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A Weight Loss primer for the moderately overweight.

Posted Apr 01 2012 12:00am
Firstly don't call it weight loss .Maybe the doctor has said that you need to lose 10 kgs. But what if that 10 kgs was all muscles? What you do want to lose,if you are moderately overweight ,  is unsightly tyres and bulges in wrong places.And also acquire some muscle to replace the flab.
Is there some thing which works for everyone ?
Yes ,the principles on which the body will go into fat storage are similar for all of us. And no it is not just about calories consumed.We need to understand them and devise a regimen that is doable for us. What turns on the fat storage switch is :
  • Not getting enough sleep.
  • Stepping up on the Insulin accelerator  : sugar ,wheat , processed crap.
  • Copious amounts of sitting without a  break.
  • Not moving : enough.
  • What can help dim the fat accumulation switch is :
  • Remembering that everything : sleep ,diet ,exercise,weight ,fat affects everything else.
  • Making Sleep Hygiene as important as brushing your teeth.This means finding out where the off buttons of your laptop ,mobile ,I pad ,TV are and using them fanatically.
  • Eating by genuine hunger.This depends on better food choices not restricting calories.Cut Sugar.Use fruit instead .Invest in some good quality whey protein for post workout nutrition.Or have an egg-fruit and spice smoothie.
  • Fix your Food production preparation issues . If you eat on the run or mostly outside ,your diet will suck and you will fall back on all else.Take time and effort to grocery shop,acquire house help ,pack portions for lunch :whatever works  for you.
  • Weeding out of dietary blunders like pastries and milk chocolates will be essential.Go by 80- 20 rule .Over time you will get over the compulsion to eat them. Replacing junk calories by good ones is essential .This means more SLOW carbs, more proteins and more healthy fats.Not just olive oil, but   ghee ,makhan malai.  Lots of veggies .Eggs, paneer, dal ,and fish and chicken. Replacing your grain calories with veggies and legumes may be the best strategy you have never tried.
  • Mulling over the movement regime for next day before you tuck in . Had a stressful day ?Maybe a 15 min walk with a 5-10 kgs backpack would be enough.Feeling  charged up ? Factor in some body-weight moves .Or a High -Low Interval Training thing. Jog up hill .Walk down.Sprint and jog .
  • Same speed work called cardio by other name can be done for two/three days for recovery purpose but is not the best fat loss tool .Because your body will get used fast to the pace.While you will get better at running ,the body will get worse at getting fat loss benefits from it. Also you have got your knees to think of .
  • Invest in a dumbell set, a kettlebell and medicine ball.Acquire a  swiss ball . Having these things around will compel you use them even on days when you don't want to go to the gym. Believe me these small purchases are far more effective workout tools than any stationery bike or treadmill .
  • If you are already overweight running means more stress for already stressed joint. What we want is a little but progressive stress .And intervals and strength training are best suited for this.Even in the swimming pool or while cycling experiment with intervals.Because it works by improving your VO2 max .
  • Your goals should not be defined in terms of kilos to lose or miles per hour to clock or even calories burnt.But in terms of a weekly Good Habit Chart .That is SMART .My good habit chart currently is just about getting up by 6 am everyday to get a workout,remembering to take fish oil and eating at least 8 eggs per day and getting eight hours of sleep .
  • Take Fish oil . It will help in recovery and in preventing joint inflammation. 
  • Experiment with Intermittent Fasting .It works to recalibrate your appetite and helps you fix the mind -tummy nexus , making you eat when genuine hunger strikes rather tahn out of boredom or for social reasons. It fixes all your appetite (leptin-ghrelin) and fat accumulation hormones (insulin) in a better way.
  • Doing all this, does not mean that you will not fall down.Expect it.Accept it.And resolve to get up and move on without much ado. Finding your happy weight /body fat percentage is not an extreme regimen thing .It is a consequence of building up ability ,strength and better eating habits every day of the week .It is the Gardening Metaphor again. Once you have dug up weeds and aerated the soil, lovingly sowed the seeds of good habits ,put judicious amounts of water and manure; rest assured that healthy seedlings will sprout and you will reap a lush harvest .Have Faith .
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