We are three months into 2019, so here's a question for you: how's your new year's resolution coming along?
We bet that almost all of you listed down ‘losing weight’ or ‘eating healthier’ as one of the things that you want to achieve this year. We also bet that for most of you who listed down those things as your resolution this year, you had the same resolution last year. Or the year before that.
Well, don't worry; you are not alone on this. Statistics show that only a mere 9.2 per cent
of us out there actually achieve our resolutions.
With so many people failing at keeping their resolutions to get fit or stay in shape, it is no surprise that people ditch their resolutions faster than they can say ‘resolution’.
But, hold on. For those of you who are determined to do something about your health and not ready to give up on your resolutions just yet, we sought the expert opinion of the Health Ministry’s Nutrition Division Senior Assistant Director
, Nur Liana Abdul Latiff
, to lend you a helping hand in your health journey.
In fact, Nur Liana told us that it's possible to lose the extra weight in less than 90 days! Got your attention? Read on:
Slow and steady wins the race
Of course, if it is possible, all of us want to lose weight as quickly as we can.
However, realistically, losing weight does not happen overnight. In this case, the proverb ‘slow and steady wins the race’ applies.
We are not talking about losing weight in a week or a month. Yes, if you goggle it, there are millions of articles online telling you how to do it in a short time. But how sustainable is that?
“One must take at least a minimum of 90 days to lose weight
. It is not impossible to lose weight within 90 days but one should follow the recommendation for safe weight loss.
“The safest weight loss within that period of time is five per cent of your original weight
“For example, if at the start of your weight loss journey, you weight 80kg, after three months, you should weight 76kg,” said Nur Liana.
The action plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail, Nur Liana pointed out. Like everything in life, you have to have an action plan in place before beginning your weight loss journey.
“The most important thing is motivation. You must be able to motivate yourself
. Not only that, you have to have the support of people surrounding you, be it your family or your acquaintances.
“With this in place, you will be able to set a clear goal for yourself,” she said.
Nur Liana added that motivation and support, together with a proper eating and workout plan, would be the most impactful, especially to gain long term health benefits.
Diet and nutrition is important
Nur Liana said diet does not mean starving yourself to attain your ideal weight.
“A healthy diet contains all the food groups from the food pyramid. The proper diet should be varied, moderate and balanced
“A good rule of thumb would be the Health Ministry’s nationwide campaign introduced last year, on how to measure your food using the the concept of Malaysia's Healthy Plate or ‘suku-suku-separuh
’ method," she said.
This method, according to Nur Liana, is an easy way to portion out the types of food that your body needs, which is a quarter portion of carbohydrate, a quarter portion of protein and half a portion of fruits and vegetables.
Nur Liana cautioned that when it comes to weight loss, do not leave out any important nutrition.
“Carbs, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals are needed to aid in weight loss. Do not avoid any of these. Eliminating one or several of this nutrition creates havoc in the long run by creating health problems,” she explained.
Nur Liana also reminded that those who want to lose weight must not skip any meals
“Make sure to have your main meals consisting of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“Eating within your calories is also a must. As everyone’s calorie intake is different, learning about your body’s calorie requirement is will help tremendously in your weight loss journey.
“The Health Ministry’s very own app called ‘MyNutriDiari 2’ can be used for this purpose and also to monitor your daily calorie intake,” she said.
Nur Liana also believes that for weight loss to happen, controlling your calorie intake is more important than consuming additional vitamins or supplements.
It's time to move that body
Nur Liana stressed that no weight loss plan is complete without a workout plan.
“For a safe and healthy weight loss, proper food intake and exercise, is essential. Exercise, combined with a clean diet, speeds up the weight loss process, compared to only watching what you eat.
“Doing exercises also will increase your metabolism, which in turn will help maintain your shape and make you more alert and active,” she explained.
She said the Nutrition Division of the Health Ministry has been conducting a weight loss programme called ‘Trim and Fit Weight Management Programme’.
“Under the programme, participants will be briefed about proper eating habits, exercise and other motivational activities. They will undergo they programme for six months.
“People in Putrajaya and its surrounding areas can join this programme and see their health improve,” she added.
Fad diets - yay or nay?
Sometimes, while scrolling social media, we often see articles or ads about some new diet fad that guarantess weight loss. But are they really effective?
Nur Liana said fad diets are a huge no-no for people who are trying to lose weight simply because of its temporary factor.
“For me, the most important if you want to take up any kind of diet is the body’s ability to maintain it for a long term
in order for it to be developed into a healthy lifestyle.
“Logically, if you are into fad diets like avoiding certain group of food or having meal replacements and such, you wouldn’t be able to do it lifelong.
“These type of meals are only for short term. If you want to be healthy and maintain your weight loss, don’t even think about such measures,” she said.
Now, having said that, we can't guarantee that you'll lose a lot of weight within 90 days, even if you follow Nur Liana's advice to the book.
But if it's been your lifelong goal to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, there's really no harm trying. Just remember to not push yourself too hard, OK?