Without exercise, diets will only make you soft
In the program, dubbed the “100 day project,” volunteers try to lose weight under the medical guidance of professor Kang Jae-heon.
Seo Seung-hwan, a man who stands 178 centimeters (5 feet 10 inches) tall and weighs 94 kilograms (207 pounds), was advised to lose 12 kilograms; Yang Mi-gyeong, who is 160 centimeters tall and weighs 60 kilograms, was told to lose 8 kilograms.
Their goal is not just to get rid of fat, but also to increase muscle.
The first month, or even the first week, will be most difficult. Mr. Seo needs to curb his appetite and get more exercise, while Ms. Yang was told to avoid drinking alcohol. If the participants can tackle the first month, the chance of success is high.
Both were advised to eat three meals a day. For Ms. Yang, who used to skip breakfast when she tried dieting, it was particularly good advice. Skipping breakfast can mean running on an empty stomach for up to 18 hours. The problem is that if the body experiences hunger often, it tries to accumulate more nutrients rather than to use reserve ones. The dieter merely fills up during lunch and dinner.
A doctor’s prescription says Ms. Yang needs to cut her daily food consumption to 1,200 kilocalories, half the amount she normally consumes. With the right diet, however, she won’t have to eat half as much.
Breakfast should be home-cooked Korean meals, mainly rice and soup. When dining out, she is supposed to eat low-calorie foods like rice mixed with vegetables, cold noodles, and rice with side dishes that have been steamed or boiled rather than fried.
Mr. Seo was advised to consume 1,500 kilocalories a day. The difficult part, however, is to avoid drinking fatty liquids. Coffee with milk and sugar or regular milk, for instance, are high in calories. He was told to drink black coffee and low-fat milk (a cup of regular milk has 125 kilocalories, low fat milk 80 to 100, and skim milk 60).
Diets often fail because the dieter tries to lose weight without exercising. Many people believe incorrectly that they can be thin by simply eating less. Yet when hungry, the body turns muscle into energy. Because using muscles burns calories, even eating less food won’t make you skinnier ― just softer.
Mr. Seo was told to get off the bus one stop earlier and walk more. He needs to walk at least 40 minutes a day, ride a bicycle for 30 minutes, do three sets of crunches ― 10 times each set ― and raise his legs after lying down for three sets, 10 times each. He also has to exercise five times a week for more than 90 minutes each time.
Ms. Yang was advised to walk one hour in the evening and do 300 rounds of jump rope. She also needs to do 10 crunches, stretch her legs and find places where she can take a walk near her home.
Most diseases occur due to one’s lifestyle, and obesity is strongly related to eating habits and lack of exercise during childhood. The key is to change high calorie and fat diets to low calorie and fat diets and to start exercising regularly.
by Ko Jong-kwan