Overweight? Suffering from a sedentary lifestyle?

Written by Ian on 10/09/08

Body weight gain = input calories - calories expended

1. First of all, look at that equation and think of what calories you expend already. Just living and breathing will consume a few... exercise will consume some more. But to put this into proportion, a single teaspoon of sugar contains enough energy to fuel a 20 minute run.

2. I was running 20km each week and still increasing weight (although very slowly, mostly due to one-off weekends where I ate a lot but did less exercise). It didn't balance: running all week I would lost 1lb, and then no running but a nice meal at the weekend would gain me > 1lb.

3. Exercise is great! In moderation it's definitely good for you. But the sad fact is that even Michael Phelps, eating your diet, would probably get fat over time.

4. Exercise is difficult at first, but get this - once you have lost some weight it's a lot easier. Thinner, you can run for further and not get tired!! That means the more weight you lose, the easier it becomes to lose the rest...

5. It is always, in every case, the one-off splurge that puts the weight on. It's that one-off cheesecake at the weekend that did it, not the week of relatively healthy eating.

So here are some rules:

  • Start to run or jog.
  • Just start doing it every day with a target and do not stop until you hit it. The slower you jog, the better it is for your body.
  • Do it every weekday.
  • Don't stop 'because you have couldn't keep it up'. That will turn into a self-fulfilling profecy. If you skip a few sessions, go out there and do it again. Aim to increase the length of time between these 'stops' until they peter out completely.
  • Never drink fizzy drinks like coke (even diet coke). Drink plain and pure water like God made it in the first place.
  • Eat sensibly during the week.
  • Enjoy treats at the weekends if you earn them by running all week! They will taste better that way.
  • DO NOT SNACK. Train your body and mind. It might be hard at first, but will become really easy with time.
  • Eat a good big breakfast. If you don't you will end up eating too much at lunch, or snacking througout the day.
  • Eat a light lunch of salad with minimum dressing and no carbohydrate.
  • Weekdays, eat a 50% healthy dinner.
  • No dessert except at weekends (when you've earnt it).
  • Do not add sugar to anything. Eventually that will become the norm and your body will need less of it to experience sweetness.
  • Use low-fat milk. After a while normal milk will start to taste like cream!
  • Drink lots of water. Have a glass before meals, and one glass before you think of drinking your coffee or milo.
  • Don't stop running because of colds, coughs
    or aches - just run slower.
  • Do NOT eat a supper (or anything) before you go to bed. You should eat an evening meal around 6pm-7pm and not touch anything else after that until breakfast. You will wake hungry and can enjoy your big healthy breakfast.
  • In my opinion, if there is a choice, substitute sugar/carbohydrate for fat. What I mean is that if you buy "low fat" foods, these are usually high in sugar/carbohydrate. Similarly, something which is "low carbohydrate" or "no sugar added" is higher in fat.
    If you eat one of each, you are actually eating more fat and eating more carboyhdrate together, i.e. there is no benefit... if you have to go for these 'diet' products (and see my next point), choose either low fat or low sugar and do not mix them!
    Also beware that manufacturers have found ways to manipulate the dietry information on a lot of foods. It might sound great, but if it tastes too sweet or feels to oily, it probably isn't good for you...
  • Avoid packaged food. Go for fresh vegetables, fresh fruit. The fruit bar you buy might say "all the goodness of apples" on the side, or whatever, but it is definitely not true!!

Above all, you were made by God for a purpose. A God-given purpose. He chose you, elected you, to live on this earth to fulfil HIs wishes. You have a mission. Unless you have a real medical complaint, He did not create you unfit, you are supposed to be fit, and only then will you get the best from the life which God has entrusted you to live (and know this, that you were the absolutely BEST choice God could ever have picked for that particular mission - out of billions of people, YOU and YOUR ALONE were the one carefully chosen).

I wish all readers the chance to get back into their God-given condition of fitness and health.