Will I lose weight – What’s the weight loss guarantee?

Amidst all the consumerism, people do look for guarantees in everything that they take on. Then how can weight loss be any different. If you happen to glance through some of the ads that appear in newspapers, magazines,there are all sorts of assurances and guarantees that are on offer. Does someone try and go behind this to find out — what happens if the desired outcome does not come true??

In the nutrition/weight loss world, this is very true as well. There are a host of agencies providing weight loss guarantee using a host of mechanisms, but has someone spent time to go down two levels deeper? .

Weight loss is a simple equation and we only aim to help people understand how the equation works.

1) Consume food, as per your lifestyle requirements and based on what fits your medical profile. Also don’t try to do something drastically different. Try and keep things simple. Eat what you like (with the limitations of calorific value of foods)

2) Be aware of the calorific value of the foods that you consume and try to balance your nutrition to curtail the total number of calorie intake to a certain maximum per day (We will need to arrive at this based on your current lifestyle, metabolism and medical profile)

3) Make sure that you burn your calories with some simple physical activity. Walking is just ideal and about 45 mins to 60 mins of walking 5 times a week should help you manage your objectives pretty well.

Maintaining a balance of all the three elements above is a tough challenge and this is what we nutritionists/dietitians work on helping you with. After all that’s what professionals in every field do (right?).

We provide you with alternate food groups and nutritional information that helps you make an intelligent choice and manage your objectives better. In some of my patients, initially weight loss is a bit of a challenge, but once the concept is understood, they never ask for any weight loss guarantees, because their weighing scale is already providing them with the weight loss guarantee.

Remember that fad diets or starvation will also help you lose weight, but it is not possible to sustain that diet,besides being unhealthy. It is important to follow a diet that suits your requirements, yet helps you achieve your objectives.

Regards,

Sushma

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Visible & Invisible fats in a weight loss program

While you are on a weight loss diet, wouldn’t it be great if you could see through the fats that you consume in your daily diet. Mind you, I am in no way saying that fats are bad for your body, but consuming excess fats can cause undesirable effects, while you are on a weight loss diet.

I often talk about this concept of visible fats and invisible fats. In most instances, for the food that we consume for the major meals, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, we have a fair idea of the fats that we are consuming.This is typically the amount of oil/ghee/butter that we are using as our cooking medium. This applies to all methods of cooking like baking, frying, grilling etc.

The other types of fats go un-noticed as we consume them involuntarily assuming that there are hardly any fats in it. These are what I call as invisible fats. Typical examples are packaged foods, namkeens like sev, farsan, cookies that are rich in butter, khari biscuits, peanuts. We use these items liberally without knowing what effects they can have on us.

Anything in moderation is not bad, but if you are consuming invisible fats, to maintain your nutrition balance, you need to compensate elsewhere, which is usually difficult as most people find it difficult to compromise on their main meals.

In summary, while you focus all your attention on visible fats, do keep in mind about invisible fats that you keep consuming from time to time.

Regards,

Sushma

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Why both quality & quantity are important in a weight loss diet

I have faced many common conversations… I did not eat any fried food, I completely gave up sweets and I exercised so much, still I have not lost any weight…I don’t think this weight loss diet works.. The real fact is that in a weight loss diet, both quantity and quality are equally important .

quality and quantity in weight loss dietWhat then does this quality and quantity mean?

Quality – Our body cannot survive on just one type of food group. You need proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats. All of these are available in different forms in different types of foods. You need to consume the right foods, depending on your health condition, lifestyle needs, and something that suits your medical profile.

Quantity – Our body requires a proper mix of the various nutrients.  Eating excess of one food group does not fill in the requirement of nutrients that other food groups provide. A balance is always recommended. Typically any excess, apart from what the body requires is stored as fat.  Also, while you are on a weight loss diet, eating larger quantities of non-fried, or non-sweet items is equally harmful to your objectives. It is important to know how much to consume and when.

It is important that you take up a diet that suits your lifestyle. Taking up a diet that drastically reduces your intake (starvation diets) or consuming just one food group or liquids (detox diets) is both harmful.

Regards,

Sushma

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Managing a weight loss diet plan during festivals

Come September and we have a series of Hindu festivals lined up. The list of festivals goes on and culminates with Diwali, the mother of all festivals. What’s a festival without tons of sweets and goodies. No matter how much you try, it is difficult to stick to a weight loss diet plan during festivals.

What can you do to avoid putting on too much weight during festivals

Managing a weight loss diet plan during festivals
Managing a weight loss diet plan during festivals

1. Increase exercise levels – Slightly increase exercise levels during festivals. Don’t exhaust yourselves, but be conscious that you are putting in more exercise than your normal routine

2. Eating sweets & fried items – Enjoy your sweets and fried items, but do be conscious of the quantity that you are consuming. Consume slowly, so that people do not dump more into your plate without your knowledge

3. Pre-eat partially before you head out – This will help reduce your appetite, while you are out at a function.

4. Carry it back – You can always carry stuff back, insist that you are too full. Once you carry it back, you can eat it in pulses over extended periods of time.

5. Balance your diet – Do consult your dietician to balance your diet for the excess calories that you plan to intake. Increase fibers and fruits in your diet and reduce other elements like carbs, pulses temporarily.

Regards,

Sushma

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The right exercise to go along with a weight loss diet plan

For a weight loss diet plan to be successful, along with your diet, you also need to put in some moderate amount of exercise. Contrary to perceptions, you don’t need to get into a heavy exercise regimen like running, jogging, mountain climbing etc.

Right exercise to go with your weight loss diet plan
Right exercise to go with your weight loss diet plan

Moderate level of walking (40-60 minutes of walk 5 times a week), Swimming (20-30 mins 5 days a week), cycling is also good to go with your weight loss diet plan. People who have limited time or patients with arthritis problems can split the exercise routine per their convenience. There is no necessity to do the entire exercise routine at one go.

Moderate exercise along with a planned diet can help you in losing body fat pretty quickly. Once you lose certain amount of fat, a person can go for focussed exercises for spot reduction.

Regards,

Sushma

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Moving gradually into a diet plan to ensure weight loss

At your current weight and in your current lifestyle, your body is used to consuming a certain number of calories every day. The more you weigh, the more is your calorific requirement. For e.g. many people get used to eating a lot more than their actual food requirement.  This is commonly called as ‘binge eating’.

weight loss diet plan
weight loss diet plan

When a person decides to lose weight, typically he decides to cut down on food and start exercising. However in most instances, it is not possible to sustain this reduced food intake, as the body has got used to a certain number of calories every day. It makes sense to move from the current level of calories to the required calorie intake in a phased manner, which could range over a few weeks to a few months.  Drastic reductions can lead to serious energy and protein loss causing exhaustion and ill-health.  Such fad diets or yo-yo diets also re-bound and the person tends to put on weight at a more rapid pace.

A normal adult male requires about 2200 calories and a adult female requires about 1800 calories. You need to make a plan to get down to this level in a phased manner. It is important to make sure that you are able to sustain the diet that you undertake, even after weight loss.

Typically a person who is about 10-15 kgs overweight would be consuming at least 3000-3500 calories in a day. Through a structured nutrition plan, the focus should be to get this down to about 2200-2500 calories in about a month’s time.  Only then can the diet be sustained and a person is able to lose weight at the rate of around 4-6 kgs per month.

Regards,

Sushma

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Spot reduction in a weight loss program

During my consulting experience, I have met many people, who have asked me if spot reduction is safe and whether they should opt for it. Men have their beer bellies and women are always concerned about their hips and thighs.

Spot reduction in a weight loss program
Spot reduction in a weight loss program

Typically, when a person is on a weight loss program, the fat loss happens throughout the body and it is difficult to focus on one particular area of the body. There are firms which promise spot reduction based on vibrating belts and similar equipments. However I feel that such measures are highly temporary and can also cause side-effects. Through such mechanisms, fat loss does not take place from the cells, which is usually the primary objective.

The best way in a weight loss program is to lose some amount of overall weight first through planned diet and exercise and then get into a workout schedule for specific muscle groups.

I have had several patients who have achieved spot reduction goals in stages. The earlier stages involved overall weight loss and then moved into specific workouts to achieve their spot reduction objectives.

Regards,

Sushma

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