To Lose Weight and keep it off Permanently the Secret is to Walk Permanently
Most people are able to lose weight easily but the great challenge is whether you are able to keep off the lost weight for atleast 1-2 years and maintain that thereafter. Lost weight will fluctuate by 1-2 kgs all the time but should not go up and down by 5-10kgs, which is harmful.
The first point I want to impress is that you should guard yourself against any weight loss plan that is not a combination of exercise and diet. There are many diet plans and weight loss centres or farms or health resorts that offer weight loss only through diet and massages, saunas, machines, pills, powders, shakes, etc. All these are very harmful to the body in the long run.
A healthy balanced diet combined with regular cardiovascular exercise like walking, treadmill, slow jogging, etc., for 25-30 minutes daily, are the keys to a healthy weight loss. It is not a matter of only how much calories are burnt every time you exercise but the great secret behind this walking is that if done regularly for 2-3 months you raise your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Today the whole world is in a health crisis due to the great shift from labouring in the fields or fishing in the oceans, to man being confined to a tiny space of an office desk or cubicle and a tiny flat called home. Movement of the large muscles of the body are at an all-time low and most people have a very low metabolic rate. Some make an effort to climb a stair at work and house wives try to be active at home but this is not enough to combat the use of all the vehicles, gadgets and consumption of fatty foods and fast foods that have flooded our lives.
The second point we want to stress is that you avoid any diet which is unbalanced, like only fruits, only soups, salad, veggies or high protein, eliminating carbs, etc. You will see very exciting results in a week to ten days with these diets or programmes but they do the worst damage to the body as they severely lower your BMR and that in turn means rapid weight gain in the future and in time your body begins to refuse to lose weight or resists weight loss.
As a diet consultant for the last 17 years and as a person who has battled with the problem of obesity since age 9 i.e for the last 44 years, I must say that weight control is not only about learning to control and disciple eating habits but also learning to be regular and committed about making time in all our busy schedules to walk and set aside time daily, 25-30minutes for this exercise.
The point is to understand that exercise is not meant only for people to lose weight. It is a basic requirement for all human beings from age 5 upwards. It is a requirement for the growth, development and fitness of our limbs and body, it is important for the regulation of all glands and organs and also for the relaxation of our minds. Many women at home and men who do site work argue that they are on their feet for many hours in a day. Please understand that you need to be continuously moving (walking) for more than 20 minutes to raise your metabolism and burn fat. Broken movements that happen in house work, site work, shopping, site seeing, etc., does burn calorie but not to the same extent that can be achieved after a walk.
Anybody who thinks that they need to exercise only during a weight loss programme is mistaken. All of us, and more so those who are educated and working as well as housewives need to walk and exercise year round all the days of your life if you want to be trim and fit. The high BMR that develops with 2-3 month of regular walking, daily, will allow you to stay trim as well as enjoy your goodies occasionally.
Many of the people who have consulted me and lost weight with our programme come back with weight gain. The biggest contributing factor for this is not so much the wrong food they have indulged in but the stopping of their exercise routine for weeks or even months when there is pressure at work, a festival or an occasion in the family. We need to walk all 7 days of the week because we eat food on all 7 days.