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Experts weigh in on blockbuster's weight loss strategy

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: February 27, 2024 L M S

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Poster for YOLO. [Photo from web]

Following the debut of the Year of the Dragon Spring Festival blockbuster You Only Live Once on screens across China, fervent discussions are underway regarding the transformative weight-loss journey depicted in the film.

The movie follows protagonist Du Leying, who finds redemption and self-assurance through boxing. Off-screen, director Jia Ling, who also played the role of Du, grabbed headlines by shedding approximately 50 kilograms during the filming process.

Yet, concerns have emerged regarding the suitability of such drastic weight reduction methods for the broader population.

Mao Qibin, director of the Endocrinology Department and weight management expert at the Second People's Hospital of Shaoxing, acknowledges the extraordinary nature of this feat.

"Weight loss is common, but shedding 50 percent of body weight in such a brief timeframe is truly exceptional in terms of both speed and magnitude," he said.

Mao elaborates that a typical yearly weight loss range falls between 30 to 40 kg, making a 50-kg reduction within a year surpass the usual bounds of weight reduction. However, the extent of weight loss achievable varies based on individual factors like initial body weight and overall health.

Reflecting on Jia's remarkable transformation, Yu Kelan, a weight loss specialist at the Shaoxing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, stresses the necessity of professional guidance for such rapid weight loss, a challenge that many may struggle to take on.

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The trailer of You Only Live Once is shown in a movie theater. [Photo/IC]

Embarking on a weight loss journey demands more than sheer determination − it requires a strategic approach grounded in science and expert guidance, according to Fan Mingqi, head of the Gym Fitness Studio in Shaoxing.

However, achieving short-term weight loss goals is merely the starting point, particularly for individuals grappling with obesity. Sustaining weight loss necessitates a steadfast commitment to a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and resilience against setbacks.

Fan advocates for a gradual approach to workouts, especially for those with a high body mass index, emphasizing the importance of avoiding overexertion to prevent potential health risks. For individuals looking to achieve a 50 percent reduction in weight, he elaborated on a plan which includes exercise sessions two to four times a week for approximately 18 months.

In the first phase of training, Fan advises a focus primarily on bodyweight exercises, incorporating warm-up routines, resistance training targeting major muscle groups, and cardiovascular exercises to enhance heart and lung functions.

As participants progress, they enter a second phase, which introduces free-weight exercises aimed at building muscle, preventing relapse, and further sculpting the body. Fan noted that it is important for tailored routines to address individual needs, emphasizing muscle strength and joint stability.

After months of dedicated training, individuals reach the final phase. Here, activities like boxing, swimming, and mountaineering under professional guidance enhance muscle explosiveness, coordination, and overall fitness, ensuring sustained weight loss results.