The key to weight loss

A colleague offered me snacks in the office on my last day of work last year. "No, thanks," I politely declined. "No wonder you're so slim," she said.

Her observation is one of the "secrets" to losing weight.

You might think: some people snack alot but they don't get fat. Well, that's true but have you tried to pinch fats from their waist and buttocks? If there isn't much fat there then it's only because the fat hasn't accumulated there... yet. Even people who look skinny can have lots of fat. That's commonly referred to as "skinny fat".

So, how do you start losing weight?

Most people think that they not losing weight because they are not exercising hard enough. While this has some truth, from my observation, people fail to lose weight not because they don't exercise often enough but because of their eating habits. Basically, they lack the discipline to stop putting undesirable food and drinks into their mouths.

Tell me, which person do you think has a higher chance of weight-loss?
A) A person who is able to control his/her diet but doesn't make time to exercise, or
B) A person who makes time to exercise but cannot resist food.

I'd love to tell you that the answer is (B) but unfortunately it's (A). That explains the number of skinny friends you have who don't exercise. I know people who have lost weight using method (A) but do not know anyone who has lost weight using method (B).

Of course, a person is able to control his/her diet and exercise would be most successful in losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

Back to the question of how to lose weight, the first place to start is easily within reach. You don't have to leave your chair or purchase anything. The place to start is in your mind.

1. Ask yourself why you want to lose weight. Although this sounds like Duh! but it's important to know the reason so that you can stay motivated and not gain back the old weight. Maybe your weight is affecting your health or self-esteem, or you have difficultly finding clothes your size and are too self-conscious to wear a bikini, or you want to get back at your friends for calling you fat.

2. Acknowledge reasons for your weight and limitations. E.g. if you work late frequently so you don't have time to exercise, you tend to eat excessively because of social events, you can't resist desserts, snacking on unhealthy food when you feel stressed, consuming too many sweet drinks, etc. Genetics and family/friends dining habits are also valid reasons.

3. Plan what you should do to overcome the issues in #2. The reason for doing this is to be prepared for the "worst case scenario". E.g. in social events when you are being asked to help finish the food you will say that you feel full and give a broad smile as many times as necessary, you will avoid the snack section of the supermarket, if your friends with good genes eat desserts you should avoid doing the same if you think you've got the fat genes, try to encourage healthy eating habits in your family, etc. If you can't come up with solutions, refer back to #1.

Without mental discipline, it is difficult to lose weight especially in a country like Singapore where food can be found at every turn of the corner and most social gatherings consist of eating and drinking.

People know that I'm health-conscious. Perhaps some might even think of me as a food Nazi when I tell them why I avoid eating certain types of food. I don't force people not to eat but maybe I make them lose their appetite.

Friend: Want some chips?
Me: No, thanks.
Friend: Why not? Eat lah!
Me: Oh, no, thanks. It contains MSG and transfat.
(I only offer a reason if asked)

I eat unhealthy food and drinks occasionally but the rest of the time I resist them. Although I say that I eat whatever I want whenever I want, I ask myself, Do I really really want it? and think about why I don't want to be fat before taking it.

The key to weight-loss is in the mind. Strengthen this muscle before bothering to strengthen the others.

Related posts:
[Nobody gets fat by eating nothing]
[Skipping dinner makes you fat]
[Tis the season for getting fat]
[Eating fast food is seldom a fast decision]


Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree Yu-Kym but once in a while we should just have some fun eat ourselves silli and work it off afterwards. lol

silli cat

Anonymous said...

Hi Yu-Kym,
I am curious about the high-fat high protein low carbs diet. According to my research and testimonial from my bodybuilder brother, eating fats is actually better than carbs. What do you think? I'm interested in your take. :)


Yu-Kym said...

silli cat, I think we should work it off before eating, not after. Eating ourselves silli is ok for those who want to maintain their weight but if they want to lose weight, it's not advisable. Letting yourself go for 2 weeks will set you back by 2 months.

K, what do you mean by "better"? Better for losing weight, bulking up or for health?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Yu-Kym,

Right conclusion.

silli cat

cute_boboi said...

It's me again, have been quiet lately.

Depending on ppl, some look at weight number as a very important gauge. To me, I'm more on the overall, i.e. weight loss is not that important, but rather the overall health of a person.

I used to be lighter (than now), but lacked exercise. Then I start to exercise but still eat the same. I did not go through proper test/checkup, but I believe I've build up some muscles here and there (nothing to shout about though). Even a recent body massage (not those kinky ones), the masseur mentioned that I'm a sports person halfway during massage, as can feel the muscles) I can feel my body able to burn more calories/carbs/craps/whatever. Also, as most ppl aware, muscles are heavier than fat.

So, am I happy that I gained some weight and look a teeny bit muscular ? Yes. I'm happy that I commit to exercising no matter how busy I am (or even when regional/global boss come over and request for dinner, I'll push it nicely to the next day)

So, to me, the key to weight loss is not really valid. Weight loss or maintain existing weight is just a small part of the healthy lifestyle, not everything.

Yu-Kym said...

cute_boboi, unless the person is a bodybuilder, it's unlikely for the person to fall into the "overweight" category without actually having too much excess fats. But if you're talking about fitness, having visible muscles isn't the only indication.

hyperhidrosis said...

You have probably been told to see for yourself the weight you want to be, or to put a picture on the wall represent an ideal thin something yourself, or do anything to make real the ideal weight for you...

Yu-Kym said...

But pictures aren't "real". We all tend to look fatter in pictures than in real life.