Remember the '3 allies' and '3 enemies' of losing weight through dietary methods
As the time to conclude the year approaches, many tend to set numerous New Year's resolutions. Among various resolutions like quitting smoking, drinking, studying, etc., 'losing weight' is the top priority for many modern individuals. However, compared to other seasons, winter makes engaging in outdoor activities or exercises difficult due to the cold weather, and the thicker clothing often leads to lax weight management. But merely watching the weights pile up is missing a good opportunity! While one might think that sweating in the summer with just a little movement is conducive to losing weight, the 'optimal time' for losing weight is winter.
When exposed to cold, the body generates heat through muscle contractions and relaxations, commonly known as shivering, to prevent hypothermia and ensure survival. This process increases energy expenditure by up to five times, leading to burning body fat and maintaining normal body temperature. Additionally, living in cold conditions increases brown fat, which plays a role in burning body fat. Due to these effects, our basal metabolic rate increases as the weather gets colder.
However, many still turn to incorrect dietary methods, such as relying on medication due to lack of motivation, stress, laziness, or extreme fasting. Yet, unproven dietary methods can lead to side effects and threaten health. Especially when dietary intake is severely restricted, the body perceives a state of starvation, prompting a reduction in energy expenditure, leading to unfavorable results in metabolism.
Therefore, for the success of losing weight, several prerequisites are necessary. Dr. Hosun Chang from Medi Castle Clinic emphasizes, "When embarking on losing weight, it's crucial to set realistic goals and plans and implement scientifically proven dietary methods while consistently finding motivation to sustain them. Additionally, it's important to have specific strategies to overcome obstacles like interfering factors or stress regulation and regularly monitor oneself through periodic weight checks."
So, how should losing weight effectively during the winter when physical activity decreases?
Firstly, try increasing daily physical activity. Start with simple practices like using stairs instead of elevators, deliberately parking farther away in parking lots to walk a bit more, or moving around more while shopping or doing chores. Additionally, actively engaging in indoor sports that involve movement and provide a change and fun compared to sedentary games can also be beneficial.
Moreover, short indoor workouts are recommended if prolonged exercise seems challenging. Dr. Chang suggests, "Dividing time into 10-minute intervals and performing exercises like circuit training with dumbbells, using resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, using a stepper, or walking in place can yield positive effects in losing weight." However, she emphasizes the importance of consistent self-monitoring, as maintaining motivation for indoor exercise can be prone to wavering.
If there are limitations to losing weight, seeking assistance through procedures is also an option. Winter, due to thicker clothing and less visibility of silhouettes, can exacerbate abdominal obesity, causing an increase in belly fat. For individuals experiencing this, combination treatments involving HPL (Hypotonic Pharmacologic Lipo-dissolution), extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) capable of restoring increased fat tissue and skin elasticity can be effective. Additionally, supplementary treatments using high-frequency devices to increase heat production can help contour the body and reduce cellulite.
For losing weight, dietary plans are an indispensable component. Dr. Chang identifies the '3 allies' and '3 enemies' of dieting as crucial elements in practicing dietary plans. The '3 allies' are foods strongly recommended for effective weight loss to reduce initial side effects and include water, various colorful vegetables, and low to moderate-fat protein foods. On the other hand, the '3 enemies' are foods recommended to reduce intake frequency and quantity to maintain lost weight and prevent yo-yo phenomenon. These include alcohol, high-fat foods, and foods high in simple sugars (foods with a strong sweet taste or high glycemic index). By adhering to these '3 allies' and '3 enemies,' one can consider half of the dietary plan a success.
Losing weight should not give up or get discouraged after a single failure, which is a shortcut to success. Dr. Chang advised, "Numerous trendy weight loss methods come and go, but the undeniable truth is that a healthy and consistently losing weight, though not groundbreaking, is the key to preventing rebound effects and achieving success in weight loss, even as time passes."