A friend with whom we worship has a son who is bigger in size than his height and age would otherwise permit. So this friend decided that his son should be taking cabbage soup, dry rice and maybe black tea for six months to see if his weight will go down.
I was very disappointed because this is a growing child barely in teenage years, he needs vitamins and other nutrients so that he can grow healthily like other normal children, yet his mother was starving him to death, just so that she can reduce his weight, yet the healthiest way to lose weight is neither crash diets nor bursts of exercise. The body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise.
For example, someone who hasn’t exercised for years shouldn’t rush into running miles a day or pounding the treadmill. Not only will the struggle to do so leave one feeling disheartened and demotivated, they also are far more likely to injure themselves and set the fitness levels back further.
The same goes for people who suddenly start starving themselves or are forced to starve. Diets that severely restrict calories or the types of food ‘allowed’ can lead one to be deficient in the nutrients and vitamins that a particular body needs.
Small changes can make a big difference. You’re also more likely to stick to, say, swapping full-fat milk for semi-skimmed or eating white meat instead of red meat.
If parents want to help their overweight children they should think of weight loss in terms of permanently changing their eating habits. While weight-loss goals are usually set in terms of weeks, the end game is to sustain these changes over months and years. That is, lifestyle change for life, and this sometimes can mean for the entire family.
Increasing activity levels can also help someone lose weight healthily. People with weight issues should be encouraged to go to gyms – or even perform light exercise, such as a short 20 minute walk, which can be beneficial if done most days of the week, because every single time you exercise more than usual, you burn calories and fat.
There are also lots of ways to increase the amount of activities that one can do. Team sports, aerobics classes, running, walking, swimming and cycling will all improve fitness levels.
If you’re overweight, you can’t continue with your current eating habits if you really want to lose weight. It is therefore important to reduce your calories intake. It’s not possible to reduce body fat while eating lots of food, cakes and sweets.
This doesn’t mean you can never have any treats especially when it comes to children, but one needs to learn how to limit these foods to small quantities – say, for special occasions.
In terms of weight-loss, you can get your body to use up existing stores of fat by eating less and making healthier choices. This doesn’t mean crash diet (anything less than 1500 calories), which usually ends up with one either getting weaker or giving up in desperation. Quick-fix diets can lead to effect of drastic weight loss followed by weight gain, resulting in a vicious cycle.
There are no shortcuts to losing weight in a healthy and reasonable way. Eating 300 to 500 calories less per day should lead to a loss of between half a kilo and one kilogram per week. This is a realistic target. It may seem slow, but, according to research, it would add up to a weight loss of more than say thirty eight kilos in a year.
Fat contains the most amounts of calories out of all the food types (protein, carbohydrates), so a good way to achieve this is to also cut down on fatty foods and eat more wholegrain bread, fruit and vegetables.
Below are ways to reduce calorie intake without having to alter your diet significantly. Replace fizzy drinks like sodas and fruit cordials with water. Swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, or semi-skimmed for skimmed.
Eat less lunch than usual. For example, make your own snacks and limit the use of margarine or butter and full-fat mayonnaise
Stop taking sugar in tea and coffee.
Have smaller portions of the food you enjoy.
Avoid having a second helping at dinner.
Cut out unhealthy treats – such as confectionary, sugary biscuits and crisps between meals.
Cut down on red meat and replace it with white meat.
All these things will influence your health in a positive way.
Finally, don’t be tempted to skip breakfast or force a child to do so – or any meal to lose weight. While skipping a meal will reduce one’s calorie intake for that hour, it will leave a person much hungrier later on.
Not only is one likely to overeat to compensate, but they will often make bad choices to fill the gap. Irregular eating habits also disrupt a body’s metabolism, which makes it harder to lose weight in the first place. Follow these steps to make sure that you don’t put your life in danger or that of a loved one, all in the name of dieting.