Sunday, January 22, 2012
Eating Wisely and Weight Loss
Please bear in mind that I am not a dietician, or a physician, and my opinions are those of a Yoga teacher and life-long student of Ayurveda. Always consult your family physician before changing your diet. It may be generally agreed that eating wisely and weight loss do not often agree. Just look back that the parade of “fad diets” that didn’t seem to work over the long term and, in retrospect, were not wise from the onset. This article will be a “union” of ideas from Ayurvedic principles, modern fitness concepts, and overall strategies for better health. It goes without saying that a vegetarian diet is healthy. Only a decade ago, there were many reservations, among local physicians in New England, in regard to this concept. How rapidly knowledge, insight, and opinions change. Marie, my wife, exposed me to the vegetarian diet. Before that, I ate what is now called the “Mediterranean Diet.” The diet I eat, to this day, is a combination of the two. The combination of these two, “classic” diets, are easy for me to live with and it is not an effort, at all, for me. That is the biggest hurdle for most people. Many of us take on a radical dieting change that we cannot live with. Most of us can afford to make a few small changes at a time, instead of changing everything at once - unless you are dieting under the guidance of your doctor or dietician. Therefore, I propose a few small changes to your eating habits that will make sense. You do not have to change them all at one time. Sit down and focus on eating your meal. Avoid television, reading, heated conversations, etc. Thoroughly chew your food at a slow pace and do not put more food in your mouth until you have swallowed the previous bite. Be aware of how hungry you are before your meal. Try to avoid too much time between meals, as this leads to over consumption and your stomach should never be more than three quarters full, after a meal. Exercise tip: Some of you practice Yoga and understand the many benefits of Sun Salutations, but have you ever tried weight resistance? Strength training increases energy expenditure during a weight resistance training session. The high intensity of strength training indicates a high utilization of carbohydrates during a training session. During the post-exercise recovery period, energy expenditure is elevated for a period ranging from two to fifteen hours (1). The increased energy demands are obtained by burning more calories, and a good portion of the calories are coming from fat stores. Reference (1) - Melby C, Scholl C, Edwards G, Bullough R. Effect of acute resistance exercise on post exercise energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. Journal of Applied Physiology 75(4): 1847-1853, 1993. Even if you work every body part just once a week, this method of cross training will effectively burn calories. When you combine this with any aerobic activity, you have a powerful combination. Rowing and bicycling are good substitute forms of resistance too. Strategies for results: Get help from a qualified Personal Trainer, Dietician, or a Life Coach. You could do it all yourself, but how much time do you have to “spin your wheels.” without any progress? These services exist for those who don’t want to waste time and want solutions now.