Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

From Chubby to Studdly Part 1

One of my main interests is understanding how the body works. How do our daily activities and intake affect our health, wellness, and appearance? As we all know, obesity is a prevalent and growing problem in America.

Do a search on the internet and you will find myriad of websites advertising their magic weight loss strategy.

"Lose 10 pounds in two days!"
"Sculpt your abs in just 6 weeks!"

Sorry to break it to you, but the likelyhood of these working as advertised, is about as good as the possibility of Georgie W. ever learning to pronounce the word "nuclear" properly (don't get me started!).

So why don't these miracle strategies work? Firstly, they are all temporary solutions. You can take a pill for two months that curbs your appetite, but what's going to happen when you get off the pill? You go back to eating and gain the weight back!

Similarly, I've seen the commercial on TV for a drink that claims to shed 10 pounds of bodyweight in two days. Are they telling the truth? Actually the answer is yes. The problem is, the weight you're losing is not fat. Its muscle and water!!! Instead of being just large and roley-poley you've now become large, weak, DEHYDRATED....and roley poley! And doesn't two days on a liquid diet sound like fun? Genius.

And lets be honest. How many of us would really be able to live our whole lives having a 12 oz "shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, and a sensible dinner" for the rest of our lives? I don't know about you, but I like actually eating the majority of my meals and having a sweet something afterwards. (On a related note, I once new someone who bought the SlimFast shakes and drank them as a beverage WITH each meal! Suffice to say, this person wasn't exactly the next Maxim cover model).

The truth is, to really become healthy and fit, one has to make a LIFESTYLE CHANGE! Honestly I can't emphasize enough how important it is to really commit to a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. What I mean is, you can't just exercise and eat well until you become moderately healthy, then go back to your old ways.

I used to fantasize that one day, when I manage to drop all this weight, I'll just be able to eat whatever I want! "Since I'm no longer fat, I'll have ice-cream, chocolate! YES!" THIS is why most people who lose weight, end up putting it all back on. The make a TEMPORARY change instead of a LIFESTYLE change.

The key is making a change that you can follow for the rest of your life! Sounds hard eh? Well I've got a suprise for you. Its really not! Now I'm not going to to sugar coat it (especially since sugar is not going to help you get healthy!) and tell you it's easy...but making a lifestyle change is not as hard as it sounds. If you are committed, it can be simple.

The problem I have with popular diets like Atkins, Sugar busters, or whatever else there is out there, is that most of these place severe diet restrictions which can be hard to follow, and may be unhealthy.

Atkins for example places a total restriction on carbohydrate intake. Most people who follow the Atkins diet do lose weight, however the protein-carbohydrate imbalance is hard on the kidneys in the long run. Also, your muscles NEED carbohydrates to grow and maintain. Ultimately your going to lose weight, but you will lose BOTH fat and muscle and won't be as toned as you want.

Also, I love things like cereal, oatmeal, fruit, and sandwiches, all of which are restricted on Atkins. It may work in the short term, but its hard to make this diet a lifetime commitment.

In fact, I drink on the weekends, snack throughout the day, and eat dessert after dinner. Now I'm not exactly a Men's Health cover model, but I am fit. To be like that would mean I'd have to get extra serious about this stuff which I'm not ready to do. Luckily, my devilish good looks make up for any abdominal definition I lack :)

I know what you're thinking. "Arun, get serious! You can't drink and eat desserts and spend all this time blogging and be fit! I'm gonna read this whole post and you're gonna tell me you got your stomach stapled or something!"

As pleasent as that sounds, no stapling was involved.

So what's the secret? Well, its actually not much of a secret. Most of you know how to lose weight and/or get fitter. The trick is making it easy! Well there's definitely some hard work involved, but I'm thoroughly convinced that I will never go back to Chubby since my new, healthier habits are so ingrained in my lifestyle. Besides, chisled, handsome Arun (and modest) is much cooler than round Arun!

So here I am harping about all these stupid diets and gimmiks that don't work, and you're probably wondering when the hell I'm going to give the almighty solution. How did I get and stay in shape? And how can you do it too for that matter? Stay tuned for part 2 coming very soon...

Click here for Part 2!


healthybpm said...

The fitness mantra of 2007 seems to be say goodbye to fad diets and focus on eating sensibly. There simply isn't any shortcut.

Caroline Latham said...

Nice post Arun. Lifestyle change is so important for all aspects of our health - not only weight and physical fitness, but also stress management and mental fitnesss. I also really like what you said about what you're willing to do. Many thing are possible (the cover of Men's Health), but perhaps they are not all worth the price of getting there. Looking forward to Part 2!

Sindy said...

So true! Lifestyle change is the KEY to success! Great post!

Visiting from the "Good Stuff Carnival".

JoLynn Braley said...

Hi Arun,

I completely agree, it's all about making lifestyle changes, changes that you can actually live with.

If you only go for a short-term diet, what will you do once it's over and you've lost the weight? More than likely you will go right back to old eating habits, because after all, you were only "on a diet".

All the best,