Health Topics

Healthy Living

April 2010
Healthy Weight Loss
Karen Anne Campos Bhatia
If you want to lose weight - always ask yourself one question: Am I ready to make a lifestyle change -for life?

There is no quick-fix method to lose weight. There are lots of fads out there, starting with the Atkins Diet to the South Beach Diet, but the only sure shot way to lose weight and ensure you don’t gain it back is to make sure you make sustained changes. However in saying so, it does not mean that it takes a very long time to lose weight in a healthy manner. If you follow some basic principles you can achieve up to five kgs of weight loss per month. And look fabulous as you do so.

I used to be very overweight as a teenager and have personally tried every possible method to lose weight. I did get some success, achieved my optimum weight and have now maintained it for 10 years, through being married and having three children. I understood the simplicity in losing weight in a healthy manner only after I studied it professionally. There is also so much contradictory information out there that it becomes very difficult to sift out the truth.

10 Common Lifestyle Reasons for Weight Gain

  • Stress in any form results in emotional eating - for both men and women.
  • Lack of sleep results in the body not appropriately performing its functions of digestion, absorption and elimination effectively, resulting in fat formation.
  • Eating large meals after long intervals.
  • Mindless eating.
  • Not eating the whole day because you are too busy. Over exercise, wrong exercise and lack of exercise. Too much partying, drinking and eating commercial grade food.
  • BPO and call centre employees who work night shifts and are at a loss at how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Lack of hydration through drinking simple water and dehydration due to aerated drinks and too much caffeine.
  • Hormonal imbalances due to bad lifestyle. Both men and women can be subject to hormonal fluctuations.
  • If you identify with three of the above and are overweight, rest assured that your lifestyle is terrible.

Principles for a Healthy Life

The way to a healthy and balanced life is to try very hard to incorporate the following principles into your daily life.

  1. Eat a healthy balanced diet but simplify your food combinations. Do not eat a mix of too many food groups in a meal. Prepare food in a simple manner and keep your portions in check. Always remember to remind yourself, “I am eating again in two hours so I can do with less now.”
  2. Never combine fruit along with a meal or immediately after a meal. Eat fruit between meals as a snack. It causes indigestion otherwise.
  3. Don’t drink beverages or even water while you eat, as that dilutes gastric juices and does not promote optimum digestion. Eat to satisfy hunger - not as a means of comfort and entertainment.
  4. Avoid eating complex carbohydrates like rice, bread, pasta and rotis at night, at least five days a week. Carbohydrates are energy giving foods and are needed during the day when you need energy.
  5. Eat every two to two-and-a-half hours.
  6. Till you establish a pattern, you must try and keep a diary so you can analyse if you are maintaining the above.
  • Meal Per Day
    An example of a typical day in timings, and quantity as well as type of food would be:
  • Breakfast: 8 to 9 AM
     portion of fruit or a small portion cereal or an egg and a toast.
  • Mid morning snack: 11 AM
    A portion of fruit.
  • Lunch: 1 PM
    One carbohydrate portion plus a good serving of vegetables.
  • Evening snack: 3 PM
    Tea and a couple of biscuits, or a handful of nuts.
  • Pre dinner snack: 6 PM
    A thin soup.
  • Dinner: 7 to 8 PM
    A portion of protein (chicken, fish or vegetarian proteins such as kidney beans, tofu, yoghurt, pulses, cottage cheese etc). Plus a good serving vegetables. And if awake late, maybe a fruit, two hours after dinner.

Eat food closest to its natural form. Avoid highly refined foods. Chew your food till it’s a paste, digestion begins from the mouth. Eat consciously and savour every bite. Most often we eat in a rush and gulp down our food in large chunks, which takes the body a very long time to break down and digest. We must aid the system of digestion as much as possible. If you are busy and miss lunch or dinner because you can’t help it, take the edge off the hunger by drinking a light soup and relaxing before you eat your food, to avoid a binge. Respect your body, love yourself!
Karen Anne Campos Bhatia is Nutritionist, Exercise Physiologist, Lifestyle Consultant and Proprietor of VIGOR Health Consulting
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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