Summer will be here in Vancouver before you know it – are you ready? Some say it already is here.
For many of us, the warmer months are when we lose a few layers of clothing and finally let our skin see the light of day. While it many feel great to finally soak up some sun — when we actually have it in Vancouver, the idea of sporting shorts, tank tops and a bathing suit can cause sheer panic. This is especially true for those who have put off working on their summer bodies during the dark days of winter.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to look and feel amazing – there are endless ways to ditch that stubborn flab and fit into those shorts hiding in the back of your closet. Whether you want to go the au natural route or get a helping hand from a plastic surgeon is up to your own personal preference, lifestyle and budget.
But before you make any big decisions, it’s always important to do a little digging and research your options. Here are some natural & non-natural ways for Vancouverites to trim body fat.
Natural Ways To Lose Fat in Vancouver
1. Restrict Your Calories
When it comes to weight loss, you can do crunches and sit-ups until the cows come home, but that’s not going to give you the flat stomach you’ve always dreamed of.
The truth is that the single most important part of every single diet plan is your total daily calorie intake.
Whether it’s that glass of cold chardonnay on a patio this summer, pint of ale or mouth-watering BBQ at the country fair, you’re bound to put on weight if you overindulge. Of course, your calorie needs depend on your lifestyle and build. For instance, someone who is outside building houses all day will require more fuel than a sedentary office worker.
To find out how many calories your body really needs, check out this free online calculator by Calorie King HERE.
2. Work up a Sweat
Regular exercise is a great way to keep your heart and mind healthy – it’s also bound to make you feel more comfortable showing some skin at the beach this summer. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) recommends adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
Too busy to join a gym or go for a long walk around the Stanley Park Seawall? The activity doesn’t have to be non-stop, such as an aerobics class. Rather, you can do 10 minutes or more at a time throughout the day to reach your daily total. For example, take a brisk 10-minute walk before work, play for 10 minutes with your kids after work, take the steps instead of the elevator and then spend another 15 minutes walking the dog in the evening.
And just like how a variety of foods is important when it comes to a healthy diet, a variety of physical activities is important for healthy living.
The HSFC suggests choosing physical activities that require endurance, strength and flexibility.
- Endurance activities are continuous activities such as walking, cycling and tennis. They’re especially beneficial for your heart, lungs and circulatory system.
- Strength activities, such as carrying groceries (or toddlers!), heavy yard work or weight training, strengthen muscles and bones and improve posture. Aim for at least two times a week.
- Flexibility activities, such as stretches, yoga, housework or golfing keep your muscles relaxed and your joints mobile. Or even try some exercises you can do at your desk.
For more intense workouts, consider P90X or Insanity.
3. Say Freeze — With CoolSculpting in Vancouver
Have you heard of CoolSculpting? This non-invasive procedure uses a process called Cryolipolysis; a revolutionary method of body sculpting that kills the fat cells by freezing them. Over the course of the following weeks, your body will eliminate the dead cells naturally.
With CoolSculpting, there is no need for patients to go under the knife. In fact, CoolSculpting doesn’t even require injections or anesthesia.
Another bonus — not having to worry about recovery time. A patient can return to work after a session, and continue with regular activities as if they just had a simple haircut.
Non-Natural Ways To Trim Fat
1. Suck it Up
Any medical procedure carries with it the potential for complications and side effects, and liposuction is no exception.
This cosmetic surgery, which is meant to improve the body’s contour by removing excess fat, is becoming more common in a day in age when fast fixes are available for some of life’s more troublesome quandaries – such as body image.
But there are some serious drawbacks to consider before proclaiming liposuction as the cure to your weight-loss woes. From infection and swelling to nerve damage – and in some cases, death, this weight-loss procedure is effective, but comes with its share of risks.
2. Pop a Pill
For those who are looking for a quick fix, prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements for weight loss can seem like the perfect solution – even with scant evidence that they actually work.
There’s also the danger of becoming addicted, jeopardizing your health and wellness all in pursuit for the ‘perfect body.’
Just because that fancy label on your pill bottle promises you’ll drop a few sizes in no time doesn’t mean it’s true. Chances are you’ll just be dropping water weight, which will come back the second you return to your normal eating habits. However, if you simply cannot resist the pill popping’ route, do your research and talk to your doctor first.
3. Gastric Banding Surgery
For with far more than the typical 10-15 pounds to lose, gastric banding has proven to be a popular weight-loss option. With this invasive procedure, a surgeon uses an inflatable band to squeeze the stomach into two sections: a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower section. The two sections are still connected by a very small channel, which slows down the emptying of the upper pouch. The result? Most people can only eat a 1/2 to 1 cup of food before feeling too full or sick, which leads to weight loss.
A gastric band should only be used after other methods such as diet and exercise have been tried.
Trim Fat in Vancouver — Naturally!
Vancouver’s great outdoor scenery is just one of the reasons to get active in burning fat. But of course, it all starts in the kitchen. Ensuring that you are eating a well-balanced diet is an important step toward living a more healthy lifestyle.
My advice: Avoid some of the more non-natural ways of trimming fat. You could be pouring tens of thousands of dollars into procedures and resources that may not be good for you or your body.
The important thing is that you feel good. It’s all fine to do diet and exercise to look great — but you have to feel good too. And if you’re taking care of that, then enjoy the great weather we’ve been having. It’s too good to pass up!
About Dr. Kumar Shivdasani
Dr. Kumar Shivdasani is a medical practitioner with 25 years experience. He began his career in emergency at Vancouver General Hospital and addiction medicine – later branching into cosmetic medicine. He is the owner of CuR Laser and Skin in Vancouver, BC. Education, good lifestyle and diet changes lay the foundation for developing overall health and wellness, helping Kumar’s clients achieve and maintain their target goals. Dr. Kumar is also dedicated to helping others as shown by his support for Summits of Hope and Turning Point Recovery.