Fat Facts

We see so many advertisements about spot reduction. Can you really lose weight only from your stomach or thighs?

I appreciate your question. People are always mailing me about this. ďPlease give me a diet to reduce my tummy, my hips, my arms, etc.Ē Please note anybody can become obese or over weight by overeating. Even men and women who have been 48kgs, 55kgs, etc., up to 25 to30 years of age and with thin parents, now come to me at 90 or 110kgs.

Just over feeding during and after pregnancy can do this to women. Men suddenly stopping sports and taking up desk jobs can ee weight piling up in their body. However the location at which the fat deposits in each persons body is definitely hereditary. If in your family your fatherís side has big hips, there is a 50% chance that when you put on weight it will be prominently on your hips.

In my family, I have 2 brothers and myself. In our fatherís family both men and women have heavy hips. All 3 of us when we put on weight, it is mainly on the hips. In our motherís family everybody has small hips but none of us were fortunate to get that genetic trait. The good news however is that when you lose weight you will lose well from those prominent areas but in proportion to the rest of your body that area may still be big. E.g. I am 159cms., I weigh 60-61kgs and look slim, but by measurement I measure 36 chest, 28 waist and 42 hips. Other than doing a surgery to remove the fat on the hips there is no exercise or machine or massage that can further reduce it. I jog, walk and do a few thigh exercises to keep the hips and legs toned.

When fat is removed from the body by weight reduction it goes uniformly from head to toe. By exercise you only tone the muscles in those areas so that when the fat layers are removed the skin does not sag.

Can we convert fat to muscle by working out in a gym with weights?

This is a major misconception. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. They are two different components and tissues of different composition so one cannot be changed into another by exercise or any machine or massage. What however happens when you do a healthy diet, strictly avoid fatty food and do regular exercise, is that the percentage of fat in the body comes down while the percentage of muscle in the body increases proportionately.

If however you lose weight drastically e.g. 5kgs in 1 week or 10 kgs in 1month then both the fat and muscle in the body are destroyed and this is very dangerous and harmful to the body. The ideal amount of weight loss is 2-3 kgs. per month.

When on a very strict diet should we cut out oil completely? i.e. consume 0 fat in the diet or should we use a little. How much and what oil do you recommend.

0 fat diets are not recommended for anyone even a heart patient. I would say 2-3 teaspoons of oil a day is a minimum requirement. On a strict diet only 2-3 tsp is permitted. A thin person or children could use 3-4 tsps per day. Groundnut oil is good or a combination of sunflower and til oil or sunflower and olive oil may be used.

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