Weight Management Mantra
Deciding to lose weight is almost half the job done.
I went in December to join the gym. The consultant said 5-7 kg excess.
I dilly-dallied for 2 months and then went back for another consultation.
She said 7- 10 kg excess.
Had I joined in December itself, I would have to shed half this weight only.
Lavs wanted to know how to select a gym, looking at the number of options available. I have already dealt with the basic amneties of a gym and the other questions she had are answered in the following few pointers;
- Keep the goal in sight before deciding upon the right gym. It could be short term weight loss/ gain, muscle toning, tummy tucking, long term, regular exercising for health reasons among other things. Talwalkers for instance have both short term and annual membership schemes. Maverick in Chennai encourages annual and does not support short term requirements (may be they will make an exception if you are getting married as they asked my husband this question when he tried to coax them on giving him a short term quick fix program!). Fitness one has the advantage of being situated in Ascendas office building so guys working there could take the advantage.
- Identify the methodology of weight loss you want to follow- a VLCC kind of place will focus on tummy tucks, diet control. A gym will focus on exercise, weights, diet, massage etc. You could opt for aerobics program or a dance program for weight loss or yoga or pranayam etc alternately.
- Look at the equipment. Typically a gym will have the cardio section and machine/ weight section. Fitness one has TV attached to the treadmill. So if you are the type who gets bored easily – you know where you have to go as in most programs treadmill is the king.
- Check out the costs. You need to work out the cost-benefit equation. Premium gyms- A 3 months weight loss + 3 months maintenance phase promises 8-10 kg loss and costs around Rs 12K in Talwalkers. A regular program could be around RS 1000 plus per month- as per the last time I calculated. While in Maverick an annual membership costs Rs 8K (corporate discount built in). Fitness one is much more expensive. There would be other gyms that follow pretty much similar methodologies and may cost little lesser. There will also be local gyms with basic machines all in a single floor most likely. They will usually have separate time for ladies and gents and mostly students or people who don’t want to spend too much money and want to do just basic exercises go for it. May cost anywhere between Rs 250- 500 per month. But difficult to get hold of the machines you want as they will have only one of each. Among all choices, finally you have to see which facilities convince you to go for it.
- Depending upon the program you opt for, the services like counseling/ diet counseling/ personal trainer will be built in. A weight loss course will have everything built in but for regular ones you will have to pay for each sitting.
- Paid Services- to opt or not- For severe obesity cases it is best to opt for personal trainer who will push you to the limit and the strict dietician you observes each morsel you ate. A massage is also recommended. For regulars or minor cases of “overweight”, I personally feel it is ok to have a regular instructor and the dietician for the first few months of weight loss and maintenance. After that you pretty much get an idea of what food is allowed and what is not. You might feel that you have reached a plateau and you are not working out to the ideal limit on your own, you might opt for a personal trainer then. I think for less than severe cases, it is best to check out how your body responds and then decide for paid services. Also opting for a personal trainer bounds you to the fixed time. You will find that each entity in the gym will try to sell you some service- who does not, they are also doing business. They will extol the benefits of personal trainer or massage. Decide to take not because they say so but because you believe that it will be good for you or you want to take it. For instance I opted for the massage because I wanted to take it, not because the lady coaxed me to take it or promised major benefits! The most expensive massage at Talwalkers is Rs 400/ hour (less than beauty parlour rates) while at Maverick it is Rs 1000 or more.
- Continue or not- Some say that if you stop exercising / gym you will put back all the weight. I am frankly not sure. Look at it logically. When you are in a program where you are made to exercise for atleast 1.5 hours per day and eat according to strict plan with right amounts of fibre/ cal/ carb/ fat, you have a control over calories in and calories out. Once you stop exercising yet follow the rules of the diet, you control the calories-in but do nothing to ensure the calories-out. Probably there may be some increase and you may get stagnant at a point. The moment you lapse in your diet, the weight may climb to a point of no return. Maybe if you stop the gym yet continue a brisk walk / play a sport/ swim / pranaayam you might be able to keep the weight in control. But then all depends on your metabolic rate too. But believe me, I am not a gym person. 2 months into it and I have decided to become a regular. Let’s hope I am able to keep up the tempo.