“Three bites diet” of Victoria Beckham or Jennifer Aniston’s diet – green salad with nuts, kalku and cheese with lemon sauce on the lunch menu or planning to live only on juices? Which one of these would you prefer?
While the world seems to be obsessed with fitness routines, ostensibly-successful slimming treatments and crash diets, it is the time we do some reality check.
We have 100 people suggesting 100 different ways to stay fit and fine. We are flooded with suggestions from friends, relatives, boyfriends and sometimes enemies, too, that confuse us.
With umpteen weight-loss programs and treatments available for people to choose from, one wonders whether shedding few pounds by working out is worth it.
An advertisement board outside a slimming powder selling company says, “Lose weight now, ask me how!” and another says, “lose up to 10 kg for just Rs.10, 098.” People are trapped by such superficial benefits the ads portray, which is not the case in reality. However, not many prefer physical activity or working out over these “cost-effective” slimming treatments.
Special discounts are offered to brides and grooms depending on the duration and the type of weight -loss treatment they choose. The moment they enter a weight-loss clinic their statistics are detected by a machine through radiations. Then they are advised to lose weight accordingly, depending on their height and weight.
Weight-loss programs have become an obsession among youngsters. Without realizing whether it is the right age to start working out, youngsters blindly opt for such treatments because it is a matter of self-image and beauty.
On Facebook’s photo albums, comments like “OMG! Look at me…I’m luking so fat” or “Plz delete this picture, I look so ugly and fat” make us wonder whether there is a smoke screen that masks the real identity of people.
“Most of them opt for such programs to look slim and pretty. Very few of them know the importance of health and fitness,” says Rachna T.V., an engineering student.
Another student, Akhila Neeraje, points out that most girls are offended when people tell them that they have put on weight. “Some lose weight to fit into smart and trendy clothes which they otherwise wouldn’t fit into.”
The very appeal of the weight loss clinics and gymnasiums is attractive. People would kill to lose weight at such lavish places. Cost is another factor that allows a lot of people to experiment with these treatments.
According to Savita Date Menon, a psychologist, there is lot more to it than just weight loss. People who obsess about their weight “slip into depression, panic, get dark circles, perspire at any time of the day, become restless and act cranky sometimes,” she says.
Talking about the constant need to prove that one looks better than the other, she says that peer pressure also plays a vital role in planting such thoughts in people’s minds.
“What happens if you are fat? Is it a crime or a curse?” Menon asks.
“I spent Rs.1, 500 to lose 4 kilograms of weight in a month and it is quite affordable,” says Sowjanya J., a housewife.
When we opt for such treatments, we ought to know whether these will keep us healthy or ruin our health. If one goes through procedures like liposuction et al, he or she has to maintain his or her physique or figure going forward. Otherwise, the treatment is equal to trash.
Explaining the significance of exercising, Deepa Ananth, a nutritionist residing in Bangalore says that there is no shortcut to lose weight.
“People should remember that they gained the extra weight over a period of time and they can’t burn it all up overnight. So, have patience and lose that extra weight over a period of time. Don’t take up crash diets, because you will definitely gain the lost weight back,” she says.
The success rate of the weight loss treatments in comparison with physical exercises is much lesser. Such treatments lure people with glossy ads showing puffy guys turning into hot models.
Sanjay Y., a software engineer enrolled for a four-month program that said “lose 15 kg in 3 months.” The next day, he got instructions stating that he should follow strict diet and should exercise for an hour every day.
“The boys would put some massagers and magnetic strips all over your body and watch television. After three months, I did not lose even 3 kg and had to shell out Rs. 28,000 to realize that this was a moneymaking business,” says Sanjay.
When Sanjay enquired about the staff’s training, he found out that they learn terms like fat, burn, kilos, cellulite, etc. to please the customers.
“This is a marketing strategy. Try discussing about a health ailment, they go topsy-turvy over it.”
Exercising or spending time on any physical activity should become part of your daily routine.
Anitha Ravi, a gym trainer at Hyderabad says that working out is not only about burning calories, but also increasing your stamina.
“Any form of exercise keeps you active throughout the day. It also helps in proper blood circulation, which makes your skin glow,” Ravi says.
Exercise increases basic metabolic rate (BMR) which keeps your digestive system active as your food is digested faster. (Generally, BMR is high as soon as you exercise and all that you eat after exercising doesn’t get converted into fat). And, if you do not exercise, your BMR will remain low.
According to Ravi, weight loss depends on the body type. There are three types of bodies: ectomorphic, endomorphic and mesomorphic.
An ectomorph may have long fingers, toes and neck. Ectomorphs do not put on weight easily but once they put on, it is very difficult for them to lose weight.
A mesomorph has well-defined muscles and large bones. Mesomorphs gain and lose weight easily.
The body of an extreme endomorph is round and soft. Endomorphs put on weight faster than they lose weight.
Another fitness trainer, Gavin Z., says that there is no particular routine that one can follow and it depends on how long one can work out.
“But, if you want to maintain your figure or physique, burn 300 calories per day. If you consume about 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day, you need to burn at least half of it,” Gavin says.
Working out four or five times a week keeps you fit. If you are bored of your routine
s, change your schedule so that you do not lose interest in working out. If you are tired of walking on the treadmill, go for aerobics, yoga, cycling, swimming or kick-boxing.
Cardio workout and breathing exercises are a must because they enable overall functioning of the body and blood circulation.
Also, before you start your workout, warm up your body to avoid muscle blocks or sprains. Do not get disappointed or feel inferior looking at someone leaner than you. Work out regularly and you will see the positive results.
Do not expect results overnight and be disappointed with your trainer or your routine. Loving your body and having patience to see the results is very important.
Apart from your work out sessions, a balanced diet is very important. You can eat well without cutting down your favorite food. All you have to do is know what is good for you and what is not. Starving will not help because it might adversely affect your health and make you fat.
So, all you have to do is eat well, exercise regularly, love your body and feel confident. Stay healthy, stay safe.