Q: Hi doctor I want to lose weight but I don’t have time for exercise because of my work. Please, is there anything else I can do?
A: You can lose weight without exercise. All you need do is watch your portions.
First try reducing the size of plate you normally eat with. Then ensure that this plate is half-filled with vegetables, the other half should be divided into two and have equal portions of carbs (go for complex carbs like beans, local rice, oats, whole wheat bread etc) and proteins (like fish and chicken).
Ensure that you go easy on the salt. It leads to water retention and increases blood pressure if used too liberally. Remember that if you can taste the salt, that’s probably because it is too much. Try using spices and herbs to substitute for salt.
Also, go easy on the oil. Remember that even if the oil is healthy like olive oil, one table spoon contains 120 calories. You don’t need that. Oil must always be used sparingly. My rule of thumb here is that, if you’re done cooking and you can see the oil in the food, you have most definitely used too much.
Having said that, you still need exercise because it strengthens your heart and you come away from every session oif exercise with a fee-good emotion due to the release of some feel-good hormones (endorphins).
You know all the regulars:
- Don’t use the elevators; use the stairs
- Don’t call to ask about a report; walk down and get it
- Start a dance class after office hours
If you work long hours and think you do not have time to exercise, here are a few tips (the not-so regulars):
- If you drive yourself to work, try parking a little distance farther from your regular parking space and walk briskly down to your office.
- If you commute to work with a bus, try stopping at a bus stop farther than where you usually stop and walk the rest of the day.
- When you get to work, make a conscious effort to stand up whenever you get a call. Stand and walk on the spot.
- You can also try to move your intercom, to a table farther from you so that you actually have to stand up to pick your calls.
- You can start a work-place pedometer challenge to find out who racks up the most numbers on their pedometers.
- Try installing some free apps on your system that notify you when you have been sitting for one hour. Studies have shown that even if you exercise the optimal 150 minutes in a week, but then you sit down for hours on end to work, you are still prone to all the cardiovascular and other risks that people who do no exercise at all, are prone to. Stretch clock is one such app.
- Try having walking meetings or even standing meetings. You know those ‘tall’ tables usually used at cocktails? Those are the classic tables for standing meetings.
- While sitting, every couple of minutes or after your hourly stretch exercises, try flexing and extending your leg and butt muscles. You could try Kegel exercises at this time too.
- If you are a Human Resource practitioner, try putting the water dispensers in the stairwell (landing) so that people have to climb up and down the stairs to get water. While at it, you might as well provide some music so that people can have some fun dancing (and burning calories) while getting water.
- Pillow fights with kids and arm wrestling are also great ways to exercise
- Get up and dance or just do jumping jacks when there’s a commercial break during your favourite TV show.
So, there you have it! Your food and exercise prescriptions! You probably have other great and innovative ideas on how to get more exercise…please share. We all could find more ways to be super healthy 😀
Have a great weekend 😀