In our local setting, when people start putting on weight, they receive praise from all those around them. Gaining weight isn’t just a sign of beauty but also an indication of financial success.
As time goes on, however, this mark of success and beauty becomes a reason for ridicule. Overweight persons are nicknamed, forcing them into various unsuccessful exercise routines, taking of medications and slimming teas/ supplements in a desperate attempt to shed of the excesses. Why?
With the help of abounding health programs and reliable information on the internet, many have come to know of the life-threatening risks of putting on too much weight. These risks include diabetes, stroke and heart attacks.
Many who have tried these slimming teas, food supplements and drugs have a short-lived success. The shed weight comes back in full swing, leaving many bigger than they used to be.
Becoming Aware You Have A Problem
Telling that one is overweight isn’t always so simple. One of the best and frequently used ways to measure if you need to lose some weight is by judging by your Body Mass Index (BMI). This takes key factors like your gender, age, height and weight into consideration. There are a host of free apps available to help you measure your BMI. Then there are other complex approaches that consider muscle mass, bone density, overall body composition, racial and sex differences. But all these are so scientific and perplexing.
It is possible to feel you are overweight. How can you tell?
One of the commonest indications of being overweight is shapelessness. The natural curves around the hips, tummy, arms, chest and buttocks develop fat coverings. They get molded into something that could best be described as ugly. The pot belly, in some cases, makes it hard for one to even see their own feet standing straight up.
Not being able to do tasks that you previously handled effortlessly could be another indication of being overweight (with the exception of ill health and old age). The human bones, especially those in our legs are described as beams on which our entire mass is carried. Just like the beams in buildings. If they are struggling to carry you around, you’ll find yourself requiring more energy than before to do simple tasks.
Another easy way is by asking your clothes. If you find out they no longer fit, especially when they look like they never belonged to you, then you have either gone or are going very far in weight gain.
Checking your old photos can reveal a lot too.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF LOSING WEIGHT
People who run to teas and medicines usually lack or are afraid of the discipline to stick to a controlled diet. Nothing worthwhile is achieved without discipline so brace yourself for a change.
If you want to ever succeed in your little (maybe huge) war against your weight, make a change in diet a priority. Why? You’ll not just lose some kilos, but the likelihood of gaining the weight back is very low. More importantly, you’ll learn how to keep it down forever.
What to avoid:
When the coronavirus pandemic and its associated lockdowns hit our cities, most of us were left with additional weight as a result of inactivity. You probably had a friend or family member arguing that they didn’t increase their food intake while at home yet they’ve put on obvious weight. That was probably an honest truth. What really could have happened was that the energy build-up (from the same amount of food) was more than the physical activities they engaged in.
The point here is that a lot of our foods are energy giving. So, overloading our bodies with more energy than it needs will force our bodies to store the excess and unused energy.
Therefore, avoid the following foods when possible:
- Fried foods. Stay clear of (or drastically reduce) intake of your beloved kelewele, fried yam, fried rice, fried plantain, chips, cake, meat pie, fried meat and fried fish. These foods are very high in energy. Consuming too much of these without any vigorous exercise regime to burn the excess fat will lead to weight build up. Replace fried foods with boiled, roasted or grilled foods.
- Fatty, oily foods/ soups. Cut down intake of palm nut soup, groundnut soup, oily stews, kontomire stew, jollof rice, and fried eggs. Some of them, depending on the individual, should be completely avoided. Others must be eaten in moderation.
- Sugary foods. Cut down on the intake of soft drinks, fruit drinks (and even some fruit juices), sweet biscuits, rich biscuits, ice creams, cakes (and other sweeten pastries). These foods create huge energy build-up that are difficult to burn with even vigorous exercises.
- Alcoholic beverages. Avoid the intake of beers, palm wine, wine, and liquors. These, like sugars, build up excess energy which your body will store up as fat, leading to the weight gain we want to avoid.
No matter how hard it is for you, whether it has to do with the motivation or time, avoiding exercise will blow your efforts up into the clouds. Exercise isn’t just good for weight loss; it is an essential part of living.
Research has shown that exercise improves mental health, muscle strength, bone health, blood circulation and the over all health of our heart. The heart is a muscle. All muscles need some daily dose of movements, stretches to grow stronger and last longer.
Some simple exercises:
- Skipping rope
- Push ups
You don’t need special tools to exercise; though having them is a plus. Be sure to get your daily dose of 15 to 30 minutes of exercise. The good news is that you’ll soon get used to the routine after about 25 continuous days! The best time is in the mornings. However, you could choose evenings if that suits you better.
Finding motivation to exercise:
Some have found the use of apps, smartwatches to be helpful. Some of these are designed to walk you through various types of exercise to yield the result you desire; they also have reminders that help you to keep up to the task. You could also join a group or sign up at the nearest gym.
Make it your goal not to skip some days. You’ll develop a strong character around discipline if you stick to the routine for about a month.