Health and fitness: Hi Tshering,
I am desperate to lose some baby fats around my belly, thigh and arm area. Some people suggest that I eat rice just once a day or eat curry instead. Will that work? I always end up eating noodles or white bread or drink tea when I start skipping rice. I know it is not right. Lately, I have been feeling tired easily.
Karma, 26, Thimphu
Women naturally have a much higher percentage of body fat compared to men. It is very common to find majority of fat tissue on certain sections of the body, some of which you have mentioned.
Women will always have much more difficult time losing fat as it goes against what nature intended.
Just eating curry is a horrible approach as most curries are over loaded with saturated fat and too much sodium. Eating noodles or white bread is very much like eating rice, in a nutritional sense, as all of them are very high sources of carbohydrate. In fact noodles are not only loaded with high carbohydrate, but most of them also contain very high sodium, a very unhealthy fat called hydrogenated oil and are very poor sources of nutrients.
It is very common to feel tired and agitated when abruptly reducing your food or carbohydrate intake without understanding the science behind your approach.
There is a certain amount of calories that is required to maintain your current weight (BMR) that can vary depending on your age, lifestyle and level of current physical activity.
In order for someone to drop weight, a good approach will be to begin by reducing 300 calories from BMR, which can be easily achieved by eating the same amount of food one is eating currently, by preparing them in a healthier manner.
Using sesame oil and regular olive oil for cooking instead of animal fat or butter, eating whole grain rice or whole grain bread in place of white rice and bread, preparing vegetable by steaming, boiling or baking instead of frying, reducing animal fat intake, by stripping visible fat off before cooking, are some of the few ways to begin your weight loss programme.
Doing too much too soon without a clue is a sure way to burn yourself to the ground and end up being fatter than when you begun.
To continue losing fat once you have begun your weight loss, you need to do some form of physical exercise or sport regularly, a good starting point would be to do them two times a week for about 30 minutes. When you begin to notice a slow down in your fat loss, you could increase the frequency and length of exercise. Ideally, I would not recommend more than three sessions of 45 minutes a week, after which your goal should be on intensifying your exercise programme not increasing the volume or frequency.