[By Simone Chua]
In my bid to lose 5 kilos before my wedding day next year, I stoically put myself through 3 different weight loss methods to attain the figure of my dreams. Here is the chronicle of my hunger strike.
STRIKE #1: Prescription weight loss pills
I went to see my local GP with my problem of excess weight. I asked him if there are any “medical” miracles to help me shed 5kg without lifting a finger. He advised me to start some diet and exercise regime but also prescribed me some diet pills. He warned me there are possible side effects and to only take them as instructed. When I first started the diet pills, I was filled with expectation and joy, however my joy was short-lived as I begin to experience the side effects of the medication— namely, dry mouth, insomnia and irritability.
The side effects did wear off a little after two weeks, and I did see about 1 kilo weight loss. However, I abandoned the treatment on week three as my fiancée could not stand my insomnia, tossing and turning late into the night.
This method of weight loss may work for some people but it is important to watch out for the side effects which can be difficult to manage. Granted that some people may experience less side effects than others, but using diet pills to lose weight is not for the long term. It may be useful for some people looking to kick start their weight loss regime, but I would advise them to limit the diet pills to less than two months or to take only on alternate days to minimize adverse effects to your body. This would be good for s short term weight loss method.
STRIKE #2: Gym training
I signed up at my local gym and vowed to sweat my fat off on the treadmills. A week later, I still hadn’t utilized my gym membership and my gym card was still sitting snugly in my wallet unused. At this point in time, I decided to get a personal trainer to compel myself to start my fitness regime. The good thing about getting a trainer is that I actually went to the gym more often as I had to pay the full fees if I cancelled the class without a 24 hour notice! My trainer was a no-nonsense, bulky Malay bloke who put me through squats, leg lifts and short interval trainings on the treadmill. I could see that my body was looking more toned and fit by week two. In terms of weight loss however, I had only shed about a kilo during the time; it wasn’t something drastic but as my trainer explained, it is not so much the weight but about losing fat and building muscle. The only downside was the absolute dread I felt before my physical training sessions and the aching muscles I had to endure. This is a great method for toning the body.
What they say about exercise is true. It is truly one of the best methods to stay fit. In terms of losing weight, exercise is not the fastest way to shed pounds but it does have other benefits such as increasing muscle tone and building stamina which is vital for long term health. I will probably drop the session to once a week from twice a week due to work commitments and upcoming wedding preparations. However, I am hoping I will have the discipline to keep this up for life.
STRIKE #3: Dietary modifications
So far I had only lost about 2 kilos of my 5 kilo target, and I was a little desperate for some serious help. I had tried various ways of improving my diet from cutting carbs to taking multiple small meals. Finally, I bought a detox kit from The Sloane Clinic which consisted of vitamins and meal replacement sachets. I also had a consultation with the clinic doctor about dietary changes I should be adopting. He introduced me to an online resource on www.sloanediet.com where I made the necessary dietary changes to optimize my weight loss and gleaned many helpful diet tips. The only downside of using meal replacement and implementing dietary changes is the enormous discipline you need on the first week. I was craving all sorts of food during my lunch break but vanity compelled me to stick to me daily meal replacements, vitamins and my dinner of steamed fish and vegetables. The great thing about this method is that there aren’t any side effects at all, on the contrary, I actually feel more energetic and lighter after a week! My appetite also reduced by itself and it was a breeze to stick to the regime by week two, by week there, I didn’t even feel like eating so much and much of the cravings had dissipated. This was also the method that helped me shed the most weight in the shortest time. I was able to stick to the regime for three weeks by which time I had lost four kilos!
I think everyone should incorporate some dietary restrictions in their life if they want to maintain a slim and healthy figure. The types of food many of us eat are filled with unhealthy ingredients and preservatives which are bad for our long term health. However if you are looking to lose some serious weight, you will probably have to go for a full scale detox like what I have done, sticking to meal replacement sachets and a restricted dinner plan. However it is probably not possible to sustain this beyond a month as it does interfere with your social dinners and lunches. But if you are looking to lose weight gradually, you can probably opt for a modified detox plan where you follow a dietary regime on weekdays or alternate days. By far, this is the best method I have found for shedding pounds and feeling great!