How to shed pounds after stuffing your face with chocolate
This month we’re celebrating all things cocoa-related. And why not? The stuff is delicious. In fact, it’s also packed with antioxidants called flavanoids, which help to combat the body’s ageing process, relax your blood pressure and balance hormones. That, however, is almost null and void when you eat milk chocolate (the milk makes it hard for the body to absorb the goodness) and, while pure dark chocolate helps your heart, any sugary additives do nothing but harm.
The average chocolate bar contains about 200 calories: depending on your weight, that will account for 10 to 20 per cent of your recommended daily calorie intake, leaving no space for less sugary, fatty foods. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t want to rob you of your afternoon Twix, but why not neutralise those calories by working them off? Here’s how.
Peanut M&Ms (49.3g)
255 calories = 30 minutes of zumba fitness Why do it? It’s not your average fitness class, combining Latin and international music with various dance moves. The fast and slow rhythms help to develop fitness by creating resistance, toning your body at the same time as burning off fat. Classes are open to all levels too, so you don’t have to worry about being a zumba expert to join in.
Try it at: World Beat Fitness Centre (17 612 576). BD5 for one class, BD15 for four, BD30 for 10. www.worldbeatfitness.com.
Butter Cups (51g) 260 calories = 30 minutes of jogging at 8kph Why do it? Because jogging is free, you can do it whenever you want, it’s results-oriented, it builds muscle and cardio fitness and it’s a great way to clear the head after a long day in the office.
Try it at: The Corniche is a simple, generally popular place to start. Or to be really inspired, it’s often best to join a group of like-minded people. The Bahrain Hash Harriers and Bahrain Road Runners are two that regularly organise races and training. www.bahrainhash.com, www.bahrainroadrunner.com.
270 calories = 30 minutes of hot yoga Why do it? Hot involves a series of slow postures performed in a room heated to 40°C (akin to doing yoga in a car park in August). It’s said to torch your muscles and completely flush the body of toxins – just make sure to keep your fluid intake up before and after the class to avoid dehydration. Warning: the first few sessions are torturous and you’ll ache all over.
Try it at: World Beat Fitness Centre (17 612 576). Prices are BD5 per class, BD15 for four classes, BD30 for 10 classes. www.worldbeatfitness.com.
Twix bar (58g)
289 calories = a two-hour leisurely horse ride Why do it? Trotting along on a horse is a therapeutic experience, allowing you to learn to read the animal. Bahrain Riding School holds regular rides and lessons at its Barbar Village location, and afterwards you’ll feel strain in muscles you didn’t even know existed (mostly around the ‘seat’ area).
Try it at: Bahrain Riding School (17 690 448). Open Sat-Thu 3.30pm-5.30pm, with two one-hour rides on Fridays. Lessons BD10 per hour, rides without tuition BD5.
Nutella snack (15g)
70 calories = 30 minutes of vacuuming Why do it? Because your house is messy… No, seriously, you save a lot of money by working out while cleaning. The average price of a cleaning service in Bahrain is about BD2.5 per hour, and the average minimum time spent cleaning a two-bed apartment is four hours, so a year’s vacuuming costs you BD520. Add to that the average cost of a workout class, at BD5 a pop, so two classes a year costs BD520. By these maths, hoovering your own crumbs saves you a cool BD1,000 a year.
Try it at: A home near you.
Lindt Excellence Cocoa bar (100g)
486 calories = 30 minutes of ViPR training Why do it? This new functional training craze uses what is essentially a large rubber cylinder with a few holes in it for grip. Yet in its simplicity lies brilliance. Weighing between 4kg and 20kg, moving the ViPR allows for multiple planes of movement and engages your whole body, working several muscle groups at once. Jerky, one-motion weights are so passé.
Try it at: The company that has introduced ViPR training to the Middle East is ME Fit Pro. Based in Dubai, the company is a consultancy that now works with 84 high profile training clubs in the region, offering training programmes and continuous instructor training. Ask your local gym about it. www.mefit.net.
Can chocolate really help you lose weight?
The diet industry is big business, and in the interests of marketing there have been many fad diets introduced over the past few years that involve chocolate. Think ‘The Chocolate Diet’, or even ‘The Chocolate, Popcorn and Pasta Diet’ (now we’re talking). While the former claims that dark chocolate and chocolate supplements actually speed up the metabolism, these claims are unfounded. The latter just has you eating a lot less, which, even if you ate pure lard, would lead to weight loss. So no, chocolate doesn’t make you skinny. Sorry.