Weight management is not something you do for a year or two and then forget. It is a constant process that must feed into your life’s philosophy and practice. There are many major life incidents that pose a significant risk of unhealthy weight gain. In this piece, we record five of them.
Weight loss and health are lifelong habits, and there are always pitfalls lurking behind every bush. When you’re trying to eat right and be healthy, it feels like the universe has conspired against you and placed hurdle after hurdle that you must cross in order to achieve your goals.
Here are a few common life events that carry a significant risk of weight gain, and some tips on how to fight it.
Leaving home for the first time
You know how it is. When you’re growing up, you have home-cooked meals and your mother fussing over everything you eat. Your parents are in charge of what and how much you eat. But you turn sixteen, and you go off to college to live in a dorm by yourself. For the first time in your life, you know freedom. There is unlimited access to beer and other such calorie punchers. Before you know it, you’re four kilos over in less than a couple of months.
What to do: In order to fight weight gain in this part of life, remember that you have metabolism on your side. And you have access to sports and gym equipment, and you have more time than you ever will after you begin working. Make use of these advantages and pick up a sport. Swim. Use the gym. Get active, and help your already rapid metabolism to burn off all the party calories.
Once you move in with a life-partner, you relax just a little bit. There is no pressure to maintain a certain kind of body. Also, when you have a constant companion, it is tempting to stay home and watch a movie, perhaps, than to hit the road and do something more active. If your partner is as much of a foodie as you are, then you’re doubly screwed, because you will keep feeding each other.
What to do: On the other hand, if you make the effort to find a physical activity that you both enjoy, that might just be the kind of spark your relationship might blossom with. How about taking a cooking class together and learning how to cook delicious yet healthy foods? Also, make it a habit to feed each other love rather than food to show your care.
This is the biggest life event that fells most women in their weight loss journeys. It is imperative that you gain a healthy amount of weight during your pregnancy. But by no means is it true that you should eat for two. Your doctor will guide you correctly on just how much more you should eat while carrying a baby. Listen to her and eat no more than you need to. Every pound you put on during this period is a pound you have to work on losing afterward.
What to do: In order to lose the weight you do put on, breastfeeding is often said to be a huge factor in post-partum weight loss. From the third month onward, you should be able to factor in light exercise like walking into your routine. From the six month onward, you can get back to your previous exercise and eating regimen. Your goal should be to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight by your baby’s first birthday.
This happens way more often than it should, because we take numerous holidays – both short and long – during the year. We look at a holiday as a short period of indulgence, a burst of freedom from the shackles of daily life’s drudgery, and we do indulge in so many ways. But every holiday ends, and regaining lost habits can become harder than expected. One fine day you wake up and notice that you returned from your holiday a month ago and you’re still not back to your exercise and food routine.
What to do: The easiest way to fight this is to exercise while on holiday. This sounds almost masochistic, but you can incorporate exercise into your sight seeing by just walking a lot around the places you visit. If you’re eating at the hotel, don’t hover for too long at the buffet table where the sights and sounds overwhelm you. Keep your portions tiny, and don’t feel pressurised to try out everything on the spread.
The dreaded middle age
This is after you turn forty, after the kids have grown up (after a fashion), and maybe they’ve even left home. This means that you’re back to the ‘honeymoon phase’ of your marriage without any of the fears of responsibilities. Your career is going well, you’re financially more stable, and you just let go of yourself a little. Who wouldn’t?
What to do: The problem is, though, that this is when you need be at your most careful with regards to food and health. Employ a dietician if you’re unsure how to set for yourself a balanced diet. Also watch your habits: the more you eat out, the more likely you are to gain weight. Incorporate some form of rigorous exercise into your routine, and eat nutritious foods at every turn.