Many people are not always comfortable with their body shapes.  While many people wish to make changes to their lifestyles to create healthier bodies, people often fail because they cannot do what they set out to do, or what they set out to do doesn’t achieve the desired outcome.

There are 3 general outcomes that people want to achieve when they look at their bodies: (1) to be healthier, (2) to lose weight for looks, and (3) to build muscles.  Obviously, some people may want to achieve more than one outcome at a time.

(1) To Be Healthier:

Let’s start with healthy!

There are 3 parts to being healthy: have a good nutrition intake, build a good stamina, and keep to an ideal body weight.

(i) Have a good nutritional intake:

It is easier for a guy to get the good nutritional intake than a gal simply because a guy eats more.  The higher calorie burn for guys allows for extra empty calories.

The answer to getting good nutrition is simple: eat wholesome food.

But can you do it?  How can one drastically change their lifestyles?
Find out what’s missing in the diet.  In general, unless one is a vegetarian, one likely won’t eat too little protein.  Generally, it is likely that grain’s vitamins are being taken in regularly too.

So what’s usually missing?
Calcium from milk products as well as folates, fibres or other phytochemicals from leafy greens are the usual deficiencies.  Some people also don’t eat fruits.

Why aren’t you eating these items already?
Always look at why and tackle the problem.  If you hate the item, try to look for substitutes; for example, maybe oatmeal may be the solution for fibre instead of leafy greens.  If you just can’t work it into the regular schedule because you eat out all the time.  Maybe a supper snack of fruits and veggies, or consider making some shakes to help you complete your diet.  Always work with the difficulties and find a solution.

(ii) Build a good stamina:

Good stamina comes from regular cardio exercise.

It is true that only exercise is going to get you good cardio.

What is not true is that you have to be at the gym at least 30 minutes a day.

If you are not at the gym 30 minutes a day already, it’s probably because you cannot get yourself there for various reasons.  Maybe you are not motivated, or maybe you don’t have time, or maybe it’s too difficult to go, etc.  Sometimes, you are just too busy with work and other duties.

Let’s look outside the square.  There are many alternative ways to get around doing the regular exercises.  Maybe put in some exercises on your way to work.  For example, you can get off the bus earlier and walk the extra distance.  Maybe you have so many social events that you don’t have time to exercise.  Then consider combining that with exercising by doing more active activities with friends and family.

(iii) Keep to an ideal body weight:

We all require a certain amount of fat to maintain a healthy body.  Micro-nutrients are stored in fat.  Besides that, our body requires a minimal amount of fat: for example, normal visceral tissues in the body are made of fat.

I will talk about the dangers of drastically cutting weight in the next section.  At the same time, one must not have too much fat (especially the unhealthy low-density lipoprotein) and too much cholesterol, because these can cause blood clots and possibly strokes.

In general, BMI is one good indicator of ideal body weight.  However, BMI may give a wrong measurement for people who have built a lot of muscles. Don’t depend solely on BMI if you are a bodybuilder.

(2) To Lose Weight for Looks

People are not at their body weights because of their lifestyles.  I’ve talked about exercising and how to add exercise into your busy schedule if needed.  It might be true that at the same time, one is overeating.

If you know you are over-eating, you should lower the amounts, but at the same time, make sure to maintain the micronutrient intake.  For example, if one normally eats 2 bowls of white rice and wants to cut weight, one should try 1.5 bowls of multi-grain rice.

Yet it’s important to be very careful when they go on a diet because they might inadvertently sacrifice on health.  Cutting down food consumption can be dangerous if one does not understand all the nuances.  It is easy to get to hunger states and low blood sugar states and become irritable and affect normal function.  One can also get obsessive in their controls and overdo the dieting.

(3) To Build Muscles

Building muscle requires 2 ingredients: (i) a weight gain diet and (ii) exercises that cause the muscle to stress.

Many suggest a high-stress short burst routine to maximize muscle build.  Unless you are already a body sculpting fanatic, your body would experience soreness that will deter your muscle building.  Higher frequency but manageable weight-strengthening exercise allows you to continue to build muscle.  Actually, when the muscle is built in this way, it is stronger as well.  Also, remember to take in some protein and carbs after each exercise sessions.  This can help in the bodybuilding and also help to increase the rate of muscle recovery.

Try not to combine weight loss and bodybuilding at the same time, as it is likely the effects counteract each other.

So far, I have mentioned how to take directions towards the physical goals.  Setting goals requires a concrete target.  Health can be measured by cardio abilities, such as walking the same distance without feeling tired or based on the results of a body checkup.  Weight loss or fat loss can be measured by a scale, BMI scale or even fat pinch tests.  Muscles can be measured by the radius of certain parts of your body.  These are good concrete goals, to work towards.  There are ways to track progress either by periodic measurements or even calculations.

While setting goals to push forwards, make sure not be too obsessive about quick effects to get to your bodybuilding stage or slimming stage, because this type of behaviour can lead to unhealthiness.  Always remember that health is one of the most precious gifts in your life.


With love,

Cecilia Or

Always Remember Why Inc.

Always Remember W.H.Y.

Be Well, Be Happy, Be You