. :)
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LK Information  13 Jul 2012 12:01:17 GMT  Report for Abuse  
To loose weight Be Reasonable You should also realize that hitting a plateau and losing motivation are par for the weight loss course. It s unreasonable to imagine any weight loss regimen that is not full of ups and downs along the way.

Edited By - justinlee - 13 Jul 2012 12:03:01 GMT
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LK Information  21 Jul 2012 12:50:45 GMT  Report for Abuse  
If you want to loss weight so reduce calories first.
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