Friday, November 6, 2015

Lose Weight, Look Great This Diwali : Follow Our 5 Weight Loss Steps

With Diwali just around the corner, you might be looking for some practical ways in which you can shed a couple of kilos quickly. We fully agree that there is no quick fix remedy to lose weight and crash dieting causes more harm than good. However, our tried and tested weight loss tips might just be what you need to get you started on your weight loss journey and lose up to 2 kilos within a week.
These tips also can be incorporated into your daily routine for achieving healthy long-term sustainable weight loss goals.

Image Source - Anandprabu's Klicks 
Increase your liquid intake: This includes drinking more water, infused water, coconut water, freshly squeezed home-made juice (without adding extra sugar) and green tea.  Increased water intake makes you feel fuller, rejuvenates and improves your overall metabolic activity and flushes out the toxins from your system.  Since it is difficult for the body to tell the difference between hunger and thirst, drinking water helps to curb hunger and cravings. It might also help to eat water-based foods like soup or fruits and veggies (watermelon, cucumber, grapefruit etc) that are rich in water and mineral content .But, it is important to understand that water is not a substitute for food and drinking too much of water could be dangerous. Though there are many opinions (depending on one’s weight, age, environmental factors) on how much water one should drink, it is generally agreed upon that 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day is optimum. It is also essential to reduce your sodium (salt) intake as it can cause bloating.

Get involved in an activity: Most of us are constantly thinking about food. Our minds are constantly preoccupied with questions like what to cook, how to cook, when to eat. Thanks to Social Media and countless food channels on Television our minds are flooded with images of tempting culinary wonders from across the globe. The more you think about food, the more difficult it will be to limit those calories and curb cravings. So, getting involved in an activity or work helps to steer your mind clear of those impediments that come in the form of fried chicken or cheesy burgers. Though not mandatory, it will be beneficial if the “activity” involves light to moderate cardio workouts like walking or jogging. Learning a new sport, taking swimming/dance lessons or even getting involved in community service is good. Those who have a certain health condition or those who suffer from morbid obesity, can engage themselves in yoga or meditation to begin with. Even simple tasks like taking your dog out for a walk, reading, blogging, learning a new language  or even learning to play a new musical instrument might help. For example, if writing is my passion then I will decide to write at least one article per day, for the next five days. This way, chances are that I will be thinking of what to write more than what and when to eat.

Keep your menu simple. Boring is good! : This is again a continuation of the previous step. Plan and prep your menu ahead of time so that you don’t end up eating that bag of chips. Keep sliced, chopped-up fruits and veggies within your hands reach.  Having breakfast is an integral part of losing weight. Instead of whipping up a fresh batch of muffins for breakfast or racking your brain deciding between dosa or upma, it is simple and convenient to have a bowl of oats or cornflakes (not the sugary ones) with a piece of fresh fruit (bananas, apples, berries, pomegranate, papaya etc.) along with freshly brewed green tea. Though this is not the most nutritious option, it is much better than having an oily breakfast of puri-bahji or aloo paratha. You might also want to avoid full fat milk and use skimmed milk instead. Soy or almond milk can also be used.  Those who frequent the gym might want to add boiled eggs or a green smoothie for building lean muscles. For a mid-morning snack, an apple or any fruit of your choice along with a cup of green tea (black coffee, black tea with less sugar) will satiate your hunger pangs. Now if that doesn’t curb your hunger, you can have a handful of dry fruits or nuts. Avocadoes are an excellent source of good fat and are extremely good for teenagers and growing children. But always remember to eat in moderation. 

Lunch can be a simple grilled chicken wrap or veg wrap or Rice (brown rice ideally), daal, sabzi or even grilled fish with steamed vegetables. Its best if you can get hold of fresh organic ingredients sourced from local farms. Do not over-complicate the dishes by adding a lot of masalas and spices. Also remember to stay away from processed foods and excess oil.

Now the key to weight loss is having an early-light dinner. Soups or salads (without the mayo dressing of course), lean protein etc. are excellent options.  Keep it simple and clean. Make sure that you have your dinner as early as possible so that your stomach gets plenty of time to digest the food before you go to sleep. If you are craving a post dinner dessert, you can have a bite of dark chocolate which contains flavonoids and powerful antioxidants. Finish off with a cup of chamomile tea which helps to reduce stress, bloating and promises a good night’s sleep.

Repeat the same menu for a week: Do not try to be innovative with food while you are on a diet. We end up eating extra calories while we try to be creative with food. To elaborate, if you decide to have cornflakes for breakfast, then eat cornflakes as breakfast for the entire week. But you should remember to change the choice of fruits that accompany your meals and the vegetables that go in your salads every day for nutritional variety.

Go to bed early and get 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Most of us are sleep deprived and survive on tea, coffee or some sort of energy drink to make up for the lack of sleep. You also tend to overeat when you are tired to compensate for the lack of energy. Getting enough sleep stops you from late night snacking and aids fat loss. Waking up early is just as important as it gives you more energy. It gives you a head start to plan and organize your day. It might also give you that extra bit of time to go for that morning walk which you have always been planning in your mind. You can also use this time to prep your food ahead of time so that you don’t end up snacking.