Most councellors will tell you that the 3 "golden words" for weight reduction are - exercise, diet and water. The secret is to do all three together, and that's where most of us go wrong.
Some of us sweat it out at the gym for hours everyday and believe that we can eat anything and still lose weight. When no apparent weight loss occurs, we get discouraged and abandon the exercise program.
Some others throw themselves with all their might on to the dieting wagon - only fruits, only boiled vegetables, Cabbage Soup diet, South Beach, Atkins diet, Morning Banana diet, idli diet, lemonade diet etc. But they don't exercise - they're either too lazy to exercise, or can't find the time.
But the most common mistake that most of us make is to not drink enough water.
(Photo courtesy: http://airtightnoodle.wordpress.com)
Walking is one of the best exercises as it uses most of the muscles of the body at one time, can be done by one & all, and best of all - it's completely free! Aerobics, swimming & jogging are other effective cardiovascular exercises. What's important to remember though is that any cardiovascular exercise is effective only if it is done continuously for 20-30 minutes, 5-6 times a week.
Dieting does not mean keeping yourself hungry. On the contrary, it is essential to keep your body satiated so it does not go into starvation mode, binge on food, and then store it all as fat. There's merit to the '5-6 small, nutritious meals a day' theory that nutritionists & fitness experts keep drumming into our ears. It is also important to eat plenty of fibrous foods, such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrain stuff, a good amount of protein and minimum fatty food.
Water aids weight reduction in various ways - it flushes the toxins out of our body and gets the bowel moving. Eating fibrous foods is of no use if it's not accompanied by sufficient water intake, as fibre needs water to get things moving!
Now I just wish that losing weight was as simple, effortless, and most importantly - as quick - as writing this post was!