The first step toward losing weight is to accept that you are overweight — that the scales are working — that your dress hasn’t shrunk in the wash — and that the roll around your stomach is real. You must want to lose weight for yourself — not for your husband or your children — it has to be you that wants to be slimmer because it is important to you and to your health. The amount you need to eat varies from person to person and depends upon how active you are, but the average woman needs about 2,000 calories to maintain her body weight, and for a man this figure is near 2,500. If you consume more calories than your body needs, then you will gain weight and put fat on your bones. What will losing weight bring you? A very big smile, slimmer figure, a healthier body, more energy, improved confidence, and a rise in self-esteem. You have achieved something of value. Look at your fat intake Middle Eastern and Asian ****ing contain high levels of fat and salt. Exercise is vital You may not like exercise, but many people do and it is vital to a working body. Exercise also releases endorphins that make you feel happy. Exercising burns calories, tones your body and keeps your joints flexible. If you are shy start by getting fit at home — just send for my Mini-Morning Workout at email@example.com. You can build up your exercise routine slowly over time. There are many videos and DVDs out there to help you, or else you can take a walk in the park or along the beach to get yourself started. Arabian belly dancing is great for toning the body! Keep on trying — we all have good days and bad days but the ones who succeed are the ones who keep on trying! Recipe of the week Ocean perch fillets with orange-mustard glaze Serves 6 Ingredients 120 ml orange juice 70 g coarse grain mustard 2 1/4 tsp brown sugar 680 g perch fillets non-stick ****ing spray Method Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a heavy non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Boil 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Coat a broiler pan with non-stick ****ing spray. Place fillets, skin side down, on the pan and brush with mustard mixture. Broil 10 cm from heat source 4-6 minutes, or until fish flakes easily. Getting active: How to breathe when running There are a lot of myths about different breathing techniques when running. One is that you should concentrate on breathing in and out at certain times. But the bottom line is that your body will do all the breathing for you without you having to think about it. If you put too much emphasis on learning to breathe, you are wasting valuable time and effort when you could be running faster. Basically, if you don’t need to think about breathing when walking, why bother when you build up speed? It is normal to breathe louder, faster and more often when running. You will get better at it as you get fitter but, like running, it takes time to improve. To help your breathing to become more spontaneous, kick-start your run with a brisk walk for five minutes, then begin gaining speed and see how your breathing feels. Start slowly and gradually build up the distance you run. Ask Alva Is fresh shark liver good for heart patients? — Jayram It’s interesting that of all the natural substances that have been proven to keep excess inflammation in check, none are supported by more clinical and scientific research studies than fish oil. The omega-3 in fish oil (in appropriate doses) has been proven to reverse excessive inflammation. Fish oil is so highly regarded that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 1000 mg of omega–3 from fish oil as a preventative measure. (That’s omega-3 ******* not mg of oil.) Fish oil products have come to the market in droves but most are of poor quality and become rancid quickly. All but a few are very low dose (10–500 mg gel caps of single fish oils) that don’t even come close to the omega–3 1000 mg daily recommendation of the AHA. There are a few good pharmaceutical grade fish oils out there but they are very expensive.