How I moved from BMI of 32 to 26

Around a year ago, I was facing some incipient health issues – palpitations being the most common whenever I needed to climb stairs. Excess body weight and many methods that I tried for weight loss didn’t help much. There were not too many things that I hadn’t tried before – Weight Loss massage, Keto diet, Pilates etc. Nothing helped to move needle of weighing scale in my case. I consulted a physician, and as expected, he recommended a battery of tests. While quite a few parameters were off, the most worrying were cholesterol and blood sugar – both being just outside normal prescribed ranges. He knew my hectic lifestyle, so didn’t talk about the normal platitudes of daily exercise. Instead, he referred me to a personal trainer, who suggested an eight month regimen which was easier for me to follow…the five basic pillars of this regimen being:

  • Weekly monitoring and tracking of BMI – which at 32 then was at the beginning of the obese range, with a target to bring it down to 25 in 8 months.
  • Healthy Eating.
  • Active, Healthy lifestyle.
  • Spa visit twice a month.
  • Body massage – possibly daily – with anti cellulite slimming oil.

I am the living proof of the fact that this regimen works wonders – without too many changes/compromises.  A friend suggested I share my experience for the benefit of others – so here goes:

  1. BMI

The acronym BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and it essentially measures the ratio of your weight to your height and can be calculated as:

BMI = weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches) x 703

Alternatively, one can just plug in his height and weight into any BMI calculator available online, and get the result.

A BMI between 19 and 25 is considered healthy, and anything above 30 is actually considered obese.

Since changing height for grownups is not possible, lowering BMI essentially means losing weight. However, precipitous weight loss is a recipe for disaster, since it often is non-sustainable. Hence the gradual 8 month regimen. The plan is to lose around 1 kg per week, using the four other pillars.

It is critical to keep track of one’s progress by keeping a record over a period of time, have small achievable objectives, and celebrate the achievement of each milestone.This also tends to indicate what is working vs. what is not – thereby showing where the focus should be. It is also advised that while BMI remains the key indicator, one should not completely ignore the other important parameters like changes in waist size, ability to work out more etc. It is not advisable to obsess over the final destination – a specific target BMI – rather one should relish the smaller victories along the way, and be happy about looking and feeling better. In fact, many people say that today’s BMI is not so important – what matters more is the direction in which the graph is headed – i.e., how today’s BMI value compares to that of yesterday. And we are okay as long as we are headed in the right direction consistently.

 

  1. Healthy Eating

The plan should be to eat around 750 -1,000 calories less than you need each day. Online calculators can tell us, basis our typical activities what our calorie needs are. While ensuring a minimum of 1350 calories continues to be consumed, to avoid a state of semi-starvation, we should ideally cut our calorie intake by 500-800 calories. It is suggested that one should make smart diet choices – more proteins, vitamins, fibers and minerals, less fats and carbohydrates. Replacing as much processed foods with natural, unprocessed foods should be your mantra. Like BMI, it is also advisable to track one’s food / calorie intake – so that one has a precise idea of what and how much he is consuming, and where he can cut back / find healthy alternatives if need be.

 

  1. Active, Healthy lifestyle

    Ideally, exercise is the recommended solution for weight loss. Aerobic activity and yoga are the sure-fire remedies, if one can find the time and energy to do the same. However, for someone in my shoes, who has a sedentary desk bound 8-8 job, when I come home I am usually half-dead, and in no shape for further exertion. So instead of exercise, an active lifestyle seems much more doable. This involves making it a rule to not use lifts in mornings and on weekends – instead climb stairs. It also involves making sure you go for a brief brisk walk every hour or so in the office – be it to the copier / coffee machine, or a fun pleasurable activity like walking the dog early in the mornings. Weekends should be more active – with yoga / aerobic exercise or even a sport or a hobby like gardening you were passionate about all those years ago. The key here is that one should try to focus on fun, enjoyable activities – there is more likelihood that these become a part of one’s routine. Also, just like BMI and calorie intake, it is suggested that one tracks his movement – even the brief walks in the office and the steps of stairs. One can do this by using easily available and comparatively cheap fitness trackers that can be worn like wristwatches, or even through free apps on one’s Smartphone.

 

  1. Spa visit    From the hot tub, to various spa accessories, to an overall healthier lifestyle – the reasons why a frequent spa visit is helpful for weight loss are manifold. A sauna or a wrap treatment offered there helps one lose weight in the short run, and the overall healthier lifestyle a visit to the spa encourages promotes weight loss in the longer run.

 

  1. Body massage Will be a useful step if combined with the four mentioned above – it may not be as efficacious if used as a stand-alone. Weight Loss Massage helps to break down cellulite under the skin, and reduces subcutaneous fat tissue accumulation. Vigorous massage improves the subcutaneous blood circulation and stimulates the movement of lymphatic fluids. This reduces the cellulite look – the typical dimpled appearance cellulite lends to skin. In addition, massage, which helps release endorphins which produce a happy feeling of euphoria, making massage a perfect healthy way to reward ourselves for all our above efforts, thus making it easier for us to stick to points 1-4. Additional benefits of massage which help weight loss include Reduction in Stress and anxiety, reduced soreness in muscles, improved range of motion and an improved state of mind, helping in better sleep.

In conclusion, one should not feel dejected if one doesn’t seem to be losing weight as fast as one wants. In addition to the above, there are other healthy lifestyle habits like less stress, good sound sleep etc which may impact weight. So it is suggested that even if weight loss fluctuates initially due to the sporadic nature of efforts put in, it is critical that one does not give up – an overall healthier lifestyle and the tips mentioned will ensure that in the long run, the goals are achieved.

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