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8 weeks to a slimmer, fitter you
Brinda Sapat |
June 13, 2006
There is only one way to lose weight and stay in shape: eat and exercise SENSIBLY.
Incorporating these two elements in your lifestyle is easier that you may imagine.
To help steer you towards an overall healthy lifestyle, we bring you an 8-week fitness programme, which recommends a diet and exercise regime for each week.
At the end of eight weeks, you may lose up to seven kgs. However, this figure would also depend on factors like your metabolism rate and how closely you follow the programme.
The plan for week eight is what you must sustain after that, failing which your body will go back to being what it was prior to the programme. Remember, maintenance is key.
Before we get started...
- This is a basic programme for those of you who do not already follow a rigourous exercise/diet plan.
- You may feel tempted to give up within the first couple of weeks if you do not see a change in yourselves. Don't!It is important to complete the full programme to see any kind of benefits.
- This programme does not only help you lose weight, but is a lifestyle guide to help you maintain your weight and good health.
- Before starting out, consult your doctor to check if you suffer from any medical problems.
Try to enjoy your weight loss programme. It might be hard to begin with, but once eating sensibly becomes a habit, you'll hate eating otherwise. Exercise too is addictive and if you pick a form that you enjoy you won't ever want to stop.
We launch this programme today, with a diet/exercise plan for Week One.
The focus this week is to set the right foundation. You will see no change in yourself this week but will feel good - thanks to the healthy eating and exercise. Now, let's get started!
Start with a simple cardiovascular activity three to four times a week. Begin with 30 minutes gradually progressing towards 60 minutes over the next few weeks.
Walking, jogging and swimming are common exercises. If you pick the latter, then swim continuously for 30 minutes.
Another great option is an aerobics class. Avoid doing aerobic exercises at home by yourself since you will need professional guidance.
If you are working out on your own, start off slowly with warm up exercises. You should feel your heart rate increase, but make sure you don't get completely out of breath. Cool down with stretches at the end of the exercise.
Streamline your eating timetable
Your body must get food every three hours (except while you are asleep). Fuelling your body frequently keeps your energy levels and metabolism up.
Five small meals a day is the formula. This can be divided as:
- Mid morning snack
- Evening snack
Set specific times for these meals and then stick with it. If you confuse your body by eating at different hours, it will store your food as fat. So if lunchtime is at 1 pm, stick to that everyday.
- 75 per cent carbohydrates: One bowl of cereal or 1-2 wholegrain bread slices or 2 chapattis.
- 25 per cent mix of protein: Two to three egg whites or low fat cheese spread.
- Vitamins: One small bowl of fruits (any fruit of your choice though bananas and mangoes are higher in calories).
- You can have tea or coffee made with skimmed milk.
- 50 per cent carbohydrates: Two wholegrain bread slices or two to three chapattis or a bowl of rice/pasta.
- 50 per cent mix of protein: Have one portion of either fish/chicken/dal/lentils/paneer or a combination and two portions of vegetables (include some green leafy vegetable among others as often as you can).
- 25 per cent carbohydrates: Same options as lunch but with half the quantity.
- 75 per cent mix of proteins: One or two portions of fish/chicken/dal/lentils/paneer and two to three portions of vegetables.
You can have ONE of the following:
- Handful of nuts (almonds/cashews, which must not be roasted or salted)
- One fruit or a bowl of smaller fruits (grapes, for instance) of your choice
- One cup of low fat yoghurt
- All food must be cooked in healthy oil like olive oil or from a brand like Saffola.
- Eat your food slowly, relishing and chewing every bite properly.
- Take at least 20 minutes and leave the table feeling comfortably full, not stuffed.
- Try and eat dinner three hours before you hit the sack.
- Throughout the day drink at least eight big glasses of water.
Would you follow this fitness plan? Or are you not up to the challenge? Tell us
Brinda Sapat is a fitness trainer, currently running classes at Gold's Gym, Napean Sea Road. Certified with Training Zone & Progressive Fitness (USA), she has been a group exercise instructor for the last nine years.