By Malathi Mohan
How do I start reducing my weight? This is a question that will never go into non-existence.
Accumulating body weight happens unobtrusively in most cases. It may be very gradual in some, at the rate of one or two kilos per year, or it may be rapid in others and the reasons for this may be many.
Eating fattening foods in excess, relaxing and not exercising are pleasurable activities causing increase in weight. On the other hand, losing this weight by cutting out on favourite foods and increasing physical exercise is a painstaking process.
Make a beginning
Start by measuring your weight and height. There are tables available for checking out if your weight is right for your height. These tables are generally to indicate ideal weight for height, based on gender, age and activity. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, divide it into small and reachable goals. Drastic weight loss is never recommended. Two to four kilos per month is permitted weight loss. This, of course, is easier said than done. It needs a lot of motivation, determination, honesty and absolute focus. Professional guidance for diet and exercise is a must. The result depends on your strength of mind.
Weight loss programmes are not necessarily pain, all the time. You may chose a renowned gym or health club and befriend like-minded people to work out with. Professional help will always be available in such places. Therefore, you can combine pleasure and hard work to reach your goal.
Once you learn about a proper diet to suit your needs, you can form your own diet sheet and follow it as strictly as possible. Consult a dietician and a fitness trainer to check if your diet and the exercise routine are correct.
For changing your diet to a balanced one, start by removing a third of the cereal intake you are used to. Cut out sweets, desserts and snacks completely. Reduce oil used in cooking to half. Double your activity by walking wherever possible, by climbing steps, by doing most of your work at home and at the work spot on your own, and by reducing the time spent in front of the TV or the computer.
Given below is a guideline for the quantities of the food groups that you can include. The calculated food value is approximate and active people may increase the quantities with the help of a dietician. Vegetarians can replace the meat and eggs with skimmed milk, nuts and dried fruits in small quantities. Hunger pangs can be quelled with salad vegetables, water and chewing gum. Check out if eating three meals or small meals suit you better.
Sample weight reducing diet for women. Men can increase the energy by 300 to 400 Kcals.
Fish and chicken
Ms. Malathi Mohan is Dean, Academy of Fitness Management, FitnessOne, Chennai.