The lifestyle of Pakistani women is not only busy but also stressful. Most of the women are responsible to take care of all the household chores; cleaning, washing, cooking, taking care of the family members, buying groceries, entertaining guests, looking after the kids etc. Many females do not focus on their health and fitness. And when they do, it is hard for them to take some time out. Weight gain is a major concern among these women. The lack of time and awareness result in major health issues. But it can be reversed even at home.
CREATE A CALORIE DEFICIT
To lose weight, going to the gym is not necessary. What you need is a calorie deficit. It is achieved by increasing physical activity and cutting down calories from diet. You can reduce 1 lb every week if you start eating 250 calories less and burning 250 calories through physical activity. Losing 1lb each week is recommended and achievable.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD YOU LOSE?
First identify how much weight you have to lose, and then set targets. It is important to realize that you should lose weight by reducing body fat. Hence, a steady pace and persistence is key to healthy weight loss.
Refer to the following chart to set your goal;
SET GOALS THAT ARE EASY TO ACHIEVE
Once you know your targets, calculate how long it will take to reach them. For example, if you have to lose 5 kg, it will take about 11 weeks, if you lose 1lb each week. Knowing your goals and following a strategy will keep you motivated and challenged along the way.
WORKOUT AT HOME
For women with a busy schedule, working out at home is most convenient. When you aim for weight loss, exercise plays a vital role in achieving your goal. Include an aerobic session 5-6 days a week e.g. walking, jogging in place (stationary jog), skipping or dancing. Start from 15 minutes and slowly build up to 30. Once it gets easier increase the time to 45 minutes. The intensity of your session should feel somewhat hard. Perform proper warm-up before exercise and cool-down at the end.
Muscle-conditioning exercises boost metabolism and help you burn more calories even after your workout. Following are some exercises that you can do at home, 2-3 times per week, every other day. 2 sets of each with 30-60 sec rest between each set.
SQUATS = 12-15 Reps
CRUNCHES = 15-20 Reps
PUSH-UPS (modified) = 10-12 Reps
HEEL RAISES = 12-15 Reps
BRIDGING = 15-20 Reps
Start noting down what you eat all day. It will help you cut down unnecessary calories. The following meal pattern will help to reduce over-eating and also increase the rate of calorie burning.
Breakfast – Snack – Lunch – Snack – Dinner – Snack
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you should never skip it. Eggs, oatmeal, cereals, bread are good breakfast option. Include fruits, low fat dairy and nuts in the snack option. Lunch and Dinner options include whole grains, white meat and vegetables.
Drink plenty of water 8-10 glasses. Your body burns calories efficiently with adequate hydration level. Avoid processed food and foods high in fat/sugar. Juices, sodas and other high calorie drinks should be avoided. Choose Natural drinks instead.
INCREASE ACTIVITY LEVEL
Increasing activity level does not only assist in weight loss but also help to stay fit and active.
Taking a stroll after every 15-20 minutes, playing with the kids, cleaning the house, taking the stairs, doing your own chores, can all help.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Keep a journal to note your baseline values of weight and inches. Check your weight weekly and make changes in diet and exercise accordingly.
Clothes getting loose and you feeling lighter indicate you are losing weight. Feedback from friends and family will also validate your progress. In a few weeks you will start to feel less tired and less stressful. Try to take your weight and measurement early in the morning or at a fixed time.
- Workout 2 to 3 hours after a meal.
- Sleep 6-8 hours
- Keep a water bottle during workout and take some after every 15 minutes of exercise
- Muscle soreness will occur. Take rest when needed and do not over-do it.
- If you feel discomfort or pain during exercise, stop and consult a doctor.