Posted by: Jessica Human | 2009-04-16

Would this be alright?

Hello Dr. and fellow users,

I have decided to start getting body ready for summer. I don' t need to lose a lot of weight (3/4 kilograms at most) but as I have an office job this may prove to be hard.

These are the changes that I have already made (2 months and counting):

I won' t go into too much detail with regards to the diet (I will ask the diet expert) but I have added extra water, vegetables, a protein at lunch, smaller meal at night, a mid morning snack (of a yoghurt/ a few provitas) to bring my total meals a day to 4 meals. I have cut down sweets and treats to about 1 or 2 treats a week.

Exercise wise, I do a 10 minute speed walk before and after lunch, a semi- speed walk of 15 minutes anytime after 17:00 (no later than 18:00). Since I have noticed that I can walk the same distance a minute faster yesterday I added 10 minutes of tae bo at about 20:00. I do this 5 days a week, but I think I will only do the tae bo 3 times a week for now.

I have chosen this way because I have read that doing intense exercise for small amounts is just as effective as doing it in one session (however I know I am not fit enough to do it at once) and also in my mind, getting my body revved up before and after meals will rev up my metabolism and burn my meals quicker.

Am I going about this the right way?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Jessica

Not bad on the diet. The exercise is interesting. I know what you're referring to about the short, intense exercise adding up to equal one session, but I'm not 100% convinced this is true in people who are looking to lose only a small amount of weight. I think for people coming in from quite an unfit level, previously inactive, it works quite well. However, I do believe that a longer session of say 40 minutes is better than four short sessions of 10 minutes. Part of this is physiological, in that I think you stimulate the hormonal response more with the longer session, but part of it is also practical - I always advise that people should focus on getting fitter and improving performance, and it's difficult to continue to do this when exercise is so compacted and short. So for example, let's look ahead three months. What are you going to do when you do this walk three minutes faster and it's taking only seven minutes? Do you add on another three minutes, or settle at 7 minutes? That's where it would be nice to have a goal, like running your first 10km, or doing a hike, or something like that.

So what I'm saying is keep this going, but just be mindful that eventually, this might not be sustainable and you would benefit from restructuring it, though this can wait until the future.

Good luck

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