Nutrition corner with Japheth

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Nutrition corner with Japheth

Tips to shed off excess calories

For most people, losing weight is usually an uphill task as compared to adding. Ever tried losing weight by hitting the road every 5am and taking copious amounts of green tea, red tea and whatever other colour of tea out there? Followed by a stop at the gym for a work-out session with a strict resolve towards success? Of course, the push and effort dwindled off with time as the hourglass emptied more sand into the lower glass. Probably you have also tried all the diet plans available out there within reach.

This probably describes the frustrations of your personal weight-loss journey, a family member’s or perhaps a friend or one of your colleagues.  Indeed, it can be extremely frustrating, especially when the results don’t measure up to the amount of effort exerted towards this cause.

But is there a simpler or stress-free formula to shedding those calories to help you achieve that dream body you so desire?   

Here are a few tips to help you avoid unwanted weight gain and lose some little weight from the always alarming weighing scale shocker!

Eat breakfast at home

A good day is as good as the morning, but what better place to start from than from your morning power up? Taking a good breakfast from home will give you the energy to grind through the activities of the day and keep your brain alert as the brain uses glucose as a source of energy, which comes from your diet. This explains why you concentrate less at work with an empty tummy. One is also easily irritable when hungry, simply because the brain is not adequately powered up.

Eating breakfast from home will also keep you from unhealthy snacking because of sudden hunger pangs. Most of the times we eat out of compulsion, hence make wrong food choices to save the moment due to ease of access. Snacks, which more often than not, are junk food with a lot of hidden calories but less nutritive value are usually convenient.

 At times your breakfast may involve eating leftovers from the previous meal at dinner as breakfast does not have to be our conventional tea or coffee.

Shed off the fats

Have you noticed how most people would rather take a cab than walk, or use the elevator than the stairs? Most office jobs entail sitting for long hours with minimal movement. And perhaps the only time one takes a walk is when they have to use the bathroom.  This sedentary lifestyle is one prime suspect for weight build up in an individual. Sometimes, a simple choice like taking a brisk walk during your lunch break could make all the difference in your health.

Physical activity is important in burning excess calories that we have accumulated in the body. When we eat food, the body breaks it down into energy in the form of calories, which will be used in various body metabolic processes. However, the excess will be stored up in the body as fats.

To avoid a situation where the body stores up excess calories as fats which lead to weight gain, an individual is encouraged to engage in physical activities to break down the excess energy. Next time, use the stairs instead of the elevator or park your car a few blocks away from your office and walk.  

Covid 19 has also changed the way we do business or work. Team building activities are behind us as more and more people embrace online engagements. Physical meetings that might have involved a bit of movement have also been replaced with online Zoom meetings. Try and incorporate fun activities into your schedule like taking nature walks, cycling or perhaps going for swimming to stay healthy.

Sit furthest away from the serving point

When you have to attend a seminar, conference or wedding, try and sit furthest from the serving point. This is to ensure that you resist the urge for a second helping as you will have to take a long walk to where they are serving.

Alternatively, choose the foods you pile on your plate and try and avoid junk food. Serve more healthy foods instead.

Take time before serving that extra helping

Reaching out for an extra helping may happen almost inanimately immediately the brain detects  an empty plate in front of you. This takes a few seconds for you to decide. To distract yourself, try to find an activity that will take off your mind from serving an extra helping. You could engage the person seated next to you, especially if they too have an empty plate. Well before you notice it, 10 minutes later the urge for an extra helping will be gone. Before serving that second or third serving, take time to establish if you are really hungry or it’s just a craving.

Take fluids, vegetables or fruits after work out

Hunger pangs strike immediately after an intense work-out session or after any energy-consuming activity. There is the temptation to over-eat to compensate but this is counterproductive as it reverses the gains of the work-out session.

Immediately post work-out, slowly start by taking fluids like water, milk shake, fruit smoothies or tea to slow down the hunger pangs, after which you can gradually get to eating. A fruit salad or vegetable salad can as work perfectly post work out. It also takes up volume of the stomach limiting the intake when food is served.