Q: Hi doc., please tell me the process needed to burn fat. I’m really worried. Or are there drugs I can take?
A: This question has come in so many different variations, from both men and women. I’ll start from the question about any drug/miracle pill/magic medication that causes people to lose weight. And guess what, guys?! It’s bad news all the way 😀 There’s no such thing as a miracle pill for weight loss. It’s sheer hard, back breaking work! Any of that stuff you read about that help you lose it all in days or weeks, just makes you lose water weight and you actually pile it on even faster, afterwards. Some people skip meals or fast to lose weight. Again, if afterwards, you go on a binge eating everything that you would have eaten from morning to night in one meal, then it still doesn’t make any sense 😀 Beyond that, it is not sustainable. Much as we ‘demonize’ carbohydrates or starchy foods, we actually need them to fuel our activities. Same goes for fats and oils…some of which are actually heart-healthy. The focus is on eating a balanced diet, ensuring portion control and getting exercise daily. Honestly, guys, there’s no other way around it! 😀
So, the first thing to do is portion control. Reduce the size of plate you usually eat with and then place your portions this way: Half the plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of the plate should be filled with proteins and then the final quarter should be filled with carbs. The carbs should be complex carbohydrates like brown/local rice, beans, oats, whole wheat bread etc. These carbs make you feel full for much longer and thus prevent you from rushing for the next pack of cookies, cake or soft drinks 😀 The cookies give you an immediate rush of sugar making the body produce insulin that takes in all of that sugar into the cells. This leads to a situation where the blood is now depleted of sugar causing one to feel hungry all over again reaching for the next quick snack again. This is a vicious cycle that leads to more eating and pre-disposes to Diabetes Mellitus.
In terms of exercise, 150 minutes of activity is advocated weekly. Be sure to split the exercise into manageable bit; perhaps 30 minutes every work day or one hour on alternate days. What you should not do is trying to take in all the exercise over the weekend…that is being a weekend warrior 😀 This can put a strain on your heart that may be disastrous.
I’ve written a whole lot on this subject for people who just had a baby or just regular people who want to do it right. Please take a moment to click on these links and read up on them.
Stress causes us to also pile on weight around the tummy. So reduce your stress levels 😀 (and just in case you wondered…yes this is possible), reduce your portions and exercise. So, who’s up for this? Count me in.
And remember this dictum:
For breakfast, eat like a king (eg some oats or fruits or whole wheat bread with an egg. You may even choose to use just the egg whites for an omelet)
For lunch, eat like a prince (eg a handful of wheat meal/ground oat meal, some ‘not-oily’ vegetable soup and fish with a serving of fruits afterwards)
For dinner, eat like a pauper (eg Ofada rice with stew and vegetables + chicken)
You can also take some snacks in between the three meals. Focus on healthy options like nuts (groundnuts, walnuts, almonds and others you can easily lay your hands on), fruits etc.
The article from Harvard below may give you more choices. Read!
Have a great evening, people…