Shed win­ter weight

Sum­mer is com­ing, with the panic to fit into the bikini that’s been at the back of a drawer for months. Here’s how to do it

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

With spring in the air and sum­mer around the cor­ner, many peo­ple will start look­ing for ways to shed ex­tra fat around their waist and hips. Some will hit the gym and eat healthily while oth­ers will try ev­ery crash diet un­der the sun. Not all di­ets, ex­er­cise rou­tines and med­i­cal treat­ments show the same re­sults for ev­ery­one. Ex­perts warn that the weight-loss plan you choose must be healthy and sus­tain­able.

A healthy diet is based on con­trolled car­bo­hy­drates (no sugar and re­fined carbs), and in­cludes a mod­er­ate amount of pro­tein and enough healthy fats, says Dr Peter Hill, a spe­cial­ist in meta­bolic syn­drome.

Re­fined car­bo­hy­drates are foods made from grains and sug­ars that have been ex­ten­sively pro­cessed. They in­clude white bread, pasta, bis­cuits and crisps. When eaten, re­fined carbs in­crease blood-sugar lev­els and re­sult in a per­son feel­ing hun­gry quicker.

City Press has put to­gether some healthy weightloss pro­grammes with the help of a di­eti­cian and a per­sonal trainer. For those who pre­fer quick re­sults that may not last long, we have in­cluded the latest crash diet that is on ev­ery­body’s lips. Eat­ing to a slim­mer you

Johannesbu­rg-based di­eti­cian Lynn Oden­daal says noth­ing beats healthy eat­ing when you want to shed those ex­tra ki­los.

“It be­gins with lim­it­ing your sugar and re­fined­car­bo­hy­drates in­take. It might sound like you have to stop eat­ing all your favourite foods, but it will be worth it at the end,” she says.

“I al­ways ad­vise my pa­tients more fruits and veg­eta­bles, es­pe­cially leafy greens.

“Lean pro­teins, such as meat, poul­try and eggs, are a must be­cause they give the body much-needed nu­tri­ents and make the per­son feel full for longer.

“Pro­teins also trig­ger glucagon, a hor­mone which has a fat-burn­ing ef­fect. How­ever, the con­sump­tion must be mod­er­ate be­cause too much of any­thing is bad for your health.”

Oden­daal em­pha­sises the im­por­tance of drink­ing wa­ter and eat­ing food high in fi­bre while on a diet.

to eat

“The body needs at least eight glasses of wa­ter ev­ery day to op­ti­mise di­ges­tion,” she says.

“If pure wa­ter is not that ap­peal­ing to you, try in­clud­ing fruits, such as sliced straw­ber­ries and le­mon, to add flavour.

“Cu­cum­ber with some mint leaves also work, but le­mon is what I rec­om­mend most be­cause it pu­ri­fies the blood.”

Ex­plain­ing the im­por­tance of fi­bre, Oden­daal added: “A high-fi­bre diet nor­malises bowel move­ments and helps main­tain a healthy weight.”

Foods high in fi­bre in­clude nuts, legumes and whole-wheat. Liq­uid crash di­ets

Liq­uid di­ets are the latest craze on the weight-loss scene. Ev­ery­body is talk­ing about them be­cause more celebri­ties keep com­ing out in sup­port of the con­cept.

Punted by celebri­ties in­clud­ing Naomi Camp­bell, Gwyneth Pal­trow, Jen­nifer Anis­ton and Oprah Win­frey, juice di­ets prom­ise to flush out tox­ins and un­wanted kilo­grams by re­duc­ing your food in­take to only pressed veg­eta­bles and fruits.

How long you re­main on such a diet de­pends on how many ki­los you want to shed. Some peo­ple do it for three days; oth­ers a week.

What’s im­por­tant about this crash diet is you only drink juice and wa­ter and take sup­ple­ments to re­place the myr­iad nu­tri­ents your body needs. Anis­ton shed 3kg in seven days.

How­ever, Joburg di­eti­cian Robyn Reese is not a fan.

“Liq­uid di­ets are nu­tri­tion­ally un­bal­anced and leave out im­por­tant nu­tri­ents, such as pro­tein and es­sen­tial fats, as well as fi­bre. They can lead to low blood­glu­cose lev­els [hy­po­gly­caemia], which make peo­ple feel dizzy, cause mood swings, im­pair con­cen­tra­tion and lead to food crav­ings,” she says.

So be warned. Fit­ness fab­u­lous

While ex­er­cise will help you lose weight and keep it off, do­ing ex­er­cise alone may not give you the de­sired re­sults as quickly as you want, says ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist Ron­ald Ab­va­jee.

“Ex­er­cise alone is not go­ing to help lose a lot of weight,” he says.

“But when that ex­er­cise is com­bined with a cut in kilo­joule in­take, the weight loss can be as high as 7.5kg in just 12 weeks.

“While diet is more ef­fec­tive for short-term weight loss, sci­en­tific ev­i­dence sug­gests a con­tin­u­ing ex­er­cise pro­gramme out­weighs the value of diet in the main­te­nance of weight loss over two or more years,” he says.

Ab­va­jee ex­plains that, when you ex­er­cise, your mus­cles re­lease a hor­mone known as irisin, named af­ter the Greek mes­sen­ger god­dess.

“Irisin in­creases the meta­bolic rate and is thought to have po­ten­tial anti-obe­sity ef­fects. When irisin lev­els rise through aer­o­bic ex­er­cise, the hor­mone switches on genes that con­vert white fat into ‘good’ brown fat,” he says.

“This is ben­e­fi­cial be­cause brown fat con­tin­ues to burn off more calo­ries be­yond just the energy used to do the ac­tual aer­o­bic ex­er­cise. This helps peo­ple main­tain a healthy body-mass in­dex and avoid obe­sity and con­di­tions such as type 2 di­a­betes.

“Ex­er­cise in­creases your brown fat lev­els and brown fat burns calo­ries rather than stor­ing them – keep­ing you not just slim­mer, but health­ier,” he says.

So what does Ab­va­jee rec­om­mend to achieve a bikini body be­fore the sum­mer hol­i­days?

“My rec­om­men­da­tion for those aim­ing for weight loss and fat loss is to do mod­er­ate- to high-in­ten­sity car­dio ex­er­cises for about 30 min­utes on day one. Day two should be about strength, which means con­trolled ex­er­cises with the cor­rect tech­nique for 30 min­utes, of which 10 must be car­dio warm-up.”

PHOTO: IS­TOCK

ON THE BALL Ex­er­cise re­mains the best ally when it comes to keep­ing the weight off, says one of our ex­perts

PHOTO: REUTERS

TIGHT SQUEEZE This com­peti­tor in US TV re­al­ity show Dance Your Ass Off has high hopes – and should con­sider a kilo­joule-con­trolled diet

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