Fitness Malaysia: Simple Eating Plan to Help You Lose Weight

Simple Eating Plan to Help You Lose Weight

Clean eating has always been a popular subject of discussion, and the vast sea of information available in your fingertips, it’s easy to get confused between what’s good for you and what’s not. The biggest misconception around clean eating is that it’s boring, bland and difficult to start on, but that is not the case at all. Clean eating is a way to refresh your eating habits, going for the healthiest option in the food pyramid and cutting down on the not-so-healthy ones.

For those of you don’t see the obvious , I am a proud Malaysian and as a Malaysian, we are well known for our love for varieties of food. We LOVE eating and hence, food runs in our blood no matter what time it is in the day. We are so lucky to be spoilt with choices and worse of all, we are surrounded by lots of restaurants, most of which are open 24/7. We are a nation that eats out like we take in oxygen.

As a result, we are currently the FATTEST country in South East Asia.

Thus, 47.7 percent or almost half of the Malaysian population aged 18 and above are either facing issues of being overweight or obese. And you know what, I’m scared. I’m worried about the future of my people, my kids and the kind of environment they’ll be brought into.

And I believe that part of the link to cause of this epidemic obesity comes down to our food — what we put into our body on a daily basis.

Let’s be honest, majority of us aren’t aware of how bad certain foods can be for us because we are accustomed to eating like this. We watch our parents eat this way as a result; we feed our kids with unhealthy stuff. Or perhaps we don’t want to acknowledge the dangers ahead until something terrible happens to us – high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure and more.

1.ATKINS DIET

Usually recommended for weight loss, the Atkins diet is a well known low-carb diet

The very nature of this diet plan claims that one can lose weight while consuming as much protein and fat as your hearts desire or in this case, your stomachs desire, as long as foods high in carbs are avoided. Recent studies have shown that weight loss can be achievable with low-carb diets without the need for calorie counting and can lead to various health improvements.

The physician Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a best-selling book about it in 1972, promoted the Atkins diet. From that moment onwards, the Atkins diet has been popular all over the world with countless books written. The diet was originally considered unhealthy and look down upon by the mainstream health authorities, mostly due to its high saturated fat content. However, saturated fat is actually harmless based on recent studies.

The diet has then been shown to lead to more weight loss and greater improvements in blood sugar, “good” HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and other health markers than low-fat diets.

The reduction in carbs and increased protein intake lead to reduced appetite is the main reason why low-carb diets are so effective for weight loss is that, making you eat fewer calories without having to think about it.

There are rules that you’ll have to follow in an Atkin’s diet which is to include both fruits and vegetables in the diet. There are also several foods to avoid while implementing the Atkin’s diet like sugar, trans-fat, grains, vegetable oils, «diet» foods, high carb fruits and vegetables, starches and legumes. However, you should base your diet on meats, fatty fish and seafood, eggs, low carb vegetables, full-fat dairy milk, nuts and seeds and healthy fats which are found in butter, avocados and olive oil. As long as your meals are based around fatty protein source with vegetables or nuts and only healthy fats, you will lose weight. It’s that simple.

2.KETOGENIC DIET

The ketogenic diet on the otherhand, also known as keto diet, for short offers many health benefits all while being a low-carb, high fat diet. Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diseases like diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer and they share many similarities with the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets.

By replacing carbohydrates it with fat, the diet drastically reduces carbohydrates. Your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis during the reduction in carbohydrates and during this period, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. Ketones are formed from fat in the liver, which supplies energy for the brain.

With implementing Ketogenic diet, there will be massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels and along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits. Following this diet practice also proves to be an effective way to lose weight and it lowers the risk factors for disease. In fact, studies recently proved that the ketogenic diet is far superior compared to the often recommended low-fat diet.

3. VEGETARIAN DIET

A vegetarian diet focuses on plants for food which include the usual fruits, vegetables, peas, grains, seeds, dried beans along with nuts. There is no single type of vegetarian diet. If you didn’t knew, there are various types of vegetarians: Lacto-vegetarian, fruitarian vegetarian, Lacto-ovo vegetarian, living food diet vegetarian, Ovo-vegetarian, Pesco-vegetarian, and Semi-vegetarian. However the term, «semi-vegetarian,» is not accepted by most vegetarian and vegan societies.

A vegetarian has to eat a wide variety of foods to ensure that their nutritional requirements are met thus, they have to make careful choices about their diet. Some vegans may need to take supplements. Most vegetarians are Lacto-ovo vegetarians, in which they do not consume animal-based foods with the exception of eggs, dairy, and honey.

Besides being a vegetarian for health considerations, there are a range of reasons. It is more ecologically sustainable to produce vegetarian meals, and the damage to the environment is reduced. Sure, many quit having meat for ideological, ethical, or religious purposes but most of the time, the focus is on personal health.

Studies over the last few years have shown that vegetarians have a lower body weight, suffer less from diseases, and typically have a longer life expectancy than people who eat meat.

4.VEGAN DIET

Unlike the vegetarian diet, Veganism is more of a way of life and a philosophy than a diet. When practicing veganism, a vegan does not consume animal-based foods all of which includes eggs, dairy products, and honey. Besides adopting veganism for health reasons, most vegans also adopt the practice for environmental, ethical, and compassionate reasons.

Today’s modern intensive farming methods are harmful to our environment and are not sustainable in the long-term, as claimed by most vegans. If everybody consumes only plant-based food, it would benefit the environment, animals would suffer less, the production of food would improve, and there will be a vast improvement in both physical and mental health, vegans say.

Since vegans do not consume animal products, they will not even use animal-sourced clothes, soaps, or other products. Hence, for food products, tofu, tempeh, and mushrooms are the three of the many alternatives that can substitute the nutrients found in meat. A vegan’s diet can assist in protecting bone and heart health, and also help to lower the risk of cancer.

There are important differences not many know between both vegan and vegetarian diets that impacts one’s food choice and nutritional intake. One of the differences is that vegetarians will continue to consume dairy products and eggs but will not consume meat. On the other hand, Vegans consume absolute zero animal products. This means vegetarians don’t have to necessarily consume supplement nutrients but they can still get calcium from milk, for instance but vegans would have to get their calcium source from plant-based sources only.

Since as the vegan diet is low in saturated fat and rich in nutrients, a vegan diet can be a highly nutritious choice. However, there will be some health risks if one goes on starting out on an animal-free diet without proper planning. Since all protein, vitamins, and minerals has to be from non-animal sources, vegan’s food choice and preparation is very important.

5. WEIGHT WATCHERS DIET

This diet approach is a little different compared to the rest on this list but it is also as effective. Called the Weight Watchers diet, it allows people to focus on losing weight through diet, exercise, and a support network. Hence, a sense of community plays an important role for the Weight Watchers. All it needs is a support network for people who are looking to lose weight which is essential for both short-term and long-term success. As always, attempting to lose weight can be stressful, but with community support that gives out positive reinforcement, it can make the process less daunting.

In the 1960s, a homemaker who had lost some weight and was concerned she might put it back on formed the Weight Watchers with a network of friends. Today, the Weight Watchers is a huge company, with branches all over the world.

All dieters can join either the club in-person and attend regular meetings, or have it online. In both cases, there will be lots of support and education available for the dieter. This can be one of the best diet plans you can try in Malaysia too.

Due to requests from many friends, I have decided to post up a healthy food plan for everyone to follow. Lot of people tell me that the exercises I prescribe are exellent, but it would be much better if I tied it up with a great eating plan as well. People want to know what they should eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner in order to see weight loss without having to starve themselves. So due to popular request, here is a simple eating plan for all. This plan is designed to help you lose weight. If you want to gain weight, then that is a whole different story… maybe I will cover that some time later. But here it is.

Before getting into the basics of the eating plan, just want to lay down a few ground rules.

1) Stick to the 3 meals prescribed below and only eat that. Don’t stray from it and munch anything in between. Yes, I am aware that dieticians are screaming for people to eat 6 small meals instead of 3 big meals. But I noticed, most people tend to overeat (meaning 6 big portions) when allowed to eat 6 times a day. So first master 3 meals a day, and then we will progress to the 6 meal plan later.
2) With that being said, it doesn’t pay to skip meals either. Stick to your 3 meals no matter what.
3) Keep your sweet drinks to a minimum. Biggest problem I notice among most Malaysians – “I don’t eat rice, I don’t eat roti canai… how come still fat?” Then I find out 1 cup of coffee in the morning, 1 cup of Milo during meeting, 1 cup of teh ais during lunch, 1 teh tarik in the evening, 1 sirap bandung for dinner. If you add up all the calories there, it’s nearly 1000 Kcal. Not saying no sweet drinks, just try to keep it to 2 if you can.
4) Snacking – This is one of the biggest culprits for people gaining weight. Whatever you do, please do not snack between meals. The worst thing to snack on is potato chips and sorts, which does not fill you up but super high in calories. If you must snack, snack on healthy things like fruits, whole meal crackers etc.
5) If you must indulge in anything that isn’t healthy, do it right after your workout. This way you get to minimize the damage to your waist line.
6) Never binge eat. Some people who go for lunch or dinner late, tend to binge eat because they are extra hungry. Stay focused on how much you would normally eat and stick to it. Never over eat.
7) Progressively try to reduce your food intake as you move along. A good benchmark is to cut down every month. Cut down your food quantity by about 5% to 10% every month until you finally reach your goal. So cut it down, maintain that new portion size for one month and the cut it down again.

OK now that I got the ground rules out of the way, here is what you should be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The size of the portion will depend on you. So start off by eating the quantity you would normally eat, and then try to reduce it slowly every month.

Breakfast
1) Sandwich using whole meal bread. Load up on the vege’s that go on sandwiches such as tomatoes, onions and salad. Cut back on condiments especially margarine {amp}amp; mayonaise and avoid fried fillings and of course, stay away from cheese if you can. Examples of good sandwich fillings – ham, tuna, egg, de-boned tandoori chicken (left over from dinner the previous day)
2) Cereal – The more grains it has, the better. One of the worst cereal to eat is corn flakes and those other kid cereals like Koko Crunch, Fruit Loops and Honey Star.
3) Half boiled eggs – just add a dash of kicap and pepper for taste.

Lunch
1) Mixed rice – whether it is Malay, Chinese or Indian mixed rice, your rice portion should only be as big as your clenched fist. Load up on vege as much as you can. Avoid deep fried dishes
2) Chapati with curry of your choice
3) Subway Sandwich
4) Roasted meats – Eg, Ayamas Roaster, Kenny Rogers
5) Thosai (some places have thosai telur and thosai sardin. These are fine too)
6) Grilled Fish / Chicken or Steaks
7) Chicken Rice – The trick here is to eat less of the rice and more of the chicken. Remember, the rice portion should be the size of your clenched fist.
8) Simple rule – Avoid all goreng-goreng foods. From poori to fried chicken to fried rice to french fires. If it’s fried, you should avoid it.

Dinner
1) Salad – you can either make your own, or if you go out, order a salad for dinner. If you are eating out, always always get them to serve the dressing separately.
2) Fruits – Cut up some of you favourite fruits and fill up on these healthy food. Avoid Durian and watermelons. You can even make a fruit rojak if you like. Just buy the sauce, but use it sparingly.
3) Thosai
4) Tandoori Chicken
5) Sandwiches – same as the breakfast menu
6) Home Made Pasta – I will feature a recipe for you to try soon
7) Home Made burgers
8) Home made Roast meat
9) Taufu Bakar

The foods above are just a guide on what kinds of food you should be eating. Feel free to mix and match. If you can avoid all variety of fried foods and food heavy on simple carbohydrates you will be about 70% safe already, which is a lot already. Pair this up with a good work out routine, and you will be able to see the fat just melt away. Try it out and see. Of course there are loads of other healthy options out there, so please share if you think of any. Look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions for other healthy eating options.

Exercise and be physically active

Exercise is extremely important for losing weight. The frequency, intensity, type of activity and duration will affect how many calories you burn. Below are the approximate amount of calories burned from various activities:

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