Understanding weight loss and making it work for you

The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is the best statement to explain how important it is to keep your weight in the ideal range. Once you accumulate fat in your body, it takes a long time to reduce it and get back to shape.

Although there are several ways to lose weight, here are a few principles that you need to understand to help you achieve this goal:

  1. A good exercise regimen can do the magic.It is easy to initiate weight loss by simply increasing physical activities like aerobics, yoga, and swimming which can burn extra fat and help you get in shape. Try cardio to burn calories and strength training to burn fat and build muscles.
  2. A good nutritionist would help you find your ideal body weight, fat percentage, and your overall vital statistics. This is best first step that you can take. If you know where you stand health-wise anddiet-wise, you would know where changes are needed. Diet and exercise go hand in hand
  3. Remember that the diet planned should not make you starve at any point of time. Your diet should be nutrition-rich and calorie-dense but based on your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and body mass index (BMI).
  4. The first thing that strikes us as important when going on a weight loss program is to banish fats from our diet. Understand that fats do not make you fat! They are as essential to our body as proteins and carbs and are play an important role in the weight loss journey. If you do not consume adequate fat you may not lose weight.
  5. Instead of eliminating your favorite foods while on the program, try changing the way you cook these foods, so you can still enjoy them, guilt-free of course! Roasting, boiling, and steaming are the best methods to cook food when you are on a weight loss plan. Avoid deep and shallow frying.
  6. Eat small and frequent meals. This ensures a steady supply of blood glucose levels thereby keeping your energy levels intact. It will also make sure you do not end up starving and bingeing on junk food.
  7. Vitamins and minerals also play a major role in a weight loss program. Include a good amount of dry fruits, fresh fruits, and vegetables. If supplements are an absolute must, speak with your doctor before trying any kind of multivitamin.

Are diet and exercise the only keys to weight loss?

While it is believed that diet and exercise lead to weight loss, behind the scenes, it is your dedication and will power that helps you stick to a healthy lifestyle pattern which helps you maintain the weight you lose.

These supporting factors to weight loss are gaining importance and now people are realizing that weight loss extends beyond physical exercise and healthy food. It is also an emotional and behavioral exercise.Our thoughts influence our feelings, and our feelings dictate certain behaviors.

“I’ll never lose weight”, “I deserve this piece of cake”- these thoughts influence feelings of depression and denial and can lead to binge-eating as a behavioral reaction. This can cause your whole weight loss program to suffer.

It is therefore, important to use some cognitive and behavioral strategies to deal with challenges and negative feelings that can upset your routine.

Tuning into the experience of eating and feeling what it is to be hungry or full, reminding yourself of your weight loss goals and how important it is for you, breaking through the negative thinking traps and maintaining positivity, and using family members as a source of encouragement are some of the cognitive exercises for weight loss.

Similarly, scheduling your day, stocking up on healthy snacks, and treating yourself only with healthy snacks are some of the behavioral self-control tactics to weight loss.

Of course, relapse can be de-motivating. It can completely throw you off track. But if we exercise our thoughts just like we exercise our bodies, we can modify the brain to understand that weight loss is like any other venture in life, where anything worth working towards involves setbacks, and it’s a part of the process.

It is also common to become anxious with the thought of maintaining yourself once the program ends. But, instead of being overwhelmed by the idea, the trick is to ask yourself what you can do right now to feel better.

Take each day as it comes. Break up your goals into smaller tasks that you can easily accomplish to move along the path as smoothly as possible.

Finally, a weight loss program is effective only when it is a combination of diet, exercise, and will power. Building a support system within and nurturing the mind and emotional self as much as the physical self leads to successful weight loss and long term sustenance of goals.

(The views are representative of the views of The Wellness Corner and the author. Healthcare India does not necessarily endorse them. Healthcare India has no business interests in The Wellness Corner)
About the Author


Piyush Agarwal  works with The Wellness Corner, The Wellness Corner is your personal health assistant offers the complete solution for corporate wellness benefits program. It works as a platform to keep its users engaged with huge library of health & wellness content, health risk assessment, well-rounded guided wellness programs. In addition to this impressive list, users have access to nutritionists, psychologists, and doctors to answer queries and offer guidance.



New study shows that your weight could determine your job

If you feel you are stuck in the wrong job then you can blame you weight. A report titled “Subtle Increases in BMI within a Healthy Weight Range Still Reduce Womens Employment Chances in the Service Sector” conducted by Dennis Nickson, Andrew R. Timming, Daniel R and David I. Perrett and published in the medical journal PLOS ONE shows that your weight could determine you being hired. They use Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of the weight of the individual.

The study was simple,the eight faces spanned a range BMIs (female faces: mean BMI = 18.85 kg/m2, SD = 0.87, range: 17.81–19.95 kg/m2; male faces: mean BMI = 23.23, SD = 2.83, range: 20.90–27.36 kg/m2). Note that both averages are within a normal, healthy BMI range. The faces selected were Caucasian, in order to remove bias for race. Also selecting faces in the healthy BMI range would remove the argument that hiring managers give for not selecting heavier candidates on the basis of their health. 

Body Mass Index is a often disputed measure of amount of tissue mass in an individual. It is is a value derived from the mass (weight) and height of an individual. The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height, and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in metres.

These pictures were shown to 120 individuals (60 men and 60 women). They were informed that all candidates were equally qualified. The ratings were between 1 (highly unlikely to hire) to 7 (highly likely to hire). All other characteristics being constant, it was realized that people like to hire candidates with lower BMI. 



(Graph shows the rating for customer facing vs backend roles Source: Subtle Increases in BMI within a Healthy Weight Range Still Reduce Womens Employment Chances in the Service Sector”)

These are some of the key interpretations from the study according to me

  1. The organizations have a preference for certain types of candidates. Most hiring managers try to select candidates with template in mind and most of it has to do with physical appearance of the candidate. This is more prevalent in industries like hospitality, fashion, retail among others
  2. Though qualification and experience do matter, the physical appearance would swing the job in the candidates favor if all other factors are constant.
  3. Having a higher BMI (even within healthy BMI range) makes it difficult for women to get employed. Though it makes it difficult for men as well, the impact on women is higher.
  4. Customer facing roles are given to individuals with lesser BMI. Individuals that don’t fit the bill, are more likely to be considered for back-end invisible roles

It is no wonder that the fitness industry is where it is today, fueled by the industries need for candidates. Another aspect that I came across in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink is that 30 % of Fortune 500 CEO’s were tall standing at 6 feet 2 inches or more. Also they earn more according to Columbia Professor Sheena Iyengar most CEO’s earn 2.5 % more per inch. 

So physical attributes continue to determine your corporate performance. This research goes on to prove that if you do want to progress then along with work, you may have to invest in fitting the right look. 

Would love to her your feedback on this very disturbing finding. 


(Image sources: Subtle Increases in BMI within a Healthy Weight Range Still Reduce Womens Employment Chances in the Service Sector” by Dennis Nickson, Andrew R. Timming, Daniel R and David I. Perrett  )