It was the American insurance companies that introduced the idea of the height-weight chart. They wanted people to be fit and claim free, alas by a standard assuming one size fits all. There may be numerous researches to show the relationship between good health and fitness. True that people have stopped using their limbs and as in the article ‘The Energy Glut’ the world’s median body mass index is constantly on the rise. Being fit has a key advantage: it helps in quickly recovering from illness and surgery.
Now let’s get down to how to lose weight and keep it away. I have experimented and have had bouts of getting into the ideal weight and equally out of it. There is a method and if you follow it then success is guaranteed. Remember it is in your hands or better still, in your mind.
The first step is the art of motivating yourself. I invested $500 in an Anthony Robbins CD set to learn about NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) and came away firmly with the idea that it starts with the mind. So don’t even think of losing weight if you are not prepared to mentally condition yourself to do it.
The sub conscious mind is a huge untapped area and if a suggestion from the conscious mind is made to it, then we start doing this subconsciously. We see this in everything we do every day. Take the case f cycling, initially we fall and lose balance easily, but once the subconscious gets hold of it, it becomes second nature. Likewise one can train oneself to avoid foods that are not suitable for the body. Unfortunately most of us let our emotions get the better of us and we head for the chocolate cake which only adds to our girth. I have taken the cake as an example, it may suit some and the adage ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison’ cannot be far from true. So it is important to recognize foods that are not good for you and avoid them. NLP helps in this and the simple trick is to label the food with different names, undesirable ones, e.g.: let’s call the cake a shoe, would you like chewing shoes? So in a social gathering you can recognize the foods to avoid and steer away from them.
Now before we embark on this mind conditioning exercise we need to spell out and remember certain aspects such as:
- We need a goal and achievable one. Please write this down on a sheet of paper and date it.
- Next we need our body measurements, if we do not measure ourselves we will not be able gauge progress.
- Good food and regular exercise will define lifestyle. We have to accept that lifestyle has to change for the better.
- All diet has an end date. You cannot sustain it unless it is incorporated into a lifestyle.
- As far as exercise goes, it is not important what you do, but doing it regularly pays.
- You should be ready to self hypnotize yourself. Highly achievable.
I tried a number of diets and exercise programmes such as:
- The boiled egg and soup diet with a 2 mile run twice a day. Works very well if you are young (in the 20s) and can sustain it for at least 5 days.
- Dr Peter J D’ Adamo’s “Eat right 4 your (blood) type” didn’t work for me.
- The next thing I did was to visit a nutritionist. She gave me a programme which really worked which I will share this with you. Basically it is recognizing that the body’s metabolism needs to be kept going like a machine. It consisted of a food diary and an exercise one. Low fat, low carbohydrate and protein biased diet. Breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, evening snack and dinner. Aerobic exercise thrice a week for 30 to 40 minutes, weight training for the rest of the days. A rest day in between. This worked wonders and my waist size came down as also my weight by about 5 kgs. She told me to do a thyroid test by measuring my basal temperature over three days. It was below the normal, and mine was an underactive thyroid, for which I took tablets for a few weeks. I found this method effective but couldn’t sustain a high protein, low fat and carb diet for too long. Eating many mini meals is a good idea as it keeps the metabolism going. The mid morning and afternoon snacks were usually protein bars … these can get very expensive.
While each method worked in some way or the other I think the greatest factor is that of conditioning the mind. Self hypnosis and hypnosis can work wonders. The other thing that helps is label reading. Try to understand the ingredients list and nutritional information on packeted foods.
Drop in a line if you have specific questions. I might offer some free consultations. Just a small disclaimer, do consult your physician before trying out something new especially if you are on medication.