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Saturday, May 19, 2007


No, I am not going to wear my bariatric surgeon cap and ask you to go under the knife to lose weight. Instead, why don’t you do what you are normally so good (or un-good) at? Use the Web to lose your weight! Ah, you must be thinking, just surf into some sites while slurping the chilled Coke (and making love to the chips, some cookies and a couple of laddoos to round it all off) and kick-start the magical melting machine! Er, I mean, to cut a long story short, no.
You can use your computer to help you in the process a lot better. How so?
Log on to a site like Fatsecret and explore. First do the free registration bit and then go! Fatsecret is not your typical site that promises you a one-week loss of a ton of lard and then tries to sell you diets. It just provides you a space where you can speak up and share your thoughts and experiences, at the same time becoming part of a community that believes in “United We Fall”, at least in terms of weight! I learn from a guy called Jiga, who has come into the nineties from a weight of a hundred kilos, that he gets his diet to work by eating every two hours to keep his metabolism going. In addition, he repeats some old pearls like “one bad meal does not deserve another”. You also get a variety of diet-friendly recipes for each meal. I read this laughably simple recipe for breakfast, called “low-fat yoghurt with banana”, where the directions are “chop banana and mix with yoghurt (dahi)”. But if you add, me-says, some chopped almonds and berries or papaya bits, you are in serious business! However, it is not merely the revision of various diets that matters, but a sharing of the psyche: one feels part of a community of people helping each other to lose weight. You could also imagine this site as a publisher interested in your personal weight loss (or gain) story and doing this for free!
Like exercise, dieting is good for some time before it gets boring and depressing. Don’t you feel that it would be so much better if you had a group with whom you could diet or exercise, so that when you feel down, there are others who pep you up? Fatsecret lets you do that. Find friends who will diet with you and share the experience. It may just work! There are lots of other sites that use innovative approaches that help you do better in your weight loss attempts. Traineo is another free site that works you out by setting up four motivators of your choice and sends weekly updates to them on your weight loss progress. This, surely, should be motivating!
If you like to go for the gimmicky stuff to spend money on to motivate you to use ‘em, try a Geek-a-Cycle that costs around $350 and exercise while you work at your desk.
There is actually some serious tech that helps you optimise those morning saunters in the park. Get a Nike with iPod. Check it out here and type ‘nike’ in the search bar. You will also gets loads of accessories that will certainly help you lose money, if not weight! The Nike with iPod is basically a wireless sensor that fits in your Nike shoe and sends the workout data (like how many kilometers you walked, your speed, calories burned, etc.) to your iPod nano, which you are using in the meanwhile to listen to your music. When you come home, sync your iPod to your computer (on the iTunes application) and get the records of your exercise. And, before you ask, it only works with the Nano, and not with your video iPods. On a daily basis, you can use this as a target-driven exercise program, and even compete with others online. Just sync your iPod at the Nike site and enrich yourself with the online community’s running and walking targets and experiences. You can also learn which rock ‘Powernumbers’ are celeb favorites that might just charge you up as you run. In case you didn’t get on to the hitch, it is that you have to buy the thing. The iPod sports kit (the sensor, stupid!) is cheap at Rs.1995 (around $29), but this goes only with the Nike + shoes. And them cushioned things cost only an arm and a leg! Want to buy it? As the company says, ‘Just Do It’! As for me, well, no thanks, I prefer to wait for it as a birthday gift, some day, some year!
I am indebted to Lifehacker for this article, and for lots more!

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