Malaysia is a land of ample food. So much so it is very easy for one to gain weight, but tough to lose those fats. This new year, let us focus on just taking on 5 simple steps how we can lose weight healthily and happily!
When to do this: Throughout the day.
Our body needs sugar and carb to function, however what we are talking about here is TOO much sugar (not the ones in fruits!) consumed regularly.
Why do we gain weight with regular sugar intake? Sugar contains fructose, and this increases the insulin levels in our body, which in turns increases the deposition of fat in the fat cells. Also, fructose in the sugar does not actually make you feel full – you will inevitably end up eating even more as you still feel hungry despite consuming sugary beverages or food.
Source: Channel NewsAsia. Look at that sugar level – it is almost half the cup!
Source: The Rubin Report. Nine and a half teaspoons of sugar found in coke. That’s almost 1/3 of the size of a can of coke!
So the next time you want to order that bubble tea, that can of soft drinks or even teh tarik, think twice! Make a lifestyle change by simply reducing your sugar intake, ordering your beverage with “less sugar” or better yet, opt for “no sugar”.
When to do this: 30 minutes before meals
Momma got it right when she have us drink water during our childhood. Drinking water the entire day is a given, but drinking specifically thirty minutes before meal is important to our weight-loss plan. By doing this, you not only help your body with digestion, you also create a feeling of “fullness” – thereby eating lesser during meals.
Although with all the flavoured beverages out in this modern world, plain water can sometimes be difficult to swallow. What you can do is spruce up your drink. Prepare sliced lemons over the weekend, and keep refrigerated. On your working weekdays, bring some lemon slices to work to drink throughout the day. You can also try this out with different ingredients like orange slices, mint leaves or pandan leaves.
When to do this: Morning when you wake up, and night before sleeping.
When you weigh yourself everyday, you are consciously setting the tone for the day. What happens is that you will soon be aware of the food and beverages you feed yourself throughout the day. This serves as an alert mechanism to yourself. For example, if your weight increases at night, you know you’ve been slowly adding on that weight. Besides, who would like to see an extra 1 or 2 kilograms on the weighing scale? The euphoric joy when the weight is maintained or even better, reduced (!) at the end of the day is even more rewarding.
All you need to do is step on that weighing scale every morning when you wake up, and night before heading to bed. The goal is to be alert to watch and maintain or reduce your weight to a healthy weight level.
When to do this: During mealtimes
What this means is when it is meal time, be observant of the eating process – what fruits, vegetable, fish or meat you are placing inside your mouth and body.
For this to work, you must not have distractions of any sorts, such as eating in front of your television, handphone or laptop. Simply focus on the taste of your food, how sweet are the cherries, the savoury taste of mushroom soup, the texture of that steak in your mouth… Enjoy the taste of your food! As the saying goes, you only live once. What’s the rush in eating the fuel needed to power your body?
As you work through your food, chewing them mindfully, you will soon come to realised that you tend to become more “satisfied” with your meal, unlike times when you rush through your meals and ended up feeling empty as if you have not eaten at all.
Another plus side of eating mindfully and as such slowly, is you are actually allowing your mind time to recognise the signals that your body is full and therefore you should stop eating. This usually takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send the signals out. So if you rush your meals, you will likely end up overeating.
When to do this: At night
Let’s be honest. This is a tough one to achieve with all the shows we want to catch up on Netflix, endless games and what-nots. But research shows that a good night’s sleep is actually very important for our metabolism. Let’s take a simple example, with less sleep, you will feel more inclined to grab that sugary Latte to give you that power boost; when you’re tired (lack of sleep) you will skip the gym and so on. Sure it might seem like a small matter once or twice, but add that up an entire year, you have a recipe for weight gain!
Sleep deprivation actually makes you “metabolically groggy”. Your body’s ability to produce insulin – needed to convert sugar and carbs into energy, dropped by 30% – and as your body is having trouble processing these fats from bloodstream, it ends up be stored as fats.
So sleep up! With better sleep, comes better power to burn up those fats.