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This weekend, feel slimmer
5 steps to a GREAT body
We finally enter the LAST week of our Eight Weeks to a Slimmer You programme. And we hope that you have been religiously following the exercise/diet regime for Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7.
In Week 8, maintain the same food and exercise plan going as in Week 7. What happens after Week 8?
You need to make changes based on whether you have lost the desired amount of weight and want to maintain that weight OR if you'd like to shed some more.
First, start with a self-evaluation.
If you have lost weight, you have been following the programme well. Congratulations!
If not, then you need to assess whether you have been cutting corners. Skipping a week, cutting out certain parts of the plan or cheating on your diet could have lead to the failure of the programme. Read through the programme again from Week 1 and try and compare what you actually did to what was prescribed. Figure out where you've slipped up and start the programme again from Week 1 or wherever it is that you started messing up.
To maintain your weight
If you have lost weight, then maintenance is key. If you don't work at maintaining it, you will go back to what you were before the start of the programme.
Continue eating as you have been during the last couple of weeks. If you are happy eating like that, don't make any changes. Those who feel inadequate at dinnertime, here's the change -- you want to gradually start reintroducing a small amount of carbohydrates into your meal. So add either one roti or one small serving of pasta or rice or 1 slice of wholegrain bread.
You have three exercise options. Choose ONE of them.
Option 1: Cut down your cardio workout to three to four days a week. Do weight training three days a week. After two to three weeks, you can gradually taper it down to attending a group exercise class that combines cardio and weight training three to four days a week.
Option 2: Three days a week use the gym and do 40 minutes of cardio and half hour of weight training.
Option 3: Three days a week, walk for 40 minutes and do your exercises at home.
The body needs regular exercise all your life. The body also needs to be fed the right foods all your life. It is okay to treat yourself to a cake or a burger once in a way. However, most of the time, you have to eat healthy.
Remember this: you don't eat to just satisfy your tongue, you eat to help your body function properly, which includes keeping your fat percentage down. You have to make exercise and healthy eating a way of life or you will be dealing with weight issues, fad diets, failed fitness plans all your life which will affect your health and mind.
Weigh and measure yourself every month. Keep track. Whenever you feel you might be regaining the weight, cut the carbs from your dinner and increase exercise.
Want to lose more fat?
Firstly, it is very important that you do the reassessment mentioned above to figure out if and where you may have gone wrong. Try to fix that by re-starting the program and being very particular this time. On the other hand if you have been following it closely and have lost some weight but wish to lose some more, follow these guidelines.
Stick to the plan. Make sure you eat your dinner three hours before bedtime.
Here again, stick with the plan for the next two to three weeks after which you can change the cardio workouts again. Go back to walking four days a week and add one day of aerobics or four days of aerobics and one day of walking.
Keep changing the activity routine every other month. For a week or two don't do your regular activity and go swimming instead.You body responds to change so challenge it every two months by taking up a new exercise routine.
Start to increase the weights. Move from three kg to five kg. Stick with that for two months then increase further. There must be progression. Continue to maintain your diary for weight and measurement. See how you are doing. Once you come down to your wanted size, follow the maintenance program mentioned above.
The final word
DO NOT be discouraged if you don't see results soon. The healthy way to lose weight is to lose it slowly. So keep at it. Natural weight loss through proper diet and exercise is the healthy way to do it. Please do not resort to powders, weight loss tablets, gimmicks like the sauna belts and abs equipment ads that you see on television.
I hope the eight-week programme has been of some help to you both physically and an educative exercise. Congratulations once again to all those who have been successful with it!
And for those still working on it, KEEP IT UP!
Did you follow the Eight Weeks to Fitness programme'? Do you think it worked for you? Or did you cheat mid-way?! Share your experiences
Brinda heads the group exercise department at Gold's Gym, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai, where she also runs her classes. Certified with the Training Zone & Progressive Fitness(USA), she has been a fitness instructor since the last nine-and-a-half years.
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