Disclaimer: I am not a fitness trainer or a dietitian or a nutrionist. I have no background in any of those fields either. I am writing this based on my personal experience.
Recently there has been an increasing number of interest regarding fitness among my friends. Mostly are trying to lose weight while few are trying to gain weight and get muscular. Regardless of their intention I am happy for them. Unfortunately I find some of those who are trying to lose weight are concerning too much of getting the result fast. They were willing to try things such as avoiding carbohydrate, skipping dinner, and consuming way lesser than they should.
This has been the most favourite method among my circle of friends. Believing that by avoiding carbohydrate especially rice they will be able to lose weight fast. Some will allow themselves to consume a serving of rice per week. I personally tried this and yes it does work. However it did not last long for me. Being a Malaysian rice is something that I consume daily as a source of energy. In my experience I replaced rice with rice vermicelli and I limit myself to consume rice only once a week.
It was going good at first. I loss weight quickly and received compliments from my friends. However after few weeks my body started getting uncomfortable with the diet. I started feeling weak and had huge craving for rice. I started to consume rice on daily basis and sometimes it was more than once a day. After few weeks I gained more than I loss. I believe it is better not to avoid carbohydrate but instead control your intake.
Do not avoid carbohydrate but control the intake
In my experience avoding carbohydrate is not really useful. It is best to control your intake.
For example in consuming rice it is best to limit the size for per serving to half a cup which consists about 80 kcal. Regardless of white or brown rice. Along with rice there will usually be side dishes. Make sure that your side dishes are well balance. I recommend the side dishes to consists of two types of vegetables and one serving of chicken, beef, or fish. As for the drink, plain water should be sufficient.
The mistake that most people did is consuming imbalance side dishes and having sweet drink. Bear in mind that sweet drinks contains sugar which is also a carbohydrate. However it does not has the same benefit as rice. Remember to measure the calories to ensure that you will not consume more than you need.
Another weight loss method that I tried. This was in fact the first method that I experienced. By skipping dinner I limit myself to two meals per day. I.e. breakfast and lunch. After few weeks I started to loss weight. Regardless of being hungry I chose to stick to this routine as I was happy with the result. Unfortunately it did not last long as I could not handle the hunger every night. I ended up having dinner as usual but due to not doing any exercise I gained more weight.
Skipping dinner is a bad idea
It is never a good idea to skip dinner. In general we will sleep for five to eight hours. In this period we will not be consuming anything. Our body will continue burning calories even when we are sleeping. When we chose to skip dinner it signals the body that there is not enough resource to burn.
The body will then assume that we are on a survival mode. This will cause the body to burn calories slower than expected. After certain period the body will be burning calories at a slower rate. Once we start consuming dinner again on daily basis the body will not be able to catch up. Hence we will be gaining weight. Instead of skipping dinner it is better to plan your diet properly.
Consuming Too Few Calories
This is the result of both routines. As I mentioned earlier when we will consume lesser calories than our body need our mind will assume that we are on a survival mode. It will slow down the burning process in order to save energy. Once we start consuming meals more our body will not be able to catch up and will cause weight gained.
Learn about BMR and DCR
Losing weight is not magic but it is science. There are methods involve for us to achieve it. For a start it is very important to know your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and your Daily Calories Requirements (DCR).
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
The rate at which energy is used by an organism at complete rest, measured in humans by the heat given off per unit time, and expressed as the calories released per kilogram of body weight or per square meter of body surface per hour.
In simple words, BMR is the amount of calories that will be burn when we are not doing anything at all. E.g. fainted or sleeping the whole day. An individual with BMR of 1500 kcal should not consume lesser than 1500 kcal per day. If he consume lesser than 1500 kcal his body will start signaling the brain that he is on a survival mode. As mentioned earlier this will slow down the burning process. This is why knowing your BMR is important.
Daily Calories Requirements (DCR)
As the name suggest DCR is the maximum amount of calories you should consume in a day. By knowing your DCR you will be able to decide the amount of calories you should consume daily. For example someone with a DCR of 2500 kcal wants to lose weight he should deficit between 500 kcal to 700 kcal per day. As long as the final result (DCR – deficit calories) is more than his BMR then it is fine.
There are cases where their DCR is lower than their BMR. This is usually due to lack of exercise by the individual. By exercising three days a week your DCR should be higher than your BMR. If you are not sure about your BMR and DCR there are numerous websites that provides calculator to measure them. Just Google for BMR and DCR calculator.
Plan Your Diet and Exercise
Once again I would like to remind you that it is very important for you to plan your diet by knowing your BMR, DCR, and measure your calories intake on each meal. However as stated earlier your DCR will most likely to be lesser than your BMR if you do not exercise.
Doing exercise at least three times a week and 30 minutes for each session should be sufficient to provide you with a good DCR and also to boost your metabolism and enhance the fat burning process. Either cardio or weight lifting, it will help. I hope my personal experience and explanation will help to change the mind of those who are still believing in avoiding carbohydrate and skipping dinner will help them to lose weight.
Remember that you did not gain those fat in a short period of time so don’t rush it. Eat right and train hard. That’s the best way to lose weight.