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Jhennique: Stop Trying to Lose Weight

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“Losing weight” is a common predicament nowadays for people who are overweight. From diet plan to diet plan to attempted workout routine to dance classes to fasting to “so called” slimming pills…..yet nothing seems to work.

It just becomes an annoying cycle of no results. You get on the scale and the numbers aren’t changing after weeks of jogging every morning and finally you give up wit the excuse……..“Some of us are just naturally fat”.

First we need to realize that fitness / nutrition is a science and that the body is literarily garbage in, garbage out. What you give it is what you get most of the time. First thing to do when tackling weight issues is to must stop trying to lose weight. What you should be trying to lose is fat and not weight. A well-toned muscular body may actually weigh more than a body that is full of fat and atrophied muscles, but may look smaller because a pound of fat is bigger than a pound of muscle. This is the reason why you may workout for weeks but not see a drop in the scale even though the waist of your jeans are a tad looser that they were last week. It’s simple, you have likely built some muscle underneath all that fat and burned some fat as well so your jeans may tell you but your scale may not. And if you don’t know how this works it could be very puzzling.
Building muscle is a touchy subject especially for females because most people associate muscle with looking like hulk. That is one myth I’m here to debunk. The new sexy is actually a higher percentage of muscle to fat in the body.

First, let’s talk diet.

This word alone is enough to cause a headache because it has been so abused. A propet diet is not fasting dear people. A proper diet is not skipping meals, nor is it reducing you chocolate intake to one bar a day. A proper diet is not taking only one bottle of soda instead of 2 or 3 a day. A proper diet is not eating just fruits for a whole week. or living only on veggies or drinking 2 gallons of water a day. A proper diet consists of about least 5-6 meals a day. As much as a skinny person has to also eat 5-6 times a day to gain weight, a fat person also has to eat 5-6 times a day to lose weight. The only variation should be in portion size and content.

For instance. Someone trying to lose fat will not be having the same contents of meals and number of calories as someone trying to gain weight. Fat is a type of energy storage in the body. If we eat a certain number of calories, and our body only needs part of that, the rest will go into storage (fat). Your DNA dictates where that fat is stored. Could be the stomach, hips, thighs, arms.

Here is what happens when you starve yourself or skip meals thinking it will help you lose weight.

First your body goes into starvation mode. Your metabolism slowly shuts down. Your body is thinking it won’t be getting food for a while so it starts to save every calorie and every ounce of fat possible for the “rainy day”. It’s like a survival mechanism that would come in handy if you were stranded somewhere and didn’t have access to food. It is the reason why you can go days without food as opposed to going days without water.
Now after you have skipped a meal or starved yourself there is every tendency to binge on the next meal you eat. Any food or calories taken in at this point is processed differently in the body. If your body has gone into slow metabolism and fat storage then the food you eat after the starvation period will also be stored as well in anticipation of another period of starvation. This means more body fat.

So the only solution to this is to eat. Eat in a way that the body converts food to energy and not fat and this means you have to eat every two to three hours in small portions, so your meal timetable will look something like this
8:30am – Meal one
10:30am – Meal two
12:00 / 12:30pm – Meal three
2:30 pm – Meal four
5:30pm – Meal five
7:30 / 8:00pm – Meal six

This is a very basic meal time table and could vary depending on a number of factors such as your calorie burn level, whether or not you work out, your goals, and your body size. Now it’s not just eating, but what you eat, how much and when you eat is also very important. Even if you are eating pounds of vegetables and fruits but eating them in excess, you are eating more calories than your body needs, it will convert those excess calories into fat.
Now there are two kinds of people. People who eat everything in sight and never get fat (the hard gainers) and people who eat little and blow up. Some people have a very fast metabolism rate. Meaning that their bodies burn food faster than normal. People like this are usually very fidgety and active to overactive. Those are the kind of people that get hungry every two hours and would have to consciously binge on food to add the littlest amount of weight.
For people who are inactive and have a slow metabolism rate, even an apple can make you fat.

This is why I say that fitness plans are not a one size fits all thing. Yes there are general rules but the application of those rules to you will have to be determined by and tailored to meet your body type, needs and lifestyle.

Also genes have a very large impact on what you look like. That’s why if your mama has large hips and you inherited it, there is very little you can do to reduce the size of your hips. Or if you do not naturally have a prominent thigh gap. It will be nearly difficult to create one despite the amount of inner thigh exercises you do.
But despite your genetics, it is very possible to achieve the weight you desire with discipline and hardwork.

In order not to overwhelm you with so much information all at once, I will break this down in my future articles.

Until then,

Peace, Love and Protein Shakes.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Diego Vito Cervo

Jhennique is a stylish yet simple woman in her mid 20s, a full time telecomms engineer, a fitness enthusiast and an occasional poet. She takes too seriously her food and sleep. Read her unprofessional thoughts on http://theunprofessionalblogger.blogspot.ro/. She can be reached by mail at [email protected]

26 Comments

  1. NaijaPikin

    June 1, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you for this.

    People need to realize lifestyle changes are sustainable, all these quick fixes (wack diets, starvation, pills, teas) are not sustainable. You may drop a few lbs today but it will all come back.

    I look forward to your other articles.

  2. msreeny

    June 1, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Lovely article. Most of it is enlightening but I disagree with somethings. If you pig out on vegetables and fruits ALONE, you ‘ll never gain weight and you ‘ll loose a lot. The actual problem is sustaining it.

    • sensimilla

      June 2, 2015 at 3:15 am

      cows pig out on grass

    • Jhennique

      June 2, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Yes you may hardly ever gain weight by eating vegetables alone. But you will also be malnourished because fruit and vegetables are not balanced diet. Which is why you may even lose weight in the first place. If you also eat fruits and veggies alongside an already heavy meal, you are eating excess calories, you will definitely pack on some fat.

  3. amiphat

    June 1, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Lovely piece. Thank you.

  4. bisi

    June 1, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    interesting but any meal more than 4 times seems much for me. not trying to lose weight though just need a flat tummy

    • Jhennique

      June 2, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Hello bisi. That’s because you are 1) eating too much per portion or 2) eating the wrong food combination. No offense 3) not really an active person therefore having a slower metabolism. You may think you have an okay weight but if you are still battling belly fat, there is no way around it, you have to lose weight. Its not possible to burn fat in only one part of the body without losing in other areas. So the key is to burn fat and build muscle to get to that desired weight.

    • b-west

      June 2, 2015 at 10:23 am

      but i see workout maniac ladies on IG with flat tummies & huge hips/ass so when u say u loose weight & it affects every part of the body i’m surprised ,pls illuminate my ignorance.

    • Jhennique

      June 2, 2015 at 11:39 am

      @ B-west. remember i said that genetics has a huge role to play in how you look generally. Now some people have naturally huge hips. This is not fat, its bone structure. But if this huge hips and ass were gotten just by getting fat, then you will lose the fat in those areas as well,
      However, the butt is made up of mostly muscle (gleatus) which is the strongest and largest muscle in the body. and it is really possible to build this muscles with isolation or compound exercises so they get bigger and bigger. Therefore you then have a larger butt which is made up of more muscle than fat.

      For someone who works our hard enough, doing the right exercises, building muscle and burning fat at the same time, the result will be a well sculpted body, toned mid section, and obliques and a smaller waist.

      So yes if you do the right exercises, it is possible to have huge ass and a flat belly.

      also please do not believe everything you see on instagram. Some of these pictures are heavily photoshopped so you see what they want you to see. Some are real though but like i said, its not impossible to have that sculpted body. It just takes a lot of effort.

  5. jas

    June 1, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Nice write up. Educative. Brought hidden things to light but the part about excess veggies and fruits containing calories that can be stored as fats.hmmm. i think fruits and veggies contain insignificant amount of calories.correct me if am wrong.

    • Jhennique

      June 2, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Hello Jas. Thank you. When it comes to nutrition, no calorie is insignificant. Certain veggies like lettuce, spinach, and kale contain a significant amount of carbonhydrates, only that these carbonhydrates are the healthier, more necessary kind. Now it might not be easy to eat so much veggies that result in a calorie excess, but if you eat these vegetables alongside your already carb-filled meal, it could result in calorie excess.
      Also fruits in general are pure sugar. The fibre in these fruits are the only thing that prevent them from being turned to fat In the body. Which is why its not advisable to buy fruit juice off the shelves, be it 100% juice or not. Any form of fruiit juice without the fibre contained will be digested as pure sugar in the body although less harmful than processed sugars. But it is possible to eat too much of fruits than the body can process at a time despite how healthy fruits are.
      Dont you worry, follow up articles will give a breakdown on all this.

  6. dobzi

    June 1, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Very educative

    dobzifingers.com/?m=1

  7. Ba

    June 1, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Enriching…..

  8. me

    June 2, 2015 at 3:50 am

    Good article! This is exactly how to lose weight.

  9. awhotu

    June 2, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for this piece.Its brilliant very educative. I Will look forward to seeing your articles .Presently I make spinach smoothies hope its an healthy option? I add water melon as the base and sometimes put apple and some pineapples.

    • Jhennique

      June 2, 2015 at 9:01 am

      Yes. Smoothies are everything! lol
      You could throw in some low fat greek youghurt and bam you have breakfast served!

  10. dee

    June 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you Jhennique. Pls can you give an example of a typical 6 meal per day timetable? I’m a kind of person that craves a lot and am trying to lose belly fat. Pls advise.

    • Jhennique

      June 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Hello Dee.
      A typical 6-meal a day would consist of a balanced diet per meal. Your most calories should be first meal in the morning and first meal after your workout. Now you should have a calorie goal per day and per portion. This would depend on what your goals are.

      I cannot give you a concise meal plan except i know what you want to achieve. That will determine what you should be eating, when and how much.
      Like If you arent working out at all, and you have a desk job where you are seated most of the day, 6 times a day might be too much for you to eat but hey, lets talk. Mail me: [email protected]

  11. Favour

    June 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I loved every bit of this article. I was skeptical to open it at first but it caught my attention immediately i started reading it. Its truly sad that genes have a role to play and perhaps, that’s my situation.
    My stomach is big- i know that cause i look at myself in the mirror everyday- but no one else really knows cause it looks flat once i put on my clothes. I’m slim and everyone thinks i have a perfect body but i don’t think so. I want to look stunning both with and without clothes.
    I’ve been working out- doing cardios and lifting, eating right, etc, but it doesnt seem to be going down. i feel bad everyday and i’m almost giving up. Could it be that its genetic? Would i ever have those abs i crave for?
    Can’t wait for the next post!

    • Jhennique

      June 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Hello Favour,
      Do youhave a fitness trainer or do you workout on your own? Whats your defiinition of eating healthy? whats your BMI? how much cardio do you do and how many times a week? at what times of the day do you eat what you eat and how large are your portions?
      I cant tell you what exactly might be the issue if i dont know your lifestyle or have an answer to these questions. You are probably not doing something right but feel free to email me: [email protected]. Lets talk and I will do my best to help. Dont give up yet. There is a reason you opened this page 🙂

  12. NaijaPikin

    June 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Jhennique I swear you sound just like the personal trainer I met with last week. I’m convinced i’ll be signing up with a trainer for 6 months to understand the science behind maintaining a halthy fitness lifestyle. My goal will be to soak up as much information as possible to be able to continue on after the 6 months.

    There’s a reason why people train to be fitness instructors. As an accontant I don’t expect a Dr to be able to walk into my office and do my job on day 1. but with the right training, a doctor can become an accountant. That’s what i’m going for. Wish me luck 🙂

  13. Jhennique

    June 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Oh great! Best of luck to you. Yes its possible. I didn’t study fitness either. Neither do I have a trainer but determination can take u places. Feel free to communicate anytime 🙂

  14. Jeff

    June 3, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Jhennique. Very impressive piece. wow! I love the way you took your time to respond to everyone’s questions. Mine is simple. I use to be very fit but now I have gain a little weight. I know everything am supposed to do to get rid of some fat but am not doing them. it pains me. it is as if I can’t help myself.I intend eating only fruits for one week for a start.

    • Jhennique

      June 4, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Hello Jeff. The truth nobody tells you is that workin gout is not fun. Most times it takes a lot of resolve to get yourself to the bars and push. Resuming after taking a break is even worse. But you have to force yourself through the first few times and after that you should be back on track again. You might lose some weight eating fruits but it wont get you back on the fitness track or give you that muscle definition you once had. you could start by running everyday for a week. That should give you a kick start. All the best.

  15. Diuto

    June 5, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Hello Just, thanks for the write up. I have a desk job but I’m a marketer so I’m not entirely sitting in the ofis all day. I have had 2 kids and added fat around my tummy. I desire to lose wgt arnd my tummy and build stomach muscles

    During the week, it’s hard to exercise cos I wake by 5 & leave home btw 5:45 and 6am. I need a total body work out I can do in 10 or 15mins daily. Most importantly I am an ulcer patient. During flare ups esp when they are stress related, I can’t exercise or eat normally.

    Pls educate me on the best approach, I have lovely clothes awaiting my toned body

    • Jhennique

      June 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Hello Diuto,
      Being a working mom who is always on the move, I can understand how difficult it must be to maintain the healthy lifestyle you want.
      The first thing to do is try to check you eating habits. Try to break down you meals into 5 in a day. Make sure you are eating protein dense foods. Drastically reduce your carb intake. Centre your major carbs around breakfast. Eat only complex carbs and avoid eating too much at a go. Eat dinner at least an hour before bed and make sure its light. like a cup of steamed veggies and chicken breasts. For working out, i’d prefer you start with running. Try running every morning for at least the first month. This is more effective than doing hundred of situps. When you have lost the excess fat then you can begin to do toning exercises for your abs. Truth is no amount of toned muscle is going to show through if you dont burn the layer of fat covering the muscle.

      IF you keep up this eating habit and running for a month, you should see a big difference. After then, mail me and i’d help you out with ways to sculpt your abs.

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