This is a continuation of my previous article, The Problem With Weight Loss.
Most would easily confuse weight loss programs, diet programs and other such fads with weight management systems. If you have to cut-off food groups, meals, purchase large quantities of sub-grade supplements, subjugate your body to a variety of new and enhanced fat trimming procedures, then it is a weight-loss or diet program. It is a program that helps you lose weight over a short period of time; believing it works, you spend more money on the program and even recommend friends. After about RM3,000 and 3 months later, you hit a wall and you program director tells you, how the changes in your weight is now effecting you hormones and metabolic rate, so for an additional RM500 a month, they will add a fat burner or two into your diet that will balance everything. Two more months pass, and your weight has not changed nor has it increased. The story now is that you have achieved you stable weight, but (and here is the clincher) if you want to maintain this weight or further reduce it, you need to sign up on the advance program. Some of you go on spending the money on this patch job, but most would dropout and in a short span of time, you regain the weight you had lost.
Give me that RM3,000 and your 3 months, and I will do so much more than just help you lose weight; I will teach your body to manage and maintain that weight.
In my previous article, I gave you an idea of what weight management is and the four basic things you need to do to get started:
- Eat at regular intervals
- Eat moderately
- Drink lots of water
Here, I want to get into more details of each of the four things and maybe give you a better understanding of why this works.
EAT AT REGULAR INTERVALS
Set yourself to have a meal every four hours. Yes, that probably means having an average of four meals a day; breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.
Eating regularly tells your body that it does not have to worry about not getting food. Once a habit is developed, your brain will reduce its habit of food storage. It is important that you eat even if you do not feel hungry during a meal period.
The important thing here is that you must eat what constitutes a meal size serving, no more and no less. Instead of giving you portions you need to measure, you merely gauge the right quantity by how you feel at the end of the meal – you should no longer feel hungry nor should you feel stuffed. Remember that you will be having another meal in the next 4 hours. Another way you can gauge this is by comparing your meal size to a standard fast-food combo or value meal serving. It normally consist of a burger, a fries and a drink. Your mains should be about the size of a cheese burger, a side serving of vegetables or salad about the portion of your fries and large cup of water.
There’s a chance that you will develop some cravings in between meals; feed that too but stick with protein based food. This is what we call snacking but it does not in anyway imply that you can load yourself with unhealthy, processed snacks you buy from the convenience store. Healthy snacking is merely adding onto your meal routines so you don’t feel so hungry before your next meal.
Protein is the best option as it takes a longer time to process and thus will keep you feeling filled for a longer time than something carb based. You can take a small portion of low sodium, no carbs, protein based food, drink or supplement. You can also choose from one of the following or go with something similar
- Half a protein bar,
- A small serving of tuna,
- Two or three slices of bacon, chicken or turkey strips
- Steamed or boiled tofu,
- Plant based protein drink supplement,
- One boiled or poached eggs,
- 2 slices of cheese
That should give you an idea of what and how much you can snack on. Remember that this is just to keep your belly from feeling hunger until your next meal.
You are not a turkey on Thanksgiving, so why do you stuff yourself at every meal?
Over eating is how most of us cope with hunger pangs, but we do it so often, we only feel like we have had a meal when we have stuffed ourselves silly.
You must practice eating moderately during every meal. Over eating is putting unnecessary excess food into our system. Excess carbohydrates that you do not use, binds the fats that you do not burn. This will then be store in your body in what some call “water weight”. All this excess food can lead to all kinds of health problems and complication. It will force your body to work harder at processing the food you ate and that is why you feel lethargic after a large meal. That being said, too little of anything will also lead to health complications. Malnutrition does not necessarily mean a lack of food. You can suffer from malnutrition when your body is not getting enough of a certain food group. You need to have a sufficient and consistent supply of everything.
The key is being consistent. By increasing the frequency of food intake and reducing the quantity per meal, you give your body the time to process what you eat and never allowing it to feel hungry. This way, your brain stops telling your body to store.
When your body stops storing excess nutrients, your muscles will eventually use what is already stored. Muscles continue to burn energy even when you are just sitting down and watching television. For this to work properly, you need to build your muscles a little. The more muscles you have, the more energy is burnt.
This makes exercise a vital part of weight management. I’m not asking you bulk-up for a Mister Universe contest, just build your natural muscles. Start a simple daily and weekly exercise routine. Your daily routine only needs to be a ten to fifteen minutes workout, preferably when you wakeup in the morning. Your weekly routine should be 30 to 60 minutes. You could join an exercise group or get some friends together on a weekly basis for a sport activity. This is an excellent way to create a weekly routine.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
You would be surprise how drinking water can even help you lose some weight. You should be sweating during your exercise routine and as such, you will need to constantly replenishing the water you lose. Get a sports water bottle for your exercise routines. Make it a habit to sip water as you exercise instead of taking a big gulp at the end of it.
Water keeps your body hydrated. Water flushes out unnecessary waste and toxins from your body. It is a good idea to keep a bottle of water at your desk and in the car and take little sips every five to ten minutes. Go to the toilet when you need to as this is all part and parcel or your body’s cleansing and rejuvenation system. This is why people who drink lots of water, tend to look younger.
There you have it; the four basic steps to starting a weight management program. There is a lot more to it but I wanted to keep it simple enough for you to start a healthier lifestyle. It would take 45 to 60 days for your body to properly accept this new routine; however, if done properly, you will start to see significant changes in your body within the first 14 days.
Visit my Facebook page for some basic exercise routines and more regular tips on what you should and should not eat.
Try it out. What have you got to lose, except maybe some weight?