Achieve your dream body shape within three months through these disciplined methods

Body – in fit and good shape, it’s the dream goal for everyone. It’s possible to achieve your dream body figure within three months by bringing discipline in food habits and giving proper exercises to body parts. Through good life style, it’s possible to get rid of obesity and your slim/less weight problems too. Planning, Food and Exercises – Set up your goal and follow these mantras. Through this column I shall suggest a strict disciplined method which can help you to achieve your dream goal.

Many women are anxious over their weight gain and body weight slightly increases as time passes by. For the same reason, you may leave behind many of your favourite desires, your desire to wear a particular dress etc. Yes, if our body is not in shape, most of the fashionable dresses may not suit well, and we may tag ourselves as ‘getting old’. But do you know it’s a reversible process? Yes, we can bring back our body to those glorious yesterdays. If we truly desire and strive for it, we can definitely touch those magical desires.   

There are many methods which can help you to achieve the body shape which you dream about. But most important is a well determined mind, to find your destination. Here are a few important points to note. Through this column I shall explain how to carry out these two steps for 3 months to achieve your magical figure. Please note, to achieve a good shape doesn’t signify just a beautiful and toned body, but also a healthy soul and body.   

1. Healthy food habit is the basic of all. If you have decided already, try to follow the diet.

2. Regular exercises to keep both your mind and body strong.

You should follow a strict diet and exercise regime for at least three months to get a noticed change. Good body shape can add beauty quotient. But never think of it, just for beauty only. It’s deeply related with a person’s health and body fitness. A few pounds added in extra or reduced can lead to many health issues. If your body is in good shape, it gives you a lot of confidence.

How to get over the defects?

The first thing to note is – never try to achieve a body figure similar to the picture of a role model you have watched in an ad or seen in magazine. Your height and body characteristics determine a lot of factors which drive you to body shape, and you should know its proportion. You can never increase your height or change the shoulder shape. Best thing that can be done is to notice the defects and find feasible solutions to them, and help you to reach a perfect body shape. A healthy diet plan and proper exercises are to be carried out to bring your body to this desired level.

Obesity is the problem for a few. For others the case is just opposite. For some people, a fat tummy kills the whole beauty. First try to find out the defects of our body, and then try to achieve weight in proportion with height. Then only you can achieve an attractive body figure.

Things to be done first

Take measurements of your body parts including hip, breast and waist, and also body weight. Also check dress size. You can also take a selfie just before you start the strict regime, so that you can compare yourself with this photo later.

For certain people, if they reduce total weight, they achieve good body shape. Such people should predetermine how much pounds are to be lost before they start strict diet. If you want to gain a few pounds, you should have a clear idea about it as well. You can seek the help of a nutritionist in this matter. You can also seek the advice of a fitness expert, before you start exercise. You can do so even if you are doing exercises at home itself. He helps you to know better in a scientific way about present body condition, the defects to be rectified and the exercises to be followed. If you are a patient of any cause, you should seek the advice of your doctor before doing heavy exercises.

Determine yourself, you will never skip exercises

Exercises are not constraint to fat people only. It’s a healthy routine that should be followed by everyone, irrespective of body weight and structure. In short, slim people who want to gain a few pounds should also do exercises. Activities such as metabolic processes such as digestion and absorption of nutrients to blood cells work properly only if body is provided with suitable exercises. A body with lack of exercise store excess calories as fat in the belly regions.

You can buy separate dress and shoes to do exercises. If thread mill, cycle, dumb bell etc are available at home, you can do exercises at home itself.

How to know if you have a fat tummy?

You might have noticed many people. They look slim in appearance, but don’t own a flat belly. Fat tummy formed due to fat deposits can kill the whole body shape. Pot belly is quite common in middle ages, mostly among ladies. It’s possible to know if you have a pot belly. Place a measuring tape around your belly region and take measurement. You should stand erect while taking measurement. But never hold breath. Never hold tape tightly and do the measuring process in a relaxed manner. If measurement in ladies is above 85 cms, it’s an indicator of pot belly (abdominal obesity).

You need not wait till the measurement reaches 85 cms. When it crosses 80 cms, start your attempts to reduce the belly size. Through proper exercises, when body sheds out a few pounds, belly weight also decreases slightly.

How to measure Body mass index (BMI)?

You can examine BMI, and calculate the ideal weight needed for your body. You can bring suitable alternations to your food habits, by adding or reducing calories as required. Measure of body fat based on height and weight, Body mass index is calculated by dividing weight in kgs by square of height in metres.

For example: A person with 54 kg weight and 157 cm height, BMI is 54/(1.57*1.57) = 21.9

To retain attractive body shape, BMI should fall in between 19 and 24. Most ideal BMI is 22-24.

If your BMI falls in the range, 25-27, you are overweight. If it’s above 27, it can be considered as obesity. Try to find in which range your BMI falls, and make suitable alterations in your food plan and exercises.

There is yet another easy method to know your ideal body weight. Take your height in centimeters and minus 100 from it. That value almost falls in lines with the BMI value. For a person with 155 height, his ideal weight is 155-100 = 55 kg.

If you are ultra slim

If BMI is below 18, it’s unhealthy. First you need to consult a doctor and find if there are any health issues. You can also approach nutritionist before you begin your special diet. If you are deprived of hunger, doctor may suggest you medicines to increase appetite, and to improve the metabolic process of absorption of nutrients to body cells. When BMI reaches 19 you can notice increase in appetite and likeness to food. If needed, you can take food supplements.

What’s the calorie of food to take?

Calorie of food should be in proportion to the total weight of our body. For a woman who does some manual efforts, she needs 2000 calories a day. But if you want to reduce your overweight, you need to cut short the total calories taken through food. Similarly, those with low BMI should eat food at regular intervals and slightly increase the quantity of food. It improves the daily calorie intake of slim people. They should eat food which can supply up to 3000 calories a day. If you eat properly you can increase 2 kg weight every week. When you reach the required BMI, then you need to take the food that keeps your body weight only. When BMI reaches 22-24, retain the same body weight for next 3-4 months so that your body adjusts to the new increased weight.

Supply yourself with required rest and sleep

A healthy person should sleep 6-8 hours a day. Sleep below 5 hours or more than 8 hours a day can lead to obesity. If you have some life style diseases or health issues, dieting and exercises should be done only after consulting doctor.

Work out plan

Prepare work out plan as the first step. You can keep note of your plan for the next three months in your diary. You can note your strict diet and exercise regime and the timetable in your diary. You should also keep note of the time when you need to take meals, and should strictly follow it. Body weight and measurements, and also the changes occurred can be recorded weekly. You should give preference to your body plus points. Be patient and wait for good results. Check if your body weight every week is increasing or decreasing as per your expectations.

Healthy food to keep body in good shape

Following strict diet plan, if you are determined, you can achieve the good body shape you dream about. Choosing the right food items and taking them in correct measurements – that’s the secret mantra of healthy diet plan. Also spare a little time to know more about the nutritious factors of each food item we take. Carbohydrates, fat, proteins and water are the main components of our diet. Vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids should also be included in proper proportion required for our body.

Energy required for our body activities is produced from carbohydrates, fat and proteins. Body cells store the extra calories in the form of fat to use it later. After the energy use, excess of carbohydrate is converted to fat before storing in fat cells, and this excess fat increases body weight and invites many diseases and health issues too.

Why obesity happens?

Obesity is deeply linked to heredity and excess intake of food is the second common reason for obesity. Certain diseases (mainly hormonal issues, polycystic ovarian syndrome, insulin resistance, cushing syndrome) and drugs taken can also increase body weight. Carbohydrate rich food and intake of food at different intervals than what’s actually required can stimulate body to increase weight. The total calories taken in should be burned off through our body activities and lack of manual exercises can also increase body weight.

Reason may be any one of the above. But in most cases, unhealthy diet plan is the main reason. We are used to carbohydrate rich food, following the diet plan of our ancestors, and most of the food items are cooked before taken. When you cook carbohydrate rich food, glycemic index increases. As it’s easily digested, the sugar level of blood increases suddenly. It increases the production of insulin, and in some cases, lead to insulin resistance condition. As a result of it, insulin becomes incapable of taking sugar in blood to body cells. The energy will be released and used for various body activities, only if sugar is taken to different body cells. When insulin fails to do so, cells will be deprived of sugar and blood cells show high sugar level. It will be converted to fat and stored in cells, well reflected as obesity.

Fats are mainly deposited in fat cells, muscles and liver. Over weight and insulin resistance can lead to fatty liver, diabetics, stroke, polycystic ovarian disease, heart diseases and many more. For the same reason, to shed a few pounds and achieve good body figure is not just to add beauty quotient, but to improve our health also. By doing so, we can keep diseases at bay.

Preventive and nutritive diet

Obesity due to excess quantity of fat should be reduced at any cost, if you want to achieve body fitness. For those with manual efforts, they have good muscle strength. With the expansion of muscles, the body weight may slightly increase. But body never loses its good shape. Body loses its body shape only when fat deposits in body cells increase. It’s unhealthy too. For those suffering from overweight problems, you may need to take treatments or medicines for hormonal imbalances or disease conditions.

The main villain in a calorie rich food is the excess quantity of carbohydrates. If you are a victim of obesity, you need to switch to a protein and fiber rich diet, which only slowly increases blood sugar level. It should contain good fat elements and also rich in anti-oxidants. This food diet is termed as Preventive and nutritive diet. Such people should reduce the level of carbohydrate rich food. Let fibers, good cholesterol, proteins, anti-oxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals be the main supplements, which supply nutritious elements to body cells. 

A food menu model to start with  

For persons with overweight, here I provide a food menu for a day to bring back body to good shape. More than a nutritious balanced food, this group needs to take only the necessary supplements required for the body. Needful diet is aimed for overweight people.

6 AM – Add a little lemon juice to 1 glass green tea and also a small spoon honey and take it in early morning. But diabetic patients should exclude honey.

6.30 AM – Take ¼ small spoon each of black cumin (roasted and powdered), cinnamon powder and curcumin powder. Boil water adding these powders, and drink it once cooled. This drink is sufficient to provide antioxidants and body achieves alkaline medium (pH level of blood). Alkaline intensity of blood should be above 7.4.

7.30 AM – Fruits with less carbohydrate elements such as guava, papaya, pine apple, orange, water melon, pears, peach and berries can be mixed together (250 gm in total) and taken as early meals. If you are diabetic, avoid fruits with extra sweetness.

Through these items, flavonoids essential for body, polyphenols, anti-oxidants can be obtained. For each body organ to function properly, a particular flavonoid and anti-oxidants are needed. If body is deprived of both, free radicals in body cells will increase. Free radicals can lead you fast to ageing and dreadful diseases like cancer. Fruits should be taken at least one hour before breakfast. Then only nutrients of fruits will be properly absorbed to body cells. Never take fruits along with main course meals.

8.30 AM – Breakfast should be less in calories and rich in proteins. For persons suffering from obesity, carbohydrate is not at all mandatory for breakfast. Yet you can add 1-2 chappatis if needed. Whole wheat chapati roll or ragi roll can be included. Use egg white, sprouted beans/peas, leafy or green vegetables with less calories or almonds as filling for rolls. You can substitute chapati with oats (with less glycemic index), ragi, millet etc.

Exclude carbohydrate from breakfast and you can use liquid soaps as substitutes. Organic paneer, sprouted peas/beans or groundnut, carrot, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, mushroom, baby corn, leafy vegetables, ginger, shallots, onions, tomato etc can be included. You can add sprouted beans in tomato soup or add broccoli, mushroom, moringa leaves, almonds, walnuts etc to prepare nutritious soup.

For non-vegetarians, boil 2 or 3 eggs and use white yolk along with soup. Reduce the usage of salt, spices, ghee and oil while preparing these dishes. Olive oil is best. If you are free of high cholesterol issues, you can have one egg daily (only a single yellow yolk daily). Ladies can take up to 3 white yolks a day. For men who visit gyms daily, for muscle building, he can take more egg whites in proportion to his body weight. In the intervals drink green tea adding lemon.

1 PM – 1/2 cup brown rice without removing husk along with salad, fish curry (use virgin coconut oil for preparation), dal curry, leafy vegetable dishes, sambar, avial, thoran, buttermilk etc can be taken as meals. Tubers with high calories, fried items, refined oil etc should be avoided.  

For vegetarians, dal curry, gram, paneer, sprouted peas/beans, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts etc can be included. To get good proteins and good cholesterol, add leafy vegetables to your salads in excess. Moringa leaves, palak, spinach, Chinese cabbage etc can be added to salads, which can supply you with vitamins, minerals, fibers etc.

4.30 PM – Almonds 10-20 /Walnut 10-15, fruits with less calories 100-150 gm/brown bread sandwich/vegetable drink (prepared using white guard, cucumber, carrot, beetroot, lemon, curry leaves, mint leaves) can be taken at this time.

6.30 – 7 PM – Full meal salad can be taken for meals. Avoid grain items for supper. Clear soup, salads, a mix of vegetables and fruits etc can be used as dinner. As they are taken without cooking, it takes more time for digestion. You won’t feel hunger too. Broccoli, onions, cucumber, shallots, leafy vegetables, powdered almonds, fried sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sprouted beans etc can be added to soups and salads. If you want to take something sweet, take some fruits. You should have your dinner 3 hours before you go to sleep. Vegetarian meal is the best choice. Drink plenty of water. If you feel hungry, have some dry fruits.

For persons with obesity, they should take care of the calories taken and reduce its quantity. Sum up of the calorie intake per day should never exceed 1000 calories a day. Make a habit to take food with fewer amounts of carbohydrates, and continue it for next three months. You can get good results. Never starve yourself to reduce body weight suddenly. Vitamins and minerals needed for the body and also essential amino acids and fatty acids should be well provided. Consult a doctor and take food supplements if required.

Why a few persons turn ultra slim?

For a few, they never gain weight even if food taken in excess amounts. Metabolic rate of these persons are slightly higher in these persons, that’s the reason. Whatever they eat, body absorbs the nutrients so fast, got converted to energy and used for body functions. For the same reason, food never gets converted to fat. Malnutrition or disease could be next two reasons behind low weight. Diabetics and hyperthyroidism can also lead to the same. You can consult a doctor and carry out proper diagnosis to know if you suffer from any health issues.

Diet to gain body weight for slim people

6.30 AM – Fruit drink adding coconut milk to jaggery solution. Use Kerala banana, dates, cashews, groundnuts etc for the preparation of fruit drink. You can also prepare it adding milk.

7.30 AM – Boiled big banana (Kerala banana).

8.30 AM – Rice rich food as breakfast. You can choose any traditional dish. Take tuber curries such as potato as side dish. You can add oil and ghee for food preparation.

11 AM – Tender coconut shake

1 PM – Rice, fish curry, avial adding tubers of any kind, mezhukku puratti, curries adding coconut, sour-less curd, peas, daal etc can be taken.

4.30 PM – Arrow root, coconut milk and jaggery can be used to prepare a porridge and serve in the evening. Ada (steamed cake) adding rice, coconut and jaggery/kozhukkatta/tapioca/traditional sweets/fried sweets etc can be taken as snacks.   

6 PM – Dry fruits mixed (20 numbers)

8 PM – Rice food, potato or any other tuber as side dish, peas, chicken/fish curry, leafy vegetables, avial etc

9 PM – Kerala banana shake/banana smoothie/avocado smoothie

Food with high amount of calories

Supper should be taken 3 hours prior to sleep. Break your food to 5-6 short meals. Kerala banana fried in ghee, groundnut, dates etc can be included in plenty. Fat in meat is absorbed easily than vegetable oils. So you can take fat rich meat, but not in excess. Also take proper exercises to make you feel energetic.

A person of 48 kg can gain weight by taking 2500-3000 calorie food every day. If you take protein rich food, the persons who reduced weight this way won’t gain more pounds easily. Excess proteins won’t be absorbed. So, persons with less body weight should take carbohydrate rich food.   

How to reduce body weight?

1. Rice, wheat and other grains, sweets, tubers, oil, ghee etc should be reduced maximum.

2. Vitamins needed for body functions, minerals and fibers can be supplied through less-calorie fruits and vegetables. Take these items in plenty.

3. Essential amino acids and fatty acids are found in fish, egg white, pulses, milk, meat with less fat etc. Add these items in low quantities to your daily diet.

Exercises to achieve super figure

To achieve the correct body shape, exercises play an important role similar to food. Exercises can be widely categorized into two – cardio exercises (aerobics) and muscle strengthening (weight training/conditioning) exercises. Cardio exercises improve the health of heart and burn fats. Weight training strengthens muscles, and tones your body to perfection. Cycling, dance, walk, jogging etc belong to cardio exercises, while exercises using weight and instruments mostly belong to the second group.

Before you start with exercises

It’s advisable to consult a doctor before you start physical exercises. While doing cardio exercises, your body should sweat, and you should take manual efforts to get desired results. Heart beat increases and you can feel gasping. But gasp should never take control of your speaking abilities. If you feel too much tired while exercising, discontinue it.

Morning is the ideal time for exercises. If you are to do exercises at home, choose some isolated corner where you get full concentration. If you have taken some heavy food, give 2 hours gap before you start to do any exercise. 

Warm up your body before doing heavy exercises. Through simple aerobics you can prepare your body for this. You can take 5 minutes to warm up your body.

If you have obesity issues, take your evening meals before 6 pm. If so you can reduce body weight significantly. When you exercise in the early morning, fat deposits in the body will be utilized for energy, which helps you to reduce body weight easily. When you continue this process and make it a habit, your body weight will be reduced automatically.

Weight training is not at all body building exercise. Through weight training, new muscles are formed, which subsequently improves body metabolic rate. As age passes by, muscle mass reduces significantly. For the same reason, for strengthening muscles, muscle strengthening muscles can be followed by people of any age. In true sense, it’s essential.

An exercise done at the age of 40 and 60 differ in the intensity with which it is performed. Muscle strengthening exercises should be done in accordance with body physique and health condition. These exercises improve energy level and also provide good sleep. Without tiredness and fatigue, it helps muscles to work for long time and provide them with sufficient strength. It also improves body health. Start with low weight and gradually increase it, in accordance to your capability.

Persons with obesity issues should take note of these points

They should give preference to cardio exercises. They can also add strengthening exercises (weight training) to their regime, to improve the strength of muscles. They should do exercise 6 days a week. They can adopt a method – cardio exercises and muscle strengthening exercises can be done in alternate days.

Cardio exercises

Do cardio exercises three days a week, taking 40-50 minutes every day. Cycling, brisk walk, thread mill, jogging – you can make your choice. You can start with 10 or 20 minutes when you start with exercises, and slowly increase the time. 5 or 10 minutes should be provided for warm up.

If you feel loss of energy while exercising, you need to supply energy 45 minutes prior to it. Eat ½ robusta banana or easy digestible snacks. It can provide you with sufficient energy while exercises. Soon after exercises, allow your muscles to rest for next 5-10 minutes. Cool down your body and loosen your muscles. It can be done through stretching. Spent 10 minutes each for warm up and cool down exercises, and allocate the rest 40 minutes for cardio exercises. It burns fat easily, reducing your body weight significantly.

Strengthening exercises

For those with obesity issues, they can choose strengthening exercises for 3 days a week. Do it 40-60 minutes a day. Strengthening exercises for upper body and lower body can be done in alternate days. For example, you can do upper body weight training on Monday, lower body weight training on Wednesday and upper body weight training on Friday. Body should get two upper body weight trainings a week, and a lower body weight training exercise a week.

Next week just reverse the process. Do lower body weight training on Monday, upper body weight training on Wednesday and lower body weight training on Friday. Body should get one upper body weight training this week, and two lower body weight training exercises this week.

After strengthening exercises, do stretching exercises for next 5-10 minutes. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and give relaxation to muscles.

If you want to reduce body weight quickly and want visible results, do dieting and exercise regimes together. If you take 1500 calorie food daily, reduce 250 calories from it. When you do proper workouts along with it, extra 500 calories will be burned off. If you follow this method, you can reduce ½ kg every week. It’s advisable to follow this method. Never do crash dieting or starve yourself to reduce body weight quickly. It’s not necessary that you should completely avoid carbohydrate rich food, which is the easy supplement of energy to carry out our body activities.

Proper body shape for low weight people

They should give preference to strengthening exercises, and do it thrice a week taking 40-60 minutes. In the alternate days, take rest. You can try upper body and lower body exercises (explained above) alternatively.

They need not do cardio exercises. 5 or 10 minutes brisk walk or cycling/thread mill is sufficient. After doing any one of these cardio exercises, you can do strengthening exercises. Take deep breaths at regular intervals in between your exercises. Also do 10 minute muscle stretching once you finish with strengthening exercises. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

Protein rich food as supplement

While doing muscle strengthening exercises, body may face tear and wear problems. To overcome such issues and also for proper growth of muscles, provide your diet with sufficient proteins. Those who do strengthening exercises to improve body weight, have a well-balanced nutritious and protein-rich diet.

You can have a protein shake one hour prior to exercises. You can also grind a few nuts and add to milk and drink it. Banana smoothie, big sized banana and eggs can also be taken. While doing weight gain exercises, changes are visible within 2 months. When you begin with weight training exercises, it’s advisable to do under the observation of a weight trainer. It’s the scientific method and gives you desired results also.

How to know the total weight used for weight training exercises?

Without putting the weight down, a person should be able to do 12 repetitions without any issue. Use that weight only for weight training exercises. For instance, if a person can do 12 bicep curls using 3 kg mass without adding much stress, then it’s the appropriate weight for that person. If 15-20 repetitions are possible with the same weight easily, he can add more weight. If he does 6-8 repetitions with difficulty, he should reduce the weight. Leg muscles are more efficient. For the same reason lower body exercises can use a bit more weight than upper body exercises.

Strengthening exercises

Follow these exercises thrice a week in alternate days. Muscles should get 48 hours of rest, and body turns effective only if it gets rest. So never do strengthening exercises without providing proper rest to muscles.

For starters, a single set of 12-15 repetitions would be appropriate. Follow it for one month and slightly bring process to it. Slowly increase the intensity of exercises and do 2-4 sets. You can take 30 minutes to complete the exercise and slowly increase the time to 45-60 minutes.

Some of the common upper body exercises include Curl & Press, Row & Kick Back, Pushup and Bend over Fly. Some of the common lower body exercises include squirt, lunges, back lift and dead lift, plank etc.

Image source: Pixabay

Also read a few more articles on exercise regimes for a healthy mind and soul, everybody wants to know. Click on the images in the gallery to read

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Sandy

A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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