Why you're not losing weight.

We all get to that point where we desire that hourglass or buff look, whether for personal gain or otherwise. For those blessed with 'skinny' genes, great! The workout is limited to walking to the stage to board a matatu. My fellow 'not exactly favorably looked upon by the gods of 'Naomi Campbell/Idris Elba physique,' worry not. Matter of fact is with discipline and persistence, anything is possible (as are all other aspects of life).

Picture this; you are at that petrol station fueling your car, exhausted and famished, on your way home from work. That giant red KFC or Big Square sign staring right across you doesn't make things any easier. Living in Nairobi, you're probably going to get stuck in traffic too. "I paid rent/bills/bonus from chama, so why not treat my stomach to some love, right? ...Will get a little workout in bright and early or just after work anyway."

This is where the heart of the problem lies. Our bodies are not the frequency/intensity of physical exercise or the number of natural supplements we take; we are the food we eat. Every 35 days, your skin generates new cells and the liver for about a month. What you consume literally becomes you. The typical Kenyan diet happens to be loaded with carbs, and the average human being will face considerable challenges in an attempt to lose weight.

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The same goes for South-East Asian cuisines (specifically Indian) rich in curries and spices and the stereotyped American fast-food diet. However, this does not necessarily mean one cannot use ingredients from these cultures to work towards a proper diet, and ultimately a healthy lifestyle. A common misconception is that regardless of what you eat, general exercise will result in weight loss. Although certain elements to this are true, the statement in its entirety could not be farther from the truth.

A workout that isn't thought out is just as futile as carrying a shovel to the farm and not actually do any digging. Before subscribing to a gym membership, hiring that personal trainer, or buying a treadmill for home use, it is advisable to do due diligence. Exercise, if not properly executed, may cause muscle gain or loss of features, which were meant to be enhanced in the first place.

Woman working out.

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The primary form of exercise for weight loss is strength exercise. These include activities such as push-ups, crunches, and weight lifting. They promote resistance on muscles, burn calories, and as a result, smaller muscle mass. A workout that fuels the body's internal engines and enhances physiological functions is through aerobic exercise (e.g., jogging, swimming, dancing). They work by increasing the heart's pumping mechanism, reduce the risk of heart failure, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Balance exercise has proven particularly beneficial for older adults, people who have gained or lost a lot of weight, and the pregnant as this class of people experience difficulty maintaining position and center of gravity. Flexibility exercise is sports-oriented and builds a range of motion around the joints.

Ideally, one should aim to incorporate all the above forms of exercise. However, it is crucial to determine what works for you. It may seem odd (though not implausible) to find pregnant women who run 10 km marathons or 80-year-olds lift weights twice their body size. The goal is to establish courses of training that are suitable, more so efficient (adhering to a controlled dietary lifestyle as well). While these tips may not exactly land you on the front cover of Vogue, they will certainly take you a step closer to yielding physical results.