The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived”
Losing weight is certainly the most aspired objective of most people in the World. As one gets older, this aspiration needs to be converted into a reality to maintain one’s health.
A lot of retirees tend to let their bodies go and start to put on weight soon after retirement. They don’t have a regular schedule and they eat at all hours resulting in weight gain.
Excessive weight is the cause for a lot of diseases.
Besides, your body was never made to handle more than a “normal” weight. Your ideal weight can be checked quite easily on the internet or by asking your doctor.
Some people are blessed with a naturally high metabolism and an aversion to sweets. The rest of us aren’t so lucky. For those of you who may have hovered around the upper end of the height-weight standards, or who put on some post-retirement kilos, let me share with you what I’ve learned over the years.
Stop looking for the magic pill or diet. Stop believing those magical advertisements on television shopping channels that promise weight loss by simply lying in your bed. If there was an amazing pill or dietary supplement that lets you eat what you want while still losing weight, the big pharmaceutical companies would be selling it like hot cakes.
Here are some tried and tested ways on how can you manage your weight?
Be realistic about your weight loss goal – While many of us would love to reach the weight we were when we got married, often that’s not realistic. Yet I have met a friend who was grossly overweight and he decided that he would fit into his wedding shervani after 28 years of marriage. I was amazed at his determination and one year later he had lost his weight and met his goal.
Setting an unrealistic goal sets you up for frustration and failure. I have tried every possible diet and though I lost weight quickly, I put it back on even more quickly. The only sure way to lose weight is by cutting down on your food intake.
If your target is to lose 5 kilos, your target should be to lose one kilo every month. Drop your first kilo in the first two weeks and then maintain it for the next two weeks. With all the digital scales available, you can get your weight to the nearest 100 grams.
Concentrate on the calories in your diet – Losing weight is not quick or easy, but the principle is simple. It all boils down to a balance between “calories in” from what you eat versus “calories out” that you burn through exercise.
There are hundreds of wearable devices available at all price ranges that you can buy to keep track of your exercise schedule and the calories you have burned.
A reduction of 500 calories per day will lead to the loss of one kilo in two weeks. While exercise is important to your overall health and to maintaining a healthy weight, cutting calories is the key to weight loss. It is much easier to cut 500 calories a day out of your diet (give up a bag of chips and a soft drink, or a couple glasses of sweet tea) than it is to jog for 45 minutes or swim for an hour every day.
Exercise will help you to tone up your ageing muscles but only food control will help you to lose weight.
Keep a food diary – Document what, where and how much you eat. Medical studies have shown that people who keep a food diary are much more likely to lose weight. What you find from your food diary may open your eyes. Do you skip breakfast, eat yogurt for lunch then empty the entire refrigerator when you come home from work?
Do you eat a healthy breakfast and dinner, but really add on the calories by going out to lunch with your colleagues? Do you mindlessly snack in front of the TV? Do you have a few beers or glasses of alcohol every night?
Keeping a food diary forces you to be honest, but it also helps you pin-point your problem areas to help identify where you can drop 500 calories a day.
New norms recommend that you consume the following on a regular basis
- Eat three servings of fruits
- Eat four servings of vegetables every day
- Eat nine servings of whole grains each day
- Drink at least eight glasses of water daily
- Avoid drinking both sugar and diet sodas
Make your weight loss plan – Based on your food diary, figure out where you can eliminate 500 calories a day.
Don’t make a vague commitment to eat less. Instead commit to a specific action such as giving up sweet tea, stopping that nightly glass of alcohol or taking a sandwich for lunch to work. If portion control is an issue, consider using a meal replacement product for one meal a day. Meal bars or meal replacement shakes for one meal a day can help you lose weight without compromising your dietary intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Don’t give up if you slip-up – If you splurge and have a big slice of birthday cake at work, don’t throw in the towel. Keep the calories light for the remainder of the day and get back on track the next day. Your goal should be to adopt healthy diet changes that give you slow but consistent weight loss of a kilo or so every month.
Keep at it and you will definitely see a perceptible improvement in your health. And the bonus will be that you might just fit into your wedding suit again!
The author is an Executive Coach and an Angel Investor. A keen political observer, he is also the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur.
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