Friday, September 7, 2012

Health Corner: Can Weight Loss Really Be Fun?

Today, we have a guest writer! We are introducing a new segment on Eights & Weights called 'Health Corner' where doctors and other health professionals will give us advice on health issues we face today, from a professional perspective. 

Dr. Chikelue Enyekwe of Enyekwe's Clinic is an experienced doctor that provides various health tips, information on medical conditions, exercise, diets, and health issues via his blog What is his mantra? Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. Love it :)

Can Weight Loss Really Be Fun?
by Dr. Chikelue Enyekwe

I have come to realize that most people abandon their weight loss programs because they no longer enjoy doing them. Some people that I have had personal discussions with, even some of my own patients, always ask "Why would I continue killing myself trying to lose weight?" They would even go as far as saying that they’d rather remain overweight than get involved in any stressful weight loss program.

Developing a fun weight loss program fun is completely dependent on the types of things that turn you on. However, no matter what you do, you shouldn’t lose track of the ultimate goal, which is to shed weight. It is called ‘weight loss’ after all.

How to Introduce the Fun Factor into your Weight Loss Program
  • Give yourself a target: The average human being likes competition; creating a goal and beating it. To have the competitive feeling in any weight loss program, you have to give yourself an achievable goal like “I will shed 1 kg by the end of this week”. If by the end of the week you weighed yourself and found out you were on point, you'd feel good and want to do more. But remember that your target should be something achievable, or you will get frustrated in the process.
  • Participate in physical activity you love: When you are doing something you view as play, not work, you’d see that you would be doing it well and not get as tired quickly. Why would you focus on a jogging regimen when your favorite cardio exercise is cycling? Why would you eat a lettuce salad every day when cabbage is your favorite vegetable? Don’t do anything simply because everyone is doing it. Think about your personal goals.
  • Talk about your weight loss with friends and family: This is very important as it boosts your morale and makes you not want to quit. Whenever you feel like calling it quits, remembering that everybody is looking up to you to achieve your goal will make you fight on. Besides, you would want to prove to them that you could actually do it.
  • Find other people to lose weight with: Don’t train in isolation. Partnerships push people, and when you see others working out, it triggers your competitive spirit. Register in a gym, cook lunches  with your friends and family, or do both. Find a way to do it with other people who have the same goals as you do. 
  • Make your environment comfortable: I wouldn’t have thought this was a factor until I went to visit a friend who is a physical therapist. His gym was located in a rural area, and so was mostly frequented by the middle class. One day he had this case. Some folks brought their mother to the gym to start a  weight loss program. She obviously did not want to cooperate as she thought of the whole idea as punishment, but she came just to please the kids. Handling her case was quite difficult until we realized she was into music. During her subsequent visits, we started playing her type of songs. And guess what happened? The woman now comes to the gym and starts cycling and semi-dancing without moaning or complaining. This is all to say that the clothes you wear, the house you eat in, and the environment you work out in all have an effect on your weight loss program.
  • Know that there is always an alternative: Okay, so you’ve read some blog posts that say cassava is high in calories. You’ve probably even read some of these posts on Eights & Weights. And then as soon as you read it, your friend Tolu made this beautiful pounded yam and egusi soup (a Nigerian dish consisting of yams and melon seed stew) that leaves your mouth watering.  You start getting mad at the world and turning against your workout program for subjecting you to this mental torture. Instead of putting yourself through that, create your own alternative. Maybe prepare some wheat or oatmeal, which is lower in calories, as a substitute for the pounded yam, and then have a little bit of Tolu’s soup?
The key is to understand the basics of the way the body loses weight. The moment you understand that the program is about balancing calories consumed with calories burned, you’d stop seeing weight loss as torture, and instead as something worth doing and worth doing well.

For more information on Dr. Chikelue Enywkwe, visit his site at, email him at, or follow him on the following social network links:

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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  1. Hi, love your topic. I'd like to share. Ive been eating the same thing except without the carbohydrates. I have been eating only protein, veggies, and fruits. No sugar, dairy, and grains. Been doing it for a month and a half and lost 25 lbs. It's called the Palleo Solution. Look it up! thanks~ Deborah

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