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From fat to fit

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Jan 10/01) - We've spent the last six months telling you how to put on weight.

We've given you recipes for jam, tips for cooking caribou meat, and tempted you with all the sumptuous Christmas treats.

Now that you've packed on the pounds, here's what to do to shed those unwanted pounds before the season of seal-skin bikinis arrives.

Step one: lay off the shortbread cookies. Even if they're small or if you plan to eat just one, put the cookie down. It's chock full of butter and will do nothing for your waistline.

Step two: join Sandy Kusugak on the treadmill. A powerhouse of energy and drive, the Rankin Inlet resident said she spends up to an hour a day exercising her muscles either on the treadmill or in front of the television with aerobics tapes.

"It makes me feel so much better. I have so much more energy," said Kusugak.

As to whether her regime is effective, Kusugak did just return from a two-week stint in Cuba. Did she wear a bikini?

"No," said Kusugak. "But I discovered that a lot of people who were fatter than me did wear them," she said.

Sticking primarily to a diet of rice, beans, pasta, fruit and vegetables, Kusugak said she preferred to follow the wise words of advice given to her by a fellow exercise guru.

"I never weigh myself," she said. "You just judge by how your clothes feel. And muscle weighs more than fat so when you're in shape, you're going to weigh more."

The nurse-in-charge at the Coral Harbour health centre had a fairly straight- forward weight loss tip.

"Try to avoid snacks in the evening," said Debbie Anderson. "People often aren't as active as they are in the daytime when they'd use more calories," she said.

For those unable to resist crunching on something while watching TV, Anderson advised to keep the snacks light and avoid fatty foods.

"Apples or celery sticks are good. Popcorn is good as long as it doesn't have the butter."

That is easier said than done for Whale Cove's Elizabeth Copland. Now that the Christmas season has passed, Copland admits there is now more of her to love. Slimming down and avoiding snacking can be hard after a few weeks of over indulging.

"It's a little tough," said Copland, who planned to do her best by eating less fast food and focusing on items from the vegetable world. Copland also said she hoped to use her muscles a little more.

"I'd like to exercise a bit more, do a bit more walking," said Copland. "That's my plan for now."