Hakeem believes that the trick to a healthy body is not a crash diet, or any diet, it is, in fact, a healthy lifestyle. You shouldn’t have to say no to occasional treats and sugary weaknesses. With this step by step guide, you’ll be able to have a guilt-free dose of aunt Amina’s rich chocolate cake and uncle Farooq’s divine honey glazed fries and still not gain weight!
Hakeem Fact: In UAE, as of 2019, obesity levels are 37% percent of the population which is more than most countries in the world. To top that off, a whopping 19% of the population are diabetic and that says a lot about the individuals’ lifestyle.
The secrets to maintaining the body you want are a few lifestyle changes, a tablespoon of consistency and a handful of patience. With the mixture of these three, you’ll be fit in no time.
Step 1: Understand your body
In order to shape your body for the better, you have to know its requirements. The best way to do that is to book an appointment with a nutritionist and understand the calorie deficit lifestyle that will suit you best. The specialist will know what food you need and what is bad for you and it’s never the same for two people! You should also keep in mind that women with PCOS find it much harder to lose weight. Every 2 in 10 women have this condition. If you think that you might have PCOS, get your hormones checked before following the next step.
Step 2: Control your portions
If you eat more than your body needs even if it’s purely healthy food, you will gain weight. So, it’s better to start dividing your meal into portions of carbohydrates, proteins and other nutrients that your body requires. For example, my neighbor Sarah lost 10 kilos in seven weeks by limiting her intake. Yes, you can have brownies – but you can just have one. If you struggle to eat specific type of food or if causes some sort of reaction, you might have an intolerance to that food!
Hakeem’s Tip: The size of our plates and our meals has gotten bigger. A great trick to losing weight is to use smaller plates for your meals. Remember to chew slowly! If you’re eating out, share the meal with a friend or get half of it packed for later.
Step 3: Always have breakfast
Alisha, a fitness trainer says that she always tells her clients to have breakfast. This is because without food to start off the day, your metabolism slows down and you end up eating more throughout the day! Your breakfast doesn’t have to be heavy, it can be a low-fat cereal, yogurt, boiled eggs, and even a glass of milk with the fruit of your choice.
Step 4: Know what you drink
The biggest misconception among individuals is that if they’re drinking and not eating solid food, they will be able to lose weight. This concept can be broken down into two points. First, the sugary drinks area big no. Not only do they add on to your calories, but they also do not diminish your hunger. The same goes for store brought, preservatives added, ‘no sugar’ drinks. Second, you can lose weight by having healthy fruit smoothies, vegetable drinks, and portion-sized milk. But, you can not entirely go on that diet because initially, you might see results, but in the long run, your weight-loss process will slow down and you might even end up gaining weight.
Hakeem Fact: Adults should drink 2 liters of water daily. It will help with losing weight, boost your metabolism, and reduce the process of aging!
Step 5: Carry healthy snacks for unpredictable cravings
The belly wants what it wants! Don’t starve yourself. It is alright to feel hungry but it is not alright to end that hunger with a packet of chocolate balls or crisps. If you starve your body, you will end up eating more. The trick is to carry portable boxes or tins with nuts, berries, homemade vegetable chips, olives, dates and other healthy alternatives for munching in between meals. A girl I knew from college used to binge eat, and then get rid of the food through puking, fasting and un-prescribed medicine. She had bulimia nervosa and it is more common than you think. It ruined her stomach and she developed ulcers. So you should know that there is no short-cut to a fit body and such ‘hacks' give rise to permanent damage to the body as it ages.
Step 6: Know that physical activity will act as a catalyst
Step number six is going to speed up the entire process of losing weight if you add it to your routine. There are many activities that you can choose to engage yourself in. If you feel that initially you cannot commit to jogging and working out, you can enroll yourself in your favorite sport, sign up for dance lessons or even do yoga! ‘NaturallyNida’, a mother of three adorable children runs an Instagram account and stays fit by finding time to run anywhere and everywhere. Just yesterday, she made it to her son’s basketball match early and ran on the ground before the game started. All you need is motivation!
Step 7: Stick to all the steps for 2 months
Lastly, you have to be consistent. I myself just started this fitness journey a month ago and even though the results on the scale have altered just a little, I feel great! The results will surely come. For some people the changes start showing in a week’s time, for others, it takes a couple of weeks. The bottom point is that you will be feeling better about your health, you will be moving towards a fitter lifestyle and your mind will be at peace!
Note: Some people opt for surgical procedures to get rid of excessive fat due to medical conditions. To view the best doctors for the treatment, click here.
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