The effect of lockdown was not only on the economy, the human body too gained a lot of weight, leading to health issues. The sharp reality reveals as the mirror whispers in our ears – you are fat and thick. William Dietz (George Washington University Milken) noted that a good recipe for weight gain was staying indoors, reduction in activities and easy access to processed food which were stock up as a result of the pandemic. Ignatius Onimawo (Vice-Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University) together with Cynthia Onyekwere (Dietitian-Nutritionist) are also of a similar opinion that many Nigerians are at the risk of weight gain and obesity during this period.
There is an uncommon and simple key to weight loss guaranteed to get you into shape. It is a summary of all the good advice out there. I call it – F.A.T and T.H.I.C.K.
F- FOOD DISCIPLINE
Your food matters. Your type and quantity of food contribute to your weight-gain. Lockdown is gradually easing off, access to fresh food is increasing. Take steps to eating more fresh healthy food like vegetables and fruits, increase your fibre intake and reduce processed food. Watch your portions. Increasing healthy fresh food intake doesn’t mean eating voraciously. Remember even fresh food contain calories. Increased calories mean increased weight.
A – AVOID EMPTY CALORIES
Learn to avoid empty calories as much as possible. Fizzy drinks, sweets can contain ample calories and rarely fill you up. Eating healthy options implies you can eat more to make up the same quantity of calories you take when you take such processed food. Ironically, before you take up to the quantity of calories such processed food can give, you are full and are not inclined to eat more.
T- TIME DISCIPLINE
You have come to the realization that you need to shed the excess weight, so you fix a regime for yourself such as particular time for eating, for doing physical activities like exercises where you burn excess calories. It is important to ensure discipline and to stop eating after 7-8pm at night.
T- THOUGHT REBIRTH
It starts in the mind. Your mind is your powerhouse. You become what you think. It is time to change our perspective – away from being obsessed with food and controlled by food to being in charge of what goes into our mouth and the activities you do.
H – HEALTH AWARENESS AND CONSCIOUSNESS
The World Health Organisation in 2016 showed that 26 percent of Adult Nigerians were either obese or overweight and the figure continues to rise. An obese or overweight person is considered unhealthy. You must be health conscious. What goes into your mouth? Health is wealth they say. Why risk illness such as diabetes for a few minutes of pleasure? Remember, you have loved ones. Take a step. Chose healthy options.
I – INCREASE YOUR WATER AND FIBRE INTAKE
In this desert we live, people die more from lack of water than food. Water is important. Never neglect the place of water in your day to day activities. It replenished lost ions, carries nutrients around the body and helps in waste removal. Do you know that water aids in weight loss? It helps you feel full longer without adding extra calories. Sometimes, what you describe as hunger is your body telling you it is thirsty. Take a record of your daily water intake. Are you drinking enough water? Take more fibre. Fibres are good for digestion and help in weight loss. They keep you fuller for longer and help in suppressing hunger pangs.
Find people that share the same goals with you. Create a community, no one is an island. Weight loss is easier achieved with a support system. It is easier to continue on a weight loss goal, keeping on track when you see friends who have trod on the same path as well as those walking the same path with you presently cheering you on, sharing their experiences and advising you on avoidable pitfalls.
Knowledge is power! Source for information on food and their nutrient values. Know the right food, the right exercise and physical activities that will speed up your journey to your goal.
There’s a silent S – Sleep! After said and done, don’t neglect your sleeping time. Studies have shown that adequate sleep is a booster to weight loss. Emma Sweeney of Nottingham Trent University and Ian Walshe of Northumbria University, Newcastle in The Conversation note that your sleep duration plays a key role in determining how much fat you lose and muscle mass you retain. Recommended sleeping time for adults is between seven and nine hours. Get a good night sleep. It plays a great role on your weight loss journey.
F.A.T and T.H.I.C.K. Easy to remember? Don’t forget, you took some time gaining that weight so don’t expect it to drop off immediately. It’s a gradual process. If you fall off the bandwagon in your journey or take a misstep, don’t beat yourself up. Simply retrace your steps and move on. Remember Rome wasn’t built a day. Do you find this helpful? Let me know in the Comments below.
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