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Four quick ways to lose weight

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd July 2013 03:53 PM

Weight is a thorny issue in Grace’s life. She has tried all sorts of things to lose weight without much luck. “I have tried drugs, exercise, herbal teas and dieting without much luck.

Four quick ways to lose weight

Weight is a thorny issue in Grace’s life. She has tried all sorts of things to lose weight without much luck. “I have tried drugs, exercise, herbal teas and dieting without much luck.

Sunday Vision
 
By Richard Wetaya 
 
Weight is a thorny issue in Grace’s life. She has tried all sorts of things to lose weight without much luck. “I have tried drugs, exercise, herbal teas and dieting without much luck.
 
I have lost a few kilogrammes on some occasions but the weight eventually comes back. I do not know what else I should do,” she says.  
 
According to Dr. Andrew Magona of Nyondo health center in Mbale, Grace should combine exercise with diet to lose weight instead of trying different things in isolation.  
 
With this tried and tested method, he says, weight loss comes more safely and effectively. Exercise does not only make one break a sweat, it also decreases fat tissue. 
 
“With exercise, a person’s fat to muscle balance improves, meaning one can eat more calories than before, without gaining weight.”
 
Contrary to popular belief, crash diets, diet fads, herbal remedies, and prescription weight loss pills are rarely healthy and effective as weight loss bargains. 
 
Magona says partaking more of nutrient dense foods high in vitamins and minerals from every food group is the safest way to cut down on calorie intake. 
 
As you develop a safe and sound weight loss plan, here are some other dieting ingredients to consider.  
 
1.One popular dieting ingredient often glossed over is water. 
Nutritionist Sam Opio of Bumboi health unit in Mbale says water is not only the healthiest but the safest beverage one can drink. “Water, unlike sugar filled beverages, has zero calories. It is also the most essential ingredient in our diet.”
 
Staying hydrated, he says, means easy flushing out of toxins from the body and easy metabolism. 
 
“Easy metabolism is facilitated by more water intake. The more water intake, the more calories one burns. Two glasses of water 20 minutes before each meal can help one lose one kilogram a month,” Opio says.
 
Once the stomach is full with water, intake of food is limited, he notes. 
 
2. Nutrient dense leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, mustard greens and spinach, which are a vital source of antioxidants and are essentially low in calories, are fast gaining popularity with people as vital dietary ingredients.
Opio says adding vegetables and fruits to one’s diet plan is a great way to cut down on calories and eventually lose weight.
 
Kale, for example, has only 36 calories, five grams of fibre and no fat and is an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and K. 
“Eating two to three bowls of dark green vegetables and fruits as salads each day can help one lose weight by making one feel fuller.”
 
Eating them instead of high calorie foods, Opio adds, can also help adults and children achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
 
3.Including more whey protein in your diet is also another sure way to promote weight loss, according to Magona.
 
“Whey protein is a high quality protein found commonly in milk, fat-free yogurt and low fat cheese. It helps in weight loss due to the presence of an amino acid called leucine,” Magona explains. 
 
Studies show that leucine fosters excess calorie and fat metabolism in one’s body by building lean muscle. “Probiotics found in yogurt help with weight loss because they naturally alter how much fat the body can absorb during digestion,” Opio notes.
 
4.Apples, according to Magona, are also another vital diet ingredient to consider. 
 “Eating an apple or two a day will leave one’s stomach feeling full. This, in a sense, means one will eat less, hence keeping the calories away,” Magona says.
 
Apples provide up to five grams or a third of our daily requirements of fibre and are made up of 85% water.
 
Bananas, grapefruit, pineapples and water melon are also good bargains for sound weight loss. Magona says bananas contain potassium, vitamin B-6 and are fibre-rich. He adds that bananas deliver energy and nourishment and their calories are nearly fat-free.
 
Straight to the point
 
For belly fat
Have you exercised to specifically burn belly fat and found the exercise ineffective? Chances are, you tried sit-ups and crunches without much difference to your midriff.
 
The reason could be, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, that exercises that ‘target’ belly fat (ab exercises) can strengthen the abs without leading to belly fat. 
 
A group of people were told to perform abs for five days a week while another group did not perform any exercises. Both groups continued with their normal diets and at the end of the study period, both groups did not report any significant differences in their stomach fat. 
 
However, some research does reveal that exercise can actually reduce belly fat. If done right. According to study researcher, John Smith, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio: “Aerobic activity must be a part of the exercise prescription.
 
Crunches and such are great to increase abdominal and core strength, but just performing these alone will not increase caloric expenditure above that which is needed to facilitate sizeable fat loss.” 

For general body weight
However, researchers over the years have also proven that aerobic exercise alone is not enough for general weight loss. One study revealed that people who exercised for one hour six days a week lost less than 2kg. The participants in this diet never changed their diet. 
 
However, high intensity exercise has been proven effective for weight loss by different researchers. For instance, one study showed that men who did sprint interval training for two-and-a-half hours for two weeks lost the same weight as those who did endurance training for ten-and-a-half hours over the same period. Women too were found to benefit from high intensity exercise.
 
Research has also proven that one can lose more weight by combining strength training with aerobic exercise. One study had obese adolescents participate in a 30-minute aerobic exercise and a 30-minute strength-training workout thrice a week.
 
The adolescents lost almost four times more fat than those who did only aerobic exercise for one hour a week.
 
Ask the expert: 
Q What is the basic cause for being overweight?
A If your body takes in more calories  than it burns, then you will be overweight. Just 15 extra calories a day (the calories in a teaspoonful of sugar) can add 68 kilograms to a person’s weight each year.
 
Most people gain extra weight from being inactive and eating the wrong foods.
The secret for sensible weight loss is simple — get more exercise and make each calorie count nutritionally.
 
What is the best and simplest way to lose weight?
Before any changes to your habits, find out what your body mass index is and see how it compares to a healthy weight. 
Increase physical activity; reduce on fat and sugars in your diet. Limit fat in your diet to 30% of the total calories. 
 
Also try to avoid getting too many calories from sugars. Reduce on sugar-sweetened drinks, such as fruit juice, regular soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened or flavoured milk. These add lots of sugar and calories to your diet.
 
Does eating less slow down the amount of weight lost?
Eating too little can actually slow your weight loss. Instead of using its fat reserves and making you thinner, the body will actually start using its muscle tissue.
 
To avoid that, eat enough food to keep your body from starvation mode but remember to also control your calorific intake so that you achieve the weight loss suitable for you.
 
Does one really need to exercise to lose weight?
No.
 
If one cuts back on their calorie intake, they can lose a lot of weight without necessarily doing a lot of exercise. Physical activity however is important too in keeping off unwanted weight.
 
Sam Opio, a nutritionist 

 

Four quick ways to lose weight

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