Let’s start with diet:
For anyone who is trying to lose weight, one of the very important aspects is your diet! The body works by a system called caloric gain or deficit. When you take in less food (calories) than your body needs to carry out its activities, you create a deficit, so your body has to go into its fat stores and mobilize fat for energy to use to perform its activities. That is how you lose your fat! When there is a caloric gain, that is when you eat more than the body needs, the excess is stored as fat in your body. You need to know that 1 pound is equal to 3500 kcal; therefore for every extra 3500kcal you take in, you have added an extra pound!!
Now one mistake a lot of us make, is thinking that skipping meals would help you achieve your result faster. I have said it over and over, it doesn’t. NEVER SKIP MEALS. Skipping your meals firstly reduces your body’s rate of metabolism, therefore your body not use up as much calories as it is supposed to use daily. Secondly, most times, you realize that you end up eating so much more food the next time you eat after skipping a meal because you would be very starved and hungry. TRUE!
Now the best way to lose weight is usually by eating 5 to 6 meals a day. But there is a problem with this, which is COMPLAINCE. Like for us in Nigeria, our foods are kind of heavy. You would realize that most people, in an attempt to eat 6 small meals a day, would end up overeating. I often advice people to do 3 small meals a day, with lots of water in between and one fruit in-between. The advantage of the 6 small meal method is that it would help to keep up your metabolism at all times so your body is constantly burning and burning more calories.
Like I have said in my other posts, there are some foods which would help you and there are some you should try and eat very little of.
Some examples of the good ones:
4. Skinless chicken
5. Skinless turkey
6. Sweet potatoes
2. Iyan (pounded yam)
7. Spaghetti/ all forms of pasta
8. Salad cream
10. Coke and other sweetened drinks. Only take water, no fruit juices.
11. Ice cream
Remember, no heavy meals at night, always try to finish your meal before 7pm.
Here is a sample timetable for weight loss program for Nigerians using the Nigerian diet:
Next we need to understand how training and work outs help in weight loss.
The food we eat is eventually all about calories. Calories are units of energy which our bodies use to perform all its daily activities. So different tasks done daily by the body is via energy that is from the food we eat. For the different classes of food, 1 g of fat contains 9 calories, 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories
Each day, the body uses a particular amount of calories to do all its activities. This amount it needs daily is called the basal metabolic rate. This is the amount of calories your body uses everyday basically whether or not you exercise. It is determined by your sex, weight and lifestyle. Therefore, when you exercise and do other activities, the calories burned daily is thus increased. Say for example my BMR is 1800 calories daily, then I work out and burn 500 calories per day, I am burning total of 2300 calories daily. If on the contrary I don’t work out that day, I would still burn my basic 1800calories daily. And if I consume more than 1800 calories, my body stores up the extra as fat!
So to lose weight, you need to either eat less, so that the deficit makes your body go into your fat stores and bring out energy, or exercise more.
To calculate your BMR:
• Adult male: 66 + (6.3 x body weight in lbs.) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
• Adult female: 655 + (4.3 x weight in lbs.) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
It is important to remember that a pound of fat equals 3500 calories. So if you burn 500 calories daily, you have succeeded in losing 1 pound a week!!!!
Most people are often in a rush to lose weight, but to lose weight healthily, it is advisable you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week!
Now remember while exercising, you need to understand your body. After your bones, the next thing over it is either fat or muscle. Muscle is the well shaped toned one, while fat is usually soft, and shapeless in some individuals. If you want to lose weight and have a nicely toned body, exercising and building muscle would not just be sufficient. You would also need to burn off the fat so that the nicely shaped muscles would come into view. That’s the reason why sometimes you might do the crunches and sit ups over and over again, but that flabby layer of fat still remains over the tummy. You need to burn off that fat, and then the muscles would come into view.
Remember that muscle burns fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns daily in everything you do. To build muscle, apart from doing y Apart from doing cardio, a good way to build more muscle is to lift weights.
Weight lifting helps break down your muscles. For us girls, we often get scared that lifting weights would make you develop guy muscles. Well, it won’t. For you to get those kinds of muscles, you need to have male hormones, i.e. testosterone. Besides you won’t be lifting the kind of weights that guys use when they gym. I have two 7.5kg dumbbells that I carry; I don’t have any guy-muscle in me. Use it when jogging or taking walks, then also do weight lifting with them. So doing your cardio, eating less to get a caloric deficit, and weight lifting, would surely make you lose weight.
Remember, you should exercise at least once a day (30 minutes) and if possible twice daily.
Hope this guide helps, remember determination is very important in losing weight.