Shedding weight

By on October 1, 2009

Photo © Elena Derevstova


As in everything else, the hardest part of losing weight is getting started. It can get confusing with all these gadgets, programs, supplements, and various diet products on the market, telling you that they’re all guaranteed to make you shed the pounds. 


Many try all or a combination of the aforementioned diet plans to no avail. Perhaps there’s something being overlooked?


I once caught a segment on an American skit show: It was a parody of those weight loss plan infomercials, wherein the product sold was a card that simply read, “Eat less, move more.” The prospective customer claimed it to be too hard, then proceeded to nibble on cookies. The truth is, simply eating right and getting some exercise can be highly effective while making no changes to your bank account, either. I managed to shed over fifteen pounds this way in a few months’ time.


Tokyo is a great place to walk. On a slow day, it’s easy to slip into a pair of your most comfy sneakers and head out the door for a long day of walking, knowing there are train stations everywhere that can take you home should you tire yourself en route. Walking is my preference, and I’ve spent multiple hours roaming the city; I enjoy the trek from my Shinjuku neighborhood to Roppongi Hills. Cycling, however, is just as great. More than anything, sticking to activities you prefer and enjoy keeps you into your exercise plans.


The most challenging part about proper weight loss is the meal plan. I made the decision to go vegetarian two years back, and contrary to popular belief, simply giving up meat does not mean your body will, too. In fact, I was once bluntly asked how I was still fat if all I ate were vegetables – ouch!


The truth is, I only started losing weight once I made changes to my diet. Mind you, I didn’t take supplements nor did I shop for organic stuff. (In fact, some of them can do more harm than good.) What I did was give up my habit of eating three moderately-proportioned meals a day in favor of several small meals, and stop eating once I was contented, but not full. I primarily drink water and few sodas; the body stores the liquid in your body if it feels thirsty, so it helps to always keep hydrated. It also helps that I mostly eat non-fried stuff now, though I occasionally indulge. As for snack foods? Every person’s body is different, but mine responded well to having stayed away from sugary dairy treats – ice cream, and the like.


And as many doctors and dietitians suggest, getting a proper night’s sleep daily is vital.


If that all sounds complicated, remember: Getting started is the hardest part. The next steps are fairly easier – eating less, and moving more.

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