So You Want To Be Thin

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Losing weight is not as hard as you think

No, it’s not. Just about everybody can do it if they put their mind to it. This is what you do.

You need to get to know how your body works and work with it. Some people can drink alcohol and never put on weight as long as they stay off fatty foods. Some people have to stay away from sugar but can eat pretty much everything else and stay slim. Everyone’s different but we all have one thing in common. What goes in must come out in equal portions.

What goes in must come out

Yes, it must. If your food intake is greater than the energy you put out than you will get fat. It’s that simple.

To lose weight you have to eat less and move more than what you are currently doing. A great way of reducing food intake is portion control; start using smaller plates for your meals, and drink water only. Forget soft drinks, wine and alcohol; these beverages all have sugar in them and sugar is your number one enemy.

Snack on nuts. Eat a little fruit. Fruit contains sugar so tread carefully. That salads and vegetables should be part of your daily diet goes without saying. Ease up on the carbs and breads but don’t over do it. You can eat pretty much everything in small installments. Have a treat on Sunday, but only one. On Monday, do an extra 10 minute workout otherwise you’re just storing the Sunday treat.

You get what I’m saying here. You need to change what you eat because you are what you eat. No point finding excuses and blaming your weight on genetics. It’s really up to you if you want to change your body. It can be done but you need to make a conscious decision to do it and continue doing it. Here’s how.

Move, move, move! And do it again!

Running is a great way to tone up and lose weight. It works, trust me. Within a couple of weeks you will notice changes in your energy levels, your muscle tone and a definite weight loss. And the best thing about running is that it is absolutely addictive. You will love it, after an initial period during which you will feel a little sore and actually depleted of energy. And once you’re past it and you’ve noticed a definite improvement in how your body looks and feels, you won’t get enough of it. You will run in all kinds of weather. It’s a wonderful form of exercise, but do your stretches before your run otherwise you might pull a muscle or tear a tendon and that will set you back a few weeks as you’ll be unable to continue running for some time. Also invest in a good, expensive pair of running shoes with a jelly filled sole to cushion impact. Good running shoes are an absolute must as is an ipod. You’ll find running to your favourite music very soothing and enjoyable. Running is the best!

Muscle toning exercises

Do your stretches daily for about 10 minutes in the morning, and muscle toning exercise every second day. You will only need about 30 minutes of leg/butt lunges, sit-ups etc. to keep your muscles pretty toned. If you have a lot of cellulite, it will not disappear entirely but you will notice a considerable improvement, especially once you start shifting fat from your thighs. It can be done, but you have to be determined and consistently follow through with your routine.

The best thing about this is that none of these exercises need to be done at the gym, so you really have no excuse of not trying this for yourself. I understand if you are past certain weight and are more on the shy side, you can feel embarrassed exercising in front of other people who are slim and toned. So unless you can find a gym populated by fatties like you, just stay home and do your exercises in front of your television. You don’t have to set a ‘special’ time for your exercise so you have no excuse. Put the news on, fold a blanket on the floor and off you go. You don’t even have to wear gym clothes. Do it in your underwear if you’re alone. Just looking at your untoned, overweight body will motivate you to give it a workout. I’m speaking from experience. It works.

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Speed up your weight loss

A morning run seems to work better than a nighttime run though a night time run is a little more enjoyable. You’re alone, with only fellow runners for company passing you by, and no-one can see your fat jiggling. It’s a beautiful experience and you’ll get a lot of thinking done, too.

Personally, I feel that a morning run is better for losing weight. This is what you do.

Get up early, have your cup of coffee, a drink of water, eat a bowl of porridge (see delicious recipe below), do your leg stretches, put your deodorant on and off you go. A 30 minute on and off run will do you nicely, especially on a hot day when you’ll sweat like the proverbial pig, and good for you. In time you’ll stop worrying about the red-faced sweaty you the world can see and learn to thoroughly enjoy the sweating part of it. You can feel the weight literally dropping with every sweaty globule you secrete. The wetter the better, I’ll say.

Experiment with your running. Slow down, speed up, take a little walking rest. Do whatever feels right to propel you forward but do not over exert yourself. You need to find your running rhythm and that might mean that you alternate swift walking with quick bursts of running. And keep your mouth open; accelerated breathing will help you lose weight as well.

Enjoy your daily exercise and eat moderately is all I’m saying. It’s the only way to achieve weight loss. Diets don’t work but you already know that. Only a sustainable lifestyle change will help you lose weight and look and feel better.

And now for something I swear by: Porridge

Why porridge?

It’s yummy and it’s your best friend for losing weight. You have it in the morning with your coffee before you go running. Porridge is a light healthy breakfast meal that will give you energy for your morning run and also help you stay regular. Like clockwork. So you really don’t put on weight. You eat, you run, you evacuate, you have a shower and you weigh yourself. You beauty! You will not be disappointed, trust me. There’s nothing like getting on the scales after all that. You’ll start your day with a smile on your face.

So without further ado, I give you:

The Best Morning Porridge Before You Run

A cup of quick cooking oats

A cup of water

A spoonful of honey

A handful of blueberries (or fruit of your choice)

A dollop of light cream (if you really want to enjoy this)

Pour a cup of cold water over the oats in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute then stir and cook for further 1 minute. Sprinkle blueberries on top, pour the honey and cream over this, mix and enjoy!

Just before you go on your first run, take the following quiz to work out your chances of losing weight.

Losing Weight Is All About Me

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Look younger longer

There is universal agreement among health professionals about the benefits of regular exercise and anti-ageing specialists are no exception. Different forms of exercise and activity have beneficial effects upon both physical and psychological health, helping to maintain a fit, active body and mind. Types of exercise include brisk walking, cycling, dancing, sports, etc., and it is best if these become a regular part of young adult life and are then continued with, at a less vigorous level, in middle and older age. This type of exercise confers many health benefits. The resting heart-beat rate slows down and the circulation is more efficient, blood pressure is lowered and basal metabolic rate is raised. This means that the body uses more calories even while at rest, hence lessening the likelihood of weight gain.

Other forms of exercise, particularly weight-bearing activities, pump calcium into the bones and help to maintain their density and strength. This has been shown to be particularly beneficial for those in middle and older age, as it significantly reduces the rate at which bone density declines, lessening the risk of fractures associated with osteoporosis. Exercise also confers a sense ofwell-being and promotes restful sleep and healthy appetite. So there is a 'feel good' factor to exercise, which contributes to general healthy psychological outlook, keeping depression at bay.

Another benefit that people of all ages should be aware of is that exercise activities can be a route to self-discovery. A lot of times people may be trying out a new activity only because someone has recommended it or 'pressured' them into it so they do not expect to find any enjoyment in it and go along just to keep the peace. Then they are pleasantly surprised when they find themselves 'hooked' on the exercise and can't wait to do it again. This will often lead to finding a group of like-minded people to begin new friendships with and start exploring other areas of interest, which will lead to expanding horizons and open up new social circles. This 'feeling good about yourself' plays an important factor in anti-aging. As in just about everything else, good attitude will lead to a good life.

Oriental forms of exercise

Oriental exercise techniques are particularly useful in anti-ageing for several reasons. They are suitable for people of all ages and can be continued into older age. They help to achieve flexibility of joints and muscles by a combination of stretching and relaxation, hence aiding the body to remain supple which is so very important during ageing. They exercise and relax both the body and the mind, in contrast to western forms of exercise which concentrate mainly upon physical training. The correct and regular practice of these techniques can have far-reaching beneficial effects, for example enhancing breathing and respiration, boosting the blood circulation and hence promoting the health of major organs, including the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. They are also excellent techniques for the control of stress - another important aspect of anti-ageing. Tow oriental disciplines, yoga and T'ai chi are already quite well-known in the West but a third, Chi kung, is also excellent in anti-ageing.

Yoga

Yoga exercises are designed to encourage flexibility, promote correct breathing and enhance emotional and mental well-being, making use of periods of relaxation and meditation as part of the regime. It is beneficial to all and some of the simpler exercises can be practised by people with physical disabilities and limitations.

T'ai chi

T'ai chi aims to achieve wholeness of mind, body and spirit through a series of exercises aimed at balancing the opposing life forces of Yin and Yang and the energy flow of Qi. The exercises are best performed in the open air.

T'ai chi requires patience, perseverance and a willingness to free the mind and emotions from everyday stresses and strains. It requires regular practice and it is best to learn from a qualified teacher by joining a class. It is a developmental form of exercise therapy with benefits that unfold gradually as time goes on. It promotes restful sleep and the natural relief of stress. If it beneficial in helping to maintain good posture, supple joints and muscles. It enhances spiritual, emotional and mental well-being, helping to give the person a sense of calmness and peace, and an ability to feel in control of their life - all attributes that are essential for positive ageing.

Chi kung

Chi kung or Qi kung is a series of exercises that are very gentle and are aimed at promoting correct breathing and meditation, making the person aware of his or her spiritual and emotional self. They are best performed in the open air and learnt from an experience practitioner but you can also do them at home. Used regularly, Chi kung helps to control stress, promotes a healthy circulation and correct breathing, aid posture and suppleness and confers a sense of peace, helping to feel mentally well. These a vital attributes for leading a long, healthy and active life. Chi kung is a gentle and safe exercise regime suitable for all ages.

Relaxation and breathing exercise: simple techniques to use at home

You can practise breathing, relaxation, simple exercises and meditation on your won at home in a manner that suits you best.

Relaxation exercises may take a variety of different forms but a commonly used method is termed progressive relaxation. In his the person lies on their back on a comfortable surface such as a bed. Beginning with the head and face, groups of muscles are consciously contracted and 'held' for up to a minute before being relaxed. The process proceeds downwards through the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, abdomen, legs and feet until all the muscles are fully relaxed. A variation is to concentrate the mind on different areas of the body to induce them to relax completely. Breathing exercises are simply a matter of trying to become aware of the diaphragm and utilising it properly, instead of the chest and rib cage, in breathing. A good way to do this to to breathe in and out slowly and deeply through the nose, feeling the movement of the diaphragm and concentrating on filling and emptying the lungs properly. With regular practice, correct breathing will become normal for you, bringing the benefits of an improved circulation and oxygen supply to tissues and organs and relief from stress.

Simple exercises involve consciously utilising the full range of movements that are available to sue. Examples include pulling the feet up towards you while sitting in a chair or rotating them at the ankles, raising the arms above the head and bending at the waist to reach towards the floor and keeping the back straight and holding on a chair, slowly bending at the knees to a squatting position.

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Good luck with your journey! Feel free to add to this in any way you see fit. All opinions welcome.

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