April 24, 2010

How to loose weight and keep it there

Last night I was talking to one of my ballet students about how to resolve the sluggishness of her movements and her apparent state of being overweight. From my perspective, her case could possibly be a metabolism problem. She could have a sub-optimal combination of food in her diet, a lack of quality physical activity or a hormonal problem. Most likely it would be the first 2 possibilities. From my own experience as a former overweight person, below are what I consider actions worth considering:

1.) Increased, high quality physical activity. For me this is one of the best fat burners there is. When I got back into ballet, I at least 20 pounds in a couple of months. A lot of our weight problems are due to a sedentary lifestyle. Taking a 2 hour class of ballet or contemporary dance, 2x a week would probably do wonders as I have experienced.

2.) Fasting. For some people, addiction to certain kinds of food is the problem. A fast would be good to flush out the addicting substance as well as developing self-disciple. There a many kinds of fasting practices:

a.) Complete fast - this is when you abstain from all forms of intake for a certain period of time. This is what Muslims do during the daylight hours of Ramadhan.

b.) Liquid only - you only take in water, juice, soup, smoothies, etc.
c.) Water only
d.) One meal a day - you only eat one meal of your choosing during the days of your fast.
e.) Daniel fast - this pattered after the fast of Daniel and his friends as written in the Bible. They ate only vegetables and drank only water for 10 days.

As far as duration of the fast is concerned. Its good to start with a day then gradually work to 3 days. Do not try to do a 40 day fast unless it is for spiritual reasons.

3.) Follow the food pyramid. A lot of people in Western influenced cultures neglect the need for fruits and vegetables. We must go back to this proven scheme to balance one's diet.

4.) Eat traditional food. Our bodies are adapted to foods our ancestors have eaten. In Japan, heart disease was unheard of until some of them started switching sushi for burgers. The context of our traditional food has also to be taken into account. In the Philippines, roast pig is only eaten in special occasions because these animals were traditionally hunted. The ancestral daily food was fish,vegetables and rice.

I hope these tips would help fellow weight watchers out there. Cheers!