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Finding it a struggle to lose weight? Understand how you can manage your weight and lose it the healthy way, by learning more about a balanced diet and getting useful exercise tips to help you get started on a fitness regime
Trying to manage and lose weight can be difficult and confusing at first, but once you learn how to get started on a proper exercise and diet programme, you will start to see big improvements in your health and weight. The key is to set realistic goals. All you need is to aim for weight loss of not more than 0.5 to 1kg per week or 10% over 6 months.
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Here are some helpful tips and advice to get you started on the right track to your ideal weight and fitness level:
1) It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week to see an overall improvement on health, and for optimum weight loss. Each session of aerobic activity should last at least 10 minutes.
Examples of muscle-strengthening activities:
3) Having difficulty starting an exercise programme? We’ll provide you solutions to some of the most common barriers you may have.
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Don’t let exercise myths keep you from reaching your target weight and goal. The sooner you learn the real facts, the closer you’ll be to achieving your ideal weight.
Myth 1: Women who engage in muscle-strengthening exercises will get big muscles.
Fact: Women do not have the level of hormones which are necessary for creating big muscles. Women should do such training to improve strength, bone health, and to tone up.
Myth 2: In order to get into shape or lose weight, I have to run or do other vigorous exercises.
Fact: Any form of aerobic exercise can help a person get the benefits of exercise. Brisk walking or moderate intensity aerobics are great ways to burn calories.
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Myth 3: You need special clothes / attire in order to exercise effectively.
Fact: No special clothing is needed. Safe and effective exercise can be performed wearing comfortable sports shoes and loose-fitting everyday clothes.
Myth 4: Daily lifestyle physical activities such as taking the stairs, standing more than sitting, and taking leisurely walks don't make any difference when it comes to weight loss.
Fact: Everything counts. While daily lifestyle activities may not improve aerobic fitness, they still burn more calories than simply sitting in front of your TV or computer. Along with your regular exercise programme for weight loss, daily lifestyle activities can help enhance your weight loss.
Myth 5: I can also lose weight by using vibrating machines.
Fact: To lose weight, one must do 150-300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. Spot reduction exercises such as vibrating machines or ab machines, do not result in weight loss.
Myth 6: After I lose weight and I am happy with my weight loss, I can cut back on the amount of physical activity I do.
Fact: This is a common mistake made by those who lose weight, and then regain it.
The key to managing your weight successfully is by ensuring that the calories you consume do not exceed the calories you burn.
Go for lower calorie options
Take in fewer calories by controlling the type and amount of food and drinks you consume.
You can go for:
Swop to Wholegrains
Be it bread, rice or noodles, natural is best! The less processed your options, the more wholegrain it contains – it also helps satisfy your appetite faster, and for longer.
When prepared well (i.e. with less fat and sugar), wholegrains, fruits and vegetables are relatively lower in calories. They are also a rich source of antioxidants so you get more goodness in these foods for every mouthful of calories you consume.
Don’t fret about limiting your wholegrains to just bread and rice. Singaporeans can enjoy a wider variety of wholegrain products such as wholegrain enriched noodles, kway teow, mun tou and biscuits.
Go for Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) ProductsConsume more HCS products as these are generally lower in fat and sugar and hence lower in calories too.
Myth 1: Certain foods, like grapefruit, celery, or cabbage soup, can burn fat and make you lose weight.
Fact: No foods can burn fat. However, fruit and vegetables are naturally low in calories and high in fibre. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet if you’re trying to lose weight is a good strategy as they make you feel full on fewer calories.
Myth 2: I shouldn’t snack between meals when trying to lose weight.
Fact: You can snack and still lose weight, as long as the total amount of calories you consume is less than the calories you use. If you choose to snack between meals, eat smaller main meals and choose healthier snack options (e.g. fresh fruits, low-fat yoghurt) to keep your total calorie intake within your allowance.
Myth 3: Skipping meals or taking meal replacements can help you lose weight.
Fact: Our body, especially the brain, requires a regular supply of glucose from food to function optimally. Stick to a regular eating schedule as missing meals may lead to impulsive snacking and overeating and may lower the rate at which the body burns energy. In the long run, such dietary habits may also lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Myth 4: 'Going vegetarian' means you are sure to lose weight and be healthier.
Fact: Vegetarians, like non-vegetarians, can still make food choices that contribute to weight gain such as eating large amounts of high-fat foods (e.g. deep-fried items) or foods with high sugar content (e.g. soft drinks). Vegetarian diets should be carefully planned to make sure they are balanced. Nutrients that non-vegetarians normally get from animal products but may be lacking in a vegetarian eating plan include iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and zinc.
Myth 5: Cut out desserts
Fact: You don’t need to cut out all sweet foods to lose weight. People who deprive themselves may end up eating more. You can treat yourself occasionally but don’t overindulge – just have a small portion of dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Myth 6: Never eat at night
Fact: It doesn’t matter what time you eat; what’s important is how many calories you consume. If your total calorie intake is less than the calories you use, weight loss will happen.
Myth 7: Meal replacements can be used for weight loss
Fact: Meal replacements can be used for weight loss but only under medical supervision as there are various factors a doctor or a dietician will consider when prescribing meal replacements. They are usually prescribed for a short period as meal replacements are not a long term solution for weight management. They also lack the full complement of beneficial phytochemicals to keep our bodies healthy.
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This article was last reviewed on
Monday, February 22, 2021
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