Lose Weight

Do you want to lose weight?

If you think that you are happy to be plump, this page is not for you.  But if you are looking for ways to shed extra fat from your tummy and look smarter I may suggests some useful hints.

Firstly, what is the need for loosing weight?  You may think it will make you attractive, you are partly right.  Losing the extra weight gives you much more.  You look younger and attractive, and that may the most driving force for this endeavor.   It also makes you more fit physically for different productive and pleasure activities.  Loosing weight has tremendous medical benefits too.  It is an under-emphasized statement that, you can get rid of various chronic incurable and potentially life threatening diseases, if you can maintain proper body weight.  High blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis and some of the malignancies are mostly seen in obese individuals.

The unfortunate part is that, once you have any of those dreaded diseases, they will remain with you for rest of your life.  In other words they are incurable.  With the latest medical achievements, it can only be controlled and you have to be on medical treatment on each day you live on this planate.  Another bad fact, the damage made by obesity is mostly irreversible.  That means if you can attain the proper body weight after development of those diseases, then also the devil stays with you.  So, you have to act early enough, before the disease sets in.

This dose not means that, you can’t achieve anything after development of those diseases.  Yes, you can reduce the burden or severity of the diseases by loosing weight.  So no age is late for weight loosing drive.  But sooner is better.  Motivate the youngsters in your family and in your neighborhood if you have already affected by overweight related medical problems.  It is difficult to loose body weight than gaining, but it is more difficult to maintain the lost weight.  I shall discuss the secret of maintaining the lost weight later.

How much weight to be lost?

You can calculate the ideal body weight for you.  The scientific measure of obesity is the measure of body weight, corrected for your height.  It is termed as “body mass index” or BMI.  It is your weight, expressed in kilogram divided by the square of your height expressed in meters.

As for example, if you are 1.65 meters (5 Ft 6 In) and weighs 74 kg, your BMI is 74/1.65×1.65 or 27.2 Kg/Sq meter.

Ideal BMI has been calculated to between 18 and 23 for Indians.  So the upper limit of normal body weight is 23 multiplied by square of your height measures in meters.  Hence for your height of 1.65 meters, your weight should not exceed 23X1.65×1.65 or 62.6 kilogram.

Hence you are overweight by 74-62.6 or 11.4 kilogram.

Practical considerations:

Come to some practical points.  Is has been widely investigated and found that by natural methods (we call life-style modification or LSM) you can safely loose 5-10% of your current weight at a rate of 2 km per month.  By various unscientific and shady commercial ways you can loose faster, but that ways have two unwanted effects.  It is more difficult to maintain the lost weight and that process may increase formation of stones in your gall bladder and kidneys.  Now a few kinds of medically approved medicines are available, which in addition to natural methods can hasten weight loss.  Then there are some surgical procedures (bariatric surgeries) which are extremely effective if your BMI is more than 40.  I shall talk about life style modification procedures only.

What is science of losing weight?

The foods, that we eat is the fuel for all the physical activities like walking, talking etc.  Some part of the energy derived from food is also used even when we are sleeping for continuous life support activities like beating of heart and breathing.  The extra food left over after meeting those two kinds of bodily activities is stored as fat in our liver, abdomen, muscles and under the skin. The stored fat is used to supply the energy during periods in between the meals.  It sounds logical and makes sense for this natural process. But the crux of the problem of obesity lies on the amount of stored fat and its proper and complete use in inter-meal periods.  If the store is not fully utilized before next meal, the stored fat stays forever.  Our body weight is like a bank account.  Our daily need for food is calculable depending on our height and activity level.  If we consume more than the precise amount of food, we gain weight.  I give you an example.  If you take half a cup of tea with sugar and milk, on the top of your daily quota, you store fat, equivalent to 50 Kcal of energy each day.  So over 6 months (180 days) of period your extra store is 180×50 or 9000 Kcal or 10 Kg of fat.   Physical activity burns calories.  To give an example, walking 4 km in an hour burns around 180 Kcal for an adult.  So you have to walk daily for 100 or 50 days to loose that extra 10 Kg depending on the fact that whether you are still consuming that extra half cup of tea or stopped that habit.  If you are motivated to loose your extra weight the one and only logical method is to know the transaction pattern of our body’s (bank!) account and stick to the schedule of modified life style.

Roads to attain healthy weight – Wish, motivation, acquire knowledge

The first requirement: Wish

You have to thrive for it.

Motivation:

It’s a function of your brain.  You ought to love the healthy food and enjoy physical activity and regular physical exercise.   There are systematic and proven methods to increase motivation.  Some will just require adequate knowledge about the ill effects of overweight and euphoric effects of healthy food and physical exercise.  It’s a fact that physical exercise produces some morphine like addicting substances that motivates individuals once they are it the exercise program for some time.

Some will need an instructor in the beginning.  Others will require group activities or some duration of workshops.

The knowledge: The calorie concept.

The units of food consumed, the energy spend in various physical activities plus continuous life sustaining activities that goes on even at rest and the extra fat that is stored in our body can be expressed in “calorie” for easy understanding and planning our meals and physical activity schedules.  If the calories intake with meals equals to calories spend during our physical activities and exercise, we have a zero balance and don’t gain or loose weight.  In case the balance is positive (we consume more than we spend) we gain fat. We loose weight when the balance is negative.  Different foods different calorie values and different activities have different calorie values.  As for example, 100 grams of sweets have more calories than 100 grams of salad.   Similarly 1 hrs of watching TV sitting on a sofa spends fewer calories than 1 hrs of walk. You need to know the conversion table (gram to calorie) for different foods and the similar information of energy spend in various physical activities.  Then you need to buy a weighing scale, to weigh each food you consume to get trained.  Quite often you may misjudge the weight of the foods that you have planned.  After some time you will no longer need the scale.  Some people are lucky that they are born with good controlling system and they will stop eating, once the right amounts of right kind of food have been consumed.   If you are overweight, you may have defective controlling system, hence the kitchen balance is needed for training in the beginning.  Once you are ready for the challenge and want to proceed, you will need three things to begin with, the conversion table of foods from weight to calorie; the table of energy spends on different physical activities and a kitchen balance. Last one not at all unimportant one.  I have seen people not getting the success for lack of this small equipment.

The fine prints – The calorie that goes uncalculated easily:

  1. The habit of foods intake in between your 4 standard schedules.  A cup of tea with sugar and milk adds 100 Kcal, but without sugar & mild has no calorie.  If you like to drink frequent cups of tea, learn to relish sugarless and milk-less tea.  Eating during watching TV often goes unnoticed.
  2. Stop eating once you are full or once your pre-calculated quota has reached.  Discarding foods from your unfinished plate is better option than putting that in your tummy.
  3. Never indulge to requests of extra foods from yours friends and relatives.   They will understand and appreciate, if you explain the reason.
  4. Non Exercise Activity Thermo-genesis (NEAT) is the amount of calorie we spend during small and unnoticed behavioral pattern.  You spend 500 to 1000 Kcal less energy each day if you ask someone to get you a glass of water,  use lifts to climb to 1st or 2nd floor in stead of using staircase, use remote activation devices of TV, DVD players, AC machines, use stored phone numbers from mobile phones or sophisticated telephones rather than dialing it.  There are long lists of these kinds of activities and they are personal qualities of different individuals.  These habits are developed in early childhood, depending on the habits of the house and teaching.  But habits can be changed in adulthood too.
  5. Eat slowly.  It takes some time for the stomach to send signals to brain, that it is full.  You will need less food to get satiety, if you are slow in the eating process.

An example balance sheet:

If you are beyond the growing age and moderately active with desk jobs, your basic requirement of calorie for maintaining fixed body weight is between 1600 to 2000 Kcal a day. To loose weight you need to go on negative energy balance by 400 – 500 Kcal/day.  That makes the daily menu be limited to 1200 – 1500 Kcal a day.  Distribute the calorie for 4 meals and fill your tummy with low calorie foods like salads, low calorie vegetables etc.   The left over hungry feeling after low volume meals will last for initial few days only.

Exercise is an inseparable part of weight loosing program, even if you can manage negative energy balance with dieting alone.  Physical exercise helps to maintain lost weight and keeps the moral up.  Inclusion of exercise program is a must.  Walking 3-4 km in an hour fir at least 5 days a week is the optimum for the beginner.  There are various substitutes for that exercise prescription.  You have to enjoy it.  You may like to swim, go to gum for treadmill or play badminton for an hour. 

Life style modification – the time tested and the only scientific method to loose weight and maintain healthy weight. 

Your body has no special system.  The calorie equation works for every human being.

Remember the basic law of physics: mater can’t be created.

It can only be transformed from one form to another or shifted from one place to another.

 

 

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