Sunday 23rd July, 2006


The on-going battle

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Ingrid Seegobin —Certified Nutritional Practitioner

For many people, weight loss is a chronic endeavour. Shedding pounds can be temporary, followed by a return of the weight. There are diets and “miracles” available. I have in the past made suggestions, which are intended to keep you in good health, energetic and lose some fat — notice, I did not say weight.

So what should we do? Today, I am sharing a generalised programme that will certainly start you off on the road to losing weight the healthy way.

1. EXERCISE – This is not new advice, but it is the most important predictor of whether you will succeed at long-term weight loss and maintenance. Strive for a minimum of five – 30-minute sessions weekly. This helps many whose excuse is that they “never have time for exercise.”

2. PUMP IRON – There is significant weight loss benefits attached to weight/resistance training. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn. Muscle is an active tissue, fat is not. Muscle burns calories just maintaining itself.

3. KEEP A DIARY – Keeping a food diary can be an asset in successful weight loss. Record what you eat and how much; your hunger level prior to eating, and your emotional feelings at that time. This will identify “triggers” that sometimes foster over-eating. This will enable you to make healthier choices.

4. STAY FOCUSED ON HEALTHY – NOT THIN – Many people become more successful at long-term weight loss when their motive changes from wanting to be thinner to wanting to be healthier. Think about selecting foods that will help your body’s health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your weight.

5. FIND OUT WHAT’S EATING YOU – All too often, overeating is triggered by stress, boredom, loneliness, anger, depression and other emotions.

6. GET SUPPORT – An important part of long-term weight management is receiving encouragement and support from others. This can come from your gym, nutritionist or a social group that shares similar problems.

7. LOSE WEIGHT SLOWLY WITH SMALL CHANGES – Try to remember that losing 15 pounds in two weeks is nothing to celebrate! It is important to realize that the more quickly weight is lost, the more likely the loss is coming from water and muscle – not fat.

8. WATCH YOUR PORTIONS - With the advent of supersized meals and larger portions at restaurants, we have forgotten what a normal serving size should look like. Be mindful of the size of the meal – you don’t have to eat it all.

9. SLOW DOWN – did you ever notice that thin people take a long time to eat? Eating slowly is one method that can help take off pounds. That’s because from the time you begin eating, it takes the brain 20 minutes to start signalling feelings of fullness. If you have a leptin problem, you may not get that signal.

10. EAT LESS FAT, DO IT WISELY – It is known that limiting food that are high in fat can be helpful. This does not mean that you should eat fat-free foods. These have calories too. Sometimes, fat-free foods have as many calories as their fat-laden counterparts. If you eat more calories than your body uses, you will gain weight. Eat good fats.

Above all, drink lots of purified water and be happy!

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