All Woman

Plump and distressed

Keeping FIT

Monday, June 04, 2012    

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Dear Donovan,

I am 38 and have two children ages 12 and seven. I have stubborn fat on my tummy. I have exercised in the past; I have tried watching portion sizes but nothing seems to work.

This is at a point where it's threatening to destroy my marriage of 18 years. I am crying out for help.

Weight loss can be a difficult process, but it can be made simpler with a good weight loss programme, motivation, focus and consistency. The desire to lose weight must be very strong, otherwise soon you will go back to the same habits which made you fat in the first place.

The reason for losing weight must also be very clear and important to you.

In my practice, I have found that weight loss is made much simpler with a good meal plan, a detox programme and an exercise programme. A meal plan is important to cut your food/calories and it also ensures that you make healthier food choices, which forces your body to use up the stored fats.

The idea is to put in less calories/foods than you use up, so that the body will be forced to use up some of the food.

A simple idea would be to cut your regular food portions in half and also to make healthier choices such as eating more fruits and vegetables. If you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day, you should get a weight loss of about one pound per week. It is very important to reduce your carbohydrate intake so that the body is forced to use more fat for energy.

With any weight loss programme, it will mean some adjustments, otherwise you will plateau. I have found a detox programme to be very important for reducing the size of the body and also for removing extra toxins from the body. Removing extra toxins from the body can lead to better skin tone and also reduce the chances of having severe headaches and feeling pain during a weight loss programme. Once the toxins are removed, you would need to adopt a healthy lifestyle which will prevent the body from becoming toxic again. Taking foods in the proper amounts and combinations will help with this.

Exercise is also very important in a weight loss programme and for general health. Exercise burns calories/foods, tones and strengthens the muscles, produces feel-good hormones, and is also good for the cardiovascular system.

I would recommend more cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and skipping during a weight loss programme, instead of muscle building exercises, since muscles weigh more than fat.

It is very important to ensure that the calories you burn by exercising is not replaced by eating. It doesn't really make sense to go to the gym and burn 1,000 calories and then go home and eat a meal of 3,000 calories, although exercise can sometimes make you hungry. Overall, if you want to lose weight, take a holistic approach. Do a meal plan, exercise and do a detox programme. One element only will not be effective. Good luck!

We will answer your weight- related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, Suite 16, 39 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 5. Send your questions to wilsonn@ jamaicaobserver.com.

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