Choose a Right Weight Loss Plan

Choose a Right Weight Loss Plan

By Geeta Shenoy  on: 03 December 2015
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‘Mirror mirror on the wall, how I wish my flab to fall?’  After trying out various fad diets, tasteless liquid potions, body breaking gym workouts, ready to use internet diet charts; your weight loss efforts have not made any impact on weighing scale. So now, you have finally decided to take help of a dietician for reducing your excess flab … Sounds familiar?

Consider these points before zeroing  down on your choice of a program - weight loss centre, professional  dietician, fitness spa or naturopathy –which is going to impact your lifestyle and overall health.

  1. Avoid crash programs. Losing 10kg in a month is not going to make you look and feel any better. You will end up losing lots of lean body mass – muscles, water, & bone tissue. What’s more, this weight is going to boomerang once you are off this diet.
  2. Ask for Credentials of your Dietician/ Nutritionist - just as we ensure about our doctors / other healthcare givers, find about the degree, clinical experience and expertise of your dietician. Do not hesitate to ask about the testimonials, diet plans, nutritional supplements or gadgets, follow up schedules etc   Dieticians are not Magicians, who can make your flab vanish in a short time. Don’t believe exaggerated promises.
  3. Set a realistic goal. This depends on your age, body frame, underlying conditions, physical limitations and maintainable weight.  Reaching ideal weight may not always be possible but even 10-15% of weight loss is going to make substantial difference to your fitness level.
  4. Go in for a customized diet plan. All of us have different genetic make up, medical problems, digestion issues, religious beliefs, food choices etc. A diet program has to consider these aspects and build a program around it.
  5. Accept the lifestyle changes which are sustainable and feasible for a long time. Eating boiled spinach, vegetable juice, over- rated expensive super foods, health shakes can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. Make your limitations clear at the beginning of program, so that you can be offered alternate choices. Remember there’s always a choice.
  6. Emphasize on reducing body fat than numbers on weighing scale. Reducing body fat will give you leaner and slimmer look that you want while too much loss of lean body mass will end up with brittle bones, tired & saggy skin, pallor, excess hair loss etc.
  7. Lastly, believe in yourself and put in your efforts for making the weight loss program successful. Make a small note of deviations/ cheat foods, add more steps in your daily walking or workouts, learn about healthy food choices when you are dining out or travelling, learn about portion sizes etc

Going from flab to fab is a journey which should and must change your lifestyle permanently. Only then it will be a truly successful   program.


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Most dangerous culprits are outside food. Invest in a well equipped kitchen, for example, microwave oven, air fryer, water filter, non stick pan etc. Those who are always in rush, invest in a good cook. Do not watch TV, surf internet or talk on phone with family/ friends while eating. Pay attention to your meal, chew food properly and eat slowly. We may never know if the vegetables on your table are loaded with pesticide. Buy them from local vendor and wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating. Do not overcook, fine chop, or mash into juices Eat 5-6 small meals a day. Do not skip meals or starve yourself, it may cause more harm than good. Keep healthy snacks handy in your office drawers or bags such as roasted chana, peanuts, fruits, soya milk (1 serving packs),khakra etc Do not eat leftovers. If you want to store leftovers , then store them at correct temperature. Opt for nutritious, fresh food in office canteens While dining out, choose from variety of salads and barbequed (tandoori) foods. Also, choose clear soups, lightly cooked vegetables and steamed or grilled items. Avoid mayonnaise, deep fried or oily food items. Ready made meals, protein shakes and meal replacement powders are healthier, quicker and tastier Increase water consumption to beat heat, pollution, food adulterations which increase stress on kidneys. Drink at least 2-2.5 litres of fluids daily. Use only whole grain products such as 100% whole wheat bread , whole wheat flour, wheat bran, hand pounded  or brown rice, and whole grain cereals such as rice flakes, oats, ragi , jowar etc. use these in place of white bread, polished rice, maida , cakes, biscuits etc. Avoid smoking strictly and completely. Avoid alcohol, excess tea and coffee. Exercise enhances blood circulation, increases energy levels and nutrient availability to the body. Hence exercising 30-40 min, 4-5 days a week is beneficial Get adequate rest .Keep regular sleep hours of 7-8 hrs minimum. Even if it is in divided time , it works
Oil Kitchen!
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A typical conversation in my clinic with a client Me:  So Mr. X, how much oil do you consume in a month? X: Just about a litre for each member of my family but we use the most expensive, heart -friendly **** oil with omega -3, zero cholesterol, you see. And of course, only virgin olive oil for salad dressings (proudly). Me:  What about ghee, butter or cheese? X:  Oh!  Ghee is absolutely homemade from buffalo milk; butter thrice a week with brown bread, cheese is only when we eat pizza, once a week. We also do healthy snacking on nuts, cashews, almond and walnuts. Me:  What about coconut? X:  Hey, I’m South Indian.  We can’t cook food without coconut. But we use not more than 1-2 a week. Me: And weekends? X:  You see, Saturday & Sundays dinners are eaten outside .After all, that’s the only family time we have. My children love Italian and Mexican food. Its healthy naa!! (Ha, Ha! Are you kidding me? I was thinking to myself). I think as a nation we are oil and fat-friendly people and moreover, we are unaware about how excess fat has creeped up in our daily foods in an unhealthy way. We cook vegetables till they lose their original flavour, colour and texture, we love to see oil floating in curries and almost everything we eat is far away from its original form , be it  gajar ka halwa/ milk shake/ almond burfi/ walnut muffin. Between traditional eating and western food adaptation, we try to find healthy ways (so we think) and end up eating total fat far more than our requirements. As a result, the next generation is moving fast towards childhood obesities, blood pressure in twenties, cardiac problems in early thirties, diabetes, PCOD, infertility, arthritis, etc., all lifestyle diseases. It’s time to stop and think and get some facts right: If you are want to lose weight, you have to limit the total fat in your diet. Total fat = visible fat + invisible fat, visible fat being  oil, butter, ghee, peanut butter and invisible fat being paneer, meat, fish, egg, almond, walnut, khoa, cheese, avocado, including   flax seeds, chia seeds, etc. In a typical weight loss plan, total fat should be only 45-50 gms. - 4 tsp from visible source and 2-3 servings from invisible sources. Even the most heart- friendly oil is not fat free. We can only alter the fatty acid composition by changing oils or including healthy invisible sources. Do not confuse between calorie-free and fat- free food. A fat- free or reduced fat food still may contain the same calories as normal food and in weight -reduction diets, calories count! Read labels carefully.  Foods which give more than 10% of RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of calories from fat per serving should be red flagged.  They may contain more than 5 % fat per 100gm serving (for example, whole milk contains 6.6% fats). Learn about portion sizes, healthy cooking styles and follow a holistic diet which takes into consideration all the above factors.  
Geeta Shenoy

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Dietitian & Nutritionist in Mumbai (Chembur), India 

Looking for weight loss in Chembur or in Mumbai? Interested in excellent weight loss service online or in Mumbai? Then contact me. You can view my reviews and experience of my clients who have successfully reduced weight through healthy weight loss diet charts. NO Fad / Crash Diets, NO Starvations, No Gadgets and No Unsubstanciated  claimes! Dietitian Geeta"s diets aims at overall nutritional correction with comprehensive individual assessment,  simple and practical  with long term results and  benefits
Geeta Shenoy
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Dietitian & Nutritionist in Mumbai (Chembur) Register Now!
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