The right road to fitness

You don’t need drastic diet changes or gruelling gym sessions to stay in shape, say experts

Published: 14th January 2013 10:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2013 10:57 AM   |  A+A-

Blame it on the chocolate cheese cake or the creamy pork casserole you couldn’t resist having an extra helping of. The festival season must have let some sneaky flab to creep in and your new year resolution to shed that extra kilos is just not working. Are you struck by the January bulge with your waistband ready to burst making you struggle to get into that skinny jeans? Well, it’s only natural that the reckless bingeing leaves its mark on your body and even after the celebrations are over your are unable to keep your cravings under control.

 “Keralites normally over-indulge in their favourite cuisines during festival time. However by the time we come out of that festival mood, we must have chewed down a substantial amount of calories which we wouldn’t have consumed over a normal course of time. This causes the body to convert the most to fat as our physical activities doesn’t normally even out the extra calorie intake. The ways to get out of this rather blotted feeling is to go on a balanced diet and follow a cardio vascular exercise routine,” says Anand Ganesh, gym instructor and fitness expert.

Fighting festival flab is no easy thing and to burn all those extra calories you need a plan. Since you are completely derailed from your earlier healthy food habits, start with some damage control measures. “Modifying your diet based on your body type should be the first step. You can start by staying away from sweets. Most of the desserts and aerated drinks have zero nutrients, but lots of calories. A small piece of sweet will have 350 calories but a normal breakfast including idli, curry and tea will have lesser calories. Jaggery has minerals like iron and zinc so replacing sugar with jaggery will be good. Instead of calorie-rich drinks you can have lime juice which will give you vitamin C,” says Gayathri Asokan, dietician. 

There is no magic wand to shrink you  down and according to experts most of the quick slimming programmes have dangerous side effects. “If you follow an unbalanced diet for a long term your metabolic activities will suffer. Food supplements will not help and soon there will be signs of aging like wrinkles and hair fall,” says Gayathri. The calorie intake on an adult should be in accordance with his or her activity level. “If you are someone doing a desk-bound job, the amount of fat and carbs you require will be different from someone doing a field job,” she adds.

Don’t think you can starve your way to fitness as strict diets are not your thing if you are looking for long-term solution. “People starve as they expect to lose weight if they don’t eat at all. The fact is that it is only going to make the body weak as you miss all essential nutrients to cope with our daily activities. On top of that we tend to eat abnormal as we wouldn’t be able to starve for too long. It will also disturb our metabolism,” says Anand.

Gayathri says your new weighty-loss diet plan need not deny you your favourite dish. “You can have everything you like, but only in limited quantities. Five or six nuts are good, but when it becomes a plateful it’s harmful.” Not skipping your meals and switching to a six meal pattern will be more beneficial in long run. “Never try to skip your meals. If you are starving your body will absorb more fat next time you eat something and you always tend to overeat after long intervals,” she says.

Balance and moderation are key words when you try to lose flab in limited time. “For those who follow a proper low carb diet, the body tend to generate its essential energy by converting its available body fat. This also keep the metabolism level to a standard level,” adds Anand.


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