Thursday, January 29, 2009

The best time to weigh yourself if you are on a diet

To Weigh, Or Not To Weigh...That Is The Question

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

If you're trying to lose weight or simply don't want to gain unwanted pounds, how often should you weigh yourself? Many popular weight loss plans, such as Weight Watchers, do not recommend weighing yourself daily. Instead, they recommend stepping on the scales once per week or even less frequently. Our weight fluctuates somewhat from day-to-day, and daily weighing can lead to discouragement and potential diet sabotage if you see a higher number on the scale than you saw the day before. Most diet experts believe that a once-weekly or even monthly weigh-in is a more accurate reflection of weight control progress.

But a group of doctors who studied obese and overweight adults who were trying to lose weight as well as overweight adults who were trying to prevent weight gain found that those who weighed themselves more often lost more weight and prevented more weight gain over two years than those who weighed themselves less frequently. Contrary to the advice given in many popular weight loss regimens, this study suggests that at least some people can benefit from the accountability brought on by daily weigh-ins. Potential advantages of daily weighing include recognition of slow patterns of weight gain that may not be immediately apparent and the chance to modify lifestyle habits before the total weight gain becomes extreme and difficult to control.

The personality of the individual dieter likely plays a role in deciding how often to weigh oneself. If you're easily discouraged, daily weighing might cause you to give up your attempts if you don't see rapid progress. On the other hand, if you crave control and feedback, daily weighing might satisfy more of your needs and fuel your motivation. Whatever weigh-in frequency you choose, keep these tips in mind when stepping on the scale:
  1. Weighing yourself first thing in the morning is usually best. Because of variations in food and fluid consumption, we often "gain" different amounts of weight throughout the day.
  2. If you're weighing frequently, remember that daily fluctuations in weight are common. Just because you're heavier today than yesterday doesn't mean your weight control program isn't working. Don't become a slave to the numbers.
  3. Monthly variations in weight are also common in menstruating women.
  4. "Plateaus" in weight loss aren't necessarily bad. If you're exercising a lot, your weight may remain constant for a time even though you're still decreasing your body fat content and getting healthier.
  5. Finally, cues other than the numbers on the scale are equally important. How do you feel? Are your clothes getting looser or tighter? Do you feel stronger, healthier, leaner? Your own perceptions can be the most valuable tools to help you track your weight control progress.

Reference: Linde JA, et al. Self-weighing in weight gain prevention and weight loss trials. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 30(3), 2005.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Diary,
A four-day holiday, time to experiment with healthy recipes :-)

It was good so far. My menus during the weekend are mostly steamed fish, tom yam or soup with lots of vegetables. I even put my dear old oven to its rightful place after so long. Yup, deep frying is no longer allowed in my kitchen.Cooking oil shall be used as minimal as possible.

Another recipe for Chicken Rice with Vegetable Soup.

For the chicken rice:
Chicken stock
1 tablespoon of butter
1 onion
1/4 tea spoon of turmeric powder

For the roasted chicken:
Chicken breast
2 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of honey
Ginger (squashed once)
Garlic (squashed once)
Black pepper

For the vegetable soup:
1 cup of Chicken stock
Garlic (squashed once)
Ginger (squashed once)
Capsicum (diced)
1 cup of water
Chicken breast (diced)

How to:
For the chicken rice:
1. Melt butter in pan.
2. Put in rice (that is after rinsing it three times with water) and saute with butter for a while.
3. Put in chicken stock and water.
4. Onion and salt for flavour, and turmeric powder for colour.

For the roasted chicken:
1. Tenderize the chicken with salt.
2. Marinate with soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey and black pepper. Also a little bit of winchester sauce if you like. The only halal option available is from Maggi.
3. Top the chicken with ginger and garlic.
4. Put in oven for 20-30 minutes at medium heat.

For the vegetable soup:
1. Bring chicken stock to boil.
2. Put in onion, garlic, ginger and capsicum.
3. After a while, add another cup of water and bring to boil.
4. Add in carrot and celery.
5. Lastly, add in diced chicken into the soup, and a little bit of salt, sugar and pepper for seasoning.

May not be as deliciously sinful as other Nasi Ayam out there, but definitely is healthier :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My body fat is at 30%!!!

Dear Fattytini,

Last Sunday, I weighed myself back after such a LONGGG time. My weight is at 50.9 kg! *Gasp* And my Basal Metabollic Age increases to 34 back! I blame my excessive eating habit.

With best friends like the Gang of 4, who can resist eating out with the girls. Yey!!

And then last week, I did went for my dose of nasi beriyani Umar Khayyam (excellent excellent briyani) with Aini and my cousin. And another dose of nasi minang, near my office... Erkkk.. Heavy heavy stuff last week.

So yesterday, I said bismillah and weighed myself back.

I am now at 50.5 kg (lost 400 grams... YIPEE!)
And DOUBLE YIPEE.. my BMA drops to the age of 30
And TRIPLE YIPEE... my body fat is at 30% (when I was below 50kg, the body fat never hit 30%, it always ranges between 30.5 - 33%)

I am so overjoyed YIPEE!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dear Diary,
Geez Fattytini, what's chicken stock? [Refering to previous recipe of Healthy Tom Yam] Where can I get it? Is it available in the market? Is it expensive?

Well, you can find it in any major supermarket. It is not that expensive, more or less like a bottle of ketchup. It comes in many form, liquid or cube. But if you are more concern on your health, and your family as well, you can easily make your own chicken stock. No food additive, no artificial seasoning, no MSG, none whatsoever, only healthier and delicious too.

All you have to do is boil a full pan of water and bones of a whole chicken. You can get the bones at pasar malam at RM1.50 only. Cheap eh? You can either boil chicken bones only, or put in any vegetables available in your fridge to add in the flavor. I usually put in a stick of celery and a stick of carrot, without dicing them, because I can reuse the celery and carrot for other cooking.

You can also make fish stock by boiling fish head and bones.

Stock is also recommended to substitute salt in your cooking, especially if you are preparing home-cooked meal for your babies and toddlers.

By using stock, you will be able to minimize salt intake into your body, as too much of salt is hazardous to your general well being. Other than that, excessive salt will not do justice to your belly, as it causes water retention in your stomach and the results? Hideous pot belly.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dear Diary,
During my trip to Bangkok July last year, I noticed that it is hard to find obese Thais on the street. Well, not to say that there is no obese people at Bangkok, but those that I've met and saw mostly have slim figure. My brother Adha would confirm this, because the moment we set foot on Bangkok land, he couldn't stop staring at those beautiful Thai girls, especially those in school uniform with short black skirt [really really short and tight too, but that depends on the age because younger girls seems to be more "conventional" in comparison to older ones] and see-through white shirt :-p

His exact word was some sort like, "Pergh! Patut la bontot diorang kecik2, banyak tangga rupanya!"

Ok now we know what he's specifically staring at. Boys. Can't blame him from being like he is supposed to be. Lagi haru kalau jadi gay :-p

In Bangkok, you have no choice but to use the pedestrian walk, which involves a lot of stairs walking. If you try to cross the street, like what typical Malaysians would do, you'll kiok. The roads are mostly three-lanes way, and the vehicles driven like in F1. That's good actually in a way, because you are forced to exercise, and isn't stairs walking one of the best exercise?

I couldn't help noticing that authenthic Thai food are mostly healthy. They put in natural herbs and ingredients to provide flavor in their cooking. I'm sharing recipe for Healthy Tom Yam for a healthier you :-)

1 Onion (sliced)
1 Garlic (squashed once)
1/2 inch Ginger (squashed once)
Chilli/Capsicum/cili padi (as you wish, sliced)
Lemongrass (as you wish, squashed once)
Lime leaves
Pudina leaves
Half lemon/a lime
Chicken stock

How to:
1. Bring chicken stock to boil.
2. Put in onion, garlic, ginger, chilli/capsicum/cili padi, lemongrass, lime leaves, pudina leaves, tomatoes and celery, and stir for a while until boiled.
3. Put in meat/chicken/seafood and vegetables e.g. carrot, baby corn, cauliflower, mushroom etc. that you wish to add in the flavor.
4. Half lemon or a lime (or more depending on your preferance) squezzed into the tom yam.
5. Seasoning as you wish.

Bon appetite!

p/s: yes, this is white kuah, people.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Diary,
Today I made steamed fish for lunch. Very healthy food because fish eaters, like the Eskimos and Japanese, proved to live longer than the average modern men, and beneficial for those on diet too. For my steamed fish, I put ingredients that would further exalerate the losing weight process. The recipe as below, and I would recommend that you try it at home.

Sea bass or Grouper
1 Onion
2 clove of Garlic
1 stick of Lemongrass
2 Red chili or 1 Capsicum
1 Lemon (squeezed) / 2 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar - depending on the size of the fish
2 tablespoon of Honey

You can throw in any vegetables that you like, such as carrots, broccoli, mushroom, young corn etc. It is so easy and quick too. Be sure to keep on pouring the kuah on the fish to ensure that the fish gets enough flavour.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This delicious tea mix blends green tea and orange pekoe with cardamom seed, lemon peel and hibiscus for an uplifting and tasty treat. Its ingredients include maltodextrin, fructose, orange pekoe extract, green tea extract, lemon peel extract, cardamom seed extract, malva sylvestris extract and hibiscus flower powder.

Maltodextrin is a relatively complex carbohydrate, which is more easily digested than some other forms of carbohydrate, leaving behind less of the potential health issues, which is used as food additive. It is produced by cooking down from starch, usually from rice, corn or potato. During the cooking process, natural enzymes and acids help to break down the starch even further and the end result is a simple white powder that contains roughly four calories per gram, and extremely small amounts of fiber, fat and protein. Good for people who is watching their calorie and sugar intake, especially those with Diabetes Type II. Something to caution though, as some people may experience food allergy and it may be causing MSG reaction.

Fructose is, well, simply sugar.

At first, I thought Orange pekoe is some sort of orange or something, but it so happen that Orange pekoe is tea, people. HA-HA. What an unlikely name for tea. It does not describe a kind of tea, instead just the grade of the tea. You can read about the bizarre orange pekoe form Wikipedia here.

As we have already known, green tea has gazillion benefits to our health, and I don’t have to further elaborate more, do I? :wink: Oh by the way, I also read that green tea is helpful for rheumatoid arthritis, so a bottle of tea mix, Aini hmm?

About lemon, ah I just drink my tea mix drink with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Very refreshing! Lemon is good for gang of dieters as it is said that lemon helps to stimulate metabolism. Other than that fresh squeezed lemon in a glass of ample water is said to cleanse the liver.

The name cardamom is used for herbs within two genera of the ginger family, green and black cardamon. Both forms of cardamom are used as flavorings in both food and drink, as cooking spices and as a medicine. Black cardamom is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking in Nordic countries. Green cardamom powder in other hand, is used as a spice for sweet dishes as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. Generally cardamom is used as medicine to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders.

Green and Black Cardamom. Picture from Wikipedia.

Malva sylvestris, fancy name, but it is basically a flower. It is a vigorously healthy plant with showy flowers of bright mauve-purple, with dark veins; a handsome plant, often standing 3 or 4 feet (1 m) high and growing freely in fields, hedgerows and in fallow fields. I am still figuring out the relevance of this ingredient in the tea mix, but from my reading in Wikipedia, malva sylvestris is generally used as food and medicine for some sort of soothing effect.

Malva sylvestris. Picture from Wikipedia.

Hibiscus is not only pretty and our national flower; it is also full of health benefit, especially to your heart. Hibiscus can effectively lower high blood pressure and reduce high cholesterol levels, and caffeine free.

All in all, the tea mix does not seem to have any potential health hazards, as the ingredients are basically natural food, and we may have been consuming in our food all this while without us knowing. The only thing to be considered though, is the caffeine from tea extract in the tea mix. But if you are the kind of person who drink teh tarik, kopi O kapal api or nescafe kow every now and then, the caffeine in the tea mix is nothing to shout for :-)

Like everything else in the world, it has to be taken in moderation. Tea mix stimulates your metabolism, but if your metabolism is running too high, it may put a strain on your heart. If you feel your heart is beating too fast, stop drinking tea mix for a while, or drink your tea mix lesser. Don't drink it late in the evening due to its caffeine content, unless if you do want to stay up late.

But don’t just simply take my word. For pregnant ladies, lactating mothers and those with health deficiency and on medication, I would recommend you to consult your doctor for second opinion.

Friday, January 16, 2009

HL for breastfeeding moms

Let me share some tips for BF moms yang nak minum HL.. I share it with kak Ina and kak Sofeya

1. saya dah tanya lactation counsellor yang consume herbalife gak (ceritifed ok), adakah susu saya akan kaput atau effect kat baby kalau saya amik HL.. which is F1, F3 and teamix. jawapannya tidak. so mmg confirm susu tak kaput, time tu susu masih meriah, saya minum teamix dekat 2L satu hari

2. f3 increase milk? oh tidak... benda ni pun tak effect, like lactation counsellor cakap. so increase/decrease in production tidak berkait langsung dengan herbalife.

3. kalau nak kuruskan badan, do not use F3.. sebab F3 shapekan badan. first and foremost, hanya minum F1. F1 akan kasi lost kgs, but quite slow i tell you.. saya tak lose kg 3 bulan pertama consume F1 and teamix.. tapi cam ajasu cakap, saya turun inches banyak sangat.. especially tang perut. lepas 3 kg, baru dapat shed off KG. so the key here is sabar bebanyak ok.

4. F3 hanya akan diguna pakai apabila akak-akak sekelian dah sampai targeted weight, so baru start consume F3. sebab F3 adalah untuk shape and tone your body, so masa berat tak turun dah consume, confirm juga dia akan shape & tone the body, tapi berat TAKKAN turun. believe me when i said this, saya consume F3 before this, selama 6 bulan, mmg berat tak turun! so i have to ditch F3, baru berat turun.

5. untuk dapatkan tenaga lebih, and shed off your basal metabollic age (believe me when i said my basal metabollic age is 38 before i start the program, i was shocked, enjin dalam badanku bekerja pada umur 38 tahun! 10 years more than my age!), bangun je tidur, please consume teamix + 200ml of plain water, lepas tu baru la nak minum F1 itu.. believe me, i did this, saya dapat shed off metabollic age tu dari 38 tahun jadi 34 tahun dalam masa less than one month!

6. tea mix itu sangat sangat penting, especially untuk kita yang mmg confirm tak exercise ni.. teamix akan buat badan kita bekerja macam exercise, seriously.. as i said earlier, my basal metabollic age drops due to this tea mix

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dear Diary,
A depressing clip. Don't watch it if you have a weak heart :lol:

But the FAT came BACK! -- powered by

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dear Diary,
Enjoys the piccas! The pink and yellow beach dress for Aida and Ummi Auni. The denim jacket and headscarf is just a mix and match recommendation from me. Something I love to do just for fun.

Getting hyped already? Let's get moving girls!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Dear Diary,
I sent a parcel to K.Ida last Tuesday, which contains a mystery gift :ahem: to tell her how happy I am with her achievement. I was waiting anxiously for her reaction. I was like, will she like it? What if, she got angry when she saw it? I was biting my fingernails hardly it broke.

When she finally told me that she had received the parcel, and loving it, I was in seventh heaven. The joy of sharing a gift is one thing, and knowing that the receiving person loving it is another :-)

And, this [sharing gift thingy] is addictive, that I rumbled through my wardrobe for other things to gave away. Guess what I found? 2 lovely cotton long beach dresses, in pink and yellow with unique rose embroideries. It is not really hijabis-friendly, but don't limit your fashion sense, and let your creativity run wild. You can put on a coat or long, thin cardigan on top. Since it is supposed to be beach wear, the cotton is very light and soft, it is advisable to wear underskirt. I prefer wearing flare leg pants to create a rugged look. Or, you can wear it on its own at the privacy of your home and let your family members adore you :-)

I actually bought 3 dresses, worn one [the prettiest of course] and have not found the occassion to wear the other two. To be frank, I bought it as a future reward to myself [should I be able to follow true to my pursuit and succeed].

Now, let these lovely dresses be the future reward for my two friends, Aida and Ummu Auni. Its theirs if they lose half of the targetted kilos. No time limit, but the first one to hit the bull's eye gets to choose her gift. To redeem the gift, the girls need to tell us how they did it and share the secrets to shed the kilos away.

So Aida and Ummu Auni, are you up to the challenge hmm?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My story: change the eating habit

Assalamualaikum dear Fattytini,

Semalam, masa on the way back dari office, den amik masa berborak dengan Aini pasal my weight. Sekarang ni den stands between 49/50 kg. So meh le den coret sikit-sikit buat kenangan dan motivasi untuk Aini meneruskan dietnya (dan diet den sendiri..kehkeh).

Den masa mengandung si Fahri, start berat masa tu 50 kg.
Lepas tu den pergi haji, sokmo O&G den sound suruh jaga makan. Ada sekali tu, den makan macam tak jumpa dah makanan tu. Yelah, den teringin nak makan nasi briyani kambing orang Arab.. faham-faham jerlah, den tengah ngandung.. masa den pergi tu, berat den baru 55 kg (5 bulan). Bila balik haji je, terus shoot naik lagi 3 kg.. So masa last checkup sebelum bersalin Fahri, I stands at 63 kg.

Lepas dah bersalin, I am stuck with 53 kg. Aduh, payah nor nak turun. Den dok fikir sebab den nyusu Fahri, jadi den pun buat dek jer pasal berat tu... Sampai la Fattytini ni berkecimpung secara intensif dengan Herbalife. Masa tu, Fahri dah umur setahun, so den pun nak cubalah diet kan kan.. Nak kasi tang perut tu kurang buncit sikit.. heheheh.

Masa naik weight scale tu, den terkejut tengok fat den tinggi sangat. Lepas tu BMA den 38 tahun! Alamak, tak boleh jadi nie.. Den baru umur 28 tahun.

So den pun gantikan la HL untuk my breakfast. Allah, masa start tu, rasa lapor nye tak boleh nak tahan laa... Den ganti minum air kosong bebanyak. Sebelum makan HL, kuat dah minum air kosong. Tapi lepas dah makan HL, consumption plain water je dah dekat 3 liter satu hari.

Tang berat 53 kg tu, jangan cakap la.. asyik naik scale tu, await la tak turun nie??? Bayangkan, amik masa dekat 3 bulan, baru ler nampak turun 1 kg.. Rasa masa tu nak campak je HL ngan TeaMix yang den beli. Tapi sebab den dah tukar eating habit, den motivated sebab Aini dok cakap perut ku kurang buncit.. Itu jer le, kalau tang berat tu, rasanya dah lama give up HL ni. 2 minggu den mulakan diet.. my BMA drop dari 38 tahun jadi 34 tahun.. hehehe

Tapi bila dah start 3 bulan diet, with my typical eating habit camni:

Breakfast: HL
Snack: 2 keping biskut Jacob's Low Salt Hi Fiber
Lunch: Nasi 1/2 + lauk + sayur
Snack: 2 keping biskut Jacob's Low Salt Hi Fiber + buah potong
Dinner: Nasi 1/2 + lauk + sayur

In between pun memang banyak minum TeaMix + plain water

Antara benda yang den tukar:

1. Minum antara tengah makan tu tak buat. Den kalau gi makan, mmg tak order air pun, lepas balik dari makan.. dalam 30 min-1 jam lepas makan, baru minum air kosong
2. Air manis dah lama ditch, tapi kalau teringin, den sembat gak. Adalah dalam seminggu, dalam 3-4 cawan jer air berwarna ni, lain semua plain water
3. Den banyak minum plain water yang tak sejuk, mmg tak tahan minum air kosong dari peti ais. Ni habit dari suami den. Sampai sekarang dok lekat dengan habit nie
4. Roti makan yang warna coklat (hi-fibre). Kalau suami beli yang putih, sembat la 2 keping gitu.. Tapi mmg den susah nak makan roti putih dah, mesti roti hi-fibre gak dicari
5. Antara breakfast-lunch tu.. kalau amik shake, selagi tu la den cuba tak makan benda heavy cam nasi. Den akan cuba cari kudapan berkhasiat seperti biskut hi-fibre

Jadi lepas dah mengamalkan selepas 3 bulan diet, berat tu macam melts off... Sampai la 3 kg turun (jadi 50 kg). Yang den notice, tang skirt.. dulu kalau pakai, nak zip tak lepas kat peha, sekarang boleh dah.. mmg den pun agak peha den mengecut sikit.

Lepas tu challenge ler pulak, nak turun bawah 50 kg tu.. scale tu dok main la kat situ 49 atau 50 kg. Punyalah lama nak cairkan lemak nak kasi turun 49 kg.. Tapi bila dah turun 49 kg, payah pulak nak turun ke 48 kg (kecuali masa puasa hari tu). So den pun usahalah diet balik cam masa awal-awal dulu..

Den motivated sebab tetiba Aini dah turun berat kan, so dah jeles la ngan dia. Jadi den kena usaha lebih lagi niee.. Nak jadi 43 kg lak tahun ni :D

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The new-mom body survey: 7,000 women tell it like it is

by Leslie Crawford and Sierra Senyak
Last updated: March 2008

Source: Baby Center

Gone are the days when the postpartum period meant throwing on a baggy sweatshirt and forgetting about your body for a while. Not with celeb-mommies showing up in Us and Star looking teeny and toned just weeks after giving birth. It's downright confusing: What's a woman supposed to look like four months after having a baby? Like Heidi Klum, glowing and gorgeous in size 4 jeans? Or the woman down the street with the size 16 pooch? If you're still wearing your maternity clothes, does that make you so very unusual? And if you're overweight now, are you destined to be that way forever?

Just like you, we at BabyCenter wondered: When it comes to postpartum weight issues, what's normal? So we surveyed more than 7,000 moms with babies ranging in age from just a few days to 2 years old. The big finding — that for many women, the post-baby bulge can be frustratingly hard to lose — is more reassuring than it sounds.

"For most people, the weight doesn't just melt off," says Madelyn Fernstrom, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's weight management program. "Even the celebrities who lose the weight within three months have to work out regularly — usually for extended amounts of time measured in hours, not minutes, which means getting outside help with the baby — and diet to do it. It's hard for pretty much everyone."

But far from impossible. Many new moms who struggle with their weight — including those for whom it's been a lifelong issue — manage to get not just trimmer in the post-baby era but healthier than they've ever been. So read the results of our exclusive poll, find out what real women experience — and breathe a sigh of relief. Whatever the state of your body these days, you've got plenty of company.

The truth about baby fat

Many new moms assume that losing their baby fat will be much easier than it really is.

"I had this misconception that I would be back to my old shape within days," one survey taker told us. "I even brought my old clothes to wear home from the hospital! I had to ask my husband to bring my maternity clothes from home."

It's a common delusion. In our survey, 65 percent of brand-new mothers said they expected to be back down to their pre-pregnancy weight by their baby's first birthday. But when we polled moms of 1- to 2-year-olds, over half were still carrying at least a few extra pounds.

Of course, a fair number of women do get in shape fast: Almost a fifth of our survey moms with newborns (3 months old or younger) said they'd already lost all their baby weight. According to Fernstrom, a year is a more realistic timeline for even a motivated new mom, with the last 10 pounds taking the longest to shed. The not-so-surprising reason? "Busyness and fatigue make it hard to find time to exercise," she says, "which is what you need for more rapid loss."

Shape-shifting effect

For many moms, the extra weight isn't the only shocker."You may weigh the same or less after your pregnancy, but your clothes will fit differently!" lamented one mom in our survey. "I weigh less now, but I wear a larger size." If you've been surprised by the way pregnancy has reconfigured your body, you're hardly alone.

More than half of our moms said their breasts are different now, and more than a third said they have wider hips. But the post-baby tummy — "my mommy fluff," as one woman put it; "this bulbous tire around my middle," another complained — is what really seems to blow most moms away. One to two years after having their baby, 87 percent of women say their stomach still hasn't returned to normal.

The good news: According to Fernstrom, it's possible to regain your old muscle tone — or even develop tone you never had before — no matter how old you are. But it takes time. Expect to wait at least six months and up to a year before your tummy starts to look somewhat recognizable — and that's with regular exercise and sit-ups.

On the down side, muscle tone is not the same as skin tone. Some women are genetically vulnerable to stretch marks and saggy skin. These may look better over time, but they may not go away completely. Skin will also lose some elasticity after each birth — and with age. So if you had your kids later in life, it will be that much harder to restore your tummy to its former firmness.

Still, not all changes are unwelcome. As one new mom noted, "I have boobs now — and I didn't have to pay for them!"

Weight-loss plateau

It's definitely tougher to shed the pounds if you gained more than the recommended amount.

"For my first two babies, I was told to eat whatever I wanted. Big mistake!" said one of our survey moms. "I gained 50 pounds with my first and almost 40 with my second. Then, for my last one, I gained just 25 pounds. Not only did I feel great throughout the pregnancy, I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight in six months instead of two years."

If you exceeded the recommended limit of 35 pounds, join the club. So did 42 percent of our survey takers. And if the extra weight has presented a challenge for you, you've got lots of company there as well. Just 32 percent of our big gainers managed to shed all their pregnancy weight by their baby's first birthday versus 50 percent of moms who gained less. A year or two after the birth, the heavier moms were also more likely to be carrying at least 10 extra pounds (49 percent versus 36 percent).

Still, there's no point in beating yourself up about how much you gained when you were pregnant. Instead, try to focus on getting healthier as you move forward. "My son is 8 months old, and I'm just 7 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight (and that's after my 52-pound weight gain!), so it can be done," one mom told us. "It just may take a little time and patience."

The mommy metabolism myth

Losing weight is harder after a baby — but not for the reason you might think.

"I feel like my body has a new set point now," one of our survey takers complained. "Before, I never had to watch my weight. I was always the same, no matter what. That hasn't changed — except that I'm 15 pounds heavier."

The notion that having a baby fundamentally changes a woman's metabolism was common among the new mothers we surveyed. Nearly 90 percent of the moms who were overweight one to two years later blamed pregnancy for either triggering or worsening their weight problem. Among moms with two or more kids, 49 percent said that peeling off the pounds was easiest after their first pregnancy.

But according to Fernstrom, it's not your metabolism that slows down in the postpartum months — it's you. (When was the last time you had an hour to spend at the gym?) Also getting in the way of good intentions are the stress and fatigue that come with caring for a baby, both classic triggers for repeated trips to the cookie jar.

Nor does your body hang on to excess fat more stubbornly with each child, Fernstrom says. Metabolism does gradually slow with age, but the real reason veteran moms are less likely to get back into their old jeans: They retain baby weight from each pregnancy. "If you've got 60 pounds to lose versus 20, it feels harder, and it is," she says. "But there's no biological reason it's harder to lose the weight after your third child than after your first."

New Hampshire survey mom Sheena Harte, who has six kids, is living proof that trimming down doesn't have to get more difficult each time. After struggling to get back in shape after her first two pregnancies, she's lost all her baby weight within a month or so the last four times. "I finally learned to tune in to my body," she says, "and now I eat only when I'm hungry."

Uncomfortable in the skin I'm in

All the changes can take a major toll on your self-esteem.

"When my body didn't bounce back, as I had been told it would by well-intentioned friends and family members, I was devastated," one new mom told us.

Unfortunately, a majority of our survey moms can relate. Over half confessed that their body image has gotten worse since they became a mother; another 16 percent said they never liked their body before, and having a baby hasn't helped matters one bit.

If anything, the Ironmom-next-door can be harder on the ego than Gwyneth, Reese, or Kate. "I ran into someone who had twins six weeks ago, and she was wearing low-rise jeans with a perfectly flat tummy," moans 40-year-old Ray Caldito of Los Angeles, who had her twins nine months ago and is still 10 pounds heavier than she'd like to be. "With a celebrity mom, you can attribute it to a tummy tuck or a personal trainer. But with regular moms, it seems more like willpower."

What's more, as time passes and the pounds come off — perhaps not as quickly or completely as anticipated — a new mom's body image doesn't really get any better. Just over 65 percent of brand-new moms say they don't like their body versus just over 64 percent of moms of 1- to 2-year-olds.

Even the lucky few who lose the baby weight quickly may have a rough time accepting themselves. Kimberly Benkwitt of Pelham, New York, has lost all her pregnancy weight plus another 25 pounds and has more energy than ever — a good thing, since the 34-year-old is chasing after two toddlers as well as caring for 3-month-old Finleigh. But her pregnancy pooch leaves her feeling anything but beautiful. "I'm at the lowest weight I've ever been at as an adult," she says, "yet I'm the least comfortable with my body."

All in the family

But chances are your mate still thinks you're sexy.

"My husband has been phenomenal," says Kara Jones, 27, a mother of two who lives in British Columbia. "He notices that I'm losing weight and firming up and gives me lots of compliments and encouragement. But at the same time, he's happy with who I am. He's always told me that I'm beautiful and has never once pressured me to lose weight."

Jones is lucky, but she's hardly the exception. Only about 5 percent of new moms reported hearing complaints from their partners about their postpartum weight or shape.

Joan Chrisler, a body image expert who teaches at Connecticut College, isn't surprised. "Lots of studies have shown that women think men want them to be thinner than men really want them to be," she says. "Researchers will show women sketches of female figures and ask, which do you think men believe is the ideal? Men always pick significantly bigger sizes than women think they want." So if your mate says you look great, believe it.

On the other hand, plenty of other people seem to feel free to offer their critiques of your postpartum body. Nearly half of our survey moms said they got negative comments from their parents, and a quarter got them from an in-law. Even strangers seem to feel entitled to put in their two cents, with 18 percent of moms saying they got hurtful comments from people they didn't even know. (On a more positive note, our survey moms have received more compliments and encouragement than criticism from people in all these groups.)

Free to be me

You can get to a weight you feel comfortable with even if you've packed on the pounds

Thirty-year-old Amanda Denn of Montgomery, Texas, gained 75 pounds right before and during her first pregnancy. Although she lost 20 of them soon after her daughter's birth, her weight plateaued for the next ten months. Then her sister-in-law encouraged her to sign up at a new Curves location with a set routine she could fit into her lunch break. "Six months later, I've lost 45 pounds and am very happy with how I look," she says. "And with the healthy way I lost the weight, I have a better chance of keeping it off."

Just as pregnancy inspires some women to eat more healthfully, motherhood can provide an opportunity to forge a new identity around food. That's what onetime yo-yo dieter Susan Olsen of Riverside, California, has discovered. By the time she got pregnant, the 28-year-old had been struggling to lose the same 30 pounds since college. But it wasn't until her daughter, Madelyn, now 7 months, arrived that she found the inspiration to change how she ate for good.

"I grew up with a mom who was about 100 pounds overweight, and I didn't want to be like that," Olsen says. "I want to be able to run around and play with Madelyn." So she joined Weight Watchers (again), started exercising, and this time, her resolve has stuck. So far, she's lost 41 pounds — 14 more than she gained during her pregnancy. She proclaims proudly, "I can now say I'm in better shape after bringing my beautiful baby into the world."

Calcium source

Dear Fattytini,

As everyone raved about Calcium Diet as mentioned by my cousin,

Calcium may be the newest weight-loss secret.
A new study provides more evidence that calcium can fight body fat and help keep your weight under control.

Researchers found that adolescent girls who consumed more calcium weighed less and had less body fat than girls who consumed the same amount of calories from other sources. Previous studies have shown that a higher calcium intake can block body fat production in adults and preschool children, but this is one of the first studies to show that it might have the same effect in body-conscious preteen and teenage girls. (

According to professor of medicine at Creighton University, Dr. Robert Heaney, a body deprived of calcium stores more fat in fat cells. If you are aiming to lose weight, it's best to eat a healthy diet that includes foods rich in calcium

I Wikipedia-ed Calcium and found this

An overlooked source of calcium is eggshell, which can be ground into a powder and mixed into food or a glass of water

Weird, but maybe worth a try

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dear Fattytini,

It's depressing to note that I reached 62 kg last Syawal - I was at my heaviest, I didn't realise that because the scale at home is incorrect. I weighed 2 kg lesser weighing on that scale. I asked Aida to take the digital scale to my home since I desperately need some motivation to discipline me.

I worked really hard on my diet, I punished myself by eating less, take the stairs from 10th floor to my office every workday. And now, Alhamdulillah, I stand at 58 kg.

But WAIT, there are still lots need to be done! I'm aiming for 50 kg. I drilled myself for 2 months after raya, and it only resulted in 4 kg decrease.

I know that I've to train myself to be much more disciplined, I rigorously follow the BFT [Cara langsing dan kuruskan badan] under the CARI! forum. I jot down what I eat everyday, hmph, wait! I forgot to jot down what I gobbled this past few weeks

I should jot it down now


Updated the BFT forum

Aiming for another 8 kg to lose

Revised target: 50 kg by 30 September 2009


Dear Fattytini..

I am now at 50 kg, can you please make sure my target is 43kg by 31st December 2009.
I gained 1 kg back due to the fact I ate 2 chappatis in the morning :P

Friday, January 02, 2009

Dear Diary,
We went to supermarket yesterday. We bought:

2 packs of Anlene low fat natural yogurt
2 Nestle Bliss low fat kiwi yogurt drink
Dutch Lady low fat mango yogurt drink
Dutch Lady low fat strawberry yogurt drink
2 packs of Anlene Concentrate
Orange juice
Tropical fruits juice
Gardenia wholemeal bread
Ayamas Sandwich Patty

Healthy food eh? And expensive too. Made a hole in our pocket :-p

For dinner, I made me a sandwich. Its so simple, here's the recipe:

2 piece of Wholemeal Bread
1 Ayamas Sandwich Patty (should have grilled it,instead I fried ngee)
1 cherry tomato (sliced)
2 piece of cheddar cheese

Insya Allah, it contains all the nutrients you need in a meal. Carbs, protein, vitamins, calcium and full of fibre. Most of all, you'll burp HAHA.

[Salad? Cherry tomatoes? Yes dear. I was even surprised at myself. I actually ate those veggies :-p]

For today's breakfast, I made me a shake, the recipe:

1 Anlene Concentrate
1 cup of Nestle Bliss Low Fat Kiwi Yogurt Drink
3 scoops of Strawberry Herbalife F1
2 cups of chilled water

Yummy, because strawberry and kiwi turns out to be great combination of taste, but too sweet for my tastebud. Maybe I should not put too much of yogurt drink.

Hmm? What's for lunch eh? Not McD I hope.

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