Weight Loss or to Live Healthier?
Are you aiming to loose that extra flab or do you want to learn how to live a healthier life? What's your aim ???
Weight Loss is still one of the top most searched Items on Google, others being How to Quit Smoking or Drinking, How to Come out of Debt, etc.
But the bitter truth here is that out of every 100 people who take up weight loss, 93 people loose their steam by the start of the second or third month itself. Common reasons for quitting given are usually lack of time or fatigue.
So, is Weight loss an exercise in isolation or is it an end product that comes after achieving overall health by adopting a healthy lifestyle? A healthy lifestyle that involves eating healthy, exercising regularly and spending time with family. Let us explore.
Before we start brainstorming about steps that will make us different from all those people who quit, let us first define the kind of extra body weight that we are talking about.
There are a lot of reasons other than unhealthy eating, lack of exercise etc. that lead to the weight gain you usually feel guilty about. Few of these are :
A condition where the thyroid gland starts producing very little thyroid hormone.This leads to slowing down of metabolism and causing weight gain.
Extra body weight does not always mean fat, it could also be due to fluid retention. If you press your skin and it leaves a depression instead of just springing back up again, then it's probably a case of fluid retention. It might be due to some medical condition related to the liver, a kidney disease, or in some cases even cancer.
Some times depression can lead to overeating that results in extra weight gain.
Medicines for depression, high blood pressure, seizures and steroids are known to cause increase you body weight.
In certain Health conditions related to pre-menopausal women, their bodies start producing more male hormones which usually results in gain in body weight.
In all of the above mentioned cases, consulting a doctor is a must as only he can determine if you are actually suffering from any of these conditions and what remedial steps you need to take.
In case you aren't suffering from any of the above mentioned conditions and have still found that you have outgrown the shirt you bought only six months ago, then you need to make a crucial decision. Do you just want to loose weight or do you want to attain a healthier lifestyle that will automatically lead to a healthier and leaner body type.
Let us explore some reasons other than medical conditions that lead to weight gain and how we can replace them with a healthier lifestyle.
The main reasons for our weight gain are :
- We eat more than our body requires or can metabolize by our day to day activities alone.
- We eat a lot of empty calories in the form of Junk food
Dr. Naresh Trehan was once asked
A leading Indian cardiologist, Dr. Naresh Trehan was once asked, why we humans should have to avoid red meat to keep out heart disease free when a lion eats 15 to 30 kgs of meat at once and still does not have any heart problems?
His answer was, that if we humans too start running 50 miles a week, we will also be able to eat that much of meat without any risk of heart diseases.
We humans usually tend to eat more than our body requires. All these extra calories, if not utilized as an energy source, accumulate in our body as fat, which we then rush to burn off via activities like exercising and/or dieting. So, instead of overeating and then working hard to get rid of that extra flab, we should calculate the amount of food our body requires to ensure proper execution of our day to day activities and eat accordingly. Just Google 'How much Calories I need in a day' and you will find an array of sites that will give you all the information you need to plan your Daily food intake.
Plan your diet before planning your exercise mode and schedule.
Another major reason for weight gain is consumption of empty calories in the form of junk food. Even if you only had pizza with tomato ketchup and french fries (weighing 200 gm) for lunch, you consumed approximately 700 calories! An average person only needs 1200 calories for his normal day to day activities. So, start eating healthier meals instead of junk food with an emphasis on eating green.
Avoiding junk food can determine whether you are fat or fit.
Our body can respond to Dieting by gaining weight. Surprised??
Reason for this is that during old primitive times, when food availability was low and there were times when scarcity of food would last for months.
Starvation due to food shortage became a signal for our body to accumulate energy in form of body fat when ever food was available for later use.
So dieting and starving ourselves in the name of dieting signals to our mind that there is a shortage of food and it starts storing food in form of body fat resulting in weight gain.
Dieting should not be about starving our body but about substituting high calorie food with healthier low calorie food like salads and fruits.
Once we realize the importance of eating right to maintain the right weight for our body, we need to look for a exercise type that we will happily instill in our lifestyle and not one that we would do out of compulsion.
It will not only help us loose extra weight but also make us healthier.
I was reading a article " Gardening - LOSE WEIGHT & GET IN SHAPE" by Phran Novelli, it a lovely little article that tells us how gardening can be a substitute for your daily exercise, act as a stress buster, allow you to spend time with your family, and gift you with sound sleep at the end of the day.
Like gardening, you can also choose to play with your kids in the park, or take your pet dog for a long walk or indulge in any such pleasure activities and get exercise as a bonus.
For people with busy schedules, this phrase " Burn Calories not electricity " will do wonders to their waist lines.
Take the stairs instead of the lift.
Wash clothes with hands rather than in the washing machine.
Try to park your car far from your work area which will give you a much needed walk and will also save you from competing for a parking space around your busy work place.
Finish lunch early and go for walk in the remaining time.
Lower your dependency on the intercom and office boys for office work.
These are small things that if we practice will surely make a difference and give us all much needed exercise without disturbing our busy schedules.
Serious exercise minded people who have time, can join the health club or the Gym and take up a exercise schedule recommended by their trainer.
For such people there are a lot of options like Cardiovascular activities, for example, Aerobic, Bicycling, Running, or even Brisk Walking.
Weight training is also a good alternative as it gives the benefits of increasing your body endurance along with getting it into shape. But before taking on to these type of exercises consult your doctor for the one best suited for you.