Are you tired of looking at yourself in the mirror and wanting to shed those extra kilos and burn off a little bit flab? Is weight loss a major concern for you? Are you dreading to fit into your old denim? Do you feel lousy and lethargic most of the times?
Well, I was a victim of all these 2 years back. I weighed 88 kilos and loosing weight had become very difficult for me. Everytime I met any old friend or relative all I would hear is, “You have put on weight.” My apetite was huge and I would often feel shy and restrain from eating with people who were slimmer and ate lesser than me. It was more of an inside struggle for me as I had self confidence issues which was deeply influenced by my weight gain. Owing to my eating habits, I had started to look older and my skin had become dull.
That was 2 years back and today I weigh 68 kilos, I am fitter, my endurance levels and stamina has increased, I eat healthy and my skin has started to glow making me look younger and as per my age.
I have lost 20 kilos in 2 years and this is purely organic – no fat burners, no crash diets, no starving and no torturing myself.
If you are on the same journey of loosing weight then I am glad you stopped by. Having walked on this path, I have experimented with various exercises and diets and found that, “Loosing weight is a science and depends wholly on 4 things.”
Note: This post is only for people who are serious about weight loss and fitness. This is going to be a little in detail so you could chose a comfortable place to sit and read or bookmark this post to read when you have time.
Effort without awareness is energy wasted.
Before you start on your weight loss journey, invest the time to learn about the 4 main laws of weight loss.
Input (the food you eat)
- What are you feeding your body?
The performance of a car depends on the quality of the fuel inside it. If you put diesel in a petrol car, then the engine is bound to fail. Take a few minutes off and write down what you eat the entire day. Most of the times we indulge in mindless eating and consume way more, unknowingly. So the 1st step is write all that you eat.
It’s a leap start for you once you crack this. Classify all that you eat in these two categories. You will be in for a shock and a reality check.
The first bite of the pizza is blissful, you start chewing it, the taste spreads in your mouth and you enjoy every moment of it and wish for more. But guess what, sooner or later you have to swallow it. That is the end of your yummy sensation. Once it reaches your stomach and your body starts breaking it down, what does the pizza have to offer you?
2. How often are you eating?
One of the major factors which influence our weight loss is our Body Metabolic Rate (BMR).
BMR is the amount of energy which is expended by your body when at rest and when the digestive system is inactive (i.e. when we you are not eating). So when you do some crash diet and loose say about 5 kilos in 2 weeks, it is temporay. That is purely because you are starving your body and once you get back to normal eating, you will regain it. This is not a long term solution.
The trick to loosing weight is very simple – Have as many meals as you can during the day.
When we restrict ourselves to 3 big meals in a day, the signal which our mind sends to our body is that food will not be given for sometime. Our mind is naturally tuned on a survival mode and so will store majority of the food we consume. This lowers our metabolic rate and makes our digestive system slow.
You need to work on increasing your BMR in order to loose weight. It is very simple. Have about 7-8 small meals during the entire day. You will remain full and your digestive system will stay active thus burning whatever you eat. Eat only upto 60% of your hunger and preferably eat solid food so that your system spends some calories in breaking them down. Eat every 2-3 hours.
3. What carbohydrates are you eating?
Whatever you eat is broken down by your body into these 4 things – fibre, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Consuming fibre and protein is amazing for the body, but what you need to be careful about is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy and are of 2 types : simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates give you an instant release of energy and make you feel more hungry and crave for sugar. They increase the insulin levels in your body and make you feel lethargic. All processed food, deserts, sugar, white rice, potato are simple carbs – avoid them.
Instead replace them with complex carbohydrates which give a slow, steady release of energy and keeps you active. Brown rice, sweet potato, oats, vegetables are complex carbohydrates. A good news is that carbohydrates help in weight loss, if you eat the right ones.
So choose your food well!
Output (the exercise you do)
For a balance to be maintained the Intake of food has to equal the consumption of the energy. If you are only providing an input of calories and not utlilizing them, it is common sense that the excess will be stored as fat in your body.
Exercise runs parallel to what you eat in importance. Spot reduction is a fad and doesn’t work. Focus on your entire body. Go in for a mix of cardio and weight training. Doing cardio will help in burning of calories and by weight training you will focus on strengthening your muscles.
Many women have a common concern that by lifting those dumbels they will build biceps. My dear ladies, you will not! To build biceps you need testosterone which women have in very negligible quantities. To get those well toned arms and thighs, you need to do some amount of weight training.
Also, when you do weight training you build lean muscle and get rid of fat. A little healthy damage is caused to the muscles and so your body will utilise excess energy to repair them. You would be losing weight even when you are resting.
So don’t fear from lifting those dumbels.
Our body is made up of 70% water. It has been said since time immemorial to drink 7-8 glasses of water during the day. Why water?
Very simple logic – Water is the transport system in our body and whatever nutrients we consume is transported to the minutest cell of our body by water. Every person’s hydration levels are different, so how do I know if I am drinking enough water? If the urine you are passing is clear and transparent then peace, you are drinking the right amount of water.
There is one thing you need to be careful of – Do not gulp down a lot of water at a stretch, this will cause bloating. Drink water in regular intervals of time and you will notice that it serves as a catalyst in your weight loss journey.
A lot of people complain of forgetting to drink water. What you could do is – everytime you use the washroom, make it a ritual to drink water immediately post it.
Eat. Exercise. Rest.
It is very important for you to have around 6-7 hours of undisturbed, deep sleep. This is the time your body needs to rest, repair any damage caused, refuel and get ready to be awesome the next day.
Over sleeping and Under sleeping, both lead to weight gain. Also, avoid using a lot of phone, television and distraction. They put your brain to active mode and it is a lot of hard work for your brain to sleep post that.
At this point I have a very big bubble to burst. People often tell me that they were working out for sometime, lost weight but once they stopped they regained all the weight.
Fitness is not a destination – it is a journey, a style of living.
Till the time you eat food, you will have to burn it. Simple logic.
If you have read till here, I am sure you have taken fitness seriously. Don’t buy into the marketing gimmics of plain weight loss by some crash course. Focus on strength, build your endurance, be flexible – weight loss will happen!
Once you experinece the high after working out, trust me it is addictive. It releases dopamine and endorphins – the happy hormones and boosts your self morale and the way you feel. They directly link to the way you perform and your productivity is bound to multiply.
I urge you to jump into this journey. It is a transformation. Apart from the above 4 things I spoke about, be watchful of your thoughts. What you are (physically and psychologically) is directly connected to the thoughts you choose to think.
Quick money drains out quick. The results of this routine may be slow, but they are here to stay. Don’t indulge in body shaming, your body is unique and it will reveal its perfect shape and size naturally.
Be patient. Be persistent. Do your bit.
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Happy start to your fitness journey 🙂