Weight watchers go to great lengths to avoid great widths! This article offers 10 simple tricks, which will help take you from here to there.
1. Do not be a victim of fad dieting!
This is the most common error of all! Whether it’s the Atkin’s, the Glycemic Index, Herbal Life, the General Motor’s Diet or whichever fad diet that grabs your current fancy, you will receive inadequate nutrients in imbalanced proportions, and aside from playing with your health, your diet will never work long-term. You’ll end up with more weight and inches on you than you started out with.
The only thing that gets fat and inches off, and keeps them off, is a sensible, low-fat, low-sugar food plan, which limits caloric intake, combined with the correct type and amount of exercise.
2. Foods aren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’
All foods are good, IF they are consumed in moderation. Don’t banish certain foods altogether from your diet — that’ll make you crave them all the more. That leads to binging. Control the size of the portion instead.
3. Use the RPH (Rate of Perceived Hunger) scale
This is a very effective mental tool. Think of ‘0’ as an indication of extreme hunger, and of ‘10’ as indicating feeling stuffed. Now make it a point to stay between 3- 8 at all times. If you’re starving, chances are that you will overeat at meals, particularly so as it takes your brains about 20 minutes to realise that you are full. Begin to eat when you’re at about 3 on the scales.Stop when you’re at 7- 8 where you are full, but not stuffed.
4. Eat small meals
The problem with square meals is that they make you round! Consume small meals through the day. Avoid sticking to just two or three large meals. This way the body uses up the calories from your meal rather than storing the excess in the form of fat.
5. Portion control
A handy little trick to control portion size when you’re starved and bound therefore to overeat, is to start the meal with a tall glass of water. Being very filling, you won’t have much space left for a large meal!
6. Wait for 10 minutes after the first helping
It’s a fact, and a handy little trick: wait for 10 minutes after your first helping, and you won’t want a second one, or a snack soon after. This is the amount of time that it takes for the hypothalamus (a section of the brain) to figure that the stomach is full and satisfied. It actually takes 20, but you’ve taken an average of 10 minutes already while consuming the first helping.
7. Stay active!
In Jacob M Braude’s words, “Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, and bending over backwards.”
Stay as active as possible; for instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk small distances instead of driving there, dance at a dance party. And do it like your life depends on it, which, in a way, does.
8. Desk exercise
Do you know that even while sitting at your desk, looking like you’re hard at work, you can still get in a few exercises to help you quickly get in shape? Eg: Butt clenches and seated leg raises.
9. Train your abdominals
Aside from greatly enhancing visual appeal, a strong mid-section adds to back strength and can boost your performance in just about any sport.
10. Get weights in
Weight and resistance training helps you get rid of unwanted fat, and fast. This is because muscles require more energy to sustain them than fat. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. You can raise your metabolism by as much as 15-18 per cent.
(The writer has trained, taught and certified in America as a fitness professional by American Council on Exercise and International Dance Exercise Association. She founded Body Art, the Fitness Centre in 1992. For more information, log onto www.bodyart.in)