15 Ways to Lose weight & get your health back
15 Ways to Lose weight & get your health back
The obesity epidemic
Obesity is becoming more and more of an epidemic particularly in the western world where fast food, processed and sugary foods are the norm. There is really not much not much the doctors and medical specialists can do about this issue apart from raising awareness about the health risks. Government can do much more about it as they have the power to put sanctions on junk food companies but unfortunately these companies that sell junk food and sugary foods are quite powerful and even have powerful lobby groups backing them. Therefore the governments are limited to what they can do about this matter unless they really put their foot down on these companies and bring tougher regulations in.
These junk food companies promote their products in aggressive advertising campaigns. There was a programme recently where a chef from the UK went to the US and went to a primary school where he found that young children did not even know the names of basic vegetables but they knew the names of all the latest junk foods out there. This proves that the junk food companies have way too much power in the media and it is time that governments put their foot down and stopped them from promoting their products in such a aggressive manner. Children need to be educated about good and healthy food fro the beginning. Parents as well as teachers should take on this responsibility to ensure children know that healthy food is better and that their access to junk food is more limited than it currently is.
Our bodies are a loan from Allah
Almighty Allah gave us our bodies as a loan to us as a trust. He trusted us with these bodies and we are abusing them with over eating and bad food choices. We really need to get ourselves out of this now and realise that not only are we risking our health in that we are very likely develop diabetes if we continue as we are but we are also committing a major sin in that we are slowly eating ourselves to death.
As Muslims we must NEVER eat to fill ourselves but we must eat to satisfy our hunger. The fact that many of us eat to fill ourselves is the reason why there is an obesity epidemic in this world. Therefore unless you want to die an early death you must take action NOW! That means internalising the need for rapid change and taking the necessary steps in your life to ensure you NEEVR go back to how you used to be. You must think of food in a different way and not use it to comfort eat or to fill yourself up in every meal.
Here is what we must do to get our healths back:
1. Decrease your portion sizes.
This is extremely important if you want to lose weight. Eat to satisfy your stomach NOT fill it until you canít move. That means NO MORE BINGE eating! Eat as much as you are satisfied. The best way to do this is to get yourself a smaller plate and use that for every meal. Donít fill the plate up like a mountain but as much as you would be satisfied. If you stick to using a smaller plate and cut down your portion sizes then i promise you that you will see your weight fall off rapidly.
2. Cut out Trans fats and saturated fats.
This is extremely important if you want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. That means cutting out fatty foods. When buying meat then ensure it is lean. When you go butchers tell them to cut the fat off. Eat more chicken breast than chicken leg and have more fish. It is better to have more white meat like chicken and fish than red meat. Reduce red meat to know more than once a week.
Also get your proteins from lentils, pulses and seeds. Have some tofu. You must also cut out chocolate, crisps, cakes, biscuits and other fatty snacks which contain a lot of saturated and Tranís fats. Once you have done this you will see the fat melt off and a leaner you coming out. Also replace butter or ghee with oils high in mono-saturates like Rapeseed oil and olive oil. Replace whole milk with semi or fully skimmed milk.
There are also good fats such as mono-saturated fats such as olive oil, other sources like Avocados (which is great for skin) and peanut butter, nuts and seeds.
Did you know...?
- A jam doughnut contains 10.9g fat
- A slice of malt loaf contains 0.7g fat
- A teaspoon of peanut butter contains 5.4g fat
- A pint of whole milk contains 22.8 g fat
- A handful of mixed nuts contains 21.6g fat
3. Try new healthy foods, fruit and vegetables.
You never know if you like something until you try it. Be ambitious with your choices of healthy food. Donít just stick to the same foods you eat everyday. There is so much to choose from out there. The more different healthy foods you eat the less chance you will get bored with the same choices and therefore less chance you will end up relapsing into eating fatty foods and snacks.
So try new healthy foods. Ever tried Pakchoi? Tofu? Star fruit? Try some fruit and vegetables you havenít tried before and I guarantee there will be many different foods that you will like. A diverse amount of good fruits and vegetables is very good for you. The more variety the better as each fruit and vegetable has its own unique cocktail of vitamins and nutrients.
4. Cut out processed foods
Processed food is not good for us as it contains many chemicals mainly to make the food last longer. Instead replace processed food like tinned and frozen processed food with fresh food, fruit and vegetables. Once you make these changes you will feel and look much healthier.
5. Reduce your Carbohydrate intake.
You need reduce your carbohydrate intake or at least have the majority of your carbs at breakfast and at lunch and have less carbs for dinner because as the evenings approaches our metabolism decreases. So in the morning start off with a bowl of porridge which will give you the carb boost you need in the morning and at lunch have a reasonable portion of carbs to get you through the rest of the day. Be sure to watch your portions at breakfast dinner and lunch.
If you are going to have rice then replace white rice with brown wholegrain rice. Replace white bread with brown wholegrain bread and white pasta with brown wholegrain pasta. Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat or replace it with red potatoes or sweet potatoes. Make your portions of carbs smaller in the evenings and have bigger portions of protein and fiber.
6. Eat healthy snacks in between meals.
If we eat just 3 meals a day and nothing in between then we may end up causing our bodies to go into starvation mode where it will grab onto whatever we eat and store it. Therefore we should eat healthy snacks in between meals like fruit, low fat yoghurt, a small handful of unsalted almonds or a nice salad. Avoid sugary, salty or fatty snacks.
7. Eat more fruit and vegetables
There is nothing better for you health wise than to eat a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables. There is So much choice out there so do not limit yourself to just the fruit and vegetables that you know. Try different fruit and vegetables as each is good for you in its own way. Remember Pomegranate and figs are Sunnah to eat so eat much of it. Berries are also very good for you. Eat much green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and lettuce, cabbage etc
You can even make a nice smoothie out of a variety of fruit and even vegetables. Try new and different combinations to see which ones work best together etc. Have fun with it. Eat more fruit and vegetables and watch your weight come off and that glow come back!
8. Cut out sugary foods.
Sugary foods will give one a sugar high's and are very bad for the teeth. They can even make you crave more food. They are also high in calories and are linked to obesity. Most cereals that are on the market are very high in sugar. Even the so called "healthy" breakfasts like special K. It is far better to have porridge oats everyday and sweeten it with a little honey or sugar free jam or even top it with mixed seeds and fruit. Oats are the best start to the day one can have as it is packed with slow releasing energy which gives you energy throughout the day.
How to reduce consumption of sugary foods
- Swap sugary drinks for water, low-fat milk or artificially sweetened drinks to reduce your calorie intake
- Try swapping sugary snacks for fruit or bread-based options such as fresh whole fruit or teacakes/malt loaf
- Try to halve the amount of sugar you put in hot drinks, or cut it out completely
- Buy reduced-sugar varieties of jam and marmalade
- Choose canned fruit in natural juice rather than syrup
9. ALWAYS read the labels.
Look at how much sugar a product contains as well as how much saturated fat it contains. Look at the carb content as well as salt levels. Even the so called low fat range are not necessarily low sugar or salt. So always read labels from now on whatever product you are buying.
10. Drink more water
Drinking water is vital to losing weight. It is the best of all drinks in this world and the next. It is the source of all life. Without it there would not be life. So we should drink more water for it also helps in suppressing appetite.
11. Get moving.
Move around as much as you can. Take the stairs not the lifts. Walk to the shops or wherever you are going, donít take the car. Every step is calories lost. So walk and move around as much as possible. Play with the kids and run around with them, help out in the home by doing the dishes, vacuuming and ironing. Make every excuse to take the stairs. Be as active as you can throughout the day.
12. Walk walk walk.
Enjoy a good morning walk. Walk to work if you can. Have a little walk after every meal. Try to go the long way around to the shops or to and from home. Try to take a hilly street or when youíre walking in the park walk up a hill. Walk in the park after you wake up and walk as it is very good for a person to take in fresh air and be in natural surroundings as it is also a proven stress reliever. Take up walking as it is an amazing exercise and very easy to as you can do it at your own pace.
13. Cardio and weight training.
One can do cardio anywhere, so if you want to do it at home then you can or you can join a gym (same sex gym). Doing cardio is very important not only to lose weight but to built stamina and endurance. Therefore it is recommended to do cardio at least 3-4 times a week for half an hour each session. If you can do cardio in the morning then it is better and will also give you a better sleep at night. Doing cardio activity in the morning before eating anything is said to burn a lot more fat than if a person had something to eat because the body uses up its fat reserves.
It is best to do HIIT (High intensity Interval training) which is a cardio activity done only for a very short while no more than 20-30 minutes but it is done at high intensity intervals meaning that a person goes at it quite hard. So the way to do it is for example you walk for 5 minutes and then suddenly you start running for 30 seconds. Then you jog slowly for 2 minutes and then run for another 30 seconds. You keep repeating this high and low intensity walking, jogging and running for 20-30 minutes. HIIT is said to increase the bodyís metabolism throughout the day so after your workout the body will continue burning fat throughout the day. If you can do morning cardio then do it whenever you can throughout the day or even in the evening. If you can do it morning and evening then this is even better.
However it would also be better to combine ones cardio routine with a strength training regime. This can be done at home if one has the right equipment or at the gym. The best Strength training is one that targets the core and legs. Like for example dead lift, squat, lunges etc. Other strength training can target specific muscle groups such as the shoulders, chest, back and arms. Strength training also increases ones metabolism because the more muscle one has the more the body has to burn fat.
So combining both strength training and cardio is the best way to make ones body like a fat burning machine. It will also strengthen and condition ones body making one leaner and healthier.
14. Persevere & NEVER give up
If you trip or fall then get up and continue. Donít ever give up! You are bound to slip now and again, but so what? Learn from it and move on. Get on with it and keep in mind your end goal and where you want to be. Focus on the end result for the end result will be a good one as long as you stick to doing what you have to do to get your health back on track.
15. Making lifetime changes to your health.
Losing weight and becoming healthy is about making life changes not just dieting for a short period of time. It is about looking at food in a whole new way. Not seeing it as something that will comfort us when were down or as something we can abuse and binge on. We should use it as something that will nourish us and give us strength and energy for Almighty Allahs Ibaadah (worship). It is truly a blessing from Allah and if we look around us most people in the world do not have food for days on end yet we abuse it like anything. If we continue abusing food then not only are we risking getting many diseases and an early death but we will also be accountable on the Day of Judgment for what we put into our stomachs and the fact that we abused our bodies by over eating.
Therefore we must not look at these changes as something that we are doing for the short term but we must make long term life changes so that we may take care of the bodies Allah has loaned to us and optimize everyday of our lives in order to have enough strength to please Allah and worship him for that is the ONLY purpose of our creation.
Now you know what to do there are NO more excuses. Do not think to yourself that you will start tomorrow for tomorrow never comes. Start NOW! Internalise the need for change and know that time is NOT on your side. You have made enough excuses in your life but now there are NO more excuses. If you want an early death then carry on as you are and you will regret it forever in the hereafter that you wasted you one opportunity in this life to do as much good as you can in order to please Allah and gain high ranks in the hereafter just because you could not control your food intake. So now is your chance and it could be your very last. So grab this opportunity and do not let it go!
May Allah enable us to make the best of our health in this world so that we may optimize our worship unto Almighty Allah. Ameen
Re: 15 Ways to Lose weight & get your health back
Drinking water is really important in losing weight. For me this is the basic and the most important way to have and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for sharing this informative post!